In the early oughts (00’s) Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie made pet fashion a big deal when their pets became a regular on the hit reality show, The Simple Life. Fashionable carry bags/purses/backpacks – you name it – became an accessory paired with a miniature breed of some sort. Not only were pets being tagged along everywhere, but the pups were dressed for success too. From cold-weather jackets and booties to stylish leash and collar sets, pet owners can find a wide variety of luxury pet fashion.
Fashion designers like Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Armani have all created haute couture lines for pets, and it seems dogs are the preferred pet to play dress-up with. Pet clothing is now more popular than ever and you can thank the pandemic for that.
As much as people want to spend money on their homes, they also feel more inclined to invest in some stylin’ outfits for their pets. With more people working from home, pet owners have also spent more time with their pets, rekindling and bonding with man’s best friend.
Some people are going so far as to give their pets their own Instagram accounts. Some being really popular. Check out Boobie Billie, It’s Juniper the Fox, Jiff the Pomeranian or Guinness World record-holding Nala the cat. Other fashion famous pets include the late Karl Lagerfeld’s Choupette, and Jason Wu’s Jinxy and Peaches.
High fashion is a big deal in pet fashion. It is an emerging market and owners are willing to invest thousands in their pet’s wardrobe. Dressing your pet is essentially an extension of your personality. There is even a pet Fashion Week annually in New York City to celebrate the clothing made for animals.
Cecilia Rodriguez writes “Woolen coats, hooded jackets, striped t-shirts, cashmere polos all in exclusive designs and made-to-order for each pooch according to size and breed, and to match the owner’s elegance and style are among the offers of the new Italian sartorial experience for human and dogs by Temellini Dog A Porter“. This fashion house works from dog-shaped mannequins to create various sizes for different breeds. Clothing for your pet can start in the 100s of Rands with a Versace raincoat for your furry friend coming in at around R5850.
Keep Em’ Warm
Designer clothing aside, clothing your pet is a good idea if it gets cold. Whippets, for example, hate the cold and will freeze if their already fat-free bodies are not kept warm with a hoodie or jacket in the cooler months. Fashion Week Online shares “This is a practical side of using pet wear. In case you are often going for a walk with your pet when it is cold and windy outside, it is necessary to wear a coat on your pet. If you are searching for a new costume for your four-legged friend, pay attention to its size and style. Moreover, some little pets might also need to wear footwear to avoid undercooling and snuffling”.
Other than keeping your pet warm by helping to regulate their body temperature, there are other benefits too. Protecting your pet’s fur and skin may be necessary, especially in light-skinned pets who can get sun burnt easily. A lightweight shirt in summer can also protect your animal from insect bites and other irritants found in the garden or out on a hike.
PetMD warns that owners must always ensure a good fit. Clothing that is too big or too small can cause injury and even death. They conclude “Is there anything pets love more than being the centre of attention? No? We didn’t think so. Dress your pet up and he’s sure to receive tons of attention from anyone he comes across”.
Invest in your pet. Find more HOMEMAKERS pet tips and advice here.
Ah! Weddings! A beautiful day to celebrate love, cry over how beautiful everyone looks and potentially overindulge. For most couples, planning a wedding is both exciting and slightly terrifying. Smaller, intimate, DIY weddings have been gaining in popularity for several years. Now, lockdown restrictions and precautions have turned this simple wedding style into a necessity. With the traditional spring/summer wedding season on the way, here are a few real-life DIY wedding ideas and tips.
A DIY wedding may seem like a simpler option but without a hands-on wedding planner, all the logistics will fall to the bridal party. Using google sheets or a similar cloud-based system that you can share and easily update with all relevant parties will help you to stay on top of things.
If you are lucky enough to have an efficient family member or friend in your bridal party, it may be a good idea to play to their strengths and ask them to help you to stay on track. Delegate tasks as needed and make sure to have a tab with your different suppliers contact details to avoid a frantic search when you need it most.
Creating a realistic programme for the actual wedding day will help with staying on time. Your photographer and officiant will be able to guide you on how long they will need so you have an idea of timing. Realistically, you will run early or late at some point. Having a plan should be used as a basic guide to help the day flow from one activity to the next, so don’t stress if you aren’t sticking to it down to the minute, the wedding won’t happen unless the bride and groom are there and guests expect a bit of waiting around while you take photos.
Your venue is likely to take the chunk of your budget and will set the mood for your entire wedding (no pressure). The joy of a DIY wedding is that you can think outside of the box when it comes to your venue and take control of all the elements so that they are exactly what you want. The downside is that moving away from a conventional wedding or event venue means you will potentially have to bring everything in yourself.
Take time to weigh up your options with regards to what is included in the price of using an established venue vs bringing in independent contractors yourself. Your friend’s garden may be a beautiful, rustic venue but the realities of having enough bathrooms, bringing in chairs, tables, lighting and food might be more expensive in the end.
Décor is where the true DIYing happens! A quick look online will give you thousands of ideas to choose from. From origami swans and macrame to custom placemats and recycled glass vases, your only limit is time and your DIY ability. Again, if you aren’t personally great at DIYing, call in the troops and get some help! You can make an event of it by inviting your happy helpers to a DIY prep day.
When it comes to flowers, the most affordable option is to visit your local flower market. In Johannesburg, you can’t beat Multiflora when it comes to variety and affordability. Make a note of seasonal flowers and arrangement styles you like for reference and shop around for the best deals.
For a rustic look and feel, go for flowers and plants such as the silver dollar, eucalyptus (pennygum) and angel’s breath. Succulents, proteas and pincushions are perfect for a South African fynbos style. Handmade paper flowers are also a unique option if you want to forgo fresh flowers altogether.
Recycled jars and bottles will help add dimension and are perfect for holding your flowers. You can use old mayo jars, cold drink bottles and wine bottles for different heights or buy them in bulk from stores like Westpack or Consol. These can be decorated with twine, lace, ribbon or painted to bring in your theme colour more strongly. If you go for spray painting, avoid running paint by spraying from a distance and using multiple layers instead of one thick coat. Painting the inside of bigger jars will help give a uniform colour on the outside.
Create an element of fun with custom placemats that can double up as place markers, underplates and entertainment all in one! Canva is a great help when it comes to quick, free and professional looking design that you can use to give your wedding its unique style. For entertainment during speeches, you can make your speech bingo (don’t forget a little prize for the winner) and add people’s names to the mat so that they know where to sit, that’s if you opt for formal seating. You can then export your designs as a pdf and get them printed at your local printing shop on A3 cardboard.
Lighting is key to creating ambience, especially in the evening. Tea-light candles provide a simple solution that can be included in a few lanterns, floating on water or in simple glass holders on tables or spread around the venue. LED and battery-powered fairy lights or string lights are also a favourite when it comes to adding some romantic, soft light to your reception.
Feeding your guests is another big-ticket item for your budget and is definitely down to personal preference and what your venue has on offer. The DIY wedding element comes in choosing to do things a little differently such as getting your friends and family to make their signature desserts or opting for jars of sweets instead of the commonly found options of malva pudding or ice cream and chocolate sauce. You can also choose to forgo a traditional wedding cake for a savoury option such as wheels of cheese that can double up as a starter served with crackers and preserves while you take photos.
Other ideas include having a picnic-style wedding where couples or families are each given their own picnic basket of snacks to enjoy while relaxing on blankets or simple seating. You can even try out a morning wedding with a champagne breakfast or continental spread of pastries, cheeses, and cold meats.
What you wear on the day might not strictly be DIY but there are ways to express your personality by choosing some unique details. If you have the chance and are so inclined, consider upcycling your mother’s wedding dress or go on the hunt for a vintage dress that you can update and alter to fit you perfectly. You can even consider hiring dresses, suits and smaller items such as a veil from your local bridal shop.
DIYing detailed items such as boutonnieres, cufflinks and flower crowns will make your look all the more special.
Just make sure to wear in your shoes far in advance, take a comfy pair of shoes to change into or get gel inserts to avoid aching feet.
When it comes to invitations and save-the-dates, the internet is your friend. Whether it’s designing a hardcopy invite or a wedding website, there are lots of options for your DIY wedding. Sites such as The Knot are a wedding planning dream with free. Simple to use templates, countdowns and functionality that will help you keep track of RSVPs, dietary requests and bulk communications to all your guests. In the digital world we find ourselves in, most guests should find it easy to use – they will just need to click a link and fill in their relevant info from a dropdown menu.
Done right, a DIY wedding should save you a few bucks to keep or splurge on what matters to you most. Whether it’s an extra special honeymoon, a party-starting DJ, live band, open bar, a dream dress or a professional photographer, make the splurge decision early.
In the end, no matter which direction you choose to go with for your wedding day, allow it to be a reflection of who you. No one will know if you are running behind schedule or if your bouquet isn’t exactly what you wanted. In the end, people will remember the love shared and the special moments.
Photos by Geraldine Maritz Photography
Dr Melinda Burger is an MBChB graduate from TUKS who has trained with some of the best aesthetic specialists in the world. She has a vast accumulation of aesthetic experiences and believes that the field of aesthetics is an art which should look natural, but significant.
She is the founder of Dr Melinda Aesthetics with practices in Pretoria East and Cape Town. Dr Melinda is well known for her world-class lip sculpting but most importantly, has a profound passion for every procedure and patient.
I get asked why I chose aesthetic medicine and why it is so important to me on a regular basis. I’ve discovered that it isn’t something that I can tell you, but rather show you. To see a scarred patient’s face light up after a lip procedure or experiencing the joy of a woman who before a 15-minute non-invasive face-lift gave up on a difficult life, crying with a patient who was bullied at school for her features, giving a young girl her confidence back and helping her realise how beautiful she is. This is why aesthetic medicine is so important. These are the moments I live for.
What New Year skincare advice could you share with our readers?
The field of aesthetic medicine is rapidly growing, and skincare treatments are reaching new levels. Instead of giving you the usual skincare advice of using a good SPF, drinking water, and staying out of the sun, I’m advising you to take advantage of some game-changing procedures for overall skin health.
Mesotherapy with NCTF135HA is one of these procedures. It is the ultimate revitalising cocktail with all the vitamins and minerals your skin needs for improvement of fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture, pores, radiance, overall skin appearance and health. A definite winner among my patients. Another piece of advice I can give out of experience would be to change your cosmetic home care products from time to time as your skin gets used to the same routine.
There is quite a stigma about aesthetic medicine. How can we normalise aesthetic medicine and make people feel more comfortable with the idea that beauty is, in fact, attainable?
Beauty is attainable and the idea of aesthetic medicine normalising is growing each day. I saw a quote recently that said “Nobody is ugly, just poor”, with a photo of one of the Kardashians. That is true to a large extent. Social media rules our everyday lives and if you look at some before photos of most of these celebrities, you will see how this rings true. Aesthetic medicine is already normalised in Hollywood. Ten years ago, we only had anti-wrinkle injections, but with everything we have available today beauty is absolutely attainable.
Pay attention to people’s faces around you. You will quickly learn that aesthetics is more common than you think and you are a part of a majority, not a minority if you are having procedures done. I believe the stigma around aesthetics stems primarily from a misperception. This is why I personally use my social media platforms to educate people on exactly what it entails.
What is your most popular procedure and why do patients love it so much?
One of my most popular procedures is my signature “Doll Package”. This package was compiled to get the best results possible while treating the entire face and not just one area. It’s basically a face makeover done in under an hour. My patients love this procedure so much because you save money and the results are unbelievable. The package can also be customised for each patient and consists of a combination of treatments, mostly dermal fillers and threads.
Follow Dr Melinda on Instagram @drmelindaaesthetics for more info or get in touch with Dr Melinda’s practice – Pretoria 012 021 0404 or Cape Town 067 400 1033.Read More
As lockdown eases up, supporting local businesses is a way to get the economy restarted. Here are a few local businesses that you can support in and around Durban.
iNsingizi Lodge and Spa
Nestled in a mid-Illovo valley, iNsingizi Lodge and Spa is a beautiful break for those who love the outdoors. Aside from the lodge and “out of this world” spa you can also enjoy adventure bike rides, hikes and walks in the bush and forests on the property. They are running weekly lockdown specials where you can buy packages now to use later.
Kloof and Highway SPCA
Pet rescues are one of the many NPOs that have been hit hard by lockdown. The friendly and passionate team at Kloof and Highway SPCA are making the most of lockdown thanks to incredible community support and innovation. You can support them by donating using snapscan or buying essential items from their pop-up shop. If you have done a mass home tidy, they also take item donations that they sell for extra money.
Lupa Osteria, Westville
A family-owned Italian restaurant, Lupa Osteria in Westville offers exceptional service and heart-warming pizzas and pasta. Along with other branches, they are delivering via Uber Eats and Mr D.
Bellevue Cafe in Kloof has opted to use their space and equipment to help the community during lockdown. With the help of ongoing donations, they are running a soup kitchen and food parcel initiative that has already fed over 600 families in the Pietermaritzburg area.
One of Durban’s oldest NPO’s, Highway Hospice continues to support the eThekwini community by providing Hospice and Palliative care. You can support them by buying from their Charity Shop in Pinetown that is selling winter clothing, blankets, books and homeware.
Treat yourself to a pampering spa day after lockdown at TreeSpa. Buy a voucher now that you can use later to enjoy some peace, fresh air and beautiful views.
Sani – Stations
Anthony and the Garage Door Supplies team have branched out to help curb the spread of Covid-19 with the sales of foot-operated “Sani – stations”. This eliminates having to touch sanitiser pumps or bottles with your hands and limits contact with those who may need to help you by spraying it onto your hands.
Find more businesses to support here.Read More