Sunday, January 23

How to Dress a Dog Trainer

What do you see in your mind's eye when you hear the term "dog trainer?" 

I see this. It makes me want to hit someone.

If you see a professionally but appropriately dressed, well-presented, emphasis-with-repeated-word-here, professional individual (and you live in Ohio), know that I'm laughing at you. Most of the dog trainers I see look like the guy above and trust me when I say I wouldn't buy a word he said, no matter how right he was.

Because of how he's dressed.

Scratch that. 

Dog trainer, yes. Check mark and all that beside the term. 

Professional dog trainer, no. No check marks, no stars, nothing.

And I certainly would not call you a pet professional.

Every time I check out a new dog training faci--- You know what. Let me rephrase. 
Every single POSITIVE dog training facility I have ever toured has been presented to me by a dog trainer who is, for lack of a better term and because I can think of nothing more insulting than this - sloppy

No offense, but I've worked with the traditional and military boys, and they dress nice
It may be because they're pushy jerks and they HAVE to have some redeeming quality....

What's the problem, here, ladies?

Never done. Or if it is, you should sue your hairstylist. There is a hairspray limit, just like there's a drinking limit. Find it.

If it's there, it's caked on using the incorrect color for your complexion, way too much blush, eyeshadow, mascara, or eyeliner... or it's just not there.
Most of you .... should go without.
I don't care how much makeup you wear so long as all I think when I see it is, "I wish I had that complexion! Her skin glows!" 
Can't pull that off?
Avoid the damn makeup. 

(These girls are just barely overdressed. Nix the heels, the white, and the sports coats, and you might be on to something.)

Here's my pet peeve.
LADIES, if I can see your panty line, either you're wearing the wrong pants or the wrong underwear and one of them has GOT to go.
I've never been so annoyed or unwilling to listen to someone's advice as I am when someone is marketing to me that they are a professional anything and don't look like they know what the word entails.

Don't worry; your clients think that, too.

You should, 100% of the time, be dressed better than your clients
Especially if you're a woman.
That means: You probably shouldn't be jeans and a t-shirt.
It also means that your clothes should not be baggy or tight enough that I'm giggling because you have a muffin top and should really consider buying the next size up in your so-called pants size.

Really, it's really hard to take a person seriously if she looks like she doesn't take proper care of herself.

So, take the damn time to make your hair look half-way decent. Ponytails are long as I can see more than just frizz... and don't require a lot of effort. 
Skip the makeup unless you plan on making it look like you don't have any on. Really. Really, really. Even if you're good at wearing makeup, you should probably opt to look like you're about to teach a dog training class, not out with your friends.
And the clothes. Oh, the clothes. My recommendation: Go with something earthy and professional. And go with top-of-the-line. Cheap dress clothes look like shit.
Repeat: If you're wearing cheap dress clothes YOU LOOK CHEAP.
And top of the line here means that if you're going with earthy, I-am-a-dog-trainer type of clothes, go with Carhartt. If, like me, you work with a very conservative crowd, you may consider Express or Gap or some other annoying name-brand hoo-hah.

(These are Dockers. Dockers are freaking amazing.)

Also, take the goddamn time of day to match appropriate undergarments with the appropriate professional outfits. I don't want to see your bra straps. Or your bra. And while I really, really don't want to see your underwear or panty line, I especially don't want to see your pants riding up your.... 
I'll stop there.

Personally, I recommend Victoria's Secret. They have everything for everyone - size, style, etc - and it's cute to boot. Your husband will thank you.
(You don't want him thanking me. I'm her size.)

Professional is professional, and there isn't some fine line or broad spectrum. If you call yourself professional, dress the damn part.
(Like the irony of having that line right below a Victoria's Secret model? I did!)

Make all the excuses you want. 
Yell at me and tell me why I'm wrong and it's okay for professional dog trainers not to look professional.
Or yell at me and tell me why you think jeans and a t-shirt or the wrong sized clothes and too much make up IS professional.

Point is, this is a professional career, and for people to treat it as such, you really do have to dress better than your clients.
And here's the kicker.
You have to act professional, too.