Clever outfits and accessories are the purrfect way to tart up your tabby
- Last Updated: 1:03 AM, February 26, 2012
- Posted: 8:29 PM, February 25, 2012
Last year, Julie Song, a costume designer who graduated from Parsons School of Design, was inspired to begin crafting cute and clever outfits for her cat. She made an elf hood for Toki Nantucket, her 3-year-old Abyssinian, to wear in that year’s Christmas card photo.
The picture was a hit, and in January she decided to test the waters with an expanded collection by creating a few samples and putting them on Etsy (etsy.com/shop/CatAtelier). According to Song, pet owners rarely think to style their cats, and when they do, there are so few options that they have no choice but to outfit their felines in ill-fitting dog costumes.
“I wasn’t sure how they’d go over, since most people assume that cats hate being dressed up,” says Song.
While many felines do prefer to go naked, Toki patiently plays dress-up and mugs for the camera.
“He took to modeling right away and is totally calm during photo shoots. It also helps that I bribe him with chicken,” Songs says.
The costumes took off, and CatAtelier’s best seller is currently the collars, since they can be adjusted to fit cats of any size.
“I really want to get a female Abyssinian someday,” says Song. “I’d like to make more feminine accessories. Toki doesn’t mind cross-dressing for my CatAtelier photos, but I think I’d be more inspired to make girlie outfits if I had a girlie cat.”
What you’ll find at CatAtelier
Untied bow tie
This James Bond-inspired tie was a custom request for a cat whose idol is 007 himself. “It looks like he had a wild night drinking martinis at the casino,” Song says.
Song crafted these dapper caps with French felines in mind. “It seems like Parisian kitty cats in berets were all over cartoons when I was a child,” says Song, “sitting in a cafe with their cigarettes trailing curlicue smoke.”
This beatnick style brings to mind “a little hooligan playing dice on a street corner then pickpocketing you,” says Song.
This glitzy, fabulous adornment was inspired by ’70s disco.
Bib collar with lace trim
This feminine look makes Song think of a girl pushing around a “Mary Poppins”-style carriage with a kitten inside.
Bow ties and point collars
For these adjustable accessories, Song was inspired by classic menswear. “I love the idea of going to a tailor and choosing fabrics and having things made to measure,” Song says. “It makes me laugh to think of taking your cat to Savile Row.”