A feature from the January – March 2023 of The Vizsla News.
Well, it’s that time! The National Vizsla Specialty is coming up so I thought we’d feature some Save and Splurge items for the show ring. And who better to feature than two VCA Members that ended their day in purple and gold. Greg Dutson and Ania Romano Kelly were nice enough to share details of their winning looks and I found some similar items for you.
When it comes to winning looks for women, I tapped on Ania Romano Kelly for advice. Ania is a 3rd generation Vizsla breeder and has had quite a bit of success at our Nationals in recent years. When I asked Ania for her recommendations, she realized that for all the big wins she was in St. John suits!
Splurge – ST JOHN BOUCLÉ SLUB KNIT JACKET SUIT – $2,390
This St. John suiting skirt set comes in at a hefty $2,390, but is on sale at Nordstrom right now for a reasonable (wink) $1095. The suit is a lovely boucle fabric that hides dog slobber with utmost perfection. The knit fabrics are forgiving for all the contortions you have to do while setting up your dog and making left hand circles.
Save – ST. JOHN SEQUIN KNIT DOUBLE BREASTED EVENING JACKET SKIRT SUIT $225
If you are into bargain shopping, you might want to take a spin around the Poshmark website and see if you can find a St. John suit there. To match up to the Nordstrom version, I did a quick search on Poshmark for a white knit St. John skirt suit and found this one that is in like new, excellent condi- tion. This site is pretty cool, because if you think the item is over priced, you can make an offer to the seller. If you’ve never tried it, you can plug in referral code KISH5280 and get $10 towards your first purchase!
Splurge – TIEKS – STARSTRUCK BALLET FLAT $275
Tieks were Ania’s go to and she still wears them for “fancy shows.” These shoes are known for their turquoise soles and come with a cute little carrying case that you can easily slip into your show bag. I’ve had a couple pairs and I find that the patent leath- er ones hold up a little bit better than the regular colored leather…but I’m super hard on shoes so take that with a grain of salt.
Save – COLE HAAN – ZERO GRAND SLIP ON LOAFER $99
These are Ania’s fave for everyday wear. Lightweight, breathable, and luxuriously cushioned. What more could you want for a long weekend of running around on concrete all day? I think I’m going to be adding a pair of these to my bag for Longview!
When I needed a Guy’s look, I reached out to Greg Dutson, our last male VCA member to win the National Specialty. Greg fondly told me he about spit out his coffee when he opened an email from me asking him to be a model. But, he agreed and sent along the details of his winning look! Greg wore a Geoffrey Beene navy blue suit jacket with a Men’s warehouse Blue shirt and cuffed dress pants. He wore a Dockers blue & silver striped tie with his lucky Vizsla tie tack and a pair of Dockers dark brown leather casual dress shoes. I couldn’t find a lot of the same brands, but these are classical pieces that can be picked up almost anywhere!
Splurge – CALVIN KLEIN NFINITE NON-IRON SLIM FIT DRESS SHIRT LIGHT BLUE – $59.99
You had me at non-iron. This CK shirt is a happy blue that features a crisp look and stretch fabric. It’s a perfect shirt for running around the ring and keeping your tailored outline.
Save – ALFANI MEN’S SLIM FIT STRIPE DRESS SHIRT, CREATED FOR MACY’S – $16
This Alfani shirt from Macy’s is a steal at $16. Point collar, buttoned cuffs, and machine washable — that has dog show shirt written all over it!
Splurge – SLIM-FIT JACKET IN PERFORMANCE-STRETCH SEERSUCKER $495
I love a Boss suit. They are recognizable almost anywhere, clean, sleek, and perfectly tailored. This jacket separate comes in a performance stretch fabric that would make showing a breeze. It’s also seersucker to provide a cooler look and feel for the summer!
Save – GEOFFREY BEENE MEN’S WINDOW PANE 2 BUTTON SPORT COAT SPORTS JACKET – $110.88
This classically cut jacket provides a tailored look and can easily be paired with your favorite dress pants. It also features FIVE pockets which I would kill for on a dress!
Splurge – ALPINE DERBY SHOE WITH VIBRAM ARCTIC GRIP RUBBER SOL – $375
These Allen Edmonds beauties feature a vibram sole, so you know they’ll be able to handle slick concrete, wet grass, or rubber mats with equal ease. Easy to dress up or down, these will likely become a staple piece in your wardrobe.
Save – ROONEY SHOES – $69.96
These shoes provide comfort without sacri- ficing the dress style look. These are oxford style with a cushioned footbed for comfort. The outer sole is lightweight, but still provides traction and support perfect for the fair- grounds environment most shoes are held in.
Splurge – Custom Show Lead ~ $120
Sheila Wald – email@example.com
IRockas’ winning look included an 18” resco style 3/16” nylon slip collar Along with a 40” beaded show lead by our very own Sheila Wald. Then I found out that Sheila ALSO made the lead that Ania and Boomer won the National with in 2019. So the featured lead was an easy choice! Sheila does each lead custom, no repeat designs so there is a range. Length, beads, leather style all determine price. This one is a 40” Kangaroo leather in Brandy with 200# test core
and artisan glass beads.
Save – RESCO PROFESSIONAL CORDO-HYDE SHOW LEAD WITH BRASS FASTNER 3/8-INCH WIDE X 60-INCH LONG, TAN – $29.99
While not fancy, I start puppies on a resco lead. I’ve had a few people laugh and tell me my Vizsla is not a cocker spaniel! However, I think they are easier to use on puppies before transitioning to the show leads. An essential in my handling bag
Friends, whether you splurge or save, I wish you the best of luck as you compete this Spring. Hopefully, you’ll find something here to refresh your wardrobe and add a spark of competitor confidence!