I can remember once I started embracing this side of myself, I was very nervous to wear gear in public or act like my pet self around other people. It was very intimidating because I was scared that people would ask questions and I would have to tell them the ins and outs of this lifestyle. Spoiler alert to you all – you do not owe anybody an explanation! You have every single right to wear or act how you wish and not have to justify it. But I know for me in the early stages, knowing this wasn’t enough of a confident boost; so I hope the things I’ll be sharing in this article will help you feel more able to embrace this side of you more.
Say it’s cosplay –
One very easy and often widely accepted reason for wearing gear is to just say you’re cosplaying. It is a more well-known dress form than pet play is and most people, I’ve found, just acknowledge it and move on when I tell them it’s cosplay.
Halloween is a great time to put all your gear on and not be fearful as you can just say it’s a costume! People will for sure dismiss it and not ask any more questions so you won’t have to go in depth about why you wear gear.
Work your way up –
Try starting off with wearing just a collar. A lot of people will just think it is a choker. Once you’ve done that enough to the point where you feel comfortable, try wearing some ears too. I liked to do this in a big city where it was unlikely that I would come across someone I know; but some of you may be uncomfortable wearing gear around a lot of people, so maybe try just going to the park or walk your dog. From there, just keep wearing more pieces of gear, more extravagant gear or wear gear around more close people until you feel fully confident to be your adorable little self! This really helped me, as I took it in baby steps to get to where I am today.
Post photos online -
Posting photos and selfies online of you in gear will make it a smoother transition for people seeing you in gear. It won’t be so much of a sudden change for other people as they will already be aware that you wear cat ears! People are less likely to make a big deal out of you wearing gear out if they have already seen you in it. Also, if you do receive any questions online from anyone, it’s so easy just to delete the comment.
Find friends –
This doesn’t have to be people into wearing pet gear. If you have any friends with an extravagant sense of style or a friend who love cosplaying or wearing costumes out, try going out in public with them. It may help you feel more confident in what you are wearing as you would be with someone who is dressed elaborately as well. Of course, if you have friends who wear pet gear too, it may help for you to go out wearing gear together. Pets supporting other pets!!!
Wear clothes that make you feel good –
If you are worried about people staring at you (which I still am, years later) wear clothing that you feel great in. If people do look, just try saying to yourself that you look bomb in what you’re wearing! Wearing clothing which you don’t feel confident in may not help you if you’re worried about people looking. By wearing clothing you feel good in, it will give you a small confidence boost that will help get you through the awkward side glances.
Remind yourself it’s okay to take it off –
If you really feel unable to carry on wearing gear, do not push yourself too far past your capability. It is 100% okay for you to only wear gear for 5 minutes if that’s all your feel able to do. Don’t feel upset with yourself for not making it through if you feel the need to take it off.
Remember that even kittens like myself, who have been wearing gear for 3-4 years, still feel uncomfortable sometimes. I don’t wear my tail or leash out in public unless I am going to a big city. I don’t even wear my collar out most days( I have a little bell on an anklet that I wear daily). You don’t need to wear your gear out in public every day or every weekend to be a pet.
~ Chloe Christina