A Barbie dress, of course! But look closely at the packaging. See the sizing chart?
I had wondered how Mattel was going to work around having four different body shapes for Barbie, and it appears that I have at least a partial answer. This dress is marked for all four shapes...and I happen to have all four shapes. Meet Bambi (petite), Francine (tall), Billie Jean (curvy), and Candace (original).
Yeah, I know I could've used Elizabeth or Kenzie, but I wanted to use some dolls that y'all haven't seen much of. I once said that I'd never own Candace, but her sweet face and Roger Daltrey hair won me over.
I'm pretty sure I know how this is going to fit Candace, but for the sake of completion let's see how she looks anyway.
The dress fits Candace nicely, as expected. The hem falls to her ankles and the bodice is fairly relaxed. It's a cute dress from the front...but from the back there's this to be seen.
Ah, it's so nice to see that Mattel is still leaving their dresses plain in back...NOT!!! Jeez, I hate that! Okay, so this dress is plain in the back, but it still looks cute on Candace. With the standard set I selected the other three at random. Petite doll Bambi is the first one I grabbed.
What was an ankle-length dress on original-bodied Candace becomes a floor-length gown on Bambi. It almost hides the fact that Bambi is wearing her silver stock shoes, which don't match the gold plastic accessories that come with this dress. I love this on Bambi, though. It looks long and elegant without drowning her.
victim candidate turned out to be curvy Billie Jean.
My body shape is similar to Billie Jean's, and if I'd worn a dress like this back when I was younger I'd have died of shame. Too many back rolls. LOL, anyway, Billie Jean doesn't have that problem. The skirt is ankle-length on her like it is on Candace. The bodice is a little tight, but not ridiculously so. My only gripe about this combo is that the pink dress doesn't look too great with Billie Jean's blue hair. I wouldn't have chosen this particular doll to try on this dress, but Billie Jean remains my only curvy doll so I just had to make do. It doesn't look hideous, though. Quite the opposite; I think Billie Jean looks pretty cute!
That leaves my tall girl Francine, I do believe.
I have four tall dolls, but I chose Francine over the other three because two of the three are fair-skinned, and the third needs a serious hair combing! I was dying to see what this pink dress would look like on a black doll, but I didn't want to do a lot of hair styling beforehand so Francine got to be the lucky one. The skirt falls to Francine's calves, making this a middy look for the tall dolls. The bodice is tight enough that the top strap is a little tricky to fasten, but once it IS fastened it stays put. And of course, the pink looks lovely against Francine's dark plastic. Like Billie Jean the hair doesn't really match, but again I can let it slide.
Alrighty, I have verified that this new dress can fit all four of the new Barbie bodies as it was billed to do. But that's not all I'm going to do, oh no. Given the fact that this dress can fit Billie Jean's larger frame, it might be worth it to try it on some of my more buxom dolls, and some of slimmer ones as well. So I whipped out an old Barbie (or rather an old Midge), one of my Jenny dolls, two dolls that I've recently reviewed (Sindy and Tammy), and two dolls that I'll review in the future (Mary Makeup and Tuesday Taylor). Let's get this party started. This is Cool Times Midge, from back in the late eighties.
Who said pink doesn't look good with red hair??? This dress looks very becoming with Midge's big late-eighties hair and tan skin...but it is ridiculously tight. It took all I had to get both the top strap and the back fastened, and the whole time this was on her the Velcro was slowly peeling apart. I'm sorry to say that while this dress does stretch to fit Billie Jean, it does not have enough in it to fit Midge and her TNT Barbie buddies.
Again selecting at random, I pulled Jenny next. Sweet, innocent Takara Jenny.
Jenny is too slim to wear a lot of the things I've got, so I'm always looking for things that will fit her. To my great delight this dress fits Jenny perfectly. The skirt is slightly longer than ankle-length on her, and the bodice is not stupidly tight like it was on poor Midge. I'm very pleased about this revelation. This gives me hope for some of the other modern-day things that I've got; I need to play more with Jenny and see what all will fit. Given the fact that Jenny and Teen Skipper can share clothes, this may mean that my childhood Skipper dolls can wear this dress. Bummer that I didn't pull one from the box!
My next doll happened to be Sindy. Her measurements are relatively close to that of the old TNT Barbie, so I wasn't overly optimistic here.
Sindy proved me wrong! The dress is a little tight around the neck, but this works reasonably well. As with Jenny, the skirt hangs just past Sindy's ankles. Not bad!
I didn't have much hope for Tammy either, given how Sindy's stock dress fits her (Tammy fills it out more than Sindy does). But...
...I was again pleasantly surprised. Again, this dress is a little tight around the bodice, but Tammy can wear this in a pinch. The skirt is loose enough for her to sit, though poor Tammy will never be a graceful sitter no matter how well she's dressed. The skirt is ankle-length, showing off that pair of black flats that don't match anything Tammy owns. I need to get that girl some more shoes! That will be easier since I know Tammy can wear some of Sindy's shoes!
The next doll is one I haven't reviewed yet, though I do plan on it. Her name is Mary Makeup, and she's a friend of Barbie's 60's rival Tressy. Mary and Tressy have body measurements that are very like Barbie's, so this time I think I'll be right in assuming the dress will not fit. And...
...it doesn't. After cramming this on Midge earlier I didn't dare try to stretch the bodice that tight again. Technically this could work on Mary if I tuck the top strap under, but then the bodice wants to pop off and show Mary's...charms, shall we say, to the world. Nope, Mary can't wear this. Neither can Tressy, who has the same body.
That leaves us with Tuesday Taylor, another doll in the "coming soon" category.
The dress fits Tuesday in a manner similar to Sindy. The bodice is tight but not terribly so; notice that I was able to get the top strap around Tuesday's neck. Tuesday is taller than Sindy, so the dress hits slightly above the ankle. Again, this is good information to know, as long-discontinued dolls like Tuesday are often hard to dress.
So I've established that this dress fits all four of the modern-day Barbie bodies. I didn't try it on a Model Muse body because I don't think it's necessary; the Muse bodies have always been able to wear Fashionista clothing without any fuss, so why bother. The only Barbie bodies that will not fit into this dress are the old TNT bodies. American Character's Tressy and Mary Makeup are also out due to their large chests. However, Marx's Sindy, Ideal's Tammy and Tuesday Taylor, and Takara's Jenny can wear this dress, and since Jenny can wear the dress I'm assuming that Teen Skipper can too.
Regarding the dress itself, it's well made and it stood up to a lot of punishment as I forced it on Midge. The seams are still holding strong and the Velcro is still sticky...for now. Unfortunately the dress is plain in the back, something that always annoys me. If I knew the reason was for something besides saving money I'd be more tolerant of it, but I'm pretty sure it's just Mattel pinching pennies again. Sigh.
Discuss. Who do you think wore the dress best?