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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dolly Dress Discussion: Barbie and the Beat outfit

Remember when I said I'd find a special outfit for my old Dee Dee doll to wear?  Well, I found it.  The box was too beat up to photograph well, so I won't show that, but the outfit itself made it here okay.  It's a Barbie and the Beat outfit dating from the early nineties; I would've loved to have found a Barbie and the Rockers outfit (Dee Dee is a second-wave Rocker), but the only one available for a reasonable price was this one, and I think it's hideous.  The box showed Midge modelling this outfit so I think this was intended to be for her.  However, I'm giving this outfit to Dee Dee, because it matches her gloriously fiery eyeshadow.
I love Dee Dee's face paint and am thus always trying to find outfits that will compliment it.  Thus why I chose Midge's orange outfit over Christie's blue outfit.  But y'all don't get to see this puppy on Dee Dee yet, because I've got to review it!  As with the United Colors of Benetton review, I'll be making frequent references back to older Dolly Dress Discussions, with Shani and Yue-Sai making sporadic appearances as this post progresses.  So here's this bad boy deboxed.
Four main pieces plus shoes, the same as Shani's four plus shoes, but less than the highly accessorized Benetton outfit.  The style is pretty dated, much more so than either Shani's outfit or the Benetton outfit.  This is not terribly unlike something Jem and the Holograms would've worn, which flummoxes me a little.  Jem had already been cancelled by the time Barbie formed the Beat, and the Beat was her third foray into the not-always-glamorous rock scene.  The Rockers were first, then the Sensations, and then the Beat.  There was also a Dance Club line in there somewhere; I'm not sure if they were a band or just a group of friends that liked to go dancing.  Anyway, the Beat line came with six outfits (I managed to get a semi-decent picture of the back of the box to show y'all this), and they had a neat feature that the Rockers and the Sensations neglected to do.  See if you can figure out what that feature is by looking at the picture.
The words "GLOW IN" are visible at the top of the picture, which should provide a clue.  Yep, these little outfits have paint patches that glow in the dark!  Some of the outfits have more and some have less.  Barbie's outfit in the center of the bottom row has the most, while my outfit is one of the more sparsely painted sets.  No biggie, it's a treat to have anything glow-in-the-dark at all!

Since we just discussed glow-in-the-dark stuff, why not start with the outfit piece that actually glows:  the overshirt.
The overshirt is this unusual acid-washed combination of dark blue and orange.  This material feels very tough and durable, and indeed it has no stretch to it.
The sleeves are fitted full-length sleeves with Day-Glo yellow lace trimming the top length.
The front of the shirt has a panel sewn on that looks like a pocket.  It's not a pocket though, but rather a patch that has the glow-in-the-dark paint on it.  There are glowing polka dots, hearts, and stars of varying sizes on this panel, plus these same shapes in pink and gold glitter.
As y'all can see from the somewhat crummy picture below, the yellow paint does indeed glow in the dark.
The back of the shirt closes in the usual way, with a strip of Velcro.
The interior seams are not quite as nice as the seams on Shani's outfit or the Benetton outfit.  They're sturdy, but they're also a little ragged.  This seam also has the tag.
It's a very fitted top, but not too too tight to accommodate the other top.
This is a very simple orange tube top, made out of orange jersey knit..  It slides up over Dee Dee's feet, no Velcro required.  The back has the required seam that allows for shaping.
The seams are the kind that like to flip outwards when this top is put on, but in this case it's easy to tuck them back in again.  Now to the skirt.
The skirt is VERY SHORT, as you'll soon see.  It's made out of the same material as the overshirt:  dark blue and orange acid wash.  The sides have Day-Glo yellow panels on the side, which add some fullness to the skirt and tie the look together.
Like the overshirt, the skirt has a Velcro closure.
As I said above, the skirt is very short, but luckily this outfit came with a pair of shorts to wear underneath.
These tie the overall look together further by coordinating with the tube top.  They're made of the same orange knit fabric.  Two seams run up the backs, just like seamed stocking from days gone by.
No Velcro for this piece either.  The elasticity of these shorts hold them in place, but they're also hard to get pulled up.  And that would be the end of it, except that these shorts have one more nice detail:  the legs are trimmed in lace.  Not Day-Glo yellow lace, but delicate orange stuff that provides a last nice visual contrast to the outfit as a whole.
Lastly, shoes.  Dee Dee's new shoes are plain high-heeled pumps that the vast majority of Barbies had once.  These shoes break up that monotony a little by being bright orange.
These stay on Dee's feet without the use of rubber bands which is always a nice bonus.

Now, as always, let's see Dee Dee in the whole outfit.
Barbie and the Beat orange outfit.  For Dee Dee.  Not for anyone else...except maybe Shani, who would look fantastic in orange.  I like Shani as she is right now, but she'd definitely rock this outfit.

Okay...I believe that is three semi-vintage, mint-in-a-not-so-mint-box Barbie dresses that I've looked at in depth.  My favorite thing about this outfit, and indeed the other two as well, is the color.  These are all bright, happy, splashy colors that have brightened up what has otherwise been a stressful month for me.  See how they look together?  Shani continues to wear her new clothes, while Yue-Sai retains part of the Benetton outfit.
It's even more fun when I add in Alabama and Lanying, both of whom are still wearing Yue-Sai's stock clothes.
I don't like this Beat outfit as much as I like the Benetton outfit; it's very dated, and the pieces do not mix and match as easily.   It CAN be done; the simple orange pieces go great with denim or black fabric, but for the most part this outfit is meant to be worn as a set.  Not a huge deal, as Shani's outfit can't be mixed and matched around much either.  However, the Beat is like Shani's in that new looks can be created with the adding or subtracting of pieces, like so.
So the Beat outfit isn't as fun to play with as the Benetton outfit, nor is it as classy as Shani's getup, but it's still well-made and colorful, and Dee Dee rocks it like the Rocker she is.  I'm not the least bit sorry I got any of these outfits, and there may be more to come when the next paycheck rolls around.  There's a Sensations outfit on eBay that screams Shani's name, and a Totally Hair outfit that would look good on a brunette or a redhead.

If only my non-doll life were going as well!  Mama, thank God, is okay.  She's semi-ambulatory and is still the same klutzy, noisy, enjoyable mama that I've known and loved all my life.  No, my concern now lies with her mother, who is suddenly weakening to the point that I have to drive several blocks at nine in the evening just to help her get out of her chair.  Granted that's only happened once, but it's not at all fun to see.  I know my mama is worried, and I'm afraid that that worry will adversely affect her own healing.  So...y'all know the drill.  I much appreciate the prayers and positivity that our fine readers have sent, and I humbly ask that you keep them coming.

Hugs,
RagingMoon1987

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