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Friday, May 26, 2017

Dolly Dress Discussion: Cool Tops Skipper outfit

For this fairly brief Dolly Dress Discussion I'm going to take a look at one of Barbie's oft-neglected younger sisters.  I have a number of Skipper dolls from the late eighties and early nineties (the doe-eyed era), nearly all of which fell into my sister's clutches and thus lost their clothes along the way.  My sister had a very odd way of playing with our dolls.  Anyway, I've reclaimed these old playthings of childhood past and crammed them into ill-fitting Barbie dresses, most of which are too big AND too small at the same time.  Skylar, my very pretty Sparkle Beach Skipper, is one of the lucky ones, as this Fashionistas dress fits her almost perfectly.
My mother likes Skylar the way she is, but I wanted something a little more age-appropriate...and something that came with shoes.  Enter the Cool Tops outfit, yet another eBay find.
Yeah, it's pink.  Apparently Skipper still wasn't out of the "monkey see, monkey do" phase by 1989 and wanted everything pink like Barbie.  But then again, Barbie didn't start boning up on the pink until after this outfit was made, so maybe I'm being a bit hasty calling Skipper a copycat.  It doesn't really matter, because the outfit is very cute.  The theme of this line was a little unusual, focusing heavily on graphic T-shirts.  The Cool Tops line had three dolls (Skipper, Courtney, and Kevin), plus five extra outfits (none of which were for Kevin).
That set of outfits lacks the vivid colors and goofy patterns of the United Colors of Benetton line, so maybe picking this pink dress was a wiser decision than I thought.  It's probably no secret by now that I love bright colors, and that rule includes pink even though I think it's overused for doll clothes.  So let's take a look at this outfit.  It's a simple one, only two pieces plus shoes.
The top is supposed to be the focal point of this outfit.  It's a scoop-necked T-shirt, made out of hot pink jersey fabric.
The neckline plunges in the back a little, right above the seam in the back (no Velcro).
Now to the graphic on the front.  All these tops had little graphics on them, thus why the line was called "Cool Tops."  This particular top's graphic appears to be a decal, and it is a brightly colored pair of shoes with a jazzy-looking set of triangles forming a frame.
The decal is cracking a bit, but I sort of like this.  It looks like the distressed styles that I used to wear.  And...that's it.  The top is cute and probably was stylish for its time, but it's very simple.  The skirt picks up the slack.
Well, visually it picks up the slack.  The skirt consists of several pleated pink tulle panels, snd these panels in turn have a fair amount of glitter attached...
...plus three cute chartreuse bows.
The panels are sewn to a short white underskirt that serves the dual purpose of providing a base for the panels and keeping Skylar modest.
The underskirt also has a band of elastic sewn into the waist.  Smart move in omitting Velcro, since it would've snagged the living daylights out of this tulle.  The tulle isn't hemmed in any way, nor can I see any way that it COULD have been hemmed.  As far as I know, tulle is almost never hemmed anyway.

Lastly, the shoes.  Simple white flats.
Notice that one of them is already split.  I got this outfit MIB and promptly dressed Skylar in it, and within five minutes this shoe split.  It still fits Skylar's foot, but that split is a mega bummer.  Luckily for me, I happen to know how to fix splits like this, and since the shoe is white it'll be easy to conceal.  I think it's too bad that these shoes don't match the graphic on the shirt, by the way.
That would've been a cute little touch, but since I'm going to be doing shoe repairs anyway I can always paint these to my liking.  Or I may just repair that split and let that be that, since white goes with everything.

As always, here's the doll in the full outfit.
Pulling the skirt up was a chore since it's fairly tight and Skylar's legs are very rubbery.  Getting the shirt over her widely spread arms wasn't easy either, and of course that stupid shoe had to go and split.  Despite the drawbacks, it's very nice to have an outfit specifically intended for an old Skipper like this.  The Fashionista dress looked okay and I may put Skylar in it again if I get in the mood, but for now she stays in this.  The Cool Tops outfit is deceptively simple, perfect for the age group that it was intended for, but it's also appealing to the eye and that makes it a treat.  Not all simple outfits are this eye-catching, and some eye-catching outfits are impossible to put on, so this one strikes a nice balance.

Stay tuned for another Dolly Dress Discussion in the very near future; on the same day that the Cool Tops outfit arrived, I received another dress for one of my Barbies.  As they say during commercial breaks, don't go away!



  1. Those Skipper flats are so prone to breakage, and poor Skipper hardly had any other kind of shoe for a long period there.

    1. That's comforting, actually. I thought I'd done something dumb and broken it.

  2. How will you fix the shoe? I usually just threw mine away when they split like that.

    1. I'll try Super Glue and epoxy and see if they work. If that doesn't work I'll just pout and leave it as is.