Looking for something?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dolly Dress Discussion: United Colors of Benetton outfit

Things may be a little quiet on the blog for awhile.  My mother had a hip replaced and will be convalescing at my place, so I'm having to juggle caretaker duties with my job and my pets.  I don't mind any of that; it's great having my mom here with me, in fact.  I enjoy having her in the room next to mine again, and my cats love having a new "playmate."  It just doesn't leave much time for dolls or the blog.  But I did find time for this post, which centers around yet another in-box vintage outfit that I dug up on eBay, plus a doll that is waiting patiently to be reviewed.  First, say hello to Yue-Sai Wa Wa.
Now, say hello to the outfit.  It's the one meant for Christie.  I intended this outfit to be for Yue-Sai all along so I originally wanted Kira's outfit.  But I couldn't afford it, and I like Christie's outfit better anyway.  
In the past I've said that I'm not a huge fan of eighties style.  It wasn't fair to assume that ALL of it was bad, but I'm still not a huge fan.  However, I'll make an exception with United Colors of Benetton and the line of Barbie dolls that wore it.  The colors and patterns were outrageous enough to stand out, but yet tame enough to wear to school or out on the street.  Just look at this group of dolls!  Also check out this group, which I'll link in; this second group has a shopping theme.
Teresa and Marina/Kira are my favorites, but they're all fabulous.  Of course when Mattel made a specific line of Barbie dolls during the eighties and early nineties, they would also produce a line of clothes that matched the theme.  So it was with the Benetton line; each character got one outfit, meaning that Ken got one and the girls got four to play mix-and-match with.  My outfit has Christie featured on the front, and indeed I will likely let my black TNT dolls wear it (so far I only have two, Shani and a beat-up second-wave Dee Dee).  But Yue-Sai arrived in a bright outfit of her own, one that I'm currently loaning out to another doll.  Yue-Sai thus needed a new outfit, necessity met a good opportunity, and so it's Yue-Sai who gets to Model this dress.  Besides, Shani has something nice and semi-new anyway.  I'll make the next outfit I get be just for Dee Dee...though she IS already quite well-dressed.  Check this out!  A close friend made this one.
Now let's look at the Benetton outfit out-of-box.
It's a multi-piece getup full of colors that either coordinate or contrast artistically.  There's a lot to talk about with this outfit, so let's jump on it.  The most obvious piece is this jacket, so I'll start there.
The jacket is made out of apple green velour, the same kind of velour that Shani's "briefcase" is made out of.  It's stiff fabric, so it unfortunately holds wrinkles like mad.  The left sleeve shows this particularly well.
The front of the coat has two big lapels...
...and two rows of faux buttons.
I wish those buttons were yellow or red instead of green.  All that green blends together, especially in pictures.  These buttons just hang out on the front and look cute, by the way.  The front closes with a white plastic snap.
There's nothing even remotely special about the back of this coat, so now we turn inward.  The thin velour is made a bit more robust with the addition of a green lining.
The seams inside have no loose threads, but they're also not topstitched like the seams on Shani's jacket are.  So the seams don't look as nice.
None of the raw edged are hemmed either.  I doubt that'll be a problem structurally because this fabric is tightly woven.  But some sort of trim on these edges might have been a nice touch.

Like Shani's jacket, the Benetton jacket is tagged.  Unsurprisingly it says "Genuine Barbie" rather than "Shani."
The rest of these pieces are quite simple.  Under the jacket is a red sleeveless turtleneck top.
What you see is what you get with this top.  It's a simple, versatile piece, good for all sorts of ensembles.  The only seams it has are down the back and around the neck.  Since this is knitted fabric, the raw edges are hemmed.  The neck fastens with a white plastic snap.
Then there's these trippy pants.
These pants are also made out of knitted stuff, only this time they jazz it up with a retro flower-and-butterfly print.
The backs of the legs and the seat of the pants have seams...
...the waist is elasticised...
...and since this is knitted fabric, the cuffs are hemmed.
The legwarmers, standard accessories with a lot of eighties Barbie fashions, are simple tunes made from the same fabric as the top.
The shoes are also simple, being red plastic flat-soled sneakers with molded but unpainted laces.
For reasons I'll never know, I used to enjoy jamming shoes like these onto my fingertips as a child.  I don't recall my old Maxie having shoes, but my old Barbie and Midge did!

Right then, last piece.  It's a yellow scarf, made out of a single strip of yellow knitted fabric.  It's hemmed all over, but that's all there is to it.

With that, here's how Yue-Sai looks in this outfit.
Whew!  With all those layers Yue-Sai looks like she's ready for a jaunt on the ski trail!  One thing I noticed about Yue-Sai is that her lip color doesn't match her new top.
Of course it wouldn't.  This particular doll came wearing an outfit that is dominantly dark pink, not red.  If I can get my technological gadgets to work I'll finish Yue-Sai's review so y'all can see what I'm talking about. 

To sum it all up, the United Colors of Benetton outfit has more pieces than Shani's outfit, in some of my all-time favorite colors, with loads of potential for mixing and matching.  Unfortunately the quality isn't quite as good, as the jacket is unhemmed, the top lacks shape, and the accessories are pretty humdrum.  Still, it's a nice little outfit, one that I'm happy to have.  I hope to land more of these colorful late eighties ensembles so that my other dolls can look as colorful and retro-stylish as Yue-Sai! 

Review aside, please keep my mother in your prayers.  She should be coming home tomorrow and she'll likely be starting physical therapy to help get her strength back.  All has gone well so far and I'm thankful for that, but prayers and positive thoughts are still appreciated. 



  1. Best wishes to your mother!

    Oh man, sublimated on stretch fabric, those leggings could almost be a current fashion! Ha ha, I used to stick doll shoes on my fingertips, too!

    1. Yeah, this outfit isn't really as dated as I thought it was with those pants. We're both obviously quite familiar with the patterns pants and leggings come in nowadays! Glad to know I'm not the only kid out there that had odd opinions on what was fun! LOL, those shoes never did fit our fingers as good as they did Barbie, did they?

    2. Lol, the soft low top sneakers worked okay, but man your fingertips got squished!

    3. I always wanted to jam the skirt boots on my fingers, for some reason. I had a pair of pink ski boots, and they were TIGHT on the old fingertips.

  2. Prayers for your mom. My mom really needs her knees replaced, at age 83, but she's hesitant to do it.

    I agree that those leggings have almost quite the contemporary pattern! Man, United Colors of Benetton was IT back in the day. I'd say you could replace those green buttons with a different color, but that seems like a lot of work for a cheap-ish velour jacket. Still, the colors suit Yue-Sai.

    1. I can see why they were IT back in the day, because those colors are awesome. You and Presto are right; that pattern looks retro to me, but it could be any era one chose.

      As to your poor mama, her concerns are probably justified. My mama's doctor told her that knee replacements are worse than hip replacements. There's a lot of rehab involved, and I heard that it's very painful. On the other hand, all that might be worth it if it'll help her be more independent.