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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dolly Dress Discussion: All-American Barbie outfit

Today's model will be another Teresa doll, though she'll be a bit older than Sonja was.  Say hello to Pilar, who debuted in a long ago post about dirty dollies.
At the moment Pilar is wearing a dress and shoes that I'm intensely fond of; indeed I've put this ensemble on many a Barbie and been pleased with the results.  But since Pilar is an All-American Teresa doll my curiosity was piqued and I dug through eBay to see if the line had anything extra.  I came away with an outfit in my two favorite colors.  Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph this outfit in its package.  Barbie was the box model, of course.

Just for giggles, here's a link to the commercial for All-American Barbie.  It's got a cute jingle with a great beat, and it makes a fairly big deal out of Barbie's then-new friend Kira, but for some reason it appears to associate Reebok shoes with Americana.  I like Reeboks and I certainly don't have a problem with Barbie wearing them, but Reebok's roots are solidly British.  Indeed, Reebok's logo sported the Union Jack flag until 1986, and some of the boxes still sported the flag as recently as 2006.  I know because I own one of the boxes!  When this line was introduced in Europe things got even more confusing; the line's name was changed to "Weekend," and the dolls were packaged with tiny Adidas rather than Reeboks.  The miniature Reeboks were super cute, and I'm willing to bet that the Adidas were too, though being American I've yet to see Barbie-sized Adidas.  My Teresa is obviously missing her little Reeboks, and to my great surprise the All-American/Weekend outfits don't come with any!  My new old outfit has regular plastic shoes along with jeans, and top, and a bandanna.  I do love these colors, though!
Acid green and electric blue, just like that Diva Starz outfit I got for my Japanese dolls.  So let's begin!  The tank top is plain all over, just a simple green jersey knit that has a lot of mix-and-match potential.
Even though this top probably could stretch to fit over Pilar's head, the back closes with Velcro.
Notice that the hem is done with yellow thread, for reasons I'll never know.  The hems are done well enough to prevent ravelling, but the raw edges are cut very close, close enough that some bits don't want to lie flat.
The blue jeans are one of those styles that I've never loved.  Gathered at the bottoms, wider at the tops.
On the other hand, this style is probably more easy and comfortable to sit in than some of the styles we have today.  I'm not sure if this fabric is supposed to look acid-washed or faded, though either would do for the time period in question.
These jeans have a fake fly that is stitched in rather than printed on like one of the Dolphin Magic outfits.  The yellow stitching in the top makes more sense now too.
To my great surprise, these jeans have little splits in the sides.
At first I saw those and thought "Oh drat, holes already," but I realized fairly quickly that these are simulated pockets!  I can't remember ever seeing a touch like this on a Barbie outfit.

The bottoms of the legs have a different fabric sewn on.  It's a similar shade of blue to the rest of the jeans, but it's clearly different.
I'm not sure if this next bit is supposed to be a belt or just some sort of sewn-on embellishment, but either way the waist has a strip of patriotic fabric running around it.
Above this strip sticks a ruffle of "denim," probably meant to simulate the gathers that form in a pair of jeans when they're cinched tightly by a belt.
There's also this rather large bandanna, similar to but slightly lighter than the top.
Well, actually, it's a half-bandanna, sewn and printed to look like a full bandanna that's been folded in two.  It's printed in a manner similar to the bandannas that I've seen bikers wear...and unfortunately, also gang members.  Instead of being a vague paisley print though, this print has flowers and squares and birds and things.
It's a fairly large bandanna, one that I'll have to play with a bit to find a good placement.  The fabric is quite stiff, so I don't know how well it'll drape.  Wherever I put it on the doll, I'll have to tie it, because there's no Velcro anywhere.  In this case I'm glad, because Velcro would've made this thing even more stiff.

Lastly of course, shoes.  As I said above, these shoes are not Reeboks or Adidas...or at least they're not labeled as such.  I think they're supposed to be worn UNDER the fabric shoes, in fact.  As is they're just pink plastic tennis shoes, and they don't match a single piece of this outfit.
They're the same shape as the shoes that came with the United Colors of Benetton outfit, and plenty of other dolls and fashions during this timeframe.  Even though these shoes aren't labeled as either Reeboks or Adidas, I can still pretend that they are.  Both shoes come in low-top models, and both shoes can be found in shades of light pink.  Pink Reeboks, pink Adidas...it's nice to see athletic shoes come in other colors besides the black and white that I saw too much of during grade school...seriously, every boy I knew had a black and white pair of athletic shoes.  Reebok, Adidas, Nike, every single one of my male classmates had a black and white pair.  So it pleases me to see such a wide array of other colors.  Reebok even has a pair for green-lovers like me!

Now, time for Pilar to strut her stuff.
Pilar can indeed fit her hands into those faux pockets.
All the pieces fit without any problems, but I did have some trouble deciding on placement for the bandanna.  In one of the above pictures I have it draped over one arm and under the other, but I did tinker around with other styles as well.
Some positions are more original and some less so.  I left the bandanna on Pilar's head for the time being, mainly to try and tame her horrendous child-mangled hairdo, but odds are it won't stay there.  I like the over-one-arm-under-other-arm style the best.  Despite the lack of Reeboks with this outfit, I quite like it.  I can always buy a loose pair of Reeboks on eBay anyway, so no biggie.  As to the outfit itself, it's another one of those that has enough pieces for swapping around, just like the Benetton outfit.  Some of the colors even coordinate!  Yue-Sai's red top and shoes would go well with Pilar's jeans.
Ooops, I forgot to show how well this new outfit coordinates with Jenny's Diva Starz outfit.
Jenny and Pilar have widely differing measurements so clothes switching is out of the question here, but they sure do look cute together.  So I have few complaints about this outfit.  The bandanna is stiff enough that certain styles look awkward, and the shoes don't match any part of the outfit, but those are small complaints.  I did notice something strange, though:  the outfit I chose looks hauntingly similar to All-American Teresa's stock outfit.
They're not carbon copies of each other, but they're not far off.  I think I've said enough, though.  These past few outfits that I've reviewed have given me a newfound respect for late-eighties/early-nineties styles, as they're classy and fun at the same time.  They have interesting shapes and color combinations without showing a lot of skin like modern fashions often do.  I never thought I'd say this, but I wouldn't mind some of these styles coming back...but not the baggy jeans.  Still not a fan of those!

Peace out,

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