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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Dolly Dress Discussion: Sun Jewel Barbie outfit

This post hearkens back to a summer many years ago, back in the days when summer break seemed to last forever, when Fourth of July meant a huge cookout and an equally huge cache of fireworks, when my sister and I were small enough to think that plastic kiddie pools were very deep.  Seriously, those things looked a mile wide and felt a mile deep when we were little.  Anyway, I remember one summer in particular...it had to have been the summer of '93, because my sister and I each received a doll from the Sun Jewel Barbie line.  She received a Teresa and I got a Kira.  Ken and Skipper were in there somewhere too, but they belonged to different lines.  Each Sun Jewel doll came with a sheet of stick-on jewels for doll and child to share back and forth, and when we weren't in the pool my sister and I played with those jewels nonstop.  We stuck them to each other, to our dolls, to the windows, to the walls...oh, what fun we had with those tiny stickers!  Indeed, when we moved out of that house six years ago I found a lone stick-on gem, still plastered to my bedroom window after all those years.

Of course time had to pass and we kids had to grow up.  I don't know whatever happened to my lovely Kira, but Sister's Teresa is still with us.  I stopped calling her "Teresa" long ago, favoring the name "Sonja" in order to differentiate her from other Teresa dolls (I have several).
I don't know how I managed to do it, but somehow I got Sonja jammed into this Cali Girl Lea swimsuit, a swimsuit that's intended for a doll with a much slimmer body.  This Sun Jewel line had some gorgeous faces, by the way.  Sonja is a knockout, and so is her glittering beach buddy Shani.  Both of them have metallic green highlights in their eyes.
Sonja lost her clothing (a green swimsuit) in a very humorous incident involving my sister and her odd treatment of Barbie dolls as a child, and being the way I've been lately I wanted an extra outfit for her.  Here it is!
Sonja and Shani will likely get to share this, as they're both in the Sun Jewel line, and silver and white match every skin tone imaginable.  All of the Sun Jewel outfits were in this color scheme, so it's impossible to go wrong.  Unlike most of the other outfits I've got, I just chose a random outfit from the line and was done with it.  Most of the other outfits I picked were due to a fondness for a certain color scheme or style, but all these Sun Jewel sets are quite similar to one another.  However, there was one crucial thing omitted from an otherwise stellar clothing line.  The Sun Jewel series included Ken, dressed in a swimsuit that was...not the most masculine, shall we say.  There were extra outfits available for Ken and his handful of male buddies...but the Sun Jewel line had nothing for boys.  Four outfits, and they were all for the girls.
Poor Ken, left out again!  Gee whiz, what was poor ol' Ken in the early nineties, chopped liver?  As far as I know, Mattel didn't start releasing Ken clothes on a more widespread level until Fashion Avenue debuted in 1995, and he STILL doesn't get the treatment Barbie gets.  But that's enough blather.  This outfit looks like it's going to be fun to review!
This is one of the more elaborate outfits I've got for reviewing, having four pieces plus shoes.  What I thought was a top is actually a star-spangled swimsuit.
The presence of this swimsuit instantaneously renders the whole ensemble worthy of comparison to the Barbie Dolphin Magic outfits that I reviewed earlier in the week.  With that, let's look at Sonja's new clothes.  The swimsuit is made of white stretchy fabric with silver stars printed on, and the bodice has a small gathering at the bust.
The sleeves/straps are made of stretchy silver material that feels fragile.
The back closes with Velcro, and I wish it didn't.  I always prefer snaps on material like this, because Velcro has a penchant to snag.  It's nice to see the print extending around the back, though.
This swimsuit would've looked cute with some kind of ruffle along the legs, but Mattel didn't do that.  For some weird reason, the sleeves make me think of ruffles and wish for one last little dash of silver.  But then again, ruffles on the legs would've made it harder to put these pants on.
These are simple white knee-length shorts, made out of stretch fabric and tailored to fit.  They can be worn with another top or over the swimsuit.

For reasons I'll never know, Mattel included a second coverup in the form of a sarong.
At first glance this looks like it might tie closed, but it doesn't.  It's got Velcro tabs.  The bit that looks like it'll tie is just for decoration, and for some reason, it looks like a leaf.
Okay, that's three pieces.  What did I forget.  Oh yeah, this thing.
This thing is supposed to be a child-sized charm bracelet and indeed, it fits easily around my own wrist.  I'm not about to wear this thing in public, though; there's no rule against it at the library, but I think I might get some strange looks.  Luckily, this bracelet can also double as an accessory for Barbie, so I don't have to wear it.  The cord is made out of white and silver woven threads...
...with Velcro at the ends.
The three charms fit in with the Sun Jewel theme by being sparkly.  Two are plastic "gems" in the form of a blue star and a pink oval, and the largest one is a purple cloth flower.
These come off the bracelet easily and can be used as hair baubles or some other adornment for the doll.  They serve this purpose quite well too.
Lastly, shoes.  They are the high-heeled pumps that we've all seen in reviews past, but in another new color that I've not yet owned:  clear with silver glitter.
Like so many other things that Barbie had during my youth, I took these pumps for granted and now miss them dearly.  The mold is plain and ordinary, but it's also very versatile so I can see why Mattel used it a lot.

Now to Sonja.  I fixed her hair a little and put her in her new swimsuit. 
I showed the outfit with all pieces involved, but this getup can be worn without the shorts, or without the sarong, or with just the swimsuit.
The necklace can be worn in a number of ways as well.  It can serve as a lei, a belt, or a sash.
It makes for a passable choker too.
I was hoping I could use this as a headband too, but it looked silly.  I love this outfit, though.  With its multiple pieces in a neutral color scheme it can be mixed and matched with any other Barbie-sized outfit.  It will also look good on any doll I put it on; I didn't try this outfit on Shani, but Shani rocks everything I put her in so I know she'll look good in this.  Given the star theme, this might also look good on my All-American Teresa doll, Pilar.  I'll have to give that a whirl.

Next outfit is the last of my swimsuits.  I'm hoping I'll get it up tomorrow, but no promises.


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