Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Barbie

I was born in 1959 - exactly the same year as Barbie. My first Barbie actually had a bouffant.... but this is about the clothes.... I was obsessed with Barbie clothes. The real actual manufacured-by-Mattel genuine articles. NOT something your grandma crocheted for your Barbie - not something your mom sewed from a Simplicity pattern either. It had to have the label. And the accessories. And the shoes. And those genuine outfits were expensive!

It was a treat for me to go to downtown Ft. Lauderdale and to shop at Burdine's Department Store. They had a marvelous toy department with loads of Barbie gear. This was before Toys R Us. My mom would shop while I stayed in the Barbie dept. staring and longing for the outifts. Not the dolls. THE OUTFITS.

I would save up my allowance until I had enough. I recall that they were $3.95 each or $4.95 for the evening-type ensembles. You can not imagine how I would sweat over each decision. This was a lot of money for me.

I will never forget my favorite outfit. It's called "All That Jazz." It was glorious in its bright colors - a shot of metallic - a pleated skirt on the mini-dress - a coordinating coat. I paired it with go-go boots but they weren't really part of the original ensemble. I googled these images. And they illustrate this point: Girls don't really have refined taste.

No - girls want their Barbies to have all-out glamour and bright color and lots of details to stare at and enjoy. This isn't something a real person would wear. But Barbie.... Ah Barbie... She's a doll! She can wear ANYTHING!

EDIT - After reading the comment from moi;), I checked to see if I could find this outfit on eBay (and no, I don't want to buy it.) Sure enough - there it is! Buy it now for $225.00. This will probably beat out the final prices on several of the Project Runway designs this week....


Moi ;) said...

OMG I had that Barbie - she had ash brown hair (yours looks reddish?)...!!

I had a lot of Barbies. I had one from 1960 with platinum hair in the ponytail and pink lips, she was gorgeous.

OMG, I hear you. I was all about the clothes. My favorite to this day was that long sparkly black dress with the ruffle at the bottom and the long black gloves.

We made clothes for her. My aunt and mom both sew really well, we made stuff out of sparkly this and that, fake furs....I had several fake fur skirt and stole sets, lol. Then again, Mom was into the fake furs....gave her a good excuse to buy the fabric!

A few years ago I sold them on eBay and made a mint. The Barbie clothes that still have the tags - that's what you want. If you still have your old stuff, the $3.95 investment will bring you a good bit more. ;D

But - The SHOES are what bring the real money. If they are marked Japan, that is...

woof nanny said...

Do you have a degree in Fashion Design, Laura? If not, then WHY NOT? It's not too late. I know you sell your clothes now, but why not further the process? Sounds like it was your calling all along.
My favorite outfit was the black mermaid dress. I wish I still had my 1959 Barbie. The sunglasses were so cool. My Barbies used to get lunch from my Easy Bake oven. I had Skipper, Alan, and of course Ken. I have Skipper's headband on a mosaic I made of my childhood trinkets.