Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Toy Chest Tuesday! Vintage Barbie Clothing!

Toy Chest is gonna be small this week, but it will be mighty!

We have not really looked at some Barbie items in awhile, and I have been meaning to share this post with you all for some time now. Over a year ago my aunt lost her mother. Her mother was sisters with my grandmother, so we were all close and it was a very sad loss.

After the loss of my aunt's mom, (I guess technically my aunt is actually my cousin, but I've always thought of her as an aunt) anyways my aunt went through the process of removing items and other mementos from her mother's house. Some things were donated while others were kept. One of the things that my aunt did was share certain items with family members that she thought would appreciate these things. Since I'm the resident dorkette in the family, my aunt honored me with some Barbie clothes that she had growing up. Some of the outfits were handmade by her while one special dress was a special and gorgeous item.

Up first are some handmade items. My aunt had made a simple red sheath with matching belt as well as a gingham print skirt with nice trim. I'm actually not sure if the skirt was handmade or not, but I absolutely love having a handmade dress that my aunt made when she was a little girl. I just feel like that is something so special! This was something she made. Something that had her creativity poured into it. Barbie dolls have been a big deal in my family. My mom grew up with the original Barbie and loved her dolls so much. She sadly lost her entire collection. Part of it was stolen while the other pieces of her collection were damaged throughout the years, so I was never able to have my mom pass down her dolls to me. To have my aunt give these items to me though, it just means the world!

The next dress she gave me was a vintage piece made between 1959-62 called cruise stripes. This is a stunning sheath dress with white belt and black heels. I do not know if these shoes are the correct ones with this dress, but all in all the outfit is just stunning.

The belt buckles on like a real belt. It really shrinks the waist, but I also do not have a doll in the dress at this time to really show off what it would look like. I love the overall look of this dress. The stripes and design is very simple and chic.

Flipped over there is even further detail to behold. I need to actually wash these dresses, but I have been fearful of doing that since they are so old. (The last thing I want to do is screw something up. I'm usually very wonderful at screwing things up!) I don't think I have ever owned a collectible item with this age on it. I feel so honored to have these dresses in my collection.

This last image is a testament to how nice things were made back then. The dress uses an actual zipper! I grew up with Barbie dolls that had little snap buttons to put on/remove a dress, but Barbie dolls these days usually utilize some cheap Velcro stuff. It is amazing that back in the day basic Barbie dolls that were made for kids had such quality put in them. Now a days if you want a doll's dress to have a zipper or hook and eye closure, you have to spend a pretty penny. 

I am beyond grateful that my aunt wanted to pass these items down to me. I will cherish them. Sometimes it can be a bit much being a grown dorkette, not everyone understands it, but every now and then I find out that there are some people who do understand, and that is a wonderful thing. 

This Toy Chest Tuesday is far from over. I am certain that at some point I will revisit this post and put these dresses on some of my Barbie dolls. Until then, enjoy the Toy Chest Tuesday! And if you are interested in some more reading material, head over to Retro-Daze where I posted my first article for them a little while ago. I hope all is well with you all. Take care everyone.  


  1. That's so cool having a one-of-a-kind piece created by your auntie! It will be a wonderful way to cherish her memory. :) I would love to see these on some of your Barbie dolls. As far as cleaning, I have no idea, not my area of expertise. But, I saw an interesting Etsy forum discussion about to clean or not to clean vintage Barbie doll clothes: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/6566728/page/3

    My Dad has 2 original Aurora Universal Monsters models that he painted himself when he was 6! That like extra personal touch makes them that much more special. I'm totally making them family heirlooms in the future!

    Sorry for your lose Miss M! Your aunt lives on and you'll see her again.

    1. Thank you Mason! Thank you for the comment and kind words as well as the link! This is a very cool link to look at. That is also nice that your dad still has those Aurora Universal Monsters models! I think that is so cool. It is nice to have those kinds of items still in the family, ya know? I know some people who had all their stuff just donated or given away once they got old enough, and that is just so sad!

      I hope you are doing well, talk to you soon!

    2. Oh and I forgot, I will totally be putting these on one of my Barbie dolls for a future post!

  2. 1950s-60s huh? I guess that qualifies them as vintage alright. hehehe Call back!

    You beat me to the punch with words like "simple and chic". Its stylish and not the kind of garish neon or flamboyant patterns someone like me who didn't grow up with Barbie would associate with the doll.

    1. Yes, I grew up with the neon garish Barbie clothes, so these Barbie outfits are much nicer and have a different and fun look to them. Don't get me wrong, I do love those bright neon colored outfits, but there was just something so nice about this era of Barbie clothes.

      And isn't it is interesting how certain things get labeled vintage and what-not? lol I mean technically speaking these clothes weren't from that long ago, but at the same time they have been around for awhile. I hope you have a very nice weekend!

    2. Vintage or not its very much in the style of that period. I'm getting a real "Audrey Hepburn" vibe.


    3. I agree, it does have an Audrey Hepburn vibe, and I thank you for this link! I have never seen this commercial but all I did was cry when I saw it. It was just beautiful! Oh my goodness, I have to watch it again!

    4. I'm not surprised, it only aired this past February exclusively in the UK. Though it has been noted as a remarkable achievement in computer animation technology, compositing over 70 shots of Audrey's face from "Roman Holiday" to superimpose her lively visage onto the body double for a mere minute of film.


      Audrey has been a celebrity crush of mine for some time. Such a delicate grace and innocence.

    5. That is amazing how they made that commercial. I watch it a lot actually. lol I think it is so amazing. I have a celebrity crush on Audrey too. I have always been in awe of her roles and I just remember growing up and watching her movies with my mom. So much grace! I just love her. Thank you for showing me that commercial. I just love it.

    6. I do love to share quirky things I find on the internet. Its certainly made my twitter feed that much more interesting.

      Unfortunately I didn't grow up with Audrey, I only discovered her during the tail end of college. The college library had a huge movie collection all for free, so I was taking risks with all different kinds of genres I might not have otherwise watched and just happened to land a copy of "Roman Holiday" one weekend and was hooked ever since.

    7. Well, we all certainly thank you for sharing your quirky things! I never would have known about all those Power Rangers clips.

      I enjoy Roman Holiday, but I am a sucker for Breakfast at Tiffany's. I just love that movie. I could really watch anything she is in though. lol

    8. What I need to do is figure out how to share these weird things for a living, or at least find a way to reach the right audience who understands and appreciates the kind of stuff I find.

      I was never really all that taken with "Breakfast", probably because while she is still charming, the character she plays is rather removed from her typical "Cinderella Princess" type roles. Titles like "Charade" and "Wait Until Dark" scratch my suspense itch. Its been a while since I've seen "Sabrina", but thats I really like for the comic timing. For some reason hearing Humphrey Bogart say "Alas" just kills me every time.

      "Funny Face" is a movie I like for the aesthetics more than anything else. I could watch the beatnik dance scene for hours.

    9. Well I am sure there is some sort of way that you could make a living sharing all those cool weird things! lol I have full faith that there is an audience for that certainly.

      I like Sabrina and Funny Face. Those are really good movies. I don't know that I have seen Charade, but I will need to look. If not, I know what I will be netflixing or dvring! lol I hope you are doing well and had a great weekend.

  3. That is very cool. I can't imagine growing up and having something like a custom made weapon for He-Man crafted by a relative handed down to me. That would have been awesome.

    1. Oh wow, that would be cool to have a He-Man crafted item handed down! I like to think that if I ever have children they will certainly be having some She-Ra stuff passed down for sure!