When I was a little girl playing with my fashion dolls I loved those little booklets that sometimes came with a new fashion doll showing all the outfits and accessories you could buy for them. I had very few genuine outfits though. Most of the accessories like cars and houses and pets in the Barbie booklets I doubt were even sold in Australia. If they had been we certainly would not have been given them. Our parents thought that genuine Barbie or Sindy outfits were expensive and so the majority of the dolls wore generic clothing. Getting “the real thing” was a big treat.
As I’ve mentioned I did not have a Barbie growing up but I did have Skipper so I had a little booklet and I used to mark the outfits I really liked with a tick hoping I’d get them one day. I did the same with my Sindy Set booklet where I must have marked almost every piece of clothing Sindy, Patch and Paul had.
Many years later when I started to collect dolls as an adult one of the first things that I decided was that once I was going to collect some of those outfits I had admired as a child. That is actually how I ended up with so many Sindy’s. I’d get a new outfit and as I started to build up a collection I needed more Sindy’s to wear them. My goal was to buy all the outfits from the booklet if I could and now, twenty years later I have most of them and I am starting to think about completing sets with all those hard to find little accessories. If I manage to do that and I still have room maybe I’ll think about collecting some of the fashions that appeared after 1967 so that my later Sindy’s will have the right clothes too. Yes, I will probably have to buy more Sindy’s.
I did have a few genuine Sindy outfits as a child. I had “Emergency Ward”. I’m not sure if I asked for it. I was not a big fan of playing doctors and nurses. It was fun to put it on Sindy because it had a lot of bits to it but actually, I would have preferred “Lunch Date”, “Dream Date”, or “Country Walk” I had the red “Leather Looker” skirt and the print blouse and the “Weekenders ” that Sindy came with of course. I don’t think I had anything else. I didn’t have any outfits for Patch except her underwear. I still don’t have a lot as anything to do with Patch tends to be expensive but I have managed to collect a couple that I really liked.
There were Barbie outfits that I admired too. Our cousin had a Barbie and she had a couple of Barbie outfits. I was occasionally allowed to try them on my dolls but I found that they didn’t fit Sindy, Tammy or even Tressy that well so I didn’t get serious about wanting them until I was an adult collector. My vintage Barbie fashion collection has progressed rather more slowly than the Sindy one but now that I have a nice little collection of vintage dolls they need authentic clothing and once again I’ve set my sights mainly on the outfits that were issued prior to 1967. Here are some of the outfits that I admired as a child and now own.
Naturally, as I liked Barbie’s Silken Flame and Red Flare so much I had to have Skipper’s junior version of it. I had to wait about forty years but I got it in the end. These days I actually like it better on Skooter as I think my titian Skipper looks better in green.
I am still working on getting some Tammy and Tressy family outfits, they are quite expensive over here and I am not as familiar with them although my Tressy did have one genuine outfit “Evening Date”. Poor Tammy had to make do with whatever fitted her.
What I love most about these vintage fashions is how nicely made they were. They were made of good materials, even a “pak fashion” like Barbie’s “Sheath Sensation”. They were a variety of colours and styles and they had loads of little bits and pieces to go with them. When you see Vivienne’s vintage fashion shows you are really seeing me playing with all those outfits that I wanted when I was nine or ten.