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The Barbie Dress: Barbie identity as pink outfits

The Barbie dress

The Barbie dress is always in style. Look no further than the all-pink outfits filling red carpets, the countless social media posts with rosy themes, and the takeover of pink in street style. The fashion trend, which has been spotted on celebrities like Lizzo and Florence Pugh, as well as on runways like Valentino, who unveiled a collection of just hot pink designs last spring, has been dubbed “Barbiecore,” in an homage to the stylish doll, whose brand identity is undeniably feminine and very, very pink.

Selection of the Barbie dress

When you dress a Barbie doll, you want her to look her best. Make or buy an assortment of  the Barbie dress, so you have many options. Decide how formal or casual you want the Barbie dress to be, and then try different combinations of shirts, skirts, dresses, and pants. Once you’ve dressed your Barbie, finish her look by adding shoes, hats, and accessories!

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Styling Barbie Outfits

 Decide how formal you want Barbie to look. If your Barbie will be going to the Barbie dress event, you’ll want a stylish outfit with lots of matching accessories. For example, choose a sweeping gown with jewelry and high heels. You might the Barbie dress in classic slacks with a colorful blouse for a more casual daytime look. To keep things informal, choose sneakers or a slouchy hat.

Choose clothes based on the activity she’ll be doing. The  Barbie dress  for a story you’re playing, make sure the clothes match her actions. For example, she’ll need a sweater and thick pants if she’s going on a ski trip. If she’s dressing for the first day of school, your Barbie might wear slacks and a blouse.

Choose a skirt, the barbie dress, pants, or shorts. Match the fabric and color of the item to the style you’re going for. For example, pick a dark velvet fabric for an evening dress or use a denim skirt for a simple daytime look.

 If you’re picking a cold-weather outfit for Barbie, choose corduroy or thick-textured pants that you can pair with boots.

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Top selection

. Hold a top up to the bottom if you need help deciding which shirt, blouse, or sweater to match  the Barbie dress pants, skirt, or dress. Try unexpected combinations to see what you like. Try a fun, cropped T-shirt with a bright skirt. You could even mix a solid black top with a floral print skirt.

 Put the outfit on your Barbie. Once you’ve selected a fashionable company for your doll, start putting the clothes on it. If the clothes have velcro, peel the velcro apart and slide the doll’s arms and legs into the right holes. Bring the velcro back together and push it to secure the clothes. Some clothing may have snaps that you need to go and pop together.

Avoid pulling the clothing with snaps too hard, or the pictures may pop.

Finish the outfit with a jacket. Try layering several thin shirts or jackets for a simple casual look. You can also create a formal look by putting a thick coat or shimmery jacket over an evening gown. For example, pair a creamy jacket or skin with a solid-colored shirt and black leather pants.

Keep textures and colors in mind. Decide if you want to use colors and textures that match or if you’re going to switch things up. An outfit using a single color, such as cream or black, can look stylish and sophisticated. If you’d like a unique look, mix different colors and fabrics.

For example, give your Barbie a light tulle wrap if she’s wearing a heavy velvet the Barbie dress.

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Accessorizing the Barbie dress

Match the outfit with the accessories that came with it. If you’re dressing your Barbie with a company you purchased, it comes with accessories to complete the look. For example, if you’re outfitting the Barbie dress as a doctor, the company probably came with a stethoscope and lab coat. If the Barbie dress is her swimsuit, she’ll need a towel and beach ball.

Feel free to mix and match accessories. Your Barbie can have as many interests and occupations as you want; her outfit should reflect that.

Add a hat or gloves. If you want the Barbie dress to look casual, put a floppy sun hat, slouchy hat, or beanie on her head. You can also pull the doll’s hair back with clips. The barbie dress her in hats with veils, flowers, or jewels for more formal looks.

You can knit or crochet your own Barbie hat. Check fabric stores or online sewing sites for patterns. For example, incorporate the Barbie dress in your favorite color.

Jewelry

 Include jewelry, glasses, or sunglasses. Put reading glasses on Barbie or sunglasses if she will be out in the sun. You can also include jewelry like beaded necklaces or dangling earrings to make your Barbie look glamorous.

You can also style your doll with crowns, headbands, and bracelets.

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Shoes

 Put on shoes that complement the outfit. Try on a variety of shoes to see which style matches the outfit you’ve chosen. Choose from sandals, high heels, boots, ballet shoes, or sneakers. You’ll need to firmly push the Barbie’s feet into the shoes so they don’t fall off.

To make it easy to find pairs of shoes, store them in a divided container that you can snap shut. For example, please keep them in a jewelry case with divided tabs.

purse or bag

 Find a purse or bag for your Barbie. Many formal dresses for Barbie come with matching handbags or clutches. Have her hold a bag if you want your Barbie to look more formal or polished. Have the doll carry a backpack or slouchy bag for more casual looks.

Some office or business Barbies may come with a briefcase or messenger bag.

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Barbie is always in style. Look no further than the all-pink outfits filling red carpets, the countless social media posts with rosy themes, and the takeover of pink in street style.

The fashion trend, which has been spotted on celebrities like Lizzo and Florence Pugh, as well as on runways like Valentino, who unveiled a collection of just hot pink designs last spring, has been dubbed “Barbiecore” in an homage to the stylish doll, whose brand identity is undeniably feminine and very, very pink.

The Barbie dress enduring influence on fashion in the real world directly reflects Ruth Handler, the woman who created the doll, says Tanya Lee Stone, the author of The Good, The Bad, and the Barbie: The History of a Doll and Her Impact on Us.

Handler was a savvy and style-forward businesswoman who created Barbie when she saw that baby and paper dolls dominated the toy market. With the Barbie dress , Handler created a beauty that could give little girls a chance to embody their future dreams—becoming an astronaut, a doctor, or a fashion model. And she had the clothes to match.

“The physicality of that kind of play for girls at the time was limited, so she thought, ‘What if I made a three-dimensional model that could look fabulous in anything? And girls could dream up whatever career or type of person they want it to be and try it on for size,'”

 Stone says

 The element of fashion as a way of imagining the future was so important to Handler, Stone says; Mattel designed Barbie’s head to pop off easily, to make it easier to change her outfits. “Her mission was to allow girls to have the imaginative kind of play that would enable them to dream about being anything they wanted to be at a time when women couldn’t be a lot of things … she wanted them to be able to be astronauts and surgeons, and she was also all about haute couture!

The first Barbie doll sported a high ponytail, a full face of painted-on makeup, and heavy-lidded eyes. She was firmly rooted in a specific idea of femininity. Her clothes reflected that: the Barbie dress in a form-fitting black and white striped, strapless swimsuit, accessorized with black stiletto mules and black cat eye sunglasses with blue lenses.

Additional outfits were unapologetically feminine, miniature versions of clothes that a grown woman would dream of—evening gowns, cocktail dresses, vacation wear, and sundresses. Perhaps it should be no surprise that one of the first careers Mattel marketed for Barbie was being a fashion model or that the unrealistic aspects of her appearance, like her perpetually arched feet or her impossible proportions, were made for showcasing fashion.

Barbie identity as pink outfits the barbie dress

The Barbie dress is always in style. Look no further than the all-pink outfits filling red carpets, the countless social media posts with rosy themes, and the takeover of pink in street style. The fashion trend, which has been spotted on celebrities like Lizzo and Florence Pugh, as well as on runways like Valentino, who unveiled a collection of just hot pink designs last spring, has been dubbed “Barbiecore,” in an homage to the stylish doll, whose brand identity is undeniably feminine and very, very pink.

Barbie doll creator Ruth Handler

“The physicality of that kind of play for girls at the time was really limited, so she thought, ‘What if I made a three-dimensional model that could look fabulous in anything? And girls could dream up whatever career or type of person they want it to be and try it on for size,'” Stone says.

The element of fashion as a way of imagining the future was so important to Handler, Stone says; Mattel designed Barbie’s head to pop off easily, to make it easier to change her outfits. “Her mission was to allow girls to have the imaginative kind of play that would allow them to dream about being anything they wanted to be at a time when women couldn’t be a lot of things … she wanted them to be able to be astronauts and surgeons and she was also all about haute couture!”

The first Barbie doll sported a high ponytail, a full face of painted-on makeup, and heavy-lidded eyes. She was firmly rooted in a specific idea of femininity. Her clothes reflected that:The Barbie dress in a form-fitting black and white striped, strapless swimsuit, accessorized with black stiletto mules and black cat eye sunglasses with blue lenses.

 Additional outfits were unapologetically feminine, miniature versions of clothes that a grown woman would dream of—evening gowns, cocktail dresses, vacation wear, and sundresses. Perhaps it should be no surprise that one of the first careers Mattel marketed for The Barbie dress was being a fashion model or that the unrealistic aspects of her appearance, like her perpetually arched feet or her impossible proportions, were made for showcasing fashion.

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For Handler

The Barbie dress needed to represent what a woman could be, which was reflected in the doll’s clothes—an outfit could transport the player to a different look, career, or lifestyle.

“In contrast to playing with a baby doll, when a young child is essentially restricted to acting as Mommy, Barbie has consistently symbolized the idea that a woman has options,” Handler wrote in her memoir, Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story. “Barbie had the clothes, for example, to start a job as a nurse, stewardess, or nightclub singer. She didn’t have to settle for being just Ken’s girlfriend or an avid shopper even in her early years.”

Why is Barbiecore so popular today?

Emily Huggard, an assistant professor of fashion communication at Parsons School of Design, says the trend has taken off because of its playfulness, which is extra appealing in a post-COVID world. She points to other movements that have emerged following the pandemic, like “dopamine dressing,” the trend of wearing (often brightly colored) clothes that spark joy or make you feel good. She notes that a common thread is a desire for ease and comfort.

“People are really latching on to escapism and things that they know and feel safe with,” she says. “When we think about this trend [Barbiecore], it’s pretty, it’s hot pink, it’s not too complex—I think people are craving a time when things felt less heavy.”

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Stone says that amid political strife and global health scares in recent years, a touch of the fantastical can provide some much-needed respite.

“The world is on fire and all the news is dark,” she said. “But there’s this bubbly, light, sparkly fantasy phenomenon out there that people can hold onto for a few minutes.”

Lisby says Barbiecore’s current popularity reflects how much society has progressed since the doll was first created, noting that while many might associate Barbie and Barbiecore with hyper femininity, it can also be a way for people to subvert or play with gender norms.

“I see it as a vehicle for taking certain risks in fashion that you haven’t really seen in previous generations,” he said. “While women may have identified with it more earlier, now men may embrace it as a way of using fashion as a part of their own journey with gender identity or sexual preference.”

Ultimately, Barbiecore’s allure parallels that of the doll that inspired it—its ability to start a dialogue. “There are so many different conversations you can have because of the Barbie doll,” Lisby says. “From corporate marketing to society to our thoughts on gender, race, and size, there’s a reason why it’s had such incredible staying power.”

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Original Barbie dolls                           

The body of the doll has generated debate ever since it was created. Before the doll’s debut, mothers in a 1958 market study sponsored by Mattel criticized Barbie for having “too much of a figure.” Barbie was directly promoted to children via television, helping Mattel to get around this issue. Mattel was the first toy company to broadcast commercials to children when it sponsored Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club program in 1955.

 Ken Doll

In 1961, Mattel released Barbie’s ultimate “accessory”—her boyfriend, Ken—in response to consumer demand. Barbara and Ken (were the names of the Handlers’ children). Midge, Barbie’s best friend, was added by Mattel in 1963, and Skipper, Barbie’s younger sister, was added in 1964. Other siblings later appeared, and by 1968, Barbie had been issued “friend” dolls of color. However, it was not until 1980 that the Barbie doll was released in an 

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