|All of Julie's Meet Stuff. None of the Julie.|
I like reading Julie's books--Divorce! Women's Rights! The Bicentennial! Fairness in sports! Chinese New Year! However, I don't have Julie proper. As much as I like the Josefina mold and Julie's clothing, I tend to ease away from blond girls in my gang. I had originally planned to get her to reform into a Pre-Platinum Lizzie2 but I got one as a gift. "But you have the whole meet outfit," you say. Yes I do. Because AG and people sell meet outfits separately from dolls, and that is what I did--got her meet outfit in separate chunks.
Like Julie, her meet outfit and accessories launched with her in 2007. Julie's meet set consists of a multicolored long turtleneck, white peasant overshirt, two-tone bell bottom jeans, a braided and beaded belt, pink panties, and platform sandals. Her meet accessories are a shoulder bag purse, crochet lace hat, gold name necklace, and bicentennial quarter. In the most technical sense, Julie's Meet outfit costs $110 and comes with a bonus Julie doll and book; however, "replacement" parts can be purchased separately, even directly from American Girl. The meet outfit--dual shirts and pants-cost $20, the belt $4, the shoes $10, and undies $3 for a total of $37 bucks. The meet accessories cost $20 bucks. I was gifted the undies by someone cleaning out their doll stock collection for free, and got the meet outfit sans belt for $32 off eBay. I then ordered a replacement belt and added in her accessories at full price (not including taxes and shipping.) So I paid a little lower than standard at a total of $56.
|--and all of the Otters. Far out, man.|
|Overshirt. Peasant style.|
|Look at that bad-ass embroidery.|
|Shirt and belt.|
|Shirt without the belt.|
|Can't hurt the overshirt.|
The overshirt gets a B+. I love the loose fit, authenticity, and the embroidery is frigging adorable, but the sheer fabric makes it a little less matching than I normally go for in my AG stuff.
Belt: The belt is a long braided faux-leather belt that is intended to tie over the overshirt. Part of the back to nature hippy feel of the 70s was wearing a lot of handmade or crafty items, which extended to clothing. The belt is something that could easily be made by a kid.
|Cat o three tails.|
|Turtleneck, for those cool breezes off the bay.|
|The turtleneck part of the shirt. Bonus close up of Otter's pendant.|
The sleeves are long and simple hemmed at the cuff. They can easily be pushed up or left down.
|Back--that came out blurry.|
|These could have belled out even more, trust me.|
Before we get too deep into the little details, some history on women and pants--or, Neth Babbles At You About Clothing History. For centuries, women weren't allowed or were actively discouraged from wearing pants. There were a lot of reasons: The Bible Says So and women were dressing like men is a sin, women are too delicate for pants, seeing girl legs meant that men would think of what was between women's legs and get all sexy-thoughts and that was so impure, blah blah blah. Even because men believed that if women had fabric on their crotch, they'd get too stimulated--that's right, cloth between the legs was assumed to let women get off sexually on it. This expanded to even drawers--most women after they began to wear corsets all the time wore split-crotch drawers that left the butt and crotch open to the air. (Which was also because of corsets being laced over drawers, and one couldn't get out of all their clothes to go to the toilet so the split let you go.) Women dressing like men was considered scandalous--and furthermore, religiously wrong.
Bloomers became a thing in the late 1800s to the turn of the century, but were still considered an issue and most women and girls stuck to skirts. Skip forward to WWI, when women took on wearing pants to do the jobs that men left while off blowing shit up. Pants shifted into lounge wear and grub wear, but it was still expected that a woman wear a dress or skirt in proper wear, and that a lot of pants or shorts were supposed to look a lot like skirts anyways. The same thing happened during WWII, when women again put on the pants and the men went to fight. This can be seen with Kit and Molly, who have pants and shorts in their collections, but a lot of their actual casual wear and meet outfits include dresses and skirts. And it was expected that girls wear dresses to school--no slacks, no trousers, it was skirts and dresses and you could be sent home otherwise. My own mom could only wear slacks for her senior year in high school, on certain occasions, and that was the spring semester. Then, with the passage of Title IX in 1972, it was ruled that schools couldn't make girls wear dresses and skirts to school, so girls started being able to wear pants to school--and jeans had started having a rise in the Sixties, so with the more casual look, jeans became a thing that is and continues to be.
All that up there basically explains why Julie is the first historical character to have pants in her meet outfit. Because before her, it was historically improbable for pants to be everyday casual wear for girls, and the meet outfits are intended to be casual wear that sort of introduces you to the era. Now, with that all out of the way, let's talk these jeans specifically. They're doll-thick denim with a grain and weight to them. They flare out the way bell bottoms did--though these are not as extreme as some bell bottoms got, the elephant leg pants. In the 70s revival of the late 90s, we had some huge ass bell bottom pants, and even now I still prefer flare leg jeans over skinny leg. I did the 80s once, not ever again on me.
|Velcro your fly.|
|Light blue in the front, all together in the back.|
|Solid in the back.|
|Clear straps are the best thing AG added to shoes.|
|These shoes have groovy sole.|
|Panty shots are the weirdest part of my blog.|
|Hat. That's how you crochet.|
|Properly sized crochet for AG.|
|Tag, you're it!|
The hat gets an A. I appreciate the levels of work that are put into these kinds of hats, and it's accurate to the era without being annoying hideous.
|Oh, that's right, this isn't Otters' set originally.|
|Off the neck.|
|Open your purse and say "Ahhhhh~"|
|Not intended as legal tender--what with being smaller than a dime.|
Seeing as the outfit is Julie's meet outfit, it features fairly prominently in her books and collection.
Of course it's on the cover of Meet Julie. There's a reason they're called Meet Outfits, thanks. Note that her jeans have the light blue variation all the way for the inner leg. This image is used often, including on the cover of the video game Julie Finds a Way. It's also an outfit in game.
It's a crap picture; I snapped it from the screen. Yes I own the game; it's a pretty crappy game, but it's still part of my collection.
Julie's first issue paper dolls and second issue paper dolls and play scenes include the outfit on the cover, as well as an outfit for her to wear. It also is the cover of her Cooking Studio.
And of course, Mini Julie is wearing it.
Overall Feel: The outfit is very adorable on its own and comes together great. I generally love meet outfits even if I don't care for the character, because meet outfits tend to exemplify the character specifically and if I want to grab the feel of an era, I look at the meet clothing. Julie's outfit has the comfortable, casual feel of the mid 70s. It shows the change in society that allowed for jeans instead of always making girls and women wear skirts to be formal, and shows the trend of moving towards loose, natural clothing that carried forward to today. Nothing in it feels too bright or overwhelming, and I can see walking down the street in something like this without a second guess--even today with a few changes. The accessories help compliment the set, and the hat is intricately done. While the necklace is not good for my uses, it's great for Julie herself. And eee, tiny coins.
Cost Value: The outfit can be semi-obtained from American Girl without Julie for pushing over thirty bucks, which is more than a standard outfit from AG. But less than buying the doll if you don't want Julie. If you're getting Julie, she comes with the set automatically and there's no reason not to get the accessories with her. You might find complete sets on eBay, and if so don't pay more than AG costs. But the better bet is to try to get a full set from AG direct. There is also the possibility of buying the doll and stripping her, then seeing if others want to buy a nude Julie for whatever reason. Or you can always rewig her and make a decent Elizabeth. Just saying.
Authenticity: Yes. This outfit screams the mid 1970s. The platforms, the bell-bottoms, the crochet hat, the braided belt and hobo bag--all of it is so real. Put on some LPs of disco and a lava lamp and feel the rhythm. And the coin is super accurate for its small size.
Mix and Match Levels: While I normally don't include this in historical outfit reviews, this time it's appropriate since I'm using it more as a mix and match set for Otters. The overshirt is a little less mixable unless there is a shirt under it, but that is easily enough done. The jeans are awesomely versatile even if a little dated, and the turtleneck can be worn all its own. The belt can be a headband. Even the sandals aren't so bad--a little high, but as I said the entire review, the 70s look had a revival in the 90s. So they can do that. Or just don't give a fuck and rock out. Plus, many parts of this set will work with Julie's outfits if you're keeping the set historical--Julie is probably one of the first historicals with a semi-mix and match wardrobe. The outfits sans overshirt and belt is an outfit all its own.
Appropriateness to Character: It's her meet outfit. Of course it's appropriate for Julie. But I still think it looks better on Otters--and for her, it's absolutely perfect.
Final Grade: A. Groovy outfit, baby, groovy. Otters's plans to make this look completely great on her succeeded, and you can't say anything to the contrary.
1 I think holding on to saying one is twenty-anything forever is stupid. Thirty is awesome. It is the age where you're no longer an ambiguous adult and can hopefully quit being told you're "so young" and so can't bitch about shit because you have to be older to understand.
2 For those not in the know: In Felicity's books, Elizabeth was originally a brown eyed brunette. Then when the Felicity movie came out, they retconned her into a blue eyed light blond--even going so far as to edit the illustrations. I prefer Brunette Lizzie.
3 We do not use "spirit animal" or "totem" here. It's problematic when you're not Native.
4 Dead to me and beyond.
5 Huh. That is actually a word! But not exactly how I'm using it.
6 Or the 90s. I had a pair of blue platform sandals that, when worn with my big bell bottom pants in high school, had my mom go "why are you wearing the clothes I did in college?"
7 OH GOD AMERICAN GIRLS AREN'T MADE IN AMERICA yeah welcome to most shit not being made in America.