|Four versions of the same outfit. The 90s was a highly creative time.|
But then my father died on the 13th as I was starting to work on this post and instead of getting this posted and snapping pictures of my magazines for Magazine Monthly, it's been a string of bourbon shots (shit you not, that was my modus operandi for five hours yesterday), writing out my grief in my novel, and last minute flight booking to Wisconsin. If you were just here for clothes reviews, advice and bitching, you might not be happy with me. So what? It's my damn space. Welcome to American Girl Outsider, the blog where I will talk about how Mike and the Mechanics just made me do an ugly hideous "I miss my Daddy" cry for five minutes before talking about doll clothes. Writing is how I cope with deep shit, be it about doll shit or in a novel.
Here, it's doll shit.
In 1995, as I said in previous posts, American Girl launched their modern line which has been highly successful for the company to the point that everyone with Nostalgia Goggles set to "Pre-Mattel" seems to think that it's dragging the entire line down the tubes. And since the line was designed at the start to parallel the historicals, they frequently sorted things into the same slots they had: a "school" setup, a "holiday" setup, and so on. This included a "sleep" setup. The first nightgown that your adorable little 18" American Girl of History could have was the Slumber Shirt and Mini Bear, a red nightshirt with a hair tie and a miniature version of the bear and outfit you could have for your Miss AG Bear for the low low cost of $16. The red version only lasted about a year in doll sizes--1995 to 1996--before it came out as the Slumber Shirt, now two dollars higher at $18, sans mini bear, plus a mini copy of the book Games and Giggles, and much more similar to the one Miss AG Bear had (which priced at $10 alone, $28 if you got the bear dressed). This set lasted as an option until 1998 when many more creative nightclothes started to emerge. That's right, there are four versions of the same outfit, two just for dolls. 90s AG was slick as shit for making dollar bills come to them.
The outfits show up here and there on eBay for a high of about 30 bucks. The red set almost always is found without the bear, or Bear Sold Separately. The hunt for a set for Miss AG bear might be harder, and might be listed as a set for a doll. Mini bears are sporadic, but often dressed. The green set I can't pin down when I got it; it was probably in a surge of AG purchases. I remember Mellie wore it to bed soon after her arrival. I had the red shirt just kicking around from a swap box, and got the actual hair tie for it for 4 bucks off eBay. The bear's outfit was about $20 or so, and the Mini bear cost me 15 bucks with shipping, so it probably all balances out.
|Naomi is sporting the 95-96 set, Marisol the 96-98.|
We'll get more of the gang in other posts. The holidays are coming up, and nearly everyone here has an adorable outfit for the occasion.
The nightshirt in the '95 set is a berry red fleece nightshirt with a high collar and long sleeves to the wrists, and that comes down to the knees. I don't think it's too dated in and of itself. I'm pretty sure the standard nightshirt has been a thing for centuries.
|Bear-ly a different shade of blue. (See me cracking that joke.)|
|The Mini Bear, who resembles the bigger one.|
|The same, but now in teal.|
(I have learned that blind people read my blog, and so I will do my best to fill out my descriptions to reflect that so they can get a picture of it in their head.)
As there was no assumption that the mini-bear was going to be stripped of her clothing, the three "buttons" are small beads in the same color order as the large bear. The AG patch is a small heat application instead of a sewn patch. But in the back there is a small black snap, so if you want a naked bear, you can strip her out her things. I might do that in a "Bears and Plush of AG" post.
|Bottom hem and slit.|
|Bear's slit. (And then the furries.)|
I'm giving the nightshirts a collective B+. The doll's sets would have looked nicer with a rounded edge like the bear's, I think. And I like the red set a little better than the teal one because of the cheery color.
|Head tie knot, as seen on top.|
|Head tie, as seen with knot to back.|
The Bear's hair tie--well, head tie--is slightly longer to accommodate big old bear head and matches the night shirt she's got. This lack of picture is because I forgot to take one and my corner for pics is a little cluttered what with the packing for the flight thing.
|Mini Bear hair tie. Head tie? It's a tie.|
Head/Hair ties get a B. They're head ties. What do you want.
*~*~*Bonus pictures before conclusion!
|Alas, poor Miss AG Bear. I knew her, Horatio.|
|Marisol on a bearjacking.|
|I shall call her Ursa Minor.|
|Then in girls sizes!|
Overall Feel: The outfit is a nice little quick pajama style, good for when you want a girl to sleep but without all the fancy. And since I have all four options, I can say that I like the bright red of the '95 set but the hem of the AG Bear's. I am likely to draft up some patterns myself and make a couple sets for Etsy.
Cost Value: The original cost of $16 with a bear and $10 for your AG Bear was very good for a simple pajama set. The $2 price hike without bear not as much, but a lot of AG pajamas cost about $18 for years so I'll let it slide. I wouldn't pay more than $25 for the red set with the bear included, or $20 without for either. Mini Bears shouldn't be more than $10 with everything.
Timeliness: Maybe a little bit. There can be a slightly dated element to it that puts it before the 2000s, but not really. Night clothes are pretty timeless in ways, unless they're capri and tunics. (So I might not like most of those.) There's also a timeless quality in night shirts in that men wore them for centuries.
Mix and Match Levels: N/A. Nightclothes don't count for mix and match grades.
Final Grade: B+. While not as fancy as sets that came after it, it did establish a pattern of not having your gang member go to bed naked.4
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a funeral to attend.
And I miss my daddy.
1 *cough* buy my current book, it's just a novella but still.
2 And now you have to throw the jar out, asshole.
3 They're best friends, so no fighting here.
4 Unless they're Kaya, who's fine with naked.