American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Clothes Reviews: Frosty Party Outfit (2011)

Sonali does the holidays with witchy goodness.
Even in a state of major transitions--explanations later--I am trying to get a Holiday Review post done every other day. If I don't we'll be looking at holiday reviews until Valentine's Day, and I'm doing my best not to do that to y'all. I still would like to add a Magazine Monthly/Crafting Creatively/bitchy rant post in here to mix things up, lest this whole month be holiday gowns and skirts and the like. But even if it was, it would mean that things will be more random later on. Some of these will be really short cause they only have a few components, and some--like Felicity's Holiday wear--will take a time to get through. We'll see where I am in a few weeks. Enough talk. Let's review.

As I said in the past nowadays there's a trend to the Holiday sets: The Fancy Dress and Accessory set every year, and then the Second Kid of Holiday outfits--the one that comes complete and doesn't cost as much, but also doesn't get as much of the cover spotlight as Fancy Set. A lot of times it ends up with a blue, gold, and/or silver component, because this way it's suitable for Generic Non-Red Holiday Festival.1 It also goes on sale at a clearance at some point and only makes it through one holiday before being thrown onto the retired truck. I've got a couple of these, because if they come in blue I adore blue; it's my absolute favorite color. And a good simple outfit that doesn't require the coat and bits to be "complete" is always a plus when one is AG collecting like I do.

One of these many, many Winter Generic Holiday Fancy Sets is the Frosty Party Outfit, which was released in 2011 and officially retired in 2012. The complete set has an ice blue knit sweater with embroidery and sequins, a silver crepe skirt, silver Mary Janes, and a silver headband with a bow. The original retail cost was $36 dollars, and on eBay it generally doesn't go for more than about $25-$35 even two years out of retirement. This is because it went on sale on Cyber Monday 2012 for only $18 complete--and that is when this bitch picked it up. Less than $20 for AG clothes? Hell yeah, boy.

Sonali Patil-Matthews is rolling through in this set for you, because it's simple and blue is one of her favorite colors. And while it's not Blue and Bronze like her mother's Hogwarts House,2 alas, it's nice enough.

Headbands are nice. When they sit right.

 Headband: The headband is a silver satin ribbon fabric covered generic curved headband with an attached silver satin bow on the right side. Or the left. It can switch either way, if you'd like. Here I've got it displaying to Sonali's right side. And don't get me wrong, headbands are nice--when they sit right, of course. This current trend of generic plastic bands don't seem to sit right unless they're super tight, and this one is not super tight so there's a gap in how it sits.

This tag is ri-cock-culous.
Now, AG likes to give all data for an item on a clothing tag, and sometimes these tags are super long. While this is a general annoyance on say, a shirt, it's really a piss off on a damn headband. There is no need for all this, AG. Before Sonali ever put this one, I cut the tag off with my embroidery scissors. Bullshit tag had to go. The tag annoyance and the lack of sitting right give this component a D-. I'd have rather had a nice hairbow or a better fitting silver stretch headband. This one is mediocre at best.

Knit Sweater - finally, something good.
Sweater: The sweater is a light ice blue long sleeved knit sweater with added decor. This is a small scale knit fabric that looks good on a doll's small frame--about 12-14 stitches to the inch. Take note, people, this is how you make good knitting. No one expects you to always knit that fine--I'll bet this was done as machine knitting--but don't knit stupid large. The knit was sewn together like a non-knit shirt would be, with seams at the collar, arms, and sides.

Shiny shines.
On the front upper bodice are machine embroidered silver thread decoration. The alternating pattern is of swirly branches and vertical lines (swirl-line-swirl-line-swirl-line-swirl). The swirly branches have three silver sequins with two near the top and one at the bottom. The decoration barely stands out, actually--so while noticeable and eye catching, it's not overpowering.I do think, however, it'd have looked nicer with less sequins.

Ribbed collar.
The collar--knit separately and then sewn on--is loose ribbing as opposed to the primary stockinette stitch. It's high, but not tight.

I can only make so many sleeve jokes before they're irritating.
The sleeves are long--so long they actually go a touch over the wrist and hand. The cuff ribbing is attached to the sleeve as a total component, with no seam. There's no velcro at the wrists. That is the benefit of ribbing. Stretch.

Hem Ribs.
There is also ribbing at the waist, as a good sweater has.

Back close.
And it velcroes right up the back with non-snag velcro. B. Could use less sparkle bits but the fit, scale, and color are choice. 

Silver Skirt Swirls.
Skirt: The skirt is a silver taffeta skirt that comes down below the knees. I do adore taffeta, really. It's got a shimmer to it--but a muted one, and is not always as slippery or overly fussy like satin can be. Too much satin is very amateur and overly costume looking, especially on a small scale. Plus, taffeta tends to hold its shape where satin does, which adds a little poof without an underskirt. The silver is also not too much, and compliments the top well.

Swirly crumple crush ribbons.
The skirt--front and back--has runched matching taffeta ribbons that are stitched into a swirling repeating pattern of circles that resemble silver rosettes. There's exactly four swirl-flowers front and back; however, they were put together before the skirt was, so they don't match on the side. However, the gap is such that it's not too bothersome.

Waistband front.
Since the sweater is covering the waistband, there's no need for fancy. The front of the waistband is a plain flat band--

Back band.
 --and the back is elastic gathered, leading to an easy pull on skirt. B+.

Silver Shoes, like Dorothy in Oz.3
Shoes: We finish this set off with a pair of matter silver flat-style shoes with an elastic band, thus shifting them slightly to Mary Janes. It's possible to have mature looking Mary Janes, but they must match the style of the outfit they're with. These do that, as they're not overly shiny and glossy.

Elastic and Flower Sparkle.
The elastic actually goes outside to the black plastic sole (and its small heel), a cute fashion I like. On the outside of the shoes are a silver flower charm with  a white rhinestone in the center and sewn down with thick silver thread so they won't come off. At least, they shouldn't if you're not tearing up the doll.

Inside the shoe is a while plain sole. These shoes are cute without being too cutesy and underaged. A.


Overall Feel: I like this outfit in parts, but overall it's a little fussy. The sweater's sparkle could have been toned back some, so that the skirt could have focus, and the headband is ill fitting and initially comes with an annoying long ribbon that looks wholly out of place before it's clipped off. Sonali's only wearing it because of completeness. Meanwhile, the shoes are adorable and stand alone well with no tights. I'm glad this set doesn't have them, actually. Tights feel like they would add too much to the outfit, and the outfit already has too much.

Cost Value: $36 dollars was way, way too high, and there was no way I was doing this set for that much. $18 was a value, and the only reason I was willing to buy it. If it had gotten too much higher, such as the $25 range, I wouldn't have done it at all. I wouldn't do more than $20 cause I don't think it's worth much more than that, but if you gotta have it then try not to go much above $25. It's not worth unless you just have to have it and didn't get it when cheaper. But seeing as it sold so cheap, you should be fine.

Timeliness/Datedness: More than a little. The headband is really trendy in a very bad way, and I don't think the skirt would carry too well despite its niceness. The sweater is the least dated except for the embroidery, which will probably date itself a touch. With that it can do an 80s thing over stirrup pants, but I'm already doing something like that with another gang member. Ooo, yes, I am and you will see it~

Mix and Match Levels: Possible--but really only with the sweater and the shoes. The sweater would work over white or dark jeans--white would probably be better--and the shoes could go with it, but probably not much else. The skirt could probably work with something dark, such as a navy top or the like. The headband, not really.

Final Grade: C+.  It's okay, but it really is a side set to 2011 year's fussy set, and so didn't get the love it could have.


1 Also, it tends to get stuck near the Hanukkah Gift Set when on display because that gets billed as the Jewish Christmas. Remember that when US/Western Christians complain about being oppressed. Their holiday shit gets top billing over everyone else's.
2 Book Padma Patil is Ravenclaw, and Ravenclaw's colors are Blue and Bronze. Book supremacy.
3 When I say Book Supremacy, I mean it. There are very few movies I find better than the original books.


  1. Pretty! But that's a comment I could cut and paste into any one of these reviews....

    Just out of curiosity, have you ever tried this outfit on Kimmy? My Sara is a MyAG #30 who likes all shades of blue, and I'm trying to visualize how it would look with her skin tone, and trying to decide whether I should try to hunt this outfit up.

  2. My MyAG #30 (named Nina) has this exact outfit and looks lovely in it.
    And Nethilia is right, you should be able to find it for close to retail-I'm not as sure about sale price. I got mine for $26 shipped.


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