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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Clothes Reviews: Shimmery Gold Dress (2003)

Ring in 2014 with Tara and some shiny gold!
So we've got a day left in 2013, the first year in Western Year recording since 1987 that had four unique numbers in the date. We got Hanukkah near Thanksgiving, a government shut down, some terrifying terror and bright blessings and famous births and deaths, and personal deaths. We got Princess Twilight Sparkle, Equestria Girls, all new Monster High, new Pokemon released worldwide simultaneously, and that movie based on the Snow Queen in the sense that there was snow and a queen--and that had no influence on AG's plans for dolls, contrary to what stupid shit posts in my tumblr tags said.1 It's been a year of ups and downs and tears and joys and transitions, and I'm hoping that 2014 will be good as any year can be. 

In the AG fandom we got the year of Chiplote Mayo Artistry for our GotY--ugh--and stuffing Molly and Emily into the AG Vault--eh--and steady data that next year's Girl is another in the pattern of white privilege--fucking bells. I added two girls to my AG gang--both secondhand--and a lot of outfits and accessories. And also I started this blog and got my hands on almost every AG mag and every paper doll, and made lots of friends and a couple haters I keep to the left. 

I had debated doing the Year 2000 outfit today, but I may do it the first of the year. New, fresh start to the blog with an outfit old enough to sign up for sites all by themselves. Abbi and Naomi's sets have a lot of fiddly bits that we'll get into soon. And Felicity? Well book canon says she goes to her holiday dance on January seventh because long holidays were and are long, so at least by then. Don't rush me, I give you good detailed reviews, the least you can do is be patient about it.

So Tara is back again, in her own holiday set that doesn't belong to Samantha. I'm following silver with gold. Look at that, I'm far too clever. After Tara arrived in summer 2009, I needed to get her a holiday dress because everyone in the gang had holiday outfits and it was very important that I keep this fact up.2 So I started searching eBay and luckily stumbled upon the 2003 super limited edition dress, the Shimmery Gold Dress: a gold dress, cream tights, gold shoes, gold hair clips, a gold and rhinestone choker necklace that my set came without, and stick on earrings. The dress was more limited than most holiday items because it couldn't be ordered via catalog. It could only be ordered online from the website or picked up directly in AG stores. Of which there were exactly two, one of which--the NYC location--had just opened that year. And it was shut down in 2004. Limited as fuck. I paid $24.65 which is a touch above the original cost of $24. Damn last second snipe attempts. It can be found on the secondary market for about that range and up to about $40 for a full set--with of course, the stupid price hikes that come with a lot of AG things and that you shouldn't bite down for.

Let's get this New Year's partying started right.

Shimmery. Gold. Dress. Living up to its name.
Dress: The dress is a high waist gold organza and satin dress with an iridescent twist. Good to know our descriptions of sets are accurate in title. For a while from about the late 1990s until about the mid-to-late 2000s the fashion of girls clothes was high waist and empire tops and dresses, as you've probably seen on this gauntlet of reviews of moddie clothes. It's like the 1800s to 1830s around here. Waists go up and down as the fashion dictates.The organza makes the whole dress a little stiff, so there's almost no drape or give to the dress. This is different than taffeta, which stands out but is a lot softer as it's woven solid as opposed to the translucent mesh of organza. This is why I generally prefer organza as trim and not as main dress fabric.

Basic bodice is basic.
The bodice is basic cut with a square neckline, organza lined with satin. Organza tends to be rather sheer so it needs to be lined with something so as not to look off. Satin is best choicer for AG clothes, so satin everywhere it is. 

Ruffle neck.
At the front of the square neckline is a small organza ruffle. It makes the neckline less plain.

Sleeves: Silver--no, gold bells
The sleeves are long, coming down to the wrists; the whole sleeve is of organza and satin lined, like the bodice above.

So the era really liked bell sleeves.
The ends of the sleeves flare out into a slight bell. Much like high waists, bell and flared sleeves was the hotness of the fashion era. Slightly dated to today, but I like bell sleeves. Hell, I like bell bottoms. Tight clothing choices make me feel very confined, I gotta have some flair.

Sashy swish.
Over the waist seam--yes, there's a waist seam--is an organza ribbon sash. It is not, like most sashes, tacked down on the sides.

Rhinestone broach.
Instead, the sash is tacked at the front in two spots, gathering the ribbon up under them. On top are broaches made with seven rhinestones backed by old gold in a 1-2-1-2-1 pattern vertically, making two overlapping square diamonds. Very light catching.

Back gather.
The ribbon sash goes fully around the waist and is slightly gathered and tacked down again near the back velcro opening.

A-line and a lined skirt. I slay me.
The skirt is an A-line cut, which is really hard to futz up when you get down to it. Cut two trapezoids, attach to bodice. You might not even have to gather it so much as ease it in. Good job! It's dual layered and hemmed; organza on top, satin behind.3

Rhinestone twilight sparkles.
Across the front of the skirt on the organza layer are attached scatters of rhinestones with a higher concentration near to the bottom edge. I love shiny, glittery sparkle things. There's a reason I got the nickname Kitty-Ferret at pagan camp.4 This is enough sparkle for pretty without being too intense. Too much sparkle is overwhelming.

Lower skirt.
The skirts are not attached to each other and each has a separate hem. This satin layer is what the entire outfit is lined with; for the sleeves and bodice the right shinier side of the fabric is outside but for the skirt the wrong side matte layer is facing in so the glossy side directly backs the organza skirt.

Back shots.
The back of the dress, while fully lined like the front, is not nearly as decorated, which is allowable. A-. It's a very well made dress with lots of adorable details. The minus is for the organza's stiffness, which can't be helped.

Tights. Ah, Tights, I have seen so much of you lately.
Tights: You know the drill. I've shown you enough tights over the course of the last month that you should know how they work. These are cream. Nothing really spenecial.5 B.

Golden shoes.
Shoes: The shoes are matte gold vinyl flats. AG varies between nice fancy holiday shoes and "add a pair of matching flats and call it good." I prefer that, if an outfit is more fancy, the shoes be a little more muted. Very few people are looking at your feet.

Side of shoe.
On the toe of the shoe are gathered organza ribbon bows with shoe vinyl knots, made of the same ribbon as the waist sash. Touches like that tie an outfit together--and while it kills mix and match, it makes the outfit lovely so there. Most holiday outfits don't need to mix and match.

Heel, sole.
The soles are black with a faint heel. AG, these heels are good, keep doing those and not the failing ones you do. A. They match the dress well, which is what they're a-supposed to do.

Clip in.
Hair Clips: To twist doll's hair up, the set comes with a pair of gold metal hair clips. This was before AG started doing the little plastic tiny clips and did good, chunky metal clips. Granted, this is also when girls wore good chunky metal clips. Tara, since she never takes down her four hair wraps, clips the clips around her top wraps and into her hair.

Out of hair.
The clip is made of metal the whole way through. Unlike plastic variaties, it shouldn't break with tight gripping. Well, anything will break with too much stress including people, but that's different. At the top is sort of a half heart, that most clips of this style have.

The clip is spring backed so that you squeeze to open it and then let go to close. When I wore my hair straightened, I used huge ones of these to twist my hair up off my neck. Now I still sometimes do but most of the time my hair will tendril around them and make them hard to pull out, or the clip will break--both of which suck. B+. Solid if a bit generic--and considering this is an outfit for Tara, the clips fitting around her hair wraps is worth a plus.

Necklace: N/A. My set didn't come with. I'll probably make one.

Ffff-fuck these earrings.
Earrings: So you may wonder why I hate stick-on earrings. This is the set that made me hate them. I got my first ear piercings when I was thirteen months, my second when I was thirteen years, and am debating eventually getting a high cartilage piercing in my left ear.6 So I never had to experience much in the way of clip-ons, sticker earrings, or any of the things younger girls did when they didn't already have holes for as long as they could remember. I did however wear awesome plastic button earrings in the 80s and there wasn't boo-shit you could say to me cause I was supersonic fly.

Before 2008, AG didn't pierce doll's ears. People either pierced them themselves with the trick I'll show next month when a lot of the moddies get hit up, or they used stick-ons. And this outfit came with two pairs of white rhinestone stick on earrings.

I gave them a chance. I really did. These are the specific ones I gave the chance to.  When I got the outfit the first time, I decided to try them. And then they came off Tara's ears and stuck to her hair and I had to brush it out and tried again and they did it again, that's when I decided that I was 500% done with stick on earrings for the rest of my doll collecting existence. FUCK. F. F--. You lose. Good day.


Overall Feel: Gotta say, it's accurate about being a shimmery gold dress cause that's exactly what it is. Shimmery gold and white, with good lining and care. I don't like the stiffness of the fabric, but I do like the color and the sparkle, so it doesn't make too much issues. The shoes fit perfectly to the set, and the clips fitting over wrapped hair is a delightful bonus. The "earrings" can be like a d20 tossed into a gas stove and Die in a Fire.

Cost Value: $24 was pretty fair for a full set, and I didn't even pay a dollar above that. Nowadays with the dress ten years out of production you might be looking at $35 to 40 for a full set. Get at least the dress and shoes. Tights and clips are easily replaced, the necklace is a bonus--I've done okay without--and the earrings are useless. Don't pay more than $50, which had better include everything.

Timeliness/Datedness: No lies, the style is dated. Not many girls today do the bell sleeve, A-line, high waist look. They're more into the poofy bubble skirts and the tutus and the leggings and the Instagrams and the other things I don't quite get. Eh, I'm "old." But I think it's still a bit cute, especially for the era it was for.

Mix and Match Levels:  Nope. Holiday wear generally is not. You gotta coordinate.

Final Grade: A. Overall cute and classy, with a out of season formality. 

And this is probably my last post of 2013, after nearly a year of dolly blogging. We've had low months and high months and lag and surges--and next year there'll be old and new stuff to relish. Enjoy your New Year's parties and celebrations around the world, and let's all hope for an awesome doll and fandom year.

Even if it's another year of a white GotY. SIGH. AG, get your shit together.


1 Including me seeing the "prize" statement in the AG Dolls tag that there's some jackass in this world who legit said that she is happy to act like there were no AG girls after Felicity. Addy, Josefina, Kaya, Ivy, and Cécile--just to name the Historicals Girls of Color--would all like to say "fuck you too, bitch" and we hope you choke on lace and leather in an unpleasant manner.
2 The two without are two of my created Historicals. So they need theirs sewn and designed, which will be done soon.
3 Insert "get behind me satin" joke here.
4 You watch a talented belly dancer waggle her hips in front of your bisexual ass with a coin belt on in front of a bonfire at one a.m. in the middle of the woods with the actual purpose to keep your attention and turn you on after you've drunk several booze combos, and see how long you stare.
5 That's not a typo. My domain does, however, need an update.
6 I was confused as entire fuck that Jessi Ramsey in the BSC books had to argue with her parents to get her ears pierced for the first time at the age of eleven. And now looking back on it, this was such a scream that this was a white person writing a black girl. A lot of black girls have holes in their ears within a year of birth.


  1. another nice one--thanks!

    And I for one am glad to be patient, because anything that makes the holiday glow last even one day longer gets a big thumbs-up from me!

  2. My Marisol will probably be getting some of the new white girls dance stuff. She'll look WAY better in it than isabell !!!!!!

  3. Isabelle does have some cute clothes...

    Like the Silver Belle outfit more than this one, but probably only because I like both cheongsams and silver more than gold. Not more than empire waists, though.

    Good to see Tara again! And any other non-blondes. Not looking forward to waiting another year...expecting a new historical really.

    Ramble, ramble, ramble...

  4. Man, I have super sympathy for you about that intentionally distracting belly dancer. I know one from square dancing who will start waggling her hips at me right when the caller says to do something complicated, and I'll find myself hopelessly entangled. It's just not fair!


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