|Tyanna Lewis, looking funky fresh in the School Stripes Dress--with add-ons.|
This is a lot of words to say that yes, the 80s are back in fashion for young girls and it's now my adulthood joy to cringe at the return of floofy skirts, skinny leg jeans, oversized shirts, lace headbands, and leggings being worn as pants. And while I half cringe at this, on the AG side it doesn't bother me at all and I want more of it. Because I have two 1980s Historical Characters--best friends Kyung-Mi "Kimmy" Kim and Tyanna Lewis--and the resurgence in 80s clothing means I have build up a decent wardrobe for them from off the rack wear. For about a year or so, Target had a line called Play Wonder that with mix and matching could pretty much evoke the the 80s; I got enough to really built their wardrobe up, along with some older not quite 80s but close early moddie clothes. There's a few things I'd like to make that will require use of my old fashion designer sets, the sewing machine, and watching a lot of Punky Brewster and early Full House, but Kimmy and Tyanna have a pretty good style between the two of them and they're distinct in what they like to wear.
So when I saw the School Stripes Dress in the most recent releases, I was pretty much like "yep, that's pretty damn 80s, let's get it." I picked this up July 4th at AG Seattle while doing my part to celebrate the US by buying shit, so this is one of my rare "it's still out to get" reviews--this one just about two weeks after release. The set costs $28 and is one of the smallest modern AG clothes sets released; not including the charm, it has a striped long sleeved dress and a pair of pull on flopped tennis shoes. No headbands, no bracelets, no socks. Pretty damn basic. I'm not even looking at the eBay prices. The set hasn't even been out for a month. Just get it from AG direct, drag it.
Tyanna was picked to premiere the set; they both don't mind skirts but Kimmy is currently in her meet set.2 Tyanna Janelle Lewis--who joined when a friend in the AG community wanted to send her to a new home and knew I was looking for her for Kimmy's best friend--is bouncy, musical, fashionable, and more sensitive and less absent-minded than her best friend. She's into studying space and science (especially the solar system3), Girl Scouts, the best of black 80s music (Pointer Sisters, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Prince, etc), video games, being part of the gifted program at school with her best friend, dancing, and art. Her braids are not as fine/thin as I'd like, but I'm working on them--and on adding pony beads to the end. Since the outfit alone is not 80s enough for my or Tyanna's tastes, I've added on some components I will point out rather than just review the set alone, though my final thoughts will be sans what was added on.
On with the review!
|Stripes going as many ways as a multisexual.|
The shade under the many stripes--heather gray--was all over the place in the 80s, as sort of a contrast to mutes some of the bright neon colors. The stripes go in multiple directions, and I'll go into more detail on each striped part. The sort of hodge podge not exactly matching style is one of the main things that makes this outfit feel so 80s to me. Oh, folks matched in the 80s--but a lot of "matching" was deliberate mismatching, such as stripes with spots, things going every which way, silk with leather, pastels with neon, casual with formal wear. It was an awkward and cute time for fashion.
The bodice is cut low into a drop waist--another very 80s thing. Drop waist skirts started as a trend in girl's clothing in the turn of the century, carried through the 1920s with the very slim silhouettes before going back out during the Depression, and had a comeback in the 80s with the resurgence in Edwardian style clothing. Hence why Samantha's style of clothing was hella popular for girls to wear at the time of her first release.4
|Wide neckline and pink stripes.|
|Skirt. Well, Skirts.|
The top skirt has purple stripes cut on the bias again. However, they are going the other way from the blue stripes on the pocket and sleeves. Contrast everything. At least purple, blue, and pink work together as colors.6
The 80s was when logos for the brand you were wearing became a huge thing; you wanted everyone to know what brand of anything you were wearing. So companies like Guess, Swatch, Adidas, Reebok, and Nike started making huge logos so that people could flash their brand. That reminds me, Kimmy needs a set of zipper legged Guess Jeans.
|Gimme some purple tongue.|
|Shoe off and high.|
|Peace, Love, and Butterflies but not in that order.|
80s interlude! Put on some Tiffany and Debbi Gibson and Let's Get Physical!9
|Getting electric with the leggings.|
Overall Feel: Wow, the 80s are back, and this outfit reflects it. The dress-shirt combo with its stripes going every which way both matches and is mad contrast, and the short flippy skirt is probably my favorite part. The layered look is always awesome, but it's just that--a look, since doll clothes get really bulky when you put shirts under dresses. The shoes are not my favorite part of the outfit, and I'm likely never going to let them go floppy much if I can help it. They look better up for my use.
Cost Value: $28 for a dress and shoes with no extras is kinda on the eeeesh side of costs. I'm not one to generally bitch about costs rising on AG stuff because gas ain't a dollar and AG outfits aren't less than $20 for most sets, but AG really should have added more to the set. Even a headband would make me less irritated. I got it over the Bright Stripes Outfit because it fits my needs and I think the other is utterly hideous and can't be redeemed to my gang. As it stands, I'd advise maybe waiting for a sale to knock the cost down some.
Timeliness/Datedness: Well first of all I'm using it as 80s clothes, so take that into account. It's very trendy for now and very trendy for then, and that's kind of not a good thing. I'm sure in a few years when the fashions swing out of the 80s resurgence and to another era, this will become very dated.
Mix and Match Levels: Not exactly. Since the dress is a one piece, there's no layering on anything, and the shoes are really sort of unique. I've already mixed it up with some 80s stuff, but that's about the most you can get--leggings under, add some hair stuff and some different shoes. But the dress is going to be the main part of any set.
Final Grade: B-. Honestly, almost a C because if how little you get, but I like it for my uses. If it'd included more components--like a shirt or a headband or something in addition to the outfit, I'd bump this up to a solid B. I just feel like more could have come with it.
|Next time: Tyanna doesn't have this many pets.|
Especially that kitten. That kitten is cute as hell.
1 There are three names because it depended on what was going on politically in the Western countries. Federal: the Federalist party was the major influence in American Politics, Regency: over in England King George III was too out of his damn gourd to rule, so his son Prince George ruled in his stead as Regent. Empire: Napoleon Bonaparte was conquering a lot of shit and building an empire. So all three terms can cover the era, but if you want to be most accurate talking about Caroline, she's Federal period, not Regency since she was living in the US. I'm educational!
2 This means Tyanna got to review before her bestie. Soon, Kimmy, I promise.
3 Pluto was still a planet in the 80s, and most people are down for Pluto remaining one. Like me. Science can march on all it likes but I'm an astrologist.
4 And now that the 80s are back in fashion so is Samantha. Hmmmmmmm. I'm not saying it's marketing, but it's marketing.
5 I didn't tan much noticably as a kid both because I'm medium to dark skinned and because I spent a lot of time inside. I was anti-social before the 'Net. The net actually made me more social because I'm not obligated to be only stuck to the people in my area to make friends.
6 Insert Bisexual pride here.
7 Music jokes.
8 Good for me since I didn't learn to tie my shoes steadily until I was 10--which by then was the 90s.
9 I know the song is by Olivia Newton-John. And that it's about fucking.