|Otters is Sparkling to the Nines.|
My birthday is in less than a week; I'll be thirty-four, Year five giving a big eff you to the cultural assumption that assumes that women never want to be older than twenty-nine. Fuck "forever twenties" ideas. I remember my twenties, and most of it was terrible and rife with wracking depression that I now keep generally under control. Part of my celebration is that I'm going to the AG Cafe here in Seattle with a buddy--as the Beyoncé song goes, I'm a grown woman and can do whatever I want. And what I want is to take one of my gang members to the American Girl Cafe and eat their food and be a dolly nerd. Fun fact about me is that I like to say I ran a gauntlet to get my birthday as my own day. The 4th is my late Grandma Valeria, the 7th (or 8th) is my Aunt Florence, today (the 9th) is my grandma Aquilla (affectionately called Goose)1 and the 14th is my father, Harold. I missed all those days one after the other, showed up two weeks late, and hit Wednesday the 15th--and did the same thing my dad did with my grandma Goose and showed up as a belated birthday gift. That's fate for you.
When it comes to birthday gifts, I'm simple and complicated at the same time. Because I like dolls, right, so you'd think I want dolls and doll accessories--but when it comes to AG there's so much I already have so your best bet is to ask instead of trying to surprise me. Well until new stuff comes out and I go "I don't have that!" or "I don't want that." This was not true when I started collecting in 2005 and 2006. So for my 26th birthday, a buddy who wasn't even much into AG, Kaze, sent me the Sparkly Tunic and Jeans Outfit which had come out just that year in 2006. At the time I had two historicals and three moddies. Otters, Marisol, and Naomi had to share the set--and it looked great on all three of them and cemented itself as one of the best outfits ever.
The set at the time cost $26 and came with a tunic top, jeans, clogs, hairbands, and an informational story about bands, likely an article from AG Magazine.2 It was retired in 2008--about standard lifespan for an AG set, and unlike a lot of older clothes is somewhat common and almost never goes higher than the original cost, only to about $30 or so. It shows up regularly enough on the 'Bay to be found at a sensible cost.
Otters is rocking this because I took pictures of her in it. There is very little Otters does not rock because Otters is awesome.
|The "sparkly tunic" part of the set.|
Some people call this color teal. I like to call it turquoise because I am a pretentious human being and a artist and to me, teal is a darker shade than this. Shades of blue and blue green happen to be some of my favorite colors, and by happen I mean are so very, very much it's not even slightly funny. The fabric is finely crinkled, which actually comes like that before you cut it out and sew it and is part of the texture's charm visually and tactilly. Tactilily? Touchinessitude. I make up words. Either way what I'm saying is please don't iron out the pretty crinkles, you'll ruin everything and you don't want to ruin everything, do you? You don't. It would make you a terrible person. It's slightly sheer but not enough to be see through. Sort of gauzy, like the fine linen of the Egyptian era.
|Neckline do the dip~|
|Rickrack for all eras.|
History time! Rickrack has only been called as such since 1884, but goes back as far as the Antebellum era if not further. Back then it was called waved crochet braid because it was made with crochet, and used like now, as a trim.
|Shine bright like a diamond.|
|Back bow and closure.|
A+. Goddamn, can I get one this in my size?
|Pre distressed, like emo kids.|
AG Flashback! At the time of this outfit's release, AG had very few blue basic jeans for the moddie on the go. Both Blue Jeans Basics sets had been retired since 2001. The meet outfit had just changed from the free form mix and match Ready For Fun Outfit to the abominable I Like Your Style outfit. And the Glittery Jeans both had been retired the prior year and were just that. Glittery. If you wanted basic blue jeans you had these, and the Store exclusive jeans from an AG Place.5 Seeing as AG stores were not everywhere just yet, these were your best bet. And boy did they fulfill!
|AG spoiled me for pants.|
|Brad and snap.|
|Help I'm distressed! No wait it's just my pants.|
|Pockets for wockets.|
|Nothing gets between me and my AGs. Nothing.6|
|Bottom has a certain flair.|
A+. AG spoiled me for jeans from day one, and you have to be real to make me want my dolls in your pants. If you try to give me some pissy anty back fastening velcro pants with crappy design and no pockets or loops I just might kick you in the head. I'm talking to you Our Generation. Step your game up.
|Clogs. For kicking ass and fashion.|
|Snap that shit!|
The edge is slightly sewn at the top to have a rolled in seam and clean top stitching.
|Sparkly embroidered stuff.|
|Strap it on.|
At the heel is a strap that goes around. AG had finally started to get their shit together and put straps--both clear and matching--on their open back shoes. Took you long enough, damn it. My strap is starting to fray some. There's top stitching around it and a silver snap closure you'll see in the next picture. It's a little loose and I can slip shoes off without unsnapping, I can't get them back on without opening the snap.
Inside the shoe and strap are lined in fine matching teal satin. It's the little things that make these shoes so real. And can you see it?
|Oh shoes. Why you do this?|
|What do you want of hair bands?|
And just because I can, pics of my girls in the set.
Right after I got the outfit, Naomi and I went out to Kirkland downtown for my birthday and I took crazy pics. I won't eat a pumpkin or even carve one, but I like the way they photograph.
Marisol is in a tree rocking it. The picture is blurry but yes, I got her to balance on the chain around the tree.
Kaya at my old apartment, from the hips up and still looking smooth.
Overall Feel: Could this outfit be more perfect? Hard to say. It's got a simple but feminine top, sweet dark jeans-- a staple for a good wardrobe--and nice (if slightly wearing out) shoes. The whole set combines to look its best at any time, carrying from spring through summer and into the fall and even winter. Wear it year round. Furthermore, it looks good on everybody. Even blondes, and you know my feels on blondes, but it looks good on blondes. Including Kit. This outfit is the Universal Good Looking Outfit. I don't think it's even possible to look bad in this outfit. It's just that boss.
Cost Value: Gifts cost you nothing but my forever gratitude. Thank you still, Kaze. The original cost was definitely nice and on the 'Bay it's still a decent cost, even almost ten years down the road. You want the shoes, the jeans, and the tunic. Hair bands you'll be okay without, not even sorry.
Timeliness/Datedness: At most, the tunic is dated but I wouldn't even say that is too bad. Granted, my fashion taste peaked in the late 1990s to mid 2000s for the most part. It can't go very far back, but it's very early to mid 2000s and that's what I need. Jeans are not ever dated for a modern girl, even slightly flared ones. They might not work for Julie or an 80s girl, but not all of us are wearing skinny hipster jeans.
Mix and Match Levels: Hell yeah. First of all, dark jeans go with every kind of top you can throw at them, no matter the color or formality. I have put them with everything and anything. About the only thing they don't match are denims that don't match. The top would look good over other jeans. Maybe not neon orange, but over white or light blue or black? Forget all about it! The shoes are probably the hardest to match but again, do some jeans and go about your shoe day.
Final Grade: A+. Even with peeling shoes, it's still an excellent outfit. Go get it. GO GET IT.
1 And yes I called my grandma.
2 I know, I know. Soon enough I'll get back on it.
3 This happens to be where I bought my shirt--from the Pagan Chick store, though I bought it at A-Kon. Now you too can wear the things Neth wears. Tell your friends and not your enemies.
4 Boobs boobs boobs. Boobs.
5 That's it, I'm going to have to do a jeans ID post of all the ones I have.
6 I'm talking panties~!
7 Walk some steps. You likely land with your heel first, and roll to your toes. I do the opposite; I touch with my toes first and then roll back onto my heel. I have done that since I was little and it's comfortable to the point that my heels can't be less than about two inches for me to walk in them right.
8 Wonderbread, still looking at your ass. Is it January yet?