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

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Clothes Reviews: Kanani's Aloha Outfit (2011)

Fall yes. but in Hawaii it's always warm!
Wow, has it been a month and a half. I live, people! Long story short: I was working on a massive long infostyle post starting mid-September, and while working on it I got kicked in the ass with germs that laid me up hard. Soon after I had family things come up, lovely depressions, and lost total focus. I still plan to finish said massive post, but for now it's set aside. It's not lost! Just paused.

Anyways, what has happened in that month dollwise? Let's see. I got Grace's Bistro set and Baking set at significant discounts, completing any furniture and accessories I wanted and leaving maybe one outfit I want to grab up. The Bakery of Doom has had the distinction of being the earliest retired item ever in AG's GotY lineup, going fully out of stock near the end of September (I suspect they didn't make a ton of them, wanting to avoid that WonderBread fiasco of last year) and the many tears for the kids that won't get it are refreshing. And, for my 35th birthday, I went ahead, got all wibble-wobble, mentally waffled and dipped and weighed back and forth like the Libra sun sign I am that takes forever to make any choices...and added Maryellen Larkin to the AGGiB. Well. That didn't take long at all for her to join. Time to take pics of her and review her outfits! (And make her a cute Giftmas dress. I hate her birthday dress and skating is not a Giftmas dress.)

A little bit of data for those who are on Instagram: peep the newly pimped hashtag on Instagram, #AGsofColor. It was started by user AG_Warriors and is all about showcasing dolls of color. Instagram has its good in the doll community, but it also has more white than a snowstorm in Antarctica, and that can just be annoying as shit. So a tag just for girls of color so I can see all those beautiful brown, black, Asian, and girls of color? Sign me up, that is some good shit right there, I have been mad crazy about that.1

Anyways, summer is gone til next year, and we are into my favorite season, fall. Mmm, sweaters, color changing leaves, the sun setting by 6:30, and caramel apple cider from Starbucks.Yaaaaas. But that doesn't mean that I can't review summery outfits. Including summery outfits that I took pictures of months ago. Whoops. It's still warm in Hawaii? Good. Then let's review Kanani stuff! 

Kanani has the distinction of being the only front line Girl of the Year I bought the very first day of her availability--Sonali I got day of, but she was not the frontline girl because fuck you AG, that's why. I have everything in her collection3 and she doesn't have to share with anyone; she even has her own storage drawer here. Pretty Kanani is a delight and a half, and her collection--while it has a lot of narrow focus on her Hawaiian self--is super. C'mon AG. Stop flinging the ball away and give the world the Not!Kanani we all desire so people don't have to pay $300 for her on eBay.

When I ordered her, I got her, her starter collection and the Aloha Outfit all at once. (And the rest that summer when AG Seattle opened, sans the ice shaving stand.) Girl had to have a casual outfit to wear around here, and this is pretty casual--a print t-shirt, capri pants, sandals, a bracelet, and sunshades. Originally $28, it, like everything Kanani, can go for too damn much--but the average selling tends to be in the $30-40 range which ain't terribad. There was also the secondary version for the moddies called the Tee and Capris for Dolls at $22; it was a blank white shirt, and no sandals or sunglasses. Nope, don't care much for that version.

Oh, and around here Kanani often wears her flower, regardless of the outfit, if she can get away with it. Surf's up to the review!

It's not a tourist shirt when you're repping your home state.
Shirt: We start this outfit with a standard white t-shirt with front printing. Since I have never been to Hawaii,I have no idea what their touristy shirts look like face to face. But I'm sure there's a million shirts that say "Aloha" somewhere and a million more on the way every year. Hawaii is like Texas in that way, in that they probably enjoy having a bunch of state pride shirts for tourists to buy.

History time! T-shirts evolved from undershirts of the late 19th century, when the popular union suit was separated into tops and bottoms. The tops eventually became loose and cotton or jersey knit, and were standard undershirts--even now you can buy a pack of white men's undershirts for super cheap. They started becoming a little less under in about the early 20th century, and became the go-to top for farmers when you had to wear something over your top half but it was too hot for long sleeves and button downs, and you'd just get them all sweaty. The word T-shirt became part of American English by the 1920s, but it was still considered rather country and unsophisticated to just wear them--and definitely not little girl's wear--until the 60s and 70s came along and people stopped giving a fuck as much. The 60s is also when printed T-shirts for self-expression  got super popular, though there have been printed shirts since the 30s. Shirt designs gained popularity for self-expression, advertisements, protests, and souvenirs. And now we have TeeFury, shirt.woot, and all kinds of ways for folk to show the places they've been or would like to go. I do various nerd ref on my tallyknockers, especially when it comes in my Lootcrates.

Touristy Text!
The front of the shirt has "Aloha" on it in plastisol ink. (Quite a few shirts are printed in that style, so the colors are deep.) In large letters Left to right we have a blue A, purple l, pink h, and light blue a. "Hawaii" is in blue under Aloha and slightly to the right.

The O of Aloha has been replaced with a pink hibiscus flower. The hibiscus flower is the Hawaiian state flower, hence it being seen everywhere on Hawaiian stuff, and worn often by Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander girls. Apparaently there's meaning for which side it's worn. Left ear means off the market, right ear means open for shenanigans (or just young), and both ears means "just cause I'm taken doesn't mean you can't come get it". Come and date Kanani, folks.

Short sleeves.
The sleeves are short, as is the way with most tees.

And like most AG shirts and things, it closes up the back. A. Good job for a shirt. It does the job.

Capris: No long pants today on the beach, the hems will get dirty. Kanani has on denim capris. Also known as clam-diggers (since you could go clam digging in them and not have to roll your pants up), they were designed in the late 1940s by fashion designer Sonja de Lennart in 1948, who named them after the Italian isle of Capri. Wear them everywhere!

Kanani's include a ribbon belt that loops through the front belt loops; the ends of the semi-stiff ribbon are hemmed and the belt knots to the left side.

Print close up.
The print is a mix of blues, pinks, paisley print and floral on a bright purple background. Every Girl of the year tends to get an overall color theme. Grace ButterCream's is black, pink, and blue; Wonderbread was sparklebarf and pink; Chipolte Maya had blues, reds, and southwestern, and Kanani got a lot of pink, purple, and blue.

Belt loose.
The belt unties easy enough; the right side is significantly longer than the left, making it for hella awkward display if you try to tie it in the center or off to the right. Underneath is an unadorned velcro fly closure. One of the things I adore about AG is that they always have had front closure pants. OG used to and still occasionally does have their jeans with false flys and the closure on the back. No one in real life fastens their jeans on their butt unless they are Kris Kross.

Here we go belt de loop, here we go loop de la~
 The belt loops through a set of front and back loops and to the center back--

Belt tack and butt shot.
--where it is tacked, center back. No adjustments or tweaks, dears. The belt stays. I could probably seam rip it loose myself, but only Kanani wears these and so the ribbon stays. And it's a cute ribbon, so.

Thanks it has pockets!
The capris have real pockets, and all around are topstitched in pink thread. Contrast thread on an outfit can work, but you gotta know how to work it--you can't just be throwing colors around. Learn the rules before you break them. thank you. In this case it brings out the belt colors and fits.

There is also top stitching around the bottom hem, which comes just below Kanani's knees. A-. While I can't take the belt off or adjust it, the rest is choice.

Flip flops, or thongs, or whatever.
Flip-Flops: And of course, we need quick release shoes for beach walking that don't cop out when there's sand and surf about. Pink thick soled flip flops it is. When I was younger, I used to call them thongs, but thank you underwear now I can't do that. Sandals of this style have been worn in many cultures for thousands of years, going back to ancient Egypt. I wore them all the time when I spent summers in Texas; unlike most shoes, you don't have to dump the sand out and if sand does get in, you just rinse them off at the nearest source of water since they're made of foam and plastic and can take getting soaked.

The center thong goes between the big toe and the second toe. But since AG have tucked together molded toes, we have to fake it.

The straps are pink molded plastic with the thong part placed in front of the toes. There's a slight texture to the molding--half circles and lines--and the front thong part is stuck-fused into the front midway instead of going through and to the bottom, like most flip-flops. There's a seam around the edge; what most likely was done was that the tops were punched out, put together to the straps, and then glued to the bottoms.

Praise be, back straps.
At the back are the clear sandal straps that have been around since Jess. Praise gods, her shoes shouldn't fall off most of the time. Just don't pull them til they break. They're not actually attached to the straps and are attached to the sole.

Everywhere I go I'm walking on flowers/
The soles are pink foam, and on the inner sole are printed with outlines of hibiscus flowers.

The soles are a basketweave print texture, so as not to go slipping and sliding everywhere. B+. Not boring and yay back straps I will praise these forever.8

Hibiscus and kuku'i pride.
Bracelet: To add a bit of accessory--and pimp Hawaii--we have a kuku'i nut bracelet, similar to the necklace that Kanani comes with in her meet set. Kuku'i or candlenut trees are the state tree of Hawaii. Fun fact! The actual native range of the candlenut plant is impossible to establish precisely; it is distributed throughout multiple tropical regions including Indonesia, Malaysia, Hawaii, and Uganda, because ancient cultures just took that bitch everywhere so we don't know where it started originally.

The center nut-style bead has a hibiscus on it in pink, printed on both sides. Double state pride. 
I know knot.

To the sides are pink plastic knot looking beads.

Center bead.
The center bead is semi-flat, and you can semi see how there hibiscus is printed on both sides.

The beads are strung on pink elastic and tied in a bow on the back. You can untie it if you want and fuck it up but I ain't down for that and leave it tied. The elastic stretches enough to go around her wrist.

Bracelet alone.
And the bracelet by itself. Normally, the bracelets put with outfits seem an annoying afterthought (see my review of the Western Riding Outfit) but I like this one. It fits that Kanani would be wearing this. So it get a B+.

Ya gotta have your sunshades on. All right.10
Sunglasses: And of course, for summer wear, you need sunglasses. Can't go around getting blinded by the sun reflecting off wide, pale ground.11  Kanani's aren't super fancy or marked to be just her own in anyway--simple purple frames with dark lenses. 

Side earpiece.
Nothing on the side, nothing on the edges--just sunglasses. I could give them to anyone else in the AGGiB and they wouldn't stand out. 

On the head.
Most of the time I either prop them on top of her head--

Side pocket.
 --hook them in the side of her pockets--

Whatcha want?
--or have her give you eyes over them. So they're good for expression. B-. They don't add much, but they're important to have for her to wear everywhere. 


Overall Feel: This is a nice, casual set that in theory can work for any character, not just Kanani (though round these parts she only has to share if she wants). Wonderbread, in contrast, got very little that was casual wear, and what little she got was sparklebarf. This is day to day wear; you can't go wrong nowadays for the most part with jeans and a t-shirt. The sandals and sunshades--as well as the jeans being capris--make for a summery chill fashion.And the bracelet adds more culture to the mix.

Cost Value: $28 at the time was good, though I'd have probably liked it a tick better at $24. The average costs on eBay of about $30-40 works. More than that is high. The sunglasses aren't crucial, and technically the bracelet isn't, but if you're getting it for you Kanani try to get both. I'd personally try to get a complete set for her, and since the costs are fair, it's possible.

Timeliness/Datedness: While not appropriate before about 1950 (seeing as capris weren't much of a thing before their invention), it can work back then. I could see Maryellen in something like this, especially since the 50s was big on Hawaii as a new fashion fad carried over from the 40s. As for datedness, hardly. It's not so fashion and fad tied as to not carry forward.

Appropriateness to Character: I can 100% see Kanani in this/ In the books, she's said to wear this working the ice stand. It's state pride without being too overt, and remember it's not touristy if you live there.

Mix and Match Levels: Yep. The bracelet matches her meet set, the shirt is just your standard t-shirt, and the flip-flops can go with summer wear. About the only thing that can't mix and match as easy is the ribbon on the capris, but it can be worked with as long as the shirts fit the color scheme.

Final Grade: A. Kanani is down for Aloha and chill.12


1 And also had to tell quite a few people about their wrongness. For example, posting Rebecca in the tag, citing that since she's of Russian decent and Russia spreads across Europe and Asia, Russians are all automatically biracial. No, That's not how that works. That's not how any of it works.
2 I don't like pumpkin spice. I don't like it one bit. Caramel and sweet potatoes and apple cider? Sign me the FUCK up. Pumpkin spice? What kind of bullshit ass flavor--
3 Except the Shaving Ice Stand. Someday, damn it. 
4 Someday, damn it.
5 Hence the stereotypical farmer's tan on the upper arm.
6 Bisexual pride!
7 I had a crush on the darker of the two when I was a kid--"Mac Daddy" Kelly. He died of a drug overdose. It makes me sad to think about, since he was only two years older than me.
8 I have at least three outfits with sandals that have no back straps. They enrage me.
To this day, I have to look up state trees, flowers, and birds of every state but Texas. I got Texas down fucking pat from childhood cause they drilled it hard into us; pecan tree, bluebonnet, and mockingbird.
10 Make my funk the P-Funk. I wanna get funked up.
11  Sunglasses are also worn in northern snowy places, cause that reflection off white will blind you.
12  I know what Netflix and chill is, thank you.


  1. Great review! very detailed--this is one of the outfits I like because it looks like something someone would really wear (because who wears sequins every day in real life?).

    The Queen's Treasure has a shave ice stand that is very realistic and sometimes available discounted on ebay.



  2. about the NotKanani. I thought about it, why AG does not release a NotKananai or NotMckenna, they would make tons of money. or simply why not release a medium skinned jess mold doll/josefina mold doll with long hair? and then I realized that perhaps AG wants all of teh Truly Mes to be generic so that we would have more motivation to buy historicals/GOTY. like if there was a doll in the Truly me line that looked like Grace, we would not want to buy Grace. you know My American Girl 38 got retired with teh introduction of Maryellen and so was the NotSamantha. So I feel like they want to keep the Truly me line just like that - a bunch of classic mold dolls with light or medium skin and standart eye/hair color combinations. so that historicals and Gotys can look unique compared to them and stand out. I mean if Truly me 61 was available when Saige was aorund, would anyone want to buy Saige? I hope what Im saying makes sence. I would love a notKanani or a not Marisol but it wont be released

    1. I'd think that, but there are not!girls of several characters that were limited. There is a not!Marisol: #28. There's some Not!Mias, not!Ivy, not!Cecile--such on and such. After the doll is gone, AG doesn't get the money from the main market anymore. Motivation to buy Historicals? Yes, that I could see except there's a doll that's a lot like Kit in the main line, a girl a lot like Felicity, and one a lot like Kirsten. And a unique GotY might result in a retirement, but then you had Gwen who was pretty much #12 with a different outfit. After that year is done, why not wait a year or two max, put away one of the many generic blondes (the differences between say, #27 and #22 are minimal!) and release a new girl? Did we really need #63? No.

    2. I partly agree with you, but then i feel like what you said is only true for historicals or GOTYS that are white and somewhat already look generic (example: Felicity, Nikki, Saige) the Notsonali with dark skin and long black hair was released because obviously there is a need for a doll that represents black girls. but with the Jess mold I feel there is only so much you can do, just tweak the skin/hair color a bit. so maybe they dont want to release a NotKanani so that they could maybe sort of "recreate" a different version of her in the future. maybe a hawaiian born historical. or maybe a phillipina GOTY (Notkanani but with dark hair/eyes). I just dont know. on one hand I sort of agree with what you said about recreating the retired GOTYS in the Truly me line, on the other hand I do feel like they are saving the most successfull hair/eye/facemold combinations for future GOTY and historicals.

      oh yeah and the Notmarisol`s hair is too short so she s not really a not marisol. I hope they create a historical that looks like NotMarisol. as for the new blond moddie with short hair, she looks incredibly plain but I do wonder whether its not a replacemet for Kit.... who may soon be retired? just a theory though. none of us really knows what those AG pelople plan to do and what logic they use. If I were them I would totally release a NotCecile (with hazel eyes), notMckenna, notMarisol (with long hair) and a notKanani as a part of the Truly me line and the sales would skyrocket. think about how expensive Kanani/Mckenna are on ebay. the new redhead 61 is mad popular too because she looks like Felicity or Saige (allthough she is kind of a "standard" somewhat generic looking doll). then the dropped the medium skinned sonali and Im kinda sad because I wish this gorgeous doll were a GOTY instead.(she could have been Grace or Isabelle- she would totally sell). so we cant really guess what their logic is, or maybe there is none. we can only assume.

      an advice for you - if you ever get the new medium sonali mold doll, put her in isabelle`s stuff! it will look beautiful on her. also try putting maryellens meet dress on your Mellie doll. the colors will just pop on the dark skin!


  3. I have been pining for a Not!Kanani for years now. I really want a Jess mold with medium skin in my collection, preferably with dark hair and eyes. I don't really understand why AG can release so many Not!GOTYs, but not release one similar to Kanani. #43 doesn't cut it, nope. She may have similar coloring to Kanani, but it's the Jess mold I want. Not!Kanani would be hugely popular among fans, if AG would go ahead and release her already.

  4. So glad to see you have a new blog up! Your reviews are always so informative and enjoyable. I have wanted Kanani for years but have given up on getting her unless she turns up at a Goodwill (highly unlikely) or as a cheap TLC eBay find. I noticed that her price has gone down some online but I cannot justify paying even the lowest amount for her. I once made the mistake of mentioning how much I wanted Kanani while at my local AGP. One of the associates took me over to see what was then MAG #29. I thought she was kidding. Tan skin, long hair and classic mold does not a Kanani make! I'm not going to lie I was kind of annoyed. #29 looks nothing like Kanani. I'm not a huge fan of the classic mold, only because I feel like it's over used and played out at this point. It's stinkin' 2015, almost 2016! The classic mold may be where AG started but some variety many years later would be nice. My favorite molds are #30 #40 Ivy and #64. And I'm trying to decide if I want to get TM's Sonali look alike or Kaya. These are actually beautiful and unique face molds that I tend to gravitate toward. It would be absolutely awesome if the 2016 GOTY had the Sonali face mold and skin tone. I'm actually fascinated by Indian culture, the bright colors and food! OMgoodness! I can even imagine her wanting to do something completely different than her parents want her to. Maybe her parents are physicians and she wants to be a professional musician, comic artist or author? That may sound boring, but AG has given us a lot of bland stuff before? Ballet and dancing, art ect. Now those things are not boring necessarily but when it's predictable and the same stuff over and over. Meh. There are female scientists, archaeologists, race car drivers and surfers out there. These are interesting things! And what would be even better is if the GOTY wasn't another blonde or brunette fair skin girl. Maybe they'll surprise us this year. I'm hopeful. Have a great day! :)

  5. The used cost for international buyers from eBay are absolutely totally wrong no doll that cost 100 US dollars should cost 200 or 300 may be more depends a new one is over 1000 US dollars that's totally wrong no one in there right mind would pay that much for a doll I got a new 209 doll she was only 350 Australian dollars so why charge so much for this doll. I know why because there were not as many made. And she sold out before December but I bet there were as many made but people just say that to make more money witch is not right especially for international buyers because eBay are are inflating there international shipping prices and that's the main reason why it's almost impossible for us to buy from America because Americans do not make it easy. Loads of Americans have yard sales and can find her really cheap then sell her on eBay and make tones and tones of money. I just wish I could find one at a descent price I did buy her but with out clothes or nothing and she still cost me more than a brand new doll with all her clothes on


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