|Nellie: Pretty in all that pink.|
And for that I'm glad. I never liked her original meet outfit or accessories. Oh, the underwear and black stockings had their usefulness, but the dress was mediocre at best and blech at worse and helped highlight the idea of turn-of-the-century sepianess and dull colors. And don't get me started on those pitiful ass plastic ugly shoes2 or the high neckline that had to cover up that poor ugly white body the first three started out with. It wasn't even shown in the illustrations until the 1998 redraw. Away with it. Now Samantha comes to you in a much more pink set: a pink lace and dotted swiss dress, bloomers, white tights, black Mary Janes, and a velvet ribbon on a ponytail holder that that I don't have. Cause while all the new BeForever outfits come separately for about $36, they don't come with any of the hair decs. Either buy a new doll, clip your own ribbons, or see if you can obtain replacements for the hair clips. The accessories also transmogrified: a headband, velvet purse, and "locket" necklace for the standard accessory cost of $24. This was sold out the day of the BeForever launch--and also, I was getting all the Addy I could get--but later trips to AG got me a set to put on gang members such as Marisol and Nellie. So far there's no reason to touch eBay to get a set--even when it's not sold separately anymore, there's always the possibility of stripping a Samantha to get the hook up, though of course that's the more expensive option. There's also a matching sundress and headband. If you're like Zagat Editor Molly Moker you can fit in the set. I am plush and fat and can't do that.
With Nellie around, she can help share the Edwardian reviews with Marisol. She does an excellent job.
|Headbands for gender differentials.|
But ugly as it is, research shows it is historically accurate. Kind of. While most girls were wearing hug floofy head eating hairbows--the kind I love to put on Nellie--headbands were actually a thing. I was able to find an image of headbands on girls in the Edwardian era here, but they appear to be less lacy thin things that go under the hair and down to the back and more wide and around the crown and on the satin side. Still, it's enough to not be totally inaccurate.
C. Historically accurate--loosely--but weak. I really think this is one of the components that got the shaft in order to put a hat with her Hairstyling set.
Have I really gone into purse history? No? Well then let's do it.4 Historically, people have always carried things in bags--pouches, totes, bags, waist storage, etc. People only have two hands, and a bag frees those up and lets more be carried about. But the modern women purse style of carrying everything didn't really take off until about the mid 1800s. Before then, while a woman might carry a small handbag here and there with small components, most things could get into pockets--separate tied on bags with slits that hung near the hip and were easily accessible through the dress. Hence Felicity's pocket--and if we were to be accurate, Caroline might have had one as well. Purses were more for evening or traveling carrying than daily carrying of things, and didn't carry nearly as much as they do now--for a long time, the only thing a purse was was a place to keep money. But with the change in silhouette to wider and wider skirts, it was much harder to reach through clothes and access a pocket, and the flow of clothes over increasing petticoats and crinolines helped push the handbag--known as the pocketbook--to the forefront. Early ones were even directly hooked to the waist. By the time of the Edwardian era, a young girl would have carried a purse as a small place to keep things such as calling cards, handkerchiefs, small amounts of money, and perhaps a small craft project to work on while making visits. But not the cross body or over the shoulder kinds of purses--one did not muss clothes that way. Purses were clasped in hands or held on wrist chains.
The chain is attached to either side of the frame on small molded triangles; while the frame is plastic, the chain is metal, and just long enough to loop on Nellie's wrist.
|Inside is space for the ego tag.|
|It's not a locket if it doesn't open.5|
The pendant is a gold heart shape of solid metal with a small molded pink five-petal flower with a white center. It makes for nice contrast.
There is also a small gold oval with the AG logo on it, because ego tag.
B-. A nice little necklace, but it's not a locket and don't tell me it is.
|All dressed up with fun places to go. Like trees.|
Dumb people will tell you that the skirt is too high and needs to be a drop waist for accuracy. These people are being dumb. Throw paint at them. While some skirts were slightly drop waisted, they came in both styles, and also occasionally in high bodice styles. Shock and awe, clothes varied.
|Neckline and collar.|
|Pink fancy dresses with velvet maroon sashes, one of my favorite things.|
The top layer of the skirt--and the dress as a whole--is white dotted swiss. Dotted swiss is almost always some degree of sheer, and in this case it's basically tulle with little fuzzy soft dots, sheer enough to show off the cloth underneath.
|Plain second skirt.|
ETA: Some bits on pink here that I've learned from Moniquill who remains super awesome, because a lot of people fuss over Sam wearing a lot of pink now in her collection. Actually, she would have wanted to wear a lot of pink because she would have been ultimately cool. Pink became a popular color in late Victorian and early Edwardian times--specifically bubblegum pink, from newly available coal tar dye. This is actually slightly lighter; the shade they would have worn would have been a bright, garish PAAAAAANK. PAAAAAANK was super fashionable for all people because it had previously been a very difficult color to attain.
Historically, people will wear garish colors as soon as they can get them on them. Wait til I talk about arsenic green.
A. I much more like this dress than compared to the Plaid Badness.
|Tights. You've seen this.|
|Better, Faster, Blacker, Stronger.|
You've seen these style before; just before she got kicked into the vault, these were the kind that came with her Shoes and Socks set. And since I actually have those and pretty much went into full detail on the Play Dress and Pinafore review, I'm going to save myself a lot of repeated descriptions and just link you there. S'alright? S'alright. The only difference is my new ones come with the American Girl Logo stamped on the sole.
A+. As good back then as they are now.
A search around the interbutts pulled up an authentic pink Edwardian dotted swiss dress from The Barrington House Collection. The skirt is on the long side and there's a higher collar, so this is likely more for a 14 year old girl. But will you look at that the waistband is not at her hips in a dropped waist shut up failures. I love finding direct examples.
I also found an Edwardian postcard of four girls and their dog--which I can't source because all the sources were Pintrest which is not a source. The outfit on middle right looks the most like Sam's new meet style in colors, but the one at the furthest right more resembles the style itself of sheer over plain back, wide lace collar, and gathered short sleeves. Also on the far left is a high waisted dress. So many fancy things.
Again from Moni, the garish PAAANK on furniture. Not just pink but GOLD. GOLD EVERYTHING.
From NieciP, another example of the style of dress. This one looks even more like Sam's new set, though the sash is on the side and the dots are red. Don't ask how the hat is staying on the back of her head.
Overall Feel: The meet dress is a vast improvement on what Sam had to wear for decades, the shoes especially. The accessories? Ehh....not so much. The hat from her hair styling set could have swapped places with the headband, and then I'd feel a lot better about the meet stuff. But as it is I'm kind of miffed by lost potential. Notably, when it comes to historical wear, it's rare the times I have an outfit for the gang that I feel has appeal out of its time, in that I think I could put it on a moddie and not feel like the outfit is super dated. This is however, something that could actually do a semi-modern look--a very girly modern look, but it would still fit.
Cost Value: The dress cost of $36 was pretty okay; I half wish the hair ribbon had come in with it, but half don't because the ribbon is on a ponytail holder and I can just cut one. The meet accessories are probably where I most feel shafted, what with the non-opening locket and the headband that could have easily been a hat. The purse is nice, but it doesn't make up for the other two components being blech. If you have the older Sam accessories, just buy a new gold locket and keep what you have; they'll work with the new stuff, I'd think.
Authenticity: *points to pictures above* Yes. Accurate in cut, fabrics, and silhouette. Including the wide lace collar. I said it all up there and won't repeat it, but it works for back then and, if the girly look isn't too girly, for now too.
Appropriateness to Character: It's a lot more towards Edwardian than Victorian, thank goodness. Around here, Nellie and Marisol will be taking this for themselves, thanks.
Final Grade: B+ for the outfit, C+ for the accessories. Acceptable job, New Sam Clothes.
|Now with the fancy pillow.|
1 One of the few things that gets very little critique from me is Hamilton, because it hella rocks. Speaking of which, mini rant. Some folk on Tumblr--a site which has both enlightened views and completely bad ones all mixed up, like any social media or blogging site--is on a crusade to make sure the whole world "knows" that Hamilton is apparantly a terrible evil racist musical that glorifies "slave owning rapists" and making them cute to us all and that Lin-Manuel Miranda is a anti-black mega thief who has no right to even listen to rap and R&B, much less use it to teach American History and retell the narrative. Everything they say is annoying and I just block their posts. They are summarily being ignored by Yours Truly. For all the issues people have with Hamilton, this is one of the Ankhy ones. Getting it completely wrong about A. Ham's abolitionist views, background, the role of the characters in the musical, and droning on and on about how Lin-Manuel Miranda somehow isn't allowed to breathe near a rap song because he's Puerto Rican when he grew up rocking this shit and truly knows his shit and appreciates the genres? Makes you the worst, Burr. That sort of Ankh Shit gets you on my bad side. Fan of Problematic Things instead of Burning it all.
2 Already did, though. See: Samantha's Cranberry Party Dress. They got a D-.
3 Because heaven forbid that someone look at a level one human baby who can't even sit up unassisted and accidentally assume that they're not the gender role selected for them based on their genitalia.
4 I'm hoping to go to a semi-local museum display on the history of purses next month to learn even more.
5 You will notice Nellie is wearing two necklaces. One is a wishbone necklace she came with and I don't take off her much.
6 Nellie also has a zip tie at neck instead of strings. Who has two thumbs and literally doesn't care? Me.
7 *insert high five with Lafayette and Hamilton*