Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Isabelle's Mix and Match Clothing:

Some of you may be poo-pooing the 
Isabelle Mix and Match items.

But not us.
We like it.
We think it is genius.

Way to Go American Girl!
You did something right!

Mix and Match Clothing Items 
are something we have been asking for for years. 

Maybe American Girl finally listened to us 
when planning GOTY 2014, back in 2011-2ish.

They certainly pretended to have listened
 when they presented the new
Mix and Match Outfits last year:

But they are sold as 3 Mix and Match Outfits
not Items, not Separates.
And the three outfits together are $90. Yikes.
(And they are ugly. Just fyi.)

Separates is the key.
The Key I Tell You!

(As well as non-ugliness,
but we probably didn't have to say that.)

Offering separates allows your customers to make the outfit 
that they want to purchase
instead of being stuck with items they don't want to own.

So while Isabelle is Lanie 2.0/split personality 
(as will be discussed here tomorrow at The DW), 
we still give Isabelle's collection two thumbs up 
because of the Mix and Match Items.

It allows you to buy multiples of an item easily, 
without investing in multiples of things you don't need.

Like let's say you wanted to do a whole class of ballet dancers -- 
you could easily set them up with 
matching leotards without having to buy 700 outfits.

Five dancers.
Five rosette leotards.

Five Performance Sets.

And American Girl smartly displayed many of the possible 
mix and match outfits on their website, 
even setting up pre-packaged listings for easy purchase.




Overall, when items are sold separately, 
we end up buying more of them, and spending more money. 
Perhaps not exactly good for our wallet. 
But good for AG.

For example, we wouldn't have an issue with getting more than one...
wrap sweater...


...or scrunch pants...


...and especially, tutu...

$14 well as either of the leotards.



Paying $10-14 for a mix and match item 
is a lot easier to accept 
psychologically then paying 
$30+ per mix and match outfit.

Whenever we shop on Etsy, 
we feel better about buying 10 listings of separates rather than 
dropping a whole bunch of money on one listing. 

We may be spending the same amount of money, 
but psychologically it feels better to be buying 
a whole bunch of items at smaller prices.

It may sound insane, 
but that is how we roll.

We tend to buy tons of separates on Etsy.

Whole outfits?
Not as many.
We rarely purchase them.
And usually our Etsy outfit purchases 
are custom-ordered outfits or dresses.

The only thing we would like to see on the AG website 
is the Mix and Match items 
coordinated with the other Isabelle outfits -- 
her Meet Outfit, Accessories, Performance Set, PJs, and Metallic Dress.

Being able to see the 
Mix and Match possibilities 
before you buy the outfits is fun and cool 
as well as awesome!

But we understand that might have been confusing to purchasers.
Still, it would have been cool.

Maybe it is somewhere on 
their website???

Yes, they do have that Mix and Match online game.

a) It looks weird
b) It looks weird.

Not the real doll, not the doll clothing, just drawings.

But the Mix and Match game 
does show several things that are not actually for sale.
Maybe they will be released in the summer?

You can do the multiple outfits Mix and Match in the game,
but it just doesn't do the job.

Such as this Meet and Scrunch Combo:

It could look awesome on the doll, 
but we really can't tell from this image.

Bizarre/Terrifying drawings don't work AG.

So we'll have to play around with that 
when we have everything in person,
which, of course, not everyone can do. :-/


Kate J said...

I love Isabelle's mix and match items. I will be getting some for my friend. I personally think her collection is amazing!

Vince said...

I love the mix and match items, and would love to see more of this from AG. I agree about selling it separately, as opposed to a packaged outfit set. I'd love to see some of the items from the Isabelle game produced, especially some of those cute dresses.

Meghan said...

I like the 3rd and 8th outfits!

Ann Van Doren said...

My daughter was at a mall that has an American Girl Store on New Years Day and said the store was mayhem with lines out the wazoo. She made the mistake of showing Isabelle to her 3 1/2 yr old daughter who became so distraught that she couldn't have it that they called me to help convince her she needs to wait until she's older. She loves ballet, loves to sew with me, and has green eyes and dirty blonde hair so it seems like this is the doll for her! I've already started a wardrobe of mix and match items for when she does have a doll (you saw many of my items in your last Design contest) so hopefully I'll get permission from her parents to buy it for her some day.

Kathryn said...

I love Isabelle's collection! For the most part... Super disappointed in the tights/leotards situation.
I wish that tights similar to what comes with the Ballet Outfit (goes over the feet, not too pink, reasonably thin, actual tights)were sold separately. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm a pretty serious ballet dancer, and the lack of real tights that are available for AG dolls is disappointing :(
Similarly with the leotards. I hate the purple one. To me it's just ugly and tacky. The Rosette one is beautiful for a performance, but it would rarely be worn to class. I wish there was just one solid color camisole leotard available. Preferably black (and definitely not pink) but red, light blue, forest green, burgundy, navy, or even white would be very much appreciated. (Those are the colors at the School of American Ballet.)
But for the most part I'm happy. I love the coral sweater! I'd get one for myself if it would fit. I also plan on buying her Rosette leo, Wrap Sweater, Scrunch Pants, Tutu, and Legwarmers. The Practice Top is up for debate, since there isn't matching, or even black, shorts available...
Unrelated, the amount of asymmetrical stuff in the line is super interesting to me. Both her meet shirt and the coral sweater have asymmetrical hems; her jacket and practice top have asymmetrical decoration; her funky legwarmers don't match; and her Metallic Dress, which is really weird IMO, is oddly asymmetrical.
One last clothing comment, I wish her Performance Set was a leotard and cropped tights instead of a unitard, though I'll still be purchasing it. Also it's ages 9+ on the website, what's up with that?
Regarding her split personality, my guess is: ballet dancer in the first book, designer in the second. The scrunch pants "are perfect for modern dance" and her theme is "being the best you" and stuff about her own unique talents. Why do I feel like she's going to discover modern dance in the third book?

Kathryn said...

I remember the other thing I was gonna say! My main disappointment was that Isabelle didn't have the Marie-Grace face mold. I dying for another doll with her face mold! For some reason she doesn't look as much like Lanie to me as she does to other people. But now that I've really thought about it, surely it's not possible that some of them are re-wigged Lanies?

Raine Sunshine said...

I absolutely love this post! And I agree seperates is the way to go AG!

Melody Silverleaf said...

There are some pluses and minuses to the Isabelle collection. She's pretty and the clothes are interesting. I do like a few and may or may not get them. Some seem to be too expensive as separates. Sometimes getting a 4 piece outfit for $28 is better than spending $40 on 4 separate items. But that's neither he nor there. Way back when AG would sell nice 4 or more piece outfits that would mix and match and layer nicely. I hope they are getting back to that.
Regarding Isabelle's kitten...our biggest cat lays all stretched out like that, but it is an uncommon pose for felines.
Overall I think this is a hit. Dolly Dorm Diaries has a great picture of Isabelle next to Lanie - they are very similar.

Kate J said...

I just wanted to say this, I think Isabelle and Lanie look nothing alike. First of, Lanie's hair is a lighter blond, like Caroline's, were as Isabelle's is dirty blond and longer. Lanie's eyes are also a light green, Isabelle's are darker. I just noticed that when I saw a picture of them next to each other here I just thought I would let you see the photo and judge for yourselves.

Jen said...

I like the concept AG is going for, with the mix-and-match, I'm just not fond of the individual items. I'd have liked to see more casual wear pieces in the mix, instead of All Dance All the Time. That said, the coral sweater and wrap sweater are both pretty nice-looking, and will probably head my way at some point!

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