Sunday, January 26, 2014

Not Just Dancewear:
Isabelle's Performance Set Skirt


Today in the "Not Just Dancewear" series we have 
Stella modeling the skirt from Isabelle's Performance Set.

Her jacket and tank top are from Etsy seller L'Atelier de Sitara
and her leggings are from the MyAG Frosty Fair Isle Outfit

Her boots are Saige's meet boots.
And her hairbow is from Etsy seller Pretty Luxe Designs.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stay tuned for more posts in the 
"Not Just Dancewear" Series!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Not Just Dancewear:
Isabelle's Rosette Leotard

Hola! Sorry for long-time-no-postiness. 
January got bizzz-eee.

Today we start a series (hopefully) of posts on 
Isabelle's clothing collection. 

While there are a lot of pics out there in the world of her items 
worn in dance outfits, we wanted to mix them with everyday items 
to make everyday-ish outfits. 

The type of outfits you might wear to school, a party, or to the mall.

So today we paired Isabelle's Rosette Leotard with 
a vest by Etsy seller Vintique Designs
and a skirt from the Arianna Collection (which is a mass-produced brand).

Columbia Easton is modeling the look for us, 
wearing a MyAG #26's wig that we relaxed in boiling water.

Her shoes are Ebay purchase/mass-produced shoes, 
which we got through Liberty Jane.

Her hair bow is a human one from Icing.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stay tuned for more posts in the 
"Not Just Dancewear" Series!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tell-Tale Signs of a
Pending MyAG Line Make-Over

2014 brought us a new GOTY, 
and it should bring us a new 
MyAG Meet Outfit as well.

We won't be sad to see the ol' babyish outfit go.
Also known as the True Spirit Outfit, 
which was released in 2012.

(Why is the butt-fly lime when no other 
part of this outfit is lime???)

We at The DW have so many of these butt-fly boots that 
we actually spent last night custom-distressing 
a pair of them as an experiment.

MyAG/Just Like You Meet Outfits 
are switched every 2 years.

In 2010 the Real Me Outfit was introduced, 
as well as Innerstar U, and the Charm Necklace theme.

Also in 2010, the Just Like You Line was renamed
to be My American Girl, 
and each MyAG outfit then included 
a charm for the charm keeper necklace.

As of Jan. 1, 2014 -- the charm keeper doll necklace 
is now sold separately on 
the American Girl website.

Which leads us to speculate 
(yes, speculate -- so this isn't a carved-in-stone thing) -- 
that the charms are on their way out 
and the charm keeper necklace 
will no longer be included with the dolls when 
the Meet Outfit of the MyAG Line 
is changed in the summer/early fall of 2014.

We would also speculate that the MyAG Line may be renamed.
Innerstar U will probably still be around.
But we feel the charm thing is on its way out.

Just Like You lasted for 4 years.
And the line has been My American Girl for 4 years.
So it is our theory that there will be a new line name in 2014.

It would be nice if this new line brought new dolls, 
or a system for doll customization.

But we think new dolls is probably a more likely thing 
than actually being able to custom order a doll with 
the hair color, wig type, eye color, skin color, and face mold 
you want her to have. 
Though that would be awesome.

My Twinn has released a refreshed line with 18" dolls.
They call it My BFF.
My Best Friend Forever -- for those of you 
not up with the kids' lingo these days.

They pretty much have AG bodies.

And you can custom order them to your specifications.

And these dolls cost $99 plus $14 for the pierced ear option.

So My Twinn/My BFF is actually offering 
something much more advanced
than American Girl.

Yes, more advanced than American Girl.
And less expensive.

This is a custom-made doll.
$99 ain't bad for that.

So now My Twinn also carries 18" doll scale outfits, 
accessories, furniture and more.
Which all serve as competition to AG.

We don't personally find the dolls as 
cute and aesthetically appealing as AGs.
We have sort of gotten used to the way AGs look.

But not everybody is like us and 
they will be tempted to go into the light of My BFF.

American Girl should stay ahead 
of their competition.

They should already have a 
custom-made doll option.

Perhaps this new My BFF line is actually My Twinn 
staying ahead of its competition and we can take it as a sign 
that AG is actually planning to create 
an advanced doll customization system???

That's just us guessing though.

Let's cross our fingers and hope that 2014 
will bring that advancement, 
as well as 
a new Meet Outfit for the modern doll line 
(that doesn't suck).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Isabelle, i.e. Lanie with Straightened Hair

No, we don't have the Isabelle doll yet, so don't pee yourself. ;-)

This post is designed for us to opine about how Isabelle is 
GOTY 2010 Lanie with straight hair.
And her bangs have grown out.

Her stories live on!
And Lanie lives on as...

Lanie's ballet-dancing split personality!
Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, except one girl likes science
and the other one likes dancing!

Obviously Isabelle is the much stronger, 
beast-like personality.

She even comes with her own set of restraints, like 
Mr. Hyde in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

So yes, we are buying Isabelle.
We might even custom-order her some Jekyll and Hyde outfits.

But basically she feels like a cop-out by AG.
No diversity, but even worse in our opinion is no creativity.

We had to add our own layer of creativity to make 
Lanie/Isabelle have a split personality disorder.
AG didn't even come up with that one. ;-)

We have already ranted about how there 
are many types of dolls that American Girl could be 
making that they just are not making, see our post here: 

They have a variety of face molds to chose from and 
they go with the classic mold again.
Even two years in a row.

And she is a blonde doll.
Just like Lanie.

And green/hazel eyes.
Just like Lanie.

And the sketchy eyebrows.
Just like Lanie.

And the light skin tone.
Just like Lanie.

The only things that are different are straight hair, no bangs, 
and the add-on pink-tipped hairpiece.

Which looks like a hula skirt in the stock photo.

And American Girl has an array of classic mold, 
blonde dolls already available in the MyAG Line.
Eight in fact.

Plus Caroline and Kit.

So that makes TEN other blonde, classic molds currently being sold.
Add on Isabelle and that makes ELEVEN.
Which I think is some sort of record.

Did American Girl 
just assume 
we wouldn't notice 
Isabelle is blonde and classic mold?

We aren't idiots AG.

DW Fashion Design Challenges in 2014:
Questions for You!

Hey friends!
How are you guys?

We did a Fashion Design Challenge in 2012 and 2013. 
For 2014 we are thinking of doing something a little different. :-)

So let us know your thoughts on the following ideas:

1) We run 3 challenges this year.

2) Each challenge is for one outfit.
It can be modern, historical, 
based on a movie, a TV show, whatevs.

3) Each Challenge will have a theme:

Winter FDC = Meet Outfit
Spring/Summer FDC = Summer Outfit
Fall FDC = Holiday Outfit

4) There will still be two categories, Newbie and Pro.

5) Participants will declare which category they are in.
(Anyone can participate - adults, kids, elves, etc.)

6) Entry listings will clearly state which category 
the entrant has chosen to be in.

7) There will be two winners for each FDC in 2014:
one Newbie and one Pro.

8) Prizes will be $60 AG Gift Cards -- 
2 for each Challenge, so 6 in total will be given away in 2014.

Thoughts? Ideas? Opinions? Questions?

Please let us know about all of 
your thoughts in the comments below!

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. :-/
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