Barbie’s fashion ensembles were not only beautiful but they made a statement. Fashion is one of the main reasons, if not the main reason why Barbie is so highly sought after and why she has been so popular all of these years. That girl knew how to dress for success and successful she was!
Early Fashion Years 1959-1966
The late 1950’s Barbie’s ensembles were fashioned after famous movie stars, models and royalty. The clothes were stylish, sophisticated and classy. They were inspired by haute couture designers who created exclusive custom-fitted clothing made of high quality fabrics with extreme attention to detail. They were finished exquisitely by highly experienced seamstresses. By 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (the wife of President John F. Kennedy and a fashion icon) inspired many of the fashions in the era. Many of Barbie’s fashions in this time period included Jacqueline’s famous pill box hat along with her bubblecut hair style. The fashions were elegant. They were made with fine fabrics such as silk, organza, wool, satin taffeta, and crepe. Some of her fashions were trimmed with real fur. The coats and capes were lined with silk linings. She had glorious ball gowns too. All her clothing included Barbie labels sewn inside the garment. By 1965 we started seeing more fitted designer suits with large collars and belts. These early fashion years were magnificent. Her ensembles were perfectly matched and would include long (or short) black or white gloves, matching shoes, stockings, hats, purses, coats and jackets. Often they included necklaces, bracelets, and any other accessory that would complete the outfit. Barbie was lavishly dressed, glamorous, and beautiful!
Mod Era Fashions 1967-1972
1967 there was a swing in fashion. No longer was it inspired by movie stars or
presidents wives, but by the youth. Teenagers dominated the fashion world. Fashion became fads. This generation became more selfish, they did what they wanted, and worried about the consequences later. They liked to shock and feel free. They preached flower power, peace and love. And their fashions reflected their attitude. The mini skirt, which was created in 1965 in London England, became extremely widespread. So popular that anything below the knee was now considered “out” and old fashioned. Brightly colored flowered patterns or large square patterned mini dresses were in as were flat “go go” boots. Barbie wore large brightly colored plastic earrings with her outfits. The Beatles invasion in 1964 and Woodstock Festival in 1969 were also an inspiration for Barbie’s wardrobe. The bright colors continued through the late sixties and on into the early 70’s. By late 60’s the micro mini dress (and mom's didn't think it could get any shorter!) became popular as well as the midi length dress. Barbie even wore maxi peasant dresses in the early 70’s. By 1970 pants became less shocking for women to wear and Barbie got more pants suits. Balloon pants, anything with fringe, and very wide bell bottom pants were common. By the 1970’s even the skirt length calmed down a bit and got a little longer. Jeans and anything with denim became extremely popular. And forty plus years later, designer jeans have become a staple in a women’s wardrobe!