Dressed dolls were from 1959 and the 1960's. They are much harder to find and considered very rare. The dolls themselves came in an outfit rather than a swim suit. There were three types of dressed dolls. The most rare are sample dolls. These sample dolls came in standard boxes marked "sample" on the end. They included a dressed doll for salesmen to show to prospective retail stores.
In the very early years when Mattel was just introducing Barbie to the public, they had traveling salesmen who carried their entire line of clothing dressed on a doll in one large case to show samples to stores and the public who might be interest in their doll. These cases were specially made for this purpose. It held twenty-three dressed #1 ponytail barbie dolls. There were twenty-three because that is how many outfits which were available in 1959 which included her black and white swim suit. To date, there is only of these one cases left in existence. The other five were returned to Mattel.
Dressed dolls that came in pink silhouette boxes are quite the find too. These dolls were used for retailers to display their dolls in their shops and were not sold to the public. Each shop owner only got one dressed doll for their store
Dressed dolls that were actually sold to the public were packaged similar to the traditional box, but it included two horizontal wide stripes on the box. On the end of the box it was marked "Dressed Doll". They were dressed boxes for Barbie, Ken, and Midge who were available in 1963, and Skipper who was available in 1964 and Alan in 1964 or 1965. Note: The dressed box for Midge and Skipper did not have the stripes on the front of the box. It had stripes on the side of the box. Finding Allan, is extremly rare.
Dressed Dolls in pink silhouette boxes were used for retailers to display in their shops. They came in the two size boxes. Some were wider for display dolls such as "wedding day" dressed doll.
This box is used for Salesmen to sell their dolls to retailers
Dressed Dolls Used for Retailers
1959 Salesman Sample Case with all #1 Ponytail Barbie dolls dressed in all 23 different outfits from 1959. The case folds in the middle to close like a suitcase. This picture was photographed from the October 2004 issue of Barbie Bazaar Magazine, original photograph by Debbie Smith.