Collecting Barbie Clothing and Accessories

Barbie Doll Clothing
Barbie Doll Clothing

Every fashion model has lot’s of beautiful clothes and accessories and Barbie is definitely no exception! Mattel gave the doll an extensive wardrobe to go along with every career, hobby and mood Barbie could ever have!

Barbie has at one time or another wore every fashion accessory that real live fashion models wear. And, some of her clothes have been designed by the same designers that fashion models sport on the runways in Paris! Barbie’s wore some of the most beautiful clothes of any doll ever made.

Since the birth of Barbie in 1959, Mattel has gone through over 105 million yards of fabric producing almost one billion outfits for the popular doll! And, of course, for each outfit she had matching shoes and other matching accessories!

Changing Barbie’s outfits is the main part of the fun that the doll is to play with or own. But, a serious collector knows that it’s much more than just having different clothes. Even though a vintage Barbie can be quite valuable, the original outfit makes all the difference!

Until the 80’s when Barbie collecting became a passion, Barbie’s were generally purchased as toys not collectables. And, the fact that Barbie has been so well loved and so well played with, means that the clothing and accessories often were lost or misplaced!

In fact, the tiny life like accessories were what greatly increased the popularity of some of the Barbie’s at the time of their production. The accessories have went way beyond just shoes, jewelry and purses. Many dolls were released with items such as musical items, pets, sunglasses, gloves and sometimes even handkerchiefs!

Barbie’s original accessories are much harder to find than her original outfits. Tiny items such as the necklaces and shoes she wore with each production were the most easily lost pieces. And, often unless you find a particular Barbie that’s been kept unopened in the box it can take years to complete the accessories for each doll.

While you can certainly find numerous reproductions of almost every outfit Barbie owned, there’s just nothing like the original. Since many pieces ended up lost, sometimes original outfits and accessories can actually be just as valuable and even more valuable than some of the dolls!

The best way to protect yourself when collecting anything is to become as knowledgeable as you can about the items. Another way to make sure that you’re getting the real thing is to purchase items from reputable dealers. Fakes and reproductions can be so close to the real thing, you might end up paying lot’s of money for something that’s not an original!

Written by Connie Corder, Copyright 2008

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