Nostalgia is a look at what we loved, way back when. Teri is a journalist who enjoys writing about life and the cool stuff of yesteryear.
Welcome to the 1960s!
In the early 1960s, Barbie Doll’s fashionable clothes reflected "real life." Barbie dressed in the same styles worn by young women. Whether it was for school, work, running errands, going on dates or dressing up for special events, Barbie Doll had a lot of outfits from which to choose!
In 1962, eight new ensembles were added to Barbie’s closet. Also available were 28 outfits from 1959 to 1961:
Golden Girl (#911), Cotton Casuals (#912), Cruise Stripes Dress (#918), Undergarments (#919), Floral Petticoat (#921), Barbie Accessories (#923), Evening Splendour (#961), Barbie-Q Outfit (#962), Resort Set (#963), Night Negligee Set (#965), Picnic Set (#967), Suburban Shopper (#969), Wedding Day Set (#972), Sweet Dreams (#973), Winter Holiday (#975), Sweater Girl (#976), Silken Flame (#977), Let’s Dance (#978), Friday Night Date (#979), Solo in the Spotlight (#982), Enchanted Evening (#983), American Airlines Stewardess (#984), Open Road (#985), Sheath Sensation (#986), Orange Blossom (#987), Singing in the Shower (#988), Ballerina (#989) and Registered Nurse (#991).
Barbie Clothes: 1962-1965
Garden Party (#931, 1962-1963); sleeveless mid-length cotton white dress with a bow at the waist, pink flowers and tiny pink dots. The skirt split in the middle; flowing over a white eyelet panel. Barbie (and Midge, too!) wore short white tricot gloves and white open-toed shoes.
Movie Date (#933, 1962-1963); sleeveless white dress with blue pinstripes and a sheer organdy overskirt. Thin strips of material and pinstriped bows were added to the skirt and bodice.
After Five (#934, 1962-1964); black, double-breasted mid-length dress with a white organdy collar and four white buttons on the bodice. A broad white organdy hat with black velvet hat band and black open-toed shoes completed the ensemble.
Sorority Meeting (#937, 1962-1963); light brown sheath dress, sleeveless dark brown sweater vest with white embroidery, brown felt pillbox hat with white trim, graduated “pearl” necklace, stud earrings and brown open-toed shoes.
Red Flare (#939, 1962-1965); red velvet “cape” coat which snapped under a bow at the neck. The three-quarter length puffed sleeves accentuated Barbie’s arms. Long white tricot gloves, a red velvet pillbox hat and red open-toed shoes completed the outfit, which looks nice when worn with Silken Flame (#977).
Mood for Music (#940, 1962-1963); soft, powder-blue velvet slacks, white knitted sleeveless halter, powder-blue cardigan sweater with a white collar, three-strand “pearl” choker and corked wedge sandals with gold straps.
Tennis Anyone? (#941, 1962-1964); white tennis dress, socks, shoes and casual white jacket with red trim. Accessories included blue sunglasses, a tennis racquet, two plastic tennis balls, and a “rules book.”
Icebreaker (#942, 1962-1964); red cotton, long-sleeved turtleneck body suit dress with short wrap-around skirt. Included in the set were panty hose, ice skates and a white“fur” jacket.
Mattel sold various fashion and accessory packs in 1962 and 1963 containing open-toed shoes, purses, sheath dresses (and shoes), undergarments, tee shirts and shorts, swimsuits, sunglasses and sandals. Separate clothing items were also available; pajamas, playsuits, sheath skirts, blouses, slacks, gathered skirts, cardigan sweaters, lingerie, aprons, “belle” dresses, knitted shells and white fur stoles. Fashion Pak items included accessories like shoes, belts, jewelry and purses. In 1962, Ken Doll got several new outfits and separate Fashion Pak items to go along with the nine ensembles that were released the year before.
In 1963, in addition to the Fashion Pak separates and previously released outfits, 17 new ensembles and one that was reissued hit Barbie’s closet.
Barbie Clothes: 1963-1965
Raincoat (#949, 1963); yellow mid-length, belted raincoat with matching hat, umbrella, and plastic white boots.
Fancy Free (#943, 1963-1964); sleeveless dress with the skirt in blue on one half of the front side and red on the other -- the colors are opposite on the bodice. The dress has two pockets in front and white trim around the hem, sleeves, neckline and waist.
Orange Blossom (#987, 1963-1964); reissued with long white tricot gloves. The yellow sheath with its lacy over-dress came with a tulle hat, fabric “flower” bouquet and white open-toed shoes.
Masquerade (#944, 1963-1964); this masquerade costume featured a yellow and black halter-back bodysuit made with layers of sparkling black tulle at the waist and neckline. A pointed black and yellow hat, black pantyhose, black high heeled shoes with yellow pompoms, a black eye mask and a yellow and black party invitation completed the set. Ken Doll and Skipper Doll had matching outfits.
Graduation (#945, 1963-1964); black “graduation” robe, separate white collar, black hat with tassels and mortar board and white, paper roll “diploma” tied with a white ribbon.
Dinner at Eight (#946, 1963-1964); reddish-orange, strapless silk pantsuit with a sleeveless burnt-sienna orange “overcoat” with gold sparkles and a wide skirt. Tan cork wedge shoes with gold straps were included in the package.
Bride’s Dream (#947, 1963-1965); white satin, short capped-sleeved wedding dress with tiered ruffles in the front, a chiffon overlay and a tiny bow with long ribbons at the waist. Accessories included a tulle veil with a “pearl” headpiece, fabric flower bouquet, open-toed white shoes, blue garter, elbow length gloves and a graduated “pearl” necklace.
Ski Queen (#948, 1963-1964); turquoise footed stretch pants, bright blue parka with white fur trim, red braided accents and a zipper down the front. Accessories included red cotton mittens, back ski boots, blue goggle glasses, brown and black ski poles and dark brown plastic skis.
Senior Prom (#951, 1963-1964); light blue and green tulle panels over a green satin skirt and matching bodice. The top lining of the bodice was in pale blue. Bright green shoes with “pearl” accents accompanied the dress.
Barbie Baby-Sits (#953, 1963-1964); coral and white-striped apron with pockets that had "babysitter " and other phrases printed on it. The set included a lot of accessories: a baby doll with two white flannel diapers, pajama jacket and safety pin, (empty) soda bottle and box of pretzels, white plastic telephone and phone numbers list, blue flannel baby blanket and bassinet with a removable liner, baby bottle, brass alarm clock, three “books,” black plastic book strap, black eyeglasses and a soft pink pillow with white lace edges.
Career Girl (#954, 1963-1964); black and white tweed straight-lined, two-piece suit with a matching pillbox hat adorned with a velvet ribbon band and red rose accent. Barbie wore a red cotton bodysuit blouse underneath the suit. Included in the ensemble were black open-toed shoes and long black tricot gloves.
Swingin’ Easy (#955, 1963); this dress is the same as Let’s Dance (#978) except its color is green. The accessories were the same as the Let’s Dance version; a white clutch purse, black open-toed pumps and a chain necklace with a “pearl” jewel.
Busy Morning (#956, 1963); this dress is identical to Suburban Shopper (#969) except the color is orange-red and white. The accessories included a round, wide-brimmed straw hat with a matching ribbon, “pearl” on a chain necklace, white open-toed shoes, telephone and tote bag filled with “fruit.”
Knitting Pretty (#957, 1963); the same sweater, knitted shell and flannel skirt as in Sweater Girl (#976) but this outfit was in royal blue. Accessories were the same; a wooden bowl of yarn, knitting needles, tiny scissors and a “how to knit” book.
Party Date (#958, 1963); white satin, strapless, full-skirted dress with gold sparkles and a gold lamé belt. Clear shoes with gold glitter and a shiny gold clutch purse completed the outfit.
Theatre Date (#959, 1963); emerald green, slender sheath skirt with a top layer peplum (a short skirt attached to the waist). The separate sleeveless blouse was made of white satin. The jacket, in emerald green satin, has a wide collar. Accessories included a matching pillbox hat and green open-toed shoes.
Golden Elegance (#992, 1963); this outfit is identical to Evening Splendour (#961) except that its dress and coat colors were gold and red. The purse was also red. Golden Elegance, like Evening Splendour, was sold with short white tricot gloves, brown open-toed shoes, a “pearl” necklace and earrings, fur and “pearl” headband and a tiny white handkerchief.
Sophisticated Lady (#993, 1963-1964); pink sleeveless full-flowing skirt, floor-length dress with silver lace trim on the skirt and bodice. The skirt's layers of material created a pleating over itself and a hot pink satin-lined wide-collared velvet coat overlapped the dress. Accessories included a strand of pink “pearls,” pale pink open-toed shoes, long white tricot gloves and a “diamond” tiara made of clear plastic and layered silver glitter.
Also in 1963 …
Mattel released separate Fashion Pak items that included one strap-shoulder satin blouses, pants, straight and wrap skirts, coats and short-waist bolero jackets. Knitted tops, shorts, pants, dresses and skirts came in yellow, blue and multi-colored stripes; accessories were sold separately. Square neck, short sleeved sweaters came in pink, white or black. Reissues of the Peachy Fleecy Coat (#915) and the yellow terry bathrobe from Singing in the Shower (#988) with the shower cap and slippers were available without the accessories of the original ensembles. A stunning lamé sheath dress of gold and navy blue was offered, complete with navy blue open-toed shoes and a gold clutch bag. Shoes in all colors were sold in a separate Fashion Pak. Ken Doll had new clothes in 1963, too.
Barbie expanded her wardrobe in 1964 and beyond … the closet is endless!
© 2011 Teri Silver
Andrew from Rep Boston MA on September 08, 2011:
I did an internship at a doll and toy museum and it really is cool (even being a guy) to see the famous dolls. Barbie just like any other doll changes over time with the culture.