Monday, December 29, 2014

Clothing Review: Caroline's Meet and Meet Accessories

Meet Caroline Abbott:
One of the Two New Additions to the Family
So obviously Christmas has just passed. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday, whether that holiday was Christmas or Hanukah or something else entirely. While I am not super gung ho about it, I do identify as Christian (I actually used to pretty strongly identify as an atheist but then I went through an EXTREMELY tough time in my life and I HAD to believe in something, and Christianity was what I was used to-however I'll never push my beliefs on this blog) and so does my husband, so we celebrated. Since this was our first year together and I am currently unemployed from my move two months ago, it was a small Christmas but I did celebrate! Stockings, a tree with lights, etc. I used to belong to a family that didn't celebrate any holidays so I was super happy and I don't think I can stress enough how lucky I feel to have a husband who went to so much trouble to make my first real Christmas a special one.
Anyways, two of my presents were American Girl dolls. Caroline came from my mother, along with her meet accessories. My husband bought me Rebecca, her sideboard when it was on sale, and 5 other things (Kit's new reporter dress, the accessories that go with it, Kaya's winter accessories, Rebecca's movie dress, and Caroline's work dress). I made out like a bandit in my opinion! Don't feel bad for him-I saved for an Xbox One, along with a bunch of other stuff for his stocking.
Anyways, here is my review of Caroline and her meet stuff.

She is a beauty :)

My first impression of Caroline was that she was INCREDIBLY beautiful. I know people say she looks like a Barbie doll, and yeah, maybe a little. But I don't mind that-after all, I liked Barbies when I was a kid. Her hair is a very pretty color and looks very nice. I like pink too, so the pink isn't exactly going to push me away.
And then I touched her hair and I knew that she was going to be difficult. Worthwhile, but difficult.
You know, I was so afraid to buy Addy. After I bought her, I didn't take her hair out of the style for the longest time. As a white girl, black hair seems kind of mysterious. I've never been the kind of incredibly rude person that would dare to just reach out and touch a person's hair either, so I didn't know if it would be hard. Additionally, my hair is stick straight and I'm a wash and go and it looks good kind of gal. I didn't know how to do hair! But I needed Addy and soon, little pieces of hair came out of the roll, and I needed to do her hair.
And you know what? Sometimes I think her hair is really easy because it holds a style. The short haired dolls are easiest, followed, IMO, by Josefina, Kaya, Felicity, and Elizabeth. But Addy certainly isn't hard. No. Caroline is hard. Her hair looks nice now, but it's going to take worth. I DO NOT recommend this doll as a first doll for a child. I recommend Kit, Ivy, Nellie, or Emily.
Her eyes are very pretty though-they're a kind of sea blue/green that I find very attractive. She has the classic mold which is not my favorite (my favorite is the Josefina mold) but pretty enough.
They did well in choosing her colors too. Most of her clothes are in pretty pastel shades that I think fit her coloring. She's a pretty doll.
I won't even bother rating the doll because I love them all, but I have one caveat: not for children who do not have any practice with dolls.
115 for a doll, and they couldn't give me REAL embroidery? BOO....

Okay you saw her dress in the first picture-here is an up close detail of the sash. The dress is a very light pink cotton dress with ruffles on the sleeves. The material is very light weight-it seems kind of thin for Caroline's home. Yes, you could say it is a summer dress. But I've been to Maine during July (which is pretty close) and I wore jeans and a hoodie the entire time. This might be because I am from Florida, but I still think the dress is too lightweight, especially considering she was out on the water.

You can't see it on the image, but her dress has growth tucks on the bottom-basically, as Caroline grows taller, her dress can be let down, extending the usefulness of the dress. Because of that, you can see her pantallettes peaking out from the bottom. I wouldn't go so far as to say her dress is practical-it's hard for me to imagine Caroline sailing and working in the shipyard in this dress, but hey, whatevs. It's a pretty dress.

The waistband is attached and is embroidered with floral detailing. The green goes very nicely with the pink. I was kind of disappointed to see that the embroidery was just a screen print-it wasn't real embroidery, which kind of makes me sad, especially since Caroline's love of embroidery and needlework was emphasized in the story.  That takes away some of the niceness of it for me, but I can live with it.

The dress comes with matching pink flats-these are not embellished and I'm kind of glad-the outfit is already very girly and the addition of furbelows isn't going to enhance the outfit in my mind. I like the shoes, but it'll be hard to mix them with a bunch of different outfits. I'm kind of a fan of meet shoes being in a neutral color for this very reason. You can also see the pantalettes in the image. Interesting fact about pantalettes-the whole purpose is to be modest, but they were meant to be shown in young girls like Caroline. This is the case for some of the other girls-you can see Addy's for example. Josefina as well, when she is wearing European fashions for special occasions instead of her typical Mexican garb. Caroline's have some pretty lace detailing. If you pull them up, you can see her white stockings-simple and versatile. They're stockings, not much else to say.

Next you can see Caroline's straw bonnet-my personal favorite part of the outfit! I love hats and I wish they were still fashionable. And no, I don't mean fedoras. I mean the fancy hats that these characters got to wear. Man, I love my freedom and rights, but boy do I wish I could wear clothes like this every day!

The bonnet is straw with a pink and green ribbon that can tie under her chin. On one side, a cluster of fabric flowers adds a touch of fancy to the whole confection! I would wear this hat!

She also comes with a draw string purse and a top. The accessories have not changed with the BeForever launch. This is technically a reticule. Interesting fact-if you look at Felicity's gowns, they almost all have slits in the sides so she can have her "pocket," which would be worn under her clothes. Caroline is the next doll chronologically. By her period, pockets were out of fashion because empire waist dresses (called different things in different places-also known as a Regency dress, made particularly fashionable as an Empire dress because of Josephine, wife of Napoleon) had such slim lines that pockets like that could not be worn. Therefore, girls like Caroline carried a reticule since they didn't have pockets.

I find this trend continues today. We focus on having a slim silhouette and so pockets in female clothes are almost useless, much to my rage. The pockets add bulk. That is why we carry purses or wristlets.

Thre reticule has a draw string to close it. This is a historically accurate touch, which I would be happier with if everything wasn't screenprinted! Boo! I know how much this cost-I deserve a well made thing!

This also came with a wooden top for Caroline to play with. When Caroline is all dressed, I tuck the top into the reticule-it fits.

All in all, I love this outfit. The colors are delightful to me, and they look great on Caroline. I do associate different characters in the line with colors (Felicity is green, Rebecca is jewel tones, Caroline is pink, Addy is that lovely blue they tend to promote for her, etc.) These colors are very Caroline. I'm not sure how practical the outfit is, and I hate the screen print. Therefore, I only give the dress a 8/10-lots of points for beauty, less points for a lack of quality.

The accessories are harder. If I was judging just the hat, I'd give it a full 10/10. I also love the top. But the reticule? It makes me mad. I'm going to give it a 7/10.

I love my doll-she's a beauty. I don't think AG actually failed on this one, and I have a feeling Caroline is pretty popular. But they failed on maintaining the quality and I've noticed this with some of her other stuff-the embroidery on Caroline's birthday outfit is also just printed.

Anyways, next I'll probably review Rebecca, but I do have a backlog of things-I want to introduce all the family and their meet outfits, so that's probably where this will go.



  1. Enjoying your blog this morning with a cup,of coffee. Thanks for the fashion history on Caroline! We have been fortunate to meet the author of the Caroline books, Kathleen Ernst. She is a neat lady with a love of history.

  2. That is really cool-I think the idea behind the books was amazing. Kids learn when the information is presented in an interesting and relatable way-you'd be surprised how much people can pick up from historical fiction!