In my life before parenthood, I admit I judged grown women who went gaga for American Girl. Who would pay $36 for an outfit for a doll? I barely pay $36 for an outfit for myself!
Then the American Girl store came to Kansas City, and I was doomed.
The first time I saw an American Girl shoe, I sort of got it. It's the quality. Sure, it's also the brand name and the attention to detail -- the outfits come wrapped in tissue paper in a tiny shirt box, just like a fancy dress from a high-end department store -- but the quality, wow. I can't afford a lot of it, but I do buy the real McCoy for my girl when I can, because you can just see and feel the difference when you put it up next to the knock-off stuff. The American Girl stuff has stitches instead of glue, buttons instead of snaps, velvet instead of velour.
And I got the 2012 holiday party dress and accessories for review.
As usual, my favorite part is the shoes. I want shoes just like that for myself! The headband is also adorable, and the whole thing comes in one of those awesome shirt boxes with the tissue paper that lets your daughter feel, for a minute, like Little Orphan Annie shopping from Daddy Warbuck's house.
There are also accessories for going to the ballet. My daughter had to sit out dancing in The Nutcracker this year for a family wedding, but we're going to see the rest of her class, and I'm betting she'll be bringing Erin or Alexandra decked out with these accessories:
It is sad when your daughter and her doll are better dressed than you are, but that's the reality in my world.
The downside to American Girl is really just the price. It's great stuff, and unlike other toys, it holds its value if your daughter (or you!) wants to sell her collection later in life. The brand holds its value and the clothes hold up well to lots of wardrobe changes. I myself am big on resale value, because it really kills me to spend $30 on a piece of plastic that will only net $2 a year later at a garage sale when it's in perfect shape.
Now what the heck am I going to wear to The Nutcracker?