Monday, October 21, 2013

Dressing Your Doll on a Dime: The Conclusion

Welcome to the final post in my Dressing Your Doll on a Dime series. If you haven't yet you can read the first three parts here, here, and here!

This has been a surprisingly hard post to write. It's not that I don't know what to say. It's more that I have TOO MUCH to say! So I'm going to break this down into a few categories. We'll go with packaging, outfit quality, shoe quality, accessory quality and price.

Let's start with Packaging!
Our Generation packaging to the left and My Life As to the right
Springfield Collection packaging
Our Generation uses eco-friendly packaging, My Life As uses plastic body-forms and hangers and the Springfield Collection uses cardboard hangers and plastic bags.  All three use packaging that is very user friendly; no struggling and usually no fuss needed, just scissors! I think of all three I prefer Our Generation. They use thread instead of plastic tabs and the clothing is less likely to get damaged. However I find My Life As has the packaging that I can get the most use out of. Yes Our Generation and the Springfield Collection have hangers, but My Life As has the plastic body-form that can stay with the hanger and that makes it far more versatile when storing clothing. In fact I didn't throw out anything but the tags with the My Life As packaging! 

Packaging Conclusions:
Our Generation wins on the ease of removing the items and they get points for the eco-friendly aspect, but the hanger is small and wouldn't be useful for pants or skirts.
My Life As has better versatility for storage purposes (the pants stay on way better with the body-form) but uses plastic tabs that can damage the clothing.
The Springfield Collection has a pretty useless cardboard hanger (that gets thrown away in my house) or nothing. They also use plastic tabs that can damage the clothing.

Outfit Quality

Honestly I think that all three are very comparable in quality. The seams are finished, there are very few if any loose threads, and each company uses a variety of nice fabrics. For me, however, there is one thing that sets them apart and that is style.

I am an adult collector and I like my dolls to be dressed in a little girl fashion. As in I want them to be dressed in things real little girls would wear or better yet in things I would let my children wear. For example I would let my daughters wear the purple My Life As yoga outfit
My Life As
But they wouldn't wear this:

I would let them wear the pink Springfield Collection dress (with leggings)
The Springfield Collection
But not this:
image from the Springfield Collection website

For my purposes Our Generation has more clothing that is realistic and what I would want to put on my dolls. However that is purely a personal taste and if we are talking quality only they are completely comparable and would stand up to many hours of play.

Outfit Quality Conclusions:
All three are finished and clean on the inside. All three use a variety of fabrics and colors in their range. All three are high quality!

Shoe Quality
If you've read the first part of this series you know that I HATE plastic shoes. So I'm not going to factor them in to this except for to say that if you are buying Our Generation or My life As and you don't like plastic shoes be prepared to shell out more money for different shoes.

Let's take a closer look at the fabric shoes one more time!
Our Generation

My Life As
Springfield Collection
Shoe Quality Conclusions:
Our Generation shoes use a high quality materials and the inner and outer soles are two different pieces/layers.
My Life As shoes have soles that are one layer but still use good materials. They aren't quite as finished and neat as the other two brands.
The Springfield Collection has soles that are two layers however the inner sole is usually uncovered cardboard. Their shoes in general are neatly made from nice materials.

Accessory Quality
My Our Generation dress came with this adorable hat:

And the rest of their outfits regularly come with things like scarves, hats, purses, and headbands.

The outfit I got from My Life As came with a surprisingly sturdy and well made water bottle:
And the rest of their outfits come with things like gym bags, soccer balls, baseball bats, and pom poms!

As far as I know the Springfield Collection doesn't include accessories with their outfits. I've never purchased or seen any of their outfits with and accessory included. I almost didn't put this category in because of that but in the end I decided that the lack of accessories is a factor in all this!

Accessory Quality Conclusions:
Our Generation and My Life As are equally matched here. They have nicely made and appropriate accessories with most of their outfits. Unfortunately The Springfield collection does not include anything with theirs.

Our Generation: 

My Life As
The Springfield Collection

Price Conclusions:
The prices are pretty comparable! For a full outfit (without plastic shoes) you're going to spend at least $12!

Final Thoughts
So what does all this mean? 

I was going to try and put everything in one simple table for you guys but honestly there are just too many factors involved! I can't say that there was one brand I liked above all the others. 

Our Generation has lovely outfits, great accessories but I hate those plastic shoes and finding and buying a separate pair each time I get one of their outfits kind of annoys me. In fact there have been several times I've walked away from an outfit because it came with plastic shoes and I couldn't buy any that matched!

My Life As only has a few outfits I would put on my dolls and plastic shoes however with their low price on both outfits and shoes I don't mind buying the extra fabric pair. Also the outfits I would put on my dolls are beautiful and some of my favorite pieces!

The Springfield Collection as a great range of outfits! They have a low price point but since the outfits don't come with shoes or accessories you end up spending just as much to get a comparable outfit to the other two brands! They have many versatile pieces but they can be very hit or miss style wise. 

I guess my bottom line is that each brand is high quality, each brand has it's pros and cons and I will continue to by from them all! Thanks for sticking with me through all this text! I wish I could have come up with more decisive answers but I think the thing to take away from all of this is that there are plenty of doll clothing opportunities out there. You don't have to spend a fortune to have well dressed dolls! Till next time!

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