Friday, June 7, 2013

Madame Alexander "My Life As" Doll Outfit and Accessories Review: Hiking Outfit, Straw Hat, and More

I've been wanting to review one of the "My Life As" outfits from the Madame Alexander doll line sold at Walmart.  (You can see the earlier review I did on one of the dolls HERE.)  I saw this super cute Hiking Outfit there a few weeks ago for $9.97 and thought it would be fun to try. :) 

The outfits come on a plastic hanger like this.

They have tags showing what the outfit looks like on the dolls.

As you can see from the tag, the outfits are recommended for ages 3 and up.

And here are all of the separates.  The Hiking Outfit included a tank top, a pair of shorts, a khaki-type overshirt, a head bandana, a pair of socks, a pair of plastic hiking boots, and the plastic hanger. 

So here's Emma with the tank top, the shorts, the socks, and the shoes on.  

I really liked the colors on the tank top.  It looked great on Emma. :)

The tank top closes in the back with Velcro.  It was a little snug, but not bad.

The shorts, however, were another matter.  I could barely get them on!  

For one thing, they were just elastic with no Velcro.  They were also designed to be very form-fitting, and as most of you know, the Madame Alexander 18" dolls are a bit slimmer than American Girl dolls.  This view from the front doesn't look too bad...

...but in this view from the back you can really see the strain on the seam.  Poor Emma.  How embarrassing. :}

The shorts have folded up cuffs on the bottom, which look cute, but have a hard time staying folded correctly.

The socks are well made and and fit nicely.

Side view

I wasn't sure how the boots would fit with the socks, but I found it very easy to get them on and off.  Like the other My Life shoes I've tried, they are made of heavy-duty, flexible plastic and have a split in the back to make getting them on and off easier.  

They also never quite look like they're on correctly because each shoe is meant to go on either foot but still has a slight angle. :}  

And here's the complete look, including the overshirt and the bandana.  

The overshirt is cute and complements the tank top.  It fit nicely over Emma's shoulders.  
The buttons are just for show (there are no button holes on the opposite side) and the waist is lined with elastic on the inside.

The only complaint I had is that the elastic at the waist was so tight that I couldn't get the shirt to lay very naturally in the front.

It looked great in the back, though. :)

And here's Emma in the bandana.  Unfortunately, AG heads are a lot smaller than My Life heads, so as you can see, the bandana is pretty gappy.

Side view.  I could practically fit my entire finger in the gap in front. :} 

I tried tying the bandana on the side and it looked slightly better.  It kind of reminded me of something from the 1920s.  

Back view 

Side view

I decided to try the shorts on Maggie since she has the more slender build of the My Life dolls.

They fit her much better... 

But were still a little snug in the trunk.  I'll probably still use them for her because I could really use another pair of shorts. 

Overall, I'd give this outfit a 4 out of 5.  Even with its problems, the fact that you get a nice pair of socks, some shoes, a cute tank top, a bandana that is a little gappy for dolls of other lines, and a slightly weirdly elasticized overshirt for $10 isn't so bad.  My main concern was the shorts, especially since they were still pretty tight even on Maggie.  I just don't see the seams holding up for too long with regular play.  

The sewing quality of the clothing is not up there with the more expensive brands, but for the price it's not too shabby.  If you're trying to find cheaper clothing alternatives for your American Girl though, I'd definitely stick with dresses or shirts from this line, just to make sure the outfit fits them okay.  I love the fact that the shoes and socks fit nicely.  I'm always looking for extra footwear for my dolls, and the American Girl brand prices are just a bit more than I can justify spending. :}

As I was working on this post, I realized that I had purchased a few more of the new items from this line some months earlier and forgot to do a review post!  It seems like once I added Facebook and Twitter to this blog, my brain went out the window. :}

Anyway, I thought I'd just add that review to this one.  These items are still available in the Walmart stores in my area, so at least it hasn't been so long that you can't find these anymore. ;) 

Here's Emma modeling one of the new straw hats from the "My Life As" line.  

There were two variations of straw hats I saw there.  This one, and another one with a pink ribbon instead.  As you can see, it fits Emma perfectly. :) 

A view from the back...

...and a view from the side.

The hat did not fit my Gotz dolls (Tess and Hailey), who have bigger heads.  It fit okay on Maggie (although she put up quite up a protest when I had her try on such a girly hat), but I liked the look of it best when it was on my American Girls.  The hat was $3.88. 

Each straw hat had a coordinating beach bag with a pair of sunglasses, also priced at $3.88.  I didn't end up keeping this, so I never opened it.  The bag was made of plastic designed to look like straw.  The sunglasses  appear to be the same ones that were sold separately before.  In my experience, they weren't the best quality but did work with AG dolls.  You can see my review of them (along with some other My Life As accessories) HERE

There were also these really cute rain boots (something else I didn't open).  I believe these were around $2.00.

I really liked these fun butterfly sandals.

Side view

Unfortunately, this particular pair wasn't made very well.  The left sandal was a bit too big, as you can see in the above picture.  It didn't like to stay on Emma's foot.

The My Life As line has some very nice inexpensive items that on the whole work really well for American Girl dolls or other brands.  There are a few odd flaws here and there, such as the sandals I just reviewed and the shorts from the Hiking Outfit, but some of their items are great.  I was so impressed with the straw hat that later I went back and picked up a couple more. :)  You might also have noticed that this hat was featured in Maggie's post about picking cherries on Jane Austen and Unicorns (Rachel is wearing it).

Stay tuned for more fun reviews as I clear out my draft posts. :}


Aileen said...

Hi! I have a question about My Life dolls. I recently bought one and she has the posable legs which is making it really difficult for me to get her to stand on her own. Do you find that you have the same problem with your doll or did I get a defective one? Thanks

beastsbelle said...

Hi Aileen, good to hear from you. :)

Unfortunately, that's one of the downfalls of the dolls from this line. Their posable legs make them pretty tipsy. I actually prefer the older version of these dolls, the "Friends 4 Life", because they had regular non-posable legs and were much easier to work with.

The My Life doll I got for my aunt was slightly easier to stand up than some of the others I'd had, so it's possible that it varies from doll to doll. Solid legs just stand better, though.

I actually like the accessories and shoes (and some clothing) from this line more than the dolls themselves for that very reason, although they do have really sweet faces.

Sorry you're having issues with your doll! :(

Lisa said...

The hiking outfit is adorable. I really like the hiking boots. Too bad the shorts are so tight. I also really like the rain boots with the thick white sole and the straw hat. What is the straw hat made of, cloth or plastic?

I also noticed that a lot of your dolls are usually wearing necklaces. They look really cute! Do you make them for your dolls?

Aileen said...

Thank you for answering my question. I'm probably just going to go ahead and keep the doll cuz I do love her face. I also have the straw hat, beach bag, sunglasses, and sandals from My Life and they fit both her and my Favorite Friends doll perfectly so I am very happy with their accessories. I love all the info on your blog btw! :)

beastsbelle said...

Hi Lisa. The straw hat is made of a woven fiberous material, almost like a plastic raffia or something...but it's not plastic like the basket. It feels like a real woven hat. It feels pretty well-made, especially considering the price. :)

I love my doll necklaces too. ;) I usually find the charms on (for the scrabble tile pendants) or in seller Factory Twenty 9's booth (for my bottle cap pendants). For chains, I use anklets or bracelets that open with a clasp. I also like to use dog tag chains because it's easy to modify their length and the charms always fit over them easily. :)

You can see Factory Twenty 9's booth here (you'll have to copy and paste):

Here are a couple of my favorite Etsy sellers:

Paper Pistol:

Paisley Monday:

Knotty Sisters:

Hope this helps! :)

You're welcome, Aileen. Glad to help. :) I agree, they do have really sweet faces which make them very endearing in spite of their flaws. ;)

I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog! :)

jelly andrews said...

Oh my! I really love the hiking outfit. It looks great on her (even though it is not her real size). And I guess at $9.97, I guess you really had a great deal.