What do you look out for when buying doll clothes?

Sep 28, 2018

    1. What factors do you think about when shopping for doll clothing? What makes you add a piece of clothing to the shopping cart? What will definitely change your mind?

      I'm gradually building a wardrobe for one of my dolls and being on a self-imposed budget has made me think more deeply about the value of each piece of doll clothing I'm potentially adding to my collection - especially since doll clothes have often cost more than my own! Surprisingly, my considerations are very similar to how I buy my own outfits. I follow a capsule wardrobe system and now apparently that's how my doll wardrobe is going to be, although that wasn't my intention from the start. This is fine since he wears contemporary outfits, but I imagine the situation would be very different with a fantasy-themed doll. While I used to focus predominantly on whether a shirt/jacket etc. suited his aesthetic and whether it was close to what I have in mind, factors such as material, workmanship and whether it will go well with what he already has, have become important to me.
      #1 raphaelite, Sep 28, 2018
      Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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    2. I look for whether the style detqils, fabric and fit are right.

      For me it's extremely hard to find trousers for my boys that I will pay for because they are all to "modern" in cut whihc means they are low-slung instead of fitting properly to the actual waist, and even if they are a good cut/fit, they're made out of nasty synthetic fabrics. For suits it's even worse - that horrible combination of too low in the waist for the trousers and a waictcoat that is too short so shirt shows around the middle (and again, synthetic fabrics). And often the colour choice is very limited for boys clothes (black, grey, brown (occasionally), navy (occasionaly) beige, and white predominate.

      Most of my SD sized gang are Victorian characters so that limits the clothes I look at to buy, and it's more limited by details being wrong (skirts too short, sleeves style from a different era than the bodice/Skirt/other details etc.)

      If I don't make them myself, I commission them for the most part. That can be a minefielfd in its own right - I once commissioned three suits, and provided three fabrics for them to be made from, but recieved three sets of clothes made from all three fabrics instead of one suit made from each fabric. Complete waste of time, money, and fabric. Upsettign for both me, and for the seller.

    3. If something catches my eye outside of something I'm specifically looking for I try to consider how complex the piece of clothing is. Something for $20+ that I can make myself for probably less is something I would pass over. Then I think about how well it fits any of my characters. Of course of it's cheap enough I'll probably pick it up.
    4. I used to buy a little more sporadically. I’d go “well this looks cute and isn’t too expensive.” and add it to my cart. Then I realized I had a lot of okay outfits but none I really loved. So I started to invest in more expensive outfits that I adored instead of just liked. I don’t change my dolls’ outfits often so one really nice outfit goes a long way!

      In terms of what I look for in specific clothing. I look for high quality, complex leaning stuff. I seek out shoes that can go with multiple outfits so they tend to be slightly more plain (ie all one color or white with a common accent color) but also of a good quality.
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    5. Quality is the most important thing to me. I used to buy based on price, but I ended up with a lot of very low quality clothing that looked awful. If I’m going to spend hundreds of dollars on dolls, I want them to look great! <3

      My dolls wear casual clothing, so things like jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops and casual dresses are the most common things I buy.

      For jeans, I want tiny stitching, real denim fabric, a fly that stays closed, a good fit and not bulky. If they have fading, I want a realistic wash. Pockets should be working and flat. Rivets and snap/button should be small not oversized. The waistband should be fitted, not gappy or elastic.

      For t-shirts, the collar is one of the most important things—it should lay flat and be in scale. Nothing ruins a t-shirt for me faster than an oversized collar sticking up! If it has a print on it, I want it screen printed, not a cheap iron on image that will crack and peel over time. Same goes for hoodies.

      For dressier shirts, in scale buttons and collars! I also like suits and dresses to be fitted, not oversized or sloppy. Skirts should have tiny gathers or ironed pleats, not huge pin tucks that are stuck somewhere between oversized gather or not ironed pleat. No bulky waist bands.

      On all pieces, I like them to look like something a human would wear. Quality fabrics, realistic patterns, professional seams and hems, proper fit. Any print fabric should be an in scale print, and appropriate for the doll’s age and style. I also look at the company/artist’s feedback and don’t buy from anyone with extremely long wait times or poor customer service or reviews. Pricing should be reasonable—I don’t mind paying a little more for high quality items that will last a long time within reason. (I’m aware this is totally subjective!)

      It also needs to be labeled/tagged correctly!! This is HUGE for me. I frequently shop on Etsy, and the number of sellers who use tags for attention is appalling. I hate searching for ‘SD shirt’ and finding things for YoSD, minifee, Disney animator dolls, Monster High, pants, accessories, jewelry...I refuse to buy from shops who do that, and when I search, I’ve started weeding out anything with terms I don’t want so I end up with a search that looks like “SD shirt -MSD -minifee -YoSD -yo -Blythe -hujoo -lati -pullip -barbie -EID -SID -70 -pattern -pants -jeans -socks -accessory -eyes -wig” so anything with those tags will get ignored even if it is the item I want but tagged wrong.

      In conclusion, I know I’m extremely picky, but when I’m on a tight budget and have 17 dolls, I have to be! :XD:
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    6. One thing I’m on the lookout for is looser trousers/jeans. Most bjd trousers seem to be a really tight fit. A lot of my characters are just normal sorts, and tight jeans with chains & studs look so ridiculous on them. I wish there were more loose cut clothes. Mainly that’s what I’m on the look our for. I also don’t like anything that’s supposed to be ‘sexy’. I just want normal clothes, or fantasy clothes that aren’t revealing.
    7. When I first got into this hobby years ago I felt really discouraged by the fashion choices that were available to me through English language sites or dealers. Nowadays, there are a lot more seamstresses offering their works to others and there’s generally more variety, especially for dolls that are outside the typical sizing range.

      However, coming back to the hobby I still felt completely disillusioned. I saw many overseas collectors with all these amazing pieces on their dolls and I asked one of them and they told me about Taobao. It was like my mind had been blown open. I found so many amazing and well made pieces. True clothes, doll scaled. For me the most important part is having unique clothes that look properly in scale for the doll they’re made for. I like good fits and realistic garments. I also like the concept of full set outfits because I can take pieces from multiple full sets to mix and match. So having two full sets can yield like 20 outfit combinations, depending on how many pieces each bring, of course.

      So yeah — the fit, the realism, and the quality are what makes me throw something in the cart. And bonus for unique pieces that can be mixed to give my dolls a more special look.
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    8. A basic line of shirts and pants in the colours of the dolls' personality to mix and match with projects(doll's default outfit / cosplay). So far only my eccentric Iple SID woman managed to get a rainbow color line of shirts while the others who are in-between size are still figuring who can share what.

      And then special outfits like qipaos,,suits and kimonos. If I can't sew it, I buy or commission them.
      So far the basic theme outside of cosplay seems to be leaning towards to Adventure, Magical-Witchly and Martial arts/Chinese dance Influence aka the three main dolls' fashion sense.

      I'm afraid of buying random outfits and frilly dresses(as much as I like some of those) since I get the feeling that the ladies won't actively wear stuff that don't fit their personalities.
    9. I agree with the majority here. Very often the clothing we find online are made with low quality fabrics (hence the cheap price). I think that when you have an expensive doll, it's really a shame to dress her with low quality clothing.
      I like different styles of clothing, it can be modern (jean - shirt), but also I like the 50s style and the 20s (flapper dresses). Silk kimono too.
    10. Most of my dolls wear modern cloths such as jeans and t-shirts. So I always look out for fun colored tops and hoodies,that I can mix and match.
      My biggest problem is pants that are loose fit or are made with stretch fabric. I find the tight non-stretch pants look awesome standing but trying to get the doll to sit is impossible. Quality is important because a lot of stretch fabric frays easily, lol!
    11. Quality is my number one factor when buying doll clothes followed closely by price. Since I have about 40 dolls of several sizes everything else differs. My SD size gang wear fantasy inspired clothing, gowns for the gals & fantasy like ruffled shirts, fancy jackets or vests, etc. for the guys. They definitely aren't a current clothing, jeans type sort of gang.

      My slim minis wear modern clothing often with a quirky twist. I love the style & quality of Ellowyne Wilde clothes so they have a lot of those.The guys wear jeans & casual stuff.

      The Little Fees wear colorful, fun clothes. Everything from lolita to punk, ruffles or leather. The are the most versatile in style. I'm always on the look-out for quirky, inexpensive, well made clothing though they do own a bit of Dollmore & Doll Heart clothing. The Doll Heart stuff is expensive but unusual & usually have enough pieces that I can mix & match them.

      I'm a shoe junky so I'm always looking for unusual shoes for the dolls. I just about have all the basics for each size so now it's just filling in the gaps & finding fun styles & colors.

      I don't fuss too much about in scale prints as some over-sized prints really will work. I keep remembering a human's 50's silk dress I had with massive red roses on it. It looked fabulous & the roses were bigger than my head so I make certain allowances for scale.
    12. I love handmade clothes, though I don’t sew myself, so love seeing all the creative outfits on places like Etsy. I’ve also just bought some vintage dolls clothes which I think will be the right size but I may have to make a few repairs or adjustments by hand , I can manage that, it’s the sewing machine that scares me! I blame it on school days!
    13. Depends on the personality of the doll. If I see something that fits their style, I try to purchase. Most of time, when I find something, I try to use it as a guide to make my own version.
    14. Petty as this might sound... obscurity? Obviously it's a mix of style, quality and fit too, but I just don't like my dolls wearing the same things I see around a lot, y'know?
    15. It really depends on the doll? Personally I live in mori fashion since the style is both visually/aesthetically pleasing to me and also really comfortable so a lot of my dolls dress in a similarly gentle, layered style that borrows mori elements.

      On the other hand, for example,Taemin is a young Korean man who is very into fashion, so his styles tend to be more unique and high end, so for him I'm always in the hunt for peculiar and interesting cuts, colors and patterns. And Jihyun is only ever in suits and tailored outfits so in his case I'm looking for superbly stitched dress shirts and pants, dressy coats, waistcoats and formal shoes.

      Quality is the number one factor for buying anything and putting it on my dolls though, which is why I barely ever tolerate them wearing anything I made myself since I don't consider my sewing to be "up to par" with popular seamstresses.
    16. I don't buy BJD outfits as often as I used to, partly because I have a lot of clothes accumulated over the years. When I do purchase something online, the first thing I look for is whether or not the store has a secure server. Many shops like Alice Collections and Dollheart do not, so I end up saving money . ^^;;
    17. i have been trying to pick out clothes that match my dolls personality and style so i have been very picky about what i get for them
    18. If it's a good quality piece of clothing and priced relatively cheap and looks good I'm going to buy it. I try not to buy expensive clothes for my dolls because I can dress myself for what some of the outrageously priced doll clothes cost.
    19. Beauty, quality, price, and if it fits the doll's character.
    20. I look mainly to the clothing style and of course price too. I really like the oversize feeling of clothing so I look more for that