No but really. I am a Barbie girl. Did I ever tell you about the “Barbie room” my sisters and I had in our basement growing up? Between the four of us, we had two Barbie houses (mine was…unbelievable. I mean. It was tall and pink with white window boxes and a front porch, and it was the most beautiful piece of real estate I’ll ever own), 3 Barbie cars (one of which was legitimately a pink R.V. that we thought was very classy. How kitsch of Barbie.), and about 70 Barbies and Kens. Playing “Barbs” (we were into abbrevs at a young age) on Saturday mornings was no amateur affair for my sisters and I. It began with a Democratic “picking of the Barbs” event where we would pile all eligible Barbies (excluding, of course, the rejects with “popped off heads,” hair “trims” — aka, botched hair jobs courtesy of yours truly — and missing body parts) in the center of the room and “with our eyes closed” take turns picking our Barbie family members. In retrospect, this was a rather impressively egalitarian and progressive approach to drafting our families, though I assure you that “nepotism” by virtue of feigning eye closure and/or groping around for the right Barbie build was an unfortunately routine practice. (I’m not pointing fingers, but my next youngest sister did happen to “randomly pull” the same Ken doll as her man of the house with alarming regularity. It was OK, though. I much preferred the tall drink of water we dubbed “Dave” to her long-haired, hippie-looking “Taylor” Ken doll. Note: Dave was a “shavable Ken.” If you ran hot water on his face, his beard would disappear. He came with some lovely accessories, including mini razors and an Old Spice bottle. I also accidentally left him propped against the radiator in our bedroom and his arm melted a little bit, which only made him the more endearing to me; I believe I pitched this mild deformity as a “childhood accident” involving an elaborate act of heroism on his part. But I digress.) Once the Barbie lottery was complete, we set about designing our homes and building our little Barbie village. We had long, elaborate plots which often involved marriages, career changes, births, social events, and, occasionally, deaths. Yes, deaths. Things got real in our Barbie world. The most glaring example has to be our elaborate, 3-day recreation of one of the “Little House on the Prairie” stories, over the course of which one of our Kens “fell off the wagon” (an upturned container store bin with toy horses attached to the front via string and Scotch tape), was attacked by wolves, and died. We had a moving burial service for him during which my next youngest sister brought a tear to all of our eyes with her poignant rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
Reliving these memories makes me laugh and also sort of want to cry at the same time. What a beautiful time in our lives — that unbridled creativity, those hours spent laughing and bonding together in our footed pajamas and bowl cuts. It’s no surprise, in a sense, that I wound up so fascinated by clothing and its utility as a tool for reinvention and reimagining. This post, then, is a tribute to Barbie, my first true fashion love. I’ll be featuring items that just feel like Barb herself.
Or, pair these semi-fierce drops ($328, Auden Designs) in just the right color palette —
Finish with perfect peeptoe heels (Jimmy Choo, $695, MyTheresa):
Plus, every Barbie girl needs a pink phone. Isn’t this iPhone attachment ($29, Nordstrom) beyond adorable?!
Don’t forget the pitch-perfect manicure (Deborah Lippmann’s “Pretty Young Thing” and “Daytripper” — $16, Barney’s):
Though I can’t imagine Barb in flat sandals, I’d tone done the frou-frou with these simple yet glam flats (Rachel Zoe, $235, Nordstrom):
Finally, a GLAM SLAM bag (so darling! — Valentino, $1,195, Shirise):
Or, if you really want to go Barb Doll-chic, check out this bananas statement piece skirt (Preen, $2,335, Net-A-Porter), which I’d tone down just a touch with a white shell (Marc Jacobs, $228, Shopbop — or get the look for less with this $49 BB Dakota top) and these dressed-up enormastuds ($395, Asha):
In real life, I would tone the look down with some neutral pumps in a camel or blush tone, but since we’re going full-on Barbaholic, let’s finish with these hot pink Louboutins ($895, Net-A-Porter), this dazzling Chanel crossbody ($4,812, Matches), and these phenom retro-styled shades ($230, Rebecca Minkoff):
Or, swap out some of the pricey additions mentioned above for this affordable but fun statement piece ($52, Lydell), a stark white cross-body at a more affordable price (Rebecca Minkoff, $250, Zappos — also comes in dazzling neon yellow and hot pink!)
For rainy days, I’m loving this whimsical umbrella (Felix Rey, $65, Bloomingdale’s) paired with — sigh — Hunter boots (yes, there is a time and place for everything…generally, I’m so bored of Hunter boots and their overpopulation on the streets of D.C. — $125, PinkMascara):
Perfection with this TDF colorblocked trench ($1,067, Farfetch):
And now — drumroll please — the winner of the Laura James Jewelry giveaway is: SHANA! Shana, I’ll be in touch to get your gift card over to you!