Barbie Fashion

One special toy for girls for decades has been the doll ‘Barbie’. It was started by Mattel in March 1959 and was designed by Ruth Handler. One item many people may not have known that the full name for Barbie is Barbara Millicent Roberts and she is 11 1/2 inches tall. Barbie was named after Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara, and later the male doll, Ken after her son, Kenneth.

Mattel has sold over a billion Barbie dolls over the decades, making it the company’s largest and most profitable line. Yet it is not just the doll itself that little girls loved but also her fashionable clothes. Those fashionable clothes for Barbie have gotten better over the decades. This was due to fashion designer, Carol Spencer, who began working for Mattel Co. in 1963.

Carol Spencer made every little girl’s dreams of high fashion come true by dressing Barbie. There was the mod look of the late 1960s, a space-age look in the 1970s and kicky neon clothes styles in the 1980s and 1990s.

Barbie has appeared as an astronaut, surgeon, Olympic athlete, downhill skier, aerobics instructor, TV news reporter, vet, rock star, doctor, army officer, air force pilot, summit diplomat, rap musician, presidential candidate, baseball player, scuba diver, lifeguard, firefighter, engineer, dentist, and many more. All requiring different clothing styles.

Spencer is credited with giving Barbie and little girls a style of a girl with both taste and pop-culture savvy.

The Barbie doll itself has changed and expanded over the years to represent all types of girls from different races, ethnic cultures, abilities (such as sports), and occupations.

You may have had a Barbie or other relatives, check with them about their memories of the doll.

Photo: Stylist Barbie.

Related Blogs:

Brief History of Dolls

Polly Pocket Toy

Toys of the 1950s

< Return To Blog I had about 30 Barbies. I had the original from my sister (that got torn up with being played with for 20 years) and I got my last Barbie in 1977. Good times, but not a collector.
Sara N Martin 1/06/22

I would be hard-pressed to find a girl born in the 1950s and 1960s who did not have a Barbie doll.
alice 1/06/22

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