Teri Silver is a journalist, commercial copywriter, editor, broadcast anchor, and Public Relations Specialist.
The year was 1973 — prices continued to climb along with the inflation rate, which was affecting economies worldwide.
In the United States, among 1973's highlights ...
- President Richard Nixon was inaugurated for his second term in office (January 20th)
- The Supreme Court overturned state bans on abortions (January 22nd)
- The U.S. ended its involvement in the Vietnam War (January 27th)
- Major League Baseball first used the Designated Hitter (April 6th)
- Key members of the president’s administration resigned, effectively launching the Watergate Scandal (April 30th)
- The first American space station was launched (Skylab, May 14th)
- Horseracing got its first triple crown winner since 1948 (Secretariat, June 9th at Belmont)
- The Oakland Athletics won baseball’s world series (October)
- America mourned the death of singer Bobby Darin (December 20th).
Francie Doll’s hair got curly in 1973; Mattel released Quick Curl Francie Doll complete with hair accessories. The doll’s original outfit was a yellow maxi dress; it had short sleeves made of sheer white nylon — they were enhanced with black ribbon. A black bow adorned the neck of the dress’ white lace collar. Francie wore white shoes with the dress. In 1973, Francie received six outfits from the Best Buy fashion line, three Get Ups 'N Go ensembles and one shoe pak.
Francie’s Best Buy Fashions for 1973
Similar to Barbie doll clothes that were released in 1973, Mattel no longer gave Francie’s outfits descriptive names — opting to print stock numbers on the packages. Shoes and purses were not included in 1973’s Best Buy line but a footwear pak was sold separately.
(#8625, 1973-1974); Francie’s shoe pak contained squared-toe shoes in reddish-orange, white, green, black, pink, blue and yellow. A pair of off-white tennis shoes and brown knee-high “laced” boots were included.
(#8644, 1973); ankle-length sundress in red, white and blue. The halter top bodice and attached skirt were patterned in blue gingham. Red braid trimmed the halter and around the waist. The skirt had two ruffles of different colored fabrics; one was white with eyelet trimming and the bottom hem was red with blue dots.
(#8645, 1973); long-sleeved mini dress in wine-colored gingham. The dress had white collar lapels and scattered white and yellow floral print over the gingham pattern. The ruffled hem fell just above Francie’s knees. A red vinyl belt (silver buckle) and white tricot knee socks were included.
(#8646 & 8647), 1973); brown flannel coat (#8646) with two top beaded buttons, a white “fur” collar and brown vinyl belt with a gold buckle. A brown flannel cap came with the coat. Francie Doll wore the coat with her brown flannel skirt, long-sleeved jacket (wide-checked brown gingham with scattered floral print in green, pink and blue) and a pink vinyl belt (#8647). Although shoes or boots did not come in either of the clothing packages, Francie Doll found a pair of matching brown knee-high boots in that season’s shoe pak (#8625).
(#8648, 1973); short nightgown in a peachy coral-pinkish-orange color — it was made with tricot fabric covered in sheer nylon. The “baby doll” nighty featured white straps and a yoke of patterned lace. The matching short-sleeved robe was in sheer orange nylon; a white ribbon tied at the neck.
(#8649, 1973); casual wear two-piece set — the pants were red with blue anchors and yellow-dotted circles printed on them; the hems were trimmed in yellow rickrack. The blouse had a yellow yoke and short sleeves — its bodice was in navy-blue with red anchors, white dotted circles and yellow stars. Yellow rickrack trim fell down the front of the blouse and around its hem. The collar was red with nautical print that matched the pants.
Francie Doll’s (1973) Get Ups ‘N Go Ensembles
(#7709, 1973 - Candy Striper); everything Francie needed to be a nurse’s aide. She wore a sleeveless pink and white (vertically) striped jumper with a matching cap, white short-sleeved blouse and white squared-toe shoes. Accessories included a blue tray, orange juice glass (and straw), hot water bottle, bar of “soap,” blue terry washcloth, white pillow, yellow tricot blanket (with satin trim) and a bouquet of red and purple flowers.
(#7710, 1973 - Beach); two-piece swimsuit — the jersey fabric was patterned with blue and white checks. The matching ankle-length cover-up dress had yellow trim at the empire waist and down the front. The dress had three vinyl flower appliqués near the bottom hem. The set came with a yellow swim mask, snorkel and swim fins, blue sunglasses, yellow terry cloth towel and a yellow water-skimming board (with floral design). In 1974, Mattel released a similar outfit for Barbie Doll (#7788).
(#7711, 1973 - Cheerleader); red and white cheerleading outfit — it featured a long-sleeved red top with a v-neckline and white high turtleneck collar. A large white “M” (for Mattel?) was emblazoned on the bodice. Attached to the bodice was a short, white, pleated skirt. Francie wore matching red jersey tights, white knee-high “laced” boots and a red knit cap. She carried two red crepe paper pom-poms, a white megaphone (trimmed in red, sporting the letter “M,” also in red) and a red paper pennant (on a wooden stick with vinyl handle). The pennant had “Go Team” in white block lettering.
In 1974 …
Although Mattel reduced the number of clothing separates for Francie in the mid 1970s, they continued to be popular sellers for Barbie’s mod cousin. 1974 was coming up fast; Francie saw eight new outfits that year in addition to two repeats from 1973. Quick Curl Francie (with blonde or brunette hair) and Malibu Francie were still available.
© 2012 Teri Silver