Nostalgia is a look at what we loved, way back when. Teri is a journalist who enjoys writing about life and the cool stuff of yesteryear.
Into the '70's
It was the dawn of a new decade … the 1960s were over and the 1970s had begun. In 1970, a United States first-class postage stamp cost 6 cents, a gallon of gas cost 36 cents, a household’s average annual income was less than $10,000 and America’s inflation rate ended the year at 5.84 percent.
Barbie Doll saw a few changes in 1970; a new body, hairstyles, friends and clothes. 31 new outfits and seven store “exclusives” became available in 1970, as well as six Fashion Paks and 18 reissues from 1969.
Mattel introduced the new Living Barbie Doll — her body could be posed in a variety of ways. In addition to her bendable legs and twistable waist, Barbie could move her wrists and arms outward in order to carry things like briefcases and satchels. Barbie, Stacey and Christie had various new hairstyles and a few new friends; Living Eli (Japan), Walking Jamie (#1132) and (Barbie’s cousin) P. J. (#1118).
Barbie Doll's Closet: 1970
Colors may fade and fabrics may fray, but Barbie’s Closet lives on today!
Tangerine Scene (#1451, 1970); long-sleeved tangerine-orange bodysuit with a white, tangerine-orange, gold and pink plaid mini-skirt. The wrap skirt was trimmed in tangerine vinyl. Matching shoes came in the package.
Now Knit (#1452, 1970); sleeveless lime-green knit sheath dress with widely-spaced horizontal stripes of navy-blue accented in silver. A wide silver buckled belt, plush green hat, navy tricot scarf and “chunky” shoes completed the ensemble.
Flower Wower (#1453, 1970); floral print “tent” dress in pastel colors of pink, yellow, blue, green, white and orange. The mini had long flowing sleeves and a rosette at the v-neck. Chartreuse-colored “chunky” shoes matched the dress.
Loop Scoop (#1454, 1970); sleeveless cotton dress with built-in panties — the bodice was yellow and the skirt consisted of colored braided rows (light-green, orange and blue). Yellow “chunky” shoes came with the dress.
Dreamy Blues (#1456, 1970); blue satin, sleeveless mini-dress with ruffled tiers of yellow and light blue organza. A blue velvet ribbon circled the waist.
City Sparkler (#1457, 1970); the green lamé-threaded bodice had long sleeves and two pearl buttons. The attached chiffon skirt was a yellow-green color. Chartreuse-colored “chunky” shoes came with the dress.
Gypsy Spirit (#1458, 1970); pink tricot bodysuit — the blouse had full sleeves and golden braid at the neckline. The turquoise velveteen outfit consisted of a mini-skirt and vest trimmed with gold, chartreuse and pink braid.
Great Coat (#1459, 1970); short-length yellow vinyl coat with white, tan and dark-brown leopard-print “fur” trim. Accessories included a yellow hat with “fur” trim and “chunky” yellow shoes.
Rare Pair (#1462, 1970); sleeveless, full-skirted, pleated mini-dress with an empire waist — the bodice was hot-pink, the bottom was bright yellow. A short-waisted jacket that featured both colors was worn on top of the dress. Bright yellow hose and shoes gave Barbie that “mod” look.
Lovely Sleep-Ins (#1463, 1970); light-pink (tricot and nylon), mid-length nightgown with a ruffled hem and empire-waist. The accompanying robe — it tied at the neck — had sheer, floral-printed nylon, a furry collar and matching cuffs. Puffy pink slippers kept Barbie Doll’s feet warm.
Anti-Freezers (#1464, 1970); yellow cotton sleeveless top worn with a white, red and yellow plaid mini-skirt and matching scarf. The coat was red with five gold bead buttons down the front. Yellow calf-high boots came in the package.
Lemon Kick (#1465, 1970); bright yellow pleated nylon pants and top — the top was long-sleeved and could be worn as a blouse or mini-dress. The bodice had an empire waist, white lacey braid and hot-pink ribbon. Accessories included a pair of nylon underpants and yellow shoes.
Lamb ‘n Leather (#1467, 1970); furry white coat of “lamb’s wool” — it had pink silk lining and black vinyl-trimmed pockets. Accessories included a black and pink vinyl belt, high pink boots with black upper trim, furry white hat, black gloves and a pink and black purse.
Special Sparkle (#1468, 1970); this outfit featured a gold metallic mini-skirt (its waistline was adorned with gold chains) and a sleeveless, hot-pink shell (with a gathered ruffled hem). The accompanying gold lamé and hot-pink spotted coat had gold metallic lapels and a wide, braided belt around the waist. Hot-pink hose and shoes helped to give Barbie Doll that Special Sparkle.
Blue Royalty (#1469, 1970); glimmering satin turquoise gown with an empire waist and metallic-braid trim at the neckline and hem. A short white fur jacket (with matching braid and lining) and turquoise “chunky” shoes completed the outfit.
Tennis Team (#1781, 1970-1971); white fabric tennis dress accented with red bows at the pleats. The dress had matching panties. Accessories included tennis shoes, a plastic racquet and ball.
Shape-Ups (#1782, 1970-1971); long-sleeved red leotard, red tights and shoes. Accessories included two plastic hand weights, a “twist plate” exerciser (labeled Mattel Twist) and a “How To” booklet.
Ruffles ‘n Swirls (#1783, 1970-1971); crisp fabric in turquoise with light-pink and hot-pink swirls accented in white — the sleeveless dress had a ruffled hem and pink vinyl belt. Another version of the dress was pink with wide floral print in white, yellow and turquoise. Pink “chunky” shoes came with the dress.
Harem-MMs (#1784, 1970-1971); red or coral-colored one-piece harem pants with full sleeves and legs that gathered into cuffs. A gold and silver rope-belt tied around the waist.
Bright ‘n Brocade (#1786, 1970-1971); magenta or hot-pink, gold lamé-threaded, long-sleeved wrapped blouse with patterned swirls — there were different variations of this outfit. Sheer, full-legged pants of magenta or hot-pink were trimmed with the blouse fabric. The outfit came with pink bow shoes.
More Beautiful Clothes!
Prima Ballerina (#1787, 1970-1971); “glowing” hot-pink satin tutu with layers of pink, yellow and orange tulle that formed the skirt. Hot-pink panty hose and ballet slippers completed the set.
Scuba-Do’s (#1788, 1970-1971); fleecy, yellow-hooded sweatshirt, two-piece swimsuit (various prints were available) and scuba gear — fins, mask and snorkel.
Fiery Felt (#1789, 1970-1971); orange-red felt coat with fringe at the hem and gold buttons down the front. Accessories included a matching hat and mid-calf boots.
The Lace Caper (#1791, 1970-1971); diamond-patterned white lace pants with built-in panty and full legs (edged at the hems). The top matched the pants (the bodice was inner-lined with white tricot) and its neckline was trimmed with pink and green floral braid. A long hot-pink cape made of sheer nylon and pink “chunky” shoes completed the ensemble.
Mood Matchers (#1792, 1970-1971); multi-colored, wide-legged palazzo pants in oranges, pinks, blues, yellows, greens and purples. The matching sleeveless mini-dress had a turquoise belt at the waist — the same color as the full-sleeved blouse (the blouse gathered at the waist and cuffs). Accessories included “chunky” shoes.
Skate Mates (#1793, 1970-19712); red velveteen skating dress with curly white “fur” on its long sleeves and at the hem. A matching hat and mittens kept Barbie Doll warm on the ice. Red tights and white ice skates came in the package.
Check the Suit (#1794, 1970-1971); large houndstooth-patterned pants in bright-yellow and hot-pink. A yellow belt was attached to the pants. The matching bolero jacket fit over a sleeveless yellow blouse. Yellow “chunky” shoes completed the outfit.
Fur Sighted (#1796, 1970); multiple pieces came with this outfit, which was released in various shades of red and orange. Straight-legged pants and a yellow, red and metallic-silver shell (with elbow-length sleeves) fit together under a jacket. The jacket had two rows of furry yellow fringe and three “frog” buttons. A matching hat and yellow shoes came with the outfit.
The Ski Scene (#1797, 1970); yellow vinyl pants, long-sleeved purple-pink sweater, reddish-orange vinyl jacket and a matching hood. Accessories included red goggles, plastic skis, poles and ski boots.
Rainbow Wraps (#1798, 1970); multi-colored geometric-printed sleeveless satin dress — the bodice was emerald-green. A red-orange satin bow wrapped around the waist. The triangular cut, red-fringed shawl matched the dress. The outfit included a long white slip and “chunky” blue shoes.
Maxi ‘n Midi (#1799, 1970); sleeveless mini-dress in yellow, blue and reddish-orange horizontal stripes — the stripes were accented with metallic threads. A thin gold belt went around the waist. The maxi-length coat was fashioned in blue metallic material; it had matching fur trim around the collar and bottom hem. Tall hip boots in the blue metallic fabric gave Barbie (and Stacey!) that "mod” look.
Extras and add-ons were available in 1970; shoes, purses, belt buckles, zippers, buttons, braids and separate clothing pieces.
Stitch ‘n Style (#0010); accessory cards had buttons and zippers for children (and adults!) to create their own Barbie and Stacey fashions or to mend the dolls' clothes.
Sharp Shift (#0020); cards had long-sleeved knitted tops in various colors and patterns … many were patterns seen in previously released ensembles.
Cool Casuals (#0030); summer outfits in various patterns and colors — wide-legged pants and matching halter tops. Shoes came in each package.
Foot Lights (#0040); eight pairs of shoes (“chunky” heels and flats) and three pairs of boots (rain, ankle and “go-go”) in various colors.
All The Trimmings (#0050); pink fishnet hose, short gold-knit gloves, a braided hairpiece (with a pink ribbon), orange rectangle-drop earrings, chain belt and a pink satin purse.
Perfect Beginnings (#0060); bras, panties and petticoats — each card held a different pattern or color such as yellow, pink, striped, or diamond-printed. A small round box of “talcum” and powder puff came in each package.
As in previous years, J. C Penney and Sears department stories released exclusive clothing items for Barbie and her friends.
Shoe Bag (J.C. Penney, #1498, 1970-1971); an assortment of 64 pieces … shoes, hangers, stockings, umbrella, sun visor and hatbox.
Glamour Group (Sears, #1510, 1070-1971); sets varied … they often had “fur” collared coats, cotton dresses trimmed with white rickrack, party dresses, nightwear, panty hose, shoes, belts and purses.
Fashion Bouquet (Sears, #1511, 1970-1973); several pieces for match-up outfits that included a jacket, skirt, dress, blouse and pants in various patterns and colors. A two-piece swimsuit, sunglasses, shoes and scarf came in the package.
Fashion Accents (Sears, #1521, 1970-1974); silver hose, gloves, a clutch purse, belt and several pairs of shoes.
Goodies Galore (Sears, #1518, 1970-1973); the package incuded a tennis racquet and ball, shoes, gloves, ice skates, boots, hair-care items, purses, hangers and a "radio."
Living Barbie Action Accents Set (Sears, #1585, 1970-1971); the set came with a Living Barbie Doll dressed in a hot-pink leotard and tights. She had a jump rope and other outfits to wear for various activities: Skiing; a hot-pink ski jacket with orange vinyl trim, ski boots and poles. Ice skating; turquoise-blue velveteen (with pink trim) ice skating skirt, matching bonnet and skates. Ballet; a hot-pink and orange layered tutu and ballet slippers. Barbie wore a blue and orange swimsuit, fins, mask, snorkel and flippers when she went diving.
Mad About Plaid (Sears, #1587, 1970); red and green plaid mini dress — it was sleeveless with a green vinyl belt and coat to match. Accessories included a plaid clutch purse, red hat and red “chunky” shoes.
P. J. Doll: Swingin’ In Silver (Sears, #1588, 1970); this set featured a Twist ‘n Turn P.J doll and a shiny outfit. The dress was sleeveless, its bodice of pink satin fell into an attached silver-knit skirt. A silver coat with furry white cuffs and high silver boots (trimmed in fur) completed the ensemble.
Walking Jamie Doll: Furry Friends Gift Set (Sears, #1584, 1070-1971); Jamie Doll wore her original outfit — a yellow, pink and orange mini-dress, yellow stockings and orange boots. The set included a furry orange coat with knitted sleeves, matching hat and shoes. Accessories came in the package; a gray poodle, collar and leash, box of “dog” food, plastic bowl and bone.
In addition to talking and bendable leg versions of Ken Doll, Mattel released a new friend; Brad. Ken and Brad wore the same clothes; they had four new outfits in 1970 as well as several Fashion Pak and department store releases.
Francie and Skipper had new clothes in 1970, too! 16 new outfits for Francie and Casey were on the market. Skipper’s wardrobe saw 12 new outfits, a gift set, Ensemble Pak and six Fashion Paks.
And Then …
1971 was about Tanning, Talking and some Terrific clothes!
© 2011 Teri Silver
Teri Silver (author) from The Buckeye State on March 06, 2013:
Thank you! I think we're never too "old" for Barbie ...
luna on March 06, 2013:
i luv barbies thx for sharin...
Mark from Alabama,USA on November 06, 2011:
SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on November 06, 2011:
I love seeing all the Barbie dolls through the decades. Thanks for sharing!
Teri Silver (author) from The Buckeye State on November 06, 2011:
Thanks! Check out the other Barbie Doll hubs I've written --dolls, clothes, and Francie, too. I've got a couple more in draft form and a few yet to be written, to finish out the "mod" era. My husband just rolls his eyes at these :))) but they're fun to do.
acc12 on November 06, 2011:
This brings back memories! I still have my Living Barbie, except both her arms fell off after she dried out after 40 years! Also have a blue gown from a Miss America ensemble (no longer have the sash or white gloves). Was from the same era, I think. Very thorough hub!