Review of American Girl Merry Magenta Outfit

Every year American Girl comes out with several pieces in the fall that are meant to be holiday outfits.  I tend to wait to purchase these when they go on clearance after the new year as I think they are generally overpriced.  Boy was I glad I waited this year because it was a major disappointment.  In fact, if I had paid full price for this set to begin with, I would have sent it back.


Very cute…from a distance.  The workmanship on this dress leaves a lot to be desired.  But first, the good!

merry-magenta-3 merry-magenta-2

I do like the shoes and the purse.  However, the purse tends to bulge, the vinyl they used is a bit too stiff.  Hopefully I can remedy that.  I’m going to try setting something on it to sort of squish it down.


The headband is cute, but it had one of those gigantic tags on it.  I cut it off, but there is still some of it that shows.  I don’t get the point of these giant tags on these.  Why couldn’t they stamp it like they do some of the other items?  And would someone PLEASE redesign these headbands????  They don’t fit well and tend to pop off, especially if using them on a doll with a Josefina mold face.  The sides aren’t long enough to even hold all of the hair back.  Hey AG designers, take a look at the My Life As headbands, they know how to do it right!

So, onto the fails.  First off, the lacy overlay.  Very pretty, but it has a major design flaw.  The back side of the design is white.  So wherever it may show, it looks terrible!!!  The dress I got wasn’t as bad as some I’ve seen either, but it is really distracting.  I don’t understand why it wasn’t dyed the pretty berry color the whole way through???




Then the next thing is the ribbon that goes around the waist.  You can sort of see it from the last photo, it’s too loose.  It was even worse on the front:


I shouldn’t be able to fit one finger in there, let alone 3!!!  What in the world???  It almost sags, it’s so loose.  This is just bad design.  I think I can fix it, but quite frankly, I shouldn’t have to.  AG charged $36 for this set at full price, it should be right the first time.  Please note too, it’s sewn on in sections, not one continuous piece, so it’s a fail not once, not twice, but three times!

The last thing–the tulle underneath the skirt.



I held a piece of paper behind it so you could see it better.  It looks like it was cut out with the world’s dullest scissors.  Or perhaps chewed out?  I was appalled when I saw this.  Tulle cuts very easily, there is no excuse for this.  GAH!

I rate this set overall a C-.  An A for the shoes, a B for the purse, a C for the headband and an F for the dress.  It’s a shame because the dress could be so cute, but when a company sells a doll outfit for what a human article of clothing costs, I expect a lot more.  I’m very concerned that this dress is a sign of things to come with American Girl.  I recently spent some time reading the reviews on the items that were released for Gabriela and they aren’t very good.  Apart from the many complaints about holes poked in the clothes from them being sewn into the new packaging, there were a ton of complaints of poor paint jobs, or paint coming off on several of the items.  Not good at all.  It just seems lately that American Girl is suffering from a lot of one step forward, two steps back.  How long until they completely loose their customers because of it?

In case you are wondering–this set was from the last order I placed with American Girl, and it will be the last I place until they either apologize for undermining the intelligence of the fans and/or improve their quality.  I’m not going to waste anymore money on their crap.  My husband even commented on the poor quality this time and said “If I were you, I would quit buying from them.”  Done deal.  I will spend my money on Etsy instead.

26 thoughts on “Review of American Girl Merry Magenta Outfit

  1. Wow, that’s disappointing. The headbands never did fit, and the white showing through is a definite miss. I have to liken it to the ombré ballet outfit, which Brianna got for Christmas. The back of the tutu and the front aren’t pointing in the same direction, and weighting it down hasn’t helped. I haven’t checked reviews on AG but now I’m curious if others have the problem too.

    • That really is a shame. Something else I’ve noticed is the sheer number of sleeveless items in their current collection. I’m assuming it’s because it costs more to sew sleeves in doll clothes. Grrrr…

  2. Oi. This is why I love reviews so much. Just purchased this and the matching dress for my eldest for next winter. I haven’t had a chance to look it over yet, but will have to check it closely now. Thank you for the warning!

    Gah, it stinks having to question the quality of American Girl!

    • It really is a shame, it used to be a given that when you bought something from them, it would be of good quality.

  3. Thank you for the review! This dress was something I had my eye on and was thinking of getting on ebay (I didn’t have the funds to buy it at the time, and it was 45 bucks Canadian at the Chapters boutique), and now I know to save my money and not bother.

  4. Lucky me bought it full price, with Exchange and international postage to boot. The tulle on mine looks alright, and I was way too distracted by the white bits to notice the saggy belt, but it is saggy. I was thinking of cutting the offending white bits off, where possible.
    I was also a bit scared of the handbags chain whether it would leave rub marks on the doll.

  5. Very disappointing, indeed…it’s nice to have an honest review so others can see before buying! You’re right..for the price of a real piece of clothing, you should expect better quality. So great that you at least got it on sale. From far away, it looks very cute and perfect on Rebecca!

    • I hate Hate HATE fluff reviews that aren’t honest. Drives me bananas. A review should tell both the good and the bad if either are applicable. Ones that simply say “It’s a cute outfit and I just love it” drive me bananas. I want to know about the product and I think I owe it to my readers to tell them what is wrong. I agree, it looks great on Rebecca!

  6. I agree – I LOVE the shoes and the purse is cute, but the headband is weirdly thick and doesn’t sit nicely. It’s too bad – the color is so pretty!

    It’s sad to see that even their clothing and accessories are going downhill. I was thinking of getting Tenney’s picnic lunch, but from the pictures, it looks like they did as minimal of a paint job as possible, and the lack of color variety on the chicken makes it hard to tell if it’s chicken or something else… 😉

    • I was very glad that I didn’t buy Gabby’s Performance Case Set right after it came out, so many bad reviews with comments about the paint. LOL at the chicken!!!

    • I wonder if this is why they still have on clearance clear into February? Usually the stock from the Christmas outfits goes quickly when they reduce the price.

    • It is sad. I just think back to some of the older items and how well made they were. Seriously, you could put some of them (not all) in a washing machine. I’d be afraid to try it with any of the newer items, you end up with a handful of strings. 😦

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