Shopping for my “daughter”

We’ve all shopped for our dolls. And, when we do, it’s usually no mystery to anyone who the dresses, skirts, pants, hats, and jewelry we purchase are for. No one I know would fit into the gown I just purchased for my Tyler Wentworth doll, since no one I know is 16 inches tall. Likewise, the retailers and fellow collectors we purchase from know we are buying for dolls. They are selling for dolls. Duh.

Except when your doll is three feet tall.

I used to collect the dolls created by German artist Annette Himstedt. I say “used to” because I purchased my last Himstedt doll in 2009, when Annette’s factory fell victim to the recession and she ceased production. Over the years, I amassed 15 of her dolls. There are still many available on the secondary market I’d love to have, but lack of space and a limited dolly budget have prevented me from adding to my collection in recent years. Which is fine, really. My doll room looks like it doubles as a preschool classroom as it is.

himmie
My space-saving way of displaying some of my Himstedt dolls. They’re the tall ones almost touching the ceiling.

For those unfamiliar with Annette’s work, she creates incredibly lifelike representations of young children. And they are huge, typically ranging in size from two to three feet. As such, store-bought children’s clothing fit them quite well. Retail stores offer an endless variety of toddler clothing, and it can be very inexpensive. Much cheaper than the custom-made Himstedt clothing you’ll find on eBay and Etsy.

It has been at least five years since I redressed one of my Hinstedts, but I recently took several of them out of storage (I don’t have enough space to accommodate displaying them all at once), and my interest in them was revived. Since I had to go to Target this weekend for some household items, I made a stop in the children’s clothing section, and I selected some cute pink spring outfits. This was especially fun for me, since I have no daughters–my four-year-old son is my only child. And I’ve come to learn that boy’s clothing is boring as hell. Being able to pick out pink dresses and frilly tops with butterflies on them was a nice change.

When I went to pay for my items, the cashier lingered over the pink dress I selected. “This is so cute,” she said. “How old is your daughter?”

I was daydreaming about redressing my dolls when she spoke to me–I had barely noticed her at all. So I had no idea what she was talking about.

“My daughter?’ I asked.

“Uh, yeah,” she said.

“I don’t have a daughter,” I told her. “I have a son.”

Silence.

Oh. I finally got it. She thinks the dress and frilly clothes are for my daughter. I laughed.

“Oh, no,” I said, “Those are for my dolls.”

Silence again. She quickly checked me out without another word.

And thus I think I did my part last weekend at Target to confirm the widespread belief that doll collectors are creepy people who have make-believe conversations with their vinyl friends when no one is looking.

I know I do.

Arinda in her new Target dress
Arinda in her new Target dress

14 thoughts on “Shopping for my “daughter”

  1. Love your post!
    I want to get my girls some new dresses but I don’t know what size to get.

    I have Jules and Lilliane from the barefoot line.

    Anyone know what size the dolls would wear?

    Thanks
    Jeanette

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  2. writergal42 I like your style! This is one of the best doll blogs I’ve seen. It’s so nice to have something to read, since a lot of doll blogs are mostly pictures. You have a good sense of humor and that’s refreshing too. I hope this blog sticks around a long time. I too have smiled and bit my tongue as the checkout person says how happy my child will be to get the doll I’m buying for myself. It’s true that non-collectors don’t understand. In fact before I was bit by the Barbie bug, I was one of them thinking what do grown people want with dolls. There is you before collection, and you after, and unless they have the same addiction, they usually don’t understand.

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  3. Love your posts and your humor. I will try and follow you. I bought easter stuff for my baby girl Gracie at Wal-mart and the lady said, “Someone is gonna love you.” I laughed inside and didn’t say anything. Went into Kid to Kid to buy easter clothes for my two girls and I got all kinds of help. I guess they thought I was buying for grandkids. I let them think that. I too have just been buying on Amazon and Ebay. It is a little easier than foraging through the kids clothes to find a 4t size. Anyway, thanks for your wonderful posts.

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  4. I also think you confirmed the beliefe that doll people are some of the most creative, imaginative and interesting people and they collect beatiful and fun playmates – much better than collecting dust balls, wrinkles or old typewriters – you can’t dress those.

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  5. I think it’s fun to shop for doll clothes, I get great bargains at the Garage Sales and the people always ask about my daughter. I tell them it’s for my doll and they say ” I never thought of that”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LOL! When I go to Target, I always take a few minutes to browse in the toy aisles, most recently for clothes and accessories for my new PukiPuki BJD, who is just about the size of Barbie’s little sister, Kelly. When I feel a little self-conscious, I just pretend I’m shopping for my non-existent daughter or my niece…:-) The funny thing is, even when my nieces were younger, to my chagrin they weren’t that interested in dolls.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LOL! This is too funny! The last time I bought a couple of Barbies at a retail store, the lady mentioned some lucky, little girl must be going to get a nice present. My hubby chimed in “SHE’S the little girl- it is for her”, indicating me, and the lady laughed nervously and checked us out quickly!
    I usually stick to mail deliveries now, however the mailman did recently ask my hubby why I get so many packages!

    Liked by 1 person

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