Has anyone else noticed a barrage of Samantha Parkington-like looks bubbling up within the past week or so? Once Princess Kate wore a dress resembling that of the cover outfit of Meet Samantha, I think we can officially call it a movement. Hashtag The Middleton Effect.
This trend takes me back. I distinctly remember the day that the American Girl Catalog landed in the living room coffee table. I did not get a lot of mail back then, so when something did arrive for me, it was a *thing*. Little did my mom know the obsession that she planted by passing on the catalog. Obviously, I identified with Samantha Parkington, what with the brown hair and all. While I could have chosen Molly, I did not have glasses and that was as much of a deal breaker for my seven-year-old self than Felicity with the red hair or Kirsten with the blonde hair. For I was Lucinda with the glossy brown hair, as was Samantha and that cemented the deal.
My mom refused to buy me the doll and with that, I took matters into my own hands. (Looking back, I cannot blame her for depriving me of a 89 dollar [in 1992] doll. Fact: the present day price for an American Girl doll is 115 dollars. Nice to know that they have not kept up with three percent yearly consumer price index increase.) I was a particularly enterprising young girl, meaning that I kept up with thank you notes after being gifted anything, but especially money. From the moment I turned the page to Samantha, I was set on saving up 89 dollars.
The following summer, I hit my goal. Not that I got a summer job or anything; I happen to have a summer birthday and we happened to take a summer road trip across the states that year. This translated to copious cards with cold hard cash, even from distant relatives that I did not frequently hear from on my birthday. My great-grandma Esther tipped my savings over the threshold with a check for fifty dollars which back then was just an enormous sum (for me at least) to be receiving in a single envelope. I even remember what I was wearing that day, probably because my mom has a photo of me wearing the most jubilant smile and a pair of bright pink plaid shorts with lace crochet trim at the hem.
I ante’d up and along with the Samantha doll herself, purchased her accessories, and the cleaning solution. (She is still in fabulous condition, now hanging out in the attic at my parents’ house.) What I passed on was the dress-like-your-doll, real-life girl outfits:
That hair bow. Talk about doll cosplay of which I had absolutely no interest. It was 1992 and even back then I would have preferred to dress like Kelly Taylor, Stephanie Tanner, or Lisa Turtle.
Joke is on me, because now I cannot get enough of that burgundy plaid. Pair it with a pair of oxblood heeled loafers and that would be one hell of an outfit. Pick your poison: