I thought I'd do a little post on organizing and styling for your dolls. This is my absolute favorite thing to do with my dolls other than photographing. My doll room floor is always in disarray with bags of clothing, bins of accessories and bead containers full of jewelry all scattered on the floor. Throw in several dolls in all states of undress and that's my doll room on any random day.
So I want to share a little with you about organizing your dolly goodies so that you can style your dolls more easily.
First let's talk about organizing. The only way you can style your dolls is if you know what and where all your "stuff" is. And it's even better if it's all separated by style or color. The single best thing I've bought to help me do this, are these containers that were on clearance after Xmas at Target a few years ago. They were made to fit ribbons and bows and other things for decorating Xmas presents. Well they're perfect for accessories, boots and bags. They stack and snap to each other with a lid at the very top and a handle to easily put it in and take it out of your closet.
The next great purchases you can make are located in the bead aisle at your local fabric or crafts store. The larger containers with little built in separators are perfect for stashing your shoes and you can separate them by color and type. I even separate my containers for FR and for Misaki/Poppy/Momoko shoes. I also use the same containers for my jewelry. I can keep sunglasses, bracelets, necklaces, etc. all separated by color and nothing gets tangled with each other. For earrings, rings and pins, I use those small round screw top containers, that are make for beads, to separate and organize. One contains all stud earrings, one has pearl earrings, then several are by color and so on and so on.
The second thing I wanted to talk about is redressing dolls. I hear alot of complaining on the boards about particular dolls outfits and how they just like one or two pieces and would rather buy the doll nude, yada, yada. A wonderful friend of mine told me a few years ago to look at every outfit as separates. This has been the best advice I have ever been given. Now I am not stuck purchasing full outfits that all go together perfectly and it opens me up to a world of redressing. For example Tricks of the Trade Eugenia had an outfit that had a lot of people stumped. For me I saw the amazing dress first. I knew it would look better on a younger looking doll and that I could pair it with some great black metallic leggings or a silver cap with netting.
The tights were patterned and beaded and I thought they'd look perfect with a black pencil skirt. The shoes had little feathers and beading on them and right away I thought they'd look great with some gold or other bright colored tights. There was a fur little capelet that I pictured with a long wintery gown and long gloves. I never once looked at the outfit as a "whole" piece and this is something I'd suggest you start doing too.
When I go to redress a doll I pull several options and start laying them out together to see what I like. Within minutes a vision comes to mind and I can see how I want the outfit to look. I then pull accessories like tights/stockings, belts, hats and finally shoes, jewelry and a purse.
I tend to like using a neutral base and add a punch of color or I go monocromatic in a few shades of the same color. Sometimes I put together an outfit for a doll and then realize it would look better on a different doll. For example I could put together an outfit whose style is too youthful for an FR gal and instead I grab a NuFace doll. Sometimes it's about coloring, where I put together an outfit and then realize it would look best on a pale doll with red hair rather than a tan doll with golden blond hair.
So get organized and go have fun with it! Pretend your Rachel Zoe for the day and style an outfit and then look around at your horde of dolls and see who would suit it best. That's the best thing about styling for dolls, you can style the clothes and then fit the doll into it, whereas in real life you've got to keep the person in mind first and style the clothes around the person.
So go ahead and flip through an InStyle magazine and get inspired! Heck, copy an ad you see! Watch What Not To Wear! Watch the Rachel Zoe show! And if you don't know by now, I'm a huge addict of her show on Bravo. So if you get together a fab outfit, pick out a doll and say to yourself, just as Rachel would, "Seriously, if that doll wears this, she would totally shut it down!"