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<p>My DC (9 years) is getting into 18" dolls.  She recently went to the American Girl store in NYC.  I sent her with $50, thinking that was quite generous only to find out that at this store 50 dollars doesn't go all that far.  DC came home with a short wish list from the store, one of which was for a doll and me outfit.  DC already has a pajama set from there and it's poorly made for the money and I would like to find her a doll and me outfit from another store.  Any ideas?  I found the Dollie & Me line from Sears but it's all fancy clothing (DC wants a casual outfit).  I also found a few doll sites but they are all still quite expensive.  Are there any other lines out there that are at either well made with nice fabric so I can feel better about asking her grandmother to drop a bunch of money on a gift OR cheap so it doesn't feel like I'm wasting money?  Thanks for your help.  </p>
 

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<p>I just bought dd the Our Generation Doll from Target-they are like AG dolls, 18" tall, and have lots of accessories.  I haven't yet taken it out of the box, but I suspect the clothes fall into the "cheap" category :) The doll itself was about $20 and it comes with a full outfit, I dont' know how much the outfits runs alone, but I would guess they are fairly inexpensive.</p>
 

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<p>Yep, expensive is the word!  Grandma's been pushing AG on my dd for a couple years now, so I've come to terms with the pricing structure (mostly).  We also went to the NYC store recently, but we really did our homework before we went.  We get the catalogs, we check online, we watch the sales, we read a lot of the books and watched all the movies.  DD saved all the money she was given (or found) for an entire year so she'd have sufficient spending money when we visited for her birthday.  Within 30 minutes of walking in the door, dd had found everything on her list and was ready to leave.  The rest of us really wanted to browse!</p>
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<p>I was surprised that you found the quality lacking in the pajamas you already have.  We have 5 or 6 AG brand outfits now, and what really has struck me is the <em>high</em> quality.  I sew a lot, including some pretty fancy dresses for bridesmaids and a couple complicated wedding gowns.  I was really surprised to see some of the reinforcement that went into the AG clothing.  I was gratified to see the fabric quality and matched colors, the shaping, the clean seams, and the detailed embellishments - so much better than the inexpensive doll clothes at the local retailers.  The shoes are truly amazing too.  At first, I was floored by these $30-$40 outfits - they're doll clothes!  But when I realized my dd would get 3, 4, maybe even 6 years of play out of them... well, her own clothes generally only get worn for 6-9 months.  The per-year value of the AG stuff is pretty good.  And nearly all the AG outfits come with really nice shoes, socks or tights, accessory items, or a small book.  I can't make doll clothes this nice, nor can I make doll undies or tights.  Plus, they'll get really good prices on Craigslist when I want to get rid of them!</p>
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<p>Sorry - went off on a tangent.  You wanted to know other places to get doll clothes.  Target carries the Our Generation line of dolls - the clothes fit fairly well (about $12/outfit), though OG dolls are slightly more slender.  Also OG shoes are rubbery plastic and very poorly fitting.  JoAnn and Michaels carry the Springfield dolls - clothes are pretty cheap there too ($8-$12 per outfit) and the shoes I've bought have been fine.  Sears and Kohls have the "Dolly & Me" sets in both casual and dressy styles (sets range from $20 to $50 - watch for sales).  Sears may only be carrying holiday dresses right now, but I bought a school outfit there in September (tunic and leggings) and a clearance sundress set for $7.  KMart also has a doll line (in the toy section) and "What a Doll" clothing (in the girls section) - again, both casual and dressy (about $15-$30).  All of these doll & girl clothes are very reasonably priced - and fairly low quality fabric and stitching.  They also tend to run small (I currently buy size 7 or 7/8 for my size 6X dd).  The doll & girl sets also don't come with shoes.</p>
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<p>Other great places to find doll clothes - craft sales, Etsy, and Craigslist.  For genuine AG brand, Craigslist in my area usually runs about 50% of retail.  And if you sew, there's a really quick and cheap way to get summer dresses: find a yard sale with newborn or premie dresses with simple seams (sundresses with straps), shorten the straps, hem it to taste, and take in the sides.</p>
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<p>You didn't mention whether you're considering buying an AG doll.  I really do recommend the AG brand, especially for a 9yo.  They are extremely well made, and if you have ANY problems, AG has a doll hospital that can fix anything - frizzy hair or botched haircuts, markered bodies, lazy eyes, and loose joints.  And, again, resale value is high when your dd outgrows her doll.</p>
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<p>AG is starting to teach my dd a LOT about the value of having one really nice toy, rather than a roomful of cheap plastic toys.  And because she's spent her own $ on outfits, her expectations for this holiday are pretty reasonable.</p>
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<p>Plus, we both love the books! </p>
 

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<p>Etsy, Etsy, Etsy!!</p>
 

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<p>Toys R Us has a wide variety of 18" dolls also.  My dd really wanted an AG doll and got one with her birthday money.  She was very disappointed with it, the quality is much lower than that of her $6 Barbie, she can't even get a comb through the dolls hair.  If she is willing to go with a knock off brand I highly recommend it.  You can get AG clothes online without getting the doll if you want to go that route.  There are also a lot of sites online to go to for slightly cheaper clothes that fit 18" dolls.  I don't think that the doll itself is worth the high price, but the clothing might be if you don't have a source of cheaper clothes for a doll that size.  Now that she has the big AG doll my dd is fine with getting knock off brands and your dd may be also.  If you do help her save for an AG doll I really recommend reading the reviews before purchasing.  The Lanie doll my dd got has ratty hair that doesn't comb and after I complained to the company and rated the doll I saw that other people have said the same thing.  They do let you send it back if you are unhappy with the doll, but my dd will not part with it because it took her so long to get and she doesn't want to wait any longer, don't let yourself get stuck with a shoddy quality, 100 dollar doll because of something like that if you can help it.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<p>Thanks everyone.  I appreciate the tip for the Kmart brand as well as the feedback for the AG brand stuff.  Fortunately, DC doesn't have any brand recognition -- all 18 doll stuff are AG.  </p>
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<p>I do recognize that lots of AG things are above the bar when it comes to quality but, for the money, it still seems a bit unreasonable.  The PJs were some weird poly type shiny fabric and they were HUGE - like won't fit DC for YEARS huge.  They're also ugly, imo, and they cost over $60 for the pair.  OTOH, DC has the Kit bed and it's so, so cute and well made and even though we got it used for less $$ I would still consider buying it retail I like it so much.  </p>
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<p>Interesting perspective on the dolls.  Perhaps curly hair is just prone to matting no matter the brand?  DH has a Target brand doll that her grandmother got her and she is loyal to that doll, which I'm happy about.  The AG store won't "work" on those dolls, which I both understand and resent but fortunately DC didn't have her feelings hurt.  Now I just have to figure out how to pierce her dolls ears myself.  ;-)  </p>
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<p>Also, fortunately DC likes mostly the more reasonably priced AG things like the accessory packs so I'm letting her put those on her wish list.  </p>
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<p>I still haven't found a satisfying solution for the matching girl and doll outfits.  I guess I'm just picky about buying DC one of those uber-cute outfits that scream "I'm so pretty" that all the stores seem to carry.  I did find that AG has a matching nature themed t-shirt set that is a good compromise.  </p>
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<p>Thanks for all your help and your rambles!  It's an interesting new world...</p>
 

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<p>I want to echo the poster above with ETSY!!! Here's a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/61718675/girls-personalized-hot-pink-or-purple?ref=sr_gallery_20&ga_search_query=matching+doll+outfit&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes[0]=tags&includes[1]=title&filter[0]=handmade" target="_blank">velor outfit</a>, here's a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/63555397/candy-cane-nightgown-girl-size-10-12?ref=sr_gallery_21&ga_search_query=matching+doll+outfit&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes[0]=tags&includes[1]=title&filter[0]=handmade" target="_blank">nightgown set</a>, here's a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/62901024/merry-and-bright-knot-dress-in-light" target="_blank">doll dress</a> where you have to buy the other one separately, here's some <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/63226055/soft-jersey-knit-peace-and-hearts?ref=sr_gallery_40&ga_search_query=matching+doll+outfit&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes[0]=tags&includes[1]=title&filter[0]=handmade" target="_blank">soft pjs. </a></p>
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I don't know exactly what you are looking for or the size of your kid, but those are just some I found searching really quickly on etsy.  I think you'd be able to find something you like.  Often you contact the sellers and do custom orders too.</p>
 

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My nieces really love it and so does our goddaughter. As a gift giver, we just buy gift cards which is less painful somehow. I've Also purchased furniture in etsy with good results. I don't personally think tarted up MIC is good quality or good value. The pricing bothers me the least. I hate paying high prices for things I don't think are ethically made and Ive been into the store often enough to be unimpressed with quality.
 
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