Tiny Frock Shop

May 14, 2012

Let’s pretend you’re a NY fashion designer. You’ve been the Head Designer at Betsey Johnson, Heatherette, and currently act as a freelance designer for Anna Sui. You are, as they say, major. And then you have a daughter. What do you do then?

If you’re Pamela Thompson, you open up a resale clothing and accessory shop for Barbie dolls, and appoint your baby as CEO!

There’s so much to love about the Tiny Frock Shop. From this flutter-sleeve Angora sweater to a stylin’ surfing suit just in time for beach season, it’s all affordable (Vogue worthy fashion and accessories for 12” dolls for milk money prices!) and accompanied by such cute and real descriptions (“It’s hard to imagine your life before you owned this sweater…” Ha!).

The models are the best dolls in the business — read their awesome bios here — and the behind-the-scenes of the photo shoots are crazy-wonderful! All photographed by Ken, of course.

Whatever your opinions on or experiences with Barbie, doesn’t the Tiny Frock Shop make you smile and maybe even — gasp! — want your own Barbie? Me, too!

P.S. — Growing up, my mom wouldn’t let us play with Barbies! I was also hesitant with my own girls, but then I found super charming handmade clothes on Etsy and didn’t mind as much anymore. How do you feel about Barbie dolls?

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1 kim May 14, 2012 at 4:57 am

Barbie is interesting. She can be a bit of a strumpet, if you rely solely on what Mattel think she should wear. Vintage Barbie = awesome. And, I was lucky which I was little as my my mum knit Barbie some amazing clothes that were ‘vintage’ way back then! Plus, how else is a girl to learn to French braid hair if not on Barbie? ;) The Tiny Frock Shop looks fantastic!

2 susan May 14, 2012 at 5:13 am

My oldest daughter, now 33 and a speech pathologist, played with Barbies for hours. She even still has the big Barbie dream house! It did not give her a bad body image or change her one bit. I use to play with her as we would “talk” the Barbies. I love the site and the idea. My aren’t people clever.

Bring on the Barbies.

3 Mary-My Life in Scotland May 14, 2012 at 5:23 am

I have 4 sisters. All 5 of us were all born in exactly 6 yrs. We had mounds of Barbie’s. My mother made ALL of the clothes. They were too expensive in the stores and so my mom made us wardrobes full of clothes for our Barbie’s. We even had matching bra’s and panties! She’d make designer dresses and bathing suits. Anything we could think of, and anything she could dream up. We loved it. All of our friends wanted to come to our house because we had the best Barbie clothes. Now she makes doll clothes for the grand kids. We had a lot of fun growing up!

4 Kirsteen May 14, 2012 at 5:57 am

Love this! What a fab idea!

5 Vera May 14, 2012 at 5:58 am

I loved my Barbies. All five of them. My parents didn’t buy clothes for my Barbies but I always wanted to get those pretty things for my dollies. When I become mom to a daughter I’d help make clothes for their Barbies because I still think those in the stores are way expensive.

6 Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux May 14, 2012 at 6:11 am

I enjoyed barbies when I was little – my favorite was the airplane. I don’t really remember thinking abut their bodies and I have no problem with my body image. I have 3 girls and they have all enjoyed barbies…interesting enough..they sometimes have clothes on…sometimes off…It just seems like it’s fun to pretend.

7 Genevieve May 14, 2012 at 6:50 am

I loved my Barbie doll collection! my aunt made me a ton of clothes and I would pretend for hours at a time. I think that the view that Barbie gives girls a bad body image is overblown. The tiny frock shop is adorable!

8 Shannon { A Mom's Year } May 14, 2012 at 7:15 am

Great shop! My mom had the original Barbie, and I loved playing with Barbies. My girls have enjoyed them, too. Now Bratz dolls on the other hand…. A few made their way into the house at birthday parties, but they always somehow went missing!

9 Tasha May 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I’ve learned to tolerate them (in classes girls bring them in) but really miss the Barbie days:)

10 Lauren May 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

I wasn’t allowed to play with Barbies either! But I always looked forward to going to my friend’s houses who had Barbie cars and houses to play with. Still haven’t decided how I feel about Barbie for my own kids yet.

11 Kristin May 14, 2012 at 10:32 am

My sister and I were not allowed to play with Barbies and I have two daughters now and they don’t have any Barbies. Though, this website is amazing and I KNOW my girls would love it. I love the idea of Moms making clothes for their daughters’ Barbies. That was for sure not my Mom, or me for that matter. Something about creating clothes seems so much more imaginative! Growing up in the city (Chicago) in the 70′s, I think my Mom was very much taken with the Womens’ movement and that translated to no Barbies and no t.v! That being said, I am a stay at home mom now to 3 kids and I love it more than anything in the world! And we have a t.v!

12 Karen D May 14, 2012 at 10:56 am

We’ve taken a firm “no Barbies” line for our girls, along with a “no Bratz” dolls and no other dolls that are age-inappropriate. Our take is that our girls will see enough of these images of women in other people’s homes, in Disney movies, on television, and elsewhere – in our home, we can provide them with an alternative. That said, had I grown up with warm memories about Barbie, I would likely have found a way to include the doll in their lives. For example, we read Sweet Pickles Books and Nancy Drew books that I loved growing up, despite gender issues, and choose to address those issues as they come up.

13 Tasha May 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I’m home sick today and want to run into the attic and dig out my Barbies!!! This was my dream when I was young!!! Wow, the clothes are wonderful and not “arm and leg” pricing as I anticipated…who wants to play!? My only niece and me – that’ll work!

14 Christie May 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I am torn … I loved Barbies when I was little but I have a crabby body image. My wee girl (turning 3 this week) asked for a Barbie for her birthday, and my stomach dropped. I love, love, love these Tiny Frock Shop dresses (TFS!!) and went to see what Etsy offered, as recommended in a previous comment. I think we will do Barbies with handmade (by others) outfits that are a little more appropriate, when the time comes. Absolutely not doing Bratz dolls.

15 Mariar May 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I was a child in a communist USSR, so obviously we had no Barbies. When they finally made their way in, which was in nineties sometime, they were very cheap chinese versions of the real Barbie. By cheap, I mean as cheap, as having the hair just around the head, in a circle, and bold everywhere else. If the doll had a ponytail, you could not spot the boldiness. Now i have a daughter, who is 5, she has Barbies, and we make clothes for them, etc. I have no problem with the doll, and of course I want my girl to have, what I didnt have…

16 Tasha May 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I don’t recall ever feeling I needed to look like Barbie (or fashion models), just enjoyed the fashion, setting up “house” and scenes…very artistic to me. I do agree that the name “Bratz” is even a turn-off for me. I don’t like much of today’s toys, shows, etc. yet, I think the doll offered glamour and elegance too. Although I know outfits seem inappropriate nowadays, I’m not sure that’s how little girls see them…although when I think of little ones “looking up to” Britney Spears and the like, I understand your concerns. I just wonder, do we as adults project our insecurities onto things that might otherwise be beneficial to our children?

17 PinonCoffee May 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

To respond to two of your posts: I was raised quite a lot like Liz Garton Scanlon (lovely interview), and my mom also could and did make anything — including Barbie gear! Our dolls went camping in handmade sleeping bags and had dress-up costumes to match my sister and me. I seem to recall we also had some outfits Mom’s aunt had made when Mom was little. Anyway, the love and craftiness rubbed off on my sister and me way more than the negative Barbie-ness. I mean, as far as I can tell. Our husbands like us… It probably depends a lot on how your parents approach Barbie.

Also yes, the tiny frocks on that site are precious. :-)

18 dana May 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm

come on…why overcomplicate everything. i had barbies and even my mum’s 50 barbie (still have it) whith original clothes.
i loved them, did not care at all about their body shape, still do not care about their body shape and will pass my collection on to my son (yes, he likes the vintage barbie..) and my daughter.
we used to go and raid friends’ cellars an attics for more 60s barbie clothes and shoes and traded them: vintage heaven!
plus there was lots we made ourselves and sometimes i even got a new dress for christmas or my birthday.
so: yes to barbie, absolutely YES to tiny frocks and let’s all relax about their body shape, please.

19 dana May 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm

but bratz are indeed an absolute no-go.

20 Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) May 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I wasn’t very interested in Barbies as a child, but Janice and I did go through a couple phases of playing with them. I also was a little hesitant about them, but I got my girls a couple of the career inspired ones as well as some handmade doll clothes. However, my girls also don’t bother playing with them very much.

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