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Barbie Doll's Style & Fashion; 1971

Updated on January 11, 2018
TeriSilver profile image

Teri Silver is a journalist, commercial copywriter, editor, broadcast anchor, and Public Relations Specialist.

Barbie's gone "Malibu!"
Barbie's gone "Malibu!"

 In 1971 ...

The world was a busy place.

Women in Switzerland were given voting rights; China joined the United Nations; the NASDAQ stock market index began to operate in the United States; the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified to give 18-year-olds the right to vote. In 1971, National Public Radio gave its first broadcast (April); television advertisements for cigarettes were banned from being shown on American stations ... and ...

Mattel introduced Malibu Barbie.

Hair Happenin's Barbie Doll
Hair Happenin's Barbie Doll
Live Action Barbie, Christie, Ken & P. J.
Live Action Barbie, Christie, Ken & P. J.

Malibu Barbie

Malibu Barbie wore an aqua-blue, one-piece swimsuit and carried a yellow beach towel. Her “skin” was suntanned. It wouldn’t be long before Francie, Skipper, Ken and their friends went “Malibu” too!

A number of Barbie dolls with different hair styles hit the market in 1971. Twist ‘n Turn Barbie with shoulder-length, bottom-flipped hair came in blonde and brunette. New versions of Living Barbie and Talking Barbie were available in various hair shades. Living Barbie wore a one-piece swimsuit and matching cover-up — white with large round dots of pink, purple and red. Talking Barbie wore a white two-piece swimsuit with a long, gold cover-up. All the dolls could wear the "standard" Barbie fashions.

Barbie in Fringe Benefits
Barbie in Fringe Benefits
Two Way Tiger
Two Way Tiger
Glowin' Out
Glowin' Out | Source
Super Scarf
Super Scarf

Beautiful Hair and Live Action!

Barbie With Growing Pretty Hair had long hair that “grew” from her head. She wore a sleeveless pink satin dress (with a triangular hem) and a gold belt. Attachable hair pieces were included with the doll. Also, like the Francie models from 1970, Mattel released Hair Happenin’s Barbie Doll — complete with attachable hair pieces. Barbie wore a white short-sleeved peasant blouse, pink skirt with ruffled hem and a wide black belt. Her short haircut allowed her to wear a variety of hair-styled wigs.

The Live Action dolls could dance to the sounds of their own records. The dolls definitely sported an early 1970’s “hippie” look — Barbie, Christie, Ken and P. J. and were dressed in colorful, stylish clothes and placed on special stands. Mattel released a clothing line — Fashions ‘n Sounds — that had 45 rpm records packaged with the outfits.

Poncho Put-On
Poncho Put-On
Fun Flakes
Fun Flakes
Golfing Greats
Golfing Greats
Wild 'n Wintery
Wild 'n Wintery
Magnificent Midi
Magnificent Midi
Stacey in Silver Serenade
Stacey in Silver Serenade
Barbie in Bubbles 'n Boots
Barbie in Bubbles 'n Boots

Barbie Doll's 1971 Closet

Mini-skirts were still fashionable but the “midi” look was also popular in the early part of the decade. 12 outfits were repeated from the 1970 season and Barbie Doll had 32 new outfits in 1971, as well as three Fashion ‘n Motion ensembles and a couple of gift sets.

Fringe Benefits (#3401, 1971-1972); sleeveless raspberry-colored sheath with an orange “suede” v-neckline and matching wide-fringed belt. Orange “suede” boots finished the look.

Two Way Tiger (#3402, 1971-1972); bell-bottomed pants and empire-waist top in a green and orange “tiger stripe” pattern. The sleeveless top had an orange bow at the bottom of the breast area. Barbie wore chartreuse “chunky” shoes with the outfit.

Baby Doll Pinks (#3403, 1971-1972); short, bright-pink tricot nightgown with a sheer nylon overlay. The empire waist sported a reddish-orange ribbon — the same as the straps. The skirt was ruffled. Pink slippers came in the package.

Glowin’ Out (#3404, 1971-1972); the dress had a pink satin, sleeveless bodice attached to a short skirt of gold brocade. The dress had pink floral appliqués on the skirt and satin bows on the waist. Barbie wore the dress with pink “chunky” shoes.

Evening In (#3406, 1971-1972); wide-legged pants — pink with bright flowers of green, yellow, orange and red. A sleeveless pink “hostess” dress fit over the pants … it buckled at the waist, the wide skirt flowed over the pants. Gold “triangle” earrings and red shoes finished off the look.

Midi Mood (#3407, 1971-1972); long-sleeved pale-yellow blouse with three buttons down the front. The blue skirt had a floral pattern and was layered at the hem. Yellow shoes completed the ensemble.

Super Scarf (#3408, 1971-1972); the dress had a red bodice with long sleeves, it fit into a plaid-like textured skirt accented by a gold chain. Accessories included a long red scarf (fringed at the ends) and red mid-calf boots.

Red for Rain (#3409, 1971-1972); bright-red raincoat that belted at the waist. The package included a matching rain hat and white mid-calf boots.

Night Lighter
Night Lighter
The Zig Zag Bag
The Zig Zag Bag
In Stitches
In Stitches
All About Plaid
All About Plaid
Gaucho Gear
Gaucho Gear
Dancing Lights
Dancing Lights

Barbie Doll's Endless Closet

Poncho Put-On (#3411, 1971-1972); sleeveless knit pantsuit in white, orange and yellow houndstooth — Barbie wore a yellow poncho with orange vinyl trim over the top. A yellow-knitted hat (with an orange bill) and matching ankle boots finished off the look.

Fun Flakes (#3412, 1971-1972); white, ankle-length, wide-legged pants with cerise-colored “snowflakes” midway down to the hem. A sleeveless (cerise) blouse was worn under the long-waisted short-sleeved jacket (which matched the pants). “Chunky” shoes came in the package.

Golfing Greats (#3413, 1971-1972); the long-sleeved body-blouse was in bright yellow — it fit into a plaid wrap skirt. The matching plaid cap had a turquoise bill. Barbie wore turquoise knee socks and tennis shoes. She carried a plastic golf bag — (matching) plaid with vinyl trim. Two golf clubs and two balls were in the bag.

Satin Slumber (#3414, 1971-1972); pale-blue satin pajamas — the short spaghetti-strapped top was covered with sheer nylon and adorned with a bow. The loose-fitting pants gathered at the waist. A matching bathrobe was made in a deep-blue nylon with satin trim and a blue tie-ribbon at the waist. Light-blue satin slippers kept Barbie’s feet warm at night.

Wild ‘n Wintery (#3416, 1971-1972); the hot-pink felt skirt, worn with a sleeveless pink shell, matched the long-waisted bodice of the coat. The coat’s long sleeves and hood were made of leopard-printed “fur.” A wide, white belt circled the waist. Pink panty hose and white thigh-high “hip” boots gave Barbie Doll that ultra “mod” look.

Bridal Brocade (#3417, 1971-1972); thick, white brocade gown with a white floral pattern. The dress had gold-threaded braid around its empire waist, at the sleeves and hem. The hem and sleeve cuffs were trimmed with white “fur.” The tulle-layered veil was also trimmed with the gold braid — the veil fell just below the shoulders. Accessories included short white gloves, a bouquet of white flowers (in green netting with white ribbon streamers) and white “chunky” shoes.

Magnificent Midi (#3418, 197101972); the dress had a black ribbed, sleeveless bodice that fit into a red skirt — a black braid fell just above the hem and a black vinyl belt circled the waist. The red coat had a black “fur” hem, thin braid around the sleeve cuffs and three vinyl strips that fastened to gold buttons. Accessories included a red hat (with “fur” trim) and black “leather” fur-trimmed boots.

Silver Serenade (#3419, 1971-1972); silver and turquoise metallic-threaded dress — it was blocked with alternating colors and had a slit on the skirt. A thin braided flower adorned the breast area (the silvery straps were fashioned the same way). A pair of turquoise panty hose, silver elbow-length gloves, turquoise open-toed shoes and a matching “fur” stole completed the outfit. Barbie sang into a plastic microphone set on its stand.

Bubbles ‘n Boots (#3421, 1971-1972); this multi-colored printed dress with puffed, push-up sleeves had a wide rounded neckline. The dress … in purple, blue, green, orange, lavender and yellow … had a purple “suede” belt (with gold studs) and tall purple boots.

The Color Kick (#3422, 1971-1972); this long-sleeved “cat suit” (with its turtleneck top and matching panty hose) came in wide, bright horizontal stripes of blue, orange, chartreuse and yellow. A bright-yellow “fur” mini-skirt wrapped to the side and fastened with three red buttons on the hip. Shoes did not come with this outfit.

Peasant Dressy
Peasant Dressy
Country Music
Country Music
Groovin' Gauchos
Groovin' Gauchos
Barbie in Festival Fashion
Barbie in Festival Fashion

More Beautiful Clothes

Night Lighter (#3423, 1971-1972); long-sleeved jumpsuit — the body was red, the sleeves were purple with red cuffs, the armhole areas and pant hems were light-green. A purple “suede” belt fashioned at the waist. Red go-go boots completed the outfit.

In Blooms (#3424, 1971-1972); multi-patterned caftan-like dress in chartreuse, green, blue and pink. Blue shoes came in the package.

Turtle ‘n Tights (#3426, 1971-1972); royal-blue turtleneck and matching pantyhose worn under an orange suede-cloth skirt — the hem was fringed with long strips that fell below the knees. Barbie wore an orange belt and “chunky” blue shoes.

The Dream Team (#3427, 1971-1972); lacy white nightgown and matching robe. The ruffled, tricot gown featured blue ribbon accents; the robe had a lace ruffle at the neck. A blue ribbon sash adorned the waist. Soft white scuff slippers with blue ribbons and lace completed the ensemble.

The Zig Zag Bag (#3428, 1971-1972); bell-bottom pants in a red and white zigzag pattern. The long-sleeved blouse, colored with larger zigzags in red, orange, white and black, was worn under a red-knit sleeveless shell. Red shoes completed the outfit.

Cold Snap (#3429, 197101972); brushed tricot coat in red, with a wide white “fur” collar. Red knee-high boots came with the coat.

Victorian Velvet (#3431, 1971-1972); dark-purple velvet dress — it had “antique” lace sleeves and small white braids at the neckline, empire waist and above the hem. Three “pearl” buttons adorned the bodice. Matching cut-out shoes accompanied the dress.

In Stitches (#3432, 1971-1972); long-sleeved yellow blouse with a high collar, woven pants in various collars and vertical patterns — the matching long-waisted vest was patterned horizontally. A matching shoulder purse and yellow shoes or go-go boots completed the outfit. This set came in a couple of different versions.

All About Plaid (#3433, 1971-1972); triangular-hemmed dress — the fringed skirt was patterned in orange, yellow and lime-green plaid. The long-sleeved knitted bodice was lime-green. An orange vinyl belt circled the waist. A matching shawl, shoulder bag and “chunky” green shoes completed the ensemble.

Fun Fur (#3434, 1971-1792); furry coat in beige and ecru. The collar and belt were made of tan broadcloth — the belt’s gold buckle was shaped in a horizontally-wide diamond. Accessories included a tan crocheted hat and brown knee-high boots.

Gaucho Gear (#3436, 1971-1972); several pieces made up this set: long-sleeved bodysuit — dark-green with bright multi-colored floral print — and matching full skirt; orange vinyl gauchos trimmed in brown cloth; a brown fringed shoulder bag and matching vest and an orange felt hat with braided neck ties. Barbie wore brown fringed boots.

Dancing Lights (#3437, 1971-1972); long-sleeved, four-tiered dress in various patterns — colored in fuchsia, cerise, yellow, blue and white. The cerise-colored metallic belt matched the accompanying lamé stole. Accessories included a black “butterfly” choker and closed-toe cerise-colored shoes.

Plush 'n Warm
Plush 'n Warm
Perfectly Plaid Gift Set
Perfectly Plaid Gift Set
P. J. in Fashion 'n Motion
P. J. in Fashion 'n Motion

Styles of 1971

Peasant Dressy (#3438, 1971-1972); the long-sleeved, widely cuffed midi-dress in various colors and patterns — purples, pinks, yellows and grays in flowers, stars, dots and stripes — had a full skirt and ruffled hem. The bodice had a yellow crisscross tie cord at the breast and a wide purple waistband. A long, white eyelet slip peeked under the dress. Brown knee-high “laced” boots completed the look.

Wild Things (#3439, 1971-1972); long-sleeved jumpsuit in lime-green and a white, sleeveless, below-the-knee-length “fur” vest that was trimmed with floral braid and lined in green silk. A royal-blue belt and matching ankle boots came with the outfit. Another version of this ensemble was made in bubblegum-pink and had a matching purse.

Fashion ‘n Sounds

Barbie and her friends got musical! Fashion ‘n Sounds outfits were packaged with real two-sided 45 rpm records.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Country Music (#1055, 1971-1972); red and white mid-length dress in ruffles and rickrack. The long-sleeved blouse (red, with white dots and flowers) had ruffled sleeves, a fitted bodice (with ruffles down the front and at the neckline) and a short peplum. The wide skirt was red with a white floral pattern … it had layers of white eyelet fabric, adorned with rickrack. A white “apron” with red floral pattern layered over the skirt. Accessories included white “laced” boots, a white three-corner fringed shawl, red sunglasses and a 45 rpm record (with songs on each side).

Groovin’ Gauchos (#1057, 1971-1972); colorful, variously-patterned gauchos and vest (blue, green, yellow, pink and lavender). A long-sleeved fuchsia blouse, “suede” choker, fringed purse and two-sided 45 rpm record came in the package.

Festival Fashion (#1056, 1971-1972); a full multi-colored floral skirt and white blouse with sheer long sleeves that ruffled at the cuffs. A pink vest was worn over the blouse and a wide brown “suede” belt (which laced up the front) circled the waist. Accessories included a pink hat (with attached scarf), brown calf-high boots and a 45 rpm record.

Fashion Paks and Gift Sets

Barbie Doll’s wardrobe was accented by several 1971 Fashion Paks:

Soft ‘n Snug; furry skirts with matching bonnets in either red or blue. Matching shoes came in the packages.

Walking Pretty; eight pairs of shoes in various colors and styles and one pair of high boots.

Cool ‘n Casual; pants and halter top in variously-shaded vertical stripes of dark and light pink.

Fashion Firsts; panties, petticoats and a bathroom scale.

Plush ‘n Warm; hot-pink fleecy hooded sweatshirt with built in panties.

The Sew In; zippers, buttons and belt buckles.

Made for Malibus (J. C. Penney); various accessories including: beach umbrella, ball, record player, records, snorkel, swim fins and facemask, sunglasses, makeup and hair brushes, hair clips and a “hamburger.”

Perfectly Plaid Gift Set (Sears, #1193); this set included a Talking Barbie Doll in her original white swimsuit and gold cover-up. The accompanying outfit featured a one-piece jumpsuit — the pants were red, white and blue plaid and the bodice was red. The waistband was white. The plaid coat had a collar of white “fur.” A matching white “fur” hat, white clutch purse and a pair of flat red shoes completed the outfit.

Fashion ‘n Motion Gift Set, (Sears Gift Set, #1508); Live Action P. J! Barbie’s cousin P. J. wore her original live-action outfit. She could change into brightly-colored floral pants or a mini-skirt (both with red waistbands) and a long-sleeved, fringed, cropped halter top. Suede cloth boots completed the look. The gift set included P. J.’s live-action touch ‘n go stand and a 45 rpm record.

And On To 1972 …

Mini, midi, maxi … the styles were evolving and Barbie and her friends kept up with the ever-changing fashion times. 1972 featured busy dolls, talking dolls, walking dolls and some special promotional items. Barbie found some new friends and wore her Miss America crown!

© 2011 Teri Silver


Submit a Comment
  • uniquearticlesbuz profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    Nice hubs dear and i like your pic collection in your hubs keep going ............

  • acc12 profile image


    8 years ago

    Fun hub! Yes, I still have Poncho Put On and Fun Flakes. Fortunately, I never had to wear outfits such as these in real life! Got to love the '70s..


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