Dress Like Your Doll is the fandom and later official term from American Girl for doll outfits that have a matching child-sized outfit. This encourages targeted children to seek complementing outfits.
Around 1988, Pleasant Company released outfits which were child-sized replicas of many of Samantha, Molly and Kirsten's available outfits. As new Historical characters were released, matching outfits were released in a size range of Girls' 7 to 16. Included were stockings, petticoats, hats, jewelry, specialty shoes or boots, and other accessories.
Samantha Parkington, Felicity Merriman, and Kirsten Larson received clothing that resembled each of their Central Series book outfits as well as sleepwear. Since Molly McIntire's summer book was based on campwear, a larger version of version of the Tap Dance Costume was released.
Addy Walker only received outfits based on her first four books and her nightgown. Josefina Montoya received her Meet outfit, Christmas Dress, Riding Dress and night shirt. Kit Kittredge received her meet outfit, Christmas dress, and pajamas. For all characters after Kaya, only sleepwear was made available which were generally released as characters were released.
Patterns were briefly available as well for select items.
Directly matching items were phased out for the most part in the late 1990 and early 2000s. A re-release of Kit's Meet Outfit was offered after the release of her movie, as well as a coat based on Samantha's Holiday Coat from the movie.
Prior to the BeForever launch, the only outfits that were available and directly imitated Historical outfits were nightgowns, robes, or pajamas for available characters.
With the launch of BeForever, outfits inspired by--but not perfectly resembling--the currently available Historical characters' meet outfits were released, as well as Samantha's redesigned nightgown. These outfits were designed more as modern reinterpretations or variations on meet outfits--for example, Caroline's outfit was interpreted into a white shirt with a ribbon like her waistband, pink jeggings to match the color of her dress, and a peacoat with nautical accents to allude to her love of sailing. Outfits based on limited edition outfits and revamped sleepwear for all the BeForever characters were also made available. Items continue to be released based on character outfits, including shirts and jackets.
The modern line frequently releases matching outfits to some of the offered clothes in Girls' sizes 6 to 16. Outfits have been offered since the start of the line and generally focus on casual wear, beachwear, sleepwear, some costumes, and special occasion clothing. They are generally sold in separate components and, while tights are often offered, most hair decorations are not, and no shoes other than bedroom/night slippers.
Souvenir shirts and hats from American Girl Place are almost always offered in children's sizes.
Bitty Baby and Bitty Twins frequently releases matching outfits for children in sizes from Young Girls' 3 to 7. They are generally modified to be less infantile (e.g. turning the design of an infant sleeper into a pajama top and pants). Outfits styled after Bitty Twin boy outfits were never released.
With Our New Baby, some of the clothes designed for the dolls were offered in infant sizes.
Starting with Kailey's Wet Suit and Bikini, one or two outfits have been available from each Girl of the Year's collection, and this was continued with the release of Contemporary Characters. This is generally the meet outfit (modified if needed), sleepwear, and another outfit. This does not have to be the whole outfit--only the shirt from Nicki's Ranch Outfit was offered, only the sweater from Saige's Sweater Outfit, and a modified apron based on Grace's Baking Outfit.
Matching outfits for children was made available with the line's debut, similar to the outfits worn as meet outfits for the dolls. The boots were modified into socks sold as a five-pair set, the WellieWishers Sock Set; a pair of see-through wellies, the Peek-A-Boo Wellies, were sold alongside.
There are also occasionally outfits, accessories, and items released for children that are not associated with any doll's clothing or accessories.
- ↑ Likely due to cultural sensitivity, no outfits directly based on Kaya's specific clothing was ever available.
- ↑ Caroline is the exception as her archival had been announced prior to the BeForever line getting revamped bedtime collections.
- ↑ For Isabelle Palmer, a majority of her separates--with leotards modified to tanks--were made available.