Cissy doll dresses were made in a time when polyester was not yet being made. Madame Alexander Cissy dolls were popular because Madame herself kept constant watch on the quality of both manufacture and materials. Her choice of fine fabrics and laces made each dress a true fashion statement of the era. The only synthetics in fairly common use were rayon and nylon. Since nylon organdy made fine, crisp bouffant petticoats that were popular in the person fashion world, the same materials were carried over into the Cissy doll’s fabulous wardrobe.
The doll’s flamboyant matching shoes and hats were legendary. Cissy was a trend setter in fashion; from classic suits and coats to casual peddle pushers and sandals. People even collected the ads picturing her newest outfits. All year long collectors waited for the newest fabulous fashions. She had formal dresses of chiffon and satin including a special coronation dress. Beach wear like you would see on rich ladies at the beach, and elegant evening wear such as one might see at the opera. Her cotton dresses were known for the wide, wide skirts– no skimping on material here. The skirts stood out with the help of the exquisite bouffant slips often trimmed with yards of net and lace.
Cissy had elegant underwear as well, as any well dressed lady of her time would have worn. A girdle was offered to slim her already perfectly proportioned hips. Unlike the fashion ladies of today, Cissy was not so thin she was skeletal– she was rounded but perfectly proportioned, making everything she wore look elegant and desirable.
High prices created today’s collectibles
Unfortunately for the young girls of the time who coveted her, Cissy was expensive and often out of reach of their parents’ pocketbook. In the 1950s and early 1960s four or five hundred dollars for a doll, regardless of how wonderful, was a shocking price. This high price range, however, restricted the number of dolls made, making them highly collectible today. Even the boxed extra outfits were expensive and few women of the day could afford a $45 dress for themselves, let alone a doll!