Samantha Parkington is a young Edwardian girl being raised by her wealthy grandmother in New York at the turn of the twentieth century. Mischievous, curious, and tomboyish, Samantha often finds herself at odds with the old-fashioned and Victorian Grandmary, who expects her to behave "like a lady" while her more free-spirited uncle introduces her to modern ideas. Throughout her storyline, Samantha, though the lens of her privilege, confronts the issues of classism, women's suffrage, and child labor, as well as the fast-paced technological and social changes of the period.
I received Samantha for my 9th birthday and she quickly became my favorite character from the American Girl series. It was a childhood dream of mine to dress just like her, and I finally got to for Dragon*Con 2019! This is actually the official Pleasant Company reproduction of Samantha's afternoon tea dress from Meet Samantha, which was marketed in the early 1990s as part of an entire line of child-size "Dress Like Your Doll" outfits. The dresses famously ran quite large, and I discovered as an adult that a kid's size 16 - the largest they made - fit me perfectly! I found this dress on eBay as well as the locket necklace, which is also an official Pleasant Company reproduction, and paired them with the appropriate underclothes, including a petticoat, wine-colored stockings, and a steel-boned corset. I also found a pair of black Edwardian boots to finish off the look. To add some additional authenticity to the character, I searched thrift stores and found a pink velvet snap purse which matched Samantha's accessory and a wine-colored velvet hat which I decorated with trims and ribbon to more closely resemble Samantha's. This was so much fun to wear and surprisingly comfortable, despite the corset. More people recognized me than I expected!