1983 Series – The 1st CPK Clothes (and link list)

The outfits that started it all.

Shortcut to 1983 Individual Outfit Links list

When Cabbage Patch Kids came out in 1983, each was wearing one of 18 outfits. These outfits came in a variety of colours and patterns, but there were only 18 to choose from.  (Ref #4, Vol. 3 Issue 9/10/11, p. 6)

The 1983 series of outfits worn but a group of kids who are sitting on stairs, allowing the outfits to be visible.
The 1983 Series outfits.

A 1983 catalogue that appeared to have prototype outfits in it named each outfit. However, over time collectors have created new names that better describe the outfit, allowing for easier identification. For example, the outfit below was originally called the Snuggle Suit but is generally called a Bubble Romper by collectors. (Ref #4, Vol. 3 Issue 9/10/11, p. 6)

Picture of a 'bubble romper' outfit. It consists of a yellow knitted sweater that ties closed at the neck, a white cotton romper with pink rose buds underneath, and yellow knitted booties.

Primary Factory.

As explained in an earlier post ( What are Clothing Codes?), each outfit came with a code that consists of a letter and a number. The numbers represent the outfit type, and the letters represent a specific fabric pattern or colour combination. With this series, certain letters seem to have been produced primarily by certain factories. I call these the Primary Factory for each letter. For example, the KT factory produced the letters A and B for all 18 outfits, I think. Here are the primary factories, as proposed, at this point:


However, outfits were often produced by multiple factories, not just the Primary Factory. For example, I know that outfit 7A was produced by primary factory KT, and also by the LF, P, and OK factories. Below, we know that 2C was produced by two factories. Can you figure out which ones?

Graphic showing the code and factory outfits I have recorded for the sleeper outfit, as an example of what the record looks like.
Sample layout showing which ‘versions’ of the outfit that I have recorded. Make sure your outfit matches both code and factory. If it doesn’t, I likely need to record it.
ANSWER: 2C is produced by both the OK and KT factories. It may be produced by more, but I am unaware of them at this time.

In addition, not every letter was produced for every outfit. For example, the Sleeper (#2) only goes to letter K. Letters L to R (CC and SS primary factories) were only used for packaged outfits, and apparently, the Sleeper was not sold separately. Also, it was not manufactured by the PMI factory because the factory began production after they stopped making the Sleepers.

Factory Variation

The outfits produced by primary factory SS (P, Q, and R) are often close copies of earlier letters, making them difficult to identify. For example, if I had the red and white check Swing Dress (#1) recorded, you might think you didn’t need to check the one that you have. Unfortunately, I have the 1G (factory P) version, and yours is the 1Q (SS factory) version of the outfit, which I need to record. Consequently, checking to see if I have something recorded based on the code and factory is superior to using a description of the outfit.

A graphic showing how the SS factory outfits match previous letter outfits, using coloured spreadsheet lines.
Example: SS factory outfits matched with previous letter outfits.

We need to record all of the factories that made each outfit, as there are often differences between them. These differences can then be used to identify an outfit by factory, which may help to identify the possible factory of the kid wearing it or let you know if you need it for a specific kid. These differences can include but are not limited to, differences in:

  • fabric colour/pattern
  • small changes in the structure of the outfit
  • fabric type
  • silk tag placement
  • stitching pattern
  • thread colour
  • buttons
  • lace/edging material
  • size

Below is 1Q, as made by three different factories. Can you spot the differences?

Picture of three red and white gingham swing dresses. One each from the WW, WS and SS factories. They all look slightly different.
Difference: outfit structure, tie fabrics, red colours, size, lace pattern, elastic at sleeves, type of silk label

Potential Problems

Finally, just to make things difficult, some clothing tags, primarily those from the P and PMI factories, came with the codes on stickers that can wash off. Of the two, P factory tags like those below, are the most difficult to recognize as they do not actually have a P on them. However, even without code information, knowing which factory an outfit is from is a step in the right direction. (Jump to: What are Clothing Tag Codes)


As for shoes, they were specific to the outfit. In general, each outfit came with certain shoes, but there were only four options: Sneakers, Mary Jane’s, lace-up shoes (sometimes called lace-ups or high tops), and knit booties. Occasionally, as this is Coleco and they don’t stick to their own rules, kids will come with ‘unusual shoes’ for an outfit. For example, sometimes you will find dolls in the Bubble Romper with regular lace-up shoes.

Shoes that came with these outfits are labelled with the factory inside, about 1″ from the heel. They generally say ‘HONG KONG’ but were most likely produced in China, unless they came on an early 1983 doll. Like with the clothing, the shoe factory should match the dolls factory. If the doll is KT, the shoes should be KT.
For more details, jump to: Shoes – An overview and reference links

Casual Wear Line – Packaged Outfits

This is the only other line of clothing that came out in 1983 and all of these outfits came packaged. They did not come on boxed kids. For more information jump to Casual Wear Line (1983).

Outfit Summary Shortcuts

Below are shortcuts to information about each of the 1983 series outfits. This information includes the versions s that I already have recorded and those I am still looking for information on. Each outfit will open in a new tab, allowing for easier navigation while you work.
I would appreciate any help you can provide and accept tag/code information at any time.

For information on taking clothing tag pictures in order to assist with the research project, jump to: Taking Clothing Tag Pics

undefined #20 Sailor Suit

#19 There Isn’t One!

undefined #18 Striped Jogging Suit

undefined #17 Heart Dress

undefined #16 Denim Romper

undefined #15 Bib Dress

undefined #14 Pinafore Dress

undefined #13 Square Yoke Dress

undefined #12 Ruffled Overalls

undefined #11 Ducky Dress

undefined #10 Windbreaker Outfit

undefined #9 Bubble Romper

undefined #8 31 Tracksuit

undefined #7 Elephant Romper

undefined #6 Kitty Jogging Suit

undefined #5 Corduroy Suit

undefined #4 Frilly A-line Dress

undefined #3 Shoulder-Tie Dress

undefined #2 Sleeper

undefined #1 Swing Dress

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