The Casual Wear Line (CWL) was the only brand name, separately packaged clothing available for Cabbage Patch Kids in 1983.
The clothing was modelled after outfits worn by the S.S. Happiness Crew and Peanuts characters.
The S.S. Happiness Crew was a four-book series written by June Dutton between 1980 -1983. She also collaborated with Charles M. Shultz to write several Peanuts (Snoopy) books during the same period of time. Both series were published by Determined Productions, who also copyrighted the character-based stuffed animals and their accompanying outfits for both storylines. (Ref)
The original SS and Snoopy stuffed animals came in two sizes, 10″ and 14″, so the outfits came in both sizes. (Jennifer Pelfrey, Feb 24, 2021)
They made very few changes for Cabbage Patch Kids. In fact, if you look closely at the back of the Safari Suit, you can see where the tail hole should be!
Determined Productions made good use of the outfits patterns as, not only were they later used for CPK outfits, some of the S.S. Happiness Crew clothing was also used for Peanuts Characters.
If you would like to know which Casual Wear Line outfits were worn by which characters, visit here.
The earliest description of the CWL that I have found comes from an in-house CPK newsletter produced in the ’80s, called Dolling Around.
“One group of items I feel shouldn’t be overlooked are the flat packaged 1983 Casual Wear. The painter’s smock, 3 pc. white suit, green jogging shorts, red pyjamas, safari suit, and blue romper are especially good. The red checked dress isn’t great, but worth having nonetheless.”(Ref #4, Vol. 2, Issue 1, p. 5)
Another early source, Patchwork by E.N. Chapman, described it as follows:
“There was a Causal Wear Line out in ’83 only, that is also very good to get. There was a painter’s smock, safari suit, boy’s white three-piece outfit, green jogging shorts with a white t-shirt, red and white checked dress, red pyjamas, a blue romper outfit, striped denim jeans, and perhaps others.”Ref #5, p. 109
When I first learned about the Casual Wear Line a few years ago, it seemed that most collectors felt they had the ‘entire collection’ when they had these six outfits.
However, if you look closely, there are other outfits listed in the previous quotes that are not among the six.
- Green jogging shorts
- Blue romper
- Red and white checked dress
Later in one of the FB groups, a woman was selling off a very large collection of material. Many packaged outfits were displayed in each picture, and in one such picture, I saw an outfit I did not recognize. When I zoomed in, I found that it was a CWL packaged outfit . . . that was not among the six known CWL outfits AND wasn’t described in either of my references!
I asked around, and with the help of Jodi Punki Patch, I was able to confirm that it was a Casual Wear Line outfit and get a better MIB picture to prove it.
So, now I had an inkling that there were more outfits out there. I started to keep an eye out, hoping another would emerge. Keep reading in Part 2!
Continued in Part 2.