1965 Sindy Outfits & Separates

By 1965, for many Sindy had become the British fashion doll sweetheart. The 1965 style leaflet reflected Pedigree’s growing confidence in their product and in how 60s teenagers viewed themselves. The leaflet said “The free, swinging, grown-up girl who lives her own life and dresses the way she likes.” She was given even more outfits described as “Clothes that go with the exciting and fascinating life Sindy leads!”

As noted in 1964 Sindy, the 1965 outfits were introduced earlier in the UK, but were first shown in the 1965 style leaflet. These new outfits were initially Made in England. It is also likely that 1966 outfits were introduced in 1965, but as yet we can’t prove that for ourselves.

Whilst Sindy’s existing outfits were still being made in England, the production of some separates was in the process of being switched to the Irish Republic. These clothes would go on to use printed on white cotton fabric labels which say “Genuine Sindy Made in Irish Republic”. They were made using the British flat Newey Poppers.

As noted previously, production of Sindy’s outfits had already begun in Hong Kong in 1964 to supply the Australian and probably some European markets. 

The 1960s saw the rise of Hong Kong as an important manufacturing hub. It was particularly suited to the production of dolls and outfits with the growth of its plastics, textile and clothing industries. Switching to the Far East where manufacturing costs were much cheaper, and where by subcontracting to more than one factory Pedigree could keep up with the high demand for Sindy and her clothes, was beneficial to the company both economically and to fulfil its order book obligations.

The existing outfits manufactured in Hong Kong to supply Australia and some European markets were based on the second MIE versions and it is likely that at some point, perhaps in 1965, these Hong Kong imports began to supplement UK stocks, making up the shortfalls in orders here. Those Hong Kong outfits destined for the U.K. market used woven black thread on white nylon “EMPIRE MADE” labels. The poppers on “EMPIRE MADE” outfits use the distinctive Hong Kong dome-shaped poppers (shown above).

As a colony of the British Empire at this time, Hong Kong products could be imported without restriction, and those first Sindy outfits imported to the U.K. used the “Empire Made” labelling. “Empire Made” was a mark that was introduced in 1926 by the Merchandise Marks Act of 1926 to distinguish overseas goods, and it was confirmed in Parliament as late as 1955 that toys with this marking could be imported into the UK without restriction (HC Deb 05 July 1955 vol 543 c75W). There was perhaps also a marketing ploy used here. In the 1930s the Empire Marketing Board (EMB) exhorted the idea of ‘Buy British first, Empire next, and Foreign last’, and although the EMB was abolished in 1933, this idea appears to have lingered on and perhaps labelling them as ‘Empire’ rather than ‘Hong Kong’ made them more acceptable to buy. Eventually in around 1967 Pedigree stopped using Empire Made labels and used Hong Kong labels instead.

In 1965 Sindy was launched in New Zealand. Like Australia, the New Zealand oufits also appear to have had Hong Kong labels, or sometimes no label at all.

All the previous outfits and separates were still available, together with the new ones.

Winter Holiday (Ref 12S11)

Skiing became very fashionable in the 60s and Sindy was given the perfect outfit. 

A bright blue nylon quilted anorak with a white lining and a white fluffy trim on the cuffs and attached hood. It fastened down the front with three white poppers. Underneath her anorak, Sindy wore a white ribbed polo-neck cotton knitted jumper, with a sewn-on ribbed hem and which fastened at the back of the neck with a white popper. To keep her legs warm she had dark orange pull-on nylon, stretch pants with elasticated stirrups.

Black lace-up ski boots, skis, ski poles, mittens and sunglasses completed the outfit. The skis were made of black plastic decorated with a spray-painted silver edging around the top side of the ski and a silver bird near the curved front shovel. They had metal fixings to hold the boot in place with a metal toe strap and a fine metal spring which hooked behind the boot to fasten down the heel. The ski poles were made of black plastic with moulded hand grips and wrist straps. They had sliver coloured baskets (the flat disk located above the ski pole tip to stop the pole digging itself too deep into the snow).

The 1965 style leaflet does not refer to the mittens, this omission was rectified in the 1966 booklet.

There are Made in England and Hong Kong (both Empire Made and Made in Hong Kong labels) versions of this outfit. The Winter Holiday anoraks are really interesting because you can see the MIE and Hong Kong manufacturing-crossover timeline quite clearly with this outfit. This outfit was originally Made in England, and then made in Hong Kong; and there are four anoraks with four different labels.

The fabric and trim of the MIE version is very good quality. Following this was the first Hong Kong version, this also had a sheepskin trim, but had white dome shaped poppers and an Empire Made label. Following on from the sheepskin versions were the luxuriant white real fur versions (which feels like rabbit fur). These anoraks had the white dome shaped poppers and originally came with Empire Made labels which were later changed for Hong Kong labels. All four versions are shown below. It is noticeable that some Hong Kong sheepskin trim anoraks have no labels at all, perhaps they were used early on to complete outfits assembled here in England?

From left to right, Made in England sheepskin trim, Empire Made sheepskin trim, Empire Made real fur trim, and Made in Hong Kong real fur trim.

The first Made in England version had the pretty white sheepskin trim, flat white poppers and a MIE label. An interesting observation on this anorak is that on at least some, the quilted fabric on the back is cut and stitched on the horizontal. Far East versions are cut on the horizontal.

We don’t know if this is an oddity or was the actual design? We know of a couple of these and we would be keen to establish if this was the norm. Please do let us know what you have on your MIE versions.

The stretch pants also differ slightly between the English and Hong Kong made versions. The MIE version was made of a burnt orange stretch nylon with a fine honeycomb pattern whereas the Hong Kong version is a brighter redder orange colour with a tighter knit pattern (shown below with MIE on top and Hong Kong made underneath). 

The polo-neck jumpers are a good match, although the MIE version is a tighter, better quality knit. The neckline and polo neck is also wider on the MIE version. The poppers are flat on the MIE version and dome-shaped on the Far Eastern version.

The original MIE mittens were made of white felt with white stitching, but as Pedigree rationalised production and moved manufacturing to the Far East, they reused the red top-stitched mittens that were made for 1963’s Skating Girl (Ref 12S05) instead.

We can see no real material differences in the sunglasses, ski boots, ski poles or skis.

Shown above, the MIE Winter Holiday on the left and the Hong Kong real fur version right.

We have also seen a synthetic fur trimmed version of the anorak, but we don’t know if that was ever an official Pedigree item, a temporary substitute, or if it was just a good clone copy.

Emergency Ward (Ref 12S12)

A wonderful outfit. Sindy could now be a student nurse in a crisp blue and white striped nurse’s uniform which fastened with white poppers. In keeping with the formal hospital uniforms of the time, the dress was completed with a white starched apron, the bib being attached to the dress at the front with a small gold pin and fastened at the back of the waist with a white popper. White cotton elasticated pull-on cuffs, a pleated face mask and a nurses cap with two hair grips to hold it in place, together with a white PVC collar and blue plastic belt completed the look. The cap, collar and belt were all also fastened using single white poppers. She wore black stockings and white lace-up shoes and she carried a white, cotton triangular bandage.

She also had a medical chart, and a white medicine bottle with a red & white label, but this was not referred to in the style booklet until the following year.

There are Made in England and Hong Kong (both Empire Made and Made in Hong Kong labels) versions of this outfit, and this is an outfit that does differ between the two countries. The main difference being quality, for example the English version uses a good quality white cotton and the items are more generously cut. Other quality differences are also considered below. The Hong Kong versions are still nice but you can see the items are a little smaller and cut more economically.

One of the big differences between the two versions is the nurse’s dress. The Made in England bodice and short sleeves are cut from one piece of fabric. It also has a lower waist. Overall the dress is cut larger than the Hong Kong version. This version is made of a lighter sky blue striped cotton and fastens with flat white painted poppers. Usually the nurse’s dress has five poppers, but we have an MIE version which has just three (shown above right). The Hong Kong version is different, it is made of a darker navy blue striped cotton, and the sleeves are sewn to the bodice. The waist is higer. This version has dome shaped white painted poppers. Please see comparison photo below left.

The aprons are very similar but the Made in England version is more finely made and is machine stitched along the top of the bib providing extra detail. Flat white poppers on the English version and dome shaped white poppers on the Hong Kong version. Being picky, the small gold pin which attaches the bib of the apron to the bodice is a little bit nicer on the English version.

English white cuffs are cut a little bigger; the face mask is more rectangular and the overlocking stitch is neater. 

The nurse’s cap is cut more generously and fastens with a flat white popper. The Hong Kong versions are cut a little tighter and are not quite so nicely finished.This nurse’s cap uses a white dome shaped popper.

The MIE triangular bandage is cut wider than the Hong Kong version

Black stockings are Made in England and Made in Hong Kong respectively. MIE white lace-ups are hard plastic and the Far East version softer vinyl plastic.

Shown left to right Made in England, Made in Hong Kong first version and Made in Hong Kong later version.

Noticeable differences can be found with the white PVC collar. 

The English version has a white flat popper and the fabric backed PVC is soft and flexible. 

We have two Hong Kong versions of the collar. The first version is most similar to the English version, but is made of a shinier fabric backed PVC which is quite stiff in comparison. It is cut a little smaller and has a white dome shape popper. There is also a later version of the collar which is quite common, it is made from rigid white vinyl plastic. It is exactly the same size as the first Hong Kong version and it also has the white dome shaped popper.


The nurses belts are different. The English version is made of a lighter blue, soft vinyl plastic and has the white flat popper. The Hong Kong version is made of a darker blue, stiffer ridged vinyl plastic and has a dome shaped popper. The Hong Kong version is cut a little smaller.

Both belts are shown left. MIE on top and the Hong Kong version underneath.


Finally, the MIE medical chart is of better quality than the Hong Kong version with much finer and easier to read printing.

Similarly to 1964 Seaside Sweetheart (Ref 12S10), the MIE medicine bottle is taller, has a longer label and the writing on the label is finer. The MIE bottle is an opaque white, whilst the Hong Kong version is a solid white. As you can see with both bottles, the glue affixing the label has yellowed with age.

The MIE medical chart and medicine bottle are shown on the left and Hong Kong versions are shown right.

The complete outfits are shown above with MIE on the left and Hong Kong on the right.

Coffee Party (Ref 12S61)

A cotton waffle-knit sweater dress available in two colours, mocha-brown and dark blue. The dropped waist dress was straight cut to the knee, with a polo-neck, long sleeves and a matching woven belt. It fastened at the back with a real zip. A simple dress that was really very fashionable.

In the 1969 Sindy Style Leaflet, an updated drawing for this outfit was introduced with the belt omitted both in the drawing and in the description.

There are Made in England and Hong Kong (both Empire Made and Made in Hong Kong labels) versions of this outfit.

The biggest difference between the Made in England and the Hong Kong versions of this dress is the material, although the colours themselves are good matches.

The Made in England version is made of a softer, open waffle weave cotton knit. By comparison, the Hong Kong version it made of a denser, tighter waffle weave. Shown left and from left to right; Made in England Mocha Coffee fabric, Hong Kong made Mocha Coffee, Made in England dark blue fabric and Hong Kong dark blue.

We can’t really see much difference with the matching belts.

Shown above from left to right; Made in England Mocha Coffee, Hong Kong made Mocha Coffee, Made in England dark blue and Hong Kong dark blue.

Frosty Nights (Ref 12S62)

A cosy pyjama combination made in bright red flannelette cotton trimmed with white lace on the collar, yolk and cuffs of the pyjama jacket. It fastened with three white poppers. The pyjama bottoms had three-quarters length legs and an elasticated waist.

There are Made in England and Hong Kong (both Empire Made and Made in Hong Kong labels) versions of this outfit.

Although the version made in Hong Kong was just slightly more ruby red than the English version, it was good match apart from the white lace trim and white poppers (flat poppers on the Made in England version and dome shaped on those made in Hong Kong).

Interestingly there were two versions of the English lace trim. There is a version with a fine nylon lace (we have seen this one with both white and red flat poppers). The second English version has a heavy cotton lace trim and the Hong Kong version most resembles this.The lace is similar but not quite a match. This version is shown above.

Shown right from top to bottom: Made in England (nylon lace), Made in England (cotton lace) and Made in Hong Kong.

The complete outfits shown above with MIE on the left and in the middle and Hong Kong on the right.

Sindy's Hair Switch (Ref 12S63)

A glamorous hair-switch available in the same hair colours as Sindy herself. The hair was originally sewn into a piece of red cotton (similar to bias binding), attached to a piece of elastic so that it could be slipped onto Sindy’s head. The red cotton ensured that the hairpiece matched the Sindy Alice band ‘look’. It came with hair grips and a hair styling guide, so now you could style Sindy’s hair. 

The Hair Switch was subsequently redesigned and the elastic was replaced with velcro fastenings and a small piece of velcro on the underside to stop the band slipping (it was probably one of the earliest uses of velcro for toys and certainly for Sindy’s clothes). Any original packets were still re-used with labels stuck to the back of the leaflet to explain the difference. The velcro was described as “a touch and close fastening for easier fitting”.

Sindy’s Hair Switch was available in brunette, auburn and blonde.

The Hair Switch styling guide contained information on how to look after it and gave tips and suggestions including some hairstyle suggestions using some lovely pen and ink drawings.

The styling leaflet acknowledged that these styles had been specially created for Sindy by Robert Fielding of Regent Street. Robert Fielding was a group of hairdressing salons established in 1947 by Eric Fielding and Robert Davis. Although Mr Davis left the business in the 1950s, Eric Fielding continued to grow the business and by the 1960s it was a prestigious hairdresser with a huge list of clients including Dusty Springfield and Zsa Zsa Gabor. They owned their own Hairdressing School and had an in-house Artistic and Creation Team, who probably created these styles.

Lastly, the Hair Switch was also promoted the 1965 Sindy Gift Book, the first of the Sindy Albums.