1964 Sindy Outfits and Separates

Sindy proved to be a huge hit and in 1964 the Sindy style leaflet displayed two more outfits and two more separates. The very first print run of the 1964 style leaflet seems to indicate that these new clothes were available only in London to begin with. Presumably they were then rolled out across the rest of the country. 

We understand that the 1965 outfits actually went on sale in the UK during the summer of 1964, however to avoid confusion we will show them in the year they were first shown in the Sindy style leaflets and/or trade catalogues.

Production begins in Hong Kong initially to supply the Australian and other overseas markets and these outfits had “MADE IN HONG KONG” labels. These garments had the rounded dome-shaped poppers. We will talk more about production in the Far East in 1965 Sindy Outfits and Separates. 

The first Australian and French style leaflets only showed the twelve outfits and separates introduced in 1963. 

We believe in Australia it was timed for the 1964 Christmas market. We understand that at least some of the new 1964 outfits were also distributed in Australia at this time. Bridesmaid (Ref 12S09) is one definite example.

Meanwhile over in France, whilst Sindy was possibly introduced in time for Christmas 1963, distribution of the new French dressed Sindys and French made outfits was ramping up under the direction of the newly formed Meccano-Triang company (February 1964), and there was a new marketing campaign underway.

Whilst Sindy markets were being developed abroad, here in the U.K. Pedigree was rationalising its manufacturing to make some clothes quicker and easier to produce. They were also looking at solutions to increase production with the introduction of subcontracting and homeworking. At some point in 1964, contracts in the Irish Republic were likely to have been explored.

There is a variation of the MIE outfit which has pink fabric flowers in the bouquet and on the headband shown below. We think there are also there were other bouquet and headband colour variations.

Bridesmaid (Ref 12S09)

Sindy’s first bridesmaid dress was lovely, it had a full length, shimmering strapless lemon yellow gown made of two layers. The gown was made of yellow taffeta covered with a layer of white chiffon which has a sparkly shimmer. It had a fitted bodice trimmed at the top with a double layer of white chiffon, and it had a full floor length skirt. The dress fastened at the back with two white painted metal poppers. Worn over the dress was a matching jacket which also fastened at the back with two white painted metal poppers. The jacket had a stand-up chiffon collar around the neckline and three-quarter length sleeves decorated with a white taffeta ribbon trim. This ribbon was also used as a trim at the bottom of the jacket. A length of ribbon was sewn beneath the top white poppers to be tied into a bow with long ribbon streamers at the back.

Underneath the dress Sindy wore a double layered full length net underskit to fill out the skirt. The outfit came with a decorative bouquet of blue fabric flowers and green fabric leaves backed with a gathered lace doily, with the three of the same flowers glued to a length of white satin ribbon to make a matching headband. The headband fastened behind her head with one white painted flat metal popper. She also wore a pearl and gold link necklace around her neck, which was “a gift from the bridegroom” and white kitten heel shoes on her feet.

A truly beautiful outfit, although it is fragile and the chiffon frays easily. This outfit was only available for two years from 1964 to 1965. MIE shown left and Hong Kong version below.

Even though this beautiful and complex outfit was only made for two years, there is both an MIE and a Hong Kong version. Both versions have labels, but the version made in Hong Kong has “Empire Made” labels which we will discuss in 1965 Sindy.

The MIE version is made from a brighter, slightly paler lemon taffeta and has the white painted flat poppers. The Hong Kong version is a deeper yellow and has white painted dome shaped poppers. MIE ribbon is a good quality taffeta and whilst the Hong Kong ribbon is a good match, it’s softer and it does fray more easily. The MIE slip is made of much stiffer netting with a slightly larger mesh and thicker elastic waistband. The Hong Kong underskirt is softer and the mesh finer, and the elasticated waistband is thinner.

But the biggest different is the bouquet and the headband. The flowers are very different, as shown with the bouquets right. The MIE blue flowers are cut more delicately and are a light blue fading to almost white in the centre of each flower, with green and white stamens. They have a light green leaf. The Hong Kong flowers are cut more broadly and have a deeper blue tinge at the ends of the petals with pale blue stamens. They have a blue-green leaf.

The MIE headband fastens with one white painted flat popper and the Hong Kong version is stitched with a piece of white elastic.

We can see no real difference with the necklace and we cannot say with certainty whether the white court shoes differed with the version.

Seaside Sweetheart (Ref 12S10)

A groovy little number for the beach, which consisted of orange and white gingham cotton ‘Jamaica’ shorts and a matching midi or crop top edged around the neck and arm holes with orange bias binding. The top fastened at the back with one white painted metal popper. If it got colder Sindy could slip on her orange towelling, hooded beachwrap which tied with a white cord. The beachwrap was very simply made from one piece of towelling. It had elastic at the neck to form a hood, and holes cut and reinforced on the inside with a cutout towelling oval for Sindy’s arms. There was a matching towelling beachbag with a slightly thinner white cord tie, a bottle of suntan lotion and a pair of sunglasses. On her feet, Sindy wore a pair of mustard coloured daisy sandals.

There are three versions of this sweet outfit. Two MIE and one made in the Far East. They all match quite well with only minor differences.

With the first MIE version, the shorts and top are cut slightly larger. In particular, the legs of the shorts are about half a centimetre longer and the crop top is also longer. Our version is finished with white stitching. The accompanying beachwrap and bag are made from a paler, more tightly woven, orange towelling. The second MIE version is cut slightly smaller and ours is finished with orange stitches. The shorts and crop top are made from the same gingham fabric, but the beachwrap and bag are made from a deeper orange towelling. Both these versions have a flat white painted popper on the crop top. The Far East version is made from a slightly denser, slightly yellower gingham cotton and whilst the towelling wrap is a good match to the second MIE version, it’s often cut smaller (width or length or both). The Far East version can be found with either “Empire Made” or “Made in Hong Kong” labels.

The second MIE and the Far East tie belts are very similar, however our first MIE tie belt is cut shorter and is thicker. However because the first MIE version wasn’t MIB (Mint in Box), we cant really can’t say whether it is completely original, has been cut or is a substitute.

We can see no real material differences between the daisy sandals.

There is a difference is the suntan lotion bottles. The MIE versions are taller and the writing on the label is finer. Also the plastic of the Hong Kong version is slightly darker.

MIE versions left and Hong Kong version shown right.

There also appears to be a difference with the first MIE sunglasses. Although both MIE versions are made in Hong Kong; the first version has a better moulded frame with a more pronounced bridge and lenses that are a paler bottle green. This pair says “MADE IN HONG KONG” on the arms.

The other versions we have, found with both the second MIE and the Far East outfits have darker emerald green lenses, and on the arms they either say “HONG KONG” or are blank.

We would be interested to know what you have found with these glasses?

Springtime (Ref 12S59) (aka Blouse)

This was a pretty, patterned cotton blouse with long push-up sleeves and a sewn-on mandarin collar. The cuffs were elasticated and it fastened at the back with three metal poppers. The poppers vary in type depending on where it was made and a number of these blouses have been found with no poppers at all.

The blouse was shown in a number of style leaflets up to and including 1970, and over its life it was manufactured in a number of different places. Thus it can be found in a variety of patterns and colours. We believe that there maybe at least twelve different colourways and patterns. We have tracked down eleven and we would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has any other patterns. 

In the 1969 & 1970 style leaflets the drawing of this top was updated and it was renamed simply as ‘Blouse’ (see below).

Shown left is the MIE green and orange variant, worn with Leather Looker (Ref 12S51).

This is a great garment for variation collectors and the good thing about it is, it nearly always has a label, so it is quite easy to identify where it was made.

As seen in the style leaflet photo above, the very first version was the Made in England version. There were three colourways; red and brown, orange and green ,and blue and green. The red and brown pattern illustrated the Pedigree style leaflets for a number of years. This version has three flat white painted metal poppers.

Please note we have found one of these patterns (the red version) also with Irish Republic labels.

At some point, possibly in 1965/66, the Irish Republic also started producing Springtime. These blouses were made for a number of years in the Republic of Ireland and there are some very nice variations amongst these. Irish blouses predominantly use three flat chrome poppers, but flat white painted metal poppers can also be found.

Made in the Irish Republic blouses, left, below left and below right (seven versions).

We believe the two blouses below right were maybe the last to be made (see below).

This pretty version has a Made in Hong Kong label and has three white painted dome shaped poppers.

Whilst less common here in the UK, this version is relatively common in Australia, pointing to Australia having Hong Kong exports from Sindy’s launch.

Made in the Irish Republic

In 1969 and 1970, ‘Sprintime’ was renamed ‘Blouse’ and was shown on Vicki, it still had the same reference. This pattern was probably one of the last Irish Republic versions to be made. Perhaps to synchronise globally with the new booklet, this version can also be found with the telltale Hong Kong dome shaped poppers.

Presumed Made in Hong Kong

Sweet Swimmer (Ref 12S60)

A lovely royal blue, stretch nylon swimming costume, and of course back in the 1960s, ladies swimwear was far less risqué. Today, we would probably describe this as a ‘boyleg’ swimsuit. It was styled with a boat-neck neckline at the front with a deep V at the back. The top of the swimsuit was decorated with white woven tape around the neckline and V-back. White kitten heel two-strap backless sandals accompanied this outfit.

By comparison, the MIE version is cut a little wider than the Far East version and it is made of a thicker stretch nylon. The Hong Kong made version is a good match, although the stretch nylon is a little softer and thinner, and slightly more stretchier. The white tape trims are ever so slighty different with the MIE version being more tightly woven.

The dye can sometimes run in these swimsuits, and like a number of Sindy’s blue nylon clothes from the early years, it can fade or discolour. Shown right is a rather interesting aubergine coloured version of this swimsuit. This is not a variation, but it is an example of where the colour of the blue stretch nylon has degraded completely. You can see this from the faint blue tinge on the white tape neckline and the blue thread stitching around the legs. This swimsuit has an “EMPIRE MADE” label.