Josefina is one of my absolute favorite dolls to display. I love her entire collection, which has such a gorgeous mix of patterns and earth-tone rainbow of colors. My Josefina is a late 90s transition doll. She was a birthday present in my teens. After I got her, my family went through a period where finances were really tight, so I never got to have anything from her collection.
I’ve been amassing quite a collection for Josefina recently. One of the outfits that I was on the fence about getting was her riding outfit. When an older set popped up on eBay, I couldn’t resist adding it to her collection.
The first thing I noticed upon receiving this set was the “leather” vest. It was not leather. In other listings, the outfit came with a booklet on how to care for the genuine leather vest. But mine was definitely fake.
A quick google search shed some light on what happened. I found a comparison of early vs. late versions of Josefina’s “leather” riding boots over on AG Playthings. The early versions were real leather, and you can definitely tell the difference.
These are my riding boots. I’m not sure which version they are, but I love them!
So, mystery solved! The vest and boots used to be leather, but are now faux leather. The vest I received looked plastic-y, like a Halloween costume rather than something a real girl in 1820s New Mexico would wear. A few weeks later I was able to get the original leather vest in a separate auction, and boy, what a difference! The texture of the real leather adds visual interest to this outfit, and the color is so much richer.Here’s a side by side comparison (real leather on top, faux-leather is bottom)
And here’s the inside of the vests (real leather top, faux bottom):
Finally, here’s a side-by-side of Josefina wearing each vest.The pic on the left is real leather:
I think the faux-leather vest actually photographs pretty nicely, but in person I prefer the real leather version. I know which one I’m keeping.
Summing Up: I’m so happy that I got to add this outfit to Josefina’s collection. I love the dress and boots, and the hat is super cute (though it sometimes pulls at Josefina’s hair). It’s a shame they stopped using real leather for this set. I have to agree with those AG fans who lament a “decline in quality,” mostly due to the choice of materials for the newer outfits and accessories. This is just one of several examples that I’ve noticed since my return to collecting. Still, AG makes some of the most beautiful doll clothes and accessories, and this outfit (either version!) is no exception.
More pics of Josefina ready for an afternoon of riding in Santa Fe:
Happy trails, Josefina!