So! Long story short, I found this old document on my Google Drive and felt that, even though it was incomplete, it deserved to see the light of day. Basically, this is a break down on what themes and ideas and aesthetics (etc, etc) make up each of the EAH doll lines and, consequently, how to make your OC look like a part of that line.
Basically, this is another list based on observations by Spades that absolutely no one asked for. Ready? Here we go!
Disclaimers and Important Notes
I'm by no means saying this is how you should make your characters look. The best part about having OCs is having creativity! I don't even follow all these 'rules'. These are merely observations from canon (primarly, these observations are based on the dolls and not their webisode/movie counterparts).
On another note, in lines like Way Too Wonderland, Dragon Games and Epic Winter (soo.. basically the Movie Lines) I won't be discussing signature dolls that came out with that line. Courtly, Mira, Daring and Crystal all follow the rules of a Basic Doll (not the lines they come with) because they're just an associated release.
The first three sections are about basic dolls, SDCC dolls, and doll line consistency. These sections are really long but please don't be put off by them! The rest of the sections are a lot shorter.
Finally, I ask that no one else edits this document. It's a resource for everyone to use, but if everyone edits it then incorrect information might seep through. I do encourage you to leave comments with any details I might have missed! I'm always looking to improve this list.
Motifs, Themes, Outfit Elements, etc.
This is not and will not be a guide for how to design an Ever After High OC, however, I think if one wants to properly utilise this guide they must understand how Mattel goes about making any given character look consistent.
What do I mean by that?
Consider Apple and Blondie. If, hypothetically, they were bald and had no clothes, would you be able to tell them apart easily? No. You wouldn't. Yet, whenever a doll comes out, you know which is which. Why? Because in a doll line, emphasis is placed upon making a character look consistent across all their dolls. They have certain motifs, themes, and outfit pieces that are repeated in all (most of) their dolls so you know who is who. Even if Blondie had neon pink hair in one line, you know if the character wears yellow and blue, has bears or keys on her outfit, or has full bangs, it's probably Blondie and not Apple.
I don't want to say the word mistake, but one thing people fall victim to doing is just putting their OCs into clothes they would like them to wear (eg, "i like crop tops, i'm putting this oc in a crop top"), and for just about any other fandom, that works. But when making an EAH OC, if you just dress them exclusively in what you want them to wear, you'll end up with a muddled and confused design. While in real life you might wear a gothic outfit one day, vintage the next, lolita the day after, that isn't how it works in the realm of doll lines.
To articulate my point I'm going to list a few of these motifs in both canon characters and my OCs. Please note that not every element listed is necessarily present in all of their dolls. They are merely overarching themes that allow you to identify a character no matter what line they are in - if all else fails, it is often the colour of the outfit that can give a character away in a line.
- Holly O'Hair
- Motifs: Brushes, Flowers
- Colours: Pastel purple/lilac, fuschia pink
- Metal colour: Dull gold
- Common outfit elements: High low skirts
- Misc: Long hair
- Apple White
- Motifs: Apples
- Colours: Red, mainly, but often pink.
- Metal colour: Gold
- Common outfit elements: Puffy skirts, puffy sleeves
- Briar Beauty
- Motifs: Thorns, roses, pillows
- Colours: Fuschia pink and black
- Metal colour: Silver
- Common outfit elements: Tight fitting skirts, thin strappy heels
- Opaline Glass
- Motifs: Red cross, caduceus
- Colours: Red, white, and grey-black
- Metal colour: Silver
- Common outfit elements: Shoulderless tops, pencil skirts, socks, boots
- Star Thalergeld
- Motifs: Space (stars, moons), money
- Colours: Blue, pink and yellow
- Metal colour: Variety
- Common outfit elements: Poofy skirts, gradients, covered wrists, crisscrossed ribbons
None of this is to imply that making a character who dabbles in lots of different styles is somehow wrong, or a bad way to make characters. It isn't. What it does do is make an OC less recognisable and less workable in a doll line franchise. More on that here.
Basic/Signature/Royals and Rebels/First Chapter
Basically, the 'Basic' line is the outfit your character wears all the time. It's usually their first doll and the outfit they're probably in in all of their webisode appearances. This isn't a guide on how to make your OCs everyday outfit (you can find one here) but, in general, each character usually has:
- A headpiece. Or.. at least something interesting to their head. The only character in the whole of the main cast that doesn't have something on their head is Hunter. Even then, half of Hunter's hair is shaved off and he has a hooded jacket. We've seen this headpiece been everything from a hat (Madeline) to a headband (Raven and Cupid) to a hood (Cerise) to some sunglasses (Briar).
- Something to hold. Usually, this comes in the form of a bag but we've seen Farrah with a wand, Daring with a mirror and Cupid with a bow and arrow set.
In addition to this, females usually have:
- A ring
- An arm/wrist accessory. This is usually a bracelet, but it's often been the cuffs of gloves or even arm warmers.
- A necklace. Or, once again, something around their neck. Briar has her shoulder pads/necklace combo and Raven has her giant collar. Heck, Cupid and Farrah have wings instead!
- Tights/Socks/Something on their legs. This isn't so much the case anymore, but traditionally all the EAH girls wore solid tights, fishnet tights, socks or shoes that covered a large amount of their leg (Ashlynn, Bunny).
In addition to the first list, males usually have:
- Eh. Not much. They usually have an under top and an overtop (a jacket or a vest). And that's sorta it.
It's worth mentioning a lot of the time characters are wearing their 'Sunday Best'. We clearly see a lot of the characters in more casual outfits at other points (Date Night, for example). Once again, not a list for deciding how to dress your OCs, so please do check out the guide previously mentioned.
Note: 'First Chapter' is just a rerelease basic line where the characters have smiles.
San Diego Comic Con Exclusive
As of 2016 all of the SDCC dolls have been a 'what if they follow their destiny' type situation.
The characters who have had SDCC dolls so far have been Big Bad Wolf Cerise, Evil Queen Raven and Puppet Cedar. These dolls are super detailed and obviously take inspiration from the destiny they're meant to follow. These dolls aren't 'happy' dolls as such (which is why they're usually rebels), since these are usually kids being forced to do something they don't wanna do. The outfits have many layers, patterns and accessories. Hair is usually styled in a fancier manner than normal and might feature more hair colours than usual. Make-up is also usually heavier than it'd be otherwise. (They generally look more grown up, which is probably because they're following their parent's destiny).
a.k.a. lines that have multiple characters that aren't just in one multi-pack.
Legacy Day outfits are outfits worn on Legacy Day. These outfits are made to emulate their parent's outfits since that's the destiny they're signing to keep on. All of these outfits in canon have some kinda fancy head accessory (usually a crown but often a hood or hat) and a cape (except Maddie). The dresses are often high-low (low in back but high in the front) with tights/leggings underneath. These outfits are very OTT.
Hidden pointed out that most of the girl's shoes are open toed and they have painted toe nails (Apple and Maddie are the exceptions in the doll line but I'm not sure about in the cartoon).
Getting Fairest outfits are worn by the characters when they're in their room getting ready or going to bed. Typically they feature short nightgown esque things and a throw over dressing gown/robe. All of their shoes are slippers and all the dolls we've seen have some sorta head accessory - a vine, a clip, headphones and a headband. These head accessories are the kind of stuff you might use to push hair out of your face if you were applying makeup. Speaking of which makeup is muted/soft and hair is often down and out of the face.
Thronecoming outfits are outfits worn to Thronecoming, though the designs have been reused in other parties.
The main thing about this line that people forget is that their masks are themed after their pets. This is sometimes even brought into their dress; Apple's pet is a fox and she has lots of fur in her outfit, Raven has Nevermore and a dragon themed mask with scales on her dress, Blondie has brown fur on her dress and her hair resembles bear ears. The dresses come in any number of shapes and sizes but are all very over the top with lots of layers, patterns and lots of sparkle. All the dolls had tinsel in their hair.
It's worth noting that most of the detail on the 'top' half of the doll comes from their ornate hairstyles and detailed masks. None of the characters wore a crown, as wearing a crown to events like prom and homecoming (where kings and queens are announced) is generally considered a social faux pas. (It implies you think you're going to win or that you're better than the royal court).
Hat-tastic Tea Party
Hat-tasty Tea Party outfits are worn by the characters who were invited to Maddie's Hat-tastic Tea Party.
Everyone has hats. Mini hats. The best kind of hats. More helpfully, the dresses are all short and short to midlength in the sleeve department. Each character doll came with a teapot and all the characters, aside from Maddie, featured more black than normal in their outfit. Most of the girls had an extra colour in their hair, which was usually a pastel or lighter colour than their normal shade. Eg, Apple has pink in her hair, Cedar has pastel pink and Raven has lilac. The boys all wore waistcoats.
Through the Woods
Through the Woods outfits were worn by the cast when they went through the woods to get to a party. All the plus ones wore berets, and people who invited the plus ones had hooded capes. Each doll came with a lantern and some kinda accessory useful to their journey, for example Cupid had binoculars and Ashlynn had a map. They were all wearing some kinda boots and a one piece dress.
Spring Unsprung outfits were designed by Lizzie for a few of the girls to wear to the Spring Unsprung festival.
The girls all have flower crowns, a fairly over the top neck/shoulder accessory and everyone is wearing boots of some kind. Their boots are decorted with flowers and often allow the leggings to peek out through them. They also all have a new streak of colour in their hair. The dress sleeves are all mid length and their dresses usually feature a high-low element somewhere in the design.
These outfits were worn by characters who were hosting a bake sale for Cooking Class-ic. All of these dresses are short with short sleeves and an apron. The outfits usually have a lot of food elements decorating the outfits, like a melting pattern.
There's lots of brown paired with pastels in the line. I believe each character came with a recipe, which would definitely be something fun to think about with your characters.
Hidden pointed out that these outfits feature fancier collars due to a lack of necklaces. There is also complexity in the apron design, but not in the tops (which have simple patterns) or the skirts of the dress (which are plain).
Way Too Wonderland
This line was worn by the main characters as they fell down the rabbit hole to try and save Wonderland. The line features lots of big, over the top head accessories. There's a use of mismatched neon-colours and lots of big, bold patterns with lots of swirls. Though not on the dolls, they all have those plastic translucent (yet neon) pieces that go around their dress. They have small things like chess pieces and cards stuck to them.
The dresses in this line are usually very full with multiple layers. Hair features streaks of pastel colours that match the colours on the dress.
Fairest on Ice
These outfits were worn when ice-skating by Ashlynn, Poppy and Duchess.
The characters all have long hair and soft makeup. They had snowflakes painted onto their face and accessories made to resemble ice, in different pastel colours. These ice accessories include tiaras, shoulder pieces and an arm accessory. All the girl's dresses were asymmetric in some way or another.
Outfits worn by players on the Dragon Teams in Dragon Games. The key to this line is the armor, which is usually in a muted metal tone. The high low element is once again included, usually in the form of a train.
The armor generally consists of something on the shoulders, something covering the torso (failing that, something around the torso and something around the waist) and a piece of armor covering their left arm. The boots that they all wear match this armor set, and the head pieces also look like they would have come in a set. This headpiece is usually a tiara of some kind, but Raven has something securing her ponytail.
We don't know who this birthday is for, but Cedar, Rosabella, Cupid, Blondie and Duchess are invited. According to Rosabella's box, they got the dresses after eating a magical cake which gave them a 'Dessert Dress!'. I don't see much in the actual dresses that would indicate that theme, but as Hidden pointed out, it could be a source of inspiration.
The characters wear monochromatic outfits, with all their dresses (and hair, and accessories) being in one colour and one accent colour. The dresses are one piece with short (or no) sleeves. Each character has a head accessory and a bag shaped like a gift. They have no tights but a couple of them have socks built into their shoes.
These are outfits given to Rosabella, Ashlynn, Maddie, Apple and Briar by Faybelle before they go on their quest in Epic Winter. Lots of fur and bright pastel colours ties the characters together. On the dolls, each character has two fur 'sections' on their outfit.
All the girls are wearing boots that either look like winter boots or have crystal like designs on them. They usually have tights that are painted on/molded on (aside from Blondie).
Each character has a head accessory though it can really be anything from a hood to a flower crown. Additionally, their 'bag' item has also been a winter muff. In the promo work, most of the girls had necklaces and belts too, but a lot of these were taken away for the final release.
Powerful Princess Tribe Line
Consists of Maddie, Apple and Holly. Comes with an additional play accessory, membership card and each doll wears a headband. The girls have an overskirt and an underskirt, the latter of which can be hidden away or exposed.
Two Packs/Multi Packs
a.k.a. lines with multiple characters that all come in one multipack.
An Apple and Raven two pack where they celebrate Ever After High. The purpose of this line was to show off school pride so there's lots of purple and red in this line. Because of the nature of the event they were showing school spirit at (the Tri-Castle-On), there's sport elements included into their outfits. With Apple this was a varsity jacket and with Raven this was a baseball cap. The outfits are fairly casual and each came with some kinda sporting match accessory, like a flag.
Date Night/Carnival Date
The first of these is a pack where Dexter and Raven go on a date to the movies, and the second is a pack where Bunny and Alistair go to the fair. These are together mainly because their design is similar (believe it or not) and it's pretty hard to say anything about them as a whole, since no two couple packs are the same and they feature two characters of different genders.
These packs are a lot more about character than certain things each character should have in that line. E.g., in Echanted Picnic, each character has to wear gingham, have simple dresses and soft make up. These lines aren't restricted by that 'checklist'. This is simply a line which show cases what certain characters would wear on a certain kind of date.
Raven and Dexter's pack features a lot of dark colours and more casual outfits than the two usually wear, probably because of the location being at a movie theatre. Raven is wearing lighter make up than usual and all in all the two look quite smart casual.
Bunny and Alistair are going to the fair in their pack, so are wearing a lot of bright colours and designs that say 'whimsical'. Bunny's ears are more casual than normal and they both come with an accessory that can be held. (Candyfloss for Bunny and a toy rabbit for Alistair).
This line was worn by characters participating in the Tri-Castle-On. The Tri-Castle-On has three events, which include: Hextreme Croquet, Archery and Track and Shield. The dolls feature lots of red and purple (and black and brown) in outfits suited to their particular sport. Each character also came with an accessory related to the sport they were playing. They each had boots on, though I think that might just be a coincidence.
'Special' One-Off Lines
a.k.a. lines that so far only feautre one character (and probably only ever will feature one character).
Because these lines are made for one character and one character only, it's difficult to saying anything meaningful about them as a whole. So, to make this section more interesting, I'll try comment on how I would work my OC into one of these lines. I'll also put in a section on how to design a solo line for your own OC.
Just Sweet Blondie
A very OTT cupcake themed Blondie doll. I'm not sure why her doll is cupcake themed, considering she has really... nothing to do with sweets.
I mean, I know it was because of a MirrorCast show but it still seems pretty random to me. Either way, I love this doll. It's a lot softer and more pastel than Blondies other dolls. She has a poofy cupcake line skirt, with a layer above and below. Both the top layer of her skirt and her bodice have cupcake prints on them. She's absolutely covered in bows and she has a cute lil hair tuft. I think my main reason for loving this doll is the pastel blue fur coat I mean.. it's to die for.
If I were putting a character into this line the key things I'd try and remember would be a) pastels and b) anything that makes them look 'fluffy'. Poofy skirts with lots of layers, big hair styles and fur is a yes. The doll should look decorated and just like a cut fluffy pastel mess. I would probably also make sure the doll had something to do with cooking or baking or sweets or.. something. Not that it matters.
Royally Ever After Apple
This is another one I'm not really sure why we got the doll. I guess because Apple is so keen for her destiny and wants to be a good ruler, it was to show us what she'd look like as just that. This is probably a pretty accurate stab at what she'll look like when she's older.
She has a mermaid (trumpet?) shaped skirt, flaring out at the bottom with layers of gold fabric and white fabric. The white matches the dress which is just that. The gold blends in with the detailing on the dress and compliments the golden neck piece she's wearing. The gold neck piece is highly decorated and matches the belt and crown she is wearing. Her dress has white ornamental puffy sleeves which are almost pearly, matching her pearly white shoes.
Additionally, she has a red cape which matches detailing on her crown, necklace earrings and her golden scepter. Apple's hair is straight and she has rooted eye lashes.
I think any OC could fit into this line wonderfully! I'd be really interested in seeing it, tbh. This line is all about how characters will look when they're older, so it's not necessarily a SDCC 'what if they followed their destiny' type doll. Basically, just imagine a King, Queen or Royal version of your OC. Specters, detailed crowns, elegant suits/gowns and capes are all the type of thing I'd want to include if my OC was in this line. They're very decorated and 'grown up' with make up obviously being heavier and hairstyles being more 'mature'.
A Cupid themed Cupid doll! It only makes sense. Another doll that I honestly love to pieces. Her hair is in a half top knot and is longer than usual. She's wearing a flower crown, matching all the flowers that can be found in the rest of her outfit.
Cupid's dress is divided into three sections: a pink flowery top, a yellow scalloped-hem under layer and a sparkly transparent pink layer in between those two. Her belt looks like vines, matching her flower crown. Flowers can also be found on her very over the top wings. Her bronze-brown earrings, arm, and neck accessories also match patterns on the top layer of her dress.
This line is all about the motifs we typically associate with romance. Flowing dresses, flowers, hearts, and the colours pink and red. I would try incorporate flowered patterns, loose pieces of fabric that flow and softer colours. Sparkles wouldn't be out of place here either.
One of the more budget-y one off dolls. The others have very much been OTT exclusives, but the next two? Not so much. They rely on the gimmick of their doll to sell them. No one buys these next two dolls because they like the outfit, but because it does something cool that other dolls can't do.
We obviously got this doll because Holly wants to be the next Rapunzel and loves getting her hair done. She comes with a very simple outfit (molded bodice + simple patterned skirt + reused Apple shoes) because the focus of the doll is her hair and how you choose to accessorize and style it. She comes with a brush, hair crimper and hair curler (straightener not included because I presume that leaving her hair alone would cause it do go back to being straight). The doll also comes with things like clips and hair bands, including the crown she wears on her doll.
More so than the others, this doll is clearly really only a Holly doll. I've never seen anyone else put their character in this line, which makes sense. Still, a character who loves their hair, loves hair care or just has lots of hair would be a good character for this line. The main thing about this line is the tools, so I would try think about how you would decorate the tools to look more suited to your character. Holly's motif (Aside from hair) is flowers, which is why the tools are decorated as such. Example wise, if I were putting Star into this line I would recolour the tools to be a dark blue and put lots of stars and 'night time' decoration on them, like clouds, moons and constellations.
I think one of the most iconic parts of Cinderella's story (at least, in modern media) is the dress change. Most Cinderella movies have a played out scene where she gets her new dress and I honestly love seeing how each new movie styles that dress. This was... a bit of a disappointment for me considering that, but I still love the idea.
She comes with a clip on top and an alternate pair of shoes, and I presume turning some kinda handle on the back of her body will cause an underskirt to drop down. She also has a golden crown.
Any OC whose story involves a dress transformation would work well in this line. The key part is to have a dress in two parts: an under layer to pop out and fold up and an over layer to act as an over skirt or just.. a skirt. The top you're layering on top of the painted on one should have a cut out, so you can see the top underneath. Once again, this outfit is a bit disappointing and relies on its gimmick more than the design of the doll. Ashlynn is covered in florals because it's one of her motifs, so switching up the dress to be in your characters colours + putting their motif + changing the dress to a style they wear would make your character work in this line.
Creating A One-Off Line For Your OC
a.k.a. lines that are simple and cheap! These lines often recycle pieces from previous releases to save money. Budget lines usually don't appear in the webisodes.
A line where Apple, Ashlynn and Maddie went to the beach.
Simple as. One piece bathing suit + sparkly overskirt + crown sunglasses. Also they all wore high heels because that's a smart thing to do on a beach, duh.
A budget line where Raven, Blondie and Cerise went on a picnic. It's a very simple line. The girls have one piece gingham dresses with small elements tied to their story thrown in. None of them have any tights but they do have simple head accessories and a bag resembling a picnic basket.
We haven't seen them in canon yet, but the book party line is a simple line where Kitty, Ginger and Lizzie read books. Each character has a book bag made to look like books. The dresses have a piece with a solid colour and a piece with a pattern. The pattern has books on bottom and something relevant to their destiny layered on top. The characters all have statement necklaces.
This line features Apple, Holly and Briar in a ballet class. They have painted on leggings and shoes and very simple dresses. The dresses have no sleeves and go all the way up to the characters neck. The girl's shoes and leggings are one colour and they all have their hair in a bun. The tops of the dress are molded on.
The basic budget dolls consist of Maddie, Raven, Apple and Ashlynn. They have moulded on tops, simple unstyled hair, crowns and patterned skirts. They have no leggings or tights and the shoes are recycled from other dolls.
Unnamed Teaparty Dolls
Consists of Raven, Maddie and Darling. Very detailed paint job on the bodice.
Unnamed Archery Dolls
Consists of Ashlynn, Bunny and Rosabella. Each doll comes with a bow and arrow and has some armour-ish shaped pieces. The girl's hair is unstyled.