Here's a little excerpt:
Guest Post: Barbie’s [Fashion] [R]Evolution
Malibu Barbie, 1971
You may have noticed that as time goes by, Barbie wears more revealing clothing – but I believe that’s (partly) a reflection of the times. When was the last time you saw a teenage girl wearing a full length skirt? Or even one that covers her knees? Mattel has clothing designers for Barbie, and they do trend research like any other clothing company does; it’s not surprising that, in a time of miniskirts and shirts passing for dresses, Barbie shows a lot of leg. That being said, there’s no real reason for Barbie to be nearly naked. Mattel may have some ‘splaining to do for the skimpier outfits they sell.
But while regular Barbies have a few bad run-ins with overly shimmery fabric and a tad too much denim, collectible Barbies are dressed very differently. These are the dolls that Mattel claims to market toward adult collectors, and are usually the ones that garner the most negative attention from those who claim that Barbie dresses like a hoochie (see this article by an angry mom).