If you play the Gardens of Time game through the Playdom website (instead of through Facebook) you get what I think of as a “paper doll”. This is your avatar. You can choose male or female. The game starts you out with a couple of outfits and hairstyles.
If you want something beyond what you are given at the start, you need to buy it. Some of the dresses, hairstyles, shoes, etc., can be purchased for Playdom Points. You accrue these points almost automatically as you play the game.
Other items require you to spend gold to buy them. There are some in-game ways to earn gold, but they are infrequent. Playdom has “gold sales” all the time, hoping that players will spend real-world money to buy themselves some gold, and then spend the gold on whatever it was that they just needed to buy.
The image above is my “paper doll” avatar. The dress is called the “Fairy Tale Dress”. It cost 15,000 Playdom Points to purchase (which added up much faster than I expected they would).
I like it because it reminds me of some of the dresses that women wear to the Renaissance Faire. My current outfit no longer fits, and I will need to buy something new if I want to dress up next time we go. Something like this dress would be nice!