Dressing My Daughter On A Dime
Hi! My name is Erin and I'm a 48 yr old mama of 4 and grandma of soon to be 4. My blog posts will concern themselves with our youngest child, Claire. She is a 17 yr old high school junior.
I like to think of myself as a frugal fashionista. Most of my clothing comes from resale sources. I do not LOOK like my clothing comes from resale sources, however. I know there are some ladies who take pride in looking as 'frumpy frugal' as possible. I am not one of them. I love my labels and make sure I am as socially acceptable as possible, especially when out and about with my husband and kids. Nothing sucks more than family members who act like they don't know you in public.
At this moment, I am wearing a pair of black White House/Black Market jeans, bought from Goodwill for $5.99. They looked brand new when I bought them, and those of you who are familiar with WHBM know that their jeans cost AT LEAST $50 new. I call that a SCORE.
I am also wearing a beautiful beaded bracelet. Made with black and silver beads, I nabbed it off the jewelry clearance rack at our neighborhood Meijer for $3.00. I also bought a packet of gold spacer beads for $3.99, and added a touch of gold to the bracelet. It now looks like something off the pages of a Silpada catalog. I love Silpada, but I don't have the budget for one of their $120+ bracelets, so I make my own.
Dressing myself in frugal and second hand finds is one thing, but dressing my teenage daughter in the same items COULD be another story...........had she another upbringing. Claire was toted along to thrift stores pretty much from the moment she was born, so she knows a good deal when she sees one. Buying a pair of Dooney and Bourke all leather boat shoes for $2.99 from a thrift store, when they retail new for $149? Well, even a teenager knows that's just good sense.
Claire has a closet full of beautiful dresses, skirts, blouses, jeans, t-shirts, shoes (oh, the shoes!) and jewelry.......she's actually run out of room for the shoes in the closet, so now they're stacked on her bedroom floor. I'd wager 90% were bought from resale sources. This child can smell vintage a mile away. Her style icons? Marilyn and Audrey. Her prized dress? A classic black sheath, which she's learning to style a million different ways. Her 4H project this past summer was "Frugal Fashion," and she won our county's representative to the state fair by putting together a classic ensemble of dress, shoes and leather clutch purse for $15. You'd never know it was all second hand by looking at her.
It's become a game for Claire and I, to study fashion magazines and books, find our favorite goodies, and then duplicate them with thrift store finds. I have a mind condition Coach purse I bought for $15. All of Claire's prom and dance dresses have been bought second hand.........the most expensive was $40, and most averaged $10 a piece. When you buy clothing at such fabulous prices, it makes you breath a little easier when you have to get it dry cleaned or altered.
I would be the last person to judge another.......I don't want to be judged. You have to wonder though.........what kind of message are we sending our kids when we buy them $200 prom gowns? $100 Ugg boots? Tiffany jewelry? Even you can afford those prices without blinking, will your child be able to once they leave the nest? Probably not. We all went through 'entry level' stages. Most of us also had to deal with maxed credit cards if we were trying to have the same standard of living we enjoyed at home.
Claire and I know the good life can be got at a fraction of what retailers tell us. She is already planning her first apartment, which will be filled with perfectly good thrift store furniture. She and I watch HGTV and know how to refinish and refurbish with flair. She won't be househunting and whining that she doesn't like the paint color. She knows home haircoloring renders her hair a brilliant flame red just as well as paying $$$ in a salon. She also researches and uses the best products on the market to keep it that way.
It's a new world my baby girl will enter in just a couple years. The decade I entered at 18 was the Reagan-era 80's, with it's wanton spending and 4 year liberal arts degrees that you didn't spend your entire life paying off. Housing was cheap, fashion was cheap (er) than it is today, and I almost never had a hard time finding a job. If I wanted to buy a new car, I bought one. My credit was always ok.
Claire knows she's entering an entirely different adulthood. Credit is harder to come by. The USA owes trillions in debt to other countries. We hold onto things longer now, and we don't mindlessly wake up one day and decide to buy another house/car just because. She's going to cosmetology school so she can have a skill she'll use for the rest of her life, and she will not only have the income to pay off her loans, she can also set up her first home at the same time. As much as I would love to have her live with us as long as possible, I know she wants to be one her own as soon as she can. I don't want her to be stuck and mom and dad's, with no hope to get out!
To that end, Claire and I thrift, refashion and create with flair! We also have fun doing it! We'd love to show you how :)
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