What's more, the members of my household have loudly vetoed the hand-me down cocktail dress that I had planned to wear for the evening party. I guess I'll have to go shopping. (Sigh!) It'll be the first major clothes shopping outing in our house in over a year. The Result: Part 2 of my Frugal Event Planning Guide: The Clothes Budget is turning out differently than I had planned.
I had a plan to dress us up in borrowed or recycled fashions for the celebration, which includes a day-time religious service and an evening fete. I had planned to write about our borrowed fashions. And besides, we've saved money by making our own invitations: (DIY Invitations: Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings & Other Formal Parties) and selecting an elegant, but frugal party location: Big Party; Small Budget: A Frugal Event Planning Guide: Pt. 1. We've all been on the same page, but I now have a clothes war on my hands.
For the birthday boy, we were going to shop at an upscale consignment store in Coral Gables, a very wealthy community in South Florida. The Rationale: Somewhere in the racks, there would be a suitable dress suit (possibly a designer outfit?) that may have been worn once or twice by another middle-school boy to a formal event. But if my son will feel more celebrated and confident in a new suit and shirt, who am I to argue?
My wardrobe selection included a beaded navy and silver dress, with a jacket. The style is very art deco and the beading resembles the photo on this page. It's a very pretty hand-me down from a friend and I've received compliments when I've worn it before. But I have to admit that my friend last wore the outfit to a party in the early 1990s. And with a few alarming looks my family has given the dress a firm thumbs-down. It doesn't look like me, they say and -- horrors - it's look a little dated and less than gently worn. Okay, so I'll buy a new dress! Twist my arm and make me scream: Ann Taylor, Macy's, Marshall's, Bloomingdales or Saks! I'm there. (There is also a cute consignment store in South Beach that I plan to check out.)
So I've learned these lessons:
- Be Flexible: Sometimes recycled fashion works; sometimes it doesn't. It's important to keep an open heart and an open mind.
- Don't embarrass your family
- Listen to your folks, especially if they offer to pay the bill.
- Remember the bottom line: The purpose of a party is to celebrate and it's important not to let other issues: clothing budget, frugal planning or other concerns disrupt the party.
- Have Fun!
And finally, when I have to make a choice between a funny frugal story and my family, the family always comes first.