Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mutiny: Rebellion Against Used Party Clothes: Frugal Event Planning Guide Pt.2

It's a frugal mutiny and I've been overruled by higher powers: The Grandparents! My folks -- who have worn recycled fashions to other galas (Recycled Cinderella: Same Outfits, Different Holiday Balls) -- will not let me dress up their grandson in either borrowed, second-hand or gently used clothing for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah celebration. And they have wired money -- directly to a seventh -grader -- to make sure he gets a new suit for his upcoming celebration. Thank you M&D!

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.


Previous Posts
Fourth Grader Joins Flea Market, Hires 4 Employees, Sells Crafts and Prints Money

Full-Time Teacher, Weekend Cook: Part-Time Jobs To Pay Bills
How to Get More Value From Your Home
Squeeze In Exercise Without Spending Lots of Time & Money

What Gas Leak? Mom's Nose vs Car Dealer & $49 Service Bill

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg is the author of The Frugal Duchess of South Beach: How to Live Well and Save Money... Anywhere!, which will be published in the Spring of 2008 by DPL Press.


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