Having a child is never “cheap”. It’s not as expensive as people make it sound, but by no means is it free. We work really hard to get Emma’s stuff in advance and use a budget to get it. We have never bought her a regular priced item and are proud of that. It’s easy to drop $20+ on a cute outfit that you can get a few weeks later for less than $5. We strive really hard to NOT be those people despite our desire to impulse shop. Every once in awhile, we will get that call. You know the one. We want your child to be in our wedding. We want to invite your family to our wedding. We want you to come to something where you have to DRESS UP. Now don’t get me wrong, we’re all about going to and being in weddings. JR and I have the attire to wear and are prepared at the drop of a hat. Emma, on the other hand, is harder to work with in this area. We go to a contemporary church where you can come as you are, meaning you can dress up or not. Now, we don’t send Emma in rags but we also don’t send her in frills and pearls. She also grows at such a quick rate that what fit her two months ago may or may not fit her now. We are put in a position to pay (cringing here) full price for something she will only wear once. Here is where I say “no”. We will NOT be buying something full price and here’s how we get by with it:
*We buy in advance: I am regularly looking for dressy outfits. I don’t have 20. I don’t have 10. I try to keep 2 available during all seasons just in case and the only way to find these for an affordable price is to look before I need them. If I wait until then, it’s too late and I’m shelling out enough money to cause me to have a premature heart attack.
*We always have outfits on hand: This goes with our first point. We ALWAYS keep outfits available. ALWAYS. Sometimes we wear them and sometimes we don’t. But we always have them available and hanging in Emma’s closest ready to go at a moments notice. You don’t know the peace of mind this brings me in knowing that I have clothes on hand ready to go when I get that call.
*We shop clearance and consignment: We don’t have an abundance of extra money to spend on clothes that Emma may never wear. For these clothes, we always shop clearance and consignment. If there was ever a time I would NOT buy full price, it would be on dress clothes. Last year I was able to find Emma a cute winter dress for $4 at Wee Cycle It. What a deal! Even if she never wears it, I can rest easy knowing it was
cheap frugal and I can easily get my money back.
*We borrow: We’re never afraid or too proud to borrow from friends. There are times we may be in a bind and need something quick and not have time or luck finding what we’re looking for at a price we’re willing to pay. We have friends who are generous enough to share with us and keep us from spending an arm and a leg. We want to be those friends in return to others. Everyone needs a hand every once in awhile and we want to be known as those people who are willing to offer help and assistance where needed.
*We make it work: Sometimes we’re just out of luck. Either the outfit isn’t the right color or the right style. Sometimes we just have to wing it. Fortunately though, this is where I feel like I shine. I absolutely LOVE to create and make new outfits. I feel the challenge to make something better than I can find and I usually rise to the occasion. Now, I’m not trying to brag on myself. Well, maybe I am. I share enough of my flaws so I deserve some proud moments every once in awhile, right? Seriously though- this is something I love to do. Game on!
*We make our money back. We buy stuff for cheap, remember? Well, Wee Cycle It rolls around twice a year and you better believe unless I fall in love with said outfit, it’s going to the sale. Now, I don’t jack the price up beyond what we paid for it. I charge what it’s worth. It’s a great way to make back what we’ve spent and since we bought it for cheap anyways, we’re able to make that money back easy. Don’t you love that? I sure do. Most of Emma’s clothes we’re keeping for baby #2 but believe you me, we’re hitting the jackpot once we sell those clothes! Mommy confession time here. I already have 4 ½ full boxes of Emma’s clothes in the attic and she’s only 17 months old. No joke. Oh, and did I mention the closet/dresser full and the 2 boxes in her closet of next sizes? Yes, I know. I might be addicted to baby clothes.
This is how we prepare for Emma to dress her part when asked. It’s fun to do and really does feel good to be prepared. After all, it is Biblical. I hope this has helped you prepare, too!
How do you prepare your child for events that they need to wear things dressier than normal?