Decked Out Like A Princess

Poor Princess Kate.

She went shopping after the baby was born and it was news. Wait, everything she does is news in England.

I went shopping last  week and nobody cared, except for the kids at home that were waiting for the toilet paper.



I found this on the GLAM blog and was very impressed with the identification and price information. Even if I could see the clothing labels, I wouldn’t know what they meant.  I don’t speak fashion.  But, I’m confident her Saks isn’t the same as my “all you can fit in a sack for $3” at the thrift store.

Princess Kate spent $480.40 for one outfit, not including undergarments because, thankfully, the paparazzi couldn’t get that close.

The only thing I’ve ever worn that cost that much is the scar on my neck from an expensive total thyroidectomy.

My mom raised six kids and had a passion to make sure we were always clean and stylish, even if our clothes weren’t expensive or new to us.  An excellent seamstress with an amazing ability to create or re-create anything, she sewed, shopped, altered and mended her six kids through adulthood.

We always looked nice, accept when someone loudly exerted their free will and Mom allowed them bear the consequences of what they wore in public. Like the time one sister fussed until Mom brought her to the grocery store wearing one cowboy boot, one sandal, a dress over a pair of holey-kneed jeans (when holes weren’t in style) and uncombed hair.   But I won’t tell you which sister because she hated being the baby of the family and being teased. But I will tell you, she never dressed like that again.

Once Mom bought bright t-shirt material covered with the flags of the world on clearance and made matching t-shirts for the kids for vacation.  We were walking around feeling pretty spiffy when we overheard someone say to their friend, “Wow, those people must be rich.”

One of our favorite pastimes was dressing up for an event, then calculating the cost of each outfit, just like they did for the Princess.   It was rarely over a few dollars.  The most expensive item was usually our unders, but maybe I shouldn’t mention unmentionables on a Christian blog.

My Mom was a woman before her times.  She upcycled, recycled, crafted and created, but never gathered a following because the Internet wasn’t invented yet.  If digital photo editing and Pinterest were available in the 70’s, a post about getting presentable for Grandma Geneva’s visit in 1973 would look something like the following: 

Brainard Kids with Gramma 73

1.  Joel – Decked out in jeans from J.C. Penney’s for $2.99 and crew-necked  t-shirt from Salvation Army for $.29 = $3.28.

2.  Melinda – Modeling a white polyester bodysuit and purple polyester pants created by her mother.  Size 24 purple pants  Salvation Army $.10 (remade for size 8slim) + plastic buckle from button jar + $.29 for snaps + $.49 for a yard of white polyester = $.88.

3. Allan – Sears Toughskin jeans, probably reinforced with canvas by mother because he was tougher than Toughskin jeans, cool red print pirate-sleeved shirt with extra pointy collars topped with a knitted sweater vest.  Jeans $4.99 + hand-me-down shirt and vest $.00  = $4.99.

4.  Angela – Hand-me-down red corduroy dress accented with eyelet cuffs and collar = $.00.

5.  Laurie – Hand-me-down hot pink mini-dress $.00 + adorned by Mom with braided trim $.30 =$.30.

6.  Lee – After winning the battle to have hair longer than his ears, was proudly wearing a green, tan and rust geometric patterned button-down shirt sewn by Mom with for $.98  +  lint-trapping olive green cords for $3.99 from Tempo Department Store = $4.97.


Children’s clothing…………………………………………$14.42

A thrifty Mom who dressed you like a princess…..PRICELESS


12 thoughts on “Decked Out Like A Princess

  1. Miriam

    I’m also the queen of thrift, as was my mom before me… I love coming home with a bag of stuff for under $10, adding up what I would have spent if I bought the things new. Thrift store shopping is hip now- everyone does it, it seems 🙂

    1. Mindy Post author

      Yes! Another Thrift Store Princess! Back when it wasn’t cool, if something came from the Salvation Army we would say it was from Sally’s Boutique! You are so right, not it is something to brag about if you bought second hand.

  2. Dayana

    I love this post!! I have 2 kids and a third on the way and trust me kids clothes are getting stupidly over priced. I went to buy my son a shirt and walked into this name brand store because they said “sale” outside. I saw this lovely shirt and put it right back down when I realized they were charging $40 (plus tax) for a shirt for a 3 year old! I mean there isn’t enough material there to even create a shirt for a size small for an adult women, however they justify $40 is a good price for this tiny shirt?

    When my children were born I made it a mission to never buy them expensive clothes. Not because i couldn’t afford it, but because I couldn’t afford in good conscience me buying them something that would only last one season or a few weeks while they grew. So I have stuck to stores that actually have sales and good quality clothes that will last and not break the bank. I normally bargain shop for their clothes at the mall and buy off the sale rack. I have only ever ONCE bought something full price and regretted it later!! I have also accepted good hand me downs and have no problems saying that. When my first child was born, he wore all the hand me downs that my friends gave me for over a year. Some of these clothes, their kids had worn a few times, others once and some never. I didn’t spend a single dollar for almost over a year in dressing him because I had so many clothes as gifts and hand me downs that it was outrageous! However I was so grateful for the amount of money I saved that year and to my friends for blessing me with their hand me downs. When my second was born, she was a girl so I had no girl clothes. So while I did get gifts, I had to buy all her stuff brand new. However again, I buy it all on sale. With my third coming on the way, he is a boy and he is getting all of first son’s clothes and as of right now he has enough to last him for his first year of life.

    My husband will not allow our kids to go outside if they are not dressed properly. He has very strict rules on how he wants them dressed and how they are to present themselves in public. Not only in manners but in dress attire. For example our son is not allowed to wear graphic t-shirts in public. If he wears a t-shirt it must have no pictures in the front. So for him how much it cost is not the issue (however the less the better) its more about learning to dressing the child in a manner that is suitable and respectable to our liking.

    I think as parents it is important that we learn how to shop for our children and value where our dollars go. While I am not against anyone buying their kids expensive clothing, however the question is, is that price tag necessary at their age and growth spurt?

    1. Mindy Post author

      Some great advice, Dayana, thank you so much for sharing! I love how your husband teaches your kids to present themselves in public, without making it about fashion and name brands. When my kids were young, shopping for new clothing was virtually impossible, so I didn’t window shop. However, when he stopped teaching and I could actually shop for my kids, I had a whole new skill set to learn. I guess I don’t buy the expensive brands because I want my kids to feel their value is in their name and not in the name on their clothes. Thanks again for such a great comment!

  3. Kendra

    My kind of clothes! My therapist always jokes that I wear new shirts…but they were all on sale, and I’m to fat for my old clothes.

    1. Mindy Post author

      You deserve new clothes! And I’m sure you’re not “fat” – you might be just a little squishier than normal, like me. 🙂 We earned our squishy. You are always beautiful, don’t let a number on the label of your clothes worry you at all.

  4. Lydia Caudill

    I’m not real great when it comes to the sewing machine but I love to THRIFT. Unless it’s on the clearance rack at wall-mart for $2.00 or it was a gift from an auntie, Jubilee never gets new clothes, yet nearly every time we go to a social gathering I get comments on her cute outfits. Since we’ve moved to Kentucky I found a really neat little family run thrift store. They are picky about what they will take and mostly have name brands, so their prices are higher than some, but you never have to worry about buying something and realizing later it is stained or missing a button. The best part about her store is that I can bring in clothes I don’t want anymore or things Jubilee has out-grown and she’ll give me instant in-store credit. I just went there the other week with 2 garbage bags of clothes and got 56 dollars in-store credit with which I was able to get most everything Jubilee needed for her winter wardrobe!!!!! (and i still have 20 dollars of credit left)

    1. Mindy Post author

      I can tell we’re related! That thrift store addiction runs deeps through the generations. I love seeing pics of little Jubi online. You are so good about keeping us updated since y’all had to move so far down south.

      1. Lydia Caudill

        Aww. thanks Auntie. I’d love to come to Seattle some day and go thrifting with you!!!! I miss you all. I haven’t been able to post as many pictures of Jubilee lately because a few months back I lost our camera. It hasn’t turned up yet, and I’m thinking I lost it somewhere public… probably never to see it again. Doug has an ipod but I can’t take very good pics on it. To bad you can’t find name brand camera’s at the thrift store for three dollars… 😛

  5. Laurie Brainard Winzer

    I hardly ever have to buy clothes for the kids. We have a friend who gives us all her hand-me-downs. Usually I have to buy jeans and/or shorts. Goodwill is so awesome for stuff like that. The kids love our trips to Goodwill.

    1. Mindy Post author

      Hey, you didn’t say anything about how awesome you were rocking the pink dress! It is a cute pic of you, doncha’ think so? Our Goodwills are SO expensive out here it is cheaper to buy off the clearance at Target, or sometimes the Target sales. It frustrates me! But, I still teach my kids to shop the thrift stores, because it’s a skill you hafta’ have!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s