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Does the Brand Define You?

In my novel, ‘A Mother’s Shadow’, the main character, Emily painstakingly acquires fabric and then shares the one sewing needle with the women in the family, as she stitches her dress that she wears to the social; which is where she meets Harry.  My question for you is:  ‘Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without‘ is an old saying – it is still wise advice…or expired counsel??? 

In times gone by, possibly in our grandparents time, if not then, certainly our great-grandparents time, ‘things’ were hard to come by. Patches on clothing were normal; everyone wore them. Spices were limited in foods as they were expensive and not easily available in local neighborhood markets. Exotic fruits and vegetables were generally only tasted by those who had great means for such niceties. Of course sugar, gasoline and many other commodities were rationed during war times; making them scare and highly expensive, if accessible at all. Our world is in commotion and there are so many problems and concerns. However, we are So blessed! We have access to so many wonderful things in our life: clothing, food, technology, medical advancement, scientific development; the list could go on and on of the amazing positive life changing improvements that we benefit from. The danger we face is that of TOO MUCH and losing sight of what is important because it is easy to not appreciate, be ungrateful and thankless for what we do have. See, in Emily’s time, as well as our own grandparents or those a few generations ahead of us, they had to work so hard for what they had, they were rarely foolish in their priorities. I fear in our generation, and that of those coming, that we allow others to determine what is the most valued, even to determining status! Isn’t it ridiculous when you really consider it:

  • A pair of jeans that fits great, is made from quality fabric and is comfortable should be the determining factor – not the name on the rivets
  • A ‘brand’ that takes the price of an item, above that of a comparable one, in an exorbitant amount, and we pay it, is pure insanity when the money should be put to better use
  • Instead of repairing a piece of clothing, that would barely noticeable, if seen at all, or even tossing it, is purely reckless
  • Shoes that carry a certain ‘name’, outrageously overpriced and we pay it…have we lost out mind?

I realize it is a choice. This is part of a crucial component of agency and living in a land of free commerce; which makes it beautiful and free. 

My reasoning is this:

  • When the price tag is there and you know it is more than you can afford, remember; that if you must impress your friends with this item, they are not your friends.
  • If you must buy it to feel ‘good about yourself’ please think about getting to the core of why you think that is the case. Why you must have the most expensive, to ‘show off’, instead of showing off your beautiful self and spirit by how you live and not what you wear – meaning the name brands.
  • If you have the money, and that is not the issue, think of all the good you could do with the extra resources if you were to buy less expensive; and finding a cause you are passionate about. Oh, the great good you could do!

This same mentality goes through every facet of our life. There are definitely times of financial reversal for many. There are those who never really struggle with money. Regardless of our money situation, if we have proper perspective of resources, looking for prudent avenues to helps others instead of focusing our priorities on ‘things’, and ‘stuff’ our entire society would shift.         


  • We are individuals with distinct talents.
  • We each have specific skills.
  • We each have lives to bless and change for the better.
  • We each have a work here to do on this earth that NO one else can do but us

The danger lies when we are are caught up in the stuff and things and what society in large, or marketing is telling us to pay attention to so we are influential, we will miss the real way to know WHO to HELP and HOW to HELP. We cannot listen to God and be where He wants us and doing what He would have us do if we are focusing on ‘stuff’, ‘things’ and the life. The reward for putting all that aside and just having the common sense to buy what we need: There will be an incredible increase of love, peace and happiness in individuals and families. I promise you, just put it to the test and have a wonderful life! 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

For More On This Topic:

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman (available on Amazon), click HERE

ALL Gloves ARE Beautiful.  Click HERE

Consequences ARE Necessary, Click HERE  

How Well Do YOU Play Jenga, click HERE


  • What a fantastic message! The marketers and public relations practitioners are very skilled and making us think something is a need when it truly is a want. And I think, too, we’d all be better off if we listened to the counsel to “fix it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” more often. Thanks for this gentle reminder about our priorities. 🙂

  • Heaven says:

    Yes! We all need a reminder from time to time how hard our ancestors had to work for what they had. They were a happier generation because of it.

  • I have been guilty especially when I was younger with buying for the label, but as I am getting older and wiser admit that I am not doing this as often ( I would be lying if I said I didn’t do it at all anymore.). But still great lessons here and thank you for sharing;)

  • Diane Roark says:


    My husband and I taught Dave Ramsey’s class a group at our church for years. He believe in buying only what you can afford and using cash to purchase it. He teaches to give 10 percent and save 10 percent right off the top. He also teaches to use an envelop system when spending money. We have gotten away from his envelop system but we do pay cash for things and make sure to give and save money.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Diane Roark

  • Connie says:

    Oh Carrie ,, you put me to shame. I rarely buy new clothes . I usually buy second hand, oops,, “clothes with experience ” from thrift stores and yard sales ,,,, but I buy way to much as you well know because when I get overloaded I start sending it to you. I need to not get so caught up in “but it’s so cute” , and save my money. Nuff said, I’m guilty of wasteful spending 🙁

  • Jess says:

    This is such a great post!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  • “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” has been my personal motto for years. I think I want to have it engraved on my tombstone! If you like having less clutter, having more money, and creating less waste, this motto is for you. Quite often, I look around at how much some things cost and I wonder, “How can anyone possibly spend that much on this item/service?” But people must, or they wouldn’t be selling it…

  • Shirley Wood says:

    When I was growing up, I recall that folks just threw things away when they no longer needed or wanted them. I love shopping at thrift stores and appreciate the concept. My husband and I are into repurposing things and enjoy that process and learning experience. I feel like our society has turned a little bit toward being thrifty out of necessity when prices began to exceed paychecks. Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do with­out’ is still a great saying in my book!

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