The Annie Oakley Costume

In the second grade at Stella’s school, each class does a “wax museum”. The students spend some time on biographies and then pick a famous American to research. The end of the project includes each student dressing up as their American and sharing what they learned with the parents in a “wax museum” setting during the school day. It should be no surprise that Stella’s first choice was Annie Oakley.

I was thrilled. I am NOT good at throwing together a costume. I am crafty in many ways, but I cannot sew. Ok, I could if I had to…but I choose not to. And I’m a sucker for taking the easy way out at this stage in life for these kind of projects. Remember the Elsa costume debacle?!?! Anyway, I was SO EXCITED. Annie Oakley? ANNIE OAKLEY! We have boots, we have a cowgirl hat, we have tons of shirts with horses on them, we have lots of pretend cowgirl stuff!

Well…Stella saw too many photos of the real Annie Oakley (stop…do a Google image search of Annie Oakley…LOTS of paper-bag-brown) and none of our apparel was authentic enough. Insert mom headache. Insert mom dread of class project. Stella had much higher expectations than I did. But I didn’t want to let her down. I thought and thought and thought about this one. At one point, I even asked her if we could just “Mayhem-it-up” and put together an outfit out of actual paper bags or brown craft paper. She was hesitant. And I don’t blame her…even my paper skills lack.

A friend (who is BEYOND crafty and CAN sew) sent me to the Salvation Army. On 50% off Wednesday! She told me the best news ever…the store is color-coded. Stella and I headed straight to the beige section.


We found one shirt immediately, but it was going to need some work. And Stella was so picky she even pointed out that it had buttons ALL the way down. Duh. A belt, a few adjustments to the sleeves and we could make it work for $6.99 minus another 50%. It was the perfect color and texture. But we kept looking.


And then WE FOUND IT! To give you some perspective…I even tried it on when we returned home. I was trying to decide if I was going to let her “fringe” the skirt part or if I was going to actually keep the shirt after the project! (The pink on the collar is the price tag = $3.99! So it was a major bargain at $2. But it had lots of visibly large pin holes up one sleeve, so I don’t care what she does to it at this point.) It was perfect. It already had a”belt”, the sleeves rolled and buttoned, and the buttons down the front stopped halfway. It was a tad lighter in color than she hoped for, but once I showed her a comparison photo of herself. It definitely won!


One thing is for sure…she’ll be the cutest Annie Oakley ever. Be sure you are following me on Facebook and Instagram to see the whole outfit when her project is complete! I think her presentation is March 25th. So stay tuned.


Do you love these types of class projects? Or loathe them?


One Response to The Annie Oakley Costume

  1. I love it. And how did you not know about 50% off Wednesdays at Salvation Army and it being color-coded? It’s great for school projects but it SUCKS for actual shopping. But I’ve gotten many a great deal there.

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