Dolly Parton’s Humble Upbringing Keeps Her Spending in Check: ‘I Buy off The Rack’

by Clayton Edwards

No one could ever accuse Dolly Parton of forgetting her roots. Her humble Appalachian upbringing has been an inspiration for some of the biggest moments in her career. From iconic songs to philanthropy, Dolly looks back to the foothills of the Smokies to guide her steps in life. In a recent TV appearance, she told Fredrik Skavlan that her upbringing also informs her spending decisions.

Earlier this month, Dolly made a remote appearance on the Scandinavian talk show “Skavlan” where she and the host Fredrik Skavlan talked about Christmas, her creative process, and her spending habits.

Dolly Parton on Skavlan

Dolly Parton is an American treasure. Her work in music, charity, movies, and her wisdom has made her an icon here in the States and especially in her home state of Tennessee. She’s not a well-kept secret, though. Dolly is known worldwide. This interview proves that the icon even has a following in Scandinavia.

During the course of the interview, the conversation turned to her humble upbringing in rural Tennessee and how important that part of her life is to her currently. Dolly Parton tells Skavlan that she got her business sense from her dad who was the kind of man who would “work ’til he fell over to get the job done.” She credits her mother’s side of the family with her musical talent. In this simple example, she highlights just how important her formative years were for her.

Dolly Buys off the Rack

Dolly told the TV host that she doesn’t mind dropping money where it counts. Spending larger sums of money on her stage costumes is something that she is fine with doing. Her everyday apparel, on the other hand, is a different story.

Of her everyday clothes, Dolly Parton said, “I’m okay with buying off the rack. Maybe spruce it up a little bit. Dolly-ize it a little bit. It doesn’t matter to me. I know I look like a material girl, but I’m really not. I’ve got clothes that I’ve worn for years that I still wear.”

Even in the relatively casual outfit, she’s wearing during the interview, it is hard to picture Dolly Parton as anything other than elegant.

Dolly on Earning and Spending Money

She says that her upbringing helps her stay grounded. It’s what helps her not get caught up in all the fame and glory and helps her remember that she also has to earn a living. When Skavlan asks her if she prefers earning or spending money more, Dolly tells the host that she enjoys both.

When talking about spending money Dolly Parton says, “I really like to earn money but I love to spend it, too. I spend it on things that I feel like that’s needed. I’m not the kind of person that will go out and spend like three or four thousand dollars on a coat or one outfit. You know, like some people do.”

She goes on to say that it worries her to even think about spending that kind of money. The icon says, “I always think of my daddy or my mama. I kind of think on one purse, well my daddy could have lived a whole year on that. They could have fed a family of twelve on what I would pay for a coat.” Even as a multimillionaire, Dolly Parton still understands the value of a dollar because of her early life.