Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Saving Money on Prom Dresses

Three girls wearing prom dresses.
You want to look your best for prom, but don't always have an unlimited clothing budget. This is a guide about saving money on prom dresses.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 1 found this helpful
January 18, 2007

Thrift Stores, Consignment Shops and Ebay

Prom can cost a fortune but it doesn't have to. You can find nice prom dresses at thrift stores, consignment shops, and department store clearance racks.
Ad

You could even try your luck at buying a dress online. You can find good deals on sites like eBay, but if the dress doesn't fit, you are out of luck.

Look into whether your local school or church has a dress swap. Ask your older cousins, sisters, or friends. Since many fancy dresses are only worn once, they make great hand-me-downs.

By ThriftyFun

Wedding Stores

In need of inexpensive prom or winter formal dresses? Go to wedding stores, check the clearance rack and the samples rack (usually favoring the smaller sizes) - checking both the most casual bridal dresses AND the bridesmaid dresses.

In addition, you can check your local garment district (L.A. has one downtown), thrift stores, consignment stores and the local newspapers - and stores selling quinceniera dresses (a 15th birthday party in some cultures).

By Lydia in CA

Macy's Clearance Rack

I got my dress at Macy's for $18 on clearance. It had a small rip in seam, I sewed it and it looked great. (Original price of dress-$280) Try to find big places like Macy's that have clearance sections and you can get some real bargains!

By Misty

Advertise

Put an ad in your local paper. Many social organizations require formal dresses for meetings. Members don't know where to get rid of them if there are no local places to sell them. Indicate size. You now have a pipeline to someone of the same size who uses them.

By the Oracle

Freel free to post your ideas below.
Ad
Comment Was this helpful? 1

February 24, 20170 found this helpful

Shopping early and trying a variety of options such as thrift stores and on-line sites can help to find the best price on prom dresses. This is a guide about finding an inexpensive plus size prom dress.

A teen in a prom dress.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

March 28, 2007

To get a good deal when looking for your prom dress, go further afield than your local mall! Go to Resale shops where they have designer dresses for a lot less. Or look for something vintage. If you have a nice dress, you could even resell it, bringing down your costs even further in the long run.

Ad


By pamphyila from Los Angeles

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

February 23, 20170 found this helpful

A inexpensive formal dress can be found by secondhand shopping, if you have time to look. This guide is about finding a cheap prom dress.

A high school girl wearing a nice prom dress.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 1, 20070 found this helpful

"I want to go to prom but I can't afford a dress!" Helpful hints from the ThriftyFun community. If you have advice on frugal ways to get a prom dress, please post them below.

Ad

Note: Please do not post requests for buying or selling specific dresses here. Ebay, craigslist and freecycle are good sites in which to post that information.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 1, 20070 found this helpful

Have you tried freecycle? It's a free site where people give things away they no longer need or want or they request items. Type in freecycle on your computer and see what comes up. There may be a site near you. I hope this helps. Good luck and believe...it will happen.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 1, 20070 found this helpful

One of the best places to look, besides want adds, would be thrift stores like Salvation Army or Goodwill. Not everything they get is in the best quality, but if you look around, and keep checking back, often times people will donate things that just don't wear anymore. Even if you find something thats a bit "outdated" you could always get someone from the high school sewing class or a family member/friend to alter it a bit for you.

Ad

Ugly bows on the shoulder or sleeves leave something to be desired? Snip it off from just below the shoulders, hem it a bit, and wear it as a strapless :p

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 2, 20070 found this helpful

Ebay also has some beautiful dresses at very inexpensive prices. You can even go to the department stores and try on different brands to see what size you need in a specific brand, then search ebay by brand and size. Or just browse by size on ebay!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 2, 20070 found this helpful

Check on Ebay,my Sister got a couple of Bride's maid dresses that had actually been Prom dresses for only 97 cents each!!!!! If we knew your size,the style you are looking for,and your favorite color would help people reading this too. Maybe somebody has one that they would be good enough to just send to you for the cost of postage,or kind enough to just send to you. Good luck

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 2, 20070 found this helpful

our local dry cleaners does a service for this, people donate the dresses, and the cleaners have a thing for girls who sign up to choose one. Check with South Bend Indiana Zykers cleaners and see if they can maybe persuade a cleaner in your area to do the same? They get publicity on TV and help kids who dont have the money to buy a new dress.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 2, 20070 found this helpful

You could also try places that rent Tuxedo's and stuff for weddings, or Halloween rentals may have some gowns that aren't related at all to Halloween.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 2, 20070 found this helpful

Check on Freecycle.org for the Freecycle group in your area and post your request there.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 2, 20070 found this helpful

For economy you might think about a gown that is shorter - like the one Helen Mirren wore at the Oscars & show off your legs! It has the advantage of probably being a dress you could wear again sometime...Some here mentioned the 15dollar clothing site online & I looked & they had nice short formal dresses for $15 - so you could then focus on your hair and accessories - borrowing from your elders - an evening purse, a wrap & getting Payless shoes that look like designer ones -Luckily vintage is in style -so if your grandmother has rhinestones in her jewelry box, bring them out. I think all those slip dresses are boring, anyway. And can't be worn again for anything....

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 22, 20070 found this helpful

if you know any one who sews it is very inexpensive to make one, you can find patterns at wal-mart or any where fabric is sold, I am trying to start a business making wedding gowns and prom/bridesmaid dresses, home made is better anyway because it is a custom fit to your measurements. email me if ican help you in anyway jencastell @ mail.com

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

August 30, 20040 found this helpful

Tips for saving money on prom dresses. Post your ideas!

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 30, 20040 found this helpful

I recently found formal gowns on sale at Hechts for as low as $11.00, yes $11! They are beautiful and if you have an event coming or even a prom next year, you should check it out. These gowns had been in the $240 range, so now they are an absolute steal!

Samantha in NC

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 31, 20040 found this helpful

WOW !!! THAT WAS A GREAT DEAL !!! I THOUGHT I DID GOOD, ON JULY 30 I BOUGHT A $150.00 PINK PROM GOWN FOR $12.72 INCLUDING TAX. I WAS SO EXCITED ! AND SO WAS MY DAUGHTER, THAT IS GOING TO HER JR. PROM IN NOVEMBER. I BOUGHT THAT AT JC PENNEY'S !! AMY FROM NEW YORK

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
September 1, 20040 found this helpful

Check your Salvation Army Store or other Second Hand stores. Also some Wedding Apparel Stores have great clearance racks

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 1, 20040 found this helpful

Also check Filene's Basement which has fantastic deals on prom and wedding and event dresses. I got my wedding dress the day before I got married there for 39.99 and it was better than the one I picked out in a magazine for $650.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 18, 20050 found this helpful

Check online- they have lots of sites devoted to finding prom dresses.

I would stick to a dress that is simple and play it up with accesories. Fancy gowns with intricate beading are a fortune.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 16, 20050 found this helpful

Thrift stores forever have prom dresses. Since you're buying them that cheap, you can afford to have them altared to fit you just right.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
October 17, 20080 found this helpful

I am currently building a website to bring you the opportunity for girls to buy, sell and/or trade formal dresses. The site will be up and running shortly. In the meantime check it out at www.promdresspost.com and subscribe your email with us. Once the site is open, I will send you an email!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
March 4, 2008

Where can I get a free prom dress?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 4, 20080 found this helpful

* You could borrow one, however courtesy would dictate you pay to have it professionally cleaned prior to returning it.

* Check with your church.

* You could make one yourself fairly inexpensively. Choose a pattern with simple lines and an attractive but inexpensive fabric. If you cannot sew, see if you can barter services (cleaning, windows, etc. etc.) with someone who can sew.

* Try your local Freecycle group (go to Yahoo groups and search "Freecycle" and your area.

* Check out http://www.craigslist.org

* Don't forget to check your local thrift stores.

* See if there is a group like the following near you:

http://www.dall … ss.11629eec.html

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 4, 20080 found this helpful

E-mail me and let me know what size. Shryoung AT comcast.net

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 5, 20080 found this helpful

I would try Freecycle, Sandra. People are very generous.

http://www.free … /?noautodetect=1

It's been successful for many. I hope you find one.

Monique x

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 6, 20080 found this helpful

Check out this website for Simcoe County in Ontario, Canada.

www.ballroom-blitz.org

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 1, 20070 found this helpful

Hello, I am a mother with three daughters, two of which are in High School. I am looking for ways to find inexpensive Prom dresses for them.

Thanks,
Marianne

Answers:

Looking for Inexpensive Prom Dresses

You can try calling around to outlet wedding places or just regular wedding gown places and ask be fore going and they usually have cheaper dresses there to buy you can use for prom and such.

Try outlet mall in your search engine and try that, I have found a lot of outlet malls here in Wisconsin that have been very helpful, for my future daughter in law and they had a lot of wedding and other dresses there too. (02/20/2003)

By DeNovi

Looking for Inexpensive Prom Dresses

We have had excellent luck at 2nd hand shops and consignments. Also cousins at a different school might have friends your size who would like to swap for an event. If you plan way ahead you can pick up beautiful gowns at garage sales.

(02/25/2003)

By claudiacy

Looking for Inexpensive Prom Dresses

My cousin finished high school a couple years before I did and I ended up with four or five formals from her (it was helpful that she went to school in another city). When I was done with them I didn't have anybody to pass them on to that would fit them so I dropped them off at GoodWill. I know some people turn their noses up at the idea of getting special occassion wear from there, but it's a great place to find 'diamonds in the rough.' *grin*

When I was getting ready to leave for college my mom and I went formal shopping at a bridal outlet. I purchased a dress that went along with my sense of style and what would work with my body, but was also going to be able to stand 4+ years of fashion. I went a little conservative so I didn't have to worry about the season or the occassion. I think I spent a total of $80 on that gown, but it was well worth it.

This might also be a great opportunity for your girls to learn how to make their own clothing. Wish I had pursued it after home ec myself, would have made my current shirt adventure a little easier. *lol*

Hope this helps! (02/28/2003)

By O-mama

Looking for Inexpensive Prom Dresses

Depending upon the city in which you live, there is The Princess Project, designed for just this situation.
(weblink)http://www.princessproject.org/(/weblink)
Contact this organization to see if they are aware of things like this in your area. (04/01/2003)

By LVR

Looking for Inexpensive Prom Dresses

try (weblink)http://www.fairygodmothersinc.com(/weblink) for gently used gowns.
Good luck,
Gloria (04/07/2003)

By ThriftyFun

Looking for Inexpensive Prom Dresses

Hi Nichelle

You may want to tell her about Becca's Closet. They have two New York chapters. None appear to be near Brooklyn but maybe they could let her know about something closer.

http://www.beccascloset.org/pendchapters.html (05/17/2004)

By ThriftyFun

Looking for Inexpensive Prom Dresses

Estelles has a great selection at great prices (03/03/2005)

By

Looking for Inexpensive Prom Dresses

I got mine at Macy's, on clearance, for $17. Had a small thread loose in the side, I sewed it and it was fine! (Original price of the dress was $280) (05/01/2006)

By marstonmd

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
In This Guide
Frugal Tips for Prom
Frugal Tips for Prom
Categories
Consumer Advice Shopping Apparel & FashionApril 15, 2013
Guides
Closet full of prom dresses.
Planning a Prom Dress Re-Sale Event
A teen in a prom dress.
Finding an Inexpensive Plus Size Prom Dress
Crafts Using Prom Dresses
Crafts Using Prom Dresses
A high school girl wearing a nice prom dress.
Finding a Cheap Prom Dress
More
📓
Back to School Ideas!
😎
Summer Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/08/08 15:51:24 in 7 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!