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.
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.
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
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!
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 OracleFreel free to post your ideas below.
If you are going to need a prom dress, start hunting early, at thrift stores. If you have a year or more to search you have much more chance of finding a bargain.
You might also put in your request on freecycle.com
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