Buying a prom dress is a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you find an inexpensive prom dress without breaking the bank.
In this guide, you’ll find some of the cheapest places to buy prom dresses, some tips for finding a dress on budget, and a few other things to keep in mind.
How to Buy a Budget Ball Gown
Finding a budget ball gown can be a complicated and stressful experience. You want to find a affordable yet still beautiful dress, so you need a few tips before you start looking. The first thing you need to know is the type of dress you want to buy.
For most people, the first thing they think of is a long, fitted dress. But if you want a dress that shows off your arms, then a full-skirted dress with a long, flowing skirt is a better choice.
You also don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a nice dress. A simple one-shoulder dress or jumpsuit is affordable and can be worn for any occasion.
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid anything too fancy because if you buy a dress that is too expensive, you might regret it in the future.
Why Choose an Inexpensive Prom Dress
You may want a specific dress and are willing to invest the time and effort to find it. However, there are many reasons to buy a cheap prom dress.
First, you’ll find a wide variety of styles at different price points. Second, depending on your personality type, you may be attracted to fancy designer dresses or the more traditional look of a floral dress. In other words, a ball gown with a train or strapless bodice might not be what you’re looking for.
Second, you’ll probably find that you’re not the only person buying a ball gown. Many of the homecoming dresses on our list are really cool, and there are a lot of people out there who share your taste for style.
Dress sizes also vary from store to store.
How to Find the Perfect Prom Dress
You’ve already visited several stores and websites and picked out a few dresses you’d like to try on, so now it’s time to find a dress that fits you perfectly.
Obviously, if you want to go to a formal event like the prom, you should try on as many dresses as you can. But as a general rule of thumb, it’s usually better to go to a few stores and buy several dresses in a wider variety of colors and styles to ensure you find a dress that really suits you.
Some prom goers go to the store, try on a bunch of dresses, find one they like, and keep going to different stores until they find one that works. Others will make all of their purchases online and then receive delivery.
Here’s a guide to finding the perfect prom dresses on budget.
Decide a Style
As with any shopping activity, the first thing you should do is decide what style you want. There are several styles you can choose from, but we recommend the traditional ball gown. If you’re not sure what you want, go to your school’s prom website and read the style guide. Your style guide will list everything that is popular throughout the year, including styles that are sure to be on sale.
Most people tend to stick with the traditional ball gown, like a classic floor length dress in an elegant color, like burgundy or midnight blue. A classic style is timeless, meaning you’ll be able to wear it for years to come. So while you might want something that matches your year, it’s more important to find something you love to wear.
Choose your color
You should think of colors in two parts: red and black. Red is associated with prom dresses and the color pink, but it can also come in shades of pink and red. Black is usually associated with plain, simple dresses.
If you fall in love with a color, make sure you buy it in two or three colors. That way, if you later find that you like the look of the dress in another color, you can make a new purchase in the other colors.
Look for a Prom Dress with the Right
Fit The first step in shopping for a prom dress that fits well is size. There are two types of dresses, formal and non-formal. Formal dresses are typically designed to fit you like a second skin, while nonformal dresses have stretch fabrics and can accommodate many body types.
Finding the Right Fabric
One of the first steps in shopping for a ball gown is finding the right fabric.
A good way to find out which fabric is right for you is to browse the graduation section of your local department stores.
Once you’ve found a dress you like, find the fabric and measurements to ensure you’re buying the right type of fabric.
That said, there is a right and wrong type of fabric to buy.
While a classic silk or satin dress is the obvious choice, a thin fabric like tulle can ruin your entire prom night. That’s why a good way to get a great price is to find a polyester dress.
Polyester is a great fabric for most dresses because it dries quickly. In addition, unlike cotton, polyester tends to stretch to accommodate shape change.
Tips for prom dress shopping
Find a dress you like
The first step is simply to find the dress you like. Then, when you’re ready to buy a dress, try spending some time in the store looking at the dresses, trying them on, and conversing with the salesperson about your preferred dress style. You can usually get 10% to 15% off a prom dress just by buying it at the store, or you can also shop online to get a discount. You don’t necessarily need to find a dress that matches the color of the year, but you should at least be in the market for a color that matches your prom theme well and doesn’t look awful on you (hint: black doesn’t look good on everyone).
Know what you can afford
It’s important to know what you can actually afford before you start shopping.
The Final Word
When you think about prom, you probably don’t think about spending a thousand dollars on a dress you only wear once, but sometimes that’s exactly what will happen to you.
A good rule of thumb is that you should plan on spending around $100 to $150 on a ball gown, although you should consider accessories and shoes as well, which could easily add another $50 to $100 to your final cost.
Be realistic about your budget. Of course, you don’t want to get tangled up in a number or rack up credit card debt, but being honest with yourself and wondering if a dress really fits your style will make it easier.