by Kristen Daukus || Four Hens
If you have a teenage daughter then you know firsthand that prom season is here. Whether she’s going with the love of her (now) life or in a group of Looking for beautiful prom dresses that won’t cost as much as a wedding gown? I have 7 great places to look!friends, no doubt she’s already been looking around for THE perfect dress. All of the girls that are in and out of our house have very different ideas on what they want to wear to prom. Some like a classic look, others want to be a little bit more daring.
One thing is for sure – this isn’t our Gunne Sax days, y’all.
If you’ve been allowed to go prom dress shopping with your daughter, no doubt you’ve seen they carry a pretty steep price tag. I’ve seen some prices that I wouldn’t have spent on my wedding dress much less a dress that is primarily a prop in a long string of photo ops and Snapchats. When we went to prom, we WENT to prom. There was dinner, the dance, and a few lucky ones got away with the after-party. Now? It’s pictures, dinner, and a quick stop into the prom before heading to the real event of the night.. the party at someone’s house. One mom told me her daughter was at her prom last year for a grand total of 10 minutes and immediately changed out of the expensive dress and $400 shoes.
I don’t care if it is the prom… if I’m springing $400 for shoes, it better be to walk you down the aisle.
WHERE TO LOOK FOR AFFORDABLE PROM DRESSES
PromGirl – You can find every type of dress imaginable in any price range on this site. They have super budget friendly options under $100 and then all the way up to over $2000. They offer free shipping and state their returns are easy (offering full refund for a store credit or money back minus a 10% shipping fee). Another nice feature is that they offer a huge assortment of accessories, bags, shoes, and more.
Charlotte’s Closet – I think everyone is pretty comfortable with the “borrow not buy” concept now. Formal wear is really where it all began with the launch of sites like Rent the Runway. Charlotte’s Closet is like RTR but for teens and tweens. We’ve used Charlotte’s Closet in the past for Sydney’s 8th grade dance and it was a GREAT experience. The styles are current and trendy and they send you 2 sizes just to be sure you have the best fit! Return packaging and shipping is included. So instead of spending $500 to buy the dress, you spend $100 or so to borrow it! Something new they’ve added is an “at-home try on” option. For $29.95 they will ship you 3 dresses to try on for 24 hours and then ship back. They’ll credit the $29.95 to your account for 6 months.
Bridal Salons – Bridesmaid dresses aren’t what they used to be so shopping in a bridal salon could be a great way to go. Most bridal salons carry more than “just” wedding attire.. many carry formal wear, too. We found a high-end label in our local bridal salon and walked out with a prom dress for under $100! Added bonus? Many of them offer alterations!
The BFF’s Closet – Does your daughter have a friend whose parents spare no expense for their baby girl? Hit them up for one of their formal wear ‘hand me downs’! Bonus points if they go to a different school district because then you know no one’s seen it!
Consignment Shops – This one’s an easy one because again.. rarely do these dresses get worn more than once! I’m always keeping an eye open for special-occasion dresses when we are in consignment stores. Make sure you go to the ones that aren’t targeting teens as well. We’ve found that while we love Plato’s Closet, heading over to my friend Shannon’s store, Style Encore, is better for the oldest because she can find the labels she likes to wear easier! Consignment shops are also great for the creative designer who likes to make something their own (Pretty in Pink!!).
Department Stores – Don’t discard the good ol’ fashioned department store like JCPenny’s, Macy’s, and Belk. They usually have a huge variety of dresses and the best part of that is that you can try them on and then walk out with it. No waiting for shipping. These stores usually have coupons too, but you can’t always use them for things like formal wear.
Forever21 – I don’t know about you but I cannot stand to shop here. However, for once, the ultimate teen shopping destination is going to work in your favor. While they may not have as big of a selection as online shops and department stores, at least you know you’re going to get it for a great price and you won’t stress if she steps on the hem at the end of the night.
Here’s hoping you make it thru prom season, moms!! Would love to hear other places where you’ve found great deals on these kind of higher dollar events!