How to Save Money on Prom Dresses

Written by  //  October 28, 2013  //  Holiday Shopping, Proms  //  No comments

High school proms are today’s debutante balls, where girls get to strut their stuff and guys enjoy the look that their dates choose. Proms are important to guys too, but when he rents a tux and she is expected to buy a dress, the more significant work is handled by the girls. Quite easily, you can spend hundreds to well over a thousand dollars on a prom dress. That’s a lot of money so it is important that you shop carefully and look for ways to save including incorporating the following strategies.

1. Past season sales. Visit your favorite dress shop and ask to see their inventory of past season dresses, items that are typically marked down heavily. Sure, you are getting last year’s style, but you will enjoy savings that shoppers of the new style can only dream about.

2. Designer swag. Maybe you still want the latest and greatest. You can still have that by shopping at a store that rents dresses just for the day. If that sounds too creepy to you, then shop an online retailer such as that specializes in deals you won’t find anywhere else except on the Internet.

3. Sew it alone. It used to be that girls would sew their own prom dresses, saving them big money. If you or your mother sew, then choose your favorite pattern to make your own. Or, you can repurpose a favorite dress by sewing on the embellishments to make it your prom dress.

4. Visit thrift and consignment shops. If you can bear wearing someone else’s threads, then a visit to your local thrift or consignment shop can help you suit up in no time. Some shops specialize in finer clothing and should be shopped regularly. Get a dress for the fraction of the price and visit your tailor to have it taken in.

5. Swap with a friend. You may not want to wear your big sister’s dress, but if it looks good and fits, then why not? You might also consider swapping dresses with a friend or perhaps splitting the cost of a new dress. Your friend will wear that dress to her prom and then you’ll wear it to your own. That’s a 50 percent savings right off the bat.

6. Use an app. Visa developed a "Plan it Prom" app to help prom shoppers track their expenses and to stay within their budgets. Make use of such an app to compare what you’ll pay for your dress, shoes, jewelry, make up, hair style, accessories, and more. Learn where you can cut money in one area to free up funds to be used elsewhere.

7. Pool your resources. If money is really tight, then work together with several other couples to pool your resources. Buying together can help you keep your spending in check and it might yield discounts from a retailer. For instance, a prom dress merchant may give you a discount for referring other girls to their shop.

Prom Dress Savings

Another way to shop on prom dresses is to shop out of season. Proms are typically held in April and May, so shopping in the winter or even in the fall can yield discounts you might not realize at other times of the year. Know that the sticker press at some stores is just that — feel free to negotiate and if you are not certain how this is done, bring your mother along to help you out.

Author Information
Jen Birch is the Social Media Coordinator at, a company that specializes in providing prom quality dresses for that special day. See more at:

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