Looking to Score Cheap Prom Dresses? Check Out Our 9 Best Tips!

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With the memorable event just months away, here’s where you can find cheap prom dresses and save while dress shopping.

Ross Prom Dresses

Wondering where to buy cheap prom dresses? 🛍️

As the flowers have already started to bloom, it’s officially about to be prom season! That means you’re looking for some prom dress contenders. Prom dresses have always been fairly expensive.

However, we’re proving the point that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars when it comes to dressing to the tens. That’s why we’ve come up with some tips to help you score cheap prom dresses without compromising on quality!

1. If there’s a solid return policy, look for dresses on Amazon (only if you have the time)!

amazon prom dress

If you’re looking months in advance, why not order a few Amazon options? There are thousands to choose from, and there are also tons of reviews that will help guide you. Even if you don’t love it, Amazon has an incredible return policy so this option is practically risk-free. Even if you don’t like the dresses you order, there are hundreds of options under $100!

eBay is another online site you can browse for; however, since eBay has individual sellers, they don’t have as many low-cost options, and return policies will vary per seller.

2. Discounted department stores may be your best friend.

TJ Maxx bag held up by the storefront Store

Stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, and even Nordstrom Rack have an awesome prom selection. These stores carry a variety of brands and designers. It may not be the most organized place to look, but, if you’re willing to search, you can find a bunch of solid options.

3. Buy your dress off-season or right after prom season.

dresses hanging up

If you really want to think ahead, buying a prom dress off-season is the way to go. This includes fall or even directly after prom season; if you’re looking for your senior year, start looking the spring prior to your senior year! It may sound very early, but prices skyrocket as spring approaches.

4. David’s Bridal has more affordable prom dresses than you think.

dresses and gowns

Offering both prom and bridesmaid dresses (which can also work as prom dresses), David’s Bridal is a great choice for prom shopping. They have an extensive below-$100 selection, including a variety under $50!

5. Lulus has a variety of options under $100!

lulus prom dresses on phone

If you’re looking for a wide variety of quality, affordable dresses, Lulus is an option you need to check out! I’ve ordered wedding guest dresses from here a variety of times; I’m always impressed by the quality, especially since I’ve never paid more than $100!

Their prom dress section is extensive and has styles and colors for every type of gal! 🤩

6. Searching for “prom dress stores near me”? Try Consignment Stores or Goodwill!

goodwill store

Tons of hidden gems can be found at both Goodwill and consignment stores. Since consignment stores vary per location, make sure to do some research on the ones in your neighborhood.

These are also great to donate your dress to after prom! Most people don’t end up wearing their prom dress again, so why not pass the torch and make it easier for the next round of prom dress seekers?!

7. Facebook Marketplace has tons of prom dresses, too!

prom dresses on facebook market place

Facebook Marketplace is great for a variety of items, including prom dresses! It’s based on local sellers; some are even willing to give you things free of charge! Note that many do not mail items, so it’s likely you’ll have to pick it up yourself.

8. Not looking to buy? Borrow from Rent the Runway or Fashion Pass.

rent the runway package

Renting a prom dress may be worth it if you feel like you’ll only get a single use out of it. In this situation, we recommend checking out Rent the Runway or Fashion Pass!

Rent the Runway has memberships of $94/month for four designer items, $144/month for eight designer items, and $235/month for sixteen items.

With Fashion Pass, you pay a monthly subscription of either $119/month for four items or $149/month for five items and one accessory. You won’t have to pay anything additional to rent these items, and, for your first month, they usually offer some kind of discount.

This method can be a little tricky for prom season since you may not like any of the options upon receiving them, but it’s worth looking into.

9. Check local organizations for potential free/cheap prom dresses.

dresses on rack

Even when scoring a deal, prom gets super pricey. A reader previously suggested that some local organizations may distribute free prom dresses! Operation Prom and Becca’s Closet are a few online resources to use as a starting point, but check out church donations or other nearby organizations and charities.

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About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.

Join The Discussion

Comments 4

  1. acgold

    You can also try your local Facebook Buy Nothing page. You can ask for a dress in a specific size.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Good idea, acgold! Thanks so much for mentioning this option! 💞

  2. Angela Herman

    My daughter got her dress at Ross for $30! It was the same one she almost bought at a higher-end dept store going for $115.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s SO amazing, Angela! So happy for you and your daughter to score such an awesome find at Ross! 👗🤗 Thanks for sharing! 💕

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