Prom can be a dream come true, but it can also be a nightmare for your budget. Prom dresses can cost as much as $1,000 or even more! As this coveted occasion is coming up soon, teens nationwide are scrambling for top picks. The good news is that the dress of your dreams can be yours – all you need are a few good tricks up your sleeve. You can have a unique, yet quite affordable dress that will give you the “wow” factor you’re looking for.

And you deserve it – you may have been planning for this joyous occasion for months, or even years. We’ll help you find the way to the perfect dress or gown for what’s sure to be one of the happiest events in your life. There are quite a few high-end designer pieces out there, which are available at affordable prices. It is possible to find a top-quality prom dress on great terms.

Look and Feel Good Despite Being on a Budget

You don’t need to put a dent into your parents’ finances to look and feel good at the prom. Nab a dazzling dress you can afford by creating a budget, shopping around at both physical locations and online for good deals, or watching out for promo codes. These are just three of our 10 tips for finding budget-friendly prom dresses!

1. Create a Budget

It’s crucial to set a budget and stick to it. We recommend factoring in vehicle rental, dinner, accessories and other costs to see how much is left over for the dress itself. Don’t try on even a single dress you can’t afford because you’ll be tempted to go over your budget if you really love it.

2. Find Coupons

Various websites offer monthly or seasonal coupons to get dresses at marked-down prices. With coupons, you can get a dress at a 10%, 20% or even 30% discount. Coupons apply for tons of dresses at any given site.  

3. Shop Online Deals

A lot of girls have their dresses altered, so if you think this might be the case, shop around for online deals before committing to a purchase. You can compare prices and shop your favorite styles and designers at the same time. However, go up one dress size when shopping for any formal wear online because the sizes don’t always correspond. Take shipping delays into account, as well.

4. Online Designer Dresses– The Clearance Rack

There are some high-end, designer prom gowns hiding on clearance throughout the internet. Do your research and find online stores dedicated to bringing you top prom gowns at discounted prices.

5. Utilize Cash-back Deals

To take advantage of such deals, you need to sign up at a website offering this option and shop your favorite designers and styles through the cash-back tracked links. The site will give you cash back against the purchase. This sum can remain as savings in the cash-back account or be transferred to another account.

6. Join Your Favorite Store & Designers Email Lists

You can save literally hundreds of dollars with discount or promo codes. Subscribe to your favorite stores, designers, and brands on their sites and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to make sure you get the codes as soon as they become available.

7. Plan Ahead

There are deals year-round. Always go bargain-hunting at the end of the month – a lot of stores will put all their prom gowns on sale to make room for new items. Go for classic styles that won’t look like old news next year.

Once you find a dress, set aside enough time for alteration should such be necessary. If worse comes to worst, you might need to exchange it. You’ll eliminate the stress of this if you have as much time as you need. Also, keep in mind that many seamstresses need a few weeks’ lead time during prom season.

Cash Shortage is No Reason to Miss the Prom!

With all of these options, there is no reason to miss this memorable event just because your family is struggling financially. You will look like you’re wearing haute couture and nobody will know you aren’t, not even your date or best friend. Any girl can look like a million dollars without actually spending it! All you need to invest is time and effort.

It does take quite a bit of time to compare offers online and in stores, comb clearance racks and thrift stores, make room for alterations and adjustments, and/or look for places in your area where dresses are being donated. Anyone who exhausts these options is destined for success. The effort is worth putting in because you go to your prom only once. No other prom will be like yours, marking the end of high school and your transition to adulthood, a new and wonderful period of endless possibilities in your life.     

Author Bio: Jonah Levine is the Creative Director of TheDressWarehouse.com. TheDressWarehouse.com was launched in 2018 as the go-to online source for amazing designer prom wear on sale. With 10 years experience in the industry, Jonah works daily to scour the evening wear markets to find the hottest styles and to negotiate the best prices for special occasion wear on the internet.