There is nothing more stressful than a prom dress shopping trip that goes way wayyyyy over budget. It’s easy to assume the best ones cost the most, but we’re going to let you in on a secret: pretty and cheap prom dresses do exist. Here’s where to find them.
Macy’s and Say Yes to the Prom collection
For the first time ever, Macy’s is launching an affordable collection of gowns with the new spinoff show Say Yes To The Prom. It’ll have 28 different styles from sizes 0 to 15, and prices from $196 to $250. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and hair pieces are also on offer from $13 to $37. Everything will go on sale on February 1 at macys.com (shipping to Canada) and on February 15 at 200 Macy’s stores across America. Get those dates in your diary!
Second-hand and consignment boutiques
Across Canada, these thrift-style showrooms resell dresses pooled together from donations, discontinued samples and boutiques going out of business. But that doesn’t mean they’re out of style —thousands of girls have found chic, classic and cheap prom dresses for the big night, sometimes saving up to 80 percent off the original retail price. You can even sell your dress back to the store to get some of your money back after you’ve worn it.
Gown Go Round in Newmarket, Ontario, has a drop-in-any-time policy, while The Dressy Attic in Mission, BC, requires pre-booked appointments. Other consignment boutiques, like Found in St. John’s, and Front and Company in Vancouver, might not have rails and rails of gowns, but they have amazing designer clutch bags and jewellery at lower prices. Don’t forget all items are dry-cleaned and fixed up before you buy them.
“Shop and borrow” initiatives
Really can’t afford to buy a prom dress? No problem. There are a number of Canada-wide initiatives and non-profit organizations that let students shop and borrow dresses from hundreds of donated gowns from stores and the community. Here is a list of some of the largest programmes across the country: Prom Boutique in Toronto, The Prom Blitz Project in Barrie, Ontario, Fairy Godmother of Ottawa in Ottawa, Alberta Strong: Grad Dress Project in Alberta, The Princess Shop in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, and A Promise for Prom in Rigaud Quebec.
Cheap prom dresses in the digital world are like Converse sneakers —they’re everywhere. The key is to search on international fashion websites such as ASOS (which offers delivery for $6.50), Boohoo (free delivery on orders over $70), Lulu (free delivery on orders over $150), and Stelly (free on orders over $100). The brands have everything from midi A-line skirts to sleek maxi column dresses in every colour you can imagine.
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