Look fabulous without breaking the bank by purchasing stylish cocktail dresses at affordable prices. Junior cocktail dresses are available at a variety of online retailers; however, the key to saving money is shopping at the right time and purchasing early. Look to well-known retailers for amazing deals and smaller, boutique-like, online stores for discounts.
Where to Shop
Shopping should be entertaining. If you have a mall near you, head to a store to try dresses on before you purchase. However, you may want to look online for styles you like before trekking out to the store.
- Charlotte Russe: Online and in-store, this junior favorite offers cocktail dresses at amazing prices. Depending on the time of year, the company may not carry the dresses in-store or online; therefore, check often to find out when new dresses hit the store or site. Look for cocktail dresses during prom and homecoming season to find a vast selection of reasonably-priced gowns.
- Lulu's Fashion Lounge: This online-only boutique is known for their low price points, trendy selection of cocktail dresses and amazing deals. Sign up for email alerts to receive discount codes, one-day sale alerts and notifications of mark-downs. You can also save your favorite cocktail dresses into a "wish list" so you do not have to search for them every time to see if they are on sale.
- Forever 21: The hottest place to shop for the trendiest clothing, Forever 21 will always have a selection of affordable cocktail dresses. The online and in-store shop offer seasonal sales; however, the original prices are so low that if you wait for the dress to go on sale, it may not be there anymore. Since the store often sells out of items quickly, check with a store representative to find out when new shipments arrive.
- Modcloth: This retro-inspired website offers a variety of cocktail dresses that are inspired by fashions of a bygone era. Browse through the sale section for amazing deals and one-of-a-kind finds for your cocktail dress needs.
- Macy's: The fabulous thing about Macy's is the sales which makes the search for a cheap dress perfect. Macy's, like other large department stores, begins to lower prices once the season passes; therefore, if you know you will be on the hunt for a cocktail dress then scour the sale racks at Macy's for classic dresses, such as the little black dress.
- Banana Republic: Known more for classic looks than party dresses, the online store has a wide assortment of cocktail dresses. Sign up for email alerts to find out when sales are approaching. In addition, if you live near a Banana Republic outlet store you are sure to find amazing deals on their cocktail dress selection.
- Express: Always the classic, yet trendy, style for cocktail dresses. While the sales are fabulous, they are not the only way to score an inexpensive price tag. Get discounts when you sign up for the Express card, give your mailing address or give your email address.
Try a Clothing Swap
When your budget keeps you from shopping in your favorite stores, consider holding a clothing swap. Cocktail dresses are fancy and may only be worn once or twice. Talk with your friends about a clothing, or dress, swap. Have each friend bring one or two dresses and swap them out with someone else's old frock. Avoid swapping cocktail dresses that are too outdated, falling apart or just plain ugly. The clothing swap is a way to get a "new-to-you" cocktail dress for free. Consider donating the rest of the dresses to a woman's organization.
Another option to consider is refashioning an existing dress you already own. If you, your mother, grandmother or someone else you know is handy with a needle and thread, then transform your dress into something a little trendier.
Pulling the Look Together
Remember that just because you are on a budget does not mean you have to sacrifice your style. Shop around and do price comparisons so you get the best deals available. In addition, always check online retailers and look for coupons to help reduce the cost of the dress. Depending on the amount of money you save, you may be able to afford matching heels and jewelry to accompany your new cocktail dress.