How to get a dress for less - The Buffalo News

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How to get a dress for less

Prom may be the best night ever for high school students, but for their parents, it promises to be one of the most expensive nights ever.

In recent years, the cost of prom has been increasing more than 30 percent each year, according to some estimates. A Visa study found prom costs for 2013 averaging $1,528 per person in the Northeast. If the trend continues, this year prom expenses could run near $2,000.

A big part of that expense is the dress. Depending on the style, prom dresses can cost several hundred dollars.

Popular styles this year are heavily influenced by fashion runways and the red carpet.

If you can’t or don’t want to spend a lot of money dressing for prom, here are a few other options for getting a stylish prom dress for less.

Dress giveaways

Typically reserved for girls who can’t afford to spend a lot on dresses, some of these events may require a reference, application or appointment. Some of the donated dresses may be used, but some are also brand-new off-the-rack donations, so it is possible to get an up-to-date, stylish look through a dress giveaway.

Consignment stores

Prom dresses on consignment is a booming business. Check local resale outlets that load up on prom gowns to offer a great selection, generally at about 75 percent off retail costs.

Other resources

Don’t overlook department stores or online shopping when seeking an affordable prom dress. At department stores, you can probably find coupons to get a percent discount off the selection of prom gowns. If you shop online, you can find low-cost dresses at retailers such as, H&M and other purveyors of fast fashion. Check this online retailer ( for styles that can work for prom. Pricing ranges from less than $100 to more than $500. Look for additional discounts via promo codes. Use code USWELCOMETREAT to get $10 off any order of $100 or more for first-time shoppers.

David’s Bridal ( The White by Vera Wang collection has a range of bridesmaids dresses suitable for prom for less than $200.

Duck Tape: It doesn’t get much cheaper than making a prom dress out of Duck Tape. Enter the “Stuck on Prom” competition ( and win scholarship money for your creatively designed Duck Tape prom dress.

Macy’s: Visit for a special section of prom dresses for $99 or less.

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