Monday, February 19, 2018

Formal Dresses Under $70

We are officially starting one of my favorite times of year - formal season! 
In college, all spring is filled with a variety of formals - sorority, fraternity, ROTC, other student organizations. Throughout college, I have averaged 2-3 formals each spring (my sorority, my boyfriend's fraternity, and his military ball). That's 12 formal dresses in 4 years! Now I have re-worn dresses a few times, which I highly recommend, but no one wants to wear the same dresses every year, especially if you're posting tons of pics - which you definitely should if you're getting all dressed up!

I am pretty good at finding awesome dresses at better prices, if I do say so myself. I have never spent more than $70 on a formal dress and have loved my dresses every year. Today, I'm rounding up some of my favorite affordable formal dresses and giving suggestions on other ways to save on a dress for your next fancy occasion - including the dress I bought (can you guess which one it is?).

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12

Tips for Finding Cheap, Great Formal Dresses

 // Check online boutiques and flash sale websites //

Big online retailers or department stores tend to be more expensive. Online boutiques can have some really great prices, and they'll be more unique than the dresses that everyone else found at Nordstrom. Flash sale websites like Hautelook or Rue La La usually have amazing dresses for a fraction of their original price.

// ALWAYS check the sale section //

If you are looking at big online retailers, check the sale section! Some stores separate their sale and clearance items from their in season items. Search everywhere on the website - women's, juniors, sale, etc. You never know what you'll find.

// Consider the reviews //

I know some people who have had great luck with buying dresses on Amazon for formals. While this is great because free shipping and returns, Amazon quality can be risky. Also cheaper sites like Tobi, Romwe, and Shein can have iffy quality sometimes. Read through customer reviews to get an idea of quality, sizing, etc. This way you're more likely to get a dress that fits and looks great.

// Take your measurements before buying online //

This is something my mom taught me! Before I buy anything online, I always take my measurements - bust, waist, and hips. Then, I compare that to the size chart on the website. If you do this, it's a lot more likely that your dress will fit when it comes in, so you won't have to worry about returning it and rush shipping another dress.

// Consider renting a dress //

Rent the Runway has really pretty designer dresses, if that's what you're looking for. (Personally, that makes me a little nervous, because I wouldn't want something to happen to that dress and be on the hook for something expensive.) The Curtsy app allows you to rent from other girls on your college campus! The girls' also tend to rent their dresses for very cheap.

// Buy secondhand //

Poshmark, resale Facebook groups, or even from your friends. There are tons of options out there for buying previously worn formal dresses.

// Borrow dresses //

I borrowed a couple of my cousin's old bridesmaid dresses for formals. My sister has borrowed some of my dresses for her formal events. Ask around your sorority house or text your older sister and cousins to see if they have that gorgeous bridesmaid dress that they're never going to ~shorten and wear again (lol)~. Best part of borrowing dresses? They're free!