How to Do Prom Fashion on the Cheap

Before we tackle prom fashion, let’s take a look back in time. When I did prom, most girls bought their pouffy princess ball gowns from the same over-priced bridal shop. Besides looking super dated, you had to schedule appointments way ahead of schedule to battle out the girls at your same school, AND those at rival campuses, too. I hated the idea then (which is why I opted for an off-the-rack BCBG MAXAZRIA) and I still hate the idea now.

Thankfully, prom dress options have gotten far more expansive (and inexpensive!), and there are far fewer limitations on just how formal your formal dress has to be. Prom dress fashion become this fabulous free-for-all (minus your standard dress code regulations). And that my friends, is what’s so cool about dressing for prom in 2016.

group of young adults wearing formal wear

Whether you’re looking to save some cash or just looking for something unexpected, we say skip making the historic appointment at your hometown’s fancy dress shop, and just snag a formal-ready frock from one of the places you already shop! Approved by supermodels and It-Girls alike, these are the inexpensive labels that’ll help you do prom on the cheap.

Prom Fashion: The Labels


Embellished Long Sleeve Crop Top Maxi Dress, $153.66

With page after page of head-turners, ASOS is the ultimate starting point to get a feel for what’s trending. Say hello to standouts like two-piece sets!


Boutique Sarah Corded Lace Paneled Maxi Dress, $52

Shop safe with this inexpensive favorite from the UK. Don’t even worry about lengthy shipping or tough returns, as these guys make it fast and simple.


Feliz Dress, $98

For luxury on a budget, Reformation affords you a conscientious dress you’ll wear for years to come. And to top it all off, this silk-and-crepe loving brand is co-signed by the likes of one Em Rata.


Premium Floral Beaded High Neck Mini Dress in White, $110.50

Misguided has been known to bring the sex appeal, but their prom collection hits an age-appropriate sweet spot even Dad will approve of.


Metallic Slip Dress by Boutique, $180

If the label is good enough for Kate Upton at the Met Gala, it’s good enough for us. In your local Nordstrom or at their own location, Topshop always delivers.

Proving you don’t have to spend big bucks to look like a million, these everyday names leave you more to work with for accessories and event add-ons.


Melissa is creative communication professional with 9+ years of experience writing for the beauty and fashion industries.