Remember the last time you went to a school dance? You spent hours trying different outfits, stressing over what to wear, and ending up with an overpriced dress you never wore again. There are so many reasons why prom can be the most stressful event of your high school years. It’s expensive; it’s short notice, you only get one chance to wear that perfect Dress, and all your friends go at once — meaning everyone is under pressure to look their best. Don’t panic! With a bit of forward-thinking, careful planning, and savvy shopping, you can own a beautiful red prom dress that doesn’t cost the earth. We get it — buying a red prom dress isn’t cheap. However, there are ways to grab an affordable version of the staple. If you don’t want to break the bank or spend more than planned on this particular night, follow these tips for cheap red prom dresses in any size and shape.
Set a Budget
Before you even think about shopping for prom, set yourself a budget. We know this sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get carried away when shopping for a special occasion. If you don’t set a budget, you might spend more than you can afford — so start with a number in mind. Alternatively, you could ask your parents and prom date to chip in. That way, you don’t feel alone when footing the bill. You can also shop around for the best deals online. While you can’t try things on properly, you can look at photos and reviews of different brands. That way, you can get an idea of the item’s quality before committing to it.
Shop During the Right Season
You’d think this would be common sense, but so many people buy their red prom dresses way too early. If you believe your Dress is in the winter, your options will be limited. If you’re shopping for a red prom dress in the summer, on the other hand, there will be so many more options available to you. That’s not to say that you’ll be restricted to short, summery dresses — but you will have more opportunities to play around with. The ideal time to buy your Dress is about three months before the big day. That way, you have time to return it if it doesn’t fit or you don’t like it, but you won’t be rushed and stressed out.
Check Out Second Hand Shops
All you need is a quick Google search to discover that second-hand shops are the best place to go for affordable red prom dresses. You can find thousands of unique, gently used dresses for a fraction of the price — and you can try them on in the comfort of your company. Online second-hand shops allow you to browse their products from the comfort of your bedroom. Just make sure you wash any used dress before you wear it, as you don’t know where it’s been.
Try on as Many Dresses as You Can
This is where things get complicated: try on as many red prom dresses as possible — preferably in the comfort of your home. If you’ve ever watched Say Yes to the Dress, you’ll know that the process can be long and tedious. However, it will be worth it in the end. You can’t just pick the first Dress you try on. You need to see what’s out there and find the one that’s right for you. Some people even recommend visiting a few stores and trying on everything before deciding what to buy. Your goal is to find the best version of you — not the version of you in the most expensive Dress.
Find Deals and Samples
When you’ve found a few dresses you like, it’s time to do a little digging. Check to see what kind of deals are available for those brands and sizes. You might find sales, sample sales, and special offers that you can use to lower the price of your Dress. That said, don’t be afraid to walk away if you’re unhappy with the price. It’s your special day, and you should be satisfied with your Dress, no matter how much it costs. You can also try scouring online resellers and second-hand shops for deals. Although some of these dresses may have been worn once or twice, you can find them for a fraction of the price.
Know Where to Find the Best Deals
You’ll likely have your heart set on one brand of Dress, but you should also keep an eye out for other brands. That way, if you don’t find the right Dress at your go-to shop, you can move on to the next one. You can also try scouring online resellers and second-hand shops for deals. Although some of these dresses may have been worn once or twice, you can find them for a fraction of the price. There are certain times of the year when brands are more likely to offer discounts and promotions — so keep an eye out for those. For example, most retailers will cut their prices during post-Christmas sales. You can also sign up for mailing lists and coupon alerts to ensure you don’t miss out on any offers.
Finally, stop stressing about your red prom dress and enjoy the process of finding it. You have plenty of time to find the perfect dress, so don’t rush into buying anything. Take your time, try on as many dresses as possible, and don’t settle for anything less than perfect. Once you’ve found the dress right for you, you can start looking forward to the best night of your high school years. Your friends will be jealous of your stunning red prom dress, and you’ll be the belle of the ball.