5 Great Ideas for Saving Money on Prom Dresses in 2011

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Take some of the sting out of paying for prom with a discount prom dress that’s elegant, memorable and looks like a million bucks. The prom season for 2011 is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start looking for prom dresses. If you’re like most parents, you want a dress that is spectacular and memorable for your daughter but one doesn’t break the bank. So how do you find a stunning discount prom dress that doesn’t scream “discount”? Try these five tips on how to save money when buying a prom dress.

Before You Shop
Before you embark on your discount prom dress quest, get an idea of what kind of dress you’d like to have. Are there certain colors you favor? Would you prefer a short prom dress or a long prom dress? A princess-like prom dress or a simple and elgant prom dress? Looking through magazines, department stores or online stores ahead of time can help you decide on which styles you’re interested in. It’s also a good idea to be honest with yourself about what type of dress and what colors look best on you.

You should allow yourself plenty of time to shop, especially if you’re considering purchasing a discount prom dress online or will need alterations. It will take time to find your perfect dress, so don’t leave it until the last minute.

Bridal Boutiques
Bridal shops can be a great source for unique prom dresses. Why? Many bridesmaid dresses are quite beautiful and make perfectly elegant prom dresses. While browsing, be sure to ask about off-season, sale and discount prom-type dresses. These specials aren’t always advertised, so it’s always a good idea to ask.

Shop Online
These days it’s quite safe – and easy – to shop online. In fact, the Internet opens up a whole new world of possibilities for finding discount prom dresses – but it all depends on how you search. A search for “discount prom dresses” or “clearance prom dresses” will yield numerous results, but also entering a past year (ex: 2007 prom dresses, 2005 prom dresses) will also yield some interesting – and affordable – results. Also be sure to search for bridesmaid dresses, formal dresses and evening gowns, since they all make stunning prom dresses.

Consignment Stores
Some people just don’t want to hold onto their prom dresses or bridesmaid gowns. So what do they do with them? Many times, they will sell them to consignment stores. The prom dresses you will find at consignment stores cost considerably less than those at department stores, and are usually in fabulous shape, since most consignment stores have stringent requirements about the quality of items they will accept.

Online Auctions
You’d be amazed at the amount of affordable prom dresses available at online auction sites such as eBay. Before you bid on a prom dress, be sure to finalize your budget. You may also want to find a couple of alternate prom dresses in case you are outbid on your first choice. When searching on eBay, you’ll get the maximum results if you search on “prom dresses,” bridesmaid dresses,” “formal dresses” and “evening gowns.”

There are ways to find affordable prom dresses for your special night that make you look like a million bucks. Just use some creativity and allow yourself plenty of time to shop and you’ll have no trouble finding the prom dress of your dreams – for a fraction of the price.

Do you have any other ideas on how to save money over the prom season? Leave them below so others can benefit, too!

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