Spring has sprung and that means it's formal/prom/graduation/wedding season-- and that means it's dress season! I love looking great, but I also don't dropping tons of cash on looking good. Plenty of you guys are in the same boat, so that means it's time for me to spill my secrets.
For me, thrifting is always my go-to when it comes to big events. It requires extra patience, a long lead-time, and more hands-on effort, but it's a great way to save money without sacrificing style. I wrote a guide back when I was still in high school on how to thrift your prom dress. I thrifted dresses for both my junior and senior prom and didn't spend any more than $50 total on them. The tips still apply for dresses for any occasion, whether it's a wedding or graduation or whatever. You can get really lucky and find something great on your first go, but I would try to start looking as early as you can for a dress for an occasion, and check back every week. It's a labor-intensive way to shop with no guarantees, but it's definitely got a big pay-off if it works out!
If you're not into going back to the thrift store every week just for a dress or two, consider Rent The Runway, a site that allows you to rent a dress worth hundreds to thousands of dollars at a fraction of the price! Most of us only wear our fancy dresses once, and this is a super simple solution. When you rent, you get your dress, an extra dress in an additional size in case it doesn't work out, and a box and label with all the shipping included so you can send the dress back. They handle all the dry-cleaning and everything, so if you spill or stain, no worries-- it's all built into the service, and you don't have to run to the cleaners before shipping it back. RTR is offering $25 off your first order of $75+ or more for new members, so if you've got an event, this could be a great deal for you! Just use code 25OFFNEW.
Hoping to grab a new dress with a little more longevity in your closet? Check out TJ Maxx and Marshalls for deals on dresses. It's not as filled with high-end items or the selection of Rent the Runway, nor is it as cheap as a thrift store, but you'll get new items that will stay in your closet for as long as you like! I am a total Maxxinista and hit these two stores up on the regular. It's not the best bet for really showy occasions like prom, but for most of your needs like interviews and weddings, it's a great place to look!
I'll be doing a video about the dress I got for my graduation and formal, so stay tuned for that on youtube by subscribing to my channel!