This Is How You Do Prom on a Budget & Still Look Glamorous

Hold on to your corsages. According to Visa Inc.’s annual survey, American families spent about $900 on prom in 2015. Let’s break it down: There’s the dress, shoes and bag to match, a boutonniere for the date, a trip to the salon (hair + makeup + mani + pedi; the works), the limo, pre-prom party/dinner, couples’ portraits…and the prom tickets themselves!

Prom is one of the biggest events in your teen’s life, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Read on to find out how to have a glamorous prom experience on a budget:

Sew up the Plan

Start planning months in advance. Have your teen visualize how their dream prom will look like. Include the dress, hair, makeup, manicures, shoes, accessories, dinner, and transportation. Estimate how much each item will cost. Once you have the dream prom on paper, you can start sewing up the plans and make adjustments to fit your budget.

If the dress consumes most of the budget, hit the sales racks and outlet stores for the accessories. No one will know or care how much her accessories cost, or if she’s wearing the same shoes from homecoming when she’s rocking the killer dress. If you can get a dress for little to no cost, then you can spend your budget on accessories, shoes, or prom hair, and makeup.

Consignment Treasures

Consignments shops like Plato’s Closet are tailored to teens and are hugely popular during prom season. Gorgeous dresses are available at a fraction of the cost and look new because they were probably only worn once. If your teen’s taste leans more toward a vintage look, try a consignment shop that specializes in that style. Before you go, encourage your daughter to scour her closet for clothes she doesn’t wear and trade them for credit towards her purchase.

Hand Me Up

Does your teen have a cousin or friend who has the same clothing size? They would probably be happy to let the dress be worn again instead of collecting dust in the closet. If they have the perfect gown that needs minor alterations, it’s a win-win. Have a dress swap and exchange dresses and accessories. They can each unveil new looks without spending a dime. Some schools also offer a dress swap to help students keep prom costs low. Encourage your daughter to take a few friends and check it out.

Always the Bridesmaid

Contrary to the movie 27 Dresses, bridesmaid’s dresses can be a tasteful and stylish option for prom. Shop the sales rack at well-known chains, like David’s Bridal, for discounted frocks. If she doesn’t want a floor-length gown, get alterations and make it shorter. You’ll still save money and she can always wear it again.

Runway Rental

Does your teen have her eye on a designer dress? Designer prices can crush any girl’s prom fantasy. Rent the Runway and Charlotte's Closet offers designer dresses and accessories for rent at huge savings compared to the retail price. Shipping is included both ways, and they will send the dress in two sizes so you won’t have to worry about it not fitting just right.

Glam Party!

Hair, makeup, and manicures can add up quickly and drain your budget fast. Host a glam party the week before prom for your teen and her friends. Have each girl come with their favorite ideas from magazines or YouTube. Each girl can bring her own glam tools, make-up, nail polishes, and hair accessories. Pair up and try the new looks on each other. Take plenty of pictures. With a little practice, the girls will be pros at styling hair and make-up. Let them get together with friends a few hours before prom and to help each other look glamorous for the big event.

Got any tips for saving $$$ during prom season? Share your advice with us!

Tags : school   prom   

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