How to Buy an Affordable Fancy Dress

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How to Buy an Affordable Fancy Dress

Buying a fancy dress does not have to be an occasion where one must break the bank; women can employ a number of handy tricks and tips to find a beautiful dress at a fraction of the price. In order to avoid overspending, shoppers should have a budget in mind before starting their search. Brides-to-be, for example, can find discount wedding dresses during sales when retailers are making room for new inventory. Customers needing a dress for a formal occasion, such as a prom, can opt for something vintage. Women also have the option of buying fancy dresses that copycat the name brand; those wanting the designer label without the price tag can buy used or from wholesale distributors. Bargain-savvy shoppers know to buy during the off-seasons to get the best deals. Ladies can find affordable fancy dresses at department stores, consignment shops, apparel websites, and online marketplaces such as eBay.

Buying Affordable Dresses

Women wanting to buy an affordable fancy dress for a specific occasion have many options available to them. They can opt for non-traditional wedding dresses or scour the web for annual sales. There are many avenues for ladies to take who want to buy a fancy prom dress without spending a fortune. Dresses for other formal evenings can be purchased from local and online second-hand stores. Below are some tips for buying specific styles of fancy dresses.

Wedding Dress

Brides want to look divine on their wedding day, but many women have a hard time shelling out so much money for a fancy dress they will only wear one day. Fortunately, brides-to-be can find affordable wedding dresses by exploring several alternatives. First, women can check with bridal boutiques, both local and online, to see when they run their sales; it is also a good idea to see what regular prices are to know a good bargain when it presents itself. Most designers hold sales in the fall and winter months. Consignment shops and online websites specialise in gently used wedding dresses. Women can even consider non-traditional wedding dresses. Ivory and silver dresses are increasing in popularity; white dresses not targeted as typical wedding dresses can be a bride’s premium choice.

Prom Dress

Prom dresses can be expensive and, like wedding dresses, they are typically only worn on a single evening. If raiding a friend or family member’s closet is out of the question, girls can still find an affordable dress with a little bit of effort. Instead of keeping up with current trends, girls can go for the vintage look. Vintage dresses are found in consignment shops and online auctions. Second-hand stores and sites will also have more contemporary used dresses that are a season or less old; these dresses are typically a fraction of their original price tags. Buyers can match their dresses with fun accessories for an original look that will separate them from the rest of the crowd.

Formal Dress

Sometimes the fanciest of dresses start out plain and basic; DIY crafters can transform a simple dress to glamorous by personalising it with beads, sequins, and other embellishments. Women can unstitch, hem, or alter the original dress for a brand-new look. Women who find a style they like, but where the colour is not perfect, may be able to dye the dress a darker shade. The right necklace can highlight a dramatic neckline, and earrings and bracelets can make quite the fashion statement. Pairing the right stilettos or handbag can make a basic dress a formal one. Women in need of a fancy formal dress should never underestimate the power of accessories.

Tips for Buying an Affordable Fancy Dress

Women may not have a particular occasion in mind for buying a fancy dress, but it is always a good idea to have one in the closet at all times. High-quality dresses often come with a hefty price tag, but there are many ways women who can dress formally without spending a fortune. Dresses that will be worn only once, such as wedding or prom dresses, can be bought used for a fraction of the retail price. Ladies who want new, but also want designer chic, can buy look-alike dresses that mimic name brands. If designer label is imperative, women can check for end of season sales or buy certain dress styles during off-season. There are more tips below that help women find an affordable fancy dress.

Buy Used

Buying a used formal dress is one way to save some money, and second-hand ones are often like new. But before purchasing second-hand, shoppers need to familiarise themselves with what a similar new dress would cost. Knowing retail prices will help buyers make informed decisions and snap up a good deal when they see one. Women can afford a designer dress for less when purchasing used. While the local consignment shops are a good place to start, online websites and auctions will have impressive collections. When buying a used formal dress, it is important to know the condition it is in. Women should ensure the dress has no snags, burns, stains, rips, odd smells, or other damage.

Buy Look-alike

High-end fashion seen in magazines is often unaffordable to the masses. Fortunately, there are a lot of copycats on the market that make similarly styled fancy dresses. Women no longer have to pay a fortune to look like a million bucks; now they can pore over fashion magazines, visit local stores, or go online to put together a similar look. Although knock-off dresses are not typically as well made as their designer counterparts, women will look equally as stunning, especially if they take extra care of it or only plan to wear it once.

Buy End of Season

If women have several months’ advance notice of the formal event they are dressing for, buying in the off season can help lower the cost. Sellers that are either new, consignment, local, and online all have to make room for new inventory, which means that older styles must go and go quickly. Sellers will mark down perfectly good dresses for a fraction of the price to clear space for new ones. Because not many people are buying a short-sleeved spring formal dress during the fall or winter, there are often good deals to be found. Women can find out when certain retailers have their sales; some have annual, seasonal, or holiday sales on fancy dresses.

How to Buy an Affordable Fancy Dress on eBay

Once you have an idea of the the type of fancy dress you want and a maximum price tag, you are ready to begin your search on eBay. If you have not quite found what you are looking for, check out the sellers’ shops for an extensive look over everything eBay has to offer. If you type in ‘formal dress’, you will receive all of eBay’s results. Be sure to include keywords, such as the colour, size, or style, to limit the focus of the search. For example, ‘black prom dress’ or ‘used wedding dress’ are two searches that will yield two vastly different yet equally affordable options. Look at eBay’s Search Tips page for even more help optimising your results.

Women in the market for a fancy affordable dress will love eBay’s ability to custom sort their results. Bargain hunters can arrange fancy dresses from the lowest to the highest prices for eBay’s best deals. Because shipping can significantly change the cost of the dress, eBay factors in shipping costs into their list. Shoppers can also list results by highest to lowest prices, time left in auction, and distance from the seller.

After you have found a fancy dress that fits your style and budget, read the complete listing, including the terms and conditions, to understand what you are buying. Should any part of the listing seem unclear, do not hesitate to ‘Ask a Question’ to the seller. If buying a used dress, make sure it is free of rips, stains, and other damage.

Additionally, before making a bid or purchase, take a moment to research the seller’s eBay history to see how past transactions have been handled. Check the seller’s approval rating and feedback; only purchase fancy dresses from sellers with a high rating and positive comments. Look to see if your seller is one of eBay’s designated top-rated sellers. Top-rated sellers have a reputation for outstanding customer service and satisfaction. They are distinguished by an icon next to their username.


Women can find a fancy dress without having to pay the full retail price. Wedding dresses are only worn for one day, so many women can find a used dress in excellent condition at an affordable price. Another money saving trick to employ when shopping for a wedding or other fancy dress is to look for non-traditional styles or colours. Adopting a vintage look for a prom dress will undoubtedly save some money. Shoppers in the market for a fancy dress can buy a plain one, and then enhance it with accessories and other embellishments. Women can also find knock-off dresses that mimic runway fashion without breaking the bank; if a name brand dress is essential, they can look in second-hand and thrift stores. Additionally, thrifty customers should purchase fancy dresses during the off season or sale periods. Affordable fancy dresses can be found at department stores, consignment shops, designer websites, and online auctions such as eBay.

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