Splurge vs. steal: Homecoming dresses for every budget

The Homecoming Dance is Saturday, September 24 which means that time is running short for last-minute dress shoppers. Here are some creative options for finding the perfect dress:

Low Price Range (usually under $50)

  • Forever 21, H&M, Charlotte Russe

Inspired by the latest trends, these stores are great at providing less expensives version of a high-fashion dresses. You can shop online at all three stores (UK version of H&M’s website), but trying on the dress in the store is the best idea, since their clothes are mass-produced and have a fairly generic cut. The closest Charlotte Russe is in Eastgate Mall, and Forever21 and H&M can both be found in Kenwood Mall.

  • Second Hand/Vintage Shops

Contrary to rumors, these places aren’t gross, actually have some classy formal wear, and carry more than “old-people clothes.” In fact, many carry name brand garments that are only a couple seasons old. The selection is hit-and-miss, but if you’re willing to sort through the selection, you can find an amazing deal on a unique dress. Snooty Fox and The Discovery Store are some examples of well-stocked second-hand shops.

  • Borrowing from a friend

Most likely, you have a friend you can trust for fashion advice. So why not take full advantage and borrow one of her dresses? Swapping clothes is a great way to save money so that you can afford those stilettos you’ve been eyeing.

Moderate Price Range ($30-$175)

  • Asos.com, Modcloth.com, Lulus.com

Whether you’re looking for a classic black dress or a bright fringed mini, you’ll probably find it on one of these sites. Asos has lots of city-inspired looks, Modcloth carries mostly vintage-inspired garments, and Lulus supplies a large amount of body-con dresses.

  • Rent the Runway

Think of RentTheRunway.com as the public library for designer clothes. Simply pick one of the many designer goods, “rent” it for a small fraction of the normal price, and then return the item after you’ve worn it.

High Price Range ($200+)

  • Bluefly.com

This site also sells designer clothes at a discounted price. However, since these clothes are a permanent sale and not a rental, the clothes are still expensive. Every now and then they have promotional sales, but the average cost is pricey.

  • Bloomingdales

Maybe you’re on Homecoming court or want to impress your date. Whatever your reason is to go big this year, Bloomingdaleswill help you do it. The site and store both carry high-end, high-priced garments that are sure to catch envious stares. You’ll need to crack open the piggy bank and get on your parents’ good side, but you can guarantee your purchase will be well-made and impeccably designed. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Bloomingdales in Ohio, but if you order online soon your dress will come in time.

High end/Low end stores (mixed pricing)

  • Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom’s department store and website are similar to Bloomingdales, but visiting Nordstrom Rack could reward you with a heavily discounted dress. Designers and Nordstrom send clothes slightly outdated or from last season to the Rack, but many of the dresses are still relevant and well-kept. The Nordstrom department store is in Kenwood Mall, and the Nordstrom Rack is part of the Rookwood shopping complex.


You’ll most likely have to cash your whole paycheck for BCBGMAXARIA, but the outlet version at TangerOutlets has a great selection of dresses that are more affordable. Unfortunately, the outlet is located in Jeffersonville, which might be too far of a track with only a few days until the dance.

Check out these great dresses:

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