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My daughter's prom is coming up in May and I was wondering if there were any suggestions on how to keep the costs down. She needs a dress, hair and nails, make-up, shoes, and other accessories. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Check Rental Stores for a Cheap Prom Dress

When I was in College (and very short on cash) I was invited to Homecoming. I called about renting a dress at a bridal gown / bridesmaid store. After looking at dresses to rent I realized they had a rack of dresses they were selling. I found a sleek black velvet dress that had a small run you could barely see. In 1994 that dress cost me $35.00. It was gorgeous. I would call as many rental places as possible to see if sell used dresses.

Beauty Schools For Cheap Prom Hairstyle

Make an appointment with your area beauty school. They do nails and hair and some do makeup applications. The senior students do the work and it turns out to be very cheap. Check consignment and Goodwill's for dresses, shoes, jewelry, purse, etc. I've seen some nice dresses at these places.
Amy H.

Look Around for a Cheap Prom Dress

I waited until a week before prom to get my dress. Granted you may not get the exact dress you want, but I found dresses that needed no alterations and in great colors for my skin tone for 25% of what I would have paid for it early on.

As to accessories, less was more. With the corsage, there really wasn't room for much else. However, I borrowed the jewelry I did wear. Some came from a friend of mine who had prom a week earlier than I did and some came from my mom and grandma.

Makeup can be done at home, as well as hair and nails. If you want it done "professionally", try a beauty school. They will take their time and have teachers supervising, but will be much cheaper than a salon. Call and check out their prices and times available.
Amy K.

Find a Cheap Prom Dress at Resale Shop

1) Dress: Check second hand and resale shops. Prom dresses are worn once (maybe twice) and consignment shops may have them for less than boutiques. Also consider renting as the boys do their tuxes. Or sew, if you have that skill.

2) Hair and make-up: Schedule a basic haircut and style for that day. Don't try anything radical. Many department stores do free makeovers. Which is how I did it.

3) Nails: Wear gloves (under $5). Have Mom file and polish. There is no need for a salon manicure. I am a dedicated nail biter, and opted for a pair of lace gloves. Very elegant.

4) Shoes: white pumps go with everything and can be worn for church for the summer.

Get a Cheap Prom Dress from a Classmate

We have two daughters and they go to every prom, homecoming and even courtwarming. Here are things we've done. First buy dresses after prom. It's too late for this one but she can buy a dress for the next dance after this prom. all the dresses go on sale. We usually pick up three for what one costs before prom.

Then, have her ask around at school since one of her friends' moms has got to be a stylist. Our daughter got her hair done for free by a friend's mom in exchange for us doing the driving for the night. As far as makeup, she should only need something special if she wears makeup on a daily basis. Like body glitter. And, an evening bag was borrowed; after all they only carry it one night. Hope some of these tips help! Don't forget to take pictures!

Tips for a Cheap Prom

Here are some possible suggestions. I have done this and cut some costs. You can look great without all the extra costs.

As far as a dress and shoes, check into buying a used dress. Prom dresses are usually worn once for a couple of hours tops! Check your local paper, bulletin boards, consignment shops, or even e-bay. Just have the dress professionally cleaned after purchase. If you want a new look, check around with friends from different schools and borrow a dress. This would definitely be cost free. If your town has a Payless shoe store, they carry trendy prom shoes for less than half of what more expensive shoe store would carry.

Now getting ready. I am a professional nail technician and can definitely offer some advice on the nails. If your town has a beauty school, you can make a nail appointment and have a student put nails on you for a discounted price. If this makes you a bit nervous, just buy some press-on tips and nail glue and do the nails yourself. That is if you don't care to wear the nails for an extended length of time. You can find these types of nails at Wal-Mart, or your local public beauty supply like BeatyCo. 3-Minute Nail Glue is a great brand and will keep those nails secure through the night. In fact if you are careful these will still wear up to a week.

Now to the make-up and hair. If your town has a Merle Norman cosmetic studio, you can make an appointment and they provide samples and guide you through makeup application for free. I've been in some studios that will actually apply the make-up for you. Also, you could get in touch with a Mary Kay representative and have them give you a complimentary facial. This could be done in your own home. Don't feel bad if you are not interested in purchasing anything because the Mary Kay professional earns credit through her team each time she gives a facial. I know this because I have sold Mary Kay.

If you are not afraid to go to a beauty school for an appointment, you could also get your hair styled or updoed there. Also, you probably have some friends who have a natural knack with fixing hair and you could get one of them to fix it. There are a lot of great hair products and accessories out there now, even at Wal-Mart. I do recommend a practice run a few days before prom if you choose the friend option.

Prom jewelry does not have to be expensive either. Borrow some or check out a local Claire's.

I hope this advice can be of some assistance. These are tried and true techniques that will not only make you look fantastic, but will keep your stress level down because you have saved so much money!

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