From your sweet sixteenth birthday party to graduation day, high school is all about rites of passage from childhood to adulthood. Every young girl dreams of dancing the night away at their prom, twirling around in a sparkly dress and making everyone in the room ooh and ahh. After the excitement (and occasional drama) of the invitation to the dance comes the frenzy of finding the perfect prom dress.

If you’re looking for an evening look that will wow the crowd without breaking the bank, grab your girlfriends and take a look at these prom ideas for every budget.

  1. Glitz it up.

There’s no such thing as too much sparkle when you’re going to prom – Really, when else in your life can you cover your entire outfit in glitter? Whether you’re going for a classic ballgown style or something more modern, adding an ounce or two of sparkle instantly kicks the outfit up another notch. To save money, it can be great to find a simpler dress, maybe even something less formal and expensive, and then dress it up with accessories. If glitter is not really your thing, consider a dress that has some more subtle sparkle, maybe in part of the tulle skirt or as a jewelry accessory. Adding sparkle brings attention to your outfit, not to mention the fact that it complements your “sparkling personality.”

For example, resale shops always have discounted formal wear begging to be brought back to life. Take time to experiment with different ideas at these stores, and try to mix and match pieces that you like to create a unique look. Recycling an older dress will make sure that you’ll never be caught in the same prom dress as Sarah and Rachel from biology class (because we all know there are about three dress trends each year that end up on every girl at every prom). Be yourself in this dress by building the look yourself. has countless options for ways to add your own flair to your prom dress. They sell looks that are unique and affordable, plus the online factor makes shopping much more convenient. Adding a sparkly necklace or earrings, or even a soft wrap for your shoulders can elevate the style of a resale or Prom Again treasure and make it perfect to wear on the big night.

  1. Can You Pass the Hairspray?

Alright, so you’re beyond excited about spending the evening with your prom date – but don’t be afraid to get ready with your girlfriends! Helping each other with hair and makeup is not only a recipe for fun memories, but it also helps you spend less on products that can be shared, like curling irons, hairspray, bobby pins, and that shimmery eye shadow you couldn’t live without and will only wear once for 4 hours. I don’t know about you, but I have no idea how the Youtube makeup artists can make all of that contouring look so simple – it is much easier to do it on someone else’s face, so why not help each other? Unless you’re ambidextrous, doing your own nails can be a challenge (we’ve all fallen victim to a left hand paint job that looks like a 5 year old did it). Save money on a nail salon by painting each other’s nails. Don’t forget older sisters – they have been here before and can give you some tips for having the best night ever! Plus, if anyone offers to lend a dress from their prom in the past, don’t be afraid to take them up on it. If you don’t want your older sisters’ hand me downs (totally understandable), then maybe you could trade with someone else or restyle the dress in a new way. Make your own memories to add to the dress’ story.

Plan ahead with your friends to meet at someone’s house, order pizza (to eat before you put on your fancy dresses of course), put together a dance playlist, and enjoy a pre-prom girls’ afternoon. Sometimes getting ready for an event is just as fun as actually attending one, so enjoy the moments you have together before it’s time for the red carpet.

  1. Somewhere Between a Pumpkin and a Carriage

We can’t all be working on a princess’ budget, so finding an affordable mode of transportation to prom is important. If all you’ve got to work with is your mom’s minivan, have no fear. Embrace the functionality (you can fit as many people as in a limo!) and decorate the inside with streamers and balloons!

Play a karaoke game on the way to the dance to get everyone in the party spirit. Roll down the windows and breathe in a special kind of freedom that you can only feel in high school. Maybe after the dance you could even hit up the drive thru of the nearest fast food chain and grab some fries and a milkshake on the way home. And at the end of the day, remember that how you get to the dance is such a small part of what makes the night.

No matter how you get to the prom, what your hair ends up looking like (spoiler alert: it will all be a mess after all that dancing anyway), and which dress you wear, this night is all about you. Listen to yourself when you decide on these parts of your prom story, not what’s most popular or acceptable with the mainstream crowd. You don’t have to sacrifice your college education fund to look beautiful and have a good time. Most of the weeks following the dance will be spent talking about the dance: the makeup pre-game, your dress, and how surprisingly fun it was to drive around in a van full of abandoned Cheerios and grocery receipts. Take thousands of pictures, give your mom a hug before you go, and dance like nobody is watching.

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PromAgain is the way to recoup money spent on a formal wear and accessories. And, it allows everyone to enjoy expensive items at affordable prices.
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