Saving money on prom dresses

HOUSTON Shopping for a prom or graduation dress is fun, but finding one that's affordable can be a challenge. So we did some digging at local discount stores and found some gorgeous gowns.

At a department store a Nanette Lapore dress could cost you $340 but we found it at TJ Maxx for only $130. And unlike many prom dresses, this is one you could actually wear again.

Also at TJ Maxx we found a $385 blue Alice and Olivia dress for $150, and $200 Club Monaco plum silk dress for just $80!

Over at Marshalls, we found a $170 black classic Ralph Lauren dress on sale for $70! And a fun strapless Mercer and Madison dress that comes with a removable jacket normally sells for $68, this one is on clearance for $30.

Abreanna Ford is heading to her senior prom this year. Her teachers at Thurgood Marshall High School say this teen who works two jobs really deserved a great dress, so she joined us at Loehmann's for some more shopping. Among her favorites was a blue Nicole Miller dress. At a department store it would cost $520! Here it's just $100. She also liked an emerald green Soprano dress. Normally $58, it's a big bargain at just $25. And a Romeo and Juliet couture purple strapless dress retails for $220, but the price at Loehmann's is just $50!

In Loehmann's back room section we found some unbelievable designer deals. We spotted a Dolce and Gabbana cocktail dress normally selling for $545 on sale for just $130. Ultimately the Nicole Miller dress was the winner for Abreanna. The dress is just $100 but at senior prom she'll look like a million.

Of course it's great when you find that perfect dress, but how many times are you actually going to wear it? That's why you might want to consider renting your dress.

Wear Today Gone Tomorrow is an online boutique where you can rent expensive designer dresses. We rented a $340 silk dress for $40 and paid another $10 for dry cleaning, plus $10 more for shipping for a total rental cost of $60.

A free option is the Fairy Godmother Project. The charity accepts donated dresses and cash which they use to make prom dreams come true for local teens. It's a great place to send all those dresses that are just sitting in your closet.

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