Budget-friendly prom attire for girls, boys

March 21, 2011 3:33:30 PM PDT
The start of spring means that prom season is in the air. Girls are looking for the perfect dress and guys may be looking for new digs too; so we went shopping to find out great ways to save on the big night.

For young ladies, the dress has to impress, and for the guys it's all about looking sly. But before you consider buying new, don't forget to check out the resale shops before you pay retail.

The Silver Hanger, a new and used formal wear shop in Katy, has a couple of rows of prom dresses on consignment. Prices start at around $65. But the best buy in the store are not the dresses on consignment but rather the sample dresses; each dress is priced at $39.95. These are dresses that are new but have been discontinued or the store wants to move them out. The only catch is there is only one dress in each style.

"It's a good deal, they are limited in size and color but whomever they might fit, they would be a good buy," The Silver Hanger's Ruth Ann Harkness said.

For example, we found a prom gown that's a size 6, and it's a sample dress that's regularly priced at $188. Now it's $39.95.

Over at La Boutique Resale in Sugar Land, all formal wear is 20 percent off the consignment price.

"It's brand new, it's absolutely gorgeous, it's from Cinderella [and] it's $78 -- less 20 percent percent off," said Barry Brayma with La Boutique Resale.

Bravma says the store only consigns designer brand dresses.

"Everything you find in here, you won't find in a thrift shop or a donation center," he said.

If you insist on brand new, off-price retailer Syms off Westheimer near Beltway 8 is known for their designer gowns for less. We found a gold evening gown that retails for $395 for only $139, and an Escada dress that retails for close to $3,000 for $499.

For the guys, we head over to the Men's Resale by the Village. We found an Armani suit for $199 and a gently used tux for $99.

For a brand new tux, JC Penney has theirs on sale for $99. The shirt set with cummerbund and tie is $26.99.

Many consignment shops are taking in eveningwear during this prom season. It may be a good idea to clean out your closet and see if you can make a little extra money.