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School ball gown - cheap options?


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#1 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:08 PM

Hi all,

DD (16) has been invited to a school ball happening in a few months.  

She is pretty laid back about it - planning to do her own hair and makeup, and understands that we are not in a position to spend $$$ on her dress.

I am taking her shopping in the next few weeks to try some on for styles and designs that she likes, and she is already saying that she will start looking at Op Shops and Gumtree etc.  

Can anyone recommend decent online shopping options?  I never buy clothing online, but we have a few months, so will have time to purchase and return if necessary.

The only one I know of is ASOS - are they much good?  DD is quite tall, about a size 10-12 hips but 8 top, so I think we would have to get something altered anyway, depending on the style she likes.

ARGH - help me.  Neither of us are particularly girlie or dress up types!

#2 livvie7586

Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:22 PM

Rent, borrow?

I know on our local buy nothing group, if someone asked to borrow a dress for a night, there would be offers.  I know i have a couple of formal dresses from my own formal nights that are still in the cupboard and most people i know have the same.

Or see if you can rent one somewhere.

Plus keep an eye out at local bridal shops and the like, old styles can go for cheap.

Or, somewhere like forever new etc, have formal type dresses.

#3 Chicken Pie

Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:24 PM

I’ve seen some stunning pieces at Op Shops

#4 laridae

Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:42 PM

I'd also try aliexpress. I've bought quite a few nice dresses for my girls  cheaply off there.

just make sure it's one that a buyer has written a review giving the actual picture of the item on. The pictures the stores use are often of the item they copied.

Edited by laridae, 08 January 2020 - 01:43 PM.


#5 jayskette

Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:51 PM

what's the budget. JJsHouse is around 100-200

#6 -Emissary-

Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:02 PM

Try au.boohoo.com

I got some maternity dresses from there. Quality is hit and miss but they have a 30 days return policy. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the dresses I got.

Do you have an outlet near you? I’d check out the outlet as well.

Also Forecast does nice dresses and always have a decent range on sale where you can grab a dress for under $100.

Edited by -Emissary-, 08 January 2020 - 02:02 PM.


#7 missminx

Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:15 PM

For online shopping, try the sale sections of Modcloth or Chi Chi of London.  They both have gorgeous styles and you would find something for less than $100.

You could also sell the dress on Gumtree or eBay etc after the ball to recoup some dollars.

#8 kerilyntaryn

Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:20 PM

I'd check out the op shops and bridal shops, you could rent one

#9 marple

Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:22 PM

Not sure of the cost but one of my DS's gf's always rents a dress. They are beautiful.

#10 Apageintime

Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:23 PM

I have to attend a few formal events for work and alway find lovely cheap gowns on boohoo and showpony. ASOS has been good too.

But do see if any of her friends have some she can borrow, that seems to be really common that the girls swap dresses a bit.

#11 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:25 PM

Check out Youtuber Mia Maples reviews on online prom dresses. Shien, Amazon and Romwe seemed to be successful. Also Australian Youtuber Pretty Pastel Please has done Yesstyle and JJs House as well. She actually used the JJs House dresses for her bridesmaids ( of various shapes and sizes) for her own wedding.

I find the bigger OP shops like Savers have a formal wear section constantly.

#12 Mooples

Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:26 PM

I’d look at renting off some designer buy swap sell pages on Facebook. There are quite a few. There will be heaps to scroll through to see what she likes and will be a fraction of the cost of buying.

#13 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 08 January 2020 - 03:17 PM

Thanks everyone.  Some great suggestions.

I have told DD that I will give her $100.  Anything over that is up to her.  (Realistically, I'd go to $150, but not telling her that yet!)  She has just started working too, so is building up a bit of cash.

We will do the rounds of the usual suspects and look for sales, but it's good to know a few online options.  Their prices always look so much better, but I'm hesitant as I haven't done it before and don't want to waste time.  Sounds like some of the ones mentioned above might be a go though.

Most of the hire options I've seen (online but in our city) are around $120 - $170 plus dry cleaning fee.  For that money, I'd like to buy her something if we can find it.  It seems that over years 11 - 12 there may be a few balls coming up - not that she will wear it to her own ball next year (shock/horror) but at least she could lend/swap it.

#14 kimasa

Posted 08 January 2020 - 03:39 PM

Depop? I've just done a search and there's some really pretty ones on there for $40-$80.

Edit to add seeing as you said you don't shop online much. Depop is an app which is like IG and Ebay combined. Lots of girls selling their school formal dresses on there.

Edited by kimasa, 08 January 2020 - 03:41 PM.


#15 Heather11

Posted 08 January 2020 - 03:40 PM

Quote

Most of the hire options I've seen (online but in our city) are around $120 - $170 plus dry cleaning fee.  For that money, I'd like to buy her something if we can find it.  It seems that over years 11 - 12 there may be a few balls coming up - not that she will wear it to her own ball next year (shock/horror) but at least she could lend/swap it.

Yes, that is what I found as well.  If you were looking at a $500 dress then it would be cheaper to hire but you can find ones less for that.

DD ended up getting hers from a site called HoneyPeaches.  Hers came in at under $100 and free postage.  Prior to finding one here she had scouted out Forever New and they had some around the $100 mark.

#16 magic_marker

Posted 08 January 2020 - 03:59 PM

lightinthebox.com

stunning dresses that l have ordered

with any online store, just be careful about colour, they can vary from what is on the site and what you get irl

https://www.lightint...tml?prm=1.5.1.1

something like this.
fitted top and flowy over the hips

Edited by magicmrkeronashelf, 08 January 2020 - 04:00 PM.


#17 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 08 January 2020 - 04:32 PM

View Postmagicmrkeronashelf, on 08 January 2020 - 03:59 PM, said:

lightinthebox.com

stunning dresses that l have ordered

with any online store, just be careful about colour, they can vary from what is on the site and what you get irl

https://www.lightint...tml?prm=1.5.1.1

something like this.
fitted top and flowy over the hips

That is nice - and perfect style for her.  She could get away with a size 8 if it's not fitted around the hips and thighs.  And I can afford it!!!  

I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of looking forward to taking her to try some on, to see what styles she most likes.  (But I'll probably only last an hour before I get bored and/or need a wine! )

#18 magic_marker

Posted 08 January 2020 - 04:37 PM

View PostRuf~Feral~es, on 08 January 2020 - 04:32 PM, said:

That is nice - and perfect style for her.  She could get away with a size 8 if it's not fitted around the hips and thighs.  And I can afford it!!!  

I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of looking forward to taking her to try some on, to see what styles she most likes.  (But I'll probably only last an hour before I get bored and/or need a wine! )

That a great idea.
I have in the past seen something on that site. Found something matchy matchy here, tried it on and went home and ordered it.
I understand wanting to have the experience of mother - daughter shopping.

#19 mumofruby

Posted 08 January 2020 - 04:37 PM

My daughter ordered a dress from White Fox
https://whitefoxbout...ctions/dresses.

It was around $100 - $150 - it came in 2 days and the sizing guide was spot on

#20 IamOzgirl

Posted 08 January 2020 - 05:26 PM

What size is she?

I have a gorgeous knock off of this dress in a size 10. I would happily send it to a good home.

https://images.app.g...BECWW1h8KfVGfB9

I am tall and it skirted the ground and food damaged/stained but could be easily hemmed.

#21 Mumsyto2

Posted 08 January 2020 - 05:31 PM

Promshopau.com
Think the company may be Prom Shop Australia? Runs out of China. huge selection. For every occasion possible. You choose dress and the colour. They make to order. You can order to your size and they will make it rack style or you pay $20 odd extra and give exact measurements and the make it accordingly.

Not sure if we have only ever had good luck but always got formal dresses on huge sale, never paid more than 150 for custom size. I assume it’s all on perpetual special like the rug sales but maybe we have genuinely been lucky each time. Excellent quality for price too.

Pretty sure they make and deliver within a fortnight as standard, just double check on site if you use it.

#22 sammyv

Posted 08 January 2020 - 05:40 PM

My dd hired her year 11 formal dress and for her val she bought this one https://petalandpup....a-dress-emerald

There was a wide range of dresses worn by the girlsfrom traditional formal dresses to more cocktail dresses and suit.

#23 CallMeFeral

Posted 08 January 2020 - 05:54 PM

We've found Next online very reasonable and good quality. Not so much as say ali express but the difference is they have free (I think) returns so you get to try and then return. I kitted all my kids out for a wedding this way, ordered a bunch of sizes and options and kept what suited.
But you need to start early with it because delivery can be a week or two.

#24 Coffeegirl

Posted 08 January 2020 - 06:34 PM

Having been through this with my daughter, I’d say it was 50% bought 30% hired, 15% had made and 5% found in Op Shops.    One found an amazing vintage gown in an Op Shop. It was over $2000 new!

DD bought her gowns and has hired one of them out twice now,   Made almost 1/2 the cost back

if buying online
1) check measurements carefully and read the reviews on fit if they have them
2) check the returns policy. Some charge a ‘restock’ fee and this can add up if you return a few dresses
3) colours can vary greatly in the photos, so be prepared
4) stuff from the Chinese knock off sites can be hit or miss for sizing and material, remember you tend to get what you pay for

#25 SFmummyto3

Posted 08 January 2020 - 07:03 PM

This website is very popular at dd's school for renting out their old dresses or renting one for themselves..

http://rentadressaustralia.com/




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