Where to shop for formal dresses

10 Of The Greatest Shops To Find The Perfect Dress When Formal Season Comes Around

Finding that perfect dress at that perfect price.

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As a member of a sorority, the words "formal season" allude to many images, from doing your make up in a crowded bathroom to riding on noisy buses too, of course, finding that perfect dress. Because my sorority has a formal every semester, finding a dress that won't break the bank but still makes me feel like a princess is sometimes the most stressful part of the process (other than finding a date, of course). Going to the mall to look for dresses always stressed me out, and shopping online was always a risk. I've had my fair share of experiences with clothes ordered online that don't look ANYTHING like what they do in the picture; not to mention, sizing varies so much store-to-store it's always a guessing game.

Thankfully, after a few phone calls with my mom, GroupMe messages with my sorority sisters, and intense web searches, I finally started to have the hang of this whole dress shopping thing. Here are ten websites that my sorority sisters and I endorse for affordable, cute dresses.

1. Lulus

Personal Photo (submitted by Elise Offut)

Lulus is the online hub for all things formal dresses. They are inexpensive, true to size, and arrive fairly quickly. Not to mention, Lulus is almost ALWAYS having a sale. Check out their site.


Personal Photo (submitted by Talia Slowinski)

When I first heard about ASOS, I thought it was too good to be true. This site has a seemingly endless amount of colors, styles, and patterns of dresses, and I honestly think it could have me set for life. Check out all ASOS has to offer: here.

3. Tobi

Personal Photo (submitted by Kasey Diodati)

Tobi, just like Lulus, is an online store chalked full of the cutest dresses in all types of styles-- body con, a line, shapeless, you name it! Generally affordable, Tobi gets a lot of traffic right before sorority events. Check out what they have!

4. Free People

Personal Photo (Submitted by Lilly Durante)

Though Free People has actual walk-in stores, purchasing by the click of a button is sometimes more convenient, especially if you're a college student without a car on campus. Free People can sometimes get a little pricey, but their dresses are great quality and can be worn again and again. Check out this dress and more here.

5. Windsor

Personal Photo (Submitted by Emily Kirkpatrick)

Just like Free People, Windsor has walk-in stores. However, their online selection is also bursting at the seams with formal dresses. Windsor won't let you down. See for yourself here.

6. Princess Polly

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Princess Polly is chalked full of all sorts of lovely dresses for all occasions. These dresses are fun, flirty, and affordable! Go see all Princess Polly has to offer.

7. Nasty Gal

Personal Photo (Submitted by Laila Grayson)

Nasty Gal's website is a great place to look for trendy, sexy dresses available at great prices! These dresses will make you feel great about yourself, but they will leave you with plenty of money to buy a cute pair of shoes that make you feel even more fierce. Check out their options: Nasty Gal

8. Revolve

Personal Photo (Submitted by Talia Slowinski)

With one simple scroll through their webpage, it is evident that Revolve knows about style! There are thousands of dresses that are slimming and sexy, and orders are shipped and delivered impressively quickly. Go see for yourself all of the amazing dresses Revolve offers on their website.

9. Express

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These dresses are ones you can take to work events, dances, galas, etc. Timeless and classy, Express is a great store to go to get high-quality dresses! Check them out: Express

10. Boohoo

Personal Photo (Submitted by Laila Grayson)

Boohoo began in England in 2006, but the company has since expanded internationally, providing women with the dresses of their dreams around the world. Nasty Gal is also included in the Boohoo family. Check out all they have to offer here.

Formal dress shopping can be fun if you know where to look. In addition to these ten stores, check out Urban Outfitters, department stores like Macy's and JCPenny, and local boutiques. Happy shopping!

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