This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.


Sydney's Closet cheap plus size prom and formal dress shopping tips. Model Morgan Holmes wearing CE2015 in teal sitting on a pink throne.

Shopping for Inexpensive Plus Size Prom & Formal Dresses

Are you a curvy teen or woman on a tight budget shopping for inexpensive prom or formal dresses to wear to a special occasion in 2021? Finding your dream frock is possible. You just have to plan ahead.

Plus Size fitted long sleeve prom dress CE2015 Sydney's Closet formal dress with slit

Mark Your Calendar

It’s never too early to shop for a cheap 2021 Prom gown or formal dress with an affordable price tag. The best bargains come at the end of the  2020 Prom season when the stores and websites sell their overstock.  And don’t give your decision a second thought. You will look so trendy that no one will ever know you got a steal on last year’s style. 

Because the pandemic cancelled so many military balls, black-tie weddings and Proms in 2020, many stores have more inventory than ever before leftover. Their racks are stuffed with gorgeous gowns in all the hot style and cool colors. So for special occasions on your social calendar in 2021, early-bird shoppers will surely find one of the biggest and best selection of cheap dresses ever seen in stores and on websites. 

If you’re in a brick-and-mortar store, check the garment carefully. If beads are loose or missing or there a slight tear in the seam, ask the store manager  for a deeper discount.  You might just get super lucky and snag a trendy style for under $100 or even under $50.

Are you shopping online for a bargain dress? Constantly search the clearance department for special occasion dresses in sizes 14 and larger.  But don’t hesitate!  Pretty and trendy plus size Prom dresses at cheap prices fly off the sale rack. So grab the bargain before someone else snags it or you risk being disappointed.  And keep your eye out for coupons that can’t reduce the cost even further netting you even deeper discounts.

Set a Budget

What’s a price that breaks that bank for one shopper could be a steal for another. Shop online or in a brick-and-mortar store with a price range that you are comfortable spending. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress only to learn that it is too expensive for your wallet.

Plus Size Mermaid Prom Dresses SC7313 in jade by Sydney's Closet

Be Open Minded if You Don’t Have a Small Fortune

Frugal shoppers can’t afford to be too picky when looking for cheap plus-sized Prom and special occasion dresses.   Always keep an open mind searching for bargains so you end up with more fashion choices that don’t break your break.

Look for contemporary and classic styles of Prom gowns like a
Mermaid design that comes  in a variety of colors in a curve-hugging sexy design.. You may have your heart set on a black gown but discover the discounted dress is in midnight blue or another deep jewel tone works perfectly for you.  

Buyer Beware

Sydney's Closet plus size prom dress sample sale size 16 formal dress cheap

Always check the store or website’ Return Policy.  Read it very carefully and have your parents do the same.  Many discounted dresses are final sales. That means you can’t return or exchange the dress.  Once you buy it, you keep it.  

Other stores and websites have more liberal policies that allow you to return a dress. But be careful.  There can be a restocking fee for the return and you may have to pay shipping if you bought it online.  These costs add up quickly and can wipe out any savings you got buying a dress on sale. 

Planning and patience will definitely pay off in your hunt for a cheap Prom dress. And if you really want to cash in on being a frugal fashionista, plan on reselling your gown after you wear it to Prom 2021.