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How To Solve Your Prom Dress Problem By Buying Used

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Searching for the perfect prom dress takes time and energy.

You want to make a good choice to ensure you find something that looks good on you.

Most girls choose to buy a new tagged dress from a store, or online. That isn’t bad by any means, but it’s not the only option for getting the prom dress of your dreams.

In fact, buying a second-hand/used prom dress is another option and has many advantages.
What are the pros vs cons of buying a used dress?


  • It’s much cheaper than buying a new prom dress.

    Since the prom dress is used at least once and there are no tags, the price will be much lower than buying a new one.

    Image Credit: Flickr

    A new dress might cost you over $200 if you are aiming for something of good quality whereas a used dress can be much cheaper.

    In some cases and if you are lucky enough, you may get one at 90% off its original price although most used prom dresses are sold anywhere from 20-60% cheaper.

    The original buyer determines the price and if you have many options, you can choose the one that fits your budget the best.

    So if a particular dress has caught your attention, you may look up some online places that offer used prom dress listings, to get it for a fraction of its original price–instead of resorting into cheap Chinese imitations.

  • You get to see how the prom dress looks like worn by real average sized girls instead of models.

    Almost all places online and offline display the dresses on extra thin and tall models and figurines whereas second-hand dress pics will actually show how the dress looks like on average or even plus-sized girls.

    This is why many girls buy their prom dress online and then when they try it on, they realize that it’s the wrong size.

    So if the girl that has originally worn the dress is similar to your frame, chances are, it will fit you too.

  • You get to see the actual quality of the dress when worn. Many online retailers use special lighting and even Photoshop to highlight any strong points of the dress e.g colors and patterns while downplaying and blurring any cons that will make it look less than perfect.

    Furthermore, the picture might be copied and altered from original designers and what you see in the picture, might not represent what you see in reality.

    One of the biggest complaints of girls buying a new prom dress online is that the dress they finally get doesn’t match the picture shown on the website.

    Since most used dress owners will gladly display how the prom dress looks on them hanged or worn in real life without any fancy tricks, you’ll see in pics more accurate representation of the dress you’ll get.

  • The dress might be already altered to look better when worn.

    Many times, new dresses come with flaws like extra lengthy trains, see-through materials, lack of bust support and other similar issues.

    On the contrary, used dresses may already have been subject to alterations to correct any of these flaws so you don’t have to pay a seamstress or go DIY to correct anything.

    You can ask the original owner of the dress for more details on alterations so you are sure.


  • There might be obvious signs of use and imperfections. Depending on the use and the care of the original owner, the dress might show obvious signs of use like loose seams hanging out, stains, hair, holes from pins, odors, etc.

    As many of these are not always visible in photos, the only way to find out is to ask the original seller of any of these flaws and if they are easily fixable there is nothing to worry about.

  • You don’t get to try out the dress if available online to see if it fits. Another minor issue is that, you can only judge from the pic and the size stated if the dress will fit you and there is a risk you may end up getting the wrong size.

    If the dress is longer or bigger than the size you normally wear though, you can alter it yourself or hire a professional to do so–obviously, you won’t be able to enlarge a small and very tight-fitting dress so ask the seller perhaps if they accept returns in case the size doesn’t fit.

Buying a used prom dress is a great idea, especially for your pocket.

Disappointment can be avoided by asking the right questions about the dress, prior to the purchase.


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