Where can I get a fabulous and cheap gown for a black tie wedding?
November 14, 2011 4:05 PM   Subscribe

I have nothing to wear to a black tie wedding on New Year's Eve and I'm on a tight budget. Where in NYC can I find a fabulous, perhaps second hand, long dress for less than $150?

I've never been to a black-tie wedding and want to look super elegant. Beacon's Closet doesn't really have nicer, fancier, long dresses. Macy's and Bloomingale's are outside my budget of around $150. I'm sure there are shops all over the city where I can look but I don't know where they are. Help?
posted by paindemie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
I'm not in NYC, but this looks like a pretty nice list.
posted by jenny76 at 4:11 PM on November 14, 2011

Based on a few strange trips to the fancy dress section of Loehmann's in Riverdale (aka, the Bronx), this might be your solution.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:15 PM on November 14, 2011

This sounds rather cool to me, but I don't know if you'd want to drop $100 just to wear the dress once...
posted by cairdeas at 4:18 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Not in NYC, but check bluefly.com. You can often score glamorous duds on the cheap.
posted by anonnymoose at 4:46 PM on November 14, 2011

Good list of second-hand places in NYC (in slidedhow form).
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 4:46 PM on November 14, 2011

Loehmann's and Century 21. It can be hit or miss (and sometimes the discounts are still way above budget), and you have to sift through racks of not-nicely-displayed clothing, but it can be done--especially if you have a few non-consecutive weekends before your event to check after they update their merchandise.

Also, don't discount Macy's, Lord & Taylor, etc during their sales. I've gotten a couple of really nice dresses for fancy-pants events at L&T, in particular, during sales events, and they've been deeply discounted. Check online for in-store coupons (both on their websites and via google or Retailmenot.com-type places). I got something for a December event last year in mid-November (so, now!) and they had like an entire floor that was on sale. There will definitely be sales in the next couple of weeks for Thanksgiving, too; if you don't want to face the crowds you could always go try on some stuff now and then order online during the sale periods. (Although they don't always have all of the same merchandise.)

Have fun!
posted by alleycat01 at 4:58 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

You CAN find stuff in Macy's for $150, look on the sale rack. Also, Cache is great for that too.

What size do you wear? I might have something for you. MeMail me and I will send you some photos. I live in NYC.
posted by Yellow at 5:02 PM on November 14, 2011

Filene's basement/SYMs just went bankrupt. Try them first.
posted by bunderful at 5:05 PM on November 14, 2011

Seemingly unconventional, try this dress from Express. I just bought it in black and was amazed at how elegant I felt in it. The belt in the picture makes it look much more casual but, with the right accessories, could be classic perfection for your NYE wedding.

If you do order (I'm not sure it's available in store), scour the internet first for Express coupons which usually aren't too hard to find.
posted by chaiwawa at 6:16 PM on November 14, 2011

Response by poster: Oh wow! I'm clearing out the upcoming weekend to get to as many of these places as possible. Thank you everyone!
posted by paindemie at 6:22 PM on November 14, 2011

Tokio 7 in the East Village has fantastic prices for designer duds- most of their cocktail dresses are under $150 and they have gowns as well. Seconding Loehmann's and Macy's-- Macy's sales are fantastic.
posted by alicetiara at 6:30 PM on November 14, 2011

With that budget and this amount of time, you can DEFINITELY score a great dress!
- how much do you like shopping? If not at all, then find a dress you like, and get it. If you do like shopping, don't settle for something that works - keep looking for a great piece at a good price. If you wait until Dec. 20th or so, everything will be on mad sale!

What size are you?

With great jewelry, nice hair and shoes - this v-neck wrap would be gorgeous and would be very wearable for a number of other occasions.

This Tahari sheath is beautiful.

This little red satin number would be the bomb on the right person!

This cowl would be great with the right jewelry and hair!

Copper sequins

Black chiffon

Scalloped lace sleeves?

Sequins at BR - and there are oodles of others for just above your budget, but with the 25% off coupons floating around, they'd definitely fall into your range.

Keep an eye on ASOS. And really - go shopping. Ask a friend to come along, make a day of it. You're in NYC - soooo much great shopping to be had!
posted by barnone at 7:34 PM on November 14, 2011

Are you willing to rent the dress instead of buy it? Rent the Runway offers a really amazing selection at pretty reasonable prices (at least, as oppose to buying...)
posted by R a c h e l at 4:16 PM on November 15, 2011

Oh, I totally missed Cairdeas's suggestion - nevertheless, I still recommend it!
posted by R a c h e l at 4:18 PM on November 15, 2011

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