NYC Discount formal-wear
September 27, 2012 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find a selection of cheap formal dresses, in a brick-and-mortar location, in NYC today?

I have a black tie wedding to attend this weekend, and I've not had any luck in finding a dress so far and my time is running out.

I need:
Cheap as in under $200 ideally.
Formal--bride said floor length dress.
Stylish--I'm a youngish, hip-ish ladyperson.
Classy--don't send me to Forever 21.
Brick-and-mortar store because I need to buy it either today or tomorrow.

I've been to TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Loehmann's and Century 21. Filene's basement doesn't exist anymore.

Where else can I go?
posted by greta simone to Shopping (18 answers total)
Best answer: Macy's! Also try Cache, they are having a sale!
posted by Yellow at 5:27 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Agree with Macy's! Their selection is great!
posted by xmts at 5:35 AM on September 27, 2012

Hahaha, I was totally going to send you to Forever 21.

What about Nordstrom Rack? There's one in Union Square on the same block where Filene's used to be.

Are you open to vintage? Maybe try Amarcord? Rosebud Vintage in Crown Heights is one of my favorite places in the world, if you are open to going in a more period direction (and probably are relatively small; her stuff is mostly from the 50's and 60's). There are also a ton of consignment shops that cater to more of a designer resale type market. I'm not sure which are good because it's not really my thing, but surely a Yelp search for "designer resale" or "consignment" would be a start.
posted by Sara C. at 5:36 AM on September 27, 2012

J.C. Penney? They are right near Macys, and here is a sampling of what their formal, floor-length dresses can look like. (I know you said brick-and-mortar - I'm only linking the web page to give an idea of the kinds of things they potentially could have. And I gotta be honest, I'm checking out that first $75 navy blue dress because I'd ROCK that.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:43 AM on September 27, 2012

Best answer: Came to nth Macy's. They have tons of formals, some are left over from Prom, some are coming in for Christmas, but you should have a great selection and their prices are very reasonable.

Also, Lord and Taylor used to have the best formals/cocktail dresses and the best day to get them was Jan 1. I got the most gorgeous cocktail dress there for $15.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:50 AM on September 27, 2012

J Crew has nice formal wear, but maybe check online or call before you go - not sure which jC stores carry it or what the prices are.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:54 AM on September 27, 2012

David's Bridal is on 6th Ave and 25th.
posted by xo at 5:59 AM on September 27, 2012

Try Loehmann's (two locations, one in Chelsea, one on the UWS) or Century 21 (two locations, one in the financial district, one UWS).

I have had luck at both for formal dresses at low prices. Be prepared for crowded and open-format dressing rooms, but on a weekday, it shouldn't be too bad.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:03 AM on September 27, 2012

Best answer: Totally Macy's. Their personal shopping department is helpful; if you called today, they might be able to pull you stuff by tomorrow.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:10 AM on September 27, 2012

Ina is a couture consignment store - start in their Prince St location but try Bleecker St as well.
posted by nicwolff at 6:10 AM on September 27, 2012

Lord & Taylor for sure - they have tons of formal dresses in all price points. Check their website first for coupons as they always seem to have a discount or sale going on. Also try J. Crew (they have a line of formal/wedding wear), Macy's, Bloomingdales, the Nordstrom Rack in Union Square, and Jill Anderson in the East Village (she's usually outside your price range, but has a clearance rack that may suit your fancy, and there are tons of resale/vintage shops on her block).
posted by bedhead at 6:45 AM on September 27, 2012

I got a super awesome floor length dress at Group USA in Florida. They have a location in West Nyack (It's an hour from the city) and are called Camille La Vie up by you.

West Nyack Store
Camille La Vie at Palisades Center
1611 Palisades Center Drive
West Nyack, NY 10994
Phone: 845-727-7270

Obviously you said "in the city" and this isn't exactly in the city, but if you exhaust Macy's and all the other dept and consignment stores today, I want you to have a place to turn tomorrow.
posted by bilabial at 6:58 AM on September 27, 2012

From what I hear from my friends, you can find better deals at the Macy's on Fulton St. in Brooklyn than at Herald Square.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:00 AM on September 27, 2012

You might actually consider checking some of the Housing Works thrift stores. They only take brand-name clothes in excellent condition. I've bought pants for work there that must have been $150 new, in perfect repair, for like $20. And I've definitely seen some lovely formal dresses in them.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:22 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

What size do you wear? Maybe as a backup plan someone could arrange a local mefite dress loan.
posted by elizardbits at 7:27 AM on September 27, 2012

Response by poster: Macy's duh!
posted by greta simone at 7:33 AM on September 27, 2012

Seconding JCPenney, I just bought one there this week for $50!
posted by JacksonandFinch at 7:43 AM on September 27, 2012

You could also try renting something from Rent the Runway, they have a wide selection of really nice dresses that can be rented starting around $50. I believe they do same-day delivery in NYC, as well. Lots of helpful fit advice too!
posted by Jemstar at 11:49 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

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