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Best Places to Shop for Formal Dresses

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Suffolk chapter.

With the Spring season in full swing, the semester is getting ready to come to an end. Not only does the end of the semester mean tons of exams, papers, and stress (sigh), it also means that formal season is here whether it’s a Spring Fling, homecoming, or ball (yay!) With the added stress of finals, the last thing you want to worry about is where you’re going to find the perfect dress. Here are some of the best places to find the dress you’re looking for!



Windsor is a store in my local mall that I went to, to buy my formal dress for my upcoming Spring Ball! If there isn’t one in the mall near you, their online store is just as great! Not only does Windsor have super chic everyday clothes, but they also have an amazing section of dresses ranging from anything you can wear to prom, a semi-formal or spring fling, or even business casual! It is slightly on the more expensive side, however, their quality is incredible and they always have a full rack of dresses on sale! I couldn’t find the exact dress I got, but it looks similar to this style, and is sparkly!

Image from: Windsor.com


Nordstrom Rack


As much as we all love Nordstrom, especially when they do their anniversary sale, it is no secret that their merchandise, though amazing quality, can be really expensive. That is why I love that Nordstrom Rack exists; you can get the same beautiful dresses for a much lower cost. They have an excellent selection of dresses for formals and any dressy occasions. If there isn’t a Nordstrom Rack near you, most department stores have a large sale rack with so many great options. I once found a formal dress for $11.00 on a sale rack at Macy’s, so even though it might be a disaster, don’t be afraid to look there!

Image from: nordstromrack.com



If you’re looking to invest in a good formal dress that you can have for a long time, can wear more than once, and are willing to spend a little more money, then Lulus is definitely the site for you! This online shop has so many cute clothes, but their dresses are simply stunning! If a long dress is your vibe for formal, this is the store for you!

Image from: Lulus.com


Rent the Runway

If you’re not super into formals and your friends are making you go, chances are you’re not going to want to spend a lot of money on a dress since you’ll probably never wear it again. Try Rent the Runway! Rent the Runway is an online store that allows you to not only be able to rent dresses for a short period of time, but you can rent designer looks for less!

Image from: Renttherunway.com


Forever 21

When it doubt, Forever 21 is always a solid choice for a formal dress! For me, I normally get most of my day to day clothes here, but if its the day before the event and I forgot to get a dress, Forever 21 is always the go to. The in-store selection of formal dresses is never great, but you can usually find something simple yet effective and of course, super affordable! However, there are tons of fabulous options online!

Image from: Forever21.com


Julia Demopoulos is a senior at Suffolk University majoring in print/web journalism and minoring in public relations. She is originally from Dracut, MA but currently resides in East Boston. In addition to being a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Suffolk, Julia is also the Vice President for Program Council, Suffolk's programming board on campus. She is also an active member of Suffolk's Journey Leadership Program. Julia works in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as a Trustee Ambassador (tour guide), and was an Orientation leader for Summer 2019.