Well, that would depend. If it is an elegant dress it might work, but I would question it if it was one of those awful old fashioned style ones. Before you decide, take a look around. There are some really great discount stores like Ross out there that you may look at, and sometimes you can find great deals on websites like eBay, overstock.com, and blair.com Just look around before you make final decisions. I personally think each and every person should make their best effort to look elegant on formal night, though I am sure there are those that would not make the effort.