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Old May 17th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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Default How much have you spent on formal wear ladies?

I am debating just how "formal" I should get - I have my eye on a gorgeous long gown, but if most ladies will be wearing cocktail dresses I don't want to stand out. The dress is almost $300. That will be for only one formal night.

How often do you re-wear the dinner clothes on non-formal night? I am trying to decide just how many new clothes I will need to buy.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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I try to limit the dollar amount for a "new" formal" dress to around $150 if possible. You'll have to see if you think you'll wear it at home for other occassions, then the money may be well spent.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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I took cocktail dresses and one long gown from my closet. These are from weddings and formal christmas parties I've been to over the years. Nobody on the ship knows or cares that its been worn before so I take those out. Might as well get my moneys worth out of the suckers.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:40 PM
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agree with Dina; no need to spend big bucks; also the macy's and dilliard's clearance racks have great deals; usually spend $50.00 at the most!
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:59 PM
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Yes, get them on sale. After the holidays or proms, they go on sale.
I never spend more then $100.00. I have a few from other parties, Chirstmas, weddings,etc.they serv me just fine.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 08:58 PM
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If you shop after New Years, you can find some great deals on dresses.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 10:04 PM
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I try to shop all the clearance racks as I have been losing weight over the past two years so I doubt I will wear them again as they will be too big in time for the next cruises (thank goodness) but I try to keep it under $100 to be safe, and I like to take one gown and one cocktail for a winter cruise but the cruise last week I just did two cocktail dresses as it is more spring/summer and if I don't find a gown I realy like, or lose too much more weight (I am close to goal) I will just keep the cocktail dresses for this upcoming cruise and be happy. lol
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Old May 17th, 2007, 11:55 PM
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My SIL and I bought 4 long gowns from Ross for Less for $20 each. The price tag on one was $95 and $80 on another. We got so many compliments on them. I also saw some nice mix and match items great for formal nights at Dress Barn for great prices. I was really surprised at the styles there, not as old fashion as I was told.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 11:59 PM
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If you look around, you could find some good sales on formal gowns. Sears had a sale on formal gowns for 30 percent off, so I bought two of them. Each gown was a little over $50.00 each-- Wow what a bargain!
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Old May 18th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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depends I guess, but I would spend up to 150.00, I think my most expensive dress was 80.00 but then I also spend 75.00 on the strappy Bandalinos to go with the dress.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 08:43 AM
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I wait til all the proms are over with and have found some very good deals at Dillards. Usually about 75% off!
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Old May 18th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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My friend and I always "dress up" even if it is NOT a formal night. We just dress up MORE, when formal night comes around.

All the suggestions I have read are great, but here is one that has NOT been mentioned.

If you have any cosignment shops or Thrift Stores, that is the place to look for bargains. I have done this for all my cruises/attending weddings/Christmas parties, and NO ONE has a clue where they come from. In fact one of the dresses I wore this past cruise, someone thought it was nice enough to get married in. People stop me all the time while I'm walking by, and say "what a beautiful dress you are wearing."

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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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I'm waiting for May to end to see if prom season will make the dress prices go down.

How many people wear long gowns vs. cocktail dresses? 50/50?
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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BUY THE DRESS THE YOU LOVE THEN RETURN IT AFTER THE CRUISE IS ALSO AN OPTION.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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now is the perfect time to look for post-prom sales.

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Old May 18th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA Cruiser
My SIL and I bought 4 long gowns from Ross for Less for $20 each. The price tag on one was $95 and $80 on another. We got so many compliments on them. I also saw some nice mix and match items great for formal nights at Dress Barn for great prices. I was really surprised at the styles there, not as old fashion as I was told.
I agree. I bought two cocktail dresses last year for my daughters from Ross for Less at $13 and $15 really nice dresses. One wore hers again for homecoming dance the next cruise is different so they are going to switch dresses.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Maybe I should try Ross. I haven't seen any full length gowns at Marshalls or TJ Maxx.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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I would say that the ratio of long/short is 40 long/60 short. Either one will work just fine. Pick the dress that you fall in love with and you will look stunning! Is it September, yet?
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Old May 18th, 2007, 07:48 PM
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I win !!!!!!!!!!

my last cruise I bought a beautiful long dress at a yard sale for $ 7.00 and I felt like cinderella. my very first cuise I bought another one at a yard sale for $ 20.00.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail F
I win !!!!!!!!!!

my last cruise I bought a beautiful long dress at a yard sale for $ 7.00 and I felt like cinderella. my very first cuise I bought another one at a yard sale for $ 20.00.
Hey Gail F.,
You do win!!!! I am definitely with you!!!! I LOVE yard sales!!! Had I saw it before you I would have won!!! Good deal!!!!
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Old May 18th, 2007, 11:22 PM
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Okay, so I know I am not a lady, but I wanted to add my .02 cents. I am a shopaholic, and I know too much about it. lol. $300 is not that much for a formal dress IF...You get something that you can wear again, and you make sure it is a classic design. If it is a classic design made well by a good designer, it can last you a very long time, and depending on events you attend at home, or on other vacations, you can wear it again and again. Just make sure it is not prom dress looking and that it is a light flowing fabric. Formal does not have to be heavy. As long as it is floor length, it is formal. enjoy what you buy, and buy something you really like. I spent a lot of money on a tux, but I wear it on all my cruises, and even have opportunities to wear it at home. I got a classic design that will never go out of style, and I will have it until I get too fat to wear it anymore.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 11:37 PM
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I hear you, and believe me, if I could justify it, I would buy it. But I would only have one opportunity at this point in my life with the kiddos all being so young to wear it a year, and my husband's company Christmas party is only cocktail dresses, so I would be overdressed even there.

I am just going to drive myself mad trying to find it discounted, or something similar. It is a gorgeous Scala dress that yes, I found while searching prom dresses (GAH!) but it doesn't look prom-y. If I could make the picture smaller I would post it, but right now it margin-hogs.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trarecar
I hear you, and believe me, if I could justify it, I would buy it. But I would only have one opportunity at this point in my life with the kiddos all being so young to wear it a year, and my husband's company Christmas party is only cocktail dresses, so I would be overdressed even there.

I am just going to drive myself mad trying to find it discounted, or something similar. It is a gorgeous Scala dress that yes, I found while searching prom dresses (GAH!) but it doesn't look prom-y. If I could make the picture smaller I would post it, but right now it margin-hogs.
Well, in that case, I bet you could find a great $300 dress at a discount store somewhere near you for half the price. Do you by any chance have a Nordstrom Rack?
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Old May 19th, 2007, 12:06 AM
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Default have you tried eBay?

I admit...I am a tad bit thrifty (that's cheapskate 8) to many of my friends!) and went to the thrift store to buy my last "formal" dress. A pretty blue-sequinned cocktail dress for $7.95. Then my daughter and I went to a store called the $6 Outlet Store and lo, and behold, they had "my" dress, NEW in RED! How could I resist! It was less expensive than the thrift store one. They can't be washed, dry-cleaned or anything, so for throw-away dresses, I don't think I did too bad! And now I have the same dress in blue and red. I love red! I can trade off each cruise! I still have this itching desire to get another, though, and am looking at some really pretty ones on eBay!
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Old May 19th, 2007, 01:04 AM
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Here is another idea. (I told you I love shopping, your thread has had me thinking of places for you ladies to shop for formal dresses)

Does anyone have H&M? They have a lot of great formal/cocktail dresses for great prices. Love that store. Great place for men, too. If you need a suit or a tux for the cruise, great prices. Not than any men other than me would be reading this thread. lol.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 04:24 AM
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Hi, my name is Linda and I'm a QVC aholic....
I need two formal night outfits so I bought a Bob Mackie (Cher's designer) jacket, black, with embroidered and sparkle embellishments, with 3 big white, pearl buttons down each sleeve and in front. I'm wearing black palazzo pants with a white, laced blouse and black satin pumps. The second outfit is a Susan Graver, lace, below the calf, chocolate brown skirt, with a brown and gold glitter jacket and matching shell, open-toed gold/bronze/brown heels.
Total (not including S&H): around $250, plus these outfits I can wear after the cruise.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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A few years ago a close relative got married so I needed a gown. I got this beautiful gold gown at Lord and Taylor's for $250.00. Fitted on top and from hips down big and flarey. Takes up space in suitcase but it is a heads turning gown. I have worn it already for 2 weddings, new years eve and 3 cruises and the gown will be cruising again. For the second formal nite I'll get a gown and return it when I get back. All the major department stores have an excellent return policy. If the dress gets dirty dry clean it before the return. I like having at least one new gown to wear on each cruise.

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Old May 19th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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I usually wore Kasper suits until I found my little treasure. A solid black Albert Nippon Vintage Suit at a second hand store. It had only been worn once and I got it for $37.50.

If there is a good second hand consignment store in your area, you can make some incredible finds there!
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Old May 19th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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You guys have some awesome ideas!

What is H&M?
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Old May 19th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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we booked our cruise a year ahead...so at the end of the summer ALL the cute summer clothes and dresses were on clearence. Every single thing I bought for the cruise was on sale or clearence. I had a new outfit to wear everyday. For formal nights I bought dresses I knew I could wear again..i dressed them up with heels and jewelry. I think buying new clothes was half the fun of going on the cruise!
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