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Prom Shopping on a Budget: How Kids in Need Can Still Own Prom Night!

Prom season is in full swing and many local high school juniors and seniors are on the hunt for the dresses of their dreams with little to no funds to spend.

Prom expenses add up fast and each year the cost goes up a bit more. Mounting expenses can feel very discouraging for teens who can’t afford even the prom essentials – like a prom dress. According to a 2015 national survey from Visa, the average to cost to attend prom is $919, with Northeastern families leading the pack, spending an average $1,169 for the night.

Are you, or someone you know, on a limited budget? Don’t get discouraged just yet! There are many local stores with affordable, pre-loved gowns that are just as beautiful as high-priced boutique gowns. Thrift stores, consignment shops, clearance racks, and outlet stores can be gold mines for prom goers.

We did some digging, and here are the best places in and around Jacksonville to shop for discounted prom gowns:

Bridal Shop Clearance Racks

Regency Plaza Shopping Center Shoppes at Southside

900 Atlantic Blvd 9990 Southside Blvd

Jacksonville, FL 32225 Jacksonville, FL 32256

904.724.0909 904.519.8933

Popular Thrift Shops

651 Commerce Center Dr #200 318 7th Ave N

Jacksonville, FL 32225 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

904.595.7904 904.853.6246

Goodwill Thrift Store Goodwill Store

Oakleaf Crossing 1036 Beach Blvd #3402

8460 Merchant's Way Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Jacksonville, FL 32222 904.204.5801


Local Consignment Shops

1068 Hendricks Ave 13475 Atlantic Blvd #29

Jacksonville, FL 32207 Jacksonville, FL 32225

904.398.0069 904.220.5650

8221-3 Southside Blvd 2 Fairfield Blvd #11

Jacksonville, FL 32256 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

904.642.6193 904.280.3113

Local Retail Outlets

Regency Plaza Shopping Center St. Augustine Premium Outlets

9501 Arlington Expressway 494 Prime Outlet Blvd

Jacksonville, FL 32225 St. Augustine, FL 32084

904.721.9166 904.824.9167

Prom and graduation are two of the most memorable events of one’s high school career. No student should have to sit out important events due to a lack of funds. From donated prom dresses, shoes, and jewelry, to affordable rented tuxes, every high school student can find a way to look great for that special night.

There are several ways to find free gowns and prom essentials. Organizations like Belle of the Ball project and Cinderella’s Closet offer free gowns, shoes and accessories for young women in need. These kinds of organizations usually require a student to be registered in advance and signed up to attend the free shopping day.

Graduation has its own expenses, from big events like senior trips, cruises, and other happenings to cap and gown costs, and kids from low income families can often feel left out. However, local companies, organizations and churches are usually willing to help students meet their needs! Even a Google search can help you find free prom apparel, graduation gifts, and events in your area for teens who need a little extra financial help. If you know of local organizations or charities that can assist high school students with prom and graduation expenses – let us know! Leave a comment below.

Author: Alanna Zelinski, Holmes Content Team



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