How to Buy an Affordable Dress for a Night Out

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How to Buy an Affordable Dress for a Night Out

Whether attending a cocktail party or going out dancing with friends, choosing the right dress is important. Evening dresses come in various fabrics, sizes, and lengths. Choosing the best style greatly depends on the location of the event and the wearer's body shape. A woman rarely wears the same dress to more than an evening function or ball, meaning the dress remains in near perfect condition and is suitable for resale. As such, buyers should consider purchasing a pre-owned dress at retailers such as eBay as a more affordable route than buying a new dress. Knowing the types of evening dresses and the ways to search for an affordable dress can help women find a flattering dress suitable for their budget.

Types of Evening Dresses

Evening dresses are a key component to any woman's wardrobe, and there are multiple styles that women can choose from. Popular styles include cocktail dresses, club wear dresses, maxi dresses, and shift dresses. A woman can choose the right type of dress according to the event setting.

Cocktail Dresses

Cocktail dresses , or party dresses, are mid-length and semi-formal. They are very popular as evening wear. Depending on the accessories a woman chooses to wear, she can turn a cocktail dress into a very elegant or semi-casual outfit. For an elegant look, a woman can pair the dress with a long necklace and high heels, and a cardigan or jacket to complete the look.

Club Wear Dresses

Generally, women wear club wear dresses when they go to a nightclub or party. These dresses are more elaborate and often contain sequins, beading, and other embellishments. Club wear dresses may also have plunging necklines and reach far above the knee.

Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses are a good choice for casual environments. These dresses have spaghetti straps and often an empire waist or a natural waistline. Maxi dresses are long, often reaching floor length, and are popular as outfits for outdoor events, such as evening weddings. They flow loosely and look good with simple sandals or wedges.

Shift Dresses

Shift dresses resemble a long T-shirt and may feature short or long sleeves. These dresses have little to no form, hanging loosely from a woman's body. Women can give the dress definition by adding a belt or other accessory around the waist. Women can complete the evening wear look by dressing the shift dress up with a pair of heels or elegant boots.

Wrap Dresses

Wrap dresses are V-neck in design and feature a slim fitting top and looser skirt. The dress wraps around a woman's entire body, opening in the front and covering the entire back. The dress typically fastens at the waist with a button, belt, or snap closure. Wrap dresses come in a wide array of sleeve lengths and are a great outfit choice for a casual evening out.

Aspects to Consider When Shopping for an Affordable Evening Dress

There are many aspects to consider when searching for an affordable dress, including fabric choice, sleeve length, condition, and colour. Keeping in mind these factors help ensure that buyers find a high quality dress at a reasonable price.

Dress Size

One size does not fit all when it comes to a night out on the town. While certain dresses might be loose and flowing, dresses for a night out are usually form fitted so be sure the dress fits your form.


Bust (cm)

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If your are slightly busty, with a small waist, you can have a tailor take the dress in on the side. You should fit your largest feature first, and have everything else tailored rather than fit your smallest feature only to look unbecoming elsewhere.

Fabric Choice

The fabric options for women's dresses include cotton, linen, silk, wool, satin, chiffon, and lace. Some fabrics are washing-machine safe, but other fabrics require dry cleaning or hand washing to preserve the fabric. As such, it is a good idea to avoid fabrics that require special care when searching for an affordable dress. Dresses constructed of cotton, cotton blends, jersey knit, and linen are easy to clean and maintain. These dresses are generally machine washable and wrinkle-free in design.

Sleeve Length

The sleeve length often becomes a consideration for particular settings, such as for cultural events. Women can opt for a short sleeve or long sleeve dress for a business related function. However, women heading out to the clubs may want to choose something more daring, such as a sleeveless dress.


Many buyers seek dresses in a particular condition. While new dresses are widely available for purchase, some women may want to choose a pre-owned dress as a cheaper alternative. Many women only wear very elegant dresses once. Because of this, shoppers can find many elegant dresses in like-new condition for a fraction of the cost of a new dress. Buyers should ask about any alterations to the dress' sizing if they cannot try on the dress before buying it.

Buying Used Evening Dresses

Buying used is a great way to increase cost savings. When purchasing a pre-owned dress, buyers should carefully examine the dress' condition, including problem areas such as the underarms and front neckline. The area under the arm may show sweat marks or deodorant stains left by the previous owner; these dresses do not make good purchases. Similarly, the front neckline of the dress can have makeup stains. Foundation marks are often difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Finally, buyers should ensure the dress does not have any lingering smells. Some fabrics retain odours more so than others even after cleaning.

How to Buy an Affordable Dress for a Night Out on eBay

Shopping for affordable dresses on eBay is a good idea because you may not wish to pay a lot for garments that you might only wear once. The selection of dresses available on eBay and eBay Deals is likely to satisfy any buyer. To search for an evening dress, type relevant keywords, such as 'evening dress' or 'cocktail dress' in the search bar on every eBay page. You can further refine the search results using filters such as condition and price. Choose the dress you want to buy from the search results. Or browse using eBay's Advanced Search feature to look for a specific dress or brand.

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