Formal finds to fit your budget

It’s that time of year again: formal season, when the typical miniskirt and tube top just aren’t going to cut it. If you’re like me, dropping $80 to $100 on a formal dress is simply not an option (even though you want to look like a million bucks). Luckily, we’ve scoped out some of the best deals in town for cute formal dresses — all priced around $50 and under!

If you haven’t been to Connections (130 S. Allen St.) yet, do yourself a favor and go — now. Not only is the staff welcoming and extremely helpful, it also has a huge selection of formal dresses priced from $38 and up.

The store’s wide array of dresses is color-coded and includes everything from slinky black dresses with sheer waist accents to silky purple frocks with flattering ruching to bold, royal-blue mini dresses. What more could a girl ask for?









If you don’t find what you’re looking for at Connections, try heading over to Mr. Charles (228 E. College Ave.) and hitting up its sale rack. Here, there are more than a few dresses perfect for any formal and ranging in price from $28 to $40.

There’s your basic LBD, ruched and slimming on any body type, along with sequin halter dresses, brightly colored peplum minis and metallic gold sleeveless options.









And if State College can’t satisfy your needs for formal fashions at a fraction of the normal price, check out You can sign up for free and earn a $20 coupon for inviting your friends to join as well. Browse through the website’s incredible selection straight from the spring runways.

The best part? Dresses that typically would retail from $200 to $400 can be rented for $70 and under. The only downfall is waiting for your fashion find to be delivered, but the site does allow you to borrow two different sizes at the same time (so you’ll know something will fit).

And, once you find the perfect dress, don’t worry about hunting down accessories to finish off your look. Based on your dress pick, Rent the Runway will provide you with accessory options at a fraction of their retail costs as well!

Now the only thing left is finding the perfect date…

Photos by Kiersten Ferno

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