Q: I have been a bridesmaid several times and have 3 weddings approaching this summer. While I am not being asked to wear a specific bride's maids dress, I cannot afford to spend money on three new items. Can you recommend any discount stores that specialize in high-end dresses?
Honey, I feel your pain. Fortunately, there's a myriad of cheap â€˜n chic choices out there for bridesmaids, so you don't have to break the bank to look and feel fabulous on your friends' wedding day. But before you even think about plunking your plastic at your local brick and mortar store, consider shopping online.
As a starting point, check out eBay.com. The clothing apparel section lists thousands of stunning and slightly used designer duds, which are all sold at a fraction of the retail price (think this season's Nicole Miller strapless silk number slashed from $550 to $150). If the thought of sporting vintage frocks sends shivers down your spine, don't sweat it. J Crew, Ann Taylor and Isaac Mizrahi for Target (a.k.a. Tar-Jay) all offer brand new bridesmaid options that are fashionable and affordable (generally $200 or less).
Since each of these lines let you literally design your own dress, you won't be stuck with a frilly frock that takes up precious space in your closet. You can choose your favorite fabrics (sexy silk, chiffon and even lace), color combos, signature touches like sashes or bows and most importantly, pick a silhouette that flatters your figure (from strapless, A-line to empire).