The world of pageants is certainly as expensive one! Season after season, parents must purchase new dresses for their children who participate in pageants to wear as they walk across the stage and compete for the crown. While being on stage can be a wonderfully rewarding experience for both parents and children, purchasing pageant clothing can take a toll on your bank account. The most expensive aspect of participating in pageants is certainly the dresses!
Children's Specialty Shops for Pageant Dresses
While there are many local brick and mortar stores that may be great resources for discounted pageant dresses, online specialty boutiques can greatly helping parents save money on pageant gowns.
Pageant Resale is an amazing online consignment resource targeted towards pageant gowns. You will be able to both buy and sell gowns that are in incredible condition. They carry children's sizes from 2T-16, with a wide range of styles to choose from. For dress buyers, the site offers very reasonable prices and the sellers must be approved in advance, so you always know your dress is coming from a credible place. If you decide to sell through pageant resale, you'll need to pay a listing fee to get your items on the site, but, unlike some consignment stores, this website does not take a percentage of the money you make when your dresses sell.
So Sweet Boutique
The So Sweet Boutique is a great place to turn to if you are looking to get your gown and pageant accessories and undergarments in one place, as they have everything for pageants. This online store offers a plethora of girls' dresses, but they specialize in discounted pageant dresses in size 18 months to girls' size 16. Even though the prices are heavily discounted, the store doesn't sacrifice quality. You can even have garment bags added to your order.
Pink Princess offers many on-trend options for your little girl, in sizes 0-22, that are very reasonably priced. The online boutique also offers free shipping and returns, in case something doesn't fit properly, an option not offered by most online stores. They have been in the children's clothing business for over a decade, so they have a knack for offering beautiful, kid-friendly pieces at a price point that parents can actually afford.
Other Places to Find Pageant Dress Deals
Whether you are looking for new or previously worn frocks, eBay is a good place to look for pageant dresses. While the selection changes frequently, eBay often features beautiful pageant gowns for girls of all ages, even infants. The site allows for you to really narrow your search to hone in on exactly what you need. Sometimes you can even find pieces that have never been worn and still have the tags on them. While the dresses don't all have the best images, you are able to open a line of communication with sellers to ask questions, all while saving quite a bit of money if you find a dress that meets your child's needs.
Zulily is an online daily deal website, where you must be a member to shop (membership is free). They will email you daily with the huge sales that they are offering and you will have a small window of time to make your purchase. While they don't specialize in pageant apparel, it is something that they feature quite frequently and parents can save upwards of 70% off of designer pageant gowns. You will find all size ranges here, but purchase early to make sure that the size you are looking for is in stock because Zulily's deals are while-they-last sales.
Shopping Strategies for Pageant Dress Deals
As long as you know where and when to shop, there are ways way to strategically plan your shopping trip and find the best deals.
- Consider renting: Children's clothing rental website Be Mini Couture is a great option for pageant dresses that you'll only use once. They offer a wide range of gorgeous designer dresses as rentals. You can cut costs dramatically when you rent instead of purchasing. Their dresses go up to girls' size 10. They offer end-of-season sales where you can purchase rental dresses if you wish for a 70% discount.
- Set a budget: Have a very strategic budget in mind whenever you go dress shopping and stick to it! There's nothing worse than buying something you really can't afford that will only be worn one time.
- End-of season shopping: Instead of shopping at the beginning of pageant season, shop at the end of the season for next year. That is when dresses will be on sale with the deepest discounts. Additionally, buy up a size so that you know the discounted dress will fit next year. It can always be altered if your daughter doesn't have a growth spurt.
- Stock up: Whenever you come across a great sale, stock up on pageant dresses. Of course, do this only as long as you know your little one will continue to compete in pageants. Having a few extra dresses on hand will keep you from having to overspend at the last minute before an event.
Tips for Cutting Pageant Dress Costs
Elements like fabric, added embellishments, clothing construction, etc. that make the overall cost of a pageant dress quickly add up. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to help cut those costs!
- DIY embellishments: Choose a dress that is less extravagant and more on the plain side to keep costs low. Then, stop into one of your favorite craft stores such as Michael's and choose embellishments such as glitter, rhinestones, etc. and sew or hot glue gun them to the dress yourself.
- Use your sewing skills: Instead of buying a dress, work together and sew one yourself at home. There are many beautiful, inexpensive fabrics that you can find at places such as your local Joann fabric store, along with patterns and guidance for constructing your own gown.
- Swap with other moms: Network with other moms who compete in the pageants with your daughter and see if you can all get together on a set date and time to exchange no-longer-needed dresses. Each mom can bring her child's old dresses from home and take part in a dress swap!
- Use classified ads: Use your local newspaper or online classified advertising website to sell your daughter's unworn dresses to someone else who would want to re-use them. Apply the money you make toward the next pageant dress that your daughter needs. In turn, if this is your daughter's first pageant, use the local newspaper to find other dresses that may be on sale at a discounted price.
Pageant Dress Memories
Overall, your little girl is going to walk away from her pageant experience with very vivid memories of the dresses she wore because they help make her time on stage even more special. She will also remember the special time she had shopping for her dresses with you. What she isn't likely to remember is the price tag. Use these tips as a guide to help cut costs and focus on making the memories sparkle without spending more than you can afford!