Thrift-store prom dresses that make a girl stand out

Prom is a rite of passage for teenage girls, and it’s often dreamt about for weeks and months before the big event. Looking for a prom dress at a thrift store isn’t probably the first thought for teens, but with prom dresses costing upward of $500, it can be a serious pinch on a high-schooler’s piggy bank.

Shopping for secondhand prom dresses is a smart alternative to shelling out that kind of babysitting cash, and you might be delightfully surprised at the trendy and affordable prom dresses you can find. A girl still wants to feel like a princess and fit in with the trends. We have the top prom dress trends for 2019 and dresses that will make jaws drop and heads turn, and what girl doesn’t want that kind of attention on the big night?

Ballgowns and prints

Nothing can elicit the feeling of being a princess more than a glorious ballgown. Float into prom with this classic black City Triangles gown. It features a trendy beaded bodice and beautiful gathered skirt. Because of the length and fullness of the dress, you can wear it with a pair of flat shoes so you can dance the night away and not hobble around with blisters on your feet.

This next ballgown dress features another huge trend in prom dresses this year: prints. This dainty yet bold dress with original tags from Chi Chi London features a ballgown silhouette and cobalt blue floral print. We also appreciate the high-low hemline and know the girl who wears this will be the belle of the ball.

Rose gold

Rose gold has been the trending metallic in jewelry for quite some time and now it’s moved on to prom dresses. This plus-size, NWT ballgown from Deb exudes beauty and elegance. The strapless gown features sequined applique details and an organza skirt. The second hand price just sweetens the deal!


Metallics are the trend to follow for prom this year. You can incorporate gold or silver in more ways than just jewelry. Try going subtle with some sequin or jewel details or go all out with a dress like this Love Reign gown. If you’re craving attention, try this gorgeous, all-over sequin dress with an open back and corset sides. Since it’s new with tags (gasp!) no one will guess you bought it for under $55!

Another head-turning metallic option is this beauty from Tadashi Shoji featuring a cool neckline and a body-skimming cut. The silvery lace and elegant neckline are stunning. The other stunning piece? It was originally more than $500! The girl who wears this to prom is truly a winner.


Green prom dresses just might be the biggest trend for 2019. We are loving the simplicity of this evergreen, one-shouldered White by Vera Wang dress. To keep in the spirit of simplicity, we would add some pretty gold dangly earrings and gold strappy heels.

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of more than 70,000 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. Goodwill NCW is one of four companies in the nation to be honored with a Platinum Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America, which recognizes our commitment to wellness in the workplace. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at, a women’s apparel website, and It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit


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