It’s that time of year again, the Marine Corps Birthday Ball is right around the corner! That means it’s time to get yourself together and ball ready. Hair, makeup, the dress, and don’t forget the accessories, these all cost money! Fortunately, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to look your best for the ball. Here are some tips to save you money on your next military ball or formal event!
1. Thrift Stores Are Your Friend
Feeling lucky? You’d be surprised how often you can find designer labels at thrift shops. This is especially true for items like ball gowns that are worn only once or twice. Look around your area thrift and second-hand shops, check out your local flea markets and yard sales too, you never know what you will find! In most military heavy areas you can also find groups dedicated to buying and selling or trading ball gowns, so check out Facebook groups too!
2. Re-wear that Dress!
Fashionistas will cringe at this advice, but whatever, we are talking saving money here! New duty station? Don’t get a new dress! Wear the ones from your last duty station. Who will know? Not the majority of the people there! Re-wear that dress! I won’t tell if you don’t!
3. Shop Clearances
I know, they are last years style or whatever. Do I care? No. Why? Cuz I’d rather pay $50 for a dress instead of $200. Your department stores often have clearance sales after the big fancy dress wearing seasons (wedding season, prom season) so be on the lookout for deals! The same goes for shoes and accessories, watch for sales and keep an eye on those stores with the rotating inventories that have the department store stuff for cheap? You know the ones!
4. Do Your Own Hair & Make-up
Or do it with a friend. Yeah, getting all done up at the salon is fun and you look awesome. But it’s pricy! Do your hair and makeup yourself and save that money for the hotel! Have friends who are good with hair and makeup? Get together and get ready together! It’s fun and you all save money.
5. Don’t Hotel it Up
I know, sometimes it’s far and then you know you have to drive or take a cab or whatever to get home. But often the hotel can be pricy – even with the discount rate you might get. If you must stay at the hotel, try booking early or at near by hotels. You might be able to score a deal through one of those online hotel booking sites.
6. Investment Pieces
Wait, what? You are probably saying. I know it might seem odd, but sometimes you have to spend money to save money in the long run. Say every year you spend $30 on a new pair of shoes. Not bad right? But they kill your feet and then just take up space in your closet cuz you never wear them again. What if you spent more money on a nice pair of shoes that you absolutely love and could also use for other occasions? I bought a nice pair of heels for the first time last year. I absolutely adore them. I wore them to work with trousers and to special events from weddings to balls and they have so many years of life left in them. I will wear them every chance I get, they have more than paid for themselves. The same goes for dresses and accessories, especially if they can be worn in different ways or used for multiple occasions.
Wearing my new shoes. Can barely walk but they look good.
The ball doesn’t have to be an expensive experience. You can save money on it and still look good, feel good and enjoy yourself.