Chic Dresses on the Cheap

I love dresses and am so glad that they are back in style.  For a long time it was hard to find a dress as skirts were more popular.  My favorite source for inexpensive but stylish dresses is Dress Barn.  There’s not one where I live, but I make sure to shop at the one in my mom’s town when I visit her and I also shop at Dress Barn when we go to the beach.  Sometimes I strike out at Dress Barn but usually I find at least one dress that I can add to my wardrobe.

I realized yesterday when I wanted to take pictures of myself for this post that I have no full length mirror that isn’t almost 100 years old.  Old mirrors aren’t the best for self portraits!  If you have a big bathroom with a large mirror over your vanity, I envy you.  Or if you have a closet with a large mirror, I envy you for that, too!  My mirror problem led to not the best pictures but hopefully you can still see how cuteness of my cheap but chic dresses.

Each dress below was $39.99 and is made of a fabric that folds to next to nothing and doesn’t wrinkle.  This is great for days that I go to the gym before work or for when I’m traveling.

I bought this dress back in April.  The neckline is actually very sparkly.  It would be easy to dress it up or down with a quick shoe and jewelry change.

Now you can see my mirror dilemma.  I started out taking pictures in our bedroom using the mirror on our armoire but it is so old that it made every image distorted or have lines all over the dress area.  Our only other full sized mirror is in the guest room upstairs.

This dress was purchased on the same shopping trip.  I can’t resist polka-dots but what really sold me was the cut-outs on the shoulders.

The next dress is my newest one, purchased over the weekend at the beach.  The cute tie at the bottom was what attracted me to it.  I’ve got wedges on with it here but I’ll most likely wear it this summer with flip-flops.


I’m a lazy shopper.  I don’t go often, so when I find something cute for cheap, I buy it.  Ross is another store where I’ve found some great bargains.  We have TJ Maxx here but I haven’t found anything there in a long time. 

Shoes are what I need to work on finding this summer.  I like cute shoes but I stand on concrete for seven hours per day and most of the shoes that I currently own just aren’t working. 

What is your source for cute but cheap apparel?   If you have any comfortable shoe suggestions, please share!   I like Danskos but they aren’t exactly the cutest shoes in the world.

I’m sharing at The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.


  1. Love the dresses! You look fantastic as always. This year I’ve had amazing luck with dresses from Target (Tar-jay if we’re being fancy!) from their Merona brand.

  2. they are all cute dresses and look great on you! I wore a sundress yesterday that I got from Target and paired it with a cardigan.

  3. Paula, I am new to your blog, what cute dresses! I am with you, I love dress barn not have one very close to me but like to stop when I find one in my travels..I am a plus size but I need to get a cute dress or two in my wardrobe..thanks for sharing! And you are a cutie!


  4. You look fantastic!! I love the cut-outs on the shoulders…very cute! I can usually find something at Old Navy if I really look. I also have a couple of tops from (gasp!) WM that I get compliments on. 🙂

  5. I love your dresses, Paula, and they all look smashing on you! I’m a dress girl from way back–they’re so comfortable and cool! Ross is currently my best source for inexpensive dresses.

    As for shoes, I feel your pain. I wear Danskos all winter long, but their sandals aren’t the cutest. I’ve had good luck with Aerosoles, though. Check them out!

  6. Oh my gracious! I am totally in love with that first dress!!! I like them all, but I’d totally steal that first one out of your closet if I was over for one of your shin-digs. Well, if I was a size 4, which I’m not, so you don’t really have to worry. Love, love, love them!

    I like DressBarn too. I usually get cute cheap dresses at Old Navy or Target.

  7. Can you believe I’ve never walked into the Dress Barn and it’s right in my center? And how I need a straight dress! Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Paula, how cute you look in ALL three of them!! I love that they all look a little different, but you look good in all of them!
    i need to make a trip to Dress Barn and see what i can find. It is hard to find petite dresses that have the right shape for me, so I end up getting a skirt and top…..hopefully I can find some that work!

  9. ooolala! Tre’ chic and Sassy!! You look fabulous and the dresses look great on you! I really need to start on your workout program :

  10. You look adorable Paula!!!! Love the first dress, that neckline is stunning. We have Dress Barns here in Cleveland, I need to check them out!

  11. Very nice!
    I think my fav is the first one you showed but they are all great!!
    Summer dresses are the best – One article of clothing & your done putting an outfit together.

    I on the other hand do NOT have a full length mirror – so I know where you are coming from.

  12. Cute dresses! I find dresses so much more comfy in the summer than shorts even.

  13. Awhh, what pretty dresses you have! I love the black one! I know they look very cool for the hot days we are having in the south.

  14. you look adorable! most of my clothes come from kohls, and the clearance section, too. i love me some kohls clearance!

    also, i’m officially your newest follower. woot!

  15. Wow, I love them all! I don’t usually wear short sleeves cause I’m not exactly in love with my upper arms, but these look great on you! You have great arms and legs! Of course you work at it too!

    I bought a cute dress at Target last Friday, I’ll have to take a picture and post it. The photos are pretty darn good considering your mirror dilemma 🙂

    Shoes…well I’m with you on that. I love heels but since Sciatica havn’t been able to wear them and flats just don’t cut it for me cause I’m so short. Wish I could give you some good shoe tips, but if you get any, pass them on!

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