Did you know black is the most common colour girls choose to wear to their school formal? If your daughter wants to stand out from the crowd, encourage a bright colour!

Shopping for the formal dress or suit, organising hair and make-up or forgetting that you need matching shoes and a handbag — it’s exhausting, not to mention expensive. Before you venture on your journey to help your teen get formal-ready, we suggest setting a strict budget and allowing for a couple of trips to different shopping centres or boutiques.

Tip 1: Op shops and second-hand clothing stores are a great place to find affordable pre-loved formal gowns and suits at very little cost. Or, if you have time, online sites such as Etsy, eBay and Gumtree are also great for finding deals.

Tip 2: Bridal shops are renowned for selling formal wear at the higher end of the budget. However, did you know that most bridal stores offer suit rentals? This can often be cheaper than purchasing a suit outright — especially if your teen will only be wearing the suit for the one night.

Tip 3: Depending on how thrifty you are with a needle and thread, making a dress will ensure a perfect fit for your daughter and she can also choose her favourite fabric from stores such as Spotlight.


Tip 4: There are literally thousands of hair and make-up tutorials on YouTube. After a few practices, you could save on the second biggest expense after the outfit. In the same breath, why not try creating your own boutonniere or corsage from YouTube as well?


Tip 5: Make-up counters at major department stores, such as David Jones and Myer, offer professional make-up application. So if Mum needs to stock up on make-up, this could be a win win!

Tip 6: If your teen is keen to arrive to the formal in style, why not consider hiring a limo? Most stretch limos can accommodate up to 14 passengers, allowing your son or daughter to share the cost between friends while still making a statement.


If you’re ready to get started on the formal planning, Use Localsearch to find limousine and hire car companies near you.

Get inspiration for your formal hair and make-up here: