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Womens/Clothing/Dresses & Jumpsuits/Cocktail & Party

Top 10 Affordable Cocktail Dresses

These Affordable Cocktail Dresses Will Exceed Your Expectations When It Comes To Price And Quality

Image credits: reformation

Between graduation parties, weddings, and backyard soirées, it seems like summertime is host to some of the most exciting events of the year. But finding a cocktail dress for every occasion on your calendar on the cheap? That’s a daunting proposition in today’s economy, and one that could potentially leave you with a closet full of dresses you never want to wear again or a photo album that makes you cringe.

Not to mention, what qualifies as an “affordable” cocktail dress is different depending on the person. For some, it could mean a style that rings up under $250, while others may be looking for options that land within the $50 to $75 price range. The good news is that regardless of your budget or personal style, we’ve rounded up a list of 10 inexpensive cocktail dresses below.

How We Found The Best Affordable Party Dresses Under $250

From sophisticated satin shifts to playful-yet-formal mini dresses, each of the styles below is priced under $250 (in fact, most are below $150). However, even without factoring their cost in, we’re confident you're about to discover some of the best party dresses on the internet because we used our data-driven algorithm to find them. A tool unique to Rank & Style, our algorithm uses information from reviews, social media, and other sources to create a definitive list of the best products in a given category. It's a foolproof, unbiased system, and it's why we believe there's a very good chance that the dress you've been waiting for is just a scroll away.

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May 11, 2023

Written By:Sierra Rogers

Product Expert:Georgia Jones

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Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings


10
Image credits: nordstrom
Rank & Style Approved

nordstrom

Dress The Population Tiffany One-Shoulder Midi Dress

Overall Score

4.25

10

Dress The Population Tiffany One-Shoulder Midi Dress

3.95

472 User Reviews

2.8

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

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Best Affordable Midi Cocktail Dress

DESIGN DETAILS
Ringing up under $150, this affordable cocktail dress features a one-shoulder neckline with a design accent akin to a tulip sleeve. The silhouette provides a flattering fit thanks to the figure-forming, stretchy fabric—which also means you can probably get away with skipping the shapewear. 

GOOD TO KNOW
Headed to a hot summer wedding? Opt for this dress—reviewers say it's surprisingly breathable.

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Superdown Sophie Draped Mini Dress

Overall Score

4.35

09

Superdown Sophie Draped Mini Dress

3.2

508 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Cocktail Dress With Sleeves

DESIGN DETAILS
Flattering as can be, this unique satin cocktail dress features a relaxed collar and V-neckline with a ruched wrap-style bodice. It’s available in five different colors, from a striking red to an electric teal, and the tie can be styled into a feminine bow or left to drape down your legs in a dramatic fashion.

GOOD TO KNOW
There’s a hidden side zipper that makes this dress easy to get on and off, and the size range is relatively inclusive with options from XXS to XL. 

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Show Me Your Mumu Jasmine Halter Mini Dress

Overall Score

4.4

08

Show Me Your Mumu Jasmine Halter Mini Dress

4.23

290 User Reviews

2.7

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Halter Cocktail Dress

DESIGN DETAILS
Sexy and simple, this satin mini cocktail dress is designed to drape along your body effortlessly. At $148, it's a relatively inexpensive cocktail dress—especially considering how versatile it is. Snag it in black, silver, white, or one of the other eight colors it's available in.

WHAT TO LOVE
Show Me Your Mumu took their best-selling maxi dress style and converted it into a mini dress for the summer. That’s the origin story of the Jasmine Halter cocktail dress, and you’ll understand why the original is so popular after one glimpse at the unique criss-cross halter top of this style.

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WAYF Hampton Tiered Midi Dress

Overall Score

4.4

07

WAYF Hampton Tiered Midi Dress

4.7

9 User Reviews

2.1

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Tiered Cocktail Dress

DESIGN DETAILS
Bring the drama with WAYF's Hampton Tiered Midi Dress. Combining a deep V-neckline with shoulder bows, a leg slit, and a slightly-sheer tiered skirt, this style is undeniably a head-turner. 

GOOD TO KNOW
Another reason why this is one of the best party dresses? Somehow it's machine washable.

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French Connection Whisper Ruffle Minidress

Overall Score

4.45

06

French Connection Whisper Ruffle Minidress

4.34

198 User Reviews

2.6

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Mini Cocktail Dress

DESIGN DETAILS
French Connection made this mini dress with wedding season in mind, so if there’s a ceremony on your calendar that you’re lacking an outfit for, this affordable cocktail dress is a safe bet. That’s not to say that it’s not a stunner, though, because, with ruffle sleeves and a fitted bodice, you’re sure to turn some heads as you make your way to the dance floor in this number. 

GOOD TO KNOW
Because this style runs small, Nordstrom recommends ordering a size up from your usual.

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Lulu's Forever Your Girl Bodycon Dress

Overall Score

4.45

05

Lulu's Forever Your Girl Bodycon Dress

4.6

3425 User Reviews

3.3

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Cocktail Wrap Dress

DESIGN DETAILS
The perfect example of a versatile cocktail dress, Lulu's Forever Your Girl Bodycon toes the line between simplicity and trendiness. It features a shallow V-neckline, a princess-seamed bodice, and a wrap skirt for a figure-flaunting fit.

GOOD TO KNOW
It's hard to come by a high-quality, inexpensive cocktail dress—especially one that's less than $50. At $48, this style fits the bill. Not to mention, it has over 2,500 5-star reviews and comes in 10 different colors.

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Elliatt Cassini One-Shoulder Dress

Overall Score

4.5

04

Elliatt Cassini One-Shoulder Dress

4.21

379 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable One-Shoulder Cocktail Dress

DESIGN DETAILS
This unique cocktail dress is a one-shoulder style with ruching all along the bodice and a tulip-style leg slit that shows just enough skin. It’s available in eight different colors, including a steely blue and a champagne gold.

GOOD TO KNOW
According to reviewers, this is a great option for those with a petite frame thanks to the midi-length hem and leg slit.

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ASTR The Label Gaia Dress

Overall Score

4.55

03

ASTR The Label Gaia Dress

4.1

289 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Cocktail Slip Dress

DESIGN DETAILS
A draped neckline, leg slit, and strappy back infuse effortless sexiness into this satin cocktail dress. In addition to the ultra-feminine Icy Pink version, you can purchase this dress in Sage, Denim, Lime, and Bright Fuschia.

GOOD TO KNOW
Whatever the occasion, the Gaia Dress is down to be your plus one. Equal parts gown and party dress, it doesn't get much better than this affordable cocktail dress with unmatched versatility.

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Merokeety Lace Crew Neck Cocktail Dress

Overall Score

4.65

02

Merokeety Lace Crew Neck Cocktail Dress

4.4

18513 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Lace Cocktail Dress

DESIGN DETAILS
This cute cocktail dress has it all: a sexy lace overlay, sheath-style slip, and figure-hugging silhouette—not to mention, 15 different colors to choose from.

GOOD TO KNOW
This is the fifth best-selling cocktail dress on Amazon, and we’ll go ahead and let you know that it also has over 10,000 5-star reviews. 

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Reformation Frasier Dress

Overall Score

4.7

01

Reformation Frasier Dress

5

3 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Cocktail Dress Overall

DESIGN DETAILS
No doubt about it, this midi cocktail dress is super sophisticated. We’d expect nothing less from Reformation, but it’s always nice to see options that offer coverage while still being sexy. And with a crew neckline, cap sleeves, and a high-leg slit, the Frasier Dress is exactly that. 

GOOD TO KNOW
Another aspect of this style that makes it one of the best party dresses available for less than $250 is the flattering placement of the buttons on the bodice. Plus, you can purchase this it in black, cherry red, or green, as well as six additional patterns.

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