How to have a great homecoming on a budget


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Students cheer and dance during Robinson’s 2016 Homecoming

Anna Woodward, Staff Writer

In addition to taking great pictures and having fun with friends, something that many people look forward to about homecoming is putting together the perfect outfit. Finding a homecoming outfit that isn’t too expensive can seem daunting, but there shopping for homecoming on a budget isn’t actually that difficult. There are many options and solutions to putting together the perfect “hoco fit.”

For dresses, Amazon,, Forever21, and all have a variety of dresses and price ranges. Windsor has a store located at Westshore Plaza, and Forever21 has a store located at International Plaza, if you’d rather try on your dress in person before purchasing.

For a secondhand dress, check out your local thrift or consignment store; Tampa has many stores to browse, including Plato’s Closet, Sunshine Thrift Store, and The Spring. In addition, make sure to consider the price of alterations if your dress does not fit properly.

If shopping for a dress presents a financial difficulty for you, try the Belle of the Ball Project, a local organization which provides free homecoming and prom dresses to high school girls in Hillsborough and surrounding counties. Belle of the Ball will be distributing dresses at 1210 Holt Ave. Clearwater, FL 33755 on the following days before Robinson homecoming: Saturday September 8th from 10am to 2pm, and Saturday September 22nd from 10am to 2pm (Keep in mind that September 22nd is the day of the dance, which may be cutting it close). For more information, you can visit, or find one of the posters hanging around the school.

For suits, check H&M, Amazon, or your local thrift store for inexpensive options. As mentioned above, take into consideration the price of possible alterations. Stores like Marshall’s, T.J.Maxx, and Burlington have both suits and dresses at affordable prices.

Like dresses and suits, shoes and accessories can be found at the aforementioned stores. Most likely, whatever store you’ll be looking at will have a section devoted to these items in addition to formalwear.

If you’re looking for a way to spend as little money as possible on your outfit, consider borrowing items from a friend or family member.

Students going with dates can get corsages and boutonnieres at Michael’s Craft Store, Publix, and on Etsy and Amazon at inexpensive prices.

For your makeup and/or hair, consider following a tutorial on YouTube or getting a trusted friend or family member to do it for you as an affordable option.

If you’re looking for a place to take photos, check out the Riverwalk, The University of Tampa, Curtis Hixon Park, Hyde Park Village, or Ballast Point Park. All of these places are free, and make a great backdrop for whatever photos you decide to take. Or check out for the best places to take photos in Tampa.

Hopefully, some or all of these ideas will help you have a great night at homecoming. For more tips, try browsing YouTube, Pintrest, and similar sites.