I don’t know about you, but the idea of a “party dress”—especially an inexpensive one—brings about visions of skin-tight mini-dresses or unsightly sequins that you can see from two blocks away, both inevitably paired with too-high shoes that nobody, save for Carrie Bradshaw, could walk in. (Google the term, and your visions will likely prove correct.)
And, while anything can technically be a party dress—just wear a dress to a party, et voila—there’s still a way to do festive without also looking tacky, or worse, uncomfortable. As someone who prefers to wear clothes that don’t touch her body, that means choosing something oversized in a neutral colorway, and pairing it with booties, sneakers, or some other version of a shoe comfortable enough to walk two miles in, should Uber surge past 6x. For others, that means picking one body part you want to show off, and finding something that flatters it—and if it’s sequined or metallic, even better.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a look that’s equally festive and chic. We found 17 cheap party dresses under $100 that you might even recycle well past the holiday season. Shop our favorites ahead!