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Tickets to the Derby cost a lot of money.

Eating and drinking at the track costs a lot of money.

Sitters cost a lot of money.

Dinner out after the race usually costs a lot of money.

Where is somewhere that you can save money?

Easy answer: Your outfit.

Your Derby or Oaks dress does not have to break the bank. Don’t worry, you will still look on trend and fabulous.  Nobody has to know that you spent less than $50 on your dress.

Here are 12 great dresses for UNDER $50. 

JCP (a.k.a. J.C. Penney) gets Most Improved Award this year. So many cute dresses (and shoes) here, like this adorable yellow and white patterned shift for only $35.

Available for $35 at JCP.

Another great nod to yellow is this yellow lace a-line dress from Target. Would love to pair this with turquoise jewelry.


Available for $27.99 at Target.

This striped cutout back, sleeveless dress can be worn with or without a belt. This cotton dress is sure to be comfortable and flattering as well. Dress it down this summer with flip flops for a more casual look.

Ann Taylor Loft
Available for $49.50 at Ann Taylor Loft

If you are thinking of doing a maxi dress for longer length, this black and white striped dress from Sears does the trick. And it looks oh, so comfortable.

Available for $19.99 at Sears.

This little lady is ready for the track with her metal stud belt and rockin’ pink shades. And this black tube maxi dress from Forever 21 would look great with big floppy wide-brimmed hat.

Available for $14.80 from Forever 21.

So you want color and maybe a trend? How about a peplum dress in , , , or rom Target? I picture this with a big necklace and a pretty, neutral hat.

Available for $27.99 at Target.

Love ruffles and love green, and this little beauty is from Sears for under $50. This color is flattering on everyone as is the cut.

Available for $47.99 at Sears.

This Lacy Tweed Dress from JCP would be another winner for Oaks, with white lace on the top and pink on the bottom.

Available for $40 at JCP.


I love a good neutral dress. This lets you play bold with your hat and jewelry and shoes OR just keep it neutral. It’s your call. This is a lace sheath dress with a belt from Forever 21.

Forever 21
Available for $22.80 at Forever 21.

Want to match your man’s seersucker suit? Here’s your chance in this seersucker dress with yellow sash at JCP.


Available for $35 at JCP.
Available for $35 at JCP.

I cannot pass up an animal print, especially paired with pink. This leopard scarf print dress from Forever 21 would be a cute and original dress for Oaks, when Pink is preferred.

Forever 21
Available for $19.80 at Forever 21.

Love more geometric prints and chevrons? This dress from Blush combines color and pattern for an easy, comfortable look.

Available for $30.99 at Blush.

All of these dresses can be found at national stores and online. Click on links for purchase information. Don’t forget our great local stores and treasure troves for finding budget-conscious dresses, such as The Sassy Fox, Sunny Daize, Margaret’s Consignments, T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s.

Take the money you saved on your dress and bet a trifecta for me. I’m pretty lucky with the ponies, and the dresses.


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About the Author
Heidi Potter