Cheers to That! 6 SF Boutiques for Affordable Party Dresses

 Image via Giphy

Image via Giphy

So you need a party dress. You know you can find something shiny or sequined—and likely on sale—at any of the chain stores in Union Square. Zara and H&M are more than happy to hook you up with holiday-ready looks. But you want to support a small business. No problem.

It may be a challenge to find a cocktail dress for less than $200 in a local boutique, but it's not impossible. To get you started, I've outlined my favorite options below, and included a handy map. (Pro-tip: if you're using the map while shopping, you can click on any of the map points for more details about a store instead of scrolling back up.)

 Image via Ambiance

Image via Ambiance

Ambiance

Four locations at 1458 Haight Street, 1858 Union Street, 3979 24th Street, and 756 Irving Street.

Ambiance maintains a balance of bridge labels like DvF and BCBG, and super-affordable contemporary brands like Ark & Co and Eight Sixty. Whatever your price point, there's something for you on the store's over-stuffed racks.

 

 

 

 Image via Azalea

Image via Azalea

 

 

 

Azalea

Two locations at 411 Hayes Street and 956 Valencia Street. 

Azalea's prices run the gamut between crazy affordable and am-I-crazy-to-spend-this-much-on-a-jacket. If you're on a budget, stay focused on the store's in-house label—a reliable source for on-trend party goodness under $100.

 Image via Cary Lane

Image via Cary Lane

 

 

 

 

Cary Lane

Three locations at 560 Laguna Street, 3153 16th Street, and 1262 9th Avenue. 

This self-described "designer sample outlet" has excellent deals if you have time to dig through the racks, but keep in mind that "designer" is a relative term. You're not going to find Jason Wu or Balmain here, but there are always cute party dresses. For holiday/NYE shoppers, there's a dedicated section of sparkly numbers.

 

 Image via Lexe

Image via Lexe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lexe

Located at 2291 Pine Street

Nestled off the main drag of Fillmore's high end stores, Lexe is one of your best bets for finding a cute dress under $100. If you want to be coy, tell your friends you bought it in Pac Heights. They'll assume you paid way more.

 

 

 Image via My Roommate's Closet

Image via My Roommate's Closet

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Roommate's Closet

Located at 3044 Fillmore Street

Another designer discount spot, this Marina gem has a great selection for a girl on the budget. If you're tight on time, call or email to let the staff know what you're looking for, and they'll pull options in your size. 

 

 

 

 Image via Weston Wear

Image via Weston Wear

 

 

 

 

 

Weston Wear 

Located at 569 Valencia Street

Weston Wear really upped its party dress game this year. Think modern shapes, abstract prints, and cool cut-outs, all hovering right under the $200 mark. The label is both designed and produced in San Francisco, a rarity in the Bay Area.