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Formal Dresses in Brisbane: New and Pre-loved Gowns for All Budgets

If you’re searching for formal dresses in Brisbane, then you’re in exactly the right place! It may seem hard to find formal dress shops in Brisbane, but once you know where to look there is plenty of choice. There really are options to suit every budget, too. Even when that equals zero.

Whether you’re a high school student looking for cheap formal dresses or semi formal dresses, or a grown up looking for ball gowns or evening dresses that are sleek, slinky or even sparkly, we can point you in the direction of the best formal shops in Brisbane. We have listed the best places to get dresses for teenagers as well as adults in our local guide.

From affordable formal dresses for sale in the city to stores selling upmarket formal wear in Brisbane, we’ve got it all covered. Beginning with second hand formal dresses for those who don’t want to splash too much cash to smart shops like Gossip Gowns of Brisbane, you’ll be able to pick exactly where to shop for evening gowns by the end of this article. 

Read on to discover the most fabulous formal gowns Brisbane has to offer! So you can get those Year 11 semi-formal and Year 12 formal dresses all sewn up. Without further ado, here are the 10 best pre-loved and new formal dress shops in the Brisbane area. 

formal dress shops brisbane

Pre-loved formal dresses in Brisbane

If you’re on a tight budget, fear not! The trio of formal dress boutiques in Brisbane featured here specialise in second hand gowns for those on a budget. Even if you cannot stretch to buying a dress at any price, read on to find out what Tammy at Formally Ever After could do for your family. 

1. Formally Ever After

We are totally in awe of the wonderful Tammy from Formally Ever After! Her program in Logan, QLD literally makes semi-formal and formal dreams come true. Families who can’t stretch to brand new semi-formal or formal dresses in Brisbane city and the surrounding areas can get gowns from her supply for FREE! 

Tammy and her team have dressed over 3,000 students from over 200 local schools. This is such an important service, as it helps those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go to their formals. Formally Ever After works by gifting on donated formal wear and accessories.

If you need black tie for a boy, Formally Ever After can also help. Why not take a look at their page, Formally Ever After on Facebook? This community programme is 100% free to each and every person. 

Tammy’s aim is to empower those students who would be struggling to attend their formals, lifting the burden from overstretched families. All students can be assisted, whether they are pushed financially, or have physical or mental disabilities or health issues. 

Formally Ever After works to create a positive body image, and provides a safe, inclusive space. The organisation has been helping students since 2019, and during that time has also been involved in other important community projects. At one point, they even dressed a student based in the UK!

The project receives donated formal wear from all over Australia, and if your family needs help then Tammy will always do her best. She says she’s “just a mum who grew up in this area, and knows what it feels like to not have much, and to feel like you aren’t enough”. We say she’s incredible – and her support knows no bounds. In fact some call her “Brisbane’s fairy godmother”. 

2. The Gown Lounge

If you do want to buy a dress, then one of the more affordable formal dress stores in Brisbane is The Gown Lounge. In fact this shop is recommended by Tammy from Formally Ever After, as the owner donates a lot of items to her project. 

The owner is lovely, and the store stocks both pre-loved and new gowns for you to choose from. For plus size formal dresses in Brisbane, this is also the place to go. It’s also the number one choice for anyone who wants to wear glitter, satin or sequins, or simply to ramp up the glam factor. 

The Gown Lounge also stocks vintage formal dresses. If you want to shop here, the store is run on an appointment only basis, and is based in Ferny Hills. 

3. Dare Formal Wear

Dare Formal Wear is also a non-profit organisation. Based in Strathpine, this one also offers new or secondhand gowns at affordable prices. Whether you want white, pink, blue, purple, black or red formal dresses in Brisbane – or another colour – you should be able to find it here. 

Dare also deals in wedding wear, which like the prom dresses are donated to the project. A percentage of Dare’s proceeds are used to support victims of domestic violence and abuse. The sale of gowns thus funds the charity run by Karen Johns, a fully qualified school teacher. 

Nothing that’s sold at Dare Formal Wear is expensive, so it’s well worth checking out if you want to buy a dress but are limited by a tight budget. 

formal wear brisbane

Brand new formal wear in Brisbane

If you’re lucky enough to be able to treat your child to a brand new formal dress, then there are lots of options to choose from. Based on the personal experiences of the Families Magazine team, here’s seven of the best formal dress shops in Brisbane. Every one of these comes highly recommended!

4. Gossip Gowns

Tammy from Formally Ever After also heartily recommends Gossip Gowns. Like other local stores, this one has also donated dresses to Tammy’s project. Based on Bennetts Road in the Norman Park area, the shop stocks hundreds of gowns to fit all sizes. 

It’s clearly a popular choice, with over 21,000 Facebook likes! Shopping here is a real experience, as it’s a beautiful store. There are plenty of fitting rooms, too, so you won’t have to wait around for long. 

Like other formal dress boutiques in Brisbane, Gossip is by appointment only. So do make a booking with the store in advance, which is open daily. This will reserve you a fitting room. Alternatively, you can shop online with Gossip if you need to. 

Sherri Hill dresses are a particular specialty at Gossip Gowns, and new styles are added to the store on a weekly basis. If your teen wants to check out what’s hot before visiting the shop, then they can follow Gossip on Instagram and TikTok. 

All the accessories they could ever need are also available at Gossip. These include garment bags, fashion tape, handbags and jewellery. There is also a tailoring service to ensure the perfect fit. 

5. Sentani Boutique

Sentani has also donated formal wear to Formally Ever After, and is also recommended by Tammy as one of the best formal dress stores in Brisbane. It’s a one stop shop for all sorts of formal wear, including teen, wedding and bridesmaid gowns. They also stock outfits and accessories for wedding guests.

The store is based in the Milton area, on Lang Parade. At the time of writing, you can snap up a 10% discount by booking a weekday rather than a weekend appointment. As with other formal dress shops in Brisbane city, you should book a slot in advance. Sentani calls these styling sessions, and each lasts for half an hour. 

Take a look at Sentani’s website and you can see how many styles they cover. Their formal wear selection includes sequinned, A-line, corset, off-the-shoulder and glittery gowns. You can also shop for new arrivals, or take a look at the items on sale. 

In fact with Sentani’s special offers, it’s possible to snap up dresses for under $200. You can also browse gowns under $350 or under $500. Some have up to 75% off the original sale price, though of course these will be available in limited sizes and colours. 

6. Miss Runway

If you’re seeking formal dresses in Indooroopilly, then we’ve found Miss Runway to be a great option. Based at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, they encourage every customer to pay the store a personal visit rather than shopping online for a gown. This way you can touch and try on before buying. 

Some of the popular labels stocked by Miss Runway include Dream Dresses, Two Sisters The Label, Jadore and MRB The Label. All kinds of formal and semi-formal dresses in Brisbane are in stock at the shop – or of course can be ordered in your size. 

For a sneak peak in advance of your visit, the Miss Runway website shows dresses by colour, fabric and style. You can also shop the exclusive collection, or for cheap formal dresses at clearance prices. 

7. Formal Wear of Brisbane

Formal Wear of Brisbane – or FWOB as they call it – is another of the most popular suppliers of evening wear in Brisbane. As well as one of our favourites. They specialise in offering the latest styles in sizes 2 to 20, and prices are between around $470 and $850. 

What makes this store stand out is the space. You can take along several friends or family members, who can wait in your own viewing area while you try on dresses. Meanwhile, your personal stylist will assist you in finding the perfect frock. Private room appointments can also be booked in advance. 

Gowns in all the colours of the rainbow – and then some – are available at FWOB. Or you might even get lucky and snag a sub-$200 bargain, in one of the up to 70% off sales. 

8. Miss Savage

Our list of formal and semi-formal dress shops in Brisbane continues with us recommending Miss Savage. This one specialises in red carpet, black tie and formal wear, so there’s plenty of choice. The Bariano Custom Collection is also stocked here, as well as their other ranges.

Miss Savage is also appointment-only, and you can find the boutique in the Paddington area. You can search the shop online by event in advance of your visit, or select the style you want. These include backless, fishtail, halter neck, strapless and plus size gowns. 

Alternatively, choose your fabric first. Those offered include lace, sequins, silk chiffon, tulle and velvet. 

9. JK Evening Wear

Whether you’re looking for something a little different or want to find more affordable options, JK Evening Wear ticks both boxes. They sell prom dresses in Brisbane alongside all the shoes, bags and other accessories you could wish for. Even casual wear and jumpsuits are stocked, as well as undergarments.

Whether you fancy a short, frothy cocktail dress like something worn by a Dancing with the Stars contestant, a comfortable jumpsuit or a full length evening gown, JK can provide it. They also sell the underwear you’ll need, high heels to finish off the outfit and a range of gorgeous bags and jewellery. 

Prices overall are some of the most reasonable we’ve found for brand new formal dresses in Brisbane city. You can also pick up body shapers, bras and nipple covers while shopping at JK. 

10. A Formal Affair

A Formal Affair is also among the more affordable formal boutiques in Brisbane. Uniquely, they offer a drop-in service with no appointment necessary, and we love the fact that you can shop whenever the whim takes you. Or perhaps whenever you’re passing through North Brisbane, as the showroom can be found in Alderley. 

The store is open seven days a week, and you can shop brands such as Jadore, Jovani Fashions, Mori Lee, Sherri Hill and Tania Olsen. Sizes stocked here run from 00 to 34, so you can find something beautiful to suit anyone.

With over 400 formal dress styles offered along with around 60 semi-formal frocks, there’s lots to choose from at A Formal Affair

Where will you buy formal dresses in Brisbane?

If you’ve been looking for formal wear in Brisbane city, we hope this guide has helped you out. Whether you can afford to splash out on a $1,000 gown for your child’s big night or need the help of Formally Ever After, there are options to suit every single family.

From pre-loved formal dresses in Brisbane or affordable brand new ones to designer gowns that will make their friends’ jaws drop, there really are formal stores in Brisbane to suit every budget. As well as every preference when it comes to cut, colour, style and size.

PS. W even know where you can get the best Christmas dresses too!

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Joanne Crane

Joanne loves speaking directly to people of all ages through the medium of writing, sharing tips and knowledge for families and kids to help everyone get the most out of life. Her focus is on the development of resilience, confidence and independence in children, and on helping families engage and create lasting memories. Self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth are vital skills that Joanne believes children need to learn early to help them grow as adults.

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