22 Beautiful Black-Tie Dresses That Are Magically Under $250

Have a black-tie event coming up? Don't have a dress to wear to it? Don't want to spend thousands of dollars on one but also don't want to rent one? We feel that. The glitz and excitement of such a fancy event shouldn't be squandered by the stress of figuring out how to access an ensemble that fits the dress code. While we are firm believers in stocking up your wardrobe with all the basics, we also understand that sometimes you just wait until the last minute to buy the things you need, and if that's the case for you, we want to make sure you know that procrastination doesn't always have to come with a hefty price tag. 

Curious to see if affordable black-tie dresses even existed, we stalked the internet to see what we could find for under $250. Hate to break it to you, but the dress pictured above is Jacquemus. However, this $198 dress that we found looks a whole lot like it, no? And much to our surprise, retailers are flooded with more budget-friendly options that still look so expensive. Now, we're not saying $250 is "cheap," but as far as this formal category goes, it's pretty practical. Ahead, shop the 22 best affordable black-tie dresses we could track down. Buy any of these, keep them in your closet for years, and never be ill-prepared or stressed out for a fancy event again.  

Click in to see all the other dresses this dress can turn into.

Everything from the cowl neck to the diagonal seam makes this one look so elegant. 

A beaded dress with just the right amount of sparkle. 

For under $100, I'd say this dress looks pretty rich. 

Ruby red will always ensure you're the best dressed of the evening. 

Spice things up and opt for a striking set. 

Channel the '90s via this minimal one-shoulder dress.

This affordable number will never go out of style.

That subtle keyhole neckline makes all the difference. 

You might want to snag this one in red as well.

Leave it to Zara to come out with the most regal shade of green. 

Another one you'll be needing in multiple colors. 

Don't wear this if you hate compliments. 

This shade will make for the perfect wedding guest dress come spring. 

With a color this strong, you don't really need much else.

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