Top ten: Affordable party-dress stores

Before you hit the holiday soiree circuit, snag a frock for $100 or less at these girly havens.

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  • Callalilai

  • Photograph: Chiara Marinai

    Aoyama Itchome crushed-velvet strapless dress, $97, at Callalilai

  • Photograph: Chiara Marinai

    Aoyama Itchome leaf-print flutter-sleeve frock, $97, at Callalilai

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Cutie Room

  • Ark & Co. printed wrap dress, $98, at Cutie Room

  • Double Zero tennis dress, $95, at Cutie Room

  • Hot & Delicious dress with exposed zippers, $98, at Cutie Room

  • Dalaga

  • Ya Los Angeles 3-D rose-covered dress, $80, at Dalaga

  • Jack cross-back dress, $70, at Dalaga

  • BB Dakota pleated chiffon frock, $95, at Dalaga

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    eDressMe

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    Darling polka-dot-print frock with vertical ruffles, $82, at eDressMe

  • Sentimental NY sheer bat-sleeved dress, $98, at eDressMe

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    All the Rage studded cuff, $24, at eDressMe

  • Photograph: courtesy Fanaberie

    Fanaberie

  • C.luce ruffled frock with contrasting sash, $65, at Fanaberie

  • Ryu faux-suede sweetheart-neckline dress with sheer sleeves, $69, at Fanaberie

  • Theme dress with ruched sides, $59, at Fanaberie

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    Maiko

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    Circle-print three-quarter-sleeve dress, $39, at Maiko

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    Polka-dot dress with exposed-zipper pockets, $39, at Maiko

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    Three-quarter-sleeve dress with embellished shoulders, $39, at Maiko

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    Oh So Dressy

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    Sequin Hearts one-shoulder ruffle dress, $70, at Oh So Dressy

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    Sequin Hearts floral dress with sash, $70, at Oh So Dressy

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    Metallic clutch, $70, at Oh So Dressy

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    Pop

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    Champagne & Strawberries chambray-and-lace patterned dress, $88, at Pop

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    Moon Collection abstract-designed fitted frock, $58, at Pop

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    Flying Tomato 1920s-inspired sequined dress, $78, at Pop

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    AMA Footwear suede leopard-print platform heels, $48, at Pop

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    PaulNKC faux-snakeskin pillbox bag, $48, at Pop

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    Purdy Girl

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

    Purdy Girl

  • Photograph: Chiara Marinai

    Esley satin frock with fabric-wrapped floral belt, $98, at Purdy Girl

  • Moon Collection sparkling, asymmetrically hemmed frock, $72, at Purdy Girl

  • Ark & Co. gold sequin party dress, $98, at Purdy Girl

  • Everly tribal-print shift, $88, at Purdy Girl

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Shishi

  • Ark & Co. pleated dress featuring velvet polka dots, $89, at Shishi

  • Photograph: Chiara Marinai

    Mai Tai convertible maxidress, $89, at Shishi

  • Sugar Lips multicolored ruffled frock, $89, at Shishi

Callalilai


RECOMMENDED: Best shops in NYC

Callalilai
Boho party girls who favor Japanese-inspired cuts and wild prints to sequined, JWoww-styled minis will have a hard time choosing from the dizzying array of sophisticated, wallet-friendly frocks at this local mini chain. The Asian-themed decor—complete with Oriental birdcages, Harajuku girl parasols and vases filled with long peacock feathers—creates a whimsical backdrop for the classic clothes with a twist. All of the threads are by house brands Aoyama Itchome and Aioty, and our favorite lineup of holiday attire includes crushed-velvet strapless numbers with shimmery details ($97) and leaf-print flutter-sleeve frocks ($97). You can even wear some styles straight from the office to after-work shindigs, including tunics with gathered draping at the hip ($79) and zigzag-patterned baby-doll dresses ($55). Complete your look with locally made baubles from Arrows and Hearts, a line of leather-and-feather pieces ($9--$77), and Erica Lasan's (also the assistant manager at the Nolita location) Qurica collection of semiprecious gems mixed with chains ($19--$132). Mention TONY for 30 percent off all purchases through December 31. 296 Atlantic Ave between Hoyt and Smith Sts, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (718-875-1790) * 827 Broadway between E 12th and E 13th Sts (212-477-7377) * 43 Spring St between Mott and Mulberry Sts (212-334-2188) * callalilai.com

Cutie Room
While there is barely any decor in this all-white, minimalist boutique, the rainbow-hued selection of dresses ($78--$188), gauzy tops ($65--$138) and accessories ($18--$68) make it a festive shopping destination. If you're willing to spend up to $200 (which is the price cap for everything in the entire store), you can choose from popular local brands such as Yumi Kim and Amanda Uprichard. Budget-friendly buys are also in the mix, including Double Zero tennis dresses ($95) and Hot & Delicious frocks with exposed zippers ($98) and metal-trimmed styles ($88). Diane von Furstenberg devotees will be fighting over Ark & Co. printed wrap dresses ($98), while Kate Middleton wanna-bes can rock Emmez flamboyant, oversize headbands ($8--$44) fit for a royal wedding. Colorful stone gold jewelry ($18--$65) from Raised by Wolves NYC and Agapantha, vintage leather clutches ($65--$100) and feminine Charm NYC reversible, handmade hats ($78--$88) will have you Theatre Row--ready in no time. Mention TONY for 15 percent off all purchases (except jewelry and hats) through December 31. 5 Rivington St between Bowery and Chrystie St (212-925-2557, cutieroomnyc.com)

Dalaga
Much like an indie H&M, the trendy selection at this romantic boutique won't drain your bank account and the turnover is high. The mantra here is if you love it, grab it, since most pieces sell out in a couple of days, and new styles are added throughout the week. Upbeat indie-rock plays in the background while bargain hunters comb the racks for dresses ($80--$100), jackets ($90--$140) and separates ($40--$95). Whip out your credit card for sexy Jack cross-back dresses ($70), Ya Los Angeles 3-D rose-covered styles ($80), BB Dakota pleated chiffon frocks ($95) and Ark & Co. sequin numbers ($98). Add a whiff of seductiveness by misting your wrists with Dalaga's house-made perfume, redolent of lilac, apple and peach ($55--$110), and fake a Pilates tummy with a pair of cult-favorite Spanx shapewear tights ($40). Mention TONY for 15 percent off all dresses through December 31 (limit one per customer). 150 Franklin St between Greenpoint Ave and Kent St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-389-4049, dalaganyc.com)

eDressMe
When it comes to finding fancy frocks, this open-to-the-public showroom is NYC's mother ship. Discover more than 100 varieties from well-known department store brands such as Nicole Miller, Kay Unger and BCBG. "Our dresses aren't the preppy ones you would wear to a rehearsal dinner," notes CEO Joanne Stoner. "They're the ones you would wear for cocktails or out to clubs." Although the showroom only carries a few of each style, your chances of scoring are still high—60 percent of the stock is priced under $100. Pick up something fresh for New Year's Eve, such as Classique body-con styles ($52--$56), eDressMe Private Collection one-shoulder dresses ($39), Darling polka-dot-print frocks with vertical ruffles ($82) and Sentimental NY sheer bat-sleeved numbers ($98). Top your new look with luxe fur, beaded and lace boleros ($165--$275) or cheap, edgy jewelry, such as All the Rage studded cuffs ($24) and eDressMe Private Collection bronze dangling earrings ($6). Mention TONY for 15 percent off all purchases through December 31. 325 W 38th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 17th floor (212- 239-6505, edressme.com)

Fanaberie
Polish engineer turned fashion maven Ella Sikorski has a winning formula for running a successful boutique: Price everything in the store, save for a few heavier coats and larger bags, at $100 or less. Throw in the fact that Sikorski's self-described "whimsical, indie, vintage-inspired and eclectic" taste is on-trend, and she keeps us coming back for more. There's a real neighborhood feel (Sikorski knows many of her customers by name), and vintage velvet, thronelike chairs offset the quirky modern yellow-striped wallpaper and deer-headed mannequins. Dazzle at your next fancy affair in Ryu faux-suede sweetheart-neckline dresses with sheer sleeves ($69), C.luce ruffled frocks with contrasting sashes ($65), Theme numbers with ruched sides ($59) and Freeway polka-dot styles featuring Peter Pan collars ($55). Feel no buyer's remorse for adding on inexpensive extras, such as $10 cocktail rings or $20 studded-leather bracelets. Mention TONY in-store or use code "TONY" while shopping online to receive 20 percent off all purchases through December 31. 102A Nassau Ave between Eckford and Leonard Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (347-987-3929, fanaberienyc.com)

Maiko
Every Wednesday, this minimalist shop receives new shipments of seriously cheap threads, ensuring that you don't have to dip into your piggy bank to find a unique outfit. Racks of dresses (all priced at just $39) line the walls of the simple space, and a table in the center showcases colorful belts ($10). Brand-whores should skip this one, since you won't find any recognizable labels. You will, however, discover one-of-a-kind looks, such as ruffle-sleeved frocks in an assortment of jewel tones, peplum-waisted dresses, pleated one-shoulder styles, fringed numbers and paint brush--printed, multicolored dresses. Before you cash out, snag a glitzy cocktail ring ($15--$19) or pair of dangling earrings ($13) by the register. 71-11 Austin St between 71st Ave and 71st Rd, Forest Hills, Queens (718-268-8002)

Oh So Dressy
As the name suggests, this dress mecca has been outfitting Queens residents in black-tie and cocktail-ready pieces since 1993. The dazzling array includes more than 800 frocks, most of which will run you under $200. Although you may initially be blinded by the bling (in the form of prom gowns and crystal tiaras), there are plenty of sophisticated styles to be found. On a recent visit, we fancied floral frocks with sashes ($70) and one-shoulder ruffle dresses ($70) from Sequin Hearts, as well as XOXO empire-waist numbers ($70). While the shop offers bejeweled earrings ($15--$125), necklaces ($20--$350) and bracelets ($15--$200), the standout accessories are the clutches. Choose from more than 1,000 evening bags ($25--$650), including vintage-inspired suede audieres ($60) and metallic Art Deco styles ($70). Bonus: There's a parking lot for those blessed with automobiles. Mention TONY for 20 percent off all purchases through December 31. 4601 108th St between 46th and 47th Aves, Corona, Queens (718-760-3041)

Pop
The vast majority of Pop's frocks are priced under $100, making it essential for gals on shoestring budgets. Since the boutique carries only a few sizes of each style and rarely reorders, you'd better act fast if you want to nab Flying Tomato 1920s-inspired sequined dresses ($78), Moon Collection abstract-design fitted frocks ($58) and BB Dakota snug velvet numbers ($68). Esley belted secretary-chic dresses ($48) and artsy Champagne & Strawberries chambray-and-lace patterned versions ($88) are sophisticated enough to double for work and play. You won't have a problem finding funky outfit-making accoutrements on the vintage-fabric-lined shelves, which display AMA Footwear suede leopard-print platform heels ($48) and PaulNKC vegan-friendly, faux-snakeskin pillbox bags ($48). Mention TONY for 20 percent off all dresses through December 31. 310 Grand St between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-6001, shoppop.com)

Purdy Girl
This trio of stores is unabashedly girly, from the glittering chandeliers to the overwhelmingly large display of blingy costume jewelry ($29--$200). At first, you may be drawn to the designer duds from Tracy Reese, Trina Turk and Nicole Miller ($189--$489), but that doesn't mean you should write the boutique off as being a total budget-buster. If you hunt—and you won't have to look too hard—you'll find absolute steals, including Esley satin frocks with fabric-wrapped floral belts ($98), Everly tribal-print shifts ($88) and Alice Moon by Moon Collection sparkling, asymmetrically hemmed frocks ($72). This is also one-stop soiree shopping at it's finest, since Purdy Girl stocks every accessory you need to get decked out for a night out, including NuNu Couture hosiery ($10), Spanish Creation heels ($174), Moyna beaded clutches ($39--$229) and dressy jackets ($89--$389) in luxe fabrics such as velvet and tweed. Mention TONY for 20 percent off all full-price purchases through December 31. 540 LaGuardia Pl between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts (646-654-6751) * 220 Thompson St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts (212-529-8385) * 464 Columbus Ave between 82nd and 83rd Sts (212-787-1964) * purdygirlnyc.com

Shishi
Avoid showing up to the party wearing the same dress as someone else by snagging a unique piece from this stylish boutique, which only carries a few sizes of each style and changes stock every week. If you allow charismatic owner Yael Levertov to lead you through the teal-walled shop, you'll discover special finds such as Sugar Lips multicolored ruffled frocks ($89), Ark & Co. dresses featuring velvet polka dots ($89) and Hot & Delicious lam strapless styles ($79). But the real way to stand out is by accessorizing with the store's exclusives, such as Ronimo pearl-and-chain necklaces ($79), ROXoxox wrap bracelets that double as necklaces ($69) and Marly Moretti one-of-a-kind agate-studded clutches ($85). Mention TONY for 20 percent off all dresses and 10 percent off all accessories through December 15. 2488 Broadway between W 92nd and W 93rd Sts (646-692-4510)

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