Things that guarantee an epic prom night: Going with a super-fun group of people—date optional!—who aren’t above dancing to Ke$ha. Taking some candid iPhone photos of your friends to giggle at later. Getting into a little trouble. (But not too much, okay? It’s hard to enjoy the festivities if you’re sitting in jail.)
Know what you don’t need, though? An outfit that cost a year’s worth of allowance, babysitting and birthday money, plus a bit extra you begged off your dad. Any of the 50 dresses in the slideshow above, all priced for less than $150, will look just as amazing on your Instagram feed (and, more importantly, in that obligatory awkward photo in front of some satin drapery). Of course, since we know that the perfect prom look completely varies from girl to girl, we’ve included options that range from traditional princess gowns to sexy maxis with side slits to feminine fit-and-flare shapes. You don’t have start summer broke to look like your best self, we promise! Click through for proof.