Your Trend Guide to Prom This Year

Prom season is upon us, and Millennials in high school are prepping for the big night in their own ways. While exploring current prom trends, we fielded data that supports big departures from trends of generations past, even those of older Millennials. Here are the biggest prom trends we’re seeing surface this year and why these shifts are happening:
 
The Dress Stress 

21% of females rated choosing what to wear as the most important part of prom, putting a lot of pressure on prom shopping. 54% of females have already started shopping for their prom attire (note that it’s mid-April) versus 30% of males who will be waiting until 2-3 weeks before the date to secure their suit or tux. The majority of females (35%) plan to shop at department stores for their selection, while 21% are turning to online stores for the best chance of finding deals for their tight budgets.

Showing up in the same dress as a classmate could be considered “social suicide” so internet savvy Millennials are safeguarding against this potential disaster by creating private, school specific Facebook groups to post pictures of the dresses they’ve chosen. High school Prom Dress Registry groups have been multiplying year by year to ensure that girls are safe from dress duplication before they buy. Members (which can be the entire female population of the school) often post to the group with dressing room selfies, and updates if they change their look or want to sell a dress. One might expect that a group with competition for dresses could become catty, but posts are almost unanimously positive, praising each other on how amazing they look in their dresses, regardless of whether they are boutique, store bought, or a hand-me-down.
 
The More the Merrier

63% of Millennials would prefer go to prom with a…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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