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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Amazon, because it's so convenient. I can order things on Prime with just a few clicks.”—Female, 27, PA 

For the first time, YouTube has been named as kids’ favorite brand. Market research looking at brand awareness, love, and popularity, and found that the content-sharing platform is the top ranked brand among 6-12-year-olds. Beating out Oreo, M&M’s, and Hershey’s—and media brands like Disney and Nickelodeon—YouTube made its way to the top from seventh place last year because “user-generated content is relatable and aspirational.” Parents weren’t far behind in their approval: YouTube came in 13th on their ranked brand list and 94% say they love or like the brand. (MediaPost)

Specialty backpacks and old-school sandals are trending for back-to-school shopping. Google’s analysis of searches and YouTube traffic reveals that although Herschel’s backpack dominated last year, “the top five [backpacks] for 2016 cover a wider range of styles and functionality.” The most searched backpack this year is from Victoria Secret’s Pink brand, and the second most searched is from Sprayground, which is known for their bold designs and celebrity collaborations. For most popular shoes, Birkenstocks takes the lead for the third year in a row, with search traffic rising 46% from last year. (Adweek

Coffee retailers are capitalizing on Millennials’ cold brew obsession. Cold brew—coffee made through a more complex “extraction method to get more nuanced bean flavors that lack the typical acidity and bitterness of a regular cup of Joe”— has trended thanks to young consumers’ love for iced coffee and authenticity. Sales have increased by 115% from 2014-2015, resulting in $7.9 million in revenue, and brands have taken notice. Dunkin Donuts’s play for “Starbucks-loving Millennials” includes adding cold brew coffee to locations nationwide. (BarkleyCNBC

About a third of 18-34-year-olds are still living at home, but it’s more likely to be happening in certain states. According to 2014 census data, New Jersey has the highest population of Millennials living with their parents at 43.9%. Connecticut and New York followed with 38.8% and 37.4% respectively, signifying the the trend is mostly happening within states that have more expensive rental markets. The lowest rates are where “land is plentiful and people are scarce:” North Dakota had 15.7% of young adults living at home and Wyoming had 18.7%. (Curbed NY)

A popular Snapchat series is making its way to the TV screen. Comedy Central’s Swag-A-Saurus With James Davis became the network’s most watched series on their standalone Snapchat Discover channel.  The digital hit features Davis explaining slang terms like ‘Bye, Felicia’ and ‘Looking Friday,’ and by January 2017 it will become its own TV show bringing together “urban and mainstream comedy.” Davis promises the show will be “lit,” and says he’s “excited to work with a network that embraces [his] point-of-view and purpose-driven comedy.” (Tubefilter

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Facebook Messenger because it doesn't tempt me to spend money and it helps me keep in touch with friends.”—Female, 20, IN

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