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

Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is to improve my dog's confidence- She's somewhat fearful.”—Female, 28, PA

At some malls, teens “have worn our their welcome.” Cases of teens banding together on social media and going to malls to create chaos have reportedly been increasing over recent years. To avoid giving consumers another reason to shop online, some shopping centers—105 in the U.S. according to the International Council of Shopping Centers—have responded by imposing curfews and bans on the young consumers. The legality of such restrictions has been called to question, with the ACLU working to fight discrimination at play. (LA Times)

Millennial parents are getting by with a little—ok, maybe a lot—of help from their own parents. A TD Ameritrade survey has found that 19-37-year-olds who have kids get $11,000 on average from their parents through financial support or unpaid labor, and more than half get assistance through childcare or housekeeping weekly. But the assistance isn’t one-sided: three-quarters of 50-70-year-olds with Millennial children say they’re glad to help, and four in ten Millennials say they help their parents too, with an average of $2000 in 2016. (USA TODAYBusiness Wire)

The NFL is looking outside their traditional playbook to reach young fans. The league has partnered with AwesomenessTV for In The NFL, a new series that “lifts the curtain” to give a behind-the-scenes look at the sport. Since "a 17-year-old girl doesn't want to watch the same content as her mom or her dad,” some episodes have a young female focus, with one starring YouTube stars the Merrell twins taking a tour of a stadium, and another featuring one of the few female owners in the NFL, Kim Pegula, offering career tips to young women. (Adweek)

Can the future generation of shoppers save brick-and-mortar retail? Maybe. A new IBM and National Retail Federation study has revealed that 67% of 13-21-year-olds shop in-store most of the time, while another 31% occasionally buy from them. One analyst notes that their desire for “hands-on experience” is setting their preferences, but lack of credit cards and life stage are also likely forces deterring them from online shopping—and we predict that if fintech solutions are developed with teens in mind it could be a fatal blow for physical teen retailers. (RackedBusiness Wire

The sharing economy may be impacting Millennial spending. Research by Hammerson and retail consultant Verdict found that more than half of Millennials used a sharing economy business like Uber or Airbnb in the last year, compared to 16.2% of those over 35-years-old. Nearly a quarter of Millennials say they aren’t concerned about home ownership and would be content with renting for the rest of their lives, and when compared to those over 35-year-olds, they're two times more likely to agree that there are some products they don’t need to own and would prefer to rent. (Forbes

Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is to live my life the way Carrie Fisher would have wanted me to.”—Female, 21, TX

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