Pulse of the Prom: Consumers Drive Online Junior and Senior Prom Dress Trends

NEW YORK, NY, May 30, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — With the prom dress buying season coming to a close, Occasion Brands, LLC, releases this issue of Pulse of Prom exploring the relationship between fashion industry expectations and consumer buying trends for online junior and senior prom dress shopping. Prom 2018 dress purchasing trends have revolved around affordability, simplicity, and dresses in color shades of burgundy, navy, and mauve/earth tones. This sharply contrasts with 2018 designer and runway presentations that showed bright colors and more intricate design details which are typically seen in expensive, less affordable dresses. Although high-fashion runway styles do not always translate directly to ready-to-wear formal wear, the trends presented in Spring 2018 may predict the top-selling cuts and colors for prom 2019 or 2020.

Consumer Online Purchases Vary from Designer Expectations
Prom dress purchases in 2018 are at a variance with designers and their business expectations. Before the start of the prom dress buying season, many designer brands predicted that allover sequin dresses, bright and bold green dresses, brilliant yellow dresses, rose-embroidered dresses, and asymmetrical-design dresses (like one-shoulder necklines) would be top sellers. These did not correlate to the preferred styles purchased by shoppers for 2018 junior and senior prom. Although the yellow and embroidered dresses are selling well now for summer casual wear, none of these designer predicted trends took a strong hold for online prom sales. Styling trends that were expected to carry over from prom 2017 included off-the-shoulder dresses, high-neck dresses, and criss-crossing high-neck dresses. However, these predicted style trends did not carry over into prom 2018. Consumer purchase trends for junior and senior prom in 2018 have shown a strong preference for sleeveless, v-neck styles. www.promgirl.com

Prom Purchases Lag Runway Fashion and Color Predictions
It takes one to two years for runway style trends to transfer into ready-to-wear prom fashion purchases. Hot styles presented on the runway in 2016,* for example, included off-the-shoulder cuts and criss-crossing necklines, but they did not become top sellers for prom until 2017. The biggest Runway Designer Fashion trends for Spring 2018, as reported by WWD,** included polka dots, stripes, mix-matched prints and colors, stars, velvet, bubble hems, and satin. Many of these trends were not even available in ready-to-wear designer styles this prom season. However, they may make an appearance in prom 2019 since designer previews for the next prom season already show styles with polka dots, satin, and bubble hems. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 was ultra violet, which did not sell for the 2018 prom season but could portend future sales. For example, the Pantone Color of the Year 2016 was blush, and although the color did not sell strongly in 2016, it was a top-selling color among the popular mauve/earth tones for prom 2018. This suggests that the current color of the year, ultra violet, may sell well for prom in 2019 or 2020. Since runway style and color trends tend to impact the formal wear and prom ready-to-wear market a year or so after they make their debut, it’s important for retailers to keep these current colors and style trends in mind for upcoming seasons while also closely monitoring current consumer-buying trends.

The Data
* https://www.elle.com/fashion/trend-reports/g26822/spring-2016-fashion-trends/?slide=3
** http://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-trends/spring-2018-fashion-trends-fashion-week-10988947/

The data for these post prom season trends represents sales and merchandising experience by PromGirl, a leading national online prom retailer, from 2017 through May 2018.

About Occasion Brands, LLC
PromGirl, founded in 1998, has sold over 2 million dresses online and is the largest online retailer of prom and other special-occasion dresses. It offers an unparalleled selection of high-quality, in-stock dresses at all price points. Through the website, mobile and social platforms, PromGirl’s reach is global, delivering “dream dresses” to more than 140 international destinations. As part of the Occasion Brands portfolio, its mission is to be the premier retailer in the special-occasion dress market by providing a world-class shopping experience and maintaining customer trust through an understanding of their needs as they experience some of the most important moments in their lives. Occasion Brands’ staff is based in New York City and Middletown, Delaware, and its state-of-the-art facility in New Jersey houses hundreds of thousands of dresses for PromGirl, Simply Dresses, and Kleinfeld Bridal Party.


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