Solid-Color A-Line Dresses for Under $100 Prevail Again for a Third Homecoming Sales Year

Pulse of Homecoming


New York, NY, October 8, 2019 --

As the season comes to a close, Occasion Brands, LLC (OB), releases this 2019 issue of Pulse of Homecoming to highlight the 2019 online dress sales trends for homecoming. End of season data revealed that trends for online homecoming sales have been consistent over the last three years. Regional data shows the Midwest represented the largest percentage of online homecoming dress sales each year for the past three years. Data from 2017 to 2019 also shows that affordability is key, as more than half of all homecoming dress sales each year were under $100. Although there have been some slight variations with dress necklines, hues, and stand-out features over the last three years, the top styles from 2017, 2018, and 2019 showed a strong preference for short a-line dresses in solid colors.

Midwest Dominates Homecoming Dress Sales

The Midwest region represented the largest number of dress sales the last three seasons. In 2019, 45% of homecoming dress sales were in the Midwest, which is comparable to 45% of dress sales in 2018 and 46% in 2017. The South came in second all three years with 29% of total homecoming dress sales in 2019, 30% in 2018, and 29% in 2017. The Northeast and West trailed behind with 14% and 12% respectively in 2019. Both regions represented 13% of total homecoming dress purchases in 2018. In 2017, the Northeast had 12%, while the West had 13%. The breakdown for each region was consistent from 2017, 2018, and 2019. This likely includes a mixture of college and high school homecoming purchases each year. With such a stark variation between the regions all three years, it’s possible that football and the accompanying homecoming celebrations are more highly celebrated and prominent in the Midwest and South. This could also be attributed to a higher demand for online options as a result of fewer brick-and-mortar special-occasion dress stores compared to the Northeast and West.

Majority of Homecoming Dress Purchases Continue to Be Under $100

The sales trends for 2017, 2018, and 2019 show that a clear majority of consumers seek affordable styles for homecoming. Over half of all homecoming dresses sold each year for the last three years were under $100 (59% in 2017, 55% in 2018, and 62% in 2019). Also, in all three years, the price range with the highest percent of sales was $50 to $99. This price range accounted for 45% of dresses sold in 2019 and 47% in 2017 and 2018. A growing percentage of consumers purchased homecoming dresses for under $50 in 2019. In 2017, 12% of consumers spent less than $50 on their homecoming dresses, 8% in 2018, but in 2019 16% of consumers spent less than $50. This shows that while the trend is to spend under $100 on a homecoming dress, an increasing number of consumers are spending less than $50.

Solid-Colored A-Line Dresses Have Prevailed Since 2017

While there has been some variation in the favored designs and colors over the last three years, consumers have shown a clear preference in 2017, 2018, and 2019 for short a-line dresses in solid colors. In 2017 and 2018, the top-selling dresses sold were for short a-line styles with either a v-neckline or high neckline. Two-piece and mock-two-piece styles were prevalent in 2017, but this trend faded by homecoming 2018. Pockets emerged as an early trend in some of the top 2018 styles and made an appearance among top-selling styles in the 2019 season as well. For the 2019 homecoming season, the preference was for short a-line dresses with v-necklines and a standout feature (such as an embellished bodice or statement back). Of the top 30 styles sold for homecoming in 2019 (representing 20% of all homecoming dress sales), 100% were short styles, 87% were a-line, and 70% had v-necklines (from subtle to plunging). Additionally, 60% of the top 30 styles sold had statement backs (illusion backs, lace backs, strappy backs), 33% had pockets, and 33% had embroidered/embellished bodices.

While the range of popular color choices for homecoming dresses has continued to expand over the last three years, solid colors were the clear winners with consumers. Burgundy red was the top color for 2017. In 2018, consumer trends showed a slightly stronger preference for navy blue, followed by a return of burgundy red and the emergence of a new trending color, mauve pink. These three colors - burgundy red, navy blue, and mauve pink - became the top three colors sold for the 2019 homecoming season. Of the top 30 styles sold for homecoming in 2019, 32% were dark navy blue, 23% were burgundy red, and 16% were in shades of mauve. Yellow popped up as an emerging color trend for the 2019 season, with 4% of the top styles sold in this color. Also, top-selling styles showed an increased variation in shades of blue and pink in 2019 compared to the previous two years. Of the top-selling styles, 6% were light blue and 7% were in shades of pink different from mauve. Even with new hues growing in popularity each year, burgundy red and navy blue have dominated the past three years as two of the top color choices for homecoming dresses.

The Data

The 2019 data for these homecoming sales trends represents orders placed online between July 1st and October 1st. The 2017 and 2018 data is from August 15th to October 15th. Customers self report their online purchases as homecoming dresses upon placing their orders. All data is across the United States by Occasion Brands, LLC, a leading national online dress retailer.

For more information about Pulse of Homecoming, please contact: Ashley Binda at ashleybd@occasionbrands.com.

About Occasion Brands, LLC

PromGirl, founded in 1998, has sold over 2 million dresses online and is the largest online retailer of prom, homecoming, 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, PromGirl supports the Occasion Brands mission 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 and its sister brands, Simply Dresses and Kleinfeld Bridal Party. In 2018, Occasion Brands expanded its reach by opening a PromGirl pop-up store in New Jersey, a Simply Dresses pop-up store in New York City, and a Kleinfeld Bridal Party Showroom located on the upper level of the Kleinfeld Bridal store.