Mid-Season 2018 Junior Prom Dress Sales Trends

Pulse of Prom

Mid-Season Prom Dress Sales Trends Show Affordable Long Styles in Dark Colors Prevail for Junior Prom

New York, NY, April 17, 2018 --

With the prom dress buying season ramping up, Occasion Brands, LLC, releases this issue of Pulse of Prom with the 2018 mid-season’s online purchase trends for both junior and senior proms in the United States. As peak season approaches, senior prom dress sales continue to dominate at 58% of total prom sales. Making up the remaining 42%, purchases for junior prom represent a significant portion of all prom dress sales. While the top dress styles sold nationally for both junior and senior prom so far this season show a clear preference for long, formal styles in shades of red, junior prom purchases are more affordably priced below $200. Junior prom dress buyers are choosing dresses in darker shades, compared to the brighter, spring hues selected by senior prom purchasers.

Long, Formal Styles Prevail

With all of the top dress styles sold for junior and senior proms boasting floor length hemlines, it appears that formal style is the preferred look for both events this year. While the skirts of the top ten styles sometimes feature variations, such as slits or high-low cuts, all finish with floor-sweeping hemlines. Historically, long dresses are typically reserved for formal proms and short dresses for semi-formal proms. As none of the styles in the national top ten rankings for junior and senior prom are short dresses, it’s clear that junior proms this season are just as formal as senior proms.

Affordability is Key for Junior Prom

Nationwide, the top styles purchased for junior prom feature the same trendy designer looks sought for senior prom, but at a lower cost. For junior prom, 70% of dress sales are under $200, and 89% are under $300. On the other hand, 63% of senior prom dress sales are under $200, 84% are under $300, and 97% are under $400. While the preferred styling across the board are similar for junior and senior proms, for junior prom sales, affordability takes priority over specific designer brand names. This marks a key difference in the purchases made for junior versus senior proms. Consumers are willing to spend over $300 for specific designer styles for senior prom, but they shop for the same look for less than $200 for junior prom.

Stand-Out Design Features on Classic Styles Prevail

The top 10 prom dresses coveted nationally continue to be long, v-neck, and slightly a-line styles with minimal beading, sequins or embellishments. This shows a clear preference for simple and classic styling. However, each of the top selling dresses features one “stand out” element that differentiates it from the other styles. Double slits, embroidered-illusion bodices, and exaggerated high-low side slits are a few examples of the “stand out” features on popular styles. These provide a modern twist to otherwise classic looks.

Dark Colors for Juniors, Brighter Shades for Seniors

Darker colors are the hues of choice for junior prom this year; whereas, brighter, spring shades prevail for senior prom. Deep burgundy, rich hunter green, bold navy, and elegant black dominate the nationwide top junior prom color choices for the mid-season trends. Meanwhile, bright reds, ethereal champagnes, muted mauves, and subtle earth tones are the preferred shades for senior prom. Red, in varying hues, reigns supreme across the styles purchased for both junior and senior prom. It remains to be seen if these trends will hold true throughout the season.

The Data

The data for these early season prom trends represents sales between January 1 and April 8, 2018 across the United States by PromGirl, a leading national online prom retailer.

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 and its sister brand, Simply Dresses.