Fashion Preferences in Millennials

In the world of media and fashion, trends are constantly changing. Thanks to millennials, the phrase “Out with the old and in with the new” is not always accurate. Millennial, or Generation Y, is the term given to those with the birth dates ranging roughly from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s.

Millennials are the “new adults” of this generation, setting their own standards and styles. More and more millennial shoppers are turning away from department stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney, and turning towards boutique-like shopping venues much like Urban Outfitters and H&M.

In the past, generations have always looked for the most expensive name brand products. Now, millennals tend to search for cheap but trendy fashion. Since the term millennial represents those now in their 20’s and 30’s, they are often still paying student loans and getting established in their career so they often have less disposable income.

Unlike Generation X, those with the birth dates ranging from the early 1960’s to the early 1980’s, millennial shoppers do not shop with the purpose of buying anything. Shopping is used today as a way to hang out and socialize with friends and family members. Retailers such as Target and Urban Outfitters have found ways to make their stores friendlier by adding places to get coffee within the store.

Retailers are trying to find new ways to connect social media into an off-line setting. According to the article published by USA Today, stores like Nordstrom are physically displaying media popularity by putting pins on shoes in their footwear department. These pins display the shoes popularity on Pinterest, making them more appealing to consumers.

The next generation, Generation Z, are those that are 18 years old and under. This generation will be the next to set the challenge for retailers. Since those 18 and under are already so connected to social media, retailers will have to find a new and effective way to connect the virtual world with the physical world.

Ashley Derr, 16, a Shepherdstown resident, prefers to buy her clothes from Forever 21.

“Since I change my fashion pretty frequently I like to buy cheap things because I don’t necessarily need things to last long,” Derr said.

Following the trends of social media, Derr said she is more likely to purchase something she has seen on Tumblr. “I feel pretty and cool and Tumblr always has everything new in fashion.”

Renzo Velez, 25, a Shepherd University student, said his favorite place to shop is Gabe’s.

“I usually just browse when I shop but I usually look for cool flannels or button ups and pants as long as they are cheap even though Gabe’s is just cheap in general,” Velez said.

“When I shop I usually just like to look around,” said Emilee Pierson, 21, a Shepherd University communications major who says she prefers buying her clothes from Old Navy. “I usually look for cheaper stuff and if it’s expensive I have to really like it to buy it.”

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