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Trend Mar 2, 2020 4 min read

5 viral dress trends to act on

Volume, frills and feminine necklines. How to make your dresses go viral.

viral dress

Following Zara’s success in 2019, all brands are striving to hit this year’s ‘it’ dress jackpot. In light of this, we highlight the emerging dress trends of SS20 with a focus on those with viral potential.

We analyzed dress trends based on the products arriving since the start of the year from the top 20 online retailers spanning the US and UK market. Read on to discover key data, inspirational direction and how to take action.

EDITED data influences how Zara, boohoo and Marni make decisions about top-performing trends. Get in touch to see our Retail Decision Platform in action.

1. High volume

Ariana Grande broke the internet in a cloud of Giambattista Valli tulle at this year’s Grammy Awards. Oversized, space-occupying shapes have been bubbling up on the runway in recent seasons, where SS20 looks to be the season celebrities and retailers alike will get behind this trend.

• New in for 2020: 299

• YoY Arrivals: ▲64%

• Top Stocked Trend Colorway: Blue

• Average Full Price: $101.44/£40.00

• Tips & Timings: Ideal for prom and wedding season which peaks in June and July, phase in by March if possible. Experiment with voluminous puff sleeves like below and tiered silhouettes.

Recent arrivals:

2. Leather

Fabric interest is far from dwindling and leather provides a nostalgic nod to the 80s and 90s for spring. This statement aesthetic also taps into the rising gothic trend, noted during the Fall 2020 runway circuit. Seek out animal-friendly alternatives for the vegan consumer. 

• New for 2020: 58

• YoY Arrivals: ▲123%

• Top Stocked Colorway: Black

• Average Full Price:  $95.32 /£109.34

• Tips & Timings: Push this style during trans-seasonal periods  promoting in early spring and late summer/early fall as an ideal cool weather option.

Recent arrivals:

3. Pink

Millennial pink will experience a resurgence this season, with women reclaiming a once gender-stereotyped color and repositioning it as a powerful symbol of femininity. Childlike dress shapes such as smock styles reign here, with the most attention-grabbing pieces fit for a 5-year old’s birthday party.

• New for 2020: 508

• YoY Arrivals: ▲66%

• Top Stocked Shape: Midi

• Average Full Price: $104.77/£32.37

• Tips & Timings: If pink is already in your assortment, promote it for International Women’s Day on March 8th. Incorporate it into occasionwear lines, particularly those angled towards teens and millennials. While hot pink is strong for spring, pastel hues are an equally bankable option and work well for the mid and mature market.

Recent arrivals:

4. Maxi

Modest lengths will continue to dominate for SS20. While the midi will still be vital within dress assortments, look to maxi styles for newness. Highlighted as a key trend in the Pre-Fall collections, this silhouette has longevity to boot.

• New for 2020: 373

• YoY Arrivals: ▲102%

• Top Stocked Trend Colorway: Pink

• Average Full Price: $144.16/£61.49

• Tips & Timings: Boho and peasant styles are ideal for vacation ranges – buy into floaty white and printed smock styles. Merchandise with fedora hats and boots for festival season, giving a nostalgic nod to noughties fashion – an important story for 2020.

Recent arrivals:

5. Femme fabrics

Hyper-feminine is the theme that binds almost all of the aforementioned trends together. Delicate fabrics such as organza, taffeta and tulle saw success in Fall 2019 and will return in an even bigger way for Spring/Summer 2020, as previously mentioned by EDITED.  

• New for 2020: 315

• YoY Arrivals: ▲81%

• Top Stocked Trend Colorway: Pink

• Average Full Price: $138.30/£26.17

• Tips & Timings: Festival and occasion periods are also key for this trend. While pink is the current top stocked trend colorway, blue is close behind and one to watch. Pastel shades will complement the delicacy of these fabrics. Add bows as seen at STAUD, Molly Goddard and Zara for an additional over-the-top femininity.

Patterns and details

Combine the above trends with key prints and details of the season for a winning product.

  • Feminine necklines
  • Frills
  • Puff sleeves
  • Tiering
  • Polka dots
  • Checks
  • Retro florals
  • Animal prints

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