Published on September 20, 2018 — Leave a comment

2018 Trend Report: Secondhand Fashion Trends Across the 50 States of America

share this:

While 2018 isn’t over yet, the year has revealed some intriguing changes in current secondhand fashion trends so far.

With all the feminine cuts and flirty necklines we’re seeing, it’s clear that so far in 2018, polished is preferred. Dresses are outselling basic tops, with each region swirling and sashaying to its own style. Across the country, jumpsuits and rompers provide an instant, pulled-together look. But dress-up is only fun when there’s balance. In casual settings, classic reigns supreme, thanks to khaki shorts, denim shorts and athleisure setting the tone for an effortlessly laid-back look.

Though there’s uniformity to these general 2018 trends, each region serves up its own spin on each. The Midwest is all about trendy one-piece outfits while the South, West and New England stay true to their fashion roots.

To help inspire your fashion choices, we’ve featured the most interesting trends in clothing items, brands and colors nationwide and regionally so far in 2018. Plus, experts give tips on how to incorporate the hottest styles into your own wardrobe (without breaking the bank).

SEOtrendReport-trendingCategoryMapSEOtrendReport-trendingBrandMapthredUP uncovered the one trending clothing item and brand in each state that experienced the biggest increase in sales from 2017 to 2018. Check out the 2018 fashion trends in your and other states. You might be surprised by what’s trending in your state!

How We Identified Secondhand Clothing Trends Across the Nation

We looked at 1,472 brands and over 5.5 million clothing items from the thredUP inventory for the total number of items sold in the last three months of 2017. We compared that number to the total items sold in the first six months of 2018. The trending items/brands were the items/brands that had a significant amount of sales and an increase in items sold. (See the Methodology section for more details.)

SEOtrendReport-trendingBrandAndClothingItem

*Percentages refer to an increase in brands and items sold between Q4 2017 and Q2 2018. See the Methodology section for more details.

SEOtrendReport-trendingColors

Nanette Lepore and Lilly Pulitzer topped the list of brands with the highest growth, while shorts of all types made a splash across the country. Pastels like yellow, light blue and light green were some of the most popular colors across the country. 

Breakdown: Top Trending Nationwide Clothing Items & Styles

Unsurprisingly, dresses remain a popular women’s clothing item across the U.S., from flattering sheath cuts and flirty strapless styles to more formal cocktail dresses. But depending on which region you live in, you’ll find different necklines and dress types trending. Rising popularity of athleisure was seen across the states, making the strongest presence in middle America.

-Classic v-neck, scoop neck and crew neck dresses were all trending across 23 states.

-Shoppers in Ohio and Washington are opting for more cold-shoulder cuts.

-Three states with big party cities – Louisiana (New Orleans), New Jersey (Atlantic City) and Nevada (Las Vegas) – saw purchases of strapless dresses rise by 145%, 272% and 191%, respectively.

-California and New York are revealing a little more skin as the only states trending for dresses with plunging necklines.

-Florida and Mississippi were the only states where dresses were not trending. Dresses were down 5% and 3%, respectively, in these states.

-Yoga pants were a staple from coast to coast. This workout-ready look trended in California (9%) and New York (13%) but saw bigger increases in states Florida (20%), North Carolina (27%) and Pennsylvania (30%).

-Athletic shorts are hot in Nebraska (+51%), New Hampshire (+164%) and South Dakota (+140%).

-Active tanks are popular in Arizona (+36%) North Dakota (+92%) and Montana (+131%).

-Wisconsin also opted for the athleisure look with active dresses up +154%.

-Tennis anyone? Ten states have the active skort trending, but this sporty look is most popular in Iowa (281%), Missouri (218%) and Indiana (112%).

-Carolina, New York and Michigan might be the biggest sports fans—they were the only states to have sports jerseys trending at 75%, 27% and 107%, respectively.

-Track pants and hoodies saw the least amount of popularity — they didn’t trend in any state.

NEW ENGLAND: Adding a Casual Spin to the Classic Preppy Look

Preppy reigns supreme in New England! This region loves classic brands like Vineyard Vines, J. Crew and Banana Republic along with simple scoop neck and sheath dresses. Private labels, shorts and put-together dresses made up the top trends in New England.SEOtrendReport-regionalNewEngland*Percent increase in sales refers to the total sales for Q4 2017 compared to sales in Q1 2018 and Q2 2018. See the Methodology section for more info.

Casual meets dressy in the New England wardrobe of 2018. Whether it’s dressing up for a night out or running errands, New England holds up its tradition for preferring preppy clothing.

-Shoppers in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont are opting for dresses. In Connecticut, strapless necklines saw a 232% increase. Vermont preferred a sheath style at 179% increase, while Maine saw a jump in maxi dresses by 75%. Rhode Island stayed classic with scoop-neck dresses trending at 122%.

-New Hampshire and Massachusetts shoppers kept things more casual. New Hampshire leads the nation in athletic skort purchases with a 32% increase, while Massachusetts saw a 702% increase in khaki shorts.

-Trending brands include J. Crew, which saw an 11% increase in New Hampshire and a 68% increase in Rhode Island, while Vineyard Vines was up 84% in Massachusetts.

-Polo tops are trending in Connecticut (up 161%) and Massachusetts (101%)—a nod to the preppy ‘80s trend that’s coming back in full force.

-Classic boat-neck tops are popular in the coastal state of Maine, where they saw an 83% increase.newEnglandInfluencerCollageTara West of Tara West Fashion styles this preppy look with plenty of New England favorites, from trendy sandals to tailored khaki shorts. 

While prep may not be going away anytime soon, the way to style it has really changed,” says Tara West of Tara West Fashion. “Playing up the idea of navy and white for a nautical theme with simple

color-blocking, or a great suit is one way to go. I love to highlight accessories in my look, so opting for a statement clutch with those classic New England colors or a great gingham print is a fun way to style it.”

In addition to those that are trending, West cites brands such as Madewell, Modcloth and Topshop as those that capture the spirit of New England style.

Hottest Regional Look: Look stunning with a strapless or sheath dress in a bold print. Transition those flirty summer dress cuts to the colder weather by layering them over a long-sleeved blouse. Or, channel Cape Cod vibes by pairing a button-down with chinos and boat shoes.

MID-ATLANTIC: Mixing Power Brands with Off-Duty Looks

Easy-to-wear shorts and rompers make up the most popular styles in the Mid-Atlantic.  The region also saw a jump in multiple department store private labels. Relaxed and polished looks are trending equally in the mid-Atlantic, on par with the rest of the United States.

SEOtrendReport-regionalMidAtlantic*Percent increase in sales refers to the total sales for Q4 2017 compared to sales in Q1 2018 and Q2 2018. See the Methodology section for more info.

The Mid-Atlantic pairs casual and comfy brands like Adidas alongside designer brands like Diane von Furstenberg. Khaki shorts are a hit in three states, while Delaware and New Jersey are dolled up in dresses.

-New Yorkers love Diane von Furstenberg (up 45%) and prefer polished looks like square neckline tops (up 224%) and sweetheart dresses (up 168%). The biggest surprise? Tube tops were up 150% in the Empire State—this skin-baring style seems to make a comeback every 10 years.

-In New Jersey, the timeless look of Michael Kors saw significant growth (up 25%).

-Work-approved sheath dresses were popular in Delaware at 194%, while New Jersey and Pennsylvania preferred party-ready strapless styles, which were up 272% and 208%.

-Classic necklines were trending across the region. Delaware prefers crewnecks (up 64%) while Maryland saw a jump in boatneck dresses (by 166%).midAtlanticInfluencerCollageClassic Adidas sneakers top off this casual, off-duty look picked by New Jersey blogger Dana Fiori.

“The trends in my region correlate with my personal style, so I love them!” says blogger Dana Fiori of One Broke Blonde. “The trends in my area are sporty, model-off-duty and casual looks. There are lots of cute sneakers and denim, and the way people put their own fair on current trends is so fun!”

Fiori describes 2018 style as comfy, fun and #tbt —she loves the ‘90s-inspired trends that have taken the fashion world by storm and predicts that they’ll continue to be popular. “For the remainder of 2018, I envision big chunky sweaters, lots of leather, patterned booties, and fun colors! Next year, the fun colors will continue, and we may see more 80s-inspired looks as well,” she says.

Hottest Regional Look: Cut a slice of that Big Apple life with an elegant tie-neck dress, which was the #1 dress style in New York. Relaxing over the weekend? Pair khaki shorts or pants with a striped tee for an effortless look that feels fresh off the Chesapeake Bay.

                        

MIDWEST: One-Piece Clothing Items Are in High Demand

A mix of casual and trendy makes up the Midwestern style, with active skorts and workout-ready brand Athleta on the list of trends, along with rompers and fast-fashion brand Zara. Midwesterners love trendy one-piece clothing items like rompers, jumpsuits and onesies. Indiana and South Dakota prefer athleisure brands like Nike, while Ohio saw the most growth for designer brand Coach.

SEOtrendReport-regionalTheMidwest*Percent increase in sales refers to the total sales for Q4 2017 compared to sales in Q1 2018 and Q2 2018. See the Methodology section for more info.

One-piece clothing items are a big hit in certain Midwestern states, proving a low-maintenance look can still have flair. In fact, one-piece items are trending more in this region than anywhere else in the country.

-Shoppers in Iowa and Kansas love rompers the most in this region (with a 103% and 110% increase, respectively).

-Minnesota, on the other hand, saw a surge in jumpsuits (up 21%) which are perfect to go out on the lake.

-Missouri buyers are rocking the short-sleeved onesie trend (up 50%).

-When it comes to dresses, Michigan shoppers prefer high-low cuts, with a 202% increase on the uneven hem style.

-Wisconsin has a more casual look with active dresses going up by 200%.

Athleisure is known for being popular in places like Los Angeles and New York City, but it’s also a popular look in the Midwest.  New York is all about bottoms (athletic shorts are up 130% and active skorts are up 118%) and California follows suit (with board shorts trending at 71%), but South Dakota and Nebraska are jumping on this same trend, too. Workout shorts are up 209% and 19%, respectively, in these two states. Athletic tank tops were also trending in North Dakota (133%) and Montana (144%).

Classic styles are still on trend in Illinois and Indiana, where denim shorts led the purchase preferences with a 325% and 408% increase. Ohio is keeping up with the trends, with cold-shoulder tops up 327%.midwestInfluencerCollageEspadrilles and a breezy one-piece outfit make up the perfect combination for a day of lakeside living for blogger Emily Oen.

“The Midwest is very much so a laid-back, casual and simple way of life,” says style blogger Emily Oen of Essence of Emily. “We love the outdoors, especially the lake life, so we never overcomplicate our outfits because we can’t be restricted from immediately jumping into the water! Classic jumpsuits, rompers and boatneck dresses are great for these grab-and-go activities because it’s a whole outfit in one piece. Our current trends will tell you that Midwesterners value comfort, movement and quality.”

Oen says 2018 has been a year of nostalgic fashion.  “This year has continued on with the denim trend, even introducing denim jumpsuits!” she adds. “It’s also pulled in ’60s florals, fanny packs, fringe and so much more. A very new trend that has really surprised me is neon and metallic gowns/dresses. Kim Kardashian has been spotted wearing neon [recently], and stars like Blake Lively and Sarah Paulson have worn this trend, too. I think 2018 fashion is placing an importance on bringing back old trends that some of us might have already lived through before.” Want to join in on throwback trends without going overboard? Consider a fringed handbag or a bold neon shoe to add just a touch of nostalgia to your look.

Hottest Regional Look: Take walk on the styled side with the “Raxi” (maxi romper). Pair it with bold statement accessories to complete the look.

 

SOUTH: Dressy Outfits Reign Supreme in the South

Southern shoppers prefer a mix of fun, feminine brands like Lilly Pulitzer and Forever 21 along with classics like Ann Taylor LOFT and J. Crew Factory. Most states prefer heat-proof styles like shorts, skirts and rompers, while Floridians stand out from the crowd in mock turtleneck tops.

SEOtrendReport-regionalSouth*Percent increase in sales refers to the total sales for Q4 2017 compared to sales in Q1 2018 and Q2 2018. See the Methodology section for more info.

Feminine is getting a fresh look in the South, where it’s all about dresses and skirts.

-In Georgia and Virginia, Lilly Pulitzer is a top brand at 241% and 78% increases, respectively. Those bold Lilly prints are the perfect complement to the khaki shorts this region prefers. Khaki shorts were also a top trending item across Virginia (+683%), North Carolina (+583%), Georgia (+492%) and South Carolina (+434%).

-West Virginia stays classic with sheath dress styles, which saw an increase of 157%.

-Louisiana is all about strapless dresses, which are up 145%. This fun style is perfect for the party-ready city of New Orleans.

Unlike other parts of the country, workout clothing isn’t super popular. The one exception is North Carolina, where yoga-inspired Lululemon is a top-selling brand — it saw a 287% increase.southernInfluencerCollageBooties and a leather jacket bring a cold-weather edge to a black dress in this Southern-inspired look from The Crystal Press.

“The feminine look to today’s Southern belle is all about balance—balance of different textures, ruffles and edgy silhouettes to compliment and exaggerate your personal style,” says Catherine Claire and Rebecca Piersol of The Crystal Press.

True to the Southern belle aesthetic, this region boasts the only two states where skirts are trending: Mississippi and Arkansas. (Skirts were trending the least in both New Mexico and Idaho.) Other southern ladies are showing an interest in one-piece clothing like rompers and jumpsuits; Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee are all about this trend.

“The versatility of jumpsuits makes them an easy go-to piece during any season,” say the ladies at The Crystal Press. “In the summer, throw them on over a bathing suit before you head to the beach or out to a casual dinner; in the winter, throw on a pair of booties and a blazer for a night on the town!”

Hottest Regional Look: Borrow the belle look with an embellished jumpsuit or romper, preferably with a flatteringly fem finish like a strapless smock cut. Top off the look with cat-eye sunglasses – and don’t forget the floppy hat!

 

SOUTHWEST: Party Dresses Meet Athletic Gear for a Balanced Mix

Activewear is big in the Southwest, with outdoorsy brand Eddie Bauer and workout staple Lululemon among the top-growing brands. Board shorts made the list of top styles, balanced by trendy cold-shoulder tops and party-ready dresses. New Mexico loves the trends at Forever 21, while Oklahoma and Texas go for the classic look from brands J. Crew and Kate Spade New York. Southwestern shoppers fend off the heat in tanks and rompers and get dolled up in party dresses.

SEOtrendReport-regionalSouthwestern*Percent increase in sales refers to the total sales for Q4 2017 compared to sales in Q1 2018 and Q2 2018. See the Methodology section for more info.

Known for sunny weather that’s long lent itself to a boho aesthetic, this year the Southwestern region is embracing the athleisure look.

-Active tanks were up in Arizona by 77% and 13% in New Mexico.

-Oklahoma shoppers are ready to hit the gym, with sports bras up 116%.

-Board shorts saw in an increase of 73% in Texas—perfect for beachgoers and trendsetters alike.

-The athletic trend was balanced with more feminine looks. Dresses were trending in all four states: shirt dresses up 115% and boatneck dresses up 133% in Arizona, cocktail dresses up 80% and scoop-neck dresses up 76% in New Mexico, maxi dresses up 81% in Oklahoma, party dresses up 79% and bodycon dresses up 31% in Texas.

southwestInfluencerCollageA kimono-style cardigan and distressed jeans bring a bohemian edge to this Southwest-inspired look from blogger Tammy of The New Farmer’s Wife.

Tammy of The New Farmer’s Wife says Southwestern style is all about that classic boho look. “Here, we’re seeing plaid, big florals, reds (deep and burgundy) and animal print (mostly cheetah), along with skinny jeans or leggings with tunics in those patterns I just mentioned, oversize sweaters, tall boots, moccasins and fringe boots. I’ve also noticed a lot of kimono type cardigans, with long necklaces as an accessory.”

Tammy describes 2018 style an interesting mix of cozy, ’80s and bohemian trends. She’s noticed high-waisted jeans and prairie-style dresses making a comeback in her home state of Oklahoma.

On the whole, she says, the Southwest seems to stick to what they know. “I don’t notice a big trend change as much here as I’ve noticed in other areas. We seem to gradually shift [into new trends] but also keep the classics,” she notes.

Hottest Regional Look: Get excited for fall weather by taking a cue from Texas and donning a ribbed mock turtleneck dress; pair it with leggings or layer on a tank for a nod to the region’s athleisure look.

 

THE WEST: Soaking Up the Sun in Flirty, Shoulder-Baring Pieces

The West is all about feminine styles—skirts, dresses and jumpsuits top the list of trends. Comfy-cool brands like Lou Grey and Champion round out the laid-back looks. Halter, v-neck and off-the-shoulder dresses were popular among the majority of Western states, with casual brands like Old Navy, Madewell and Ann Taylor LOFT each topping the charts. Alaska was an outlier with jeans trending—they’re the perfect answer to that cold Arctic weather.

SEOtrendReport-regionalTheWest*Percent increase in sales refers to the total sales for Q4 2017 compared to sales in Q1 2018 and Q2 2018. See the Methodology section for more info.

West Coast ladies like to show off their tans! Some of the most popular styles on the West Coast were strappy and shoulder-baring:

-Cold-shoulder necklines took the lead in Washington with an increase of 229%.

-Nevada shoppers are ready to hit the casino in strapless dresses, which took off at a 191% increase.

-Halter dresses were popular in Oregon and Colorado at 152% and 127%, respectively.

-Trendy off-the-shoulder dresses are a hit in sunny California at 33%, where celebrity-inspired style reigns supreme.

Like the South, the West is all about rocking a dress. What do Hawaii, Wyoming and Idaho have in common? These three very different states are all trending for dresses, in cocktail (+173%), V-neck (+53%) and A-line (+62%) styles, respectively.

Utah keeps it classy with blouses up 47%. Montana is all about activewear, with active tanks at an increase of 144%. Chilly Alaska was the only state to have jeans as a trending item, at a 25% increase.

Top brands in the West range from preppy staples like J. Crew and Banana Republic (in Nevada and Hawaii) to the laid-back looks of Madewell and Calvin Klein (in Oregon and Washington).westernInfluencerCollageStylist and blogger Christie Moeller pairs a strapless dress with a denim jacket in a bohemian West Coast look that’s ready for fall.

Nevada-based stylist and blogger Christie Moeller notes that she’s seen personalization become a popular West Coast trend.  “I think people are moving more towards customized looks than mass produced ones. They’re expressing their own personal style, such as altering jackets with pins, embroidery and patches,” she says. In the future, she sees bloggers and stylists continuing to mix high-street brands with designer pieces and vintage finds for an eclectic look.

Hottest Regional Look: Make waves with a beachy look, like a maxi dress in a V-neck cut. Layer on an embroidered denim jacket for a boho vibe that’s fit for fall.

 

The United States of Fashion

While each region has its unique preferences, it’s clear that dresses and athleisure are trending across the nation, with classic silhouettes and necklines staying strong as ever. As we head towards the end of the year, consider cleaning out your closet to freshen up your wardrobe and make room for new trends. We can’t wait to see what the remaining months of 2018 have up their sleeves!

Methodology

We grouped months of the years into quarters and analyzed the data from Q4 2017 (October to December 2017) against the data from Q1 2018 (January to March 2018) and Q2 2018 (April to June 2018).

We calculated national trends—meaning trends based on data from all 50 states— then compared the national trends to the state trends to find out which states are causing the trends. We also grouped states by region and compared their trends against the national trends to see which regions are causing each different trend.

Calculating National Trends

We added the total sales for Q4 2017 then compared it to Q1 and Q2 2018. (We only used filters or items that had a significant amount of inventory sold—750 items or more.)

For example, to find the brands that were trending nationwide, we summed all the items sold for each brand (across all 50 states) and tracked its growth compared to the following two quarters.

Say, for instance, “Example Brand” had 10,000 total sales in Q4 2017, then 12,000 in Q1 2018, and then 14,000 in Q2 2018. This means the national trend for “Example Brand” is up 20% for Q1 2018 and up 40% for Q2 2018 compared to Q4.

Selecting the National Brand Trends

After collecting a list of the largest growing brands in the USA, we applied a filter that only showed brands that were popular in more than 40% of all the states.

Calculating State Trend

Like the national trends, the state trends were calculated in a similar manner, by summing the three quarters and tracking the progression across Q1 and Q2 2018.

Using the “Example Brand” above, we can pretend state A had 1,000 total sales in Q4 2017, then 1,300 in Q1 2018, and 2,000 in Q2 2018. This means that state trend for that brand for State A was up 30% in Q1 and then 100% in Q2 in comparison to Q4.

Selecting the State Trends

After collecting a list of all the states trends that were trending above the national standard, we then viewed each trend on the state level to create the story for the readers. (We filtered out the trends that were negative within the state but positive compared to the national average. For example, if hoodies were down 20% nationally, and within a certain state they were down 5%, they would show up as +15% in this analysis. We filtered out these negative instances from our data.)

Comparison of State vs. Brand Trends

Next, we compared the state trends to the national trends to find out whether the state was a trendsetter or following the general national scale. To calculate this, we subtracted the two percentages from each other to see if the state trend was significantly higher than the national trend.

Using the example so far, if “Example Brand” was trending nationally at +20% then +40%, and State A for “Example Brand” was +30% and +100%, we calculated the increases to +10% (30%-20%) for Q1 2018 vs the national trend and +60% (100%-40%). This means that State A was trendsetter and that “Example Brand” was much more popular in that state than in every other state. This type of analysis was done across each variable and for each state where data was significant (i.e. over 750 items).

Calculating the Regional Trends

Like the state trends, the regional trends were calculated by tracking their progression across the quarters and then compared to the national average. States were assigned to a specific region and then all the states in that region were summed up by the variable to see the total trend for that region. We summed up all the states within the region for each variable to see its trends.

Selecting the Regional Trends

After calculating the regional trend itself, we compared each of the trends to the national trend to see the trendiest items in the region. We applied a filter that required the variable to be significant (enough of a sample size, at more than 750 items) in at least 40% of the states within that region. We also filtered out the negative trending items like we did in the state analysis. After these filters, we selected trending items that created the story.

 

Check out our other case study on vanity sizing and its prevalence in global fashion here