How Modern American Teens Dress in 2016

Children may be the future, but teenagers are the future of fashion, and it never ceases to amaze how trends from the teen community can be compiled. Financial planner Piper Jaffray conducted its semiannual survey titled Taking Stock with Teens, so we can see just how the latest favorable styles and brands have stacked up. As such, it is based off of the question, “What does the modern American teenager wear?” The survey reached 6,500 teens across the nation, with an average respondent age of 16.5.

2016 Teen Fashion Trends

According to the results, activewear is one of the hottest overall teen trends for 2016, but that is nothing new. For females, at least, leggings are one of the most commonly worn articles of clothing (who could forget the seemingly age-old question regarding whether or not leggings should be worn as pants?), and oftentimes this is an easy crossover into activewear.

Crop tops tend to follow a similar situation, and were also one of the more noted garments worn on the list. Athletic wear was not particularly highly ranked on the list (5% for males, 2% for females), which makes it ironic, although not surprising, that athletic garments were most cited as being for everyday wear.

Victoria’s Secret was the top brand cited, while Nike, Adidas, Converse, and Lululemon (which was lumped into the same category as leggings) followed behind. Michael Kors was the only non-athletic brand to make it list, and it seemed to be cited as mostly an accessories addition – rightly so, as the designer has a strong department as such.

Jeans and boots were the only styles to make the list not rooted in activewear. Jeans have been on an upswing in recent years, especially ripped jeans for the summer 2016 season (as well as year round for casual looks), and with all of the different styles for boots available, that is another easy trend for any time of year, making the garments rather ideal for teens to invest in.

2016 Teen Female Fashion Trends

For males, Ralph Lauren and Nike (Jordans, in particular) were the most popular brands for teenagers, with Vineyard Vines also making it into the list of top ten teen trends, which makes sense going along with the activewear trends seen. Jogger pants were the only truly athletic garments listed, with tall socks being connected but not always necessarily for athletic purposes. In fact, more males cited preppy (6%) than they did athletic (5%), although overall it was gathered that activewear was by far the most common style of the year so far – even if the garments weren’t being worn for athletic purposes.

Khakis/Chinos and boat shoes were garments that made the list, and definitely go more along with the preppy style than athletic. Now, 2016 so far has been a big year for hair, but not for the women. Man buns have seemed to reign supreme, gaining a lot of media coverage ever since it made its surprising comeback, so it would have been shocking if it had not made the list still today.

Overall, modern American teenagers still seem to prefer comfort over style when it comes down to it – and luckily, due to this, activewear is stylish. Leggings can and should be worn as pants, and activewear can double as everyday streetwear for any gender. These data are reflected in these findings, and is a trend that will likely stick around for quite some time.

Photos courtesy of Business Insider, @rumineely

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