There is little doubt that Millennials are different from any prior generation. From real estate to savings, the way that they conduct their finances and lives is something that older generations find unusual and perhaps a little lackadaisical. It isn’t just their spending or saving habits or their social media behaviors that are different from anyone else. It is the way that they buck tradition and don’t care what people think.
Millennial fashion is quite arguably one of the biggest ways that they differ from other generations. Throughout time, purchases have been guided by the principle that low supply equals high demand. What Millennials do, however, has nothing to do with supply or demand. They base their decisions not on what everyone else finds desirable, but on what they personally prefer. Their idea of fashion is individuality. In fact, if something is “in,” it is definitely “out.”
Gone are the days of carrying a Gucci bag just because it has the name on it. The typical Millennial is carrying a handbag they made themselves or bought at a thrift store or flea market. Being outside of the trend is now trendy. It isn’t just about the things that they wear; it is also about what they use to show those they love how much they are loved.
The traditional diamond engagement ring consisted of a man or woman calculating their love in cut, clarity, carat and color. The Millennial generation isn’t buying into the hype. To them, the money spent on an expensive ring doesn’t say anything to the world about their love for someone. It says that they wasted a whole lot of money trying to impress the world that they aren’t interested in impressing.
Buying an engagement ring is no longer about making payments. Goodness knows with student loans, Millennials already have enough debt. They are opting to show their commitment with an engagement ring that is unique, not one that results in a credit card bill.
An engagement ring can be made from fabric, other types of gems, or anything else that attracts the asker’s eye. They want to make it one-of-a-kind and something that shows off the character and qualities of the person they love; it is more about finding the perfect symbol than about hitting the high-end diamond outlet to find the best ring you can afford.
Another trend that Millennials are fostering is the custom nature of their engagement ring. It used to be that when you were ready to propose, you would walk into a jewelry store, see what the jeweler had to offer, and make a choice from that. Jewelers are now describing a whole different class of engagement ring buyers. They don’t go into retail shops and look around; they come in with pictures, drawings, and ideas about what their one-of-a-kind engagement ring should look like, instead of the other way around.
Just like the fashions they wear, Millennials aren’t looking for something that ten other people have. They aren’t looking for brand names or trying to show up to a party wearing the same dress as ten other people. What they want in an engagement ring is what they want all the way around: uniqueness and trendsetting. It isn’t about the size, cut, or how it shines. It is about being uniquely thoughtful and finding the perfect engagement ring that says "I love you."
Other things that are now acceptable are gemstones. Putting more color and uniqueness into a ring is totally “in” and trendy. Also, gold and platinum used to be the traditional band material; now anything from silver to copper is not only acceptable but also preferred and can be custom-designed.
It’s not just about changing styles and materials; the Millennial generation doesn’t have any problem buying “vintage” rings to adorn their fiance’s finger. Showing a little class involves mixing a little of the old with some of the new, and there is no shame in repurposing old jewelry. To this environmentally-conscious generation, reusing, repurposing, or even using simulated gems and diamonds, are all ways that they help to save the planet and put a new twist on an old tradition.