Custom made clothes. Perils of

The best thing about custom made clothes is that they are custom made. 😀

That means that in theory you are getting a perfect fit in any cut you want and any fabric you want. But in reality there are some pitfalls as:

  • fabrics choice, it’s limited and it’s especially limited in good quality cotton, wool and silk with small percentage of elastane and poly to make them wrinkle free and a bit stretchy, furthermore: each cut has its limitations in terms of fabric;
  • qualification of the tailor/seamstress; you need a pattern maker, not just person who can sew, because if you are very busty/very curvy then you need patterns made from scratch, not standard patterns with inches subtracted/added here and there (it’s much easier to do, and many prefer to that, but results often unsatisfactory); I have two cases of garment ruined and unwearable because seamstress tried to use standard pattern from Burda magazine;
  • not any cut is meant for a curvy body and seamstress/tailor should know that;
  • you need to know exactly what you want and have a very good skill in scaling cut to your proportions in your imagination (because what looks good on a model from some fancy fashion show can look like crap on you even if it technically fits);
  • you should be able to be adamant about what you want, and even that sometimes doesn’t help (I have some really beautiful, but not work appropriate items in my wardrobe thanks to the seamstress who wanted me to look my best);
  • you normally have four appointments before garment is ready, the first one in a store (or two, or three stores) to choose fabric, the second one to take measurements and then two fitting sessions), it’s time consuming and tiring; it gets better though if you are returning customer and you shape doesn’t change over time;
  • it’s expensive even in third world (a lot less expensive than in EU or US, but still), price will be from $30 (something as simple as flared skirt) to $500 (wedding dress, winter coat or business suit) per item in the third world and from $100 up to $5000 in EU or US.

I think that it’s definitely worth it if you can afford it and there are some good professionals in the area. But I also think that it’s better to buy ready-to-wear and alter it where ever you can (it’s usually much cheaper and less time consuming).

There are also some businesses that propose made-by-measures clothes. I’ve never used them, but I know from experience that fitting sessions improve fit a lot, so I think that in this case some alterations may be necessary and there should be cases when it’s ruined and nothing could be done about it.

What about you? Do you have some positive or negative experience with custom made clothes?

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