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Did you know that some time ago, people wore only custom-made dresses everywhere they went? I mean, there used to be a time when ready-made clothes never existed; just you and what your garment maker gave to you.

Times have changed and everything is now easier and faster.

You don’t have to wait for your tailor to fix you up with something unless it’s a bespoke outfit you choose to rock. All about you, are ready-to-wear clothes you can always wear for convenience. You just have to find the right store or vendor and make your choice.

And that’s the problem.

Even as many boutiques, stockists, and clothing stores abound, it doesn’t change the fact that there are still counterfeit products.

lady wearing blue ready-made suit

Hence, before you add any ready-made cloth or outfit to your wardrobe, be sure they are of good quality so you can get value for your money.

That aside, there are certain characteristics that differentiate ready-made clothes from bespoke. We’ll cover all of them with this piece.

But before we dive in, resolve within yourself to only buy quality ready-made clothes. And they shouldn’t only cover your nakedness. They should also flatter your silhouette and get you compliments that’ll make you feel more confident about yourself. 

Not every brand does this. Some are so focused on mass-producing clothing that they ignore the intrinsic value it offers the wearer.

If you want something that’ll make you feel more confident about yourself when you wear it…

lady wearing dress by Ria Kosher

Express Your Style with Ria Kosher

Boost Your Self-esteem with Ready-to-wear Dresses that make you stand out

What are Ready-made Clothes?

lady wearing ready-made suit dress

To answer the question you have to first know what ready-to-wear means.

Ready-made clothes are clothes that don’t need any tailoring before you wear it. You buy them from a clothing vendor and wear them immediately. They are also known as ready-to-wear, RTW, off-the-rack, or pret-a-porter (in French). And this is because you literally take them off the rack.

Ready-to-wear designers don’t design for one person. They usually produce in large numbers with standardized sizes and then sell in finished condition. But not all RTW designers and fashion houses produce ready-made clothes in large quantities. Some produce in limited numbers to cater for the style needs of their target audience.

To achieve this, these designers use standard patterns, better construction techniques, and factory equipment to speed up production at a minimal cost.

Everyone wears ready-to-wear fashion and so do you. The jeans, tees, sweatshirts, collared shirts, chinos, dresses, you bought from a clothing store are all ready-made clothes.

History of Ready-to-Wear Clothes

Orange Culture wearing ready-made clothes

As I told you earlier, there was a time humans only had to deal with custom-made clothes. This was before the 19th century. 

Clothing then was strictly bespoke or made-to-measure. That is, tailors and seamstresses only made them for specific individuals. There were no standard sizes. Your tailor would instead take your measurements and sew your outfit according to your body fittings as it’s done now.

But all of a sudden, things changed.

The US government mass-produced military uniforms during the war of 1812. These uniforms became one of the first ready-to-wear apparels in the history of fashion. And the good news is that ready-made clothes survived the war, and before the end of the 19th century, many men got access to ready-to-wear clothing brands in department stores.

I know you may be wondering…

What about womenswear? Weren’t they off-the-rack too?

lady wearing hat, top and jeans

Well, womenswear have always been more complex than menswear, and because of that, it was difficult to make them in predetermined sizes. 

But in the aught of the 20th century, the US media picked interest in ready-to-wear clothing. And since the media has the power to set agenda and confer status, ready-made clothes became more attractive than bespoke. Thus, people picked interest in them.

When the late 1960s came, fashion houses defined their mode of operation either as haute couture or ready-to-wear. And soon enough, luxury brands like Dior, Chanel, YSL, etc., who were strictly haute couture, added a ready-to-wear line to their label. Thanks to Yves Saint Laurent for the inspiration. He was the first designer to launch a ready-to-wear collection.

lady wearing ready-made dress by Ria Kosher

The growth of ready-to-wear also extended to the beauty industry. It also made it easier for women to follow the latest styles and trends in the fashion industry.

But one sad thing back then was that plus-sized women weren’t carried along. They couldn’t find their exact sizes in department stores since clothing manufacturers only worked with limited sizes.

But now, things have changed. Fashion brands now produce clothing for plus sizes. And to make it more beautiful, there are brands that only target plus-sized women. This way, fashion carries everyone along on the ready-to-wear train regardless of their body sizes.

What are the Differences Between RTW, Bespoke, and Haute Couture?

lady wearing pink ready-made gown

Ready-to-wear clothes don’t need any specification or further preparation. They are designed to be taken off the rack as the name implies.

Also, RTW brands have a size chart that contains the predetermined measurements of their ready-made clothes. And buyers have to consult these size charts to be sure they are ordering the right size.

On the other hand, bespoke clothing are clothes made according to an individual’s specifications. This is how it works for custom-made:

Davido wearing ready-made clothes

You go to your tailor with a style you have in mind and the look you plan to achieve. And they take your measurements then produce from scratch for you alone.

The last one, Haute Couture, is a French word for high sewing. It is a common term for high fashion produced in Paris and imitated in other fashion capitals such as New York, London, and Milan.

Before a dress is deemed ‘haute couture’, it must meet certain conditions. To learn about it, read up our piece on the misused fashion terms and spot more differences between such fashion vocabs. 

Are there Ready-to-wear Fashion Shows?

lady wearing ready-made dress

Yes. There are ready-to-wear Fashion Shows that happen every year. For instance in Africa, there’s Lagos Fashion Week, GTB Fashion Weekend, Arise Fashion Week, and the likes.

In the global fashion scene, there’s New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and Milan Fashion Week.

These fashion shows are presented one year in advance according to the fashion seasons. For instance, the Winter 2018 collection was presented during the 2017 winter. And there’s a broader room for the media, celebrities, fashion enthusiasts, and fashion bloggers to be a part of the guest list.

Where to Buy Ready-made Clothes

lady wearing Ria Kosher kimono dress

You can buy your ready-made clothes from thrift stores, boutiques, fast fashion houses, and RTW designers.

Some of these brands now offer alterations. That is, when you buy your ready-made clothes from them, they alter it to fit your body measurements. This way, your ready-to-wear clothes becomes made-to-order for you.

But as I said earlier, the goal shouldn’t be to add one new piece to your wardrobe. Instead, the goal should be to only buy ready-made clothes that enhance your style and reputation. 

Denola Grey wearing ready-made clothes

Therefore, make it your shopping habit a more deliberate action by only buying ready-to-wear fashion that enhance your style and make you feel more confident about yourself.

Ria Kosher is one brand that does this for you. They not only produce stylish ready-made clothes for fashion-forward individuals. They also ensure every piece has a standout detail. 

This way, when anyone sees you, they admire your outfit, compliment you, and thus, make you feel better about yourself. 

If that sounds like something you’d love…

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me. And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting. That aside, when I'm not writing copy or SEO content, I'm designing statement pieces for my fashion brand, Ria Kosher, crushing on Lucious Lyon, and writing wild stories that always come with a twist.

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