As a fashion designer, are you quick to tell prospective clients you make bespoke pieces, or ready-to wear outfits without fully understanding the meaning of these terms? Or, do you ever check to find out if your clients are familiar with these terms?
Some fashion words are often unknowingly misused by designers, clients and others in the fashion industry.
People use words like bespoke, ready-to-wear, haute couture and high fashion without knowing in-depth the meanings of these words. These words are simply used by others because top designers use them, and perhaps, because they consider the terms fancy.
We will trash out some of these misused fashion terms, and the proper context and instances to use them in.
Watch out for our post on other commonly misused fashion terms.
Commonly Misused Fashion Terms and Their Meanings
Bespoke: Bespoke fashion outfits refer to outfits that are made exactly to a customer’s specifications. When the measurements of the customer are taken, and a unique style is chosen, you can truly say that that is a bespoke outfit. It is also regarded as made-to-measure or custom-made outfits, because they are tailored to the client’s taste and preference.
Ready-To-Wear: As the name implies, outfits that are called ready-to-wear, are literally ready to wear. They are made for the general market, without specifically considering a particular person. They are also known as off-the-shelf or off-the-rack outfits or clothing. They are usually made in standard sizes so they fit a range of different people, although some of them may need adjustments later on.
Haute Couture: Haute couture was gotten from the combination of 2 French words; Haute, which means high, and Couture, which means sewing, dressmaking or needlework. So basically, haute couture outfits also known as high-end fashion outfits, are expensive, fashionable outfits designed by very experienced and capable designers using time-consuming and expert techniques. Haute couture fashion expresses elegance, class, and style.
Ways These Terms Are Commonly Misused, And The Proper Ways To Use Them
When an outfit has been designed by a fashion designer already, but needs a few adjustments for it to be sold to a customer, it doesn’t classify as a bespoke outfit. This is because it defeats the entire purpose of it being specifically made for the customer. So, if as a fashion designer, you produce ready-made outfits like jackets, skirts, pants and many more, then your brand is not a bespoke fashion brand. Instead, your brand is a ready-to-wear fashion brand.
Saying, “We are a bespoke fashion brand”, as a fashion designer only counts if the outfits are tailored to the client’s measurements and specifications.
Ready-to-wear outfits are not outfits where clients come in to be measured first, before the outfits are delivered. If your fashion brand designs clothes according to customer’s measurements, and you say your fashion brand is a ready-to-wear brand, you’re getting it wrong.
A fashion brand is said to make ready-to-wear outfits if the outfits have been made already, without any specific measurements.
Haute Couture outfits are usually made with expensive, uncommon high-quality fabrics, usually seen with extreme attention to details and finishes.Does your brand employ the use of expensive tools and equipment to make outfits stand out? If it does then you are haute couture, but if you don’t then you are not haute couture.
Examples Of Bespoke, Ready-To-Wear and Haute Couture Fashion Brands
Sophia Ugbegua, the creative director of SomobySomo makes bespoke fashion outfits, because her clients come in to be measured and have unique styles designed for them.
So, designers, if you have been using these fashion terms wrongly take note of them so you can define your brand right.