Note: I use the terms "custom" and "made-to-measure" interchangeably, since a garment is made with your measurements is customized to you.
Introducing custom, made-to-measure pieces to your wardrobe—let alone switching to a completely custom Wardrobe—is a major departure from how most of us learned to shop and dress ourselves.
You might be driven to change your wardrobe habits by unarticulated needs, like I was. Before I made custom clothing for anyone one else, I made it for myself. At first, I didn't totally know why. I just wasn't satisfied with ready-to-wear.
Or maybe you’ve been voicing the shortcomings of ready-to-wear clothing for years. Maybe every time you’re in a dressing room.
Whether you have the words for it or not, there’s always a reason behind a major habit change. I’ve been thinking a lot about why a person might start this journey in the first place and here's what I've got so far:
Reason 1: To Get Dressed Faster
You’re in good company if you feel overwhelmed when you look in your closet.
Personally, my ideal is to be able to reach into my closet with my eyes closed and grab something that checks ALL the boxes, and get on with my day.
Once I started making clothes for myself (crucially, clothes that work within a strategic framework of how I want to look and feel), this ideal pretty much became reality.
It’s not that I NEVER labor over the decision of what to wear. We’re all complicated people... and sometimes the laundry didn’t get done. Oops. But I always know there’s a solution within my reach that feels honest to my values and has a quality and dependability worthy of who I am.
I can't speak for other custom clothing services out there. From what I've seen, they specialize in different needs, which makes sense. But one big promise of this program is an easy choice.
This program is arranged to uncover a deeper understanding of your outfit needs before any cloth gets cut, and then answer those needs with garments that meet who you are.
Reason 2: To Wear Clothes That Fit
This one’s simple. Custom clothing is made to your measurements. I’m sure you’ve noticed that a label with “your size” is no guarantee that a mass-produced garment will flatter your body, be comfortable, or even fit at all. That is, if “your size” is even one that the ready-to-wear clothing line even carries. I’m not throwing shade on companies that do their best to provide inclusive sizing. It’s just that it’s really, really hard (impossible?) to make standard sizing that fits every body.
I hope you already know that the problem isn't you, or the particulars of your body. But no matter how confident you are, being stymied by so-called standard sizing over and over can make you question your beauty and your worth.
This service is for all sizes and proportions and ableness-es, which is possible because I design your pieces for you around your real silhouette, and then engineer them to fit your real measurements.
Reason 3: To Overcome Outfit Doubt
You might have a lot of clothing to choose from, but still struggle to assemble outfits you like.
A 2016 study by the UK retailer Marks & Spencer found that 62% of women experience 'irrational tantrums' while trying to get dressed. (Note: I wasn’t able to locate the primary source for this study. I would have liked to see what the original report said, but I think the concept stands.)
Is it irrational to flip out over clothing? It might feel that way, especially when you're alone. But when a problem is that common, it’s reasonable to suspect something wrong with the system, not the individuals.
My take is that mass-production is at odds with your needs.
Consider how often fashion demands that we show up to our lives literally swathed in betrayal. Betrayal of the shapes of our bodies, our comfort, how we see ourselves, and how we want to be seen. Betrayal of what we care about—our anxieties about the environment, and our hopes for how fairly workers are treated. So much mass produced clothing, characterized by ever-changing fashions and the low quality, betrays us in these ways.
Suddenly it doesn't seem so irrational. Just saying.
We’ll look at the whole picture to devise a personalized outfit strategy that supports your confidence and innate beauty. Having a reliable system takes the guesswork out of daily dressing—and helps you save time and money in the future by avoiding mistakes.
Reason 4: So You Can Dress More Like Yourself
I’m not trying to minimize the art and strategy in what I do, but the truth is that clothing and style aren’t rocket science! The big secret is just that the starting point needs to be YOU. Clothing can and should be designed around you.
The fact that this approach takes time, thought, and some interpersonal connection (in other words, it can’t easily be mass produced) is the ONLY REASON the garment industry hasn’t already told you this.
You already know that a custom garment is made to fit your measurements.
A unique feature of THIS program is that your Custom Clothing is ALSO designed for your silhouette, and informed by analysis of your preferences and needs.
Consider this: We’re used to browsing dozens, hundreds, and (with the internet) thousands of options for what we could wear. If it hasn’t delivered you to wardrobe nirvana yet, that’s not because you need more options. It’s because trying to find “your style” in the deluge of options is backwards.
You’re already here, and all the components of your style are, too.
Warning: I’m going to prompt you to THINK about where you are in your clothing journey before I design anything for you. But it’s worth it.
My starting assumption—the only thing worth assuming—is that you’re beautiful the way you are. Cultural norms of what’s beautiful only have to be as relevant as you want them to be. I’m all for self-improvement when it makes you happy. But as a starting point for style, your body and personality don’t need to be changed.
If you're ready to figure out a wardrobe that will fire up your creativity, not drain your mental energy, you're in the right place.
“We’re living under a tyranny of trends.”
– Elizabeth Cline, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Do you agree? What are YOUR reasons to start looking beyond ready-to-wear?
Comment to let me know if I skipped anything!