Having a dress made is never easier nor cheaper than just buying one. But you can be sure that the dress is made specifically for your body and the chances that somebody will be wearing the same dress as you is basically zero. (I mean, we've al had/seen those b*tch stole my look moments)
So here our top 5 tips for having your dress custom made and avoiding those awkward moments:
1. Know Your Budget
Knowing your budget is important, because it gives us an idea of what we have to work with, and what we can offer you. Many clients have come to us asking for a quote, but don't provide us with a budget, because "they don't really know what dresses cost". But once they get the quote they realise it's too expensive and moves on...this means they did have a price that they didn't want to go over; a.k.a. as a budget. If we had known what that limit was, we could've designed a dress for them based on their ideas, but which would've still been within the limits they set. So please think about what the maximum is you want to pay and let your designer know.
2. Keep an Open Mind
Having a dress made is a process, so changes to the original design might changes; especially if you have a tight budget. The fabric might need to change to fit your budget, which means the design might have to change slightly to work with the new fabric. Or we might not find the fabric you want. Sometimes during fittings clients, and the designer, will see something doesn't sit right, which means something would have to change. It's great if you come with a specific idea in mind, but you will have to be open to a few changes...and trust the guidance of your dress maker!
3. It Takes Time
Having a dress made takes time. You need to come for measurements, then the pattern gets made, after that we need to buy the fabric, then the sample gets made...and that's just the beginning. Having a dress made is a 2 to 6 month commitment, so don't leave it for too late. Rather come too early than too late. We've had too many clients that we needed to turn away because they just waited to long before contacting us.
Be prepared for fittings. One of the reasons having a dress made takes time, is that you need to make time for fittings. Fittings are a very important part of the dress making process. It's what ensures the perfect fit. It's mostly what the difference is between having a dress made and buying one. If you are somebody with a busy schedule, having a dress made is probably not the best option for you. Please respect the process and the time your designer puts into making the dress perfect for you.
5. Know What You Want
When you come for your consultation, come with a few ideas. If you don't have a specific idea yet, that's fine, just come with a few pictures of designs you like. This will give us an idea of what your style is and in what direction we should go in. We always suggest doing some research before coming for your appointment. It will help your designer know what your style is as well as make it possible for them to give you a more accurate cost estimation. They will be able to better advise you on certain fabrics and what will work for your figure and what won't.
Having a dress made is not the best decision for everybody, but if you are looking for something specific that you can't find in the shops and you're willing to commit, then go for it!