Ready to Wear vs Couture – The perfect choice for you

There are many factors that come into choosing the perfect wedding dress. Whilst ultimately the decision will always come down to how it makes you feel as a bride and a woman it’s always important to be educated in the gown you are choosing – sounds super romantic doesn’t it – But hear us out! In an age where the market is FLOODED with choice (yay for you gals!) and a lot of confusion over branding we are going to take you through the differences between Ready-To-Wear, Made-to-Measure and Couture dresses and why they all have their place in the market and possibly all the way to your heart!

Ready to Wear

Final sketches of our french collection ‘Chloe’ gown R: The collection shoot.

 

Here at Wendy Makin we prefer the term Ready-to-Wear as opposed to Off-the-Rack! What you see on the rack is what you get with these gowns. This is the most common way to purchase a gown. A ready-to-wear gown is still designed by a designer and their team but usually made in a factory and tend to follow fashion trends more as the collection is stocked more mass market.

Your closest size is ordered (or stock gown purchased) and once in store is tweaked to fit. They are our more budget friendly friends but that by no means means they cannot be unique! By having alterations done or ordering extra fabrics, laces or motifs – unique touches can be made so the gown is perfect for you! Our french collection is a perfect example of this – The collection is designed by Wendy Makin in house at our East Brisbane Studio and made off shore. Whilst you can make a few design decisions when ordering gowns (e.g colour options, beaded or unbeaded, sleeve/Sleeveless) extra fabrics can be purchased to come in with your gown in order to make it exactly as you imagine once it arrives! The other positive to a Ready-to-Wear gown is that you know what you are getting in a design as you have already tried on what you have ordered or purchased as opposed to having something made.

French Collection by Wendy Makin ‘Bayonne’ – Ready to Wear

 

Couture

Applique work on Wendy Makin Couture ‘Valina’

In the most general of terms Couture Dresses are dreamt up by a designer and brought to life in house by their hand selected workroom of talented magicians also known as pattern makers and seamstresses. Being made in house means only the best fabrics, the finest fit and the highest quality workmanship will do. It’s this hands on approach that defines a couture gown as it allows a gown to be customised to a bride in one of two ways – a made to measure gown which is selected from a range and made specifically for a bride to her measurements, or custom which is thought up and designed in consultation with the bride.

Wendy cutting out a made to measure gown

There is nothing quite like having a garment that is tailor-made to flatter your figure. No one size body is alike. Heck even sometime our own body isn’t even from our left to right side! It takes a little bit of education to understand how fabric can enhance, shape and enhance your body shape through perfect cut, drape and proper support. What you get with a made to measure gown is something ‘you’ sized. It is beyond a standard bust, waist and hip. It should also take into account things like height, body length and cup size so that it not only fits but it is in proportion to your body.

Final fittings on Wendy Makin Couture ‘Willow’

With couture wedding gowns, you can customise not only the fit, but you can mix and match and choose the materials and design elements that you truly love. At our Wendy Makin Design Studio you can chose different fabrics, laces, necklines, skirts into endless combinations to suit you and your uniqueness!

Having a couture gown is a service and an experience. You are working with someone with an idea, from design conception until the very last fitting. Choose someone you trust, that listens to your ideas – that takes into account you as a person to create your dream dress – whilst also keeping true to their design aesthetic.

Perfecting the lace placement on our couture ‘Amber’ gown

Other Factors:

  • Price: There can be a vast difference between the pricing of Ready-to-Wear and Couture. Our French Collection starts at $1100 and goes up to $3000, for this collection you need to factor in alterations once your gown arrives. There is alot of savings to be had if not a lot of alterations are required and you love the gown as is! For our Australian made Couture we start at $2300 and for our Design Studio Made-to-Measure service we start at $2500 and goes up to $5500 which is inclusive of your alterations.

 

French Collection by Wendy Makin Jeanne

  • Time: Ready to Wear gowns made off shore generally require 6 months in order to arrive in store and allow time for alterations. For a Couture gown – how long is a piece of string! Time is always ideal in order to secure our fabrics and be scheduled into production and fittings happen a lot closer to your wedding day to ensure a perfect fit! However, if you are on a shorter turnaround there isn’t any need to discount the idea of custom – being made in Australia allows some things to happen faster – providing there is access to all the materials and man power required!