Made-To-Measure? What's that?

It has been brought to my attention time and time again that most people generally do not understand that my collection is "Made-to-Measure" and I hope to clear this up for you all with this informationally packed blog post today!  

My studio is just that!  A design house where you custom order your dress or gown, directly from me, the designer!  I personally handcut and sew your dress to order.  I'm not a retailer who buys bulk orders of pre made dresses and gowns.  I'm not a factory where stuff is made in multiple quantities.  I am one woman business, making your dress one at a time, just for you with many custom options available to order for your wearing pleasure.   I am in high demand, my dresses are divine and I'm generally booked 8 weeks out.  That is why it takes so long to get your dress from my studio.  When you place a Rush Order, I fit you in to my already overbooked schedule and create your dream dress expedited.

The internet is currently a confusing time for my custom "Made-to-Measure" small business.  With the likes of so many fast fashion businesses clogging up the airways so to speak, people have a buy it now mentality (or disorder as I call it) and most do not or can not understand the wait times associated with buying from my collection. I know I'm not for everyone, and that's fine.  I want to be here for my clients who want something special, handmade just for them and not like anything else available on the market.  If you desire cheap, all you have to do is google it, honey.  


The above expression is the face you will make if you randomly guess your size when placing your order for one of my studio's "Made to Measure" dresses or gowns.  Ladies, my collection is not "Off the Rack" and you will be doing yourself a great disservice if you do not first take the time to measure yourself before selecting your dress size when placing your order.  READ THE LISTING.


This is the expression you will wear upon unboxing your custom "Made-to-Measure" dress or gown from my HARDLEY DANGEROUS COUTURE studio if you take the time to Measure first!  You will swoon at the fit and flare of your handmade dress as it accentuates your curves in all the right places.  You will be so pleased because you took the time to mensure yourself properly before hitting that order button!



Now, we all have limits and I offer specifically "Made to Measure" at my studio.  Let's dive into what's what in the retail and couture world so you understand what I'm all about here at HARDLEY DANGEROUS COUTURE!


 Back in the 1950s you would walk into a department store and shop in a marvelous atmosphere to select your perfect dress.... those days have come and gone and now we have the internet to overload our sensibilities.  Let me help clear this up.  Most retailers you shop from are "Off the Rack.  And no customization is possible in that world.

I am not an "Off the Rack" retailer and here's why!  — "Off the Rack" Literally means Hung on hangers and purchased 'off the rack' — (or 'off the peg' if you happen to be from the UK), this type of dress is based on a combination of standard measurements assigned to a range of sizes (that vary greatly from retailer to retailer) and you will generally need to tailor this garment to fit you. (Most people do not recognize this as an option and wear ill fitting dresses their entire lives). Typically this is the most affordable option when buying mass produced garments that are factory made. "Off the Rack" is only available in the fabric and styles ordered by the store. Attention to detail is often overlooked and basic craftsmanship is the general rule.  Off the Rack can never be priced cheap enough or low enough and for the bargain hunter consumer this is fine.  However, please do not confuse my collection with this type of business.





My HARDLEY DANGEROUS COUTURE studio is "Made-to-Measure"  — Crafted from an existing pattern and then modified based on a handful of measurements, these dresses take time to be made. You will still need to try it on when it arrives to you and will most likely need to make some final adjustments with your local seamstress. Made-to-Measure is more expensive than most 'off the rack' clothing as extra care is taken in creating this dress for you! Made-to-Measure dresses are more expensive than off the rack.  These dresses and gowns will have prices that vary by design, customization and the styles and fabric chosen. Made-to-Measure is not a mass produced item and is a high quality design made just for you!  At HARDLEY DANGEROUS COUTURE "Made to Measure" is very affordable for the amount of work that is put into creating your handmade dress.  My prices start as low as $150+ for one of my exquisitely designed Wedding Party dresses or gowns.  


Now let me tell you what my studio is not!  I am not a custom tailor even though I do offer specific modifications in the form of custom necklines and lengths, these all work within the range of my patterns that I personally designed.  For an additional fee I will even go as far as creating a pattern just for you based on your measurements.  This is not to be confused with a completely custom dress.   


Everyone loves throwing the phrase "custom made" in all that they do!  However a truly custom dress is a process beyond what my schedule will allow!  Custom garments are literally made for you!   A clothier or tailor will take numerous measurements, upwards of 20 or 30, including the slope of your shoulders and back and will create a pattern from which your dress or gown will be made. These garments will be more expensive than made-to-measure — with fabric, again, being the biggest driver.  This service in today's modern world should cost upwards of $700+ for one Dress to be made.

And my favorite overused term is bespoke, some companies are out of their heads with these phrases!  Bespoke garments are made for you, or 'spoken for' (the British tailoring definition), but with a higher level of expertise and more hand construction. For example, a bespoke dress or gown has more than 1,000 hand stitches in the seams and results in a perfectly hand rolled edge that stays in place, hugs the body and never needs to be pressed. These garments are infinitely more expensive, as the craftsmanship requires a very high level of skill and the attention of hand sewers — the ultimate in real luxury. And yes, again, the fabric plays a big part of the investment.  A truly bespoke dress or gown will cost you a few thousand dollars 
We often meet people who have custom or bespoke garments that are still in service 10, even 15 years later. Fine craftsmanship and quality fabrics make this possible.
So the next time you see the word, 'bespoke,' you will not only understand its meaning, but also its original use.  A bespoke dress or gown should cost upwards of $3,000+ (the sky is the limit for pricing this type of gown) 


Finally, you get what you pay for at my studio!  My Collections are the perfect fit for you, if you want a dress or gown that is going to fit like it should, put a Swing in your Sway and has you looking like a million dollar darling for a fraction of the cost!  I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I thank you for following me on my journey!


🙏🏻 - Boss Lady Claire