Clothing was the norm in the past due to the restricted availability and accessibility of ready-to-wear businesses. Ready-to-wear was meant to be a passing phenomenon that only the rich and wealthy could buy due to its high cost and limited use, wearing bespoke clothing was the societal norm. Due to its high cost and restricted use, ready-to-wear was seen as a passing fad that only the wealthy and well-heeled could afford.
However, as time passed and machines and factories were invented, the tides began to turn. Due to machine efficiencies and economies of scale, ready-to-wear has become much more affordable and accessible. As a result, prepared clothing became a popular choice among the general public, who naturally chose things that were cheaper and more readily available. As a result, during this period, the demand for clothing grew focusing on the ready-to-wear market.
This seismic shift in customer preferences and demand patterns did not happen overnight or without reason. Apparel suppliers made significant adjustments to their business model even before this transition became evident. Consumer preference has shifted from custom to pre-made garments following the successful implementation of these changes. Company plans have been modified to make them more responsive to customer needs and expectations.
Some of the changes that influenced this shift in demand included obtaining raw materials from nearby locations and mass manufacturing in factory units to save money through economies of scale. Additionally, the available range of patterns, colors and sizes have been expanded, prices have been lowered and manufacturing processes have been accelerated to help the market gain an affection for ready-to-wear more quickly. As a result of these actions, the apparel market changed and pre-made garments became the most convenient and cost-effective option for customers. As a result, the ready-to-wear standard was set.
As the competitive apparel segment grew in popularity, the bespoke apparel industry began to fade. Due to the relatively high prices and longer processing times that define the bespoke apparel industry, demand has steadily declined. As a result, bespoke clothing has gone from a common item of clothing for everyone to an expensive segment reserved for the wealthy to wear as a status statement.
The internet age has marked a comeback for the industry lately, after so much disruption and adjustment. Prices for ready-made garments soared to sky-high heights as fashions and trends changed and designer brands appeared. As prices for pre-made clothing, especially designer and fashionable items, have reached levels beyond the reach of the average middle-class individual, the public has once again turned to bespoke clothing for meet her fashion needs. As a result, large numbers of people are now able to purchase locally tailored designer items and fits at reasonable prices.
Moreover, as technology and digitalization have advanced all over the world, the internet has become a viable choice in the custom clothing industry. Selling and buying custom clothing online is viable, simple and profitable, giving this business a new shape. Virtual marketing allows sellers to reach a wider audience in order to discover new customers. Sellers can now make their items available across borders in understandable timeframes thanks to the internet and widespread globalization.
The use of new era immersive technologies in customer service has to be the most significant method in which technology has empowered the custom apparel market. Virtual testing and sampling has been made possible through improvements in technology, allowing individuals to see and experience what is available. What might a particular pattern or color look like? Customers can now “try on” bespoke garments before placing an order, thanks to advances in technology such as augmented reality and virtual reality. 3D personalization apps and websites are leading solutions that allow shoppers to take advantage of this option.
This trial option makes it easier for buyers and manufacturers by giving consumers a taste of their purchase before they make it and by providing manufacturers with detailed information on the desired look and fit of the garment.
Over the past few decades, the fashion industry has undergone significant transformations. The demand balance between custom and prefabricated fittings has changed several times in the industry. Prices, market trends and customer preferences have all changed, driving these changes. Fashion trends today favor tailored clothing, and they are expected to continue to favor it for the foreseeable future. As a result, the custom fit is undeniably the future of fashion.
(By Bibhuti Dash, Founder and CEO, Louoj)