There's "off the rack" like Wal-Mart and there's "off the rack" like Saks Fifth Avenue. All "off the rack" is not the same, but it's all clothing that is ready to wear. Ready to wear is the opposite of custom-made couture.
Couture fashion is ordered in advance. It's not hanging on racks in stores because it's too rare and precious. Women pay major money to get custom couture designs that are hand-sewn and, usually, hand-embroidered with love by skilled artisans at high fashion ateliers. Some of these couture designs cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Most women (there are exceptions) who opt for lower-end off the rack don't actually have the option of buying couture. They may not even have the option of buying the priciest off the rack designs. Usually, buying off the rack is about money. It's generally cheaper. There are other advantages, too, which will be discussed today.
In addition to sharing 12 reasons why women choose off the rack fashion, we'll also share twelve reasons why women should spend the extra dough to get custom designs or indulge in the most runway-ready "ready to wear".
Clothes do get noticed, but some women definitely look amazing in "low-end" off the rack clothes. Personal style and charisma play a role in how off the rack or pricier pieces are put together, as well as what the overall effect is.
24 It's Cheaper - Off the Rack
When you head to a local Gap, you're not going to find dresses that cost as much as condos, like some couture designs do. You're going to find basics that are modern and affordable for most. A cute wrap dress from the Gap will typically retail for around $79.95, according to Gap.com, unless it's on sale for way less.
Usually, malls offer a host of affordable off the rack designs from popular chain stores. Some malls also have the pricier versions of ready to wear, which cost hundreds or even thousands, but never cost as much as couture. Women who want to save money find stylish pieces for less, which are mass-produced.
23 It Fits Better - Extra Dough
If you want clothes that are made for your body, and fit better than anything else that you've ever put on, couture is worth the extra dough. "The Richest" treat themselves to couture gowns, suits and separates that are made by hand to suit their specific measurements.
The amount of labor that goes into ladies couture is staggering. This, along with the designer label and fine fabrics, justify the exorbitant price. According to Stylecaster.com, couture designs are limited edition. This means that only ten or less of a specific style are made. If you want exclusive fashion, couture is worth the money.
22 It's Convenient - Off the Rack
Spontaneous women who want to get what they need, without the wait, appreciate the ease and convenience of shopping for off the rack designs. It's so easy to pop into a shop, grab something that looks like it will fit and then pay for it. It's possible to grab clothes in no time flat.
Buying off the rack may mean sacrificing the perfect fit, but it's a quick and simple way to buy clothes. Also, "off the rack" designs are available online, so women can buy them via their home computers or smartphones. Couture requires more waiting time and more commitment. Most women don't order couture gowns, such as styles from Dior.com, via the World Wide Web.
21 It's a Status Symbol - Extra Dough
Want to show the world that you've made it? Then, drape yourself in haute couture. It's safe to say that you'll have elite style. People will assume that you're loaded and they'll be right, because you need to be to buy it, unless you're willing to drown in debt to get custom couture pieces.
Couture is exclusive and this makes it a status symbol. Most women will never don a single piece of haute couture in their lives. It's for one percenters. It's special not only because of its price, but because of its workmanship and the artistry of the designer. According to Reuters.com, the demand for couture is growing among the newly-rich in China.
20 Instant Gratification - Off the Rack
Shopping is a relaxing activity and that's why the phrase, "retail therapy" is used so frequently in popular culture. If you go to the mall, you'll find a lot of women buying stuff that they don't necessarily need, simply to unwind.
When women shop off the rack, they get instant gratification. They don't need to sit and wait for master seamstresses and tailors in Paris to complete the clothes that they've ordered. They can grab fun clothes and then take them straight home.
The couture experience is more long-winded, but fabulous. According to Elle.com, it takes one hundred hours to make a couture gown from Dior.
19 VIP Experience - Extra Dough
The experience of shopping at the world's most exclusive fashion boutiques, such as Chanel or Valentino, is designed to give customers the VIP experience. If you don't want to feel like a number, visit one of these shops, pull out a credit card with an extremely high limit and then let the sales team know that you're interested in couture. Watch the team spring into action and cater to your every need.
Sure, this type of pampering is a bit crass, because it's ultimately a business transaction, but it's still fun. According to BBC.com, couture customers are getting younger, because they want the best, along with royal treatment.
18 Great Designers Sell Ready to Wear - Off the Rack
It's possible to get designer clothes off the rack that don't cost a fortune, but are still very fashionable, and that's one great reason why women should continue buying off the rack, rather than squandering money on couture. For example, big and respected designers, such as Giorgio Armani, offer cheaper lines (Armani sells less expensive off the rack clothes through Armaniexchange.com). These cheaper lines are referred to as diffusion lines or bridge lines.
Other designers who offer them include Vera Wang (Simply Vera for Kohl's) and Norma Kamali for Wal-Mart. Bear in mind the fabrics may be a bit cheaper than the non-bridge designer lines...or a lot cheaper.
17 It's Collectible - Extra Dough
When you pay a great deal for clothing or an accessory, it will become more special, because you really invested in it. It may also become something that you collect more of in the future. For example, a woman who buys couture may find that collecting couture pieces becomes a favorite hobby.
Or, she might spend a bit less by collecting Hermes scarves, or something like that. Sure, Hermes scarves are technically "off the rack", but they're really expensive. According to Hermes.com, the "Tout En Carre" silk scarf retails for over a grand. Some women are collectors of expensive fashion and some aren't.
16 It's Not Elitist - Off the Rack
Some women don't want the elitist look and this is why they gravitate towards off the rack designs. They can look pulled-together and stylish without spending a fortune to achieve what is basically the current FLOTUS' look.
If you don't particularly want to look like a "lady who lunches", you'll probably be very content to stick with off the rack fashion. Find fun pieces from Uniqlo.com or cruise the mall and find cheaper designs that suit your style, without making you look like an elitist. Buy a homeless person a sandwich with the money that you save or donate that cash to a worthy charity. There's more to life than the clothes on our backs.
15 It's Red Carpet-ready - Extra Dough
Women who need to dazzle on the red carpet (or at other important special events) may want to pull out all of the stops by avoiding off the rack and going for the exclusive stuff instead.
For example, a woman who has scored a precious invitation to the Met Ball is probably not going to want to attend in a formal gown from the mall. Some occasions call for more refinement. That's why events like the Met Ball are hotbeds for couture. It's not just famous women who wear couture to the Met Ball. It's every woman who can afford it. According to Businessinsider.com, if you want to go to the Met Ball, you'll need thirty grand for your ticket.
14 Indie Brands Are Available - Off the Rack
Up-and-coming designers with tons of talent and little experience are usually in the indie territory. They make ready to wear because they don't have the capital required to produce couture for customers. They are working their way up the high fashion ladder, one "off the rack" collection at a time.
If you shop off the rack, you'll be able to find hot and happening designers who may just be the great designers of tomorrow. According to Vogue.com, designer Raf Simons, who now heads the Calvin Klein fashion house, started out making non-couture clothing under his own name. Find the hot new designers in your area and support them by purchasing their off the rack designs.
13 It's Great for Weddings - Extra Dough
Are you a woman who's planning a really fancy wedding? If so, you may want a couture wedding gown, or an extremely pricey "off the rack" design, which most women could never afford. How much you want to spend on your wedding dress is really a personal thing. Some women don't need to wear handmade frocks from Paris, while others won't be happy with anything else.
According to Weddingwire.com, most women shell out between four hundred and seventeen hundred dollars for their bridal gowns. Clearly, they are not buying couture. A couture gown will be a treasured keepsake which is basically a museum piece. It'll be an heirloom in the family.
12 It's Easier to Do High-Low Style - Off the Rack
High-low is a mixture of good pieces (usually, pricier ready to wear) and cheap items. It's eclectic and interesting. Women who love the high-low look, which is such a great way to show personality, will not want to trade in off the rack shopping for couture.
According to the Nypost.com website, high-low fashion is all about mixing pieces from thrift shops, online auction houses, vintage stores and other inexpensive stores. People who love high-low prowl around malls and other boutiques, looking for treasure, and treasure can be cheap or costly. If this imaginative way of dressing appeals to you, you won't need couture to feel confident.
11 It's Good for Business - Extra Dough
Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money. This is where avoiding off the rack business attire comes in. If you prefer to splurge on Armani couture for the office, you may be investing in your own success. Studies have shown that people dressed in the height of formal business attire inspire more trust in others. People defer to them naturally because of how they are dressed.
According to Theatlantic.com, formalwear also makes the people who put it on feel more powerful, so it definitely boosts self-confidence. When you feel powerful, you may be more assertive and more willing to get what you want in the workplace. Off the rack clothes might make you feel like you're second best.
10 It's Less Self-indulgent - Off the Rack
If you're the type who feels guilty about spending a lot of money on yourself, couture may not be worth the money, even if you have the money. You'll feel too self-indulgent when you buy it and wear it. Couture is perfect for fashionistas or flat-out divas, who love to pamper themselves and don't feel any pangs of guilt when they plunk down huge amounts of money for the most expensive clothing wardrobes.
According to Forbes.com, everyone should train themselves not to feel bad when they spend money on themselves. Self-indulgence, in moderation, can be a good thing. It's about treating yourself.
9 Because Money Is No Object - Extra Dough
Women with money to burn can buy couture and the most expensive off the rack clothes, because money is just not a problem. What would you wear if money was no object? Perhaps you'd stick to what you usually wear, but you might find yourself looking for the costliest, coolest designs from Net-a-porter.com or local luxury boutiques.
You'd probably find that your look evolved dramatically over time. When we have access to the most fabulous designs, as well as ample money to buy them, it's hard to resist dressing to the nines.
8 People Can Alter the Clothes - Off the Rack
Women who buy couture have fittings with master seamstresses or tailors. The clothes are adjusted and altered to fit their bodies. Women who shop off the rack are able to alter their own clothes, or pay far less than couture prices for professional alterations. If you want the freedom to alter your clothes without emptying your bank account, shopping off the rack is the way to go.
According to Lifehacker.com, hemming your own pants will be a total breeze. Tailor's chalk and a sewing kit or sewing machine will be all that you need. It'll cost you next to nothing to get a custom look.
7 It's Resort-ready - Extra Dough
Women who spend their summers jet-setting to Ibiza, Cannes and other chic vacation destinations need resort wear that is right on the cutting edge of fashion. Whether they splurge on colorful jumpsuits from Louisvuitton.com or go for resort couture or high-priced resort clothing from other top designers, they are dressing to impress as they soak up the sun and hit the clubs at night.
Resort fashion is big business. The more exclusive the holiday destination, the more appropriate it is to shop off the rack. Why buy a swimsuit coverup from the mall when you can wear a design that has been seen on the runways of New York, Paris, and Milan?
6 It's More Casual and Comfortable - Off the Rack
Athleisure is a style option that so many women are embracing. Cool athleisure is available off the rack. When women wear sportswear while they do errands and relax, they are very comfortable, but still feel stylish. While the whole athleisure trend is pulling women away from dressing up, it's empowering. Women should be able to walk easily in what they wear and get things done in their clothes.
According to Forbes.com, the athleisure trend shows no sign of a slowdown. If women want to spend a fortune on athleisure, they can, but they don't have to. Yeezy sneakers that cost thousands are out there, but so are sneakers from lower-priced brands, such as Nike.
5 Bragging Rights - Extra Dough
Now, we get to the uglier side of spending a bundle on clothes. It's bragging rights. When a woman spends an amazingly massive amount of money on a couture Chanel jacket, or something like that, she's buying into a fashion house's history and image and accessing a garment that screams "privilege". Some women may not buy couture for this reason, but it's safe to say that some do buy it to show off. It's not the worst thing that a human being can do, right?
According to Smh.com.au, the lowest price for a couture garment is typically thirty grand and prices go a lot higher.
4 It Can be Returned - Off the Rack
When women buy clothes off the rack, they can usually take garments back for exchanges or refunds if they want to, as long as they have their receipts. With couture, it's a bit harder to return something, as it's been custom-made and fitted just for a specific person.
Some women are apparently gaming the "off the rack" retail system, by returning clothes that they've actually worn, with a mind to saving money, according to Marketwatch.com. That's not ethical, but it happens a lot. In the world of couture, people are going to ask questions when you try to return a hundred thousand dollar gown. It's not going to be a ten-minute transaction.
3 Celebs Wear It - Extra Dough
Now, it's time to address celebrity culture. So many of us see celebs on the red carpet and see celebs in casual situations, where they are caught by the paparazzi. We also see them and their clothing choices through their Instagram accounts.
Quite often, celebs don't need to pay for the "big bucks" clothes on their backs. These garments are gifted to celebs, because designers know that celebrities are influencers who help the designers to sell a ton of costly clothes. This is probably why Gucci.com decided to pay a certain former One Direction member to model for them. Women who want the celeb look may find that off the rack just doesn't cut it.
2 Secondhand Stuff is For Sale - Off the Rack
There are so many amazing vintage stores and thrift stores out there these days. It's possible to find wonderful clothes secondhand and buy them off the rack, for much less than full retail.
According to Buzzfeed.com, some secondhand stores are also really unique and interesting. Women who want something different may prefer to hunt for secondhand treasures off the rack and they may save lots of money, too. Rumors in Richmond, Virginia is one thrift store that in-the-know fashionistas absolutely love. There are plenty more. Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood is an American hotbed for secondhand shops with bona fide hipster flair.
1 Love of Fashion - Extra Dough
Buying couture or seriously expensive ready to wear isn't always about showing off on social media, or bragging rights, or looking like a lady who lunches. Some people who buy it have original style...they have great personal style. They buy it because they passionately love fashion. They live and breathe high fashion.
A woman who's read every issue of Vogue Magazine from childhood on is a good candidate for couture. She's committed to learning about fashion and finding designs that evoke her soul. Also, women who need to maintain a certain image in creative fields, including fashion, are the types of women who should indulge in couture from Chanel.com or other fashion houses.