Glossary

  • Bespoke
    The distinguishing points of bespoke tailoring are the buyer's total control over the fabric used, the features and fit, and the way the garment should be made. More generally, bespoke describes a high degree of "customization", and involvement of the end-user, in the production of the goods. The word bespoke itself is derived from the verb to bespeak, to "speak for something", in the specialized meaning "to give order for it to be made". The term bespoke in fashion is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men's clothing, analogous to women's haute couture, in contrast with mass manufactured ready-to-wear (also called off-the-peg or off-the-rack). While widespread in the United Kingdom, the term is rarely employed in the United States, although it may be used by some in the high-end tailoring business.
    Bespoke clothing is traditionally cut from a pattern drafted from scratch for the customer, and so differs from ready-to-wear, which is factory made in finished condition and standardized sizes, and from made-to-measure, produced to order from an adjusted block pattern. [...] bespoke clothing is now more expensive and is generally accompanied by a high quality of construction.
    While the distinction conferred by haute couture is protected by law in France, the British Advertising Standards Authority has ruled it is a fair practice to use the term bespoke for products which do not fully incorporate traditional construction methods. This position is opposed by the Savile Row Bespoke Association, a trade group of traditional tailors.
    The distinction made here is between bespoke, created without use of a pre-existing pattern, and made to measure, which alters a standard-sized pattern to fit the customer. [...] fittings are increasingly required for both bespoke and made-to-measure.
     
  • Fashion Week
    In high-end fashion, ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a city-wide basis, and the most prominent of these include London, New York, Milan and Paris, and are held twice a year- the Fall/Winter shows take place in February, whilst Spring/Summer collections are shown in September. Smaller lines including the Cruise and Pre-Fall collections, which add to the retail value of a brand, are presented separately at the designer's discretion. Ready-to-wear fashion weeks occur separately and earlier than those of haute couture.
     
  • Haute couture
    Haute couture, French for "high sewing" or "high dressmaking", indicades the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. [...] It originally referred to Englishman Charles Frederick Worth's work, produced in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century. In modern France, haute couture is a "protected name" that can be used only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. However, the term is also used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as Milan, London, New York and Tokyo.
     
  • Made to measure
    vs. Bespoke/custom made
    Typically refers to clothing that is sewn from a standard-sized base pattern. A tailored suit is a common example of a made-to-measure garment. The fit of a made-to-measure garment is expected to be superior to that of a ready-to-wear garment, because ready-to-wear garments are constructed to fit the manufacturer's definition of an average customer, while made-to-measure garments are constructed to fit each customer individually. However, made-to-measure items are seen by many to involve less workmanship than bespoke or "custom made" garments, as made-to-measure garments always involve some form of standardization in the patterning and manufacturing processes, whereas a bespoke garment is made entirely from scratch based on a customer's specifications. Typically, a made-to-measure garment will be more expensive than ready-to-wear garment but cheaper than a bespoke one.
    To order a made-to-measure garment, the customer’s measurements are first taken by a made-to-measure retailer. Then a base pattern is selected that most closely corresponds with the customer’s measurements. This base pattern is altered to match the customer’s measurements. The garment is constructed from this altered pattern. The primary benefits to the customer of made-to-measure clothing are that the garments will be well-fitted to the customer’s body and the customer may have the opportunity to customize the fabric and detailing. The primary disadvantage of made-to-measure is that the customer must wait up to several weeks for the garment to be sewn and delivered. Unlike bespoke garments, which traditionally involves hand sewing, made-to-measure manufacturers use both machine- and hand-sewing. Made-to-measure also requires fewer fittings than bespoke, resulting in a shorter wait between customer measurement and garment delivery.
     
  • Prêt-à-Porter or Ready-to-wear
    Term for factory-made clothing, sold in finished condition, in standardized sizes, as distinct from made to measure or bespoke clothing tailored to a particular person's frame.
    Ready-to-wear has rather different connotations in the spheres of fashion and classic clothing. In the fashion industry, designers produce ready-to-wear clothing intended to be worn without significant alteration, because clothing made to standard sizes fits most people. They use standard patterns, factory equipment, and faster construction techniques to keep costs low, compared to a custom-sewn version of the same item. Some fashion houses and fashion designers produce mass-produced and industrially manufactured ready-to-wear lines, while others offer garments that, while not unique, are produced in limited numbers.
    Fashion houses that produce a women's haute couture line, such as Chanel, Dior, and Lacroix also produce a ready-to-wear line, which returns a greater profit due to the higher volume turnover of garments and greater availability of the clothing. Relative to couture, ready-to-wear clothing is often more practical and informal, though this may not always be the case.
     
  • Label size
    Many designers have their own size charts. As these sizes, which are printed on the labels of the wedding dresses, vary between designers, they also may deviate from the street size of the dresses you usually wear. Wherever possible, on MARRYJim, we also try to publish the data on the label. To those of you who already know the dresses of a specific designer, this may be helpful.
     
  • Street size
    The street size is the size of clothes correlating to the body size of the person wearing them. This system of sizes varies from country to country and is different between men and women. On MARRYJim we see the street size as the size of dresses you wear every day, e.g. the size of your summer dresses.
     
  • Sustainable fashion
    Sustainable fashion, also called eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of environmentalism and social responsibility. Sustainable fashion is part of the larger trend of sustainable design where a product is created and produced with consideration to the environmental and social impact it may have throughout its total life span, including its "carbon footprint". According to May 2007 Vogue sustainability appears not to be a short-term trend but one that could last multiple seasons. While environmentalism used to manifest itself in the fashion world through a donation of a percentage of sales of a product to a charitable cause, fashion designers are now re-introducing eco-conscious methods at the source through the use of environmentally friendly materials and socially responsible methods of production.
     
  • Runway or catwalk
    The runway is a narrow platform that runs into an auditorium. Fashion designers use models to demonstrate their new clothing and accessories during a fashion show.
     
  • Vintage original
    Dresses produced before the 1980s are considered vintage and dresses before 1920s are referred to as antique clothing. Most of the time those dresses have been previously worn, but a small percentage have not and are out of e.g. old warehouse stock.
    During the last years interest in, demand for and acceptance of old and second hand clothing has increased enormously, also since celebrities and top models like Kate Moss, Julia Roberts (wearing a 20 year old Valentino dress to the Oscars in 2001) or Renée Zellweger love to add some vintage pieces to their closet to create a unique style. There are even collectors for vintage clothing. They look at the provenance of the piece, who it owned and to what occasion it was worn. Prices for very old pieces have increased dramatically.
    And of course, the idea of reusing and recycling instead of throwing away to protect the environment is very popular.
     
  • Vintage look
    Vintage look or style is also called “Retro style”, short for retrospective, and usually refers to dresses that imitate the style of a previous era. Vintage clothing got so popular that designers not even pick up traditional styles but also invented a as-used-style fashion called “Used look” with e.g. artificial holes, tattered parts or washed-out colours.




"Following the Fashion" a December 1794 caricature by James Gillray, which satirizes incipient neo-Classical trends in
women's clothing styles, particularly the trend towards what were known at the time as "short-bodied gowns" (i.e. short-bodiced or
high-waisted dresses). This caricature satirizes the figure-type which is most flattered by high-waisted dresses, contrasting it with
a body-type which was not flattered by the style -- as well as playing on the perennial struggle between attempts of the "Cits"
(families of rich merchants in the City of London area) to imitate the stylish aristocrats of west London, versus the determination of
the aristocrats to socially repulse the Cits, and consider them to be still unstylish.

Text in image: "St. James's giving the Ton: a soul without a body" [i.e. bodice]  -  "Cheapside aping the mode: a body without a soul."
St. James refers to the area of London of that name, and "giving the Ton" means setting the aristocratic style. Cheapside was an area
of the merchant district with a particularly lowly reputation.
 





Sources:
Texts use material from Wikipedia, they are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
Haute Couture: Text uses material from the Wikipedia article Haute Couture. A list of the authors you find on Wikipedia.
Ready-to-waer: Text uses material from the Wikipedia article Ready-to-wear. A list of the authors you find on Wikipedia.
Made to measure: Text uses material from the Wikipedia article Made to measure. A list of the authors you find on Wikipedia. 
Bespoke: Text uses material from the Wikipedia article Bespoke. A list of the authors you find on Wikipedia. 
Sustainable fashion: Text uses material from the Wikipedia article Sustainable fashion. A list of the authors you find on Wikipedia.
Image: public domain, creator: Gillray, James, 1756-1815, this is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.
More Information on the description page on Wikipedia. The text uses material from the Wikipedia. A list of the authors you find on Wikipedia.