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Article: Ready To Wear vs. Custom Made Shirts [Extensive Guide]


Ready To Wear vs. Custom Made Shirts [Extensive Guide]

We usually meet two types of people at our store; one, who says "Hey, just pick whatever we have in the option" and others who want everything to be perfect, precisely and uniquely, as it's a matter of life or death for them.

Both are right! Both are wrong - to some extent. But still, one of them always stands at more advantage than the other. Wondering who's the winning one in this Ready to Wear Vs. custom-made battle, let's find out! 

Ready-to-Wear vs. Custom-Made Shirts

What Does Ready To Wear Mean?

As the name implies, ready-to-wear or RTW shirts are the ones that are pre-manufactured as per standard sizes, patterns, and designs and are available to purchase in the finished condition. In simple words, most of the clothing items you buy directly from an outlet are ready to wear as they are mass-produced in factories using automated machines, and meant to be worn immediately without making any major alterations. 

Likewise, ready-to-wear shirts are usually offered in alphanumeric sizing dimensions; Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large, which in turn streamline the whole production process. Also, to purchase such off-the-rack clothes, you just need to know which standard sizing options fit you well and there's no need to measure different parts of your body precisely.

Other names for such types of clothes are ready-made, off the rack, prepackaged, off the peg, and Prêt-à-porter in French. 

What Does Custom-Made Mean? 

Custom shirts, unlike ready-to-wear ones, are not pre-manufactured in bulk but every piece is sewn when a customer places an order. To craft such shirts, a customer has to provide his exact body measurements and design preferences. 

From fabric type to size, length, collar type, cuff styles, pocket shape, and even the pattern and design of the shirt can be customized as per the customer's requirements. For this purpose, an expert tailor is hired who handsewn the shirt, from start to end, by considering the unique specifications set by the customer. Also, further alterations can also be made by the manufacturer, if required. 

Thus, to purchase a custom-made shirt, one has to learn how to take measurements accurately since every single inch counts. Remember that getting wrong measurements, even by a small amount, can wreak disaster on the final piece, ruining the style of your one-of-kind ensemble. Other words which are used for custom-made shirts are bespoke and tailored clothes. 

Turnaround time

To get your ready-made shirts, all you need to do is to visit the store and pick whatever piece you like. On the other hand, custom-made shirts need longer turnaround times as you first have to provide your detailed body measurements, and then discuss your design preferences without the manufacturer after which the manufacturing of your product is started. 

A custom-made shirt generally requires around 6-8 weeks to get ready and delivered to your place so when time is your most valuable asset, these ready-made shirts that mark the victory. 


Since ready-to-wear shirts are mass-produced by using faster manufacturing techniques, advanced factory equipment, and standard patterns, all these factors cut down the overall cost. On the other hand, custom-made shirts are crafted exclusively by hand by using a more customized and detailed production process. This, in turn, makes custom-made shirts stand at a higher price point. 

Designs and styles

When it comes to styles and designs, ready-to-wear clothes come with a limited range of options. Most of the time, ready-made shirts are manufactured as per the ongoing trends and standard sizes. This, in turn, not only keeps the consumer from having a one-of-a-kind shirt but also puts the plus-size customers in difficulty. 

On the other hand, custom-made shirts have no limits when it comes to styles, designs, or sizing dimensions. The majority of tailored clothes are manufactured by keeping the bellies and love handles in mind so that even people with unusual bodies and disabilities can be comfortably accommodated. 

In addition to this, a customer may incorporate personalized embroidery and monograms on his custom-made shirts to create a clothing item that no one else can ever have. 


Q1: Where do you measure for custom clothes?
Almost every single thing needs to be taken into consideration to get a shirt customized. The basic measurements include waist, highest and widest point of hips, widest part of the upper arm, shoulder to shoulder, neck to sleeve length, collarbone to waist length, neck size, neck to shoulder, cross front, and cross back. 

Q2: Why do people buy custom clothes?
The primary reason why people buy custom clothes, despite their high prices, is because they eliminate the need for size alterations. Also, superior quality is guaranteed in custom shirts since only high-grade materials are used and excellent craftsmanship is employed. 

Q3: How much does it cost to monogram a shirt?
The cost of monogramming a shirt mainly depends upon the logo's size and stitch count. Generally, small to medium-sized monograms cost around $5-$15 per piece. Whereas, larger monograms may range up to $100 or more.

Final Verdict:

By now, you have learned about all the INS and outs of ready-to-wear and custom-made shirts. You know that each one has its sort of advantages and disadvantages so everything boils down to your priorities; if quality and uniqueness are what you want to achieve, go with custom-made shirts. On the other hand, if fast turnarounds and cost are what you prefer the most, RTW shirts will suit you best. 

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