Ready To Wear Fashion
Ready To Wear Fashion
According to Wikipedia Ready to wear fashion for women is - "Ready-to-wear or prêt-à-porter is the term for ready-made garments, 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 a rather different place 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 make mass-produced and industrially manufactured ready-to-wear lines, while others offer garments that are not unique but are produced in limited numbers."
In the early 19th century, women's fashion was highly ornate and dependent on a precise fit, so ready-to-wear garments for women did not become widely available until the beginning of the 20th century. Before, women would alter their previously styled clothing in order to stay up to date with fashion trends. Women with larger incomes purchased new, fully tailored clothing in current styles while middle-class and lower-class women adjusted their clothing to fit changes in fashion by adding new neck collars, shortening skirts, or cinching shirt waists.
The widespread adoption of ready-to wear clothing reflected a variety of factors including economic disparities, a desire for an independent fashion industry, and an increase in media attention. The demand for affordable and fashionable women's clothing sparked designers and department stores to manufacture clothing in bulk quantities that were accessible to women of all classes and incomes. Through the emergence of the US ready-to-wear market, designers like Chanel with their shift dress or the mail-order catalogs sent to rural farms by Sears allowed women to purchase clothing faster and at a cheaper price. The introduction of the concept of "pret-a-porter" has been attributed to Sonia Delaunay after her geometric styles were exhibited at the seminal 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
Another significant factor created by the ready-to-wear industry was the US development of a style independent from Europe. The US fashion market turned away from Parisian style in favor of an individualized apparel industry promoted through advertisements and articles in magazines like Women's Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, and Ladies Home Journal.
Ready-to-wear also sparked new interests in health, beauty, and diet as manufactured clothing set specific, standardized sizes in attire in order to increase quantities for profit. Women of larger sizes had difficulties finding apparel in department stores, as most manufacturers maintained and sold the limited sizes across the nation.
Overall ready-to-wear fashion exposed women to the newest styles and fashion trends, leading to a substantial increase in profits by US factories from $12,900,583 in 1876 to $1,604,500,957 in 1929. The ready-to-wear fashion revolution led to an expansion of the US fashion industry that made fashionable apparel accessible, cost effective, and commensurable.
Interest in ready to wear was sparked by Yves Saint Laurent, who was the first designer to launch a ready to wear collection, and in 1966 he opened Rive Gauche, his first ready to wear boutique. Whether he succeeded in democratizing fashion is an open question, since few were able to afford his designs, but he did pave the way for ready-to-wear fashion and the cross-fertilisation between haute-couture and high-street fashion that persists into 21st century.
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