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Yes, custom-made dresses tend to be more expensive than off-the-rack dresses, but it’s not always a straightforward comparison. Here’s a breakdown of the factors involved when exploring if a custom dress is more expensive vs. buying off the rack:

Reasons why custom dresses are typically more expensive:

  • Uniqueness: You get a one-of-a-kind dress designed by you with the help of your own custom dress designer. The dress is tailored and created specifically to your body measurements and design preferences.
  • Quality materials and craftsmanship: Custom dresses often use higher quality fabrics and require more skilled labor, leading to a higher cost. Custom dresses are much more labor intensive and each dress pattern is made to each client’s custom measurements.
  • Design consultation and collaboration: You get personalized attention from the designer throughout the process, guiding you along the way to create the most perfect design that flatters your body.
  • Multiple fittings and alterations: Custom dresses involve multiple fittings to ensure a perfect fit, which adds to the cost along with minor alterations that are included with your custom dress.

However, there are nuances to consider:

  • Alterations costs on off the rack dresses: When shopping for a dress at a bridal boutique, sometimes the sales associate won’t tell you what to expect as far as alterations go. When you purchase a dress off the rack or from a boutique, you should expect to add $500-$1000 in alterations on top of the dress price tag. When you consider the cost spent for a dress off the rack and the alterations the wedding dress may require, a custom dress does not seem too far out of reach!
  • Cost can vary greatly: The price depends on the designer’s experience, the complexity of the design, design details and the chosen fabrics. You can find more affordable custom dress design options if you prioritize specific elements. Or you can check out our Made to Order collection where you can personalize certain details of dress and have it made to your measurements. 
  • Value proposition: Some consider the higher price justifiable for a unique, perfectly fitting dress they adore. Others might prioritize affordability and choose off-the-rack with alterations. You just have to decide what is best and most important to you.
  • Comparison isn’t always apples-to-apples: Compare custom dresses to similar quality, off-the-rack gowns for a more accurate price comparison. Factor in potential alteration costs for off-the-rack dresses as well and decide what is most important to you. Wedding pictures last forever!