Q: What's the difference between ordering my Whirling Turban dress custom-fit and choosing a dress in the Bombshell Boutique?
A: Our custom-fit dresses are more expensive than our ordered-by-standard size, ready-made "Boutique" dresses.
The titans of industry order their suits custom-made whereas the branch bank manager buys off-the-rack in a ready-made, predetermined size. Do titans and stars have their clothes custom made because it's a status symbol or because they enjoy standing and having their measurements taken? No.
The reason why garments are custom-made is because, when a garment is made for you and only for you -with a unique fit particular to your body alone- the fact that the garment fits well actually conceals "flawed" aspects of your anatomy. A garment that is expertly custom-made to fit you makes your body, posture and proportions appear more ideal. A well-fitting garment can absolutely take off ten pounds or be as good as plastic surgery. This is a "movie star fit" and it's what we do at Whirling Turban. Please don't confuse our customized, service-intensive, couture fit with off -the-rack garments made with a loose "general fit" cut or even "custom fit" dresses ordered over the internet using only 4 or 5 measurements.
When fabric pulls because it is attempting to drape around a shape underneath that the garment doesn't fit, it calls attention to flaws or can create the illusion of flaws.
Here is an example of how the manner in which a garment hangs can affect our perception of the body underneath. You have no idea how big the person wearing this shirt is; this could be a slim, athletic person wearing a child's shirt. But you assume the person is fat and ill-shaped because the pulling lines, folds and wrinkles on the garment tell you that the body underneath is shaped badly and that "something is amiss underneath this garment".
If this garment hung smoothly and evenly around the body underneath, you would think the body underneath was "right" and in proportion or ideally proportioned.
If you are ordering an important dress from us, we will send you a loaner garment to try on before deciding which pattern to use for you and before determining how "standard" the cut of your garment needs to be. If you are truly a standard size with standard posture and have no unusual characteristics, one of our basic patterns will likely fit you just fine and having your garment custom-fit will be unnecessary.
You may fit mass-produced garments in standard sizes because mass-produced garments must be made to fit a variety of figures. To accomplish this they are either made from stretchy fabrics that adapt to many different bodies, or they are cut loosely to accommodate different shapes. This is not the type of garment we make at Whirling Turban- we use a more personalized and precise cut; a cut that duplicates and defines your own unique contours and fits close to the body.
While we sell our "ready made" or "off the rack" garments on our web site in our "Bombshell Boutique", if you are shopping for a wedding dress we will "detain" you briefly to ask you a few additional questions about your figure in order to insure that the dress ends up fitting you beautifully. We will likely encourage you enthusiastically to try a loaner first or warn you if we feel you will need a custom pattern. We do this because we want you to have nothing less than a red carpet fit.
There is more that goes into fit than circumferences or the distance around your bust, waist, and hips, unless you are wearing a very loose-fitting garment that doesn't need to fit your contours. (Having fit "built into" the cut of a garment becomes less critical if the fabric is a stretch fabric.)
To give you more of an idea about what goes in to a custom fit have a look below at six variations in your posture alone that will affect the fit of a garment. If your pattern is not made to accommodate any of the below variations, the result will be pulling or bagging in the fabric of the garment, making your body shape inside the garment look less appealing.
And the variations above are only the postural variations! You can also be short, tall, have a long or short torso, a low or high bust, hips or a derriere that start in a higher or lower than average position, have a broad back and the list goes on. These things are not "figure flaws", unless the garment doesn't fit thereby making the body underneath look "wrong".
"How do you create your precise, custom fit at a distance?"
In order to determine the size, shape and contours of your body, we ask you to submit a thorough list of your measurements. We also ask you to send us, via email, digital body pic photos. We use the body pics and our considerable experience to 1) confirm the measurements you have sent us and to 2) analyze and create a pattern for your posture and unique contours. We also request that you try on a loaner garment or a sample mock-up/toile, as needed. We have a lot of experience fitting garments at a distance.
"Do I need a custom fit?"
The more closely-fitting and the less stretchy your garment style is, the less you can get away without a custom fit if you are not a standard size (and few people are). This is why clothing manufacturers make today's fashions without a close fit and/or they use stretch fabrics. (With wedding dresses, another trick they use is to make a dress bodice a bit like a suit of armor/ "breast plate" that will virtually stand alone in the corner with no body in it. It is so built up and heavy that it conceals what is underneath it and while you wear it, if you turn your body the dress remains headed forward (haha!) and doesn't "turn" with you. This is not graceful and feminine. But they want to create a garment that is going to fit many different bodies and need to find a way around doing the work of fitting which a task that simply isn't practical in a retail dress.
If you want the impact of a garment with a close fit like Whirling Turban dresses have and are not a very standard size, you may need a custom fit. Only about 15% of our wedding dress customers find that they do not need any customization of their fit once they have tried on a loaner. If you do try on a loaner and need no customization, you will have the security of having tried on the loaner and knowing that the dress is going to arrive fitting you, and you will not incur any special fitting expense with your Whirling Turban dress.
Be aware that you may not have worn that many garments in the past that were very closely-fitting and made from non-stretch fabrics, so you may have non-standard fitting characteristics that you don't know about.
You are more likely to be able to get away without a custom fit:
-your fabric is dark, colored or has a motif/print
-your style is not form-fitting
-your fabric is has a matte finish and is not shiny
-the design you've chosen has lots of stretch built into it
-your fabric is stiff and is not thin, soft and drapey like silk
-you are thin (since the closer a person is to their skeleton base form, the more alike people are shaped)
"I think I have a standard shape and I want to order my dress by measurements only."
(Also, see BELOW for info about trying on our LOANER dresses to check the fit.)
If you think you are close to a standard size, go ahead and order one of our "Bombshell Boutique" dresses, which we make from our popular patterns that have successfully fit many people with your measurements. We do not sell in sizes like 8, 10, or 12 because there can be too much variation in the sizing philosophy from manufacturer to manufacturer. We carefully measure each and every dress we make and list the dresses by the measurements of the body it will fit rather than the measurements of the garment. We usually allow some extra fabric inside the dress and construct the dresses to be easy to alter wherever possible.
With some information about your figure, we can tell you how likely it is that one of our dresses will fit you- just call or e-mail and we be glad to discuss with you. We can also tell you if it is likely that you can have it altered locally for a reasonable cost. Assuming you bought the correct size, you may also send the dress back to us for alterations. If you need alteration advice please don't hesitate to ask as we are experts at altering our dresses and are happy to help!
We can also provide alterations, at an additional charge, to the dress before we send it to you. We can alter it for you at a more reasonable price than you can have it done locally and you will enjoy the convenience of having the dress arrive already adjusted to your size.
Watch out For These Potential Problems
Beware of wedding dress vendors who want you to buy the dress "and just have it altered locally". Not all alterations can be made once the dress is cut so you might end up with a dress impossible to alter! Just "buying it larger" will not necessarily provide the extra fabric needed in the right place. Furthermore, it is more work to extensively alter a dress than it is to make a dress from scratch, so your alterations bill could be astronomical.
We work to avoid these problems before they occur. It's more "trouble" ordering the dress from us beforehand because we are going to ask you for more information. But this way we are preventing mistakes ahead of time. We'd rather do that than make it very simple to order and have you receive the dress along with a big hassle for you after it arrives.
Also beware of dresses that are cut more loosely than you are expecting. Look at the photos closely- is the model's pose distracting you from the fact that the dress actually has a less-defined fit than you are expecting? Or is it a dress that fits loosely as part of the style but that will only look well on a tall, model-thin frame? An "artsy, loose" fit is generally not optimal for the curvy or the short in stature.
"I am pretty easy-going and I can't afford a custom-fit dress, so I prefer to take my chances on a dress made by measurements only and not fully custom-fit."
(Also, see BELOW for info about trying on our LOANER dresses to check the fit.)
OK! Some brides are fussier than others, and we at Whirling Turban can be very perfectionistic. But in order to protect our reputation and insure your happiness, we must always err on the side of caution in our recommendations about whether we think you need a custom-fit dress or can just order by the basic size information of height, bust, waist and hip size.
If you prefer to make the decision to buy a dress from us without trying a loaner and made by measurements only:
1) You must be very careful beforehand to insure that your measurements are accurate and that they are taken according to our instructions.
2) You must take responsibility for the decision. If our pattern does not fit your unique body shape this does not constitute an error on our part, and wedding or custom-made dresses are absolutely not returnable. The only way to predict *with certainly* how a given pattern will fit you is by trying it on first via a Loaner (http://www.whirlingturban.com/wedding_boutique/loaner_dress.php), or by having a test dress or toile made which is sometimes part of the process of a completely custom-fit dress.