Tips for Getting Great Custom-Designed Clothes on a Budget

Black woman with hair in bun wearing Tommy Hilfiger bra and underwear and oversized grey suit trimmed with lace and white platform boots

So you want to buy that dress with those hot boots you saw in last month's issue of Vogue? It looked hot on Katie Holmes, and you know you've got the legs to pull it off. Unfortunately, you might not have the budget to pull it off.

Custom-designed clothes give you the option to get the designer looks you want for less. Much less. You can get the looks you like from the runway designed especially for you and your budget.

Here are a few tips for getting great custom-designed clothes on a budget:

Look Overseas

Many suppliers overseas offer to create the looks you want for a fraction of the budget required to buy the same pieces off the rack or from a tailor Stateside. Asian countries such as Vietnam, Korea, and China specialize in tailor-made clothing based on photos and details you provide.

Be sure to check out the reputation of a supplier before you order. Sometimes the cheap price tag will be evident in the cheap material used to make the garment. Make sure you select a vendor known for creating quality garments at a low cost.

Search Etsy

Etsy is the eBay of handmade sellers. You can find dozens of seamstresses selling their creations on the site, and many of them will create custom work for you. Because Etsy is a regulated marketplace, it offers a level of assurance for buyers. You can check out the feedback and past sales of a seller you are interested in hiring to be sure that you can expect to receive quality goods.

If you are unhappy with your purchase, there are also safeguards in place for getting a refund or for reporting the seller.

Find Local Vendors

Many customizers that offer budget-friendly services aren't going to advertise on big-name sites. After all, if they were spending a lot of money on advertising, they'd be charging you more for their services. Look for local vendors through Craig's list, local craft shows, artist cooperatives, or gallery listings. Word of mouth is also a great way to find them. Ask around at craft shops, fabric stores, and similar establishments.

Again, be sure to investigate the reputation of your seamstress before you put down money for a custom job. You don't want to lose your investment on shoddy workmanship. Ask for references if you need to, or look for reviews or forums online that discuss the person's work.

You don't have to have a celebrity's budget in order to dress like one. You can get designer looks or custom clothes for a fraction of the price by simply hiring someone to make them for you. Look for tailors overseas, on online forums like etsy, or through local sources. Always check the reputation of your seamstress first to ensure that you will get a quality product.

Have you ever hired someone to make custom clothing for you? Tell us your tips for success in the comments!

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