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Ready-to-wear and Off-the-rack definition

Updated: Sep 16, 2019


From the French "prêt-à-porter", ready-to-wear is a factory-made clothing sold in finished condition and standardized sizes which differs it from made-to-measure and bespoke clothing. Terms off-the-rack or off-the-peg have same meaning and sometimes used to define other items then clothes, such as handbags or shoes.

Ready-to-wear clothes was not widely available until the beginning of the 20th century. Before, depends on the income, people use to alter their worn clothes or fully tailored clothes according to the latest trends.

Yves Saint Laurent was the first designer who launched ready-to-wear collection and opened his first ready-to-wear boutique Rive Gauche in 1966. Well-known fashion houses that produce a women's haute couture line, such as Dior, Chanel, Lacroix and Saint Laurent also produce a ready-to-wear line. It gives the greater profit because of the higher volume of garments made and the greater availability of the clothing. High-end ready-to-wear lines are sometimes based upon a famous gown or other pattern that is then duplicated and advertised to raise the visibility of the designer.

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