WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Designing a custom dress with DifferentRegard
Updated: Sep 17
Have you ever wanted a piece of clothing that doesn't exist? Same. Keep reading.
I find style inspiration everywhere - vintage fashion, contemporary fashion, architecture, social construct, emotions. One day, while scrolling through Instagram, I spotted a vintage dress, unlike any I'd seen before. It had bold shoulders, asymmetrical hem, ruching, and a fringe detail. The fabric looked sturdy, yet malleable, and its cut was flattering for all bodies.
What struck me the most about the dress? I'd never seen anything like it before.
Being vintage and sourced as a one-of-a-kind piece, the dress would never make it to my closet. But it got me thinking....what if I could design a custom piece, similar to this dress, tailored to my body? And if you're a loyal follower, you know I'm here for PERSONAL style, including one-of-a-kind looks that put my aesthetic, self-awareness, and curves on display.
But custom pieces are not always easy to come by, and they can take months of consults, planning, and production. After I decided I wanted to design a custom dress, I started lookng for a company to produce my idea. As a Baltimore resident, I trusted DifferentRegard with bringing my idea to life. DifferentRegard is a Baltimore clothing brand that also offers custom clothing services.
CONSULT. I booked a Custom Design Consult with DifferentRegard to detail my vision, complete with my inspo photo (as well as a concrete list of design changes I wanted to make from the inspiration photo). During this appointment, DifferentRegard took my measurements to ensure the design and fit, fit my needs. I recommend getting measured regularly; knowing your measurements makes shopping (especially online) much easier. DifferentRegard also offers Made-to-Measure fitting, book here.
FABRIC SELECTION. After we decided on a design, Steve, the co-owner of DifferentRegard, called me to consult on fabrics. I decided to design this dress during COVID-19, mind you, so virtual options were appreciated. He showed me fabrics similar to those discussed in our consult, along with additional fabrics DifferentRegard could order. Ultimately, after discussing fabric color, composition, and stretch, we decided on a fabric (with matching fringe).
PRODUCTION. The dress spent about a 1-1.5 months in production. I wasn't in a rush so this was a great timeline for me. Plus, COVID-19 altered everyone's workflow, and I was totally understanding of this.
FIRST FITTING. The first fitting was necessary. After my initial consult, I gained a little weight and therefore, my old measurements ensured my dress was shorter than preferred. So I gave the seamstresses and designers my feedback to ensure the final product was exactly what I wanted.
SECOND FITTING/PICK-UP. After my first fitting, the DifferentRegard team updated the dress per our discussion during the first fitting. I picked the dress up....and it was perfect. Exactly what I envisioned without copy-and-pasting from the original inspiration.
Before you design a custom piece, I suggest you envision how the piece will function in your current closet - how will you wear it? can you style it with pieces you already own? Once you know WHAT your want and WHY you want it, you're ready! Gather lots of design inspiration and book an appointment with a custom clothier, like DifferentRegard.
Have you ever designed a custom piece of clothing? What questions do you have? Drop me a comment!
If you're inspired by these looks, share on Pinterest, send to a friend, and/or recreate it with your own personal flair. Don't forget to tag me! For more style inspiration, shop my Instagram and check out my previous looks under the STYLE tab.
Keep up with my everyday looks by following me on Instagram!
Until next time,