Finding that perfect dress always feels like a moment of euphoria up until you look at the price tag & it’s $200 over your budget. You do not have to shop expensive to shop nice! There are several ways to maximize your research & find an affordable dressmaker that will design your dress!
In this article, I will go over all the best ways to find an affordable dressmaker that will get you the custom dress you have been dreaming of. You will be surprised to see how many options are available to you. Once you learn to look in the right places, you may never have to step foot inside a fancy dressmaker’s store ever again. Read on to learn how to find an affordable dressmaker to suit your needs.
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Look for Student Tailors & Designers.
Student tailors & designers are desperate for real-world experience so that they can kick off their career as a designer & start building their fashion portfolio. The obvious risk with this strategy is that the designer or tailor may not be very good, but you can always look to speak with a professor or ask for samples before hiring them.
If you look hard enough you will find a recent designer graduate or someone on Etsy who can do the work for you. Professional dressmakers tend to overcharge for their dresses, but you can contact professors at design schools to put you in contact with a student designer.
Some designer schools require their students to work on projects & design custom dresses as a project. You might even be able to purchase one of the designer dresses from the student, a prospect that would be exciting for them especially if they are still early in their designing career. You can get a quality dress for a low price!
You could also go the route of buying an affordable dress & asking a student tailor to customize it for you. You will want to make sure to work with someone from an accredited fashion design school rather than your coworker’s cousin’s daughter who has aspirations of becoming a designer but has no experience doing it!
Ask the student designer to show you samples of their work so that you can feel confident in their ability to get the job done for you. They should have a good eye for detail & have a plan to execute what you want out of your customized dress. Students in their final year of designer school would likely be your best option in this scenario.
Custom Etsy Shop Orders.
Etsy is one of the go-to websites for affordable & customizable clothing & accessories. You can shop for already made dresses or you can reach out to a designer on the website with your idea for your dress. Etsy is essentially like a social media for people in the fashion industry & those looking for fashion-related services.
Esty is a great place for entrepreneurs to start their fashion design business. One of the best benefits of Etsy is that it gives sellers & retailers the power to set their own prices & consumers have the chance to negotiate prices while at big retail locations you would not have the option to negotiate prices on any dresses or products.
Here are some of the benefits of shopping on Etsy:
- Affordable—Prices vary depending on the seller or vendor & are typically negotiable
- Customizable items—Most items can be modified or customized to your liking
- Direct contact access to designers & retailers—Oftentimes, you will not have to reach out to a third party for customer service.
- Accessibility—the website & vendors are easy to access & interact with
Etsy also makes the process of product listing very simple for sellers & its seller’s fees are less than that of websites like eBay. Contacting designers on Etsy also gives you the freedom to choose a timeframe that works for you & the designer. There are several great designers on Etsy that would be excited to work on your dream dress!
Some of the products you will find on Etsy are one of a kind item that you will not find in any store. You could be casually scrolling through Etsy shops & see the dress of your dreams! The best part about Etsy is that if you see a dress with potential, you will have the access to reach out to the designer to request customizations for a low price!
Shop at Local Businesses.
Shopping locally is always a great way to find excellent deals & support small businesses in your community. Tailors, seamstresses, & fashion designing are competitive industries, but you can find locations & shops all around your city that offer these services at a reasonable & affordable price.
Small businesses depend on their community to survive & you should be able to work with them directly to get exactly what you are looking for in your dress. Some local businesses may charge higher prices but you can be assured that your dress will have the attention to detail that perhaps a bigger store would not provide.
Small businesses also value loyalty & tend to show appreciation for their customers in several ways. The more you go back to that local designer/dressmaker, the stronger your relationship will grow, thus giving you someone you can depend on for your dressmaking needs going forward. Shopping small also boosts your local economy.
I think the biggest benefit of shopping locally for your dressmaking needs is that sometimes you cannot put a price on a detailed job. Although alterations may take a bit longer with a local dressmaker, you can rest assured that they will have designed your perfect dress down to the last detail.
Facebook Groups & Networking.
You can find a Facebook group for just about anything if you look hard enough. People are always on Facebook groups or other forums offering their services & promoting themselves & their portfolios. This is a great way to meet people online & get a preview of their work before hiring them for the job.
Think of it as a dating app where you look for someone that matches your requirements to try to date, except in this situation you are swiping right on a designer & saying yes to their dress! Facebook also makes designers easy to contact through direct messages or business contact information that can be found on their profiles.
Networking is always a solid way to meet people that fit your needs. You may not be looking for a dress at the time you meet someone in that industry, but if they left a solid impression on you, you may come back to them when you do want one. There is also something comforting about recommendations given to you by people you can trust. When engaging in social networking, you will want to consider:
- Work events
- Social media
- School conferences
Through Facebook, you can connect with people all over the world. The designer you are looking for may not be one you can find in your neighbourhood or perhaps even in your country. The environment these designers live in can often have a strong influence on their designs. Use Facebook & other forums to your advantage to explore.
Negotiate When Possible.
There are several avenues towards finding an affordable dressmaker to fit your needs & that is why you may be able to negotiate prices for the dress you are looking for. You can reach out to a professor at a designer school & ask about their students, you can shop locally, use Etsy, or take advantage of social media sites like Facebook!
Dressmaking & design are competitive industries & that may end up working in your favour when discussing your dress needs. If you can negotiate properly, you will make finding an affordable dressmaker incredibly easy for yourself.
Wrapping it All Up.
If you’re interested in further reading, please see the links to my trusted resources page & related articles below. To find out more about AALofts Design, please click here. If you found this content helpful, want to collaborate on a project, or would like to request an article topic, please click here to get in touch via the contact form. Feel free to share & connect on social media, if you found this content helpful.