Ready-to-Wear (Prêt-à-Porter)

Fashion StudiesFashion & Styles

These days, most of us do not buy clothes and then go to a tailor’s shop, give measurements, and wait for a week or more to get it in a wearable form. I mean, until a few years ago, we did not have the culture of buying and wearing ready-made garments. Rather, we got it done through a tailor. But from the last two or three decades, the culture of ready-made garments has become very popular. Even people in the village prefer to buy ready-made dresses. Secondly, online shopping promoted ready-made garments to the next level. So, today’s fashion is instant fashion or ready-to-wear fashion.

What is Ready-to-Wear Fashion (or Prêt-à-Porter)?

The term ready-to-wear, or simply RTW, is fashionable and popular in and of itself; surprisingly, even a village child understands the term and ready-to-wear dress, which is nothing more than ready-made garments. The garments, which are produced on a mass level and sent to the market for sale, are known as ready-to-wear garments. These garments are made to specific and fixed measurements based on one’s body shape and size. One can buy ready-to-wear garments and can start wearing them immediately. Interestingly, these garments hardly need any alteration. All you need to do is buy and wear. In other words, it is a piece of clothing that was mass produced in different sizes and designs and then sent to the market for sale.

As all of us know, the creative fashion that we know today actually started in Paris, France. Therefore, it is obvious that the culture of ready-to-wear was also started in Paris only. The French fashion designer named it "prêt-à-porter," which in English is interpreted as ready-to-wear fashion. After the French Revolution (i.e., specifically after 1800 or during the 19th century), the industrial revolution had taken place and it changed the scenario of the world. For every small and big work, machine has been invented. Likewise, several garment factories were also set up. Now, no more clothes are stitched by hand, but rather sewed in the factory. Such machine development makes human work easier. With specific measurements, mass-level production started, and they called it prêt-à-porter (or ready-to-wear). In the beginning, it was started with an experimental purpose, but very soon, it became a necessity. The growing population and increasing prices made it popular among the poor and lower middle-class families. The prices of these ready-to-wear garments are pretty affordable. However, its prices range from a few rupees to thousands of rupees; thus, people can buy ready-made dresses based on their budget.

In the present world, fashion designers produce ready-to-wear garments by understanding the needs of society. These clothes are designed and sewn with such precision that people can buy and wear them without significant modification. In fact, these clothes are made in standard sizes that fit most people. In addition to this, they use standard patterns, factory equipment, and faster construction techniques, all collectively keeps costs low, compared to a custom-sewn version of the same item.

In a big country like India, many fashion houses and fashion designers are working on the concept of mass production, i.e., industrially manufactured ready-to-wear garments. Because of technological advancement and also consumers’ demand, ready-to-wear clothing has become faster to produce. Furthermore, to track production at distant sites and cut costs even more, some mass-marketing firms use video-conferencing and other sophisticated technologies to exchange information among themselves and likewise, insure the product quality. This facility reduces the cost of travelling.

Advantages of Ready-to-Wear Garments

Following are some of the significant advantages of ready-to-wear garments −

  • It can easily fulfil the growing demands of clothing.
  • It has a wide range of pricing, so a lower income group can buy the latest designed or trending dresses along with the high-income group. In that sense, it decreases the gap between the rich and poor.
  • It is ready available; so, no need to wait for one or two weeks. In fact, because of online shopping or e-shopping, one can get ready-to-wear garments on their doorstep.
  • There are varieties and dozens of choices, so people can choose the best for themselves, etc.

Disadvantages of Ready-to-Wear Garments

As all of us know that every coin has two faces; so, it has the following disadvantages as well −

  • The biggest disadvantage of ready-to-wear garments is that they create unmanageable garment waste. As a result of this, the environment is getting polluted and is damaging the bio-diversity.
  • Cheap synthetic fibers are used excessively due to high demand and pressure to produce low-cost products; however, the use of such synthetic garments is not good for health. Secondly, these synthetic garments are non-biodegradable, which is highly dangerous for the environment at large.


Amidst these advantages and disadvantages, the fact is, ready-to-wear clothing or ready-made garments have truly expanded the fashion industry to remote parts of the country. And, it's all happened largely because of making clothing more affordable and accessible to all, especially for the lower income group people. It made garment shopping easy, affordable, and convenient for all.

Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47