Coutour vs Prêt-à-porter

Couture vs Ready-to-Wear

Couture vs Ready-to-Wear

I’ve been wondering the difference between these two distinctive types of clothing, Couture and Prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear). I finally came across meaningful definitions from Diana Pemberton-Sikes, EzineArticles expert.

“COUTOUR (koo TOOR) is the French word for “sewing.” Couture clothes are those that are fitted and sewn specifically for a client, often requiring several fittings for an exacting fit. The clothes may be specifically designed for the client, such as a one-of-a-kind wedding dress or a one-of-a-kind red carpet ensemble, or they may be part of a designer’s couture collection, which are the pieces the designer shows that are available for custom fit.”

“READY-TO-WEAR, or prêt-à-porter (prêt a poor TAY) is designer apparel that’s made ready-to-wear in standard sizes and sold through boutiques, better department stores, mail order, and online. While consumers can have pieces tailored to fit after purchase, customization is not included in the cost of ready-to-wear apparel. Many brand-name designers, like Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera, only show ready-to-wear collections, but still create a handful of couture pieces upon request for influential clients.”

When designers are presenting their Ready-to-Wear collections, know that those clothes are being showcased for department stores while their Couture collections are specifically for those who get fitted for their clothing or who order from the designer’s “look book.”

Knowing the difference between these two major categories of fashion really gives me a better understanding of the designers intent for their fashion along with the departments need for their collections.


Getting Prepared

Resume checklist

Resume checklist

There are numerous skills needed to be a fashion buyer; however, here are a few main points that interviewers are looking for in their new hirees.

Essential Skills:

  • Good analytical skills
  • Creativity
  • The ability to recognize future trends
  • Excellent commercial awareness
  • Communication skills
  • Confidence and presentation skills
  • Ability to make decisions under pressure
  • Negotiation skills

Below are very educational websites that will keep you informed on the latest trends, analysis and research.



Knowing and immersing yourself in fashion skills will benefit your interviewing process.  I did not know about these sites so I am definitely going to use these as helpful tools.  Also, having a broader vision of international fashion trends will make you one step ahead of everyone else who hasn’t done their research.

Retail Choice

Fashion Trends

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The blue tank and coral shorts is a summer look that is vibrant and fun.  The grey shirt and jeans is a look that can be for any season; it is comfortable and chic.

It seems as though only buyers and professionals in the fashion industry will know about the upcoming fashion trends.  That’s why they get paid the big bucks when their futuristic ideas become a hit.  The buyers usually know about future trends 6 months prior to the current month.  For instance, if it is Winter, the buyers will focus on the trends for Spring or even Summer.  Although I don’t know trends that will be coming up, Pinterest is an awesome way to learn about seasonal outfits and clothing pieces that are currently trending.

Pinterest – Women’s Fashion– sign in to Pinterest before proceeding.

“Fashion Star”

The host and mentors for the designer contestants on Fashion Star.

The host and mentors for the designer contestants on Fashion Star.

The show “Fashion Star” represents much of my interest in fashion buying.  Seeing what designs and trends the buyers are looking for reflects what products are in Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Express.The show mainly targets fashion designers, but without fashion buyers, the designers wouldn’t be known.  I watch the show in the eyes of the buyers.  It’s interesting what clothing pieces the buyers decide to buy for their stores.  Each piece represents their store’s brand.  Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Express have very distinctive clothing that is known and kept sacred.

The designers need to design pieces that distinguish them from everyone else while finding a brand that would best suit each store and the upcoming season.