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Fame & Partners

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The Coolest Made-to-Order Sites For Wedding Gowns, Bridesmaid Dresses, Shoes, and More

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Once upon a time, everyone's clothes were made to order. For some people, that meant glamorous fittings with designers and execution by craftspeople, but for most it was mom at the sewing machine, possibly aided by a pattern from a mail order catalogue. The concept of prêt-à-porter, ready-made clothing available in standardized measurements, hit the masses in the early 20th century, and since then we've come to know our shopping selves by numbered and lettered sizing, and brand allegiances built on aesthetic reputation.

That's all been turned on its head in this new, hypercustom age. The last half decade has seen the launch of innumerable brands aimed at personalization, from suiting that's measured at home and entered online to 3D-printed jewelry. Not all of these innovative shopping experiences are seamless, unfortunately, so we've done the work of pulling out six of the best, most trustworthy custom experiences online for you. In the name of Weddings Week, we've tracked down the best places to design a wedding gown (and shoes), where to send bridesmaids to create their own damn dresses, and where to make extra-special gifts for the happy couple.


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Tinker Tailor

Design your ideal dress, top, or skirt with the help of Tinker Tailor, which allows users to customize designer brands or create from scratch. The company's founders come from luxury pre-order site Moda Operandi, and the product here is similarly high-end, making it a worthy contender for a personalized bridal look or coordinating bridesmaids' outfits. Silhouettes range from classic to fashion-forward and can be made up in fabric options like embroidered tulle and printed silk.

The design process begins by picking an existing style or garment type to edit. Pricing is updated as you make changes, so you can see exactly how much it would cost to add long sleeves or bring the hemline up. After that you choose fabric, which is what will really determine the cost of your garment (on one dress, we saw material costs range from $250 for a cotton material to over a grand for a fancy jacquard). Lastly, embellishments like beaded waistbands can be added.

Sizing is off-the-rack, and available from 00 to 16. Garments are produced in New York City and delivered within four to six weeks, though rush orders can sometimes be accommodated by contacting customer service.

Fame and Partners

Stuffy-sounding "formalwear" gets a youthful makeover at this digital shop for customizable dresses and coordinating sets. Many of the starting silhouettes are on the sexier side (high slits, spaghetti straps) but the beauty of the site is that you can take that down—or up—a notch with your style edits. It's perfect for Reformation-esque bridesmaids' dresses.

The site itself is modern and easy to navigate, with the choice to shop by event, silhouette, or color. Begin by selecting a dress or set to customize, with base prices from $149 to $329. Options to change garments are similarly affordable: custom colors cost $16 and silhouette changes (like upping the hemline or adding thicker straps) are $10 to $15. Everything is available from 0 to 22, though certain styles incur a $20 fee for sizes above 12. Best of all, there's a $29 express option (available on a select assortment of dresses) that'll get your custom order out in just 48 hours.


Shoes of Prey

Create the shoes you've been hunting for but cannot find with the help of this footwear design site. The options are vast, from ballet flats to ankle boots, so start with the dedicated wedding and bridesmaids' sections for inspiration.

Once you've decided on a silhouette, which includes wedges and sandals, select from 170 materials, including traditional bridal fabrics like silk, satin, and lace overlay (or go nuts with leather, sparkle, or printed calf hair). Further personalize your shoes by choosing the toe shape, the heel cap, and by adding or removng straps. There are 11 different heel heights to pick from, as well as thicknesses from skinny stiletto to sturdy block. For $75, a secret message, up to 25 characters, can be inscribed on the footbed.

Flats and heeled sandals start at $179, while pumps begin at $229. Sizing runs from US 2.5 to 15 and includes half sizes. Width adjustments can be requested, and you can even order different sizes for each foot. Production takes six weeks, and they offer a 365 day return or remake window.

To design with the help of a stylist, check out one of the company's design studios, now in six Nordstrom locations. You'll be able to see the silhouettes up close, feel the fabrics, and be guided through the process on an iPad with the assistance of a patient millennial.

margaux-ballet-flats_2015_06

Margaux

This newcomer, launched mid-May, is focused on perfect-fitting ballet flats, the ideal shoe choice for a daytime ceremony (and the dance floor). For $195, you can have a pair made to your foot's exact specifications.

Start the process by requesting one of the brand's Fitting Kits, which has everything you need to begin your custom shoe journey, including measuring instructions. There are 14 colors to choose from, all Italian suede, in a rainbow that includes persimmon and plum as well as five neutral choices for a more traditional wedding look. The flats are made in Spain and finished in New York, shipped within two weeks from order date.

Jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher and friends

Dresshirt

What better way to thank your loyal 'maids than with a personalized silk shirt? Through this online service you can have individual shirts made up with as many as 20 characters stitched in cursive along the back yolk. Founder Marieclaire St. John tells us she wore one reading, simply, "bride" as a getting-ready shirt, a common order she's seen from customers, too. (For Poppy Delevigne and Behati Prinsloo, they made "Mrs Cook" and "Mrs Levine" shirts, respectively).

The shirts are available in long-sleeve ($445) or sleeveless ($395) in sizes from petite to extra-large. For both shirt and thread color there are nine choices, from classics like black, white, and bone, to poppy hues like coral and electric yellow. Custom orders are shipped within ten days.

Anya Hindmarch Bespoke

This British accessories designer offers a ton of ways to customize her bags, journals, and travel cases, including leather stickers and monogramming. By far the most special is to have a note in your handwriting embossed on one of the brand's goods. Choices range from the everyday, like a card cases ($230) and a key tags ($145), to commemorative, including frames ($350) and keepsake boxes ($350).

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