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Ready-made vs Custom made: Which is The Best For You and Why is That So?

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

custom made vs ready made

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

Ready-made clothing and custom made clothing look more or less the same. Why is the supplier keep asking me to decide which should I choose?

Well, it turns out, they are actually not the same.

In fact, they are very much different in terms of how they're manufactured and how they're priced.

Let’s figure out which suits you the best now.

1. What is ready-made? (Pros and Cons)

2. What is custom made? (Pros and Cons)

3. The 4 ultimate factors that help you to decide


1. What is ready-made clothing?

Ready-made clothing is mass-produced finished textile products of the clothing industry. They are not custom-tailored, but rather having a standardized fitting and design.

For example, a series of standardized polo tee has been manufactured in mass production, so we always have the supplies ready from our side.


  • The cost is relatively low as it has been produced massively by the manufacturer.

  • Production lead time is shorter (7- 10 days) compared to the process of custom made (14- 21 days).


  • The fitting and design are fixed. In other words, you can only choose from the standardized fitting and fabric colour/material.

ready made clothing

Now you know what is ready-made clothing, let’s dive into custom made clothing.

2. What is custom made clothing?

Custom made means customization.

It can be done according to your preference from A to Z.

For example, as a streetwear brand manager, you may want to consider adding hem tag, sewing your own label, having a specific fitting, or having an overlapping printing design from front to back on your streetwear product.

As such, it is a type of custom made process.


  • You can customize the fitting.

  • Custom made clothing has a larger print area compared to ready-made clothing.

  • You’ll be able to customize your preferred fabric colour.

  • You have more freedom to choose the fabric material.


  • Higher costing* as it involves a lot more manufacturing process.

  • Longer production lead time (14 - 21 workdays).

*Depends on quantity, the cost will be reduced if it’s a bulk order, e.g. more than 500 pcs.

Custom Made clothing

Well, now you can differentiate ready-made vs custom made.

It’s time to decide which you should choose.

Here are the factors that could help you in making a decision, let’s have a look.

3. The 4 ultimate factors that help you to decide

a) The budget

If you have a tight budget, it’s preferably that you take the ready-made option.


Due to its mass production nature, the cost of ready-made clothing is relatively low compared to custom made.

Unless you are ordering more than 500 pcs, then the costing of custom made does not vary much here.

b) The clothing design and material that you are looking for

If you are looking for basic design, then go for ready-made.

If you have lots of ideas for the design and fitting requirement (e.g. overlapping design, an extra-large size, curvy bottom, putting brand label...), then custom made is the answer.

On top of that, if you are looking for more freedom of choices in terms of fabric material, custom made option will satisfy this preference as well.

c) The estimated quantity

If you’re ordering less than 100 pcs, it’s recommended to go for ready-made. This will reduce your costing and speed up the production lead time.

If it’s more than 100 pcs, you may consider taking custom made.

d) The estimated time of delivery

If you’re in a rushing mode, no doubt, ready-made is your best friend.

If you’re planning to go for custom made clothing, make sure you plan ahead and allow some slack time for test and trial.

factors that help you to decide ready made or custom made

Now you know what to consider when deciding between ready-made and custom made.

Both have their strength and limitation.

But one thing for sure, choose the one that fits your need best.

Which method are you going to choose for your next project?

Contact us and let us assist you now!

Experienced in working with individual, school, corporate, or streetwear brand, you will be able to talk to our experienced and resourceful shirt printing team. From hem tag to custom fitting, we will provide you with the advice that you’ll need in no time.


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