UNITED STATES—We see some fairly outlandish outfits on the catwalk at times. Many designers love to push the limits and make some waves in the fashion world. After all, it gets attention and that attention often translates into sales.

But, when we think of haute couture, it rarely crosses our mind to actually wear some of those types of clothes. Many will instead opt for the ready to wear line by their preferred designer. These designs seem to be more wearable and appropriate for wearing out and about and at parties.

Is there a place for haute couture in somebody’s life that isn’t an A list celebrity? In this article, we will go over what haute couture really means for regular people and the difference between it and ready to wear fashion.

What is haute couture?

Haute couture literally means high dressmaking. However, in reality it means high art. As each piece brought forth by the designer is supposed to be more of an art piece than a fashion piece. It is what sets the tone for the coming season.

These garments are designed by renowned designers and then crafted by some of the best seamstresses in the world to create an unforgettable effect on the world of fashion. Each piece is crafted individually and worked on as a unique garment. They are never assembled on an assembly line or anything similar. What you get is a one-of-a-kind garment.

No matter how unique it is or how much of a stir it causes, a fashion house can’t be officially haute couture until it is certified by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture as being such. Once it has the certification, then it can put out pieces marked as haute couture.

To get this certification, a piece has to be individually tailored for the client. This means that at least one fitting has to be done with the client in person otherwise it can’t qualify. If a fashion house doesn’t have these requirements then it loses its status as a haute couture house.

Two of the more famous haute couture fashion houses are Dior and Chanel.

What is Pret A Porter?

Pret A Porter literally means ready to wear. It is this line that you will find in the high-end boutique stores that line Rodeo Drive and via Montenapoleone. It’s factory made but made by the best people in the business and to exacting specifications.

Any haute couture house has a ready to wear line as this is where they make their most money. The haute couture line is made for publicity and for their branding and image, but it’s what you find in the boutiques that make them millions.

Though these garments are very fashionable and elegant, they are not made with the same high-end material of their inspirational haute couture pieces.

Is haute couture made to be worn?

Unless you are somebody who can pay upwards of five figures for a dress then the answer is no. These pieces are meant to be worn by celebrities when they go to an event to be photographed. It’s the ready to wear clothing that is meant for everybody else. Which still does cost quite a bit of money to buy.