When I was still sewing and designing both wedding dresses and girls' dresses, I couldn't count how many times people asked me to lower my price because the "ready to wear" version is this and that price, which is of course lower than mine. I am sure this is not an isolated case, I am sure I am not the only one who experience this. Most of custom designers probably come across with something like this.
I am not trying to talk trash about ready to wear, I love and wear them too. But I wish people would understand that custom and ready to wear is not even in the same playing field. It's totally two different thing, hence the two different price.
I saw on TV once how they produce jeans in factories. It took them only about 6 minutes total to make a pair of jeans. Meanwhile with custom, the patterns alone sometimes take days to make, it is CUSTOM made to client's measurements.
Most designers take pride on their craftsmanship and refuse to use any low quality materials. From fabrics to threads to trimmings, everything is hand picked thoughtfully. Then designers spend days and days cutting and sewing the fabrics, pouring all their thoughts and love and make sure everything is done correctly. Even buttons are hand sewn, which is not done in ready to wear, buttons are placed with machine. And in my area, which is wedding gowns, not only button are hand sewn, I use a lot of couture techniques which involves A LOT of hand sewing.
So I hope people start to appreciate custom garment more. Ready to wear clothing is fine for every day wear. But when you need that something special, there are plenty of good custom designers out there, try one. And once you have a custom made item, you'll be able to tell the difference in quality between custom and ready to wear. Because with all the work that goes into it, custom made items are truly work of arts.