Fashions of the Ages
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding Fashions of the Ages custom designs
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WILL YOU MAKE A GARMENT FOR ME USING MY FABRIC?
We prefer not to use customer supplied fabric because we cannot guarantee the quality of the fabric. For clients who would like to supply their own fabric we first require a swatch to test the fabric and make sure it is appropriate. Once the swatch is approved we will provide the yardage required for the garment. Any leftover fabric will be returned with the completed garment.
DO YOU SELL YOUR FABRICS?
The only fabrics we keep in stock are basic fabrics we use all the time. We do not keep many specialty fabrics in our studio. However, if you would like to order fabric from us we would be more than happy to help you.
WILL YOU SEND ME A SAMPLE OF YOUR FABRICS?
No. We do not send samples to individuals who are just looking around. After an order has been placed and deposit received, we will gladly send swatches. Because we're located close to the fabric district in Los Angeles we do not keep very many fabrics in stock. For customers looking for ideas of types of fabrics please visit our fabrics page. Feel free to visit your local fabric store or other Internet websites to find fabric types and colors.
ARE THERE ANY FABRICS THAT YOU WILL NOT USE?
We do not use leather or real fur. We will, however, use synthetic and faux versions if desired.
HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT YOUR IDEA OF *COLOR X* IS THE SAME AS MY IDEA OF *COLOR X*?
To be perfectly honest, we cannot guarantee perfect color matching unless the customer sends us a swatch of fabric the color they are trying to match. If a fabric is chosen from a swatch on the Internet we will do the best to find the closest match we can. However, since we can't see the fabrics personally we have no way of knowing what the exact color is and can only do our best to match it. If trying to match a garment already owned the best thing to do is send us a swatch or the whole garment if necessary.
WHAT IF MY COSTUME DOES NOT FIT?
We guarantee garments will fit as long as we are provided with accurate and correct measurements. If the measurements provided are "hopeful" or if the body has changed since measurements were taken, we cannot be responsible. While very rare, on occasions mistakes happen, and if the garment does not fit due to an error on our part we will gladly alter it quickly at no cost to you. We keep all patterns on file and can always check the pattern against measurements. We offer and highly recommend adding a mock-up of your garment to your order. Mock-ups are required for all corset orders and are included in corset pricing. We especially recommend this service for clients who find it especially difficult to find clothing that fits them well.
WHAT IS A MOCK-UP?
A mock-up is a 'rough draft' of your corset or other item ordered made out of muslin or cotton twill (for corsets). Mock-ups are required for all corset orders and are included in corset pricing. We also highly recommend adding a mock-up to all orders for closely fitted garments to ensure a perfect fit. A mock-up will give a good idea about the shape and fit of the final garment. For all mock-ups we require photos of the mock-up being worn. Clients may crop their face out of the photo if desired, all photos are kept strictly confidential. If there are any changes that need to be made they can simply be marked right on the mock-up. Even if no changes are needed we still require that the mock-up is returned to us. Mock-ups will extend the length of time required to complete orders by 1-2 weeks depending on how quickly the client fits the mock-up and sends photos. Customers who use this service find that it is well worth the extra time and cost as it allows them to be confidant that their garment will fit properly.
CAN YOU MAKE A __________________________?
Yes, yes yes!! If it can be sewn, we can make it. We love researching new projects and would be happy to take on whatever project envisioned.
I HAVE A SKETCH OF A GOWN -- CAN YOU MAKE IT?
Yes! However, we need to clarify that if it is a quick freehand sketch of a gown seen in a store or catalog you may end up disappointed when you receive your gown and it looks like your sketch and not like the actual gown you saw. Because of this, we ask that you send us the actual catalog picture, photograph, historical painting or Internet link of the gown you desire. If you take photos of the garment, taking photos from several different angles is helpful.
HOW DO I MAKE SURE MY GOWN WILL FIT?
Obtaining accurate measurements is not difficult, but it will take some time and requires assistance. Please DO NOT take your own measurements, chances are they will not be accurate. If you cannot find someone to help you we recommend visiting your local tailoring shop or bridal store as they will be able to assist you. Please be HONEST with your measurements.
WHY IS MY BODICE/CORSET SMALLER THAN MY MEASUREMENTS?
Our bodices and corsets are made and designed with a cinch unless otherwise noted or requested. This means that when you measure your bodice or corset it will be about 2 inches smaller than your actual measurements. Corsets will often have a larger difference in the waist size, especially corsets that are made for significant waist reduction. Cinch allows for proper lift and support and also allows for times when you've gained or lost a few pounds. There should be about a 2 inch gap when a bodice or corset is laced up.
WHY DO YOU NEED SO MANY MEASUREMENTS?
We have four different measurement forms: a corset form, an underbust corset form, a women's form and a men's form. Because we draft the majority of our patterns from scratch the more measurements we have the better the garment will fit. Costume makers who require just a few basic measurements (bust, waist, hips) are not really making custom garments but are merely adjusting a few of the lines on commercial patterns. Each body is unique and it is our top priority to make sure our garments fit the body they're made for perfectly.
CAN I BUY A PATTERN FROM YOU?
No. We use historical patterns, paintings and sketches as references and draft a new pattern for each order from the client's measurements. We keep all patterns on file so that a client's subsequent orders take less time. In the future we plan on printing and selling reproductions of some of our antique patterns.
WILL YOU MAKE A COSTUME OR WEDDING GOWN FROM A PURCHASED COMMERCIAL PATTERN?
Yes. We will certainly make any garment from your purchased pattern. Alterations made to this pattern to better fit you may incur additional charges.
DO YOU HAVE A CATALOG?
We currently do not have a printed catalog and are not presently planning on printing one. We do have a catalog on our website that contains photos of some of the garments we have made in the past. By no means is this catalog a comprehensive inventory of every piece we have made or could make, but rather was complied to allow clients to see the quality of our work and some of the more popular garments ordered.
CAN I VISIT YOUR STORE?
No. We work from a private studio that is not set up for the general public.
DO YOU OFFER PERSONAL FITTINGS?
Over the years we have found that orders are able to be completed easily and successfully with all contact kept through e-mail. For those living in the greater Los Angeles area we would love to meet you for a personal fitting. For all fittings owner Tami Blake will travel to your home. We are also available to travel to other areas if this service is needed. Please contact us for fees and more details about fittings.
DO YOU OFFER ALTERATIONS?
If clothing does not fit because of an error on our part we will gladly make the needed alterations. However, if garments do not fit because measurements were not taken accurately or the client has changed sizes since measurements were taken we will charge for alterations. We are always glad to perform alterations on garments we made, however the cost of shipping the garment back and forth plus the alterations costs may make this option more expensive than visiting a local alterations shop.
WILL YOU POST PICTURES OF ME WEARING MY NEW GOWN ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Absolutely (with your permission)! We LOVE receiving photos of our customers wearing their garments. Even if you are not interested in having your photo on our website we would still love to see them!
HOW LONG DOES AN ORDER USUALLY TAKE?
On average orders take 4-16 weeks. Depending on the time of year the actual order time may be shorter or longer. We are busiest March through November, and orders made during this period may take up to 6 months. During the other "off" times of the year, orders may take 3-4 weeks. We almost always have rush options no matter what time of year and prices will vary accordingly. Rush orders are expensive, but please understand that they are priced accordingly because the majority of garments are personally made by Fashions of the Ages owner Tami. Often agreeing to a rush order means she will be working 12 hour days or even working all night and into the early morning hours. When requesting a quote we will tell you the time frame that we can complete the order and what rush options are available at that time. As a general rule, try to order your garments as early as you possibly can in order to ensure that you will receive your items in ample times. Especially elaborate garments may take longer than 16 weeks to complete.
HOW SOON IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO ORDER MY GARMENTS?
Don't wait until the last minute. We recommend ordering items 2-6 months in advance, however it's never too early unless you are planning on loosing a significant amount of weight or are pregnant. For wedding gown orders or any other large order please order as soon as possible.
WHAT IS YOUR RETURN POLICY?
Please read our policies page for detailed information on our return policy. All of the garments we sell are custom made for our clients. Because our garments are so specialized and personal we cannot accept returns or refunds of any kind.
WILL YOU SEND ME YOUR CUSTOMERS CONTACT INFORMATION?
Absolutely not. We never give out our customer's e-mail addresses or other personal information.
WHAT IS YOUR PHONE NUMBER?
Because of the high volume of individuals who are just browsing we do not release our phone number through our website. In almost all situations, orders are completed without needing to discuss them over the phone. At Fashions of the Ages discretion, depending on the circumstances of the order we will give out our phone number if there are details that cannot be worked out through e-mail. Another reason we prefer communication via e-mail is the added protection of written communication for both the client and Fashions of the Ages.
CAN I SET UP A PAYMENT PLAN?
Yes. If you desire, we will help you create a payment plan for any order. However, we will not begin working on your order until we have received 50% of the full amount due. If you desire to break up the order total into payments please be sure that you make your final payment in enough time to receive your garments as we will not ship any items until the order total has been paid in full.
WHAT IS THE EXACT PRICE OF ____________________________?
Since no two garments are exactly alike we can't tell you an exact price until we have discussed the garment with you. The final price of your garment will fall within the estimates given unless additional changes are made to the originally selected fabrics or trims, or if the style of the garment is adjusted.
IF I ORDER SEVERAL ITEMS AT ONCE WILL I RECEIVE A DISCOUNT?
It depends on the items you're looking for. We do have wholesale options available for our corsets and several other garments. Please visit our wholesale page for more information. We are always more than happy to ship items together to save money on shipping. Our prices are extremely competitive and quite often are the lowest prices out there. We keep our prices as low as we possibly can without loosing money.
DO YOU CHARGE MORE FOR PLUS SIZES?
Many other companies charge up to 50% extra for plus sizes. We generally do not charge extra for plus size garments. While plus size garments do take additional time to make and typically cost more for the materials, we have found that the cost isn't enough to be discriminatory. Please note that some garments may not be available in very large sizes or may take longer to complete due to the additional time required to draft a more complicated pattern. Corsets are the only garments that we charge extra based off of natural waist size. This is strictly due to the additional boning and reinforcements required for larger sized corsets.
WHY IS MY DEPOSIT NON-REFUNDABLE?
Deposits are made after we have discussed your order in detail and have answered all of your questions. Purchasing the fabric and supplies for orders is costly and the deposit is used to help cover this cost. If the client later decides to cancel the order after the deposit has been made and supplies have been purchased we cannot return the supplies and therefore unfortunately cannot return the deposit.
HOW MUCH IS SHIPPING?
We charge what it actually costs to ship our garments and purchase the packing supplies rather than charging a flat fee for everyone. Because we are located in Los Angeles it costs us less to ship an item to Northern California than it does to ship the same item to New York City. Please note that for all orders we offer shipping by Fed-Ex or by USPS for international orders. In our experience we have found Fed-Ex to be more reliable than other shipping companies, however if you would prefer to have your items shipped by a different carrier please let us know, we'd be happy to accomidate. Insurance is included in shipping costs and is NOT optional.
DO YOU OFFER RUSH SERVICES?
Yes. However, this does depend on how many projects we are currently work on and what deadlines we already have. Usually we are able to accommodate rush orders in as short as two weeks, with an extra charge for this service. Overnight shipping is always available.