By Aashish Mishra Kathmandu, July 23: Rimi Sharma, a primary school teacher aged 29, almost exclusively buys custom-made clothes these days. From formalwear to party dresses, she looks up her favourite stores on Instagram whenever she needs something and places her order. Asked why she preferred custom-made apparel over readymade ones, she answered that custom garments were more personal. “I get to choose every element of the dress that will go on my body – from fabric to design. I know that the clothes I am wearing were specifically made for myself. It makes me feel good,” she said. But don’t traditional tailor shops offer the same choices? Isn’t custom-made just another word for tailored? Well, yes and no, Francis Maskey, a Fashion Design graduate currently working in the United States, explained. “From a purely technical point of view, custom-made clothes are essentially tailored garments. But their value comes from the experience they offer.” Maskey said, “You don’t really get to choose with a tailor. They are constantly trying to guide and advise you, even when you don’t want them to.” He added, “It’s even harder for girls because tailors judge their choices of clothing and take liberties to make their clothes more ‘appropriate’ without even asking them.” Sharma could not agree more. She has had many dresses ruined by tailors seeking to make them more “traditional” or “suitable.” Many women The Rising Nepal talked to shared accounts of tailors making dresses longer than they wanted or messing with the necklines or sleeves without telling them. “Custom-made clothes are not like this. Here, you get what you ask for,” Sharma said. The owning partners of the custom-clothing brand Siyo Nepal, Bilap Rai and Alina Rai, also said that the market for such clothes was growing in Nepal. They felt that social media was playing a huge role in generating fashion awareness and engaging with the target audience and the affordable prices were also helping to attract customers. The Rising Nepal talked to three other custom-clothing outlets who also said the same thing. Operating unofficially, they did not wish to disclose their business details but stated that the demand for the clothes was growing at an exponential rate, especially among women belonging to the age group 15 to 35. “In the next 10 years, custom clothing will have dominated the market,” one retailer said. Maskey said that the preference for custom clothing was part of a larger worldwide trend of “un-fast fashion.” “People are rediscovering the grandeur of handmade, individually crafted fashion products, be it clothes or jewellery or even makeup. There is also a growing awareness of issues like sustainable production, ethical sourcing and supporting local businesses,” he said, stressing that customer preferences had changed. “There was a generation of consumers who did not want to wait, who wanted everything instantly and that boosted the readymade industry. However, the customers today have no problem waiting as long as they get quality goods delivered cheaply and conveniently. This will support the growth of un-fast fashion in the coming years,” he claimed.