Thought to floor- Capitol & Line Style Unit Conundrum

As a consultant I am frequently asked the same question? How much will this cost me to produce this product?

The simple answer is “I don’t know? ” This equation involves several moving cogs. The variables of the question include…

– Fabric


-Manufacturing time (steps in the process)


-How prepared is the company before starting any processes.

Depending on how you design, the more bells and whistles you add will increase the sewing time, fabrics, and development phases. But to make it easy for you to understand, I place a general cost of $100-$1,000.00 for one sample. Then depending on fabrics and  manufacturing minimums, your looking at $3,000 for a cheap garment. Below are the retail prices for the dresses. The one on the left is not fitting the model well, the fabric also looks cheaper. The dress is shorter , overall this is fast fashion. The dress on the right has expensive fabric, the cut is harder to achieve, and the fit is perfect.

Price and Design differances

Price and Design differences

The next question is always…”How many styles should I launch with?”

There is no straight answer here. But I do feel that for a properly merchandised line, you want to focus on 4-6 units. Maybe set of  accessories. This balance allows customers to mix and match. When they can do this, the product makes sense. Remember, the new customer of yours needs a reason to spend their hard earned money with you.

This is a break down of general financials.

  • Style development (6 style line): $6,000- $12,000 give or take based on fit sessions.
  • Photo or look book: $200-$1,000
  • Production $18,000-$75,000 depending on your marketing and buying structure.


I suggest that people consider doing two collections a year for the first 2 years. It takes anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 just to get product in this small quantity produced. It also can cost you double the amount if you lack the education. Consultants are great for this, they come with contacts, processes, and will be honest with you about design concept, marketing strategies, and more.

If you are the jack of all trades, I suggest getting a college intern to help you out!



2 thoughts on “Thought to floor- Capitol & Line Style Unit Conundrum

  1. Agreed, anyone looking to start this type of business should be consulting someone before hand. I’ve had countless small business startups losing their startups funds because they didn’t do things properly the first time.

    Great blog post!

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