How to Draw Fashion Design Sketches for Beginners Step by Step

How to Draw Fashion Design Sketches for Beginners Step by Step

Shubham Anil Jain
Sr. Consultant
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India


In today’s fashion world, it is clearly seen that new designs are presented in the form of hand-drawn sketches before they’re actually cut and sewn. Designing fashion design sketches is a crucial step in the design process, helping to visualize and communicate your ideas before bringing them to life. Initially, you sketch a croquis, it is nothing the model-shaped figure that serves as the base of the fashion design sketch. Here, the aspect is not to sketch a realistic-looking model, but to draw a kind of blank canvas on which to highlight illustrations of dresses, skirts, blouses, accessories, and the rest of your ideas as well as innovations. Adding different design elements like, color and details such as ruffles, seams, and buttons help to bring your ideas to reality.

fashion sketches

Drawing Fashion Design Sketches: Step by Step Guide:
Fashion design sketches is a sketchpad for all fashion designers from professional artists to amateurs who want to bring their creative ideas into reality. Following are the steps to be followed for drawing fashion design sketches:

1. Collect and gather all the materials required for sketching. Select some of the hard lead pencil that makes light, sketchy marks which is simpler to erase. Also the marks drawn from the pencils also don’t indent the paper, which is helps a lot when you want to put color to the image. Along with pencils a good quality eraser as well as thick paper are also important stationary required if you want your sketch to look professional. Sketching with pen is not suitable since you won’t be able to erase it. You will also required different coloured markers, inks, or paints to add finishing touch to your clothing designs.

Collect and gather all the materials required for sketching

2. You can also try for alternate methods for creating a croquis. It’s always good to be capable to draw your croquis as it allows you to develop a model to the exact proportions you required. However, if you directly want to go drawing your clothing designs, there are a few shortcuts available, which one can opt to take: simply you can download a croquis in the shape of a child, a man, a petite woman, and whatever you required. Now simply make a croquis by tracing the outline of a model that you have taken from a magazine ad or another picture. Here, you have to keep a piece of tracing paper over the model which you like to use and lightly create an outline.

alternate methods for creating a croquis

3. Now pay attention towards the pose of the croquis. The model which you are using for your design, known a croquis, should be drawn in a pose that will show explore the items best. You can show the model in different poses like walking, sitting, bending, or in any other position. If you are a beginner, you can try with the most common pose, which is a runway sketch which simply highlight a model standing or striding on a runway. This is the easiest pose to start and learn your fashion sketch and it will allow you to illustrate all of your designs in full view.

pose of the croquis

4. Drawing a Croquis. If you don’t want to trace the Croquis and want to draw by yourself, then follow the following steps:

Drawing a Croquis

  1. Start with drawing a vertical line down the center of the paper. This line, simply goes from the head to the feet, will be the fashion sketch center of balance point.
  2. Then divide the paper into nine equal parts. The nine parts will include the fashion figure’s head, bust, waist, hips, thigh, calves, ankles, and feet aspect. You can illustrate horizontal lines, approximately an inch and one-eighth each, to divide the nine sections.
  3. Now draw the pelvic region. In the middle of the balance line, draw a square shape for the fashion figure’s pelvis area. To create different poses it can be angled in different directions to create different poses.
  4. Now illustrate the upper torso and shoulders region. Draw two lines moving upward from the top of the pelvic square to draw the torso region. The lines curve inward and outward again tends to develop the waist area. You should take care that the shoulders should be approximately the same width as the pelvis, but the shoulder lines can be angled to develop different pose like rounded forward.
  5. Now illustrate the neck and head region. As per rule, the neck should be one-third of the shoulder width, and the length should be half of the head. Now, create a circle for the head in proportion to the body.
  6. Now move towards illustrating the legs. As per the rules, the fashion figures legs should be approximately four times the length of the head drawn. Then the legs are supposed to be divided into two sections: the thighs and the calves. The top of the thighs should be the same length as of the head. Draw the line down to the knee, and then again to the ankle region so that the ankles are approximately one fourth the size of the head.
  7. Now go for drawing the arms. Try to draw the arms with tapered lines going to the elbow and then again to the wrist. The arms can be placed with the fashion figure’s body, or posed on the hips. Add touch up to the hands and fingers.
  8. Now, illustrate the feet. As per the rule the feet should be approximately the length of the head.
  9. Now develop your fashion design. Now the fashion figure is ready, you can begin to sketching your design creations above the figure.

5. Now, go for illustrating your original design. Always, think regarding what look you’re trying to develop, and represent it down to the last detail. If you are designing a dress, then add patterns, ruffles, text, bows, and so on to create a beautiful piece. Try to pay attention towards the elements of your design that are unique as well as special, and include appropriate accessories so that the style you’re going for is clear and perfect.

illustrating your original design

6. While sketching the clothes, do it boldly. Since the motive of a fashion sketch is to present your design ideas, use a bolder hand when you’re drawing the clothing accessories. Illustrate the garments so that they appear to hang on the croquis very realistically. Try to sketch the creases around the areas of the elbows and at the waist, as well as near the shoulders, ankles, and wrists.

While sketching the clothes, do it boldly

7. To give a good effect to a sketch try to draw folds, wrinkles, and pleats. You can use various kinds of lines to create different creases in the fabric you’re drawing. Having a knowledge of how to draw folds, wrinkles and pleats will definitely help you illustrate the structure of the garment.

To give a good effect to a sketch try to draw folds, wrinkles, and pleats

To summarize with, fashion sketching is very important and necessary in fashion design, just as much as painting to an artist, equations and formulas to a mathematician, and medicine to a doctor. It simply acts as the voice of the designer, communicating his/her ideas, innovation, and creativity to the clients. Fashion sketching is considered as the first step in bringing your design to reality, and it propose the design idea from conceptualization to realization.


  1. Elsie Larson, 3/14/23, Fashion Sketching For Beginners
  2. David Reeves, October 18, 2023 How to Draw Fashion Sketches
  3. Amiko Simonetti, March 5, 2020, Fashion Sketching: a Step-by-step Guide to Drawing the Basic Fashion Croquis with 9 Heads Proportions | For Beginners
  4. How to Draw Fashion Sketches: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners


Q1. What are the common types of fashion sketching?
Ans: There are 6 main types of fashion design sketches:

  1. Rough sketch
  2. Tech sketch
  3. Flat sketch
  4. Stylized flat sketch
  5. Float
  6. Fashion Illustration

Q2. What is fashion sketching called?
Ans: It is also called as Croquis which simply means “sketch” in French. In the universe of fashion design, a croquis is nothing but a quick sketch of a fashion figure.

Q3. What color pencil is best for fashion sketching?
Ans: It is suggested that Prismacolor Premier Pencils is best to use for rendering highlights, deep shadows and prints/ patterns/ textures/ weaves. Sometimes you can also use China Marker in white or black for super-high contrast.

Q4. Which app do fashion designers use to sketch?
Ans: Autodesk Sketchbook is best app to use for sketch. It is free and simply available for Apple, Android, and Windows devices. Autodesk Sketchbook.

Q5. Can I sell my fashion sketches?
Ans: Usually companies don’t buy fashion sketches from just about anyone. But based on your experience and portfolio they could hire you to design for them and work with them.

You may also like:

  1. Technical Drawing: Specs and Flats
  2. Various Sources of Inspiration for Fashion Designers

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