How to Design Clothes
Fashion design is an exciting, constantly evolving field. It also takes a lot of work, and can be incredibly
competitive. If you want to become a successful fashion designer, you have a long road ahead of you, but there
are some straightforward steps you can take to begin the process.
Find your inspiration
What are you passionate about? What makes you itch to create? It might be a particular fabric, a work of
visual art you saw, something you want but can't seem to find in stores, a garment you saw on the street, a
particular color pattern, a retro trend you want to bring back, or any number of other things. There is no
right way to get inspired. The important thing is to find something that excites you.
Consider your customer. What kind of person do you imagine buying your designs? What does that kind of
person need in a garment?
Combining existing styles and trends can be an interesting way to generate new looks. What would it be
like to blend military elements with softer, more flowy ones? What would 1990s meets 1930s look like? How
can you incorporate menswear elements into womenswear?
Do you want a stretchy material, or something with less give? Is your design flowy, or rigid and architectural?
Should the fabric be smooth, or textural? If your original inspiration was an amazing fabric you found, you
already have this covered. Otherwise, think about what kind of material your design demands.
Consider embellishments such as buttons, lace, beads or embroidery floss as well. These can often impact your fabric choice.
Consider color and pattern
A lot of the impact of your design hinges on your use of color and pattern. Think about the garment's
intended purpose and how you imagine someone wearing it. Consider your customer, and what she might want
to wear. Most of all, go with what you think looks good. There are no hard and fast rules here. You are
the designer, and you should be true to yourself above all things.
Look at a color wheel. Remember, contrasting colors (the ones across the color wheel from each other)
make each other stand out. This can add a dramatic affect to your design, but if not handled well it can
also be jarring and off-putting. Get some paint swatches from a paint store, and use them to experiment
with different color combinations before you purchase fabric.