Whether an aspiring fashion designer, an artist, or someone simply looking for a creative hobby; dress sketches can be a fun and rewarding activity. Dress sketches are a relaxing outlet, and for many people this is valuable enough. Yet, dress sketches could also be so much more. Virtually every article of clothing around today was likely once a sketch. Not just every design in a fashion show, but every piece of clothing in a store and every costume in television and film, was first experimented with on paper.

  • What is a Dress Sketch?

A dress sketch is simply a concept drawing for fashion ideas. They can be done in several styles, but most dress sketches are rather basic, because they are used to give the general idea of the clothing before one needs to do further experiments with fabric. Usually, dress sketches feature a model wearing the imagined clothing. Sometimes they incorporate color. It is good to add key details of the design, however over-embellishment can be pointless, as some details on paper may not work in reality. Dress sketches allow for experimentation to be done before work with fabric, which saves the designer from ordering unwanted fabric or wasting too much fabric on failed conceptions. Designers find it very useful to draw several dress sketches with different alterations of the same idea. In this way, designers have several options to choose from.

  • What Kinds of Dress Sketches Exist

Since dress sketches serve many purposes and individual needs, there are countless possibilities for making them. As already mentioned, it is best to keep dress sketches rather simple. However, rather than drawing a model in a straight standing pose, artists often draw their models in more natural poses. There is a myriad of possible poses. The model’s waist could be twisted toward a certain direction, she could put one leg forward, she have one hand on her hip. It takes more practice to draw these kinds of poses, but the dress would look much more natural on a realistically posed model. To really master dress sketches and to better know the dress idea, it is helpful to do multiple sketches of the same dress on various model.

  • How to Make a Dress Sketch

Although simple, dress sketches will take practice to master. Of course, there are many ways one can make a dress sketch, but for beginners the first step should be to lightly sketch outline the figure of the model, starting with the head and working down. Heads, breast areas, and hips can be represented by ovals, whereas limbs, necks, and upper body can be represented by lines. Next, over the basic outline, one should sketch the dress, then continually add more detail the dress, limbs, face, and hair. As a last step, some artists choose to add shading or color. The amount of detail to add is totally up to the individual.

Rough Skech of Dress *1 by lora70, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  Images in this post are by  lora70  Please visit  his Gallery

This is just a brief explanation of dress sketches. If one is interested in creating dress sketches for a fashion project, or just for an artistic outlet, it is helpful to look at examples of dress sketches, or perhaps practice by drawing existing dresses on models. Once mastered, dress sketches is a useful skill for a wide array of purposes.

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