Elements of Fashion Design with Example

The elements of fashion design in fashion are fundamental key components. In creating a design one of the components which interact is the art elements. It is also called Elements of Art. The art or elements of fashion design is a world filled with creativity and innovation. Every creative process from designing clothes to creating artwork has a basic fundamental principle to it, which lays the foundation for the art.

A Fashion designer use these elements of design to create visually appealing and aesthetically pleasing clothing and fashion accessories. These elements can help fashion designers communicate their ideas and express their creativity to design a dress.

Elements of Fashion Design
Fig 1: Elements of Fashion Design

Elements of fashion design are an important part of any designing. A person’s personality is always first analyzed by looking at their outfits and accessories. In these reason Elements of design such as line, shape, and space help designers create their designs or patterns for different types of clothing, from shirts to pants to dresses! Elements like color can also influence the mood or feeling when looking at certain pieces.

If you become a successful fashion designer, then understanding these elements of fashion design is crucial to your success. If you want to know about fashion designing details, then you admit any kind of fashions design courses, that will teach you everything. This post will help you to understand the basic principles and the most important elements of fashion design.

Types of key Elements of Design in Fashion:
These elements of design are considered as “Plastics” in art language because they can be manipulated arranged by the designer to create a desired illusion.

  1. Dots
  2. Lines
  3. Form
  4. Shapes
  5. Silhouette
  6. Space
  7. Color
  8. Value
  9. Texture

1. Dots:
Dots are indisputably the most amusing parts of fashion designs. Every element of fashion design or design, in general, is made up of several dots. That is what makes the Dots a crucial element of design. Without dots, there would be any design to work at all. Different kind of dots like Polka dots or dot patterns, small or round dots are used as a design element to add interest and detail to clothing.

Dots are uses on dress design as a elements of fashion design
Fig 2: Dots are uses on dress design as a elements of fashion design

2. Line:
Lines are also a basic elementary component of design that forms all the other elements. Lines in fashion design refer to the silhouettes and shapes created by the clothing. It provides the visual dimensions of length and width. When lines combine, space is enclosed and forms and shapes are defined. Lines offered a path of vision for the eyes when is wearing an outfit. Lines help define the overall structure and style of a garment. The arrangement of lines in clothing design can cause to appear heavier or thinner than what actually is. They can be straight, curved, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or a combination of these lines.

Lines are apply on dress design as a elements of fashion design
Fig 3: Lines are apply on dress design as a elements of fashion design

Lines can convey an infinite number of meanings through their direction and type. They help us express our feelings about things through how they look! That’s why it’s so important for designers to control the lines in their artwork.

Types of lines that are used to design a dress:

a. Straight line
b. Curved line
c. Horizontal line
d. Vertical line
e. Diagonal line
f. Oblique line

3. Form:
Form is the 3-D element of design and has length, width and depth. Form can be organic or inorganic and is enhanced by colour, shade, tone and texture. When you add shading to it to give shadows and highlights, it takes on a 3-D form. Form is created using a combination of dots, lines & shapes.

3D form in fashion design
Fig 4: 3D form in fashion design

The human body is a form and by viewing it analytically, its various perspectives are revealed. The human form changes visually with clothing, especially as fashion changes.

4. Shapes:
Basic elements of design like point and line form shapes. A shape is a two-dimensional area that stands out from the space around it due to variations in contour, colour or material. Shapes can be geometric or organic. Shape or silhouette is the overall form of a whole garment. There are an infinite number of shapes that you can create with just a few simple lines. It is created by the combination of lines like circles, Squares, Triangles, Pentagonal, and Hexagons are some of the most popular shapes found in designs today and can be influenced by factors such as the cut, seams, and darts in a garment.

Shape enclose space and imparts a certain character to the object viewed. Through clothing design, the shape of the human body is often revealed in a natural way, but sometimes even distorted. The shape of clothing on a human body, communicate silently, the messages about the wearer.

Elements of design shapes in fashion
Fig 5: Elements of design shapes in fashion design

For example, every fashion period has a specific shape of garment which once determined can be modified and re-styled for variation in design without changing the basic shape of the garment, it is either flare or tight, circular or straight, a line or raglan.

There are actually two ways of looking at the shape. The one way is explained in the above paragraphs. The other way to look at them from a fashion perspective is through Silhouettes. Silhouettes are a type of design that emphasizes the shape of a person’s body. Silhouettes can be used to create different rhythms in clothing. Style lines can help define a garment’s shape and Rhythm.

5. Silhouette or Body shape:
Silhouette is the outline of a fashion garment. It is the shape of the garment without considering the details and the patterns. Different silhouettes suit various people based on their body type and shape for example, hourglass silhouettes, H-line silhouettes, sheath silhouettes, etc. A fashion designer needs to understand the relationship between a silhouette and a body, and they need to determine which silhouettes will compliment which body types. They should also be able to determine what kind of silhouette suits individual persons.

Silhouette or Female body shapes in fashion
Fig 6: Silhouette or Female body shapes in fashion

Various factors need to be considered before selecting the appropriate silhouette. Every body type demands a different kind of silhouette, and the taste of the client must be taken note of. Additionally, the designs must be created considering the type of weather at a particular time and place.

6. Space:
Space is the area around and between objects. Space is used to create depth and can be seen in any design. In fashion design, space means the way elements that are arranged within a garment. For creating design balance and visual interest negative space (empty or open space) is as important as positive space (occupied space).

Elements of design space in fashion
Fig 7: Elements of design space in fashion

It is generally considered to be the area seen between the shapes. Busy space in clothing becomes distractive and fatiguing to view where an interesting space may go unnoticed or appear monotonous.

For example, lines in a clothing provide a path of vision along which the eye travels. Curving lines relates more naturally to human bodies. Vertical lines tend to slenderize the body. Horizontal lines suggests width.

7. Color:
Basic elements of fashion design enhanced by hue, value, tints, shades and color. Colour is a powerful element that decide the mood of a design, depending on the combination of color. Fashion designers carefully choose color palettes to increase the overall appeal of their design. Color can be used to highlight certain features and it also helps to create a harmonious and balanced look.

Elements of design color in fashion
Fig 8: Elements of design color in fashion

When fashion designer starts to thinking about design theme, they first decide about season and which color is the best for this season. To co-ordinate with an idea of creation will be infinite. Also, while choosing a color one must be utmost careful as color creates the first impression and hence can glorify or destroy one’s appearances. Even a simple silhouette may be enhanced by using effective color schemes.

Color has three dimensions:

a. Hue is the name of the color: for example, this coat is pink.
b. Value is how light or dark the color is.
c. Intensity is how bright or dull the color is.

8. Value:
Like color, value is another vital element that helps designers create different emotions and feelings. Value is what creates the light and dark areas within a design. It can be used to direct the viewer’s eye towards or away from some aspects of your work.

Value contrast in fashion desion
Fig 9: Elements of design value contrast in fashion

It is degrees of lightness or darkness. The differences between values is called value contrast.

9. Texture:
Textures in fashion design are both visual and tactile elements of a garment. Textures are widely imparted in fashion in the form of prints, weaves, and other surface design embellishments. Different textures can add depth and interest to a design. For example, a textured fabric may be used to create contrast with smoother materials and color.

Elements of design texture in fashion
Fig 10: Elements of design texture in fashion

As texture is the feel, drape and degree of stiffness and softness of the fabric, it also creates a visual effect upon the wearer, given a small swatch of fabric, the designer can visualize the texture and the fall of the fabric which helps him to design further.

Elements of fashion design do not work along but collectively in order to determine how a fashion garment looks and take shape. Elements of design are the main aspects of a fashion design practice that determine the main visual appeal as well as the way it furnish the wearer. Other elements such as textile print and textile pattern also affect the way fashion garments look but they complement these main elements of fashion design.


  1. Elements of Fashion and Apparel Design by Sumathi, G.J.
  2. https://purushu.com/2010/08/elements-of-design-in-fashion.html
  3. https://www.iiftbangalore.com/blog/principles-elements-of-fashion-design/
  4. https://www.fitnyc.edu/museum/documents/elements-and-principles-of-fashion-design.pdf
  5. https://fashinza.com/fashion-designs/design-trends/ten-important-elements-of-fashion-design/
  6. https://www.jdinstitute.edu.in/elements-of-fashion-design/

You may also read:

  1. Color Selection Techniques for Fashion Designers
  2. Effects of Language of Color on Dress Design
  3. How Fashion Clothing Embellishes Your Personality
  4. Different Types of Fashion Designing on Dress

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