How to use a Fashion Croquis

How to use a Fashion Croquis

A lot of fashion designers cannot draw to save their lives – myself included! So how do they come up with sketches to figure out designs? They use a fashion croquis.

A fashion croquis (pronounced crow-key) is defined as a rough draft or sketch, used to visually describe a fashion model.  Originating in 1805 from the French word, croquer translates to sketch, rough out, literally, to crunch. (1)

There are loads of tutorials and videos you can watch to make your own croquis. Try here, here and here. The main difference you will notice between a croquis and a regular human drawing is the height.  A croquis is typically 9 – 10 heads tall compared to 7 – 8 heads for a real adult.

This is done for purely aesthetic reasons and is what society naturally recognizes as a fashion sketch. Fashion figures are commonly slender with exaggerated long legs.

Excerpt from "Fashion Sketchbook" Bina Abling


The most effective and efficient way to use a croquis is to trace over it while sketching your design. If you have a darkened print or photocopy of a croquis, you’ll be able to focus on the fashion drawing and spend less time drawing in details such as legs and arms.  This method enables you to churn out sketches quickly as your ideas often flow and develop as you go. Sketching an accurate design makes it easier to explain and share your ideas and to understand them in years to come. I’ve included one for you to download and use here.

Download printable here

But, if you really want to treat yourself to a special sketchbook you can’t go past the Fashionary. It’s pages are filled with croquis printed feint enough to not notice once you’ve sketched over the top. So gorgeous!

fashionary a5


So, off you go and sketch to your hearts content!



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7 thoughts on “How to use a Fashion Croquis

  1. Dita

    I’ve never thought of making my own croquis (based on my body) but I think it will be a great way to visualize how a garment would look like on me! That fashionary book is way gorgeous. Btw, the download link didn’t work for me.
    I think it’s great that you include sources!

    1. Debra Verrall Post author

      Hi Kim I have to say it does get a bit addictive. Years ago I’d catch the train to work, and I’d sit there and sketch the whole hour ride. It’s a great feeling when your ideas start flowing.


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