Theories of Fashion Adoption

Fashion moves from one person to the other. Therefore, to study fashion adoption, one must know those people who are the first to adopt a fashion. These people are fashion leaders. Fashion theories indicates the process of fashion ideas. The theories explain the fashion trend. It also tells about how fashion moves from one stage to other stage. The following theories of fashion adoption explain the different ways in which fashion knowledge and adoption moves from one person to the other.

The Theories of Fashion Adoption are –
  • The Trickle Down or Downward Flow Theory
  • Horizontal Flow Theory or The Trickle Across
  • The Trickle Up or Upward Flow Theory

The Trickle Down or Downward Flow Theory

The trickle down is the oldest theory of fashion adoption. Higher class people who are up in the social pyramid maintains this theory. They are the first to adopt any style before it become a fashion. While people of lower social classes who tend to copy the fashion trends follow the higher classes. In this way, the acceptance of style moves in a downward flow.

This theory is based on the belief that the lower classes look up to the higher classes for inspiration. On the other hand the higher classes tend to disassociate from the styles which have moved to lower levels. Therefore, hunt for something new by the high-class consumers starts. The economics of the fashion industry support this theory. This is because each new fashion is introduced at a high-class level as expensive merchandise, with only the affluent class possessing the money to indulge it. The new introduce styles are expensive to cover the experimentation costs. With the style becoming popular, its copies are introduce in the market at a lower price. Then the upper class moves on to try something new.

The Trickle Across or Horizontal Flow Theory

According to this theory there exist social groups in each class of society that have their own fashion leaders and followers. The fashion moves horizontally in these social groups. This theory emerged due to the fast changing face of communication. As well as the production industries are making fashion available to everyone at same time for easy adoption. Therefore, fashion leaders of all social groups tend to adopt fashion at the same time. While fashion is adopted by every group in a society but this adoption is dependent on the fashion requirement of an individual.

The Trickle Up or Upward Flow Theory

Trickle up theory is explained by the fashion adoption process, which became prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s. According to this theory, the youngster of the low income groups are the one to try out some daring styles. As their social position does not restrict their behaviour. Once these groups have adopted the fashion, to can move to the middle class, who are more concerned about their social position.

Fashion Leaders and Followers

The above explain theories of fashion adoption one thing in common: they recognize the existence of fashion leaders and followers.

Fashion Leaders

There are very small percentage of fashion leaders in the society. They are not the creator of fashion, because of them the style gets popularity. They are the ones who discover and wear new styles. These people are responsible for introduction of new styles.

Fashion leaders also known as fashion innovator, is the first person to try out new designs. Fashion leaders are quite famous and grab the attention of the media. The general public look up to them to for inspiration. People specially fashion followers keenly observe their fashion leaders and imitate their dressing style. For example the famous purple saree worn by madhuri dixit in hum apke hai kaun. That saree style and color is still in fashion.

On the other hand people who follow or imitate these fashion leaders are their fashion followers. Most of the people in the society belong to this group. They are responsible for the existence of fashion industries. As mass production and distribution is possible only when a large number of consumers adopt a fashion. There are various reasons for people to become fashion followers rather than leaders. It may be because they feel insecure in trying something new, or they admire a famous personality. Or they simply lack interest and time to be a fashion leader.

So that’s all for theories of fashion adoption and fashion leaders and followers.

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Fashion Components and Fashion Cycle

Fashion design does not just happen, nor does the designer wave magic wand to create a new design. It involves the combination of four fashion components – silhouette, details, texture and color. A new fashion is evolve through a change in one or more of these basic components. Similarly fashion does not get popular with just a blink. Lets know discuss about fashion components and fashion cycle.

Fashion Components

Silhouette –

Silhouette is the overall outline of a costume. It is the basic ingredient that changes slightly with each new season. It is also refer to as “shape” or “form.” Women have worn countless silhouettes throughout the centuries. There are actually only three basic forms – straight or tubular; bell-shaped or bouffant and the bustle or back fullness. These have may variations. Today, most fashion experts include four variations on the tubular silhouette; slim, rectangle, wedge and A-line.

Details –

Details are that individual element which give silhouette it form or shape. For instance, trimmings, skirts and pants length and width, shoulder, waist and sleeve treatment. Through the change in details, silhouette gradually evolve from one to another. Reversal of the trend takes place when the trend reaches to an extreme. Variations in detail allow both designer and consumer to express their individuality freely. To emphasize a natural-waistline silhouette, for example, a slender woman might choose a simple wide belt, a decorated belt, or a belt in a contrasting color. To express his individuality, a man might emphasize the wide shoulder look with epaulets or heavy shoulder pads.

Texture –

It is the most significant components of fashion. Texture is the look or feel of the material, woven or nonwoven. It can affect the appearance of the silhouette. By giving it a bulky or slender look, depending on the roughness or smoothness of the material. Texture influences the drape of the garment. It also affects the color of a fabric by causing the surface to either reflect or absorb light. Rough textures absorb light, causing the colors to appear flat. Smooth textures reflect light, causing them to appear brighter.

Color –

Color has major consideration in women’s clothing. Today, color is a key factor in apparel selection for both sexes. Color is important in advertising, packaging and store decor as well.

Color symbolism often varies with geographical location. While white is the western world’s symbol of purity, worn by brides. But in india it is a color of mourning. Today, a fashion designer’s color palette changes with consumers’ preferences. Merchants must develop an eye for color- not only for the specific hues and values popular in a given seasons, but also for indications of possible trends in consumer preference.

So the fashion components clear now lets see fashion cycle.

Fashion Cycle –

Fashion designers expose their consumers to a multitude of new styles in each season. Some get rejection immediately by the press or by the buyer on the retail level, but others get acceptance for a time, as demonstrated by consumers purchasing and wearing them.

All fashion moves in cycles. The term fashion cycle refers to the rise, wide popularity and then decline in acceptance of a style. However, the fashion cycle is represented by a bell-shape curve.

Every fashion cycle passes through five stages ; 1) introduction 2) rise 3) culmination or peak 4)decline and 5) rejection or obsolescence.

1. Introduction of a Style

  Designers interpret their research and creative ideas into appeal or accessories and then offer the new styles to the public. Designers create new designs by changing elements such as line, shape, color , fabric, and details and their relationship to one another. New creations referred to as the “latest fashions” may not yet be accepted by anyone. At this first stage of the cycle, fashion implies only style and newness.

2. Increase in Popularity

If a new style is purchase, worn, and seen by many people, it may attract the attention of buyers, the press, and the public. In self-defense, most couture and high – priced designers now have secondary bridge and or diffusion lines that sell at lower prices, so that they can sell their designs in greater quantities.

The popularity of a style may further increase through copying and adaptation. Some designers or stylists may modify a popular style to suit the needs and price range of their own customers. Some manufacturers may copy it with less expensive fabric and less detail it order to all the style at lower prices.

3. Peak of Popularity

When a fashion is at the height of its popularity, it may be in such demand that many manufacturers copy it or produce adaptations of it at many price levels. Some designers get flatter by copying and others are resentful. There is very fine line between adaptations and knockoffs.

Volume production requires a likelihood of mass acceptance. Therefore, volume manufacturers carefully study sales trends because their customers want clothes that are in the mainstream of fashion.

4. Decline in Popularity

Eventually, so many copies are mass produce that fashion –conscious people tire of the style and begin to look for something new. Consumers still wear garments in the style, but they are no longer willing to buy them at regular prices. Retail stores put such declining styles on sale racks, hoping to make room for new merchandise.

5. Rejection of a Style or Obsolescence

In the last phase of fashion cycle, some consumers have already turned to new looks, thus beginning a new cycle. The rejection or discarding of a style just because it is out of fashion is known as consumer obsolescence. As early as 1600, Shakespeare wrote that “fashion wears out more apparel than the man”. 

here was the fashion components and fashion cycle.


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Fashion and it’s Terminology

Fashion is a part of our day-to-day life. It affects the way we lead our lives. These days fashion has become a part of our personality and individuality. In today’s world fashion is a big business employing thousands of people. However one must know the meaning of fashion and it’s terminology. What is the difference between fashion, stye and design? Just what do high fashion, mass fashion, taste, classic and fad mean? To avoid confusion when discussing fashion, we must first understand the meaning of fashion and it’s terminology.

Here are the fashion and its terminology –

Fashion –

The term fashion is all about style. A fashion is a style that is accept and used by the majority of a group at any one time. Not matter how small that group is. A fashion is always based on some particular style. Fashion is always new even when an old fashion is receive, because styles styles are reintroduce with newness for fresh appeal. A fashion is a fact of social psychology. But not every style is a fashion. A style is usually a creation from an artist or a designer.

Definitions –

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”. –Oscar Wilde

“Fashion wear out more apparel than the man.” –Shakespeare

The most widely recognized fashion authority defines fashion as –

“Fashion is nothing more or less than the prevailing style at a given time.” – Dr. Paul H. Nystrom

A style may be old or new, beautiful or ugly, good or bad. A style is a style even if it never receives the slightest acceptance. Fashion appeals to many different groups and can be categorize according to the group to which they appeal. As fashion communicates the status of a person in the society and expresses his individuality, it needs to be display and expose to a number of people to be adopt by them. For instance skirts, pants, fit kurtas were in fashion during the 1970s and have attract the fancy of the wearer to be back in fashion.

Fashion always displays something new to attract people’s interest and desire for change, and gain acceptance. Fashion satisfies the need for self-beautification and adornment. It is a reflection of the times in which it is popular. It showcases the lifestyle and thought process of the people adoring the fashion. The value system, class system and activities that prevail during that time can also be known form the styles in fashion.

High Fashion and Mass Fashion –

High fashion or Haute Couture refers to those new styles that are special in their overall appeal. They are manufacture in limited numbers and introduce to exclusive clientele of fashion leaders. In other words it refers to a new style accepted by a limited number of fashion leaders. These fashion leaders want to be the first to adopt changes and innovation in fashion. High-fashion styles are generally introduce and sold in small quantities and at relatively high prices. As they have newness in the design, superfine quality fabric, perfect workmanship and are made as per client size only.

To contrast with high fashion, mass fashion or volume fashion, consists of styles that are widely accepted. High fashion needs wide acceptance from a large number of people for it to become mass fashion. The production and selling of these garments is usually in large quantities at moderate to low prices. These appeals to the greatest majority of fashion-conscious consumers. Mass fashion accounts for the majority of sales in the fashion business. Mass fashion is the “bread and butter” of the fashion banquet !

Style –

To understand fashion and it’s terminology one must know the meaning of style.In this world, everything has got a style as style refers to a distinctive characteristics of a thing. The first step in understanding fashion is to distinguish between “fashion” and “style”. These words that most people use interchangeably although there is an immense difference in their meanings. Convertibles, vans,multi-utility vehicles are all automobiles with different styles. Similarly, there is Mughal, European and French style of architecture.

In terms of apparel designing, style is the characteristic or distinctive appearance of a garment. It is a combination of features that makes it different from other garments. For example, dresses are one style of apparel, trousers are another and skirts are another. Riding jackets are different from safari jackets as they are from blazer jackets. At times style there exist a number of styles each very different and individualistic in its looks. For instance, straight skirt, A-line skirt, pleated skirt, circular skirt are all examples of styles within a style.

Although styles come and go as acceptance, specific style remains a style whether it is currently in fashion or not. As style refers to distinctive characteristics, it remains a style, whether it is currently accept as fashion statement or not. Some styles are named after the period of history in they originated such as Roman, Greek. When such styles return to fashion, their basic elements remain the same. They slightly get modifies to conform to the current fashion trends.

Design –

There can be many variations of detail within a specific style. A design is a particular or individual interpretation, version, or treatment of a style. In other words, a design is a composition of silhouette, color, texture, details which create specific versions of style. For example, coat is a style; increasing or decreasing its length, adding or reducing it fullness or varying sleeves will give unlimited variety of design. A style may be express in many designs, all different, yet all related because they are in same style.

Once a style gains acceptance, many different designs of same style are develop. This is done by altering its composing elements and introduce in the market by apparel manufacturers.

In the fashion industries, manufacturers and retailers assign a number to each individual design produce. This is style number. The style number of a product identifies it for manufacturing, ordering and selling purposes. In this instance, the term “style number” is use rather than “design number”, even though a design is being identified.

Trend –

A fashion trend refers to the general course of movement, direction or flow that fashions in clothing follow. For example, you often read in fashion magazines “there is a trend toward longer skirts”. It means that several designers, including some leading ones, are showing longer skirts. Leading retailers are buying them, and fashion-forward customers are wearing them. Though designers are the main force behind the introduction of a design. But its ultimate success depends on the consumer, who decides on the acceptance of a particular design.

The changes in design from one season to the next may be subtle, but they follow a trend. A fashion designer always designs for the forthcoming season. It is vital for him/her to recognize the trends and designs accordingly. The new styles gaining acceptance in the industry are refer to as fashion forward and the experimental and shocking fashions are known as avant garde.

Taste –

In fashion, taste refers to the outlook of what is and what is not according to a given occasion. Therefore a good fashion taste not only means artistically pleasing but also what is appropriate for a specific situation. A style such as an evening gown, may be beautiful. But wearing it to a morning wedding, it may not be considered in good taste. Many styles are beautiful, but if they are not in fashion, good taste prevents their use. On the other hand, a present fashion may be ugly but its common acceptance means it is in good taste.

Nystrom described the relationship of good taste and fashion as –

“Good taste essentially is making the most artistic use of current fashion… bridging the gap between good art and common usage.”

Classic –

Classic refers to the style that stay. It consider to be in good taste for long period. They are exceptions to the usual movement of styles through the fashion life cycle. The characteristics are its simplicity of design and suitability to clothing needs of large group. In other words it is a style which satisfies the needs of people. And stay in fashion for an extended period of time.

For example – polo neck sweaters, cardigans, blazers, men’s suit, button down collar shirts, blue denim jeans etc. Among the accessories, the pump-style shoe, the loafer, necklace and the clutch handbag are also classics. For young children overalls and one-piece pajamas have become classics.

Their looks may change at times, but these changes are subtle. Material, texture, design, details, cut and shape of garment use to introduce these changes.

Fads –

A fad is a short-lived fashion. The fad starts by being quickly accepted and then quickly imitated by others. It is a minor fashion adopted by a group of people for a short period of time. Fads are those designs that are extreme and exaggerating. It often begin in low-price ranges, relatively easy to copy. Therefore floods the market in a very short time. Fads follow the same cycle as fashion do, but their popularity rise is much faster. Their acceptance much shorter, and their decline much more rapid than that of a true fashion.

They are known as miniature fashion because their short stay for a season. Nowadays, it is difficult to draw a line between fads and fashions. As most fads become fashion and stay for several seasons. Hair dye in patches, hot pants, bell-bottoms, patiala salwar are all examples of fads.

Couture (Koo-ture)

It isn’t in fashion and it’s terminology but are related to this topic. French term for business in which original apparel designs are created by designers & the items are manufactured in the design house using exceptionally fine sewing & tailoring and expensive fabrics.

Haute Couture (oat koo-toor)

Haute couture (French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”) refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. It is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. As it isn’t come in fashion and it’s terminology but is a related point.

So these were the meaning of fashion and its terminology.

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Fiber To Yarn TO Fabric

Sequence of fabric construction –

Interlacement of yarns is use to construct a fabric. These sets of yarns run lengthwise and crosswise. A close examination of any one of these yarns will reveal the fibrous substance. There is a logical development of raw material into finished consumers’ goods. Studying textile in the interesting sequence of “fiber to yarn to fabric” helps understand the construction and ultimate qualities of the fabrics.

Here are the steps of fiber to yarn to fabric :

  1. Fiber,which make yarn by spinning or twisting it.
  2. Yarn, which make fabric by weaving or knitting.
  3. Fabric, which by various finishing processes becomes fishined consumers’ goods.

This how fiber to yarn to fabric is made.

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Kinds of Fibers –

The textile industry uses many different kinds of fibers as its raw materials. Fibers have acquired varied degrees of importance in recent years. Broadly, textile fibers are of two groups namely, natural and man-made.

Natural Fibers –

Natural fibers are obtain from nature in fibrous form. All natural fibers (except silk from undamaged cocoons) are short and measured in inches. These are staple fibers. Even more, these are classify into four groups depending on their source and chemical composition. These are animal/protein fibers, plant/cellulose fibers, rubber and mineral fibers.

Animal / Protein Fibers –

These are hair fibers (on basis of the animal from which they are obtain) and extruded fibers. The larvae of silk moth extrude a continuous filament from their mouth to form a cocoon. Furthermore, the cocoon is process to recover silk fibers.

Plant / Cellulosic Fibers –

These are subcategories according to the part of the plant that produces the fiber. Thus, there exist the categories of seed hair fibers, bast or stem fibers, leaf fibers and the miscellaneous category.

Natural Rubber –

The rubber tree process the latex. The stem is slash to take out and convert the thick milky exudate.

Natural Mineral

Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber. It is obtain from a variety of rock that contain silicates of magnesium and calcium. It is inherently non-flammable but is being replace because of its carcinogenic properties.

Man-made Fibers

Man made fibers are derive from various sources. Technologists make these under control conditions. Man-made fibers are extrude as filaments. Filament fibers are long and therefore can be cut into staple length. There are three groups depending on their raw material, that is, regenerating fibers, synthetic fibers and inorganic fibers.

Regenerated Fibers –

Here, raw material are dissolve through a series of chemical reactions. Then consequently, extrudes to produce a continuous fiber strand. The starting material and the fiber have the same chemical polymer. Raw materials which are obtain from nature include small cotton fibers (linters), wood , milk protein and other diverse substances. Their original form cannot be use. Henceforth the need for reforming or regenerating them. The first regenerated fiber was rayon in 1905 . After that acetate , another cellulosic fiber. Several protein fibers have also been experiment with.

Synthetic Fibers –

These are fibers produce from a chemical to form a polymer not previously existing in a natural state. The first synthetic fiber was nylon in 1938.

Inorganic Fibers –

There are some inorganic substances which do not have the conventional long chain molecules. However, it is possible to soften them by heat application and then form into thin, long strands. These are pliable and resemble organic fiber. Uses of inorganic fibers normally do not include apparel. But since there are numerous industrial uses for them. Expect natural mineral fibers and man-made inorganic fibers such as glass and metals, all textile fiber polymers are organic compounds. In other words they are predominantly compose of carbon and hydrogen atoms some oxygen , nitrogen , chlorine and fluorine atoms.

Classification of Textile Fibers

natural fibers

a) Animal/ Protein
  • Extruded – silk (silk moth – domesticated and wild)
  • Hair – wool (sheep) , speciality ( Alpaca , Cashmere, Llama, Mohair Vicuna) , fur (animal pelt)
b) Plant/Cellulosic
  • Seed hair (cotton, kapok, coir)
  • Stem or bast (flax, jute)
  • Leaf (pina from pineapple leaves, sisal from agave leaves)
  • Miscellaneous (from parts other than above three)

manufactured or man-made fibers

a) Regenerated Fibers
  • Cellulosic – rayon (viscose, cuprammonium, HWM), acetate, triacetate, lyocell
  • Protein – azlon ( from soybean and corn)
b) Synthetic
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Acrylic
  • Modacrylic
  • Olefins ( polyethylene, polypropylene)
  • Spandex
  • Aramid (nomex, kevlar)
  • Carbon
c) inorganic
  • Glass
  • Metallic

References –

  • textbook of fabric science.
  • textiles fibers to fabrics.


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Role of a Fashion Designer

what is the role of a fashion designer exactly ?

do they work under a name of a agency ?

do they have a work place ? if so what do they do in it ?

A fashion designer’s job will depend on who they work with , who they know and where they work. In most fashion industries the role of a fashion designer will be what it says on the tin – to design fashion. They will normally be working in a cohort with other fashion designers , drawing up ideas to suit a particular purpose or style of which their manager will assign them to. In this sort of job , they would indeed be working under the name of an industry. They will work their way up the business until they become the head of management or an agency, an assistant. Basically making all the important decisions and telling everyone what they want to see.

Other fashion designers work in completely different industry, such as creating or designing costumes for the characters in a movie. Others may simply be freelance designers. They will use blogging and the internet to publish their fashion designing ; if they are lucky , someone may offer to buy or to help get the world around about their designs. Either this or they are likely to email agencies showing them their designs. Also maybe requesting that they considering using these designs.

Fashion designers combine technical knowledge with artistic flair to create distinctive clothing and apparel products. Common responsibilities include recognizing fashion trends, creating designs, interacting with fabric suppliers and pitching marketable designs. The designer’s job is not only creating and marketing clothing or garment. Fashion designers study trends and sketch the initial clothing or accessory design. Fashion designers study trends and sketch the initial clothing or accessory design.

There are other fashion designer duties, such as:

  • Observing fashion trends to predict designs for consumers
  • Choosing a theme for designs and collections
  • Utilizing computer-aided design (CAD) programs for designs
  • Participating in fashion shows with designs
  • Picking fabrics, colors, designs, and more for pieces
  • Instructing manufacturers or teams of designers on how to make the piece
  • Managing the production of pieces
  • Creating prototypes or models
  • Discussing designs with directors or managers
  • Finding new consumer markets for designs.

Fashion designers love to study fashion trends, sketch designs, select materials. They have a part in all the production aspects of their designs. They contribute to the creation of millions, if not billions of pieces of clothing and accessories purchased by consumers. Fashion designers create women’s, men’s and children’s apparel. This might include sportswear, maternity wear, outerwear, underwear, formalwear, eyewear and footwear. There are also accessory designers who design belts, scarves, hats, handbags and hosiery.


Principles Of Design

The principles of design serve as guidelines for the purpose of combining elements of design in garment. These principles are important because they create a harmonious design. They are flexible in terms of current fashion trends.

The Principles of design are :

  1. Proportion
  2. Balance
  3. Rhythm
  4. Emphasis
  5. Harmony

Proportion –

Proportion means as the pleasing relationship of the parts of a whole to the whole, and to each other. It is comparative relationship of distance, size, amount, degrees or parts. It can apply on one-dimensional line, two-dimensional shapes or three-dimensional forms. In a garment, silhouette is divided into construction lines, thereby creating spaces, which must relate to one another and to the whole garment in a pleasing way. Proportion is a synthesizing principle. Traditionally it deals mainly with lines, shapes and areas. Proportion is the size relationship of the areas of the body. The relationship between the areas can be explain in terms of numeric ratios. Generally, uneven ratios 1:3, 2:3 and 3:5 are the most interesting in designing. They nearly repeat the body proportions and divisions are interesting because they are not equal. Not all fashion trends are pleasingly proportional for all figures. 

Proportion establishes not only in parts of a garment but also in terms of the relationship between one garment and the other, such as tops and skirts, jackets and trousers and the rest. 

Basic Law of Proportion or The Golden Mean Law – 

  The mathematical formula for proportion establish by early Egyptians were 3:5:8, visible in a knee length skirt and top. 5:8:13, which can be seen in a long top which is enough to cover the hips with trousers.

 The golden mean ratio has been a subject of fascination for artists and mathematicians. The golden mean ratio occurs in nature and also a mathematical formula used by artists, designers, architects and even musicians in creating beauty. The magic ratio is technically 1.1688. But for artistic uses it’s often simplified to 1:1.5 or 2:3. The Swiss architect Le Corbusier believe that the golden mean ratio naturally appeal to the human eye. And people through time and space are drew to it whether they know it as mathematical formula or not. In addition, well proportion clothing has historically been based on the golden mean ratio. It is in both nature and man made structures.

 There are times during fashion cycles when proportions invert like when the hemline of tops and jackets are low, and less of lower garments, like skirts and trousers are visible. A proportionate garment design need to be complement with proportionate motifs, their positioning on the fabric and the background spaces, and its suitability to the wearer. 

   For instance-

  Indian ladies suits follow an inverse proportion system, which is visually pleasing; because the space divisions are those specific by the golden mean. Although mini skirts are design in poor proportion, they have a visual appeal as the length of long expose the legs or legs cover with stockings and flat shoes or medium heel is proportionately balance by the short garment. 

 Proportion and Body Size – 

In general, body size is divide into three categories – small, medium, and large and these categories are the guideline in selecting garments. It is important to follow the principle of proportion, according to which fabric designs, textures, and accessories should be in proportion with the body size. 

  • small-  statured people should not select large patterned fabrics and big accessories, as they overpower the personality of the wearer, due to inappropriate proportions. 
  • The medium-sized person has a much wider range of fabrics and accessories to choose from but should evaluate each item in terms of the body size.
  • In the same way, small-patterned fabrics and small accessories are in complete contrast with a large figure type, and emphasize the body size. 


               In Principles of design Balance is a state of equilibrium of the design part or balance is the concept of visual equilibrium and relates to our physical sense of balance. It is the equal distribution of weight- actual or visual. It is a reconciliation of opposing forces in a composition that results in visual stability. Balance refers to equal distribution of actual and visual weight about a central point. Where there is balance there is a pleasing relationship of all the parts from side to side and top to bottom. A sense of stability results. A garment must be balance to be visually pleasing. 

There are two basic types of balance – Symmetrical balance and Asymmetrical balance

  1. Symmetrical balance –  It means equal “weight” on equal side of centrally placed fulcrum. It also known as formal balance. When the elements are arrange equally on either side of a central axis, the result is bilateral symmetry. In case of symmetrical or formal balance, identical objects are place on either side of a real or imaginary central line. Therefore, one side is the exact mirror image of the other, such as the left and right side of the human body. The line can be horizontal or vertical. It is also possible to build formal balance by arranging elements equally around a central point, resulting in radial symmetry. 

                This is the most common feature in garments, as it is the easy to achieve and provides stability along with a pleasing , sober, and sophisticated look. A garment designed keeping formal balance in mind lacks creativity and tends to emphasize any body irregularity, if present; therefore, the designer needs to lay more emphasis on color, texture, and accessories.

Examples of symmetrical balance include all garments that have identical left and right-sides, such as trousers , cardigans, straight, skirt, princess line dress.

2. Asymmetrical balance – When the structure decoration and accessories are different both the sides from the center of the dress, it is called asymmetrical balance. It may also be called informal balance. It is more complex and difficult to visualize. In this, attraction is created on both sides by using different accessories. Asymmetrical or informal balance provides more excitement. In this case,the design composition is visually different on either side of the real or imaginary line but one part equalizes the other in weight, such as the front and backside of the human body while looking at the body from the side view.

    A designer is free to express his creativity while creating outfits with informal balance. A small interesting detail on one side can balance a larger uninteresting area on the other side. This balance helps in leading the eye away from the body irregularities and enhancing the beautiful parts of the body. Formal wears are mostly asymmetrical in design therefore, consumes more time and money for construction. 


   Rhythm is a sense of orderly movement. Rhythmic movement serves to unify the design provide a transition between areas of the garment, avoid conflicting areas of interest, and identify the centre of emphasis in a design. Rhythm is the most important principle of art. It is created by repeat use of design, the eye will move easily from one part to another. Rhythm can either be obvious or subtle. Rhythm establishes through repetition of lines or shapes or colors to give direction which the eye follows. It is necessary to create interest in a design and convey the theme of the design. Rhythm is an organised movement. gathers , pleats, buttons, and other details follow a rhythmic pattern which constitutes in Principles of design.

                              When dominant color, pattern, line or detail on the garment repeats on distinct locations with or without variations, then rhythm is maintain. Arrangement of the elements of design to produce rhythm can include repetition of lines, shapes, colors or textures; alteration of lines, shapes, colors, or textures; radiation of lines, shapes, colors or textural folds. Rhythm makes eye movement smooth. The principle of design that refers to a regular repetition of elements of art to produce the look and feel of movement. 

 Methods of Creating Rhythm – 

             There are 3 ways to create rhythm. They are –  

  1. Repetition – By repetition of lines, shapes colors or accessories rhythm can be made. Parallel lines are form by the use of seams, buttons, embroidery, lace etc. which helps uninterrupted eye movement. 
  1. Radiations – Radiant lines is use to produce rhythm. Gathers are use to create such lines. Eye moves easily from one part to the other on the small lines created by gathers. We can see such lines in gathers on necklines, arms and skirts.
  1. Gradation – Rhythm can be created by gradual change in lines, shapes, shades of the color. Gradation in light carpet on the floor changes gradually in value. 


      For Principles of design there is some portion in every dress which is the center of attraction. This portion is point of emphasis. Emphasis is the center of interest, which draw attention more than any other part. This center of interest should be one and should relate to the total garment design. Point of emphasis is related to body structure. Emphasis should be laid only on that body part which is most attractive. Every beautiful garment possesses an emphasis area which is dominant as compared to the other areas in the garment. It is placed on an area that needs to be highlighted. To lay emphasis, buttons, belts, laces etc of contrasting and dark colors may be used. Emphasis can lie on the portion repeat use of certain elements.

For example emphasis should be around the neck of a person with a beautiful face and on waistline for a person with slim waist. It should enhance the grace of the wearer and not the other way around. Emphasis occurs at the point of visual interest or contrast.

Emphasis is achieve by – 

  • Contrasting colors.
  • Bold and unusual shapes.
  • Eye catching patterns.
  • Complex textures.
  • Attractive design details.
  • Interesting trims.
  • And many other features.

The details emphasizing the face are very popular, such as the use of a bright colored scarf or necktie, collar in contrasting color, jewelry, and hats.


 In Principles of design Harmony is a relationship of different portions in a dress. Harmony is achieve through judicious use of colours, shapes and textures to give a feeling of oneness. Harmony in dressing relates to the total look where all elements of designing work together in garments, accessories, jewelry, and hairstyles to produce a visual effect that attracts and holds the attention of the observer. To achieve harmony, all design elements must be select and arrange to create a unified idea, concept or theme. This is the ultimate goal in any creative effort. It requires combining lines, shapes, colors and texture in a way that’s appropriate to the purpose. 

Principles of Harmony – 

A harmonious garment has consistency in terms of design elements such as silhouette, lines, color and texture. The following are the principle of harmony – 

  1. Silhouette of the garment should be in pleasing relationship with the wearer’s figure or body type.
  2. Style lines should be consistent on every area of the garment and on separate garments that are sold as coordinates. They should have compatible angles and compliment each other when present on different areas of a garment.
  3. All areas of the garment should reflect the same shape so that the continuity of the design does no break.
  4. Patterns on the fabric should be use skillfully to make an attractive garment. Stripes and plaids should always match the garment parts unless used as a design feature. 
  5. Similar or contrasting textures should be use in a pleasing combination to add variety in a garment.
  6. Unity in color combination should be there and the color should be perfect for the person, season and occasion. 
  7. Avoid small difference in the hem length of sleeves and garment ends. As they interfere with the horizontal movement of the eye.

That’s all for the Principles of design. If you have any query you can comment below.




 Silhouette is a form which projects one solid color against the background of another colour, therefore the shape is visible. It is the outline of the whole garment. It is the most dominant visual element of a garment and the first thing visible from a distance. Silhouette also helps in forming first impressions of the garment, which may or may not be appealing to the eye. Silhouette in garment is dependent on the position and direction of horizontal and vertical lines in a garment, which decides its length width proportions. Moreover, design detail like collars and sleeves add on to the look.

 A silhouette worn must complement the body type. Each has its highlighted features in terms of specific part of the garment that is sleeves, waistline and shoulders.

  Definition –

   According to the Debester Dictionary, it is a two-dimensional representation of the  outline of an object.

 Types of Silhouette –

  1. Sheath –

It is the form of the silhouette which is fits from top to the bottom of the garment. The way it hug the body make it an unforgiving style to those without perfect figure as it emphasise waist. A defined waist is prerequisite to look good. This style is usually fitting. Slits are introduce. Example pencil skirts.                          

2. A-line – 

                      Fitted in the bodice and flared slightly in the skirt, making it look like a ‘A’. A garment in this silhouette widens towards ‘hems’ in gradual manner, smoothes out awkward lines and curves of the body.

3. Hourglass –

                  This silhouette is characterise by a fitted waistline. This is a very popular silhouette which emphasises the curves of feminine figure. This can be design with the help of belts, darts, waist bands. The highlight of this silhouette is the waistline. Wedding gowns are construct based on this silhouette with a fitted waist.

4. Bell –

    Also known as ball-gown. It is fits till the waist further flares generally at hem to make a bell-shaped skirt. Typically found in traditional wedding dresses. It is a choice of young women for wedding dress.

5. Mermaid –

        Also known as trumpet. It is similar to sheath type but flares like a ball gown from the knees. However it is undoubtedly a very beautiful silhouette and hem worth the sacrifice but uncomfortable for movement .

6. Shoulder-Wedge –

                                                 This type emphasizes the shoulder. To make this silhouette emphasise the shoulder using additional designs. For instance shoulder pads, puff sleeves or butterfly style etc.

  1. Trapeze or Tent –

                                             It looks A-lined but with pronounced flare towards hem. It has shaped like a trapezoid or tent. Therefore, this type is good for short dresses however difficult in long dresses.

8. Asymmetrical –

                                          This has a diagonal hem line. This effect is achieve by varying the colors, fabrics etc.

Importance –

  1. It emphasize as well alter woman’s shape.
  2. They can create flattering illusion.
  3. It can meet the dress code for different occasions.


Colors is the visual feeling which is corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, blue and other properties of color are.

  • The physical specification of color are associate with objects, materials and light sources based on their physical properties like light absorption and reflection are the properties of colors.
  • There are 3 dimensions of colour hue, value and intensity or chroma.
  • It is a major concern in all aspects.
  • It is calmingly an increasingly important part of modern living.
  • There are two things an external occurrence and an internal sensation.

Dimensions of Colors

 Hue –  Hue refers to the name of the colors. By using the term hue we distinguish one color from the other. It is the quality which separates colors from each other. It is the contrast between redness, blueness and greenness. For eg. red, blue, green, yellow, these are the name of colors which separates them from the rest. 

Value –Value refers to the lightness or darkness of the colors. When color is mixed with white forms tints or light shades. When mixed with black it form dark shades of that particular hue. The hues are located somewhere in between the extremes of the white and black in value scale. Every hue or a color wheel has its own vale level known as normal or home value. For example when white is added in blue (hue) it will form the tint of blue or sky blue shade. When black is added to the same hue it will form dark blue or navy blue.

 Intensity / chroma –intensity refers to the purity and impurity of a hue. It is the difference between a strong colour and weak colour. The more pure a hue will be the more intensity it may contain. It is sometimes known as chroma. It is the brightness or dullness of a hue. Bright colours have high and dull colours have low intensity.

Properties of colors and theory

  1.  Prang Colour Theory

       In prang color theory there are 12 colours in the colour wheel.

Color wheel – Color wheel are logical combination of colors on it. The purpose of the it is to create an aesthetic feeling of style and appeal.

 Primary colours –Primary colours are equal distance apart on the color wheel. They are “primary” as no color combination can create such colors.

 Secondary colours – Colors halfway between the primary colors. Created by mixing two primary colors together. Orange, green, violet or purple.

Tertiary colours – These are hues intermediary between primary and secondary hues. Created by mixing one primary with one secondary colors. Red – orange, yellow – orange, blue – green, yellow – green, blue – violet and red – violet.

  1. Mansell Colours Theory –

             It was created by Albert H. Munsell. According to Mansell colour theory there are total 10 fundamental colors which are divided into 2 parts.5 colour principles and 5 intermediate colours.

     5 colour  principle or the main colours are –1. Red          2. Yellow        3.    Blue     4. Green     5. Violet.

    5 intermediate colours are –  1. Red – yellow     2. Blue – green   3. Violet – red    4. Blue – violet    5. Yellow – green.

      This theory is based on the dimensions of colours i.e; hue, value and chroma or intensity.

 Color Scheme –

Monochromatic color scheme –

                    Mono means one and one pure must be the key tone of the harmonious color scheme. Monochromatic scheme is the easiest to design as well as most comfortable because it compose of like colors. The key success to this scheme is to use enough contrast through hue and intensity to make it attractive. This scheme is restful to the eye.

 Analogous color scheme –

                   Colors that are next to each other on the wheel frequently provide the basis of very pleasing combinations. Blue, blue-violet and violet has enjoyed tremendous scheme. Analogous colour schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye. Yellow, yellow-green and green with different values and intensities of adjacent colours will make analogous colour scheme.

Complementary colour scheme –

                                   Colours that are opposite to each other on the colour wheel are considered to be complementary colours. For e.g, red and green. High contrast of complementary colour scheme creates a vibrant look particularly when used at full saturation. Therefore, scheme must be managed so it not jarring.

  • Split complementary colour scheme –

              The split complementary colour scheme is the variation of complementary colour scheme. In this addition to the base colour, it uses the two analogous colours adjacent to its complement. This colour scheme has the same strong visual contrast as the complementary colour scheme but has less tension. It makes an arrow “Y”on the colour wheel. For example – orange, green and blue-violet. It is also known as compound harmony.

Double complementary colour scheme –

                                             Superimposing a narrow ‘X’ on the colour wheel we get the two sets of complementary colours to work with. Four colours might be confusing in a small area, but they promote variety in colours. It is therefore known as tetrad colour scheme.

 Triad colour scheme

 A triangle is placed on the colour wheel will give three colours that form the triad. The primary colours like red, yellow and blue.

Psychological effects of color –

                 Colors profoundly affect our mood and temperament. A fact that a sensitive designer use to impair the mood of the garment and the wearer. A considerable literature has evolved on the psychology and symbolism of color. Some work claim to assess personality traits according to color preference, other analyse color symbolism in terms of behaviour. For example, in many western cultures white is the bridal color symbolising purity and innocence. While in India the proper bridal color is red. Likewise in Western use black for mourning ,whereas, some cultures use white. Colors convey strong emotional meaning to an audience . These are the extra Properties of colors.

 Color Psychology: White

  • purity
  • innocence
  • cleanliness
  • sense of space
  • neutrality
  • mourning (in some cultures/societies)

Color Psychology: The Color Black

  • authority
  • power
  • strength
  • evil
  • intelligence
  • thinning / slimming
  • death or mourning

Color Psychology: The Color Gray

  • neutral
  • timeless
  • practical

Color Psychology: The Color Red

  • love
  • romance
  • gentle
  • warmth
  • comfort
  • energy
  • excitement
  • intensity
  • life
  • blood

Color Psychology: Orange

  • happy
  • energetic
  • excitement
  • enthusiasm
  • warmth
  • wealth prosperity
  • sophistication
  • change
  • stimulation

Color Psychology: Yellow

  • happiness
  • laughter
  • cheery
  • warmth
  • optimism
  • hunger
  • intensity
  • frustration
  • anger
  • attention-getting

Color Psychology: Green

  • natural
  • cool
  • growth
  • money
  • health
  • envy
  • tranquility
  • harmony
  • calmness
  • fertility

Psychology of Blue

  • calmness
  • serenity
  • cold
  • uncaring
  • wisdom
  • loyalty
  • truth
  • focused
  • unappetizing

Psychology of Purple

  • royalty
  • wealth
  • sophistication
  • wisdom
  • exotic
  • spiritual
  • prosperity
  • respect
  • mystery

Psychology of Brown

  • reliability
  • stability
  • friendship
  • sadness
  • warmth
  • comfort
  • security
  • natural
  • organic
  • mourning (in some cultures/societies)

Psychology of Pink

  • romance
  • love
  • gentle
  • calming
  • Agitation

reference click


Texture means the surface quality of an object- how it looks, feels and performs. Texture describes the surface or tactile quality of a material, its degree of smoothness or roughness. The word texture describes the nature of the surface. The word ‘texture’ comes from the latin word meaning to weave. In fashion designing texture refers to the surface of fabrics or trimmings used in the garments. It is the most important element of design because people first get attract by the colour of the garment then automatically reach out to the texture whether they will feel comfortable or not. Texture is also define as a visual and tangible structure of a surface or substance. Texture appeals to not just one, but three of our senses ; touch, sight and hearing. Texture affects the look of a garment, the feel, influence the appearance of the person wearing the garment. Texture , basically connected to the weave of the fabric.

Factors affecting texture in textile

All the fabric textures, from the purest chiffon to the bulkiest fleece to the solid canvas, depend on variations of only four factors :-

Fibre content –

Fibre content is the generic or family name like, wool, nylon, rayon, polyester etc.. They are the substance from which the yarn and fabrics are made. The length, chemical composition, shape and performance are characteristics of a fibre which greatly influence the final texture. Natural fibres such as – cotton, wool, silk etc; man-made fibres and synthetic fibres such as rayon, nylon, polyester, acetate, olefin etc. Long filament fibres such as silk and synthetics give shinier, smoother and cooler touch and sometimes stronger fabrics. Short staple fibres such as cotton, wool etc, give relatively duller, rougher, fuzzier and warmer touch and sometimes weaker fabrics. Some fibres or combination of fibres contributes to static electricity which results in clinging garments. Functional qualities such as- resiliency or elasticity, absorbency, heat conductivity, shrinkage control, resistance to fire, insects acids, alkalies etc all depends upon the fibre.

Yarn structure –

Yarn is the intermediary state between fibres and fabrics. Fibres have spun into yarn in the next step of making fabrics. The fibres have spun and twisted in either ‘S’ or ‘Z’ direction to form a yarn. The amount of yarn twisted influence the surface and hand. High twisted yarns contribute to hard-surface, smooth, strong and somewhat elastic fabrics. The soft-surfaced yarns results from the low-twisted yarns. The direction of the twist is also important ‘S’ or ‘Z’ twist. The number of strand a yarn has twisted together influences the textural thickness and strength. Generally, the higher the strands, the stronger the yarn is. The thickness of the yarn influences how many strands can be used and consequently the fineness or coarseness of a texture. Novelty yarns create interesting surface. Elastic and high bulky yarns introduce other tactile effects and performance.

Fabric structure –

Fabric structure is the way fibrous yarns are interlock into a flat fabric. Varieties in fabric structure provide the most dramatic most easily seen difference in the texture. The structure cause by film, felt, or made of various fibres bond directly to each other without first being spun, it could be net, lace, braid, knit or woven. Weaving generally gives the strongest and most stable fabric structure.

Grains –

The direction of the yarn, also called grain, both woven and non-woven fabrics have grain. Woven fabrics or grain,with lengthwise and crosswise yarns straight, and interwoven at right angles, lace,net and felt lack this flexibility of grain, but hold crisps shapes better. Grain is critical to shaping and draping effects.

Combination of fabric structure –

          These create new textural potential but need caution. If two fibres are bonded or laminated together, they produce a thicker, stronger texture but their joining must be permanent on grain and their care and performance quality is compatible. They rarely serve well in garments destined for stress and strain.

Finishes –

          Chemical or mechanical finishes which use heat, pressure and/or chemicals may either affect the fabric surface or penetrate the fibre. Some finishes are primary for appearance, such as bleaching, embossing, flocking, glazing etc. Some finishes affect both visual and tactile qualities  such as singering, napping, shearing, puckering and seizing. With their advantages, finishes may also create undesired side effects which the industry constantly strives to reduce.

What words describe texture ?

 Loopy, fuzzy, furry, soft, shiny, dull, bulky, rough, crip,smooth and sheer.

Why texture is important in fashion ?

 It can increase or decrease the body size, it can draw added attention to a design.

Sometimes we can add texture to the fabric by adding stitched details, pin tucks and embellishments as well. While choosing texture do give in the tests – tactile and visual, some texture can only be felt, but commonly textures can be distinguish visually. Not all textures that are visually appealing can be worn. To wear or drape attires you have to be alert about the feel of the texture – if you are not comfortable wearing a certain texture.


Forms is defined as a 3- dimensional area enclosed by a surface. If the form is hollow we often perceive the interior as volume, if it is solid, the interior is described as mass. Forms may be created using a combination of two or more shapes. Shapes and forms as visual design elements are fascinating and challenging because they are so malleable. It is a 3-D element of design and has length, width and height. Form is volume and enclosed by a surface, we are remained. They have power to evoke feelings similar to those of line

 It adds another dimension to shape. A circle is a flat two-dimensional shape. When you add the shading that transforms the circle into a sphere it takes on three-dimensional form like a ball you could throw or bounce.Basic forms are three-dimensional figures including spheres, cubes, cylinders, pyramids and cones. If an object has height, width and depth it is a form.

 A form is negative or positive. A brick-shaped indentation in a wall is a negative form while an exposed brick is a positive form. Form can also be static or dynamic. Static means still, so a ball resting on the table is static. A dynamic form suggests motion such as a ball flying across the room.


 Equal forms

  • It include sphere and cube.

Unequal forms

  •  It include cone, cylinder, bell, pyramid, cuboid, dome, barrel, hour glass etc.

For more info about the form you can comment below or simply react out to me via mail. Or for more content you can just ping me. I hope you enjoyed this blogs.