Top 5 Best Fashion Design Apps (2D & 3D)
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If you want to design your own clothes, there are several ways you can go about it. Sure, you can create hand-drawn designs, but using the best fashion design apps makes the process quicker, easier, more precise, and more flexible.
So, we’ve put together this guide to help you find the best clothing design app for you. We’ll review a range of different apps for fashion design, and cover all the key features you need to consider to know it’s the right app for you.
Best Fashion Design Apps – Full Round-Up
- Sketchbook: – Best Free Fashion Desing Software
- Repsketch: – Easiest Clothing Design App for Beginners
- Pret-a-template: – Best Fashion Design App for iPhone
- Adobe Illustrator: – Overall Best Clothing Design App for iPad & Android, Best for Professionals
- CLO3D: – Best Clothing Design App for Virtual Garments in Real Time
Best Clothing Design Apps
Now let’s review the top apps to design clothes on iPad, Android, and other devices, starting with some free fashion apps for designers.
Best Free Apps for Fashion Designers
Sketchbook – Best Free Fashion Design Software
Completely free fashion design app
One of the few clothes design apps for android
Intuitive and lifelike sketching
Available on mobile, tablet, and desktop
Highly customizable brushes
Restricted to simple sketching
Unfortunately, free fashion design software for beginners is hard to come by – you’ve got to fork out money for most options. One app that can be used to design clothes at no cost, though, is Sketchbook, which is easily one of the best fashion sketching apps.
Offering highly intuitive iOS and Android apps, in addition to Mac and Windows PC versions, Sketchbook provides a simple environment with the flexibility to draw rough sketches and fully finished artwork your most innovative fashion design ideas.
This clothes design app is designed to feel just like drawing on paper, but with a tablet and an iPad, and brings the added benefits of easy and unlimited edits. So, it’s great if you have experience doing freehand fashion design sketches but are looking to switch to digital designing.
The app’s brushes and pens even behave like their real-life counterparts, making for an easy adjustment. There are a range of tools and palettes that you can easily access at any time and tuck away when not in use for a cleaner interface.
Brushes on this free clothes design app are highly customizable and are supported by guides, rules, and stroke tools, which help maintain precision while giving you creative license. You can also use layers, which have a full complement of blend modes, to build up your designs.
Repsketch – Easiest Clothing Design App for Beginners
Simple to use with premade vector designs
Templates covering all clothing categories
Community-based with contests and the ability to follow designers
Seasonal and regularly updated
Web app available on most devices
Draw freehand or add shapes, symbols, and text
Limited to using premade vectors as templates
Another of the best clothing design apps is Repsketch, a specialist fashion design tool that allows you to create high quality designs using premade vector sketches.
This means that you start by choosing a premade, professional product design sketch from one of Repsketch’s fashion designers, and then use the editing tools to change things like color and add your own illustrations. You can draw freehand, add text, and draw shapes to add to your designs.
There are loads of template designs to choose from, covering all clothing categories, and you can filter by tags for product type, style, and gender to easily find what you’re looking for.
Once done, you can download your designs as SVGs and even share links online, so it’s great for collaboration.
One of the best things about this design clothes app is that it’s very community-based. A weekly ‘Sketch of the Week’ contest highlights the best design from the community, and you can follow other creators. The app is also tailored to current seasons and events, with special designs for things like Halloween and the World Cup.
Repsketch is a web app, which means you use it online rather than downloading it to your smartphone or tablet.
While Repsketch is a great choice for beginners, the fact you have to use premade templates does mean it’s more limited than the other clothing design apps we cover below.
Best Paid Fashion Design Apps
Pret-a-template – Best Fashion Design App for iPhone
- Price: from $13.99 per month
One of the best iPhone fashion design apps
Wide range of clothing templates from over 20 categories
Realistic brushes for sketching
Over 100 textures and prints
Intuitive and easy to learn
Bag and shoe design features
Not available on Android
Need to pay for some prints and textures
Pret-a-template is a tool that should be considered by anyone looking for the best apps to design clothes.
It’s similar to SketchBook in that it’s a sketching app, but it’s tailored specifically to clothing design. This comes with several advantages, such as the ability to use many templates spread across 20 categories, covering everything from loungewear to gala dresses.
You can view garment templates and your designs from the front, back, and side, allowing you control over all angles, and customize them using a variety of realistic brushes that provide complete creative freedom. On top of that, there’s also a patterns library with over 100 textures and prints you can use to finalize your designs.
As well as garments, SketchBook can be used to design shoes and bags. As with clothing design, Pret-a-template provides templates for just about every type of shoe and bag you can think of.
One of the main benefits of Pret-a-template is it’s one of the few fashion design apps that work on iPhones (rather than just iPads). Unfortunately, it’s not yet available on Android.
Adobe Illustrator – Overall Best Clothing Design App for iPad & Android, Best for Professionals
- Price: from $20.99 per month
Industry standard clothes and dress design app
Highly intuitive and top quality drawing and editing tools
Wide range of tutorials, courses, and other learning resources
Excellent for logo design
Import Adobe Stock images to use as templates
Tablet app works offline
Basic version available as Android design clothes app
Only compatible with tablets, not smartphones
Unlike some of the other apps we cover, Adobe Illustrator isn’t designed specifically for fashion, but its wide range of high-quality and flexible tools means it’s widely used by clothing designers, including both hobbyists and professionals.
Adobe provides a beginners’ guide to using Illustrator for fashion design to help you get started, as well as a variety of in-app resources, and there is a wide range of YouTube tutorials covering everything from dresses and shirts to jackets to hoodies. You can also take courses designed to help you get the most out of this clothes design app, so it’s a great CAD software for beginners.
Illustrator is a vector graphics software, which is the type used for logos, and it has a wide range of tools for making stunning logos, including the ability to intertwine text and images. So if you’re starting your own clothing line and want to design an eye-catching logo for your brand, it’s the perfect tool.
This clothing design app is available on iPad, Android, and PC and comes with a seven day free trial you can use to try it out before committing.
You can design with realistic art and calligraphic brushes using a stylus on the tablet app version, and then you can precisely edit your sketches after. It also offers gradient tools that really make your colors pop, as well as the ability to easily create stunning patterns.
Another nice feature is the ability to import photos from Adobe Stock (which has thousands of fashion and clothing-related images) and use them as templates for your own designs.
CLO3D – Best Clothing Design App for Virtual Garments in Real Time
- Price: from $25 per month for students and $50 per month for other individuals
Design virtual garments in real time
Lifelike and realistic simulations
Variety of subscription options
Highly intuitive and simple to use
Integrated collaboration tools and consulting for some licenses
Can improve fashion sustainability
CLO3D is one of the most unique and best fashion design apps, due to its innovative platform that lets you create and alter realistic virtual garments in a 3D environment.
The software’s virtual materials and true-to-life, allowing you to perfect your models before using them for accurate production, even for items like lightweight wovens that have drape-sensitive materials.
Working in real time, you can visualize fabrics, fits, and silhouettes as fast as you can imagine them, so it offers great flexibility for designers of different levels. The interface is also highly intuitive, making it easy for both beginners and professional designers alike.
Another great feature of CLO3D is that it provides a natural simulation environment in which you can arrange displays or your designs, which is great for advertising and merchandising your collections.
CLO3D offers several different plans, including Student, Individual, and Enterprise for different budgets and experience levels. For example, the Enterprise plan is for businesses and is more expensive, but comes with more advanced features such as digital transformation consulting, live demos, and an integrated collaboration platform.
It’s also worth noting that this clothing design app can help make processes more eco-friendly, as designing with virtual garments can reduce sample production and material waste.
Buying Guide – Things to consider when choosing a fashion app
Most of the best apps for fashion design are available on both iOS and Android, but that doesn’t mean they work on all devices. For example, while the likes of Sketchbook and Pret-a-Template can be used on smartphones, Adobe Illustrator is only compatible with tablets.
Also, iPhone apps are more common than Android ones. If you’re looking for the best fashion designer apps for android, then you’re restricted to just a few options like SketchBook.
You may also want to consider whether programs to design clothes are available on desktop as well as apps, as this gives you the flexibility to work on various devices depending on your work’s requirements.
Beginner vs Expert
If you’re new to fashion design, you may want to go for more basic apps that are easier to get to grips with, such as Repsketch or Pret-a-Template. You can also use SketchBook to design clothes online for free before moving on to more advanced apps.
On the other hand, professional designers and business owners will likely benefit from more advanced and costly apps like Illustrator and CLO3D, so make sure you take this into consideration.
Different clothing design apps come with different features. On one hand, you have simple apps like SketchBook and Pret-a-Template that are primarily used just for creating visual designs and are easy to get to grips with.
On the other hand, if you subscribe to the likes of Illustrator and CLO3D, you get more advanced features for both designing and other tasks. For example, CLO3D offers a variety of functionings for collaboration, simulating, and merchandising clothing designs, so it’s geared towards helping you produce your products as well as design them.
Budget & Free Trial
If you’re on a budget and are looking for fashion apps for free, then you can use tools like Sketchbook. However, bear in mind this is more limited than most paid fashion design apps, as it doesn’t really offer anything other than basic sketching.
For those looking for a more complete package, it may be worth using the free trial available with fashion designing apps like Illustrator, so you can better work out if the price is justified for you before making any payment.
What software do most fashion designers use?
Adobe Illustrator is widely considered the best fashion design app and is commonly used by professional designers.
Do fashion designers use Adobe Illustrator?
Yes, Adobe Illustrator is considered one of the clothing designer apps and is widely used throughout the industry.
What computer skills do fashion designers need?
Fashion designers need to have computer-aided design (CAD) software and graphics editing skills, with Adobe Suite proficiency particularly useful.
What is the best software for clothing design?
Adobe Illustrator is widely regarded as one of the best fashion design software, while CLO3D is another popular option.