Designing my monochrome capsule with MyBodyModel

Designing a Monochrome Capsule Wardrobe

Guest blogger Erika “Eri” Nazario used her MyBodyModel croquis to design a 3×3 monochromatic capsule wardrobe collection that’s far from boring. She shares all about her design process, her favorite sketching tools, and her top 9 outfits – along with links to step-by-step videos showing Eri’s fashion illustration process for each look!


In September I had the opportunity to join a Capsule Wardrobe class where I learned useful tips to create my own capsule collection, while at the same time MyBodyModel started running a challenge to draw a 3×3 capsule wardrobe

I excitedly decided to join the challenge. I wanted to put my newly gained knowledge to use and above all I was intrigued by how drawing on my body model croquis would help me build my own capsule wardrobe collection from the bottom up. 

A different fashion drawing experience 

I like to do fashion sketches and have done plenty of them during the years, but when I tried MyBodyModel for the first time I was taken by the innovation, adding my measurements to an app and seeing a small drawing that looked like my body!

I don’t know how to express what it felt like, but I loved how I can see a preview of how the clothes are going to look on myself, how I can style my clothes, or combine them. It’s fun and empowering to be able to draw on your own body shape. 

Choosing a color palette

I decided on an all-black collection using black or mostly black fabrics. Living in Brooklyn NYC, I love to wear all-black outfits even though my favorite colors to work with are greens, yellows like mustard and reds. 

Defining my capsule wardrobe guidelines

I had a great task ahead of me. I wanted to plan a Monochrome Capsule Wardrobe Collection that included pieces I’ve already made or that I already had materials to make, and a collection that is both comfortable and timeless. 

Selecting garments and sewing patterns

With all of these criteria in mind, I selected nine garments for my 3×3 mini-capsule collection: 

Drawing the design flats

When I was preparing to sketch the capsule wardrobe collection, I sharpened my pencils, cleaned my fountain pen, and filled it with waterproof ink. I traced my body model croquis and flats on tracing paper. This was my first time tracing my body model and I decided to draw a bun on my hair since it is the style I wear most at home. Also, I got Dr. Martens boots for my birthday this year and decided to add them to the croquis.

MyBodyModel 3x3 Planning worksheet with my personal croquis paper doll and pattern flats
MyBodyModel 3×3 Planning Worksheet (free download) with my personalized croquis paper doll (drawn with my new boots!) and pattern flats of each garment. Top row: Huon shirt, Ginger jeans, Blackwood cardigan;  Second row: Huon dress, Gilbert top, Estuary skirt; Last row: Avery leggings, Boxy sweater, Concord t-shirt

Coloring my designs

I have gathered through the years a good collection of workhorse tools for drawing and painting. I keep all my essential paints, brushes and sketching tools inside an artist’s tool roll. Normally, I like to carry my artist’s tool roll inside my bag so everything is small and perfect to travel. 

Sendak Mini Artist Roll with Prismacolor colored pencils inside, Tools from left to right: M+R pencil sharpener, Putford scissors, mini pocket palette with watercolors, Escoda travel brush, Pilot Prera fountain pen, Uni-ball Signo broad pen, Blackwing pencils, Sakura eraser.
Sendak Mini Artist Roll with Prismacolor colored pencils inside. Tools from left to right: M+R pencil sharpener, Putford scissors, mini pocket palette with watercolors, Escoda travel brush, Pilot Prera fountain pen, Uni-ball Signo broad pen, Blackwing pencils, Sakura eraser.

I like to use Travelers Company passport size black notebooks for my final tracing and sketches because of its size, and I like the paper for sketching. I draw the pieces of clothes and style them on the croquis. After I’m done with pencil, I use the pen with waterproof ink and trace adding some final details. I wait for the ink to dry, and then erase the pencil.

Then I look at my fabric swatches so I can use them for color accuracy. After that I start to apply color. 

My preferred method for coloring the croquis is watercolor.  I also use colored pencils and a white ink pen for details. For this collection, I wanted to try an acrylic ink pen to color one piece of every outfit. I liked that it’s a matte black color.

Making outfits

Here are my nine favorite outfits created with my 3×3 monochrome capsule collection. I recorded a video of my fashion illustration process for each outfit, and posted each video to my IGTV channel. A link to each video is included below its corresponding photo.

Outfit 1: Huon Shirt + Ginger Jeans

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 1_ Huon shirt and Ginger Jeans
Outfit 1: Huon shirt and Ginger Jeans [see video]

Outfit 2: Huon Dress + belt + Avery Leggings

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 2_ Huon dress with belt and Avery leggings
Outfit 2: Huon dress with belt and Avery leggings [see video]

Outfit 3: Gilbert Top + Ginger Jeans

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 3_ Gilbert top and Ginger jeans
Outfit 3: Gilbert top and Ginger jeans [see video]

Outfit 4: Blackwood Cardigan + Concord Tee + Estuary Skirt

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 4_ Blackwood cardigan, Concord T-shirt and Estuary skirt
Outfit 4: Blackwood cardigan, Concord T-shirt and Estuary skirt [see video]

Outfit 5: Boxy Sweater + Avery Leggings

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 5_ Boxy sweater and Avery leggings
Outfit 5: Boxy sweater and Avery leggings [see video]

Outfit 6: Huon Dress

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 6_ Huon Dress
Outfit 6: Huon Dress [see video]

Outfit 7: Gilbert Top + Estuary Skirt

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 7_ Gilbert Top and Estuary Skirt
Outfit 7: Gilbert Top and Estuary Skirt [see video]

Outfit 8: Blackwood Cardigan + Concord Tee + Avery Leggings

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 8_ Blackwood cardigan, Concord T-shirt and Avery leggings
Outfit 8: Blackwood cardigan, Concord T-shirt and Avery leggings [see video]

Outfit 9: Boxy Sweater + Estuary Skirt

Mybodymodel 3x3 capsule Outfit 9_ Boxy sweater and Estuary Skirt
Outfit 9: Boxy sweater and Estuary Skirt [see video]

I’m so inspired and love to continue to sketch more outfits and collections using MyBodyModel. Maybe I’ll try with other mediums like gouache, markers or digital.

Here’s a short video where I flip through each page in my sketchbook. Which outfit is your favorite?


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For more capsule wardrobe planning inspiration, check out these recent posts:

2 thoughts on “Designing a Monochrome Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. I love seeing patterns I already own in other people’s capsule wardrobes! I own several of these and you’ve given me some great fabric and styling ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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