How to Draw Anime Girls Clothing

Written by chris moore
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Anime girls have a lot more variety in fashion than their anime counterparts. This can include dresses, skirts and gaudy "magical girl" costumes to go with shirts and trousers. The secret to drawing realistic clothes is in drawing the folds in the garments so they fit the shape of the body and scene conditions. Never use the exact same shape and folds twice. The shape and fold of clothing is always changing from movement, gravity and what it touches

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Shape the body before you draw the clothing. The body shape helps determine the shape that the cloth will take. Make the clothing adapt to the body, not vice versa.

  2. 2

    Draw a tunic--the torso portion of a dress or shirt--using a "diaper fold" style. The top points of the garment, where the shoulders are located, are the points of tension that all folds branch out from. Draw the folds so they all point toward the chest or the centre of the torso.

  3. 3

    Create long sleeves using a "spiral fold" style. The cloth will have folds that appear to twist around the arm. If you are drawing any girls wearing trousers, this type of fold also works well with the pant legs.

  4. 4

    Make skirts with "pipe folds," drawing the folds in straight, clean lines. Because skirts are free-flowing, adjust their shape to how the wind blows in a particular scene. Large, frilled collars can also use this type of fold--many "magical girl" costumes use these types of skirts and collars.

  5. 5

    Add scarves, sashes and any other long trails of cloth with "zigzag folds." These folds twist back and forth in Z or S-like patterns.

  6. 6

    Draw inert folds and drop folds when making dresses with large-volume tunics and skirts; the garments will have a look of little tension. The tunic has inert folds that are often small and can curve in any direction. The drop folds for the skirt are drawn similarly to pipe folds but in curves that can turn anywhere instead of straight lines

Tips and warnings

  • When the girl is in a sitting position, use a "halflock fold" style for any clothing that is draped over the knees. The folds will twist in and out of each other to create a "bunched up" look.
  • The thicker the garment's cloth is supposed to be, the thicker the folds should be.
  • Use a real-life towel as a guide. Drop the towel on the floor in the shape you want to draw your particular clothing item. Notice how the towel never drops in the exact same shape more than once.

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