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Range Planning: From Ideas To Inspiration For A Men’s Casual Line

In the previous blog, we discussed range planning and how inspiration boards, color palettes, and sketches can be used in sequence to design a women’s clothing line. This week, we see how the same process can be used to come up with the men’s line.

Fashion designers have superpowers. One of those powers is creativity, while the other is the ability to break creativity down into a process. The most crucial superpower is the ability to find this inspiration and make something of it even before the trend actually hits the shelves.

Without further ado, it is time to exercise some of those powers!

Part 1: The mood board

This is perhaps the single most abstract element in the entire design process. While color and print boards represent those attributes respectively, mood boards reflect what the collection feels like. While designing the mood board, it is worth asking yourself some of these questions:

  • What is the objective my mood board wants to achieve?

  • What are some key inspiration points for my range?

  • What unique ideas am I implementing with this mood board?

The last question is fundamental because we often generalize collections based on the season. For example, summer and men may always mean nautical stripes and pastels. However, adding in a unique element, such as the fact that many people also travel in summers can bring in a new feature to the range. For our casual athletics range, the mood is athleisure. This range is for those people who love being sporty and being outdoors but also don’t take themselves too seriously. A bomber jacket over tracks takes them from the gym to the streets in next to no time. The mood is casual, carefree, outdoorsy and charming.

Part 2: The color board

The color board, as the name suggests, is a collection of at least five colors you’d like to see represented in your range. Picking out colors is heavily dependent on the theme. For our casual athletics theme, we chose urban, outdoor colors like shades of brown, grey and green.

How do we come up with these colors? You can save images of clothes you like and use a digital color picker to identify the different shades. You can also use the Pantone color guide to spot the exact tone you’re looking for. Moreover, you can also use color mapping tools to help you pick colors that complement all others.

In any case, be sure to pick at least five base colors and two shades for each color that you’d like to work with.

Part 3: The print board

If there is one street trend that is taking over the world, it is the idea of prominent prints in menswear. Small, inconspicuous origami doves are giving way to large, placement prints and even outfits that are printed all over. Neon highlights are an excellent option for the colors we have chosen, as are geometric prints and stripes in a variety of sizes.

Part 4: The concept board

This is the stage at which all of your work comes together. A concept board is centered primarily around the main sketch it represents. The sketches themselves are inspired from all of the other boards and incorporate aspects from each of them.

Around the sketch are images of what the style would look like in real life as well as the primary colors that make up that particular outfit. Long jackets are the staple in our range, keeping with the global trend and K-pop sensation. Our pants are loose, drawstring and aimed at people who want to move freely. It is both casual and athletic, perfect for today’s city dweller.

From here, the sketches are followed by choosing the fabric and picking the colors that closely match your original palette. This is followed by designing a few prototypes which then go into manufacture.

What is your menswear design inspiration this time around? How are you using the range planning process to come up with the collection?

Need a hand? Book a 30 mins free session for an in-depth consultation and help with range planning.

Fuel4Fashion is a design, branding and technology consultancy for the fashion and apparel industry. We provide consulting and advisory services across design, business and IT processes to early stage and mid-sized apparel manufacturers and brands looking to grow their business with the help of smart sustainable management practices. Visit our website here and follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for regular updates.

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