FRA News

How To Make A Fashion Portfolio


19th July 2023

A fashion portfolio is a collection of work by a person that showcases their skills and abilities. They are the best way to visually demonstrate what you can do and what your main skills are, and people across the industry use them, from stylists to buyers.

In this article, you'll find out how to make a fashion portfolio, what you should include, and our top ten tips for creating yours.

What Is A Fashion Portfolio?

Fashion portfolios are used across the industry by people in a variety of different sectors, including styling, visual merchandising and photography, and they can also be used by writers, buyers and designers. The main purpose of a portfolio is to showcase work and creativity, and everyone will present theirs slightly differently. 

A fashion portfolio visually showcases your skills and knowledge, and is an easy way for you to demonstrate your abilities and the work you have done. Your portfolio will show people what you can do, and you can tailor it to promote your work in the area you are most interested in.

Types Of Fashion Portfolios

The way that you create and present your fashion portfolio will be different depending on whether you are using it for a university application, start a freelance career or to apply for jobs.

The content will vary based on your focus, too, as a designer's portfolio will look very different from a writer's. See below for examples of what you could include:

  • Fashion Design: illustrations, technical drawings, photos of final garments
  • Visual Merchandiser: trend and customer research, examples of in-store displays
  • Fashion Styling: client research, hair and make-up concepts, photos of styled outfits
  • Fashion Marketing: images from photo shoots, articles, advertising research, campaign strategy ideas
  • Communications: articles, research, strategies and content plans

What Should Be Included In A Fashion Portfolio?

It can be overwhelming when you don't know where to start with your portfolio, but we've broken it down for you here. You should start by selecting your best work and editing your pieces to create a cohesive body of work that accurately reflects you and your skills.

Portfolios can include trend research, consumer research, illustrations, photography, articles and range plans (to name a few!). Adjust the content of your portfolio based on what skills and experience you most want to promote.

It's important that the portfolio is clear, easy to read, and nice to look at, so make sure that you have presented your work clearly and in a way that is easy for someone else who doesn't know your skills to understand. Have a friend or family member take a look at your portfolio to get their feedback.

10 Fashion Portfolio Tips

There are many elements of a fashion portfolio and there are several steps to making sure that it both represents you, and is suitable for who you are presenting it to (for example, getting a university place or applying for a job).

Here are our top ten fashion portfolio tips:

  • Define your style: Before starting your portfolio, take some time to define your personal style and aesthetic. This will help you curate a cohesive collection of work that reflects your unique perspective.
  • Select your best work: Choose a selection of your strongest designs, sketches, illustrations, photographs, projects, or any other relevant work that showcases your talent and skills. Quality is more important than quantity, so be selective.
  • Show diversity: Include a range of designs and styles in your portfolio to demonstrate versatility. Showcase different types of garments, materials, colour palettes, and design techniques to highlight your ability to adapt and experiment.
  • Create a narrative: Arrange your portfolio in a way that tells a story or conveys a theme. This can help create a more engaging and cohesive presentation. Consider the flow, transitions, and the overall visual appeal of your portfolio.
  • Include technical drawings: Fashion is not just about aesthetics; it's also about construction and technical skills. If you are a designer, garment technologist, or visual merchandiser, incorporate detailed technical drawings or specifications that demonstrate your understanding of garment construction, patterns, and measurements.
  • Showcase real-world projects: If you have collaborated with fashion designers, photographers, or stylists on real projects, include them in your portfolio. This demonstrates your ability to work as part of a team and provides evidence of your professional experience.
  • Add variety in formats: Include a mix of sketches, digital renderings, photographs, fabric swatches, and mood boards. This showcases your proficiency in different mediums and adds visual interest to your portfolio.
  • Pay attention to presentation: Invest time in presenting your work in a polished and professional manner. Use high-quality images, ensure clear and legible text, and maintain consistency in the overall design and layout.
  • Include a CV and contact information: Alongside your visual work, include a well-designed CV that highlights your relevant education, work experience, and skills. Make sure to include your contact information, such as email address and website, so potential employers or clients can easily reach you.
  • Regularly update your portfolio: Fashion is a dynamic industry, and your portfolio should reflect that. Continuously update your portfolio with your latest and best work to showcase your growth, new skills, and evolving style.

Remember, a fashion portfolio is your opportunity to showcase your talent and creativity, so make sure it accurately represents your skills and aspirations. 

How To Create A Fashion Portfolio

When it comes to creating a fashion portfolio, the format and structure you choose are highly personal, but it's crucial to consider the industry you're in or aspire to be part of, as well as the ease of sharing your portfolio with others in the industry. We've compiled our top tips on creating a fashion portfolio:

Tools and Software

The tools you use to create your portfolio will depend on your chosen medium. For a physical portfolio, you may need traditional art supplies such as sketching pencils, paints, or photography equipment. If you're creating a digital portfolio, you can use graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or online portfolio platforms that offer pre-designed templates such as Canva.


The format of your portfolio can vary based on your preferences and the type of work you want to showcase. Some common formats include physical portfolios (printed and presented in a binder or portfolio case), digital portfolios (hosted on a website or presented as a PDF), or a combination of both.


The structure of your portfolio should be organised and easy to navigate. Here's a suggested structure:

  • Cover: Start with an eye-catching cover page that includes your name and a relevant visual element that reflects your work.
  • Introduction: Begin with an introduction or opening statement that provides an overview of your background, skills, and artistic approach. This section helps set the tone for your portfolio.
  • Projects/Works: This is the main section where you present your best work. Divide it into separate sections for each project or type of work. Include a title or description for each project and provide some context or background information.
  • Descriptions: Accompany each project or work with a brief description or caption that explains the concept, process, and any relevant details. This helps viewers understand your creative intent and the story behind each piece.
  • Visuals: Include high-quality visuals of your work. For physical portfolios, use professional photography or scans of your artwork. In digital portfolios, make sure your images are well-lit, properly cropped, and showcase the details of your work effectively.
  • Skills and Experience: Include a section highlighting your relevant skills, education, certifications, and any professional experience that is applicable to your field. This can include internships, freelance work, or collaborations. You may wish to do this in the form of a CV.
  • Contact Information: Provide your contact information, including your email address, website, and social media handles. Make it easy for people to reach out to you.

Portfolio Length

The ideal length for a portfolio can vary depending on the complexity and extent of your work. As a guideline, aim for a portfolio that is concise and focused. Generally speaking, portfolios range from 10 to 30 pages. It's important to prioritise quality over quantity and ensure that each page showcases your best work.

Tailor your portfolio to the audience

Remember to tailor your portfolio to your target audience and field. Researching industry standards and seeking feedback from professionals in your field can also provide valuable insights for creating an effective portfolio.

Keep in mind that your portfolio is a dynamic representation of your skills and style, so it's important to regularly update and refine it as you create new work or gain more experience.

Getting Into The Fashion Industry

Are you looking to start your career in the fashion industry? If so, why not consider studying at the Fashion Retail Academy! We offer an excellent range of fashion focused courses that will give you the experience and skills you need to stand out in a competitive job market. Working with over 140 brands and retail partners, you can work on real-life projects whilst building your professional network.

Browse our courses or apply today!

Alternatively if you’d like to know more about the fashion industry as a whole, read our guides The Different Roles Within the Fashion Industry and How To Get Into The Fashion Industry.

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