How to Create a Fashion Moodboard as a Fashion Stylist in 2023?

Creating a Fashion Moodboard is an essential aspect of a fashion Styling Portfolio, hence, can be an ideal point of beginning that can be followed by ideation, research, and conceptualization. 

The main function of a fashion moodboard is to set an aesthetic, accumulating all sources of inspiration on a single platform that easily the process of ideation to the final draft.

Stylists curate the best colors, images, textures, locations, and photography techniques to bring something new to the table every time.

Journal of business research conducted a study that said that creating Fashion Moodboards was effective in setting a direction and has increased the productivity of designers, stylists, and other creative professionals.

What is a Fashion Moodboard?

A Fashion Moodboard is a Collage of images, texts, fonts, colors, illustrations, cutouts, and stories that directs a creative artist to set a direction for the final outcome.

These add to all the elements that will be incorporated into the creative project and is a base for all the research process that is conducted during the ideation.

You can use Fashion Moodboards in two major ways:

  • To draw inspiration
  • To avoid any unwanted diversions

Who uses a Fashion Moodboard?

A Fashion Moodboard is used by creative professionals for initial ideation to research for the needful. These are some of the creative professionals who use Fashion Moodboards are:

  • Fashion Designers
  • Fashion Stylists
  • Event Planners
  • Interior Designers
  • Industrial Designers
  • Fashion Photographers
  • Graphic Designers

Physical vs Digital Moodboards: What’s the Difference?

There are two types of fashion moodboards that are made, namely, physical and digital. While Digital is the most preferred choice of most fashion professionals today for its ease of usage, we’ve jotted down a few basic differences between a Physical and Digital Moodboard:

Physical Moodboards

  • Physical MoodBoards are the traditional format that typically looks like a foam board with images, texts, fonts, colors, and textured pasted by thumb pins which look like a magazine collage on a wall. 
  • A cork pinboard with pins could an alternative to the traditionally used foam boards.
  • It is only an ideal situation if the clients are in a situation to visit your work studio as these boards are not ideally portable.
  • It is generally time taking and collecting textures, and tangible elements take a longer route.

Digital Moodboards

  • Digital Moodboards are the latest form of moodboards where you can create collages on different online platforms, you can collect various inspiration sources from the internet, and create a fashion Moodboard online.
  • These are mostly created on online platforms like Pinterest, Canva, Photoshop, Milanote, etc.
  • These are the most portable form of moodboards as they can be easily sent to your client digitally through Emails.
  • Hassle-free as everything is present in form of images on the Internet. Every detail that you need is a click away. works for last-minute projects as well.

5 Reasons to Create a Fashion Moodboard?

This is why Moodboards should be created at the beginning of any creative project:


1. Build a Stronger Foundation

Fashion Moodboard is considered one of the base steps in the initial stages of a creative process. It helps to build a stronger foundation as it involves multimedia like texts, fonts, images, colors, textures, etc. The more you look up for inspiration, the stronger your initial phase becomes.

2. Avoid Getting Diverted 

A moodboard helps to avoid diversions. A lot of brainstorming might get you off the track, referring and coming back to what it has started and how to proceed further reduces the chances of getting distracted from other ideas and strongly sticking to one.

3. Helps Clients to Get a Clear Vision

You always keep clients brief as the center point of your research. As fashion moodboards can be a medium of communication, it’s easy to communicate with clients and keep both ends, ie, the clients’ thoughts and your thoughts aligned.

4. More Organised Process

A Moodboard for fashion stylists will consist of every minute detail in regard to the creative project they’re into. The process hence gets more organized as there’s a step-by-step blueprint of what needs to be done and how.

5. Ability to Think Out of The Box

It enables you to brainstorm and research more on the chosen topic, as a fashion stylist you must always push your ideas to something new, experimental, and not tapped into. Clients are always looking up fresh ideas, and thinking out of the box really helps you get there.

How to Collect Inspiration for your Moodboard?

There can be numerous sources of inspiration for you as a creative artist. Since there are many sources available on the internet, it makes fashion moodboard creation much easier. You check on stock photo websites, Behance, and Pinterest for image inspiration, while Design Seeds can help you with cool designs.

You can check various sites of trend forecasting agencies to check the trends update while referring to Pantone, Coolers for color inspirations.

Remember that not every detail in the moodboard is important, but these minute details really a lot to the final outcome, hence, must not be ignored.

Which one to Pick Digital or Physical Moodboard?

What will decide whether you would require a physical moodboard or a digital one? Here are a few points you need to consider before deciding this:

1. The location of the clients:

It’s important to know if your clients will commute to your work studio or if they’re willing to work remotely. A digital portfolio works great if they’re choosing to work remotely as it’s sharable and easy to create.

2. The Importance of Textures: 

You need to analyze the importance of textures in your project. If it needs the details of the texture to be felt by the client, a physical moodboard will work better. Else you can always create a digital one with samples that can be felt by touch while you give them the presentation.

3. The location Source of Moodboard items: 

This involves the sourcing of details and elements that you need to put in your moodboard. If your major source of inspiration arrives from the internet, go digital!

Tools for Creating Fashion Moodboards

Whether traditional or digital media, you need some functional moodboard creating tools that can ease out the process of creating boards else it can get hectic and time taking.

A good fashion moodboard that’s made in step one of the process gets your project half done as it eases out the process of your research and you know how to proceed further.

These are the tools you can use for creating Fashion Moodboards as a Stylist:

1. Canva

Creating Fashion Moodboards can get really easy with Canva as it is easy to create images, with millions of collage templates you’ll never fall short of options and there’s so much data to get inspired from. The easy drag-and-drop feature makes it accessible to somebody who’s less comfortable with creating Graphics. Start designing Online Fashion Moodboards with Canva Templates mentioned here.

2. Pinterest

You can always upload or save pins of a similar domain and create an aesthetic board. Start creating a private board. As Pinterest has various inspiring creators who post pins, you can always save a set of images and shortlist a few to create collages. 

3. SampleBoard

Sample board is a digital moodboard creating tool that allows you to upload pictures, texts, and other details to create a moodboard you want. There are multiple themes you can check to get the best results and create an ideal moodboard that amazes your client.

4. Milanote

Milanote is an easy-to-use tool for making collages and templates. This software can run on any latest web browser offering enough space for multiple creative projects. You can sign up for free initially, plus get access to Milanote’s library of inspiration and templates to ace any moodboard you want.

5. Mural

A mural is a visual-creating tool that helps you to add various stickers as texts, with additional Pinch to Zoom features to ease out your process of creating moodboards. You can choose to get a free trial for a month and pay $12/per month if you like it later.

Steps to Layout your Moodboard

These are a few aspects you need to keep in mind while creating a Moodboard:

  • Mood
  • Fashion Styling
  • Photography and Lights
  • Makeup and Hair
  • Models

1. Mood

Fashion MoodBoard

Mood sets the basic foundation of the fashion moodboard you want to create. With the added details of images, colors, textures, and fonts you decide the aesthetic/vibe of your fashion Photoshoot, hence adding the right elements that don’t distract the overall story of your inspiration/ concept is crucial.

2. Fashion Styling

Personal Stylist and Image Consultant, What's the Difference?

Your fashion moodboard should contain images of styling work of famous stylists who”ve worked on similar projects, the fashion editorials you can get inspired by. A lot of these images can be found on Pinterest and Behance.

3. Photography & Lights

Fashion Styling is incomplete if photography elements are not tapped into. It is important to have the base ready, the types of lighting you want to use, and how the end images should look like, work on the location and background, and research deeply on it before you speak to the photographer.

4. Makeup & Hair

Makeup & Hair

Make-up and Hair are other important aspects that styling is incomplete without. Look for trending makeup looks that align with your inspiration and story, popular makeup artists in that domain, and some inspirational images to start from. An Image is a visual story, wrong colors and makeup elements can totally break the look.

5. Models

Models are the blank canvas a fashion stylist works on. Find inspirations for interesting model poses and the features you look for in a model before you start hunting for one. Keep the key points highlighted as it makes it easy while scouting.

What to Include in your Fashion Moodboard?

Here are some ideas on what elements to add to your Fashion Moodboard:

  • An Overall aesthetic
  • Textures, Fabric swatches, cords, trims 
  • Lifestyle Images
  • Color palette
  • Graphics or Graphical Elements
  • Styling Details
  • Videos / Motion Details, Gifs, etc
  • Fonts & Words
  • Visual / Textual metaphors
  • Philosophy & Stories that inspire
  • Example & References

NOTE: Highlight the most preferred references from the moodboard for the clarity of your client and you, it will help you to be on the same page.

A Few DON’Ts to know while Creating a Fashion Moodboard:

  • Stick to an idea in the beginning, the more you brainstorm the better and deeper your ideas come out to be. Always be open to more options.
  • Don’t rely on only digital inspiration. Look for real-life stories that inspire you as they will add more relativity to your story.
  • Copy existing ideas on the internet. Come up with raw ideas.
  • Don’t fill your moodboard will excessive fonts and typography. Keep it short and simple.


In the end, all you need to really focus on while creating a fashion moodboard as a fashion stylist is to have fun with your creative projects, be artistic and bring inspiring stories for your audience.

The new digitalized world needs more visual stories and real-life references, so don’t forget to work on original ideas.

If you’re wondering how to become a fashion stylist, in the mentioned link to get detailed steps on becoming one.

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