Make the Cut Contest: Retro Honor Roll – UPDATE: CONTEST HAS ENDED!

Aspiring designers, brace yourselves – our Make the Cut Contest is back! And, this time, it’s all about getting on the Retro Honor Roll. We want to see your superb sketches of creative, wearable styles with a 1960’s back-to-school feel! (Think: Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years and Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks.)

Here’s how the contest works: We’ll accept submissions until 9:01 a.m. PT on 4/9. After that, we’ll narrow it down to our top twenty-five picks. Those picks will be posted for voting on our Facebook fanpage from 4/16-4/23. On 4/27, we’ll announce the top three Facebook fan-chosen champs, as well as two winners selected by Susan. The prize? $500 per winning sketch, and each item will be produced – with the designer’s name on the tag – and sold on

Here’s your inspiration for Retro Honor Roll:

But, don’t start sketching just yet! Check out these tips first:

  • Entries should fit our 1960’s back-to-school theme and be inspired by the collage above
  • Images should be no larger than 5MB
  • Accepted file formats are PDF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, or GIF
  • Please submit scanned sketches, or high-quality, well-lit photos of your sketch on a white/light grey background (low-quality images may be declined)
  • The ideal format is vertical with a 3×5 dimension ratio
  • Sketches should clearly highlight only one piece of clothing
  • Submissions may include other items, but please indicate the piece being entered in the contest
  • Keep in mind that you’re designing for the ModCloth customer and we’re unlikely to produce couture details or luxury materials
  • We’ll choose 25 pieces based on judging criteria, then post those on Facebook for community voting
  • Before announcing the winners, we’ll double-check that the Facebook votes are legitimate
  • Use of a template is not required, but you may download one of these free online versions here, here, or here
  • If you don’t get a confirmation email after submitting, let us know at
  • Sketches do not need to be in color, but it is encouraged to best convey your vision

Last, but not least, here are the rules:

  • All entries must be submitted via Submittable
  • No email submissions will be accepted
  • Currently, this contest is only open to US citizens and permanent legal residents
  • You may enter via Submittable only once, but you may include sketches for up to 5 garments
  • Sketches may be submitted up until 9:01 a.m. PT on 4/9/2012
  • Entries will be judged on wearability, marketability, produce-ability, creativity, and how well they fit with the theme, inspiration board, and ModCloth aesthetic
  • With your submission(s), please include your first & last name as you’d like to see it appear on Facebook for voting and the clothing label, a brief description of your design, and a little about what inspired it or how you’d style it
  • Winners will be announced on 4/27/2012 here on the blog
  • Five winning sketches will be chosen, and $500 will be awarded per piece.
  • Winning designs will be produced and sold on, and feature tags with the designer’s name
  • Contestants under 18 must have a parent or guardian write a letter of consent, and upload it as an attachment with your entry on Submittable (Example: If you upload five separate sketches, you would then upload your scanned consent as a sixth file)

Last, but not least, let’s recap the posh prize: Three fan-voted faves, and two pieces selected by Susan, will be put into production and sold — with the designer’s name on the tag — on ModCloth, and receive $500 a piece. Winning designers will also receive one of their produced garments! So, check out the inspiration board above and set to work. It doesn’t matter whether you sketch, draw, paint, or Photoshop, we just want to see your best stuff!

Still have a Q or two? You can check out the legal info here, or email

UPDATE (4/13/2012) – How time flies! Submissions are now closed for Retro Honor Roll, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over just yet. Visit our Facebook fanpage on 4/16 to vote for your finalists, and return to the blog on 4/27 to see which five winning designs made the cut!


About ModCloth

With the combined writing powers of our scribing staff, we bring you oodles of collaborative features starring everything from contests and culture to behind-the-scenes coverage of MC events and shenanigans. You're always saying you want to be kept in the loop. Consider yourself lassoed.

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  1. Avatar
    Luz 03/26/2012 at 8:56 am #

    🙁 I´m sad, I am not from USA, to bad, well…

    • Avatar
      ashelyn 03/28/2012 at 3:51 pm #

      me too 🙁

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      lilly 04/04/2012 at 11:08 am #

      me too 🙁 hope they make an international one soon…

  2. Avatar
    Casey 03/26/2012 at 10:45 am #

    I am very confused help explain

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/26/2012 at 10:52 am #

      Hi Casey! We’d be happy to help clarify any confusion. What questions do you have about the contest?

  3. Avatar
    Brittany Conn 03/26/2012 at 11:19 am #

    I’m so excited about this! I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time! Designing is my absoluted favorite passion! I hope I take the lead in this contest!!! 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Sorcha 03/26/2012 at 11:20 am #

    Such a fan of ModCloth and think it will be cool to see the final designs choosen , be creative everyone ! Thats was the 60’s was all about fun , youthful creativity !

    I like many International ModClothers will have to wait and judge at talented American competition 🙂

  5. Avatar
    mellydoz 03/26/2012 at 11:25 am #

    Can people from Puerto Rico participate?

  6. Avatar
    Kacey 03/26/2012 at 11:45 am #

    Any regulations against past winners from the last contest?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/26/2012 at 12:39 pm #

      Hi Kacey! Good question! Winners of our first Make the Cut Contest are not eligible for this contest.

  7. Avatar
    Carolyn Rowe 03/26/2012 at 11:45 am #

    can these have color, or are they supposed to be just black and white sketches?

    • Avatar
      BMM 03/26/2012 at 12:48 pm #

      either. A line above sais “Sketches do not need to be in color, but it is encouraged to best convey your vision.” Last line under the “tips” heading. : )

  8. Avatar
    Laura W 03/26/2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Gah, my sketchbook needs to get here NOW! I already have a couple of awesome ideas for this!

  9. Avatar
    Casey 03/26/2012 at 12:30 pm #

    I don’t under stand what u do for it?

  10. Avatar
    Grace 03/26/2012 at 1:42 pm #

    When might this contest be open for international modcloth lovers…? <3 🙂

  11. Avatar
    Kelly 03/26/2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Is it possible for two people to team up on this? Perhaps one has a vision, and the other is able to sketch it?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/26/2012 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Kelly,

      We’re limiting each submission to one designer only; we hope that you both decide to enter separately! 🙂

  12. Avatar
    Love To Crochet 03/26/2012 at 5:26 pm #

    This sounds amazing. Pretty pumped about seeing all the entries. Not much of a designer, but most definetly will follow this one. Great idea. Love retro!

  13. Avatar
    PetitKitteh 03/26/2012 at 6:03 pm #

    So excited!!!!!!!!!!! I love designing, and retro fashions are my favorites! Yaaaaay!

  14. Avatar
    Katie Grant 03/26/2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Hi MC,

    Are Style Ambassadors allowed to enter?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/27/2012 at 10:58 am #

      Hi Katie,

      Absolutely! Good luck!

  15. Avatar
    Laura @ The Joyful Fox 03/26/2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Ohhh, so fun! I might just have to develop some fashion design skills fast so I can enter…haha!

  16. Avatar
    Molly 03/26/2012 at 8:44 pm #

    This looks like so much fun! I am a US citizen, but live abroad. Do I still quliify?? Please let me know, so I can get sketching 🙂

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/27/2012 at 10:35 am #

      Hi Molly,

      Yes – just be sure to include your permanent, US address with your entry!

  17. Avatar
    Kelly 03/26/2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Okay, another question: It says to submit high quality scanned sketches. I just finished one that I originally sketched and then scanned and added color in photoshop. Is this acceptable?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/27/2012 at 9:46 am #

      Hi Kelly,

      I checked in with our Design Department and they said that this is probably fine as long as you scanned and colored the sketch at 350 dpi or higher. If you have any other questions specific to your entry, please email us at Thank you!

  18. Avatar
    Nicola 03/27/2012 at 8:33 pm #

    I was so excited when i read about the chance to design something for this site i have drawn up a load of sketches i clicked back on to read all about terms and conditions and am sooo upset to find i can’t submit any because i’m from UK sad times i guess i keep sketching and hope somewhere in the UK i can show off my designs and ideas hopefully :O(

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/28/2012 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Nicola,

      We hope to one day be able to accept international submissions but, due to legal reasons, it’s not something we can promise that will happen in the near future. We hope that you’ll still participate in our contest by voting on the top 25 designs on Facebook in April. Best of luck to you!

  19. Avatar
    Sheila K 03/28/2012 at 5:38 pm #

    If we want to include a pattern (plaid, polka-dot, etc) in our design, can we use a free pattern, like a free vector image of a plaid (they’re so hard to make >_<)???

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/29/2012 at 2:05 pm #

      Hi Sheila,

      Please use all original work in your designs. Thank you!

  20. Avatar
    Emma 03/29/2012 at 6:52 am #

    So, I’m 12, 13 in may am i eligible with parent’s consent and i was also wondering about submissions… i entered into the last contest and i had some issues getting it scanned last time

  21. Avatar
    Karen 03/29/2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Hi! So, I’m not a fashion designer by trade… but I did get my degree in Architecture and life has brought so many interesting twists & turns in my life… trauma… depression… yoga… teaching yoga… cancer… marriage… and now divorce and more cancer. So, I’ve experienced (yogically) a tremendous wave of changes… and I know that I can create fashion designs… I just don’t know how I’m supposed to draw the right pictures, how I color them, etc.
    If there’s a dummy template of some sorts that I could draw on top of… and if you could let me know what kind of coloring I need to use, then I think I might be able to do something awesome!
    I’m really very, very excited, by the way!

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/29/2012 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Karen,

      We’re excited you’re excited! Feel free to use any of the free templates that we link to in the blog post to get started. In terms of coloring, please use the inspiration board and theme details in the blog post to guide your design. Best of luck!

  22. Avatar
    Colleen 03/29/2012 at 2:51 pm #

    So…the clothes have to be 1960’s-inspired, but they don’t exactly need to look like they came right out of the 1960s, correct? So they could have a modern look, but with retro details and patterns, or vice versa, yes?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/29/2012 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Colleen,

      Right! The designs should be inspired by the theme and the inspiration board posted in the blog post. Good luck!

  23. Avatar
    Arielle 03/29/2012 at 5:40 pm #

    I’m SO super excited to be entering this contest, I just really need to find my sketch pad ASAP! Thanks for letting me know about it! 🙂 Can’t wait!!

  24. Avatar
    Gemma 03/29/2012 at 6:06 pm #

    In future could you host international contests perhaps? I got so excited till I read the terms and conditions to find out I couldn’t participate!

  25. Avatar
    Karen 03/29/2012 at 6:28 pm #

    How many sketches can you submit?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/30/2012 at 11:12 am #

      Hi Karen,

      You can submit up to five sketches!

  26. Avatar
    Hannah 03/29/2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Is there any way to make a design in a format that you don’t have to scan in? (I don’t have a scanner.) I also don’t have a Mac computer, but if there is something similar to Photoshop that i could use that works for PCs, please let me know!

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/30/2012 at 10:26 am #

      Hi Hannah,

      Sure, you can use Photoshop or similar programs for your design!

  27. Avatar
    Casey 03/29/2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Is the competition just designing the outfit? What I mean is, if we sketch our outfit design, then put it in photoshop, can we photoshop in already-made accessories we would pair with it on the side? If we give the designers credit of course. Or is part of the competition to design the accessories that go with the outfit?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 03/30/2012 at 10:36 am #

      Hi Casey,

      We love that you want to show off your style! Feel free to pair your designs with accessories, but make sure you clearly highlight the item that you made! Also, keep in mind the winner will be chosen based only on the design of the highlighted item.

    • Avatar
      Casey S. 03/30/2012 at 12:11 pm #

      Okay awesome, thank you! I can’t wait to get sketching!

  28. Avatar
    Margaret 03/31/2012 at 10:27 am #

    if we submitted a design last time that was voted on but did not win can we resubmit it?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/02/2012 at 10:08 am #

      Hi Margaret,

      Submissions from the last contest are not eligible for this round. Please take a look at our inspiration board and guidelines listed in the blog post and create a new design based on the theme, “Retro Honor Roll.” Looking forward to seeing your submission!

  29. Avatar
    Aimee Boucher 04/02/2012 at 9:22 am #

    Again… Incredibly disappointed this isn’t open to Canada.
    Can’t you guys open a contest for those of us not residing in the USA? It’s really depressing…

  30. Avatar
    ModCloth 04/02/2012 at 10:09 am #

    Hi Aimee,

    While we’d love to have a design contest open to international customers sometime soon, it doesn’t seem likely due to legal reasons. However, we hope you participate in one of our many other contests that are open to international submissions, and consider voting on the Make the Cut final 25 when they are posted to Facebook!

  31. Avatar
    Samantha Stern 04/02/2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Does the design have to be clothing or can it be an accesory

    • Avatar
      Joanna Hammer 04/03/2012 at 10:50 am #

      I was curious about that too. What is the likelihood that ModCloth would fabricate shoes? Seems like it would be expensive to do… and yet I have so many ideas!

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/03/2012 at 11:55 am #

      Hi, Samantha and Joanna! Great questions! This contest is strictly clothing designs- we hope you enter!

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/03/2012 at 12:30 pm #

      Hi Samantha and Joanna,

      Great question! For this round of Make the Cut, we ask that you please stick to clothing designs only, such as dresses, tops, pants, jackets and skirts. We hope to have a contest that includes accessories someday soon!

  32. Avatar
    Amara Bissonette 04/03/2012 at 11:24 am #

    This is so cool! I would like to try it…..but I don’t know, I don’t have much time and I’m not that good at computer links and stuff like that.

  33. Avatar
    Amara Bissonette 04/03/2012 at 12:13 pm #

    For the parent permission……do we just attach a note of them saying it’s okay to go ahead and do this?

  34. Avatar
    ModCloth 04/03/2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Hi, Amara! Yes- please simply scan a written note from a parental guardian stating their permission for you to participate and attach it as a file with your entry! If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to 🙂

  35. Avatar
    katie 04/05/2012 at 1:46 am #

    if we choose to use a template, may we use a different template than the ones you’ve provided?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/06/2012 at 9:25 am #

      Hi, Katie! You may use another template of your choice, as long you have the permission to use it and it’s free! Thanks for your interest, and good luck!

  36. Avatar
    Viv 04/05/2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Wow ok now I’m excited. We have hope of getting to see our own designs actually made? I’m so totally entering. Deadline date’s SO close…!

  37. Avatar
    Diana Vecchietti 04/05/2012 at 7:41 pm #

    you guys should open a contest to costumers who do not live in us. you may loose big sketches this way. i understand the legal barries, but a good lawyer can help with the rules.

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/06/2012 at 11:14 am #

      Hi, Diana! Thanks for this feedback- we really appreciate it and will keep it in mind for future planning! Though you aren’t able to enter this time, please do participate once the top 25 designs are up on Facebook for community voting! We’d love to hear what you have to say!

  38. Avatar
    Viv 04/06/2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I have a question, what is considered “illegitimate votes”? Does this mean posting your design, should it be chosen, onto Facebook and getting all your friends to vote for you?

    I’m asking because I don’t really plan on doing this (since I think it’s a little bit illegitimate), and feel it would be unfair if others did. Of course there’s not really any way of stopping it, but I wanted to know if we ARE in fact allowed to do it.

    Maybe I’m just thinking too much, but I’m really curious.

    • Avatar
      Laurel 04/08/2012 at 7:10 pm #

      I feel the same way about contests that involve voting on facebook. Obviously the people who have a thousand friends get more votes based on popularity rather than actual quality of the entry, and I feel that it is unfair. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s against any rules and there is no way of preventing it…

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/09/2012 at 9:28 am #

      Hi, Viv! You’ve brought up great questions! As marketing your own designs is a huge part of being a designer, we encourage our designers to promote themselves! Of course, we only allow verified Facebook accounts to count as a vote. Any unconfirmed, “fake” accounts would therefore be illegitimate votes. I hope this answers your question! If you have any further questions about this or any other element of the contest, please reach out to !

  39. Avatar
    Aidan 04/06/2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Are you allowed to design accessories for one of your five sketches, or does it have to be a garment? Thanks!

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/09/2012 at 6:54 am #

      Hi, Aidan! This contest is strictly garments! Thanks for asking and good luck!

  40. Avatar
    Hannah 04/06/2012 at 7:32 pm #

    Hi! Quick question: Can we submit designs for swimwear?

  41. Avatar
    Anna 04/07/2012 at 10:10 am #

    Are we only allowed to design a dress? What about a romper or matching top & bottom as separates?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/09/2012 at 6:53 am #

      Hi, Anna! You may design up to 5 clothing garments but may only enter once! So, yes, separates are fine!

  42. Avatar
    BMM 04/09/2012 at 9:38 am #

    oh whew, just made it! I submitted all of my designs on one file instead of separately meaning I drew the designs on one piece of paper then submitted a photo of the paper. I hope that was okay (it saved me time to do it that way.)! Anyhoo, best of the best to all who entered and can’t wait to start voting! Yipee!

  43. Avatar
    Amara Bissonette 04/09/2012 at 9:07 pm #

    if you turn the designs in late………and you didn’t know you had to do a certain step……..can the designs still be voted?

  44. Avatar
    anibunny 04/12/2012 at 3:54 pm #

    i didnt get in the finalists!! :'(

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/13/2012 at 7:50 am #

      Hi, Anibunny! Even though you aren’t a finalist, we appreciate each and every entry! I encourage you to take part in the voting, which starts on 4/16 via our Facebook fan page!

    • Avatar
      Amara Bissonette 04/13/2012 at 9:40 pm #

      where do you find the finalists? I couldn’t find it on the facebook page

      • Avatar
        padfootandmoony 04/13/2012 at 10:33 pm #

        All of the finalists got emails 🙂 they don’t go up on facebook for voting until Monday.

  45. Avatar
    padfootandmoony 04/12/2012 at 6:27 pm #

    I’m so honored to be a finalist. I’m curious as to how many people actually entered this contest, do you have an official count?

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/13/2012 at 12:17 pm #

      Hi there! Congrats on being a finalist! We received around 650 entries! We’re super excited!

  46. Avatar
    ModCloth 04/13/2012 at 10:58 am #

    Hi, everyone!

    Just so you know, submissions are now closed for Retro Honor Roll. But, that doesn’t mean the fun is over just yet! Be sure to check out our Facebook fanpage on 4/16 to vote for your finalists, and return to the ModCloth Blog on 4/27 to see which five winning designs made the cut!

  47. Avatar
    Alisa Boyd 04/16/2012 at 9:02 am #

    what time do the designs go up on facebook?

  48. Avatar
    Amara Bissonette 04/16/2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Where do you find the list of the finalists? When do they go up?

  49. Avatar
    Christine 04/18/2012 at 9:12 am #

    I notice from the comments that finalists got emails… I was one of the finalists (I actually had 2 entries make it in!), but I never received any notification! Are you missing my email? I’d like to not miss any future correspondence 🙂

    • Avatar
      ModCloth 04/18/2012 at 9:17 am #

      Hi, Christine! I’m so sorry you didn’t receive our email! I’m sending another one now- please be on the lookout! Oh, and congrats on being a finalist 🙂

    • Avatar
      Amara Bissonette 04/19/2012 at 9:46 pm #

      Where did you find the finalists list?

  50. Avatar
    Alisa Boyd 04/18/2012 at 9:21 am #

    Do you check your facebook messages? I’ve sent you one concerning the contest.

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