I’m always being asked if I know any tips for becoming a fashion stylist. If you dream about planning looks for other people, from everyday outfits to wedding parties and red carpet events, it could be the perfect career for you. It’s not all glamorous, of course. You’ll need to do research, there’s plenty of manual labour – the average full garment bag weighs 15lbs! – and you’ll need to rack up experience, but if you dream of helping others look amazing, these tips for becoming a fashion stylist could help you on your way.
One of the top tips for becoming a fashion stylist that most people seem to forget? Learn everything you can about fabrics and fits. Even if you can’t go to fashion school, go to department stores and compare fabrics. Look at items from different price ranges, and compare the differences. Notice the difference in cut and design, and chat with shop assistants about what makes the good items really good. As you see more and more clothes, you’ll start to know brands and fabrics apart before you’ve even seen the label.
You’ll probably feel a bit out of place at fashion events if you aren’t working in the industry yet, but there is no better way to make contacts. Whether you manage to score an invite, try to sneak in, or just head to public events early on, it’s great to see clothes come down the runway. You see the fabrics and cuts up close, get a sense for how they really look and move, and you’ll be able to answer common queries on the item, too. Not to mention the networking opportunities!
Make sure you know what’s hot, what’s not, what’s corny, and what’s coming up. Knowledge is invaluable in fashion, and you can’t rely on designers or clients to have it. On the flipside, some clients might want to steer clear of what rivals are wearing or printing, or to copy a certain look. Stay on top of what is happening in the industry. That’s the big designers and the little ones!
Social media isn’t just for showing off, or uploading images of your favourite outfits. Follow stylists and designers, and see what they are sharing. Look at their sneak peeks, and what they are most proud of. Social media accounts will give you a behind-the-scenes view of what’s happening, often long before a brand starts to publicise what’s happening. It’ll show you what the brand thinks is awesome, too.
Fashion really is an industry where unpaid work still rules. It sucks, but there are so many people wanting to work in the industry that employers can choose to only take those who are passionate enough to work for free. Take internships, even if they aren’t with your dream stylist. Most successful stylists have interned for other stylists in the past. Be a great intern, and you’ll get great references – and great connections.
This one can’t be said enough. It’s all about who you know, so make sure you know everyone. Go to fashion weeks, join in conversations, and generally be on the scene. It might be a while before you get noticed, and you might feel self-conscious, but you’ll soon get spotted for always being around, and that’s instant credibility. You’ll gain some awesome confidence, too.
One of the biggest tips for becoming a fashion stylist has to be to know exactly what you want to be. There is a big difference between a personal shopper and a stylist. A personal shopper may get paid well, but tends to go shopping for their clients, collecting a small selection of clothes that their client is likely to buy. That means they know their clients' existing taste well, and can shop for it. A stylist, on the other hand, creates and controls a client’s image. They make sure clients look on top of their game, cultivating relationships with designers and navigating politics to get good prices. Remember what you want to be – and that not everyone on Tumblr will get their job role right!
I hope these tips for becoming a fashion stylist have been helpful – I’ve had a great time speaking to great stylists to find them out! While it might be a competitive industry, it’s definitely somewhere that you can have great success, if you are willing to put the effort in. So, are you planning to use any of these tips for becoming a fashion stylist? Let me know if this has helped!
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