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How to Become a Fashion Stylist

By Career Advice, Fashion Styling No Comments

Dream of a successful career in the beauty industry? Learn how to become a fashion stylist!

Today, we’re here to answer all of the need-to-know questions you have about this exciting new career path. So, sit back and get comfy. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll know EXACTLY where to begin and how to find success in professional fashion styling!

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Fashion Stylist?

Okay, first thing’s first: do you need professional training to start a career as a fashion stylist?

Technically, no, you don’t. But that said, your chances of success will drastically decrease if you choose to forego a proper education. The fact is, the majority of employers and clients alike will be looking for some kind of reputable qualification on your end.

Think of it this way: if YOU wanted to hire a fashion stylist, would you prefer booking someone who could prove that they know what they’re doing… or someone who can only claim to know what they’re doing?

I think we both know the answer, right?

For this reason, the most successful of fashion stylists will have either a certification or a degree in their field. If you want a fruitful career, it’s in your best interest to do the same. We’ll take a closer look at the sort of fashion styling course you can take shortly!

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How Much Does a Fashion Stylist Earn?

Next, if you want to know how to be a fashion stylist, it’s worth having an idea of the type of money you can make. When looking at this, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” salary for this profession. Two fashion stylists living in the same city can make two completely different incomes.

Impacting Factors

Some of the key factors that can directly impact the amount of money you make include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Your location (i.e. big city vs. small town);
  • The demand for fashion stylist services in your area;
  • The quality of your professional portfolio;
  • How much hands-on, in-field experience you have;
  • Your local competition;
  • The amount of effort you put into networking;
  • Whether you’re working as a fashion stylist part-time vs. full-time;
  • Whether you’re employed by a business or run one of your own;
  • If your business also offers other beauty services, such as professional makeup, for example;
  • How you’ve priced your service rates;
  • How you market your business/services;
  • And more!

Average Salary Ranges for Fashion Stylists by Location

Of course, I can provide some annual salary ranges for full-time fashion stylists, based on country. Here’s what’s typically being made throughout the world:

  • United States: Between $44,000 USD to $61,000 USD per year (Source:
  • Canada: Between $39,000 CAD to $46,000 CAD per year (Source: PayScale)
  • United Kingdom: Between £15,000 GBP to £35,000 GBP per year (Source: PayScale)
  • New Zealand: Between $36,000 NZD to $51,000 NZD per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Australia: Between $76,000 AUD to $133,000 AUD per year (Source: Salary Expert)

The Added Value of an Accredited Certification

When you get proper fashion styling training, you’re investing time, money, and effort into your skill-set. As a result, once you graduate from your course, you earn the right to price your services in a way that properly reflects that.

Plus, if your business offers any additional beauty services, as I mentioned above, then you can raise those rates, too!

Moreover, having a credible fashion styling certification will do wonders in terms of helping you stand out from your competitors. Setting yourself apart from the crowd will not only elevate your career – it’ll definitely help you earn a higher income!

Did you know that ALL of QC Makeup Academy‘s self-paced, online certification courses are accredited and internationally-recognized? Check out our full list of programs here!

Best suit. Young fashionable stylist helping his client to get dressed while standing in his workshop

Is Fashion Stylist a Good Career?

Here’s the thing: even the best-paying job in the world won’t be worth it if you aren’t actually enjoying yourself. So, this begs the question: is it worth your time and effort to actually become a fashion stylist?

Is it truly a good career to pursue?

That depends on you, your goals, and your personal preferences.

Here are a few questions to help you get a better idea of whether or not fashion styling is the perfect fit (heh) for you:

  • Do you love getting creative?
  • Are you a “people person”?
  • Do you have a natural eye for fashion?
  • Are you passionate about helping others look and feel their very best?
  • Are you eager to learn everything you can about the industry?
  • Do you already have a beauty career and want to expand your services?
  • Would you love the chance to be your own boss and start your very own business?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then guess what? You should DEFINITELY get started as a fashion stylist, because it sounds like you were born to do this job!

Furthermore, another awesome perk to this profession is that there are so many possible career opportunities at your feet. For instance, you could strictly offer in-person consultations – but you could also offer virtual consultations, too. This would open up your client reach and allow you to book with people from anywhere in the world!

Additionally, there are countless different areas of the beauty industry that you could specialize in and branch out into. These are just some of the industries you could lend your expertise to:

  • Everyday clients (i.e. fashion styling for day-to-day needs);
  • Editorial and photoshoots
  • Fashion and runway
  • Film, television, and live theater
  • Bridal fashion
  • Maternity fashion
  • Fashion styling for mature clients
  • Fashion styling on a budget
  • Boutique and/or fashion display styling
  • And SO much more!

As you can see, the possibilities are endless!

Alright, now that you know what it takes to be a fashion stylist, how can you actually become a fashion stylist?

These 4 steps will walk you through the process!

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Step One: Learn The Career – What IS a Fashion Stylist?

If I were to ask you, “What does a fashion stylist actually do?”, would you know how to answer this question?

If not, don’t worry, because you’re about to find out!

As a fashion stylist, you’ll be responsible for any/all of the following tasks:

  • Conduct initial client consultations and follow-up appointments;
  • Help your client determine (and then work within) their allotted budget;
  • Collaborate with other professionals in the beauty industry (e.g. makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers, etc.);
  • Get to know your clients on a more personal level, so you can best determine the style(s) that suit them and their lifestyle;
  • Being a subject-matter expert on style basics (i.e. fit, weight, drape, appropriate sizing, fabrics, textures, colors, patterns, prints, body types, balance, etc.);
  • Accessorizing clothing;
  • Creating efficient wardrobes with versatile pieces for clients of any age, gender, body type, etc.;
  • Owning and successfully operating your own business (should you choose to go this route), etc.

To get an even better idea of what a fashion stylist does on a day-to-day basis, I’d recommend doing a bit of detective work on your end. Read publications and check out successful fashion stylists on social media. Their channels could provide some eye-opening, inspiring insights into what their lives (and careers) truly look like!

Step Two: Take Courses on How to Become a Fashion Stylist

At this stage of the game, it’s time to decide where – and how – you’d like to obtain your professional fashion styling education. As such, the first step is to determine whether you’d like your schooling to be done in-person or online.

Brick-and-Mortar Training

This is the obvious choice if you’re the kind of learner who best thrives when physically surrounded by your peers and instructor. However, one downside to keep in mind is that in-person courses can get ridiculously expensive!

Not to mention, you’ll be forced to go at the same pace as everyone else. Meaning, if your fashion styling program is, say, 6 months long, then you won’t be able to graduate any sooner than that.

Online Training

Online schooling, on the other hand, is a LOT cheaper because there’s no physical campus to maintain. Plus, it can often be done at the student’s preferred pace, which is definitely another bonus.

QC Makeup Academy’s online training, for example, is 100% self-paced! Once you enroll in your program, you get a full 2 years to finish it. That said, during that 2-year timeframe, YOU get full control over when and how often you want to work on your studies.

To put this into perspective, if you were to devote a mere 1-2 hours per week on your studies, you could graduate and earn your internationally-recognized certification in as little as 2-6 months!

You woman lying on couch with laptop. Home shoot.

QC Makeup Academy’s Fashion Styling Course

For aspiring fashion stylists, QC Makeup Academy’s Fashion Styling Course will teach you everything you need to know! In this 8-unit online program, you’ll discover:

  • Historical and modern fashion trends;
  • Fashion icons from both the past and present;
  • The role a fashion stylist plays for clients;
  • Various different career opportunities at your disposal;
  • How to conduct a successful consultation;
  • How to master basic fashion elements;
  • Styling for men and women alike;
  • Layering and creating a balanced silhouette;
  • Fashion styling for specific purposes (i.e. everyday wear, business attire, etc.);
  • Accessorizing;
  • Styling on a budget;
  • How to work with all body types, ages, genders, etc.;
  • What goes into building your professional brand;
  • How to start your very own business and/or add fashion styling services to an existing business;
  • How to maximize social media and other online platforms to market your business;
  • And more!

Within 1-2 business days after you’ve enrolled in this course, you’ll receive your login details for QC Makeup Academy’s Online Student Center. From here, you’ll have direct, online access to your digital textbooks, assignments, instructional videos, etc. That said, we’ll also mail you a physical copy of your course materials, too, which you should receive within 1-2 weeks after you enroll.

The best part of this entire experience?

Once you graduate, you’ll receive your internationally-recognized Certified International Styling Professional (CISP™) certification! You can then proudly add this qualification to your resume and wow all prospective clients and employers alike.

Read the full Fashion Styling Course breakdown and curriculum here!

Step Three: Get Hands-On Industry Experience

Once you graduate and enter the industry, you’re going to need two very important things in order to book legitimate, paying clients:

  1. Real-world experience and
  2. A stunning portfolio of your fashion styling work.

After all, potential clients (as well as possible employers) will want to see that you know what you’re doing before they choose to hire you. Plus, you’ll be a lot more confident in your skill-set if you’ve taken the time to truly hone it first. This can only really be done through hands-on experience.

Here are a few ways you can gain this crucial experience, while also developing your professional portfolio at the same time:

  • Practice your fashion styling skills on friends and family
  • Offer complimentary services to people you know
  • Demonstrate the techniques and skills you’ve acquired from your training using your own wardrobe
  • Get involved in a stylized photoshoot
  • Lend your fashion styling expertise to a good cause (i.e. not-for-profit and/or charitable events), etc.

It’s worth noting that you probably won’t get paid for any of the practice acquired above. However, at the beginning of your career, this is okay. What you won’t be gaining in financial profit, you will be gaining in hands-on experience! Not to mention, these opportunities will allow you to grow your portfolio and stock it with high-quality images. That on its own is 100% invaluable!

Remember: you won’t be giving away freebies forever. Just think of it as a necessary step to get to where you want to be!

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Step Four: Stay on Top of Fashion Trends

If this is truly the path you’re passionate about pursuing, then taking one course at the beginning of your career won’t be enough. Rather, you’ll be motivated to absorb as much new information as possible and advance your skill-set at every opportunity!

After all, this is one of the single smartest ways to keep your craft current – and that’s EXTREMELY important in every single job field.

So, stay in the loop about popular fashion styling and beauty trends! Follow other industry experts on social media, read fashion publications, and further your education by taking more courses. Plus, you can also join online communities and attend networking events, which is always a smart idea.

All of these are things that will help you remain up-to-date on what’s going on in the fashion/beauty industry. Obviously, what “keeping up-to-date” means is different – and subjective – to everyone. Either way, it’ll be in your best interest to do so.

In the end, committing to and embracing lifelong learning will only ever help you. It’ll be the very thing that, ultimately, allows you to leave a long-term mark as a fashion stylist and beauty professional. And really, isn’t that the goal?

How Do I Start as a Freelance Fashion Stylist?

Lastly, if you know in your heart that the dream is to run a business of your own, then here are some tips and brainstorming questions to help you get the ball rolling:

  • Decide what you’d like to name your business, confirm that this name isn’t already taken, and then register your business name who no one else can take it in the future.
  • Sit down and really think about what you want your brand to be. How can your business’s imagery and aesthetic convey your brand? What message(s) do you want to associate with your business?
  • Who is your target clientele and how can you reach them?
  • Start researching what goes into building a professional business website and brainstorm all of the key information you want to include on your site (e.g. About Me page, contact info, client testimonials, your portfolio, etc.).
  • How can you start developing your portfolio?
  • Do you want to travel to your clients, invest in a physical business location, etc.?
  • Do you want to offer virtual fashion styling services in addition to in-person ones?
  • What’s the industry standard in your area, in terms of service rates?
  • Do you have an idea of what you’d like to charge for your styling services?
  • Would you like your business to offer any other types of beauty services? If so, what sort of training should you get, in order to be best qualified?
  • Which social media platforms would you like to establish a presence on, and what will your strategy be on these platforms?
  • How else can you market your business efficiently?
  • How can you start growing your professional network?

Do you have any additional tips to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Now that you know how to become a fashion stylist, it’s time to get started. Enroll with QC Makeup Academy today and book your first client in as little as 2-6 months!

5 Popular Fashion Styling Jobs

By Fashion Styling No Comments

Were you born with a natural sense of style? Do you have an innate knack for perfectly reflecting your personality in your fashion? Are you constantly complimented for your killer outfits, effortless color schemes, and on-point matching skills?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then a career in fashion styling may be perfect for you!

Think about it: could there be anything better than being paid to do what you love? That’s pretty much the dream! So, if you’re ready to turn your hobby into a lifelong, successful career, there are plenty of incredible opportunities available to you.

Read on to discover how you can start on the path to becoming a fashion stylist, as well as some of the most popular career options!

What is Fashion Styling?

As a professional stylist, it will be your responsibility to provide fashion styling advice and recommendations. Depending on which clientele you choose to target as part of your business, you’ll help select and coordinate outfits for:

  • Individual clients
  • Clothing brands
  • Companies and businesses
  • Media
  • Fashion houses, etc.

Let’s make one thing super clear right away: this is NOT the same thing as being a fashion designer. Designers are responsible for physically creating the clothing. You won’t do this as a fashion stylist. Your job will be to select existing clothing and accessories that your client(s) will wear.

How Do You Get into Fashion Styling?

You’ll gain invaluable knowledge such as:

An accredited fashion styling course is the single greatest first step you can take in your journey to get into the industry! Online beauty schools, such as QC Makeup Academy, allow you to gain a high-quality education from real-world, expert professionals – all from the comfort and safety of your own home!

This industry can be extremely competitive. So, making sure you have proper training, education, and a professional certification under your belt is practically a must! It’ll be difficult to stand out from the competition otherwise.

  • The history of fashion styling
  • Basic fashion elements (e.g. patterns, fabric, body type, fitting and draping, etc.)
  • Accessorizing
  • Building a wardrobe for different genders, lifestyles, professions, etc.
  • Bridal and maternity styling
  • Styling on a budget
  • Thorough business knowledge to help YOU start your own fashion stylist business
  • And so much more!

You’ll graduate from your fashion styling program a true expert; ready to take the industry by storm and begin finding clients right away!

The Most Popular Fashion Styling Jobs

Celebrity/Red Carpet Stylist

Though this figure is admittedly in a smaller percentile, it does show you what can be possible. Who knows? As you grow your resume, gain experience, and build your reputation, maybe you’ll one day become one of Hollywood’s biggest names in fashion styling!

Obviously, because you’d be working with such highly-esteemed clientele, this particular career path pays rather well. As of May, 2020, the average annual salary for a celebrity fashion stylist in the United States is $50,423. That being said, there are acclaimed stylists out there making as much as $123,500!

In addition to your standard awards shows, you would also get to provide your expertise for press conferences, premieres, concerts, or even just a celebrity’s daily life.

This probably comes as no surprise. After all, who wouldn’t want to work with A-listers and help select their outfits for such events as The Academy Awards, The Grammys, etc.? In terms of dream fashion styling career paths, this one is definitely high on the list!

Personal Stylist

Plus, there’s a lot of wiggle room in personal styling for you to control your service rates, adjust them according to the client’s needs, etc. As you can see, the sky is limitless!

The beauty of this particular type of styling is that it can be done virtually anywhere, for pretty much anyone in need of your services. One day, your client can be a stay-at-home mother who wants to give herself (and her clothes) a fresh makeover. Next, you can be assisting a CEO of a major local company.

Maybe you’re not interested in the glitz and glam of Tinseltown. That’s okay! Another wildly popular path for stylists is to focus on personal styling for the everyday client.

Pro Tip: Still socially distancing due to COVID-19? Not a problem! A very popular option, especially for personal stylists, is to also offer virtual services! You can tie this into your business as a standard service, but during something like a pandemic, it gives you a way to continue booking clients… without anyone needing to leave the safety of their homes!

Fashion Editorial Stylist

Ever looked at the photos within a magazine? (I mean, who hasn’t at least once, right?) Then you’ve seen the work of an editorial stylist before!

In this corner of the industry, you’re the mastermind behind all of the amazing outfits and accessories donned by high fashion models in a professional photoshoot.

Plus, this type of fashion styling is one that will vastly expand your network. This is because you’ll often be working very closely with other industry pros. Some examples of people you’ll develop close working relationships with include:

Fashion Show Stylist

Want to help dress up your favorite models before they strut their stuff down the runway? You can use your professional fashion styling certification as a stepping stone towards this career path!

Here, you’ll be collaborating with fashion houses and/or independent designers. They’ll be coming to you – the expert – and trusting you to make choices that best represent their company and overall brand. It’ll be up to you to deliver!

As such, you’ll be responsible for selecting the best clothing, shoes, and accessories, according to what they have within their given line for the fashion show. Then the models will show off the final product. You’ll have a personal hand in what ultimately gets showcased on the catwalk!

Makeup Artist

At first glance, this doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with fashion styling. But hear me out!

It’s actually a very common practice in this community to pioneer a single business that provides multiple types of beauty services. In fact, fashion styling and makeup artistry are very commonly paired together – namely because they compliment each other so well.

As such, there are many fashion stylists out there who then further their education to incorporate professional makeup training. Likewise, more and more makeup artists are earning their fashion styling certification so that they can add styling to their business.

Especially for freelancers, it’s an excellent way to pander to an even wider audience. Why only offer one service, when you can offer more? More variety means more bookings, which means more profit for your business.

Plus, if a client were to need assistance with their makeup and their outfit for a special occasion, she can simply book both services with you! It’s more convenient for her, and more beneficial overall for you. There’s no downside!

All of these career options are just the tip of the iceberg, too! Not to mention, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from dipping your toes into different waters. Want to be a personal stylist and an editorial stylist? Go for it! The beauty of this kind of profession is that you CAN if you want to!

If you’re interested in a career in fashion styling, there are countless avenues you can pursue and opportunities to take advantage of. Believe in yourself, and start the path towards your dream future today!

As the author, Debasish Mridha once said: “Don’t wait for the opportunity… Create it!”

Enroll today in QC Makeup Academy’s leading online Fashion Styling Course, and earn your certification in as little as 3-6 months!

3 Critical Questions to Ask Fashion Styling Clients During the Consultation

By Fashion Styling, Your Makeup Career 4 Comments

Are you a makeup artist who’s recently decided to add Fashion Styling services to your business? Do you simply love all things fashion, and want to devote your career to helping others dress their best? If so, then it’s important that you learn the appropriate questions to ask your clients during the initial appointment!

Just like with makeup, a consultation needs to be held when acquiring a brand-new client. The desired outcome behind this meeting is exactly the same. You want to:

  • Get to know your client
  • Allow them to get to know you
  • Determine what their goals are
  • Determine what they do NOT want
  • Figure out their budget
  • Plan out how you can give them their preferred results

A good consultation will then allow you to use your knowledge, experience, and professional training to help clients achieve their goals!

The Fashion Styling Consultation: Asking the Right Questions

As a rule of thumb, try not to ask questions that have a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Unless the question itself is incredibly detailed, such closed-ended answers aren’t going to be able to provide you with much information.

Instead, aim for questions that encourage your client to expand a little. In order to best assist them, you need to make sure you fully understand their mindset. What better way to know how they feel, what they like, and what they want, than to hear it in their own words?

So, what is some specific information you need to obtain from a new client during your first consultation together? Let’s take a look at a few key examples!

Question #1: “Where are you in your life right now?”

What age range does your client fall into? Is she currently a student? Does she work full-time? Is she in the middle of any type of transitional stage in her life, such as a big move, etc.?

There are endless possibilities for what the answer to this question can be! The events, trials, and circumstances of your client’s life can play a direct role in:

  • Who she is
  • What her current lifestyle is like
  • What her budget might be
  • What her clothing should say about her

Importantly: no matter what info your client provides, it WILL be valuable! So, make sure not to forget this question.

Question #2: “How would you describe your everyday lifestyle?”

Some examples to consider when posing this question are:

  • Is your client a fitness enthusiast?
  • Does she travel a lot?
  • What is her job like?
  • Is she vegan?
  • Does she devote her life to eco-friendly practices?
  • Does she have strong moral views regarding fair trade practices?

You’ll often encounter clients whose everyday lifestyle won’t necessarily sway their fashion styling one way or another. But just as often, there will be clients whose personal beliefs and/or hobbies will directly affect the types of clothing you can (and can’t) recommend.

For instance, if your client is athletic, she may benefit most from stylish, breathable clothing that also allows for a large range of movement. Alternately, if traveling is a regular part of her lifestyle, she might be better off with versatile clothing that can be utilized in multiple different ways.

If she works within an office, for example, the dress code may be stricter. In such a case, more subtle personalization, creative expression, and overall fashion styling may be required.

If your client is vegan, be sure to ask what her clothing preferences are. You’ll probably need to steer clear of any products made from fur, leather, or suede. Some vegans object to other materials like wool, too, but don’t make assumptions.

Similarly, if your client happens to be eco-conscious, she could be partial to second-hand clothing or clothing made from renewable resources and/or natural fibers.

Question #3: “What do you want to communicate through your wardrobe?”

What does your client want people to see when they look at her and her style? What impressions does she want to give off? What emotions does she want to evoke?

Is your client looking for fashion styling assistance for a specific event, such as a job interview, a party, etc.? Or is she looking for more general help for her day-to-day life?

The answers to these questions may vary, but they all share something very important in common: what we wear plays a strong role in our overall image!

But your client may not fully know who she is or what she wants to convey to the world. A lot of people are unsure how to utilize their wardrobe to reflect their personality – be it for a specific occasion, or as part of their everyday life. It can pose a confusing challenge, and your client may need some help.

That’s okay, though, because that’s why she’s coming to you!

If your client doesn’t really know how to answer this question, try posing it to her in a slightly different way. Ask her to describe herself in a word or two. You can also ask her to describe what she wants others to see when they look at her.

A client who uses words like “kind” and “thoughtful” will help you to create an image in your mind for what her fashion styling could look like. Similarly, we’re sure that the creative gears start turning in your head as soon as we use descriptors like “ambitious” or “fierce”.

You get the picture!

The Best Way to Ask the Right Questions is…

…getting proper training under your belt! Having a keen eye for trends and enjoying fashion styling isn’t enough. Not if you want to make a real name for yourself and stand out from the competition, anyways!

To illustrate: we’ve just listed 3 fundamental questions to ask your clients. The initial consultation is just one small part of what you’ll face in your fashion styling career – and yet, even that contains so much crucial knowledge that you simply MUST know!

QC Makeup Academy’s Fashion Styling Course, as an example, teaches you 14 critical questions that always need to be asked during your client consultation. PLUS, you’re taught how to navigate sensitive subjects, and understand which questions are best avoided altogether.

But this isn’t all an accredited Fashion Styling Course will offer you! In addition to various other aspects of maximizing the client experience, you’ll also have professional industry experts teach you:

  • How to start your very own business (or add your services to a pre-existing business)
  • The history of fashion styling
  • An understanding of fashion trends, and how they’ve evolved
  • Exactly what your role is as a certified fashion stylist
  • The basic elements of fashion
  • Accessorizing and personalizing based on each individual client
  • Building different wardrobes based on age, gender, lifestyle, etc.
  • How to effectively maximize your client’s budget
  • Second-hand and consignment shopping
  • Bridal fashion styling
  • Maternity fashion styling
  • And so much more!

The fashion industry is a competitive one. Ascending the ranks and being the best of the best requires hard work, dedication, and a constant desire to learn and improve your skill-set.

If you’re committing yourself to this type of profession, there has to be some passion behind it. And if you’re passionate about what you do, this challenge will never be one you’ll want to shy away from!

Off the top of your head, can you think of more questions you feel are worth asking during a fashion styling consultation? Let us know in the comments!

Still unsure if you should add fashion styling services to your makeup business? Here are 5 reasons why it’ll definitely take your career to the next level!