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
- 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?
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.
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!
You’ll gain invaluable knowledge such as:
- The history of fashion styling
- Basic fashion elements (e.g. patterns, fabric, body type, fitting and draping, etc.)
- 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
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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. The next, you can be assisting a CEO of a major local company.
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!
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!
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 multiple different waters. Want to be a personal stylist and an editorial stylist? Go for it! The beauty with 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!”