what it means to be a professional stylist

The professional label, ‘stylist’, encompasses such a broad range of industry positions.  Stylists are personal stylists, personal shoppers, fashion editors, writers, visual merchandisers, fashion sales representatives and those working in fashion marketing and merchandising. Stylists can work in food styling, image consulting, fashion public relations and wardrobe.

Regardless of the area of the styling you intend to work in, there is no denying that the core skills required for styling success are those of the personal stylist.

Starting out as a freelance personal stylist will not only get your Jimmy Choo in the door, but it will also allow you to hone the fundamental skills for all areas of the industry.

Attributes of a Personal Stylist

To become a personal stylist, you’ll need to have a love for fashion, enjoy trend spotting and have an eye for style. Believe it or not, being a stylist isn’t all about creativity. There is a wealth of underlying knowledge that informs the everyday decisions required of a stylist. For example, you must develop the essential skills of dressing by body shape, identifying and styling for the correct skin tone, and the differences between styling for men and women.

Recognising and meeting your client’s needs is another key skill, which is why personal styling is well suited to those who are friendly and connect well with others. You need to be able to empathise and help your client create their own look that they love, not just dress them in what you would prefer.

As a personal stylist, you also need to be energetic and on the ball. With a keen eye for detail and the ability to think on your toes, a stylist has to be confident and switched on to make decisions on the fly.

Why become a Freelance Professional Stylist?

For those interested in a fashion career, it’s hard to look past professional styling. Allowing you the freedom to do what you want, often when you want, as your own boss, it can help you reach your career goals on your own terms.

Becoming a personal stylist will give you the opportunity to build the all-important portfolio to showcase your styling work, which is key to being taken seriously as a professional stylist. At the same time, you will be honing your styling skills and developing work discipline. With practice, your confidence will blossom, allowing you to learn the styling industry ropes while making vital contacts.

Whether you are scoping the perfect location for a set or deep in the action of a fast-paced runway show, the requirements of your clients will vary greatly. Nothing will prepare you more for meeting your clients’ brief than learning the fundamentals through one-on-one personal styling consultancy sessions. In short, personal styling will provide the red carpet runway to your future career.

To read about the most rewarding career in the fashion industry, click here.

what it means to be a professional stylist