One of the most fashionable jobs in the world is that of a wardrobe stylist. While many confuse between fashion designer and wardrobe stylist, it is to be noted that it is not essential that a wardrobe designer is necessarily a fashion designer or vice versa.Wardrobe styling is a relatively new profession in the fashion and entertainment industry and has become largely popular, especially because of big names in the entertainment industry who hire wardrobe stylists regularly.
A wardrobe stylist is basically a consultant who is responsible for the selection of the clothing for print media such as magazines or advertising campaigns, concert performances, music videos and public appearances by models, celebrities, and other public figures.
These stylists are usually part of a team which undertakes the styling job; the team usually comprises fashion designers, hair stylist, makeup artists and director or photographer. The aim of a wardrobe stylist is this: make the person look fabulous in his/her clothing.
The job of a wardrobe stylist varies, and much of the variation is on the basis of assignments; however, the general duties of a wardrobe stylist include re-organization of a client’s wardrobe, personal shopping and other duties in respect of the personal lifestyle of the client. But, this is to be noted that the duties of a wardrobe stylist should not be confused with that of a costume designer, image consultant, color consultant, etc.
From the aforementioned discussion on wardrobe stylist, one can clearly understand and appreciate the importance of a wardrobe stylist, especially in the lives of public figures who are usually subject to media and public scrutiny over, inter alia, comments, actions, and clothing. This importance contributes to the financial resourcefulness of a wardrobe stylist and makes wardrobe styling an attractive career opportunity.
The freelance community has warmly embraced wardrobe stylists in its family. Currently, the freelance community is expanding at a phenomenal pace, especially after the advent of digital age, and this is opened gateways to more opportunities for wardrobe stylists. However, in order to become a successful wardrobe stylist, you will have to know the must-haves of the community.
In this article, we shall discuss four important elements involved in the creation of a marvelous freelance stylist:
1. Job requirements to become a freelance wardrobe stylist
A formal education is not usually required in order to become a wardrobe stylist, but a number of courses in fashion design allow students to imbibe in fundamentals of wardrobe styling from the perspective of both the business and creative elements of the fashion industry. To know more, read below:
- There is a lack of regular courses in the field of wardrobe styling; however, interested candidates can acquire necessary skills and knowledge through short-term or long-term courses in this field.
- Alternatively, individuals may pursue an associate degree program (lasts for two years) or a Bachelor’s degree course in the field of art, visual or fashion merchandising, fashion designing.
- The minimum eligibility criterion is the completion of 10+2 from a recognized school in India.
- There are a number of certificate courses one can avail of and some of the examples are the Styling & grooming course offered by Pearl Academy. The course is a beginner’s course lasting for nearly a year and aimed at teaching students the fundamental importance of making the right aesthetic choice for the client and covers areas such as personal styling, appearance management, image management, social etiquette, etc.
Similarly, the Indian School of Design and Innovation offers a course on fashion styling which covers areas such as personal styling, latest fashion trends, fundamentals of photo-shoot, fashion blogging, etc.
- Formal education will not suffice unless you are able to use the theoretical knowledge in practical conditions. For that, you will have to seek internships at various fashion outlets or designers, who work closely with public figures and will provide you with real-time experience on how wardrobe styling is done.
You can seek an internship at famous fashion brands such as Globus, Max, Marks & Spencer, pantaloons, and others. If you wish to learn abroad, there are a number of opportunities available as well, but you will have to shell out more on them.
2. Skills required to become a freelance wardrobe stylist
- Style sense: Wardrobe stylists are always the talk of the town primarily because of their style sense. This style sense may come from anything—from music, film to books and novels. What is more important is that you take in all you know and customize them according to the requirements of the client.
Thus, your style sense should be bustling with creativity and panache and should be able to leave an impression—a good impression—on the onlookers, the media and fashion gurus across the fashion industry.
- Exemplary communication skills: A wardrobe stylist must be excellent at making communications to the client and other individuals involved in styling. For example, when working on a team, you should be able to communicate your ideas, reservations and other information clearly and professionally.
A wardrobe stylist is always in contact with photographers, magazine editors, stars, etc., and these individuals are the ones who affect career growth chart. Keeping them happy is an important task!
- Organizational skills: Wardrobe stylists have to monitor the movement of apparels in multiple settings. They are responsible for the management of elephantine inventories of clothing, accessories, and shoes, and most of these items are not owned but on loan from retail stores or designers, and therefore, must be cautiously looked after.
- Business Sense: Most wardrobe stylists are freelancers, and therefore, it is important you know the necessary tactics to sell your ideas effectively. If you wish to start your own clothing line at par with, say, that of Rachel Zoe, then you will have to develop a sharp business sense.
3. Work opportunities for freelance wardrobe stylists
A wardrobe stylist may offer independent services as a personal stylist or work in a team. Fashion stylists usually work with public figures such as politicians, celebrities and other prominent faces in the world, but they are often required in styling for parties and functions, which may not necessarily involve public figures.
Freelance websites such as linkedin.com, worknhire.com, upwork.com, guru.com, and freelance.com maintain a huge chunk of data on job opportunities for freelance wardrobe stylist, and all you need to do is to create a profile account, update a wonderfully drafted portfolio of skills and submission of applications for jobs.
You are required to observe only these simple formalities and you shall remain connected with a host of opportunities wherever you are.
4. Pay scale of wardrobe stylists
Famous wardrobe stylists are millionaires; they earn lavishly and have access to the most wonderful things in the world. However, it takes a lot of hard work and experience to go up there and remain relevant.
The pay scale of a wardrobe stylist depends on the assignment, the status of the client, work experience of the stylist, a portfolio of skills, etc. If you are a rookie wardrobe stylist, you may start off with a pay scale of Rs. 20,000-40,000 per month; however, the amount will rise as the time passes by and as you take up more assignments, especially the ones with prominent personalities.