How To Be A Fashion Stylist

How do I become a fashion stylist?

This is one of my most frequently asked questions that I've gotten since I first started blogging and today I decided to give you guys my honest and truthful answer.  I hope this helps!

1. You need to have an eye for style.  
Do you love fashion and style?  Do you have a passion for styling and putting things together?  Have people often complimented you on the way you dress or how well you co-ordinate things and "make them work"?  A talented stylist has great taste because it's something that comes naturally to her/him.  If this sounds like you, then you would probably make a great stylist!

2. Do you need to go to college to be a fashion stylist?
In my opinion, you don't.  I went to fashion school just to have a qualification under my belt.  However, I feel that great style isn't something that can really be can teach someone how to dress but you can't teach them good taste, they either have it or they don't.  Having said that, if you want to get a degree/diploma/any qualification at all in fashion that's your own personal choice and I don't think it's a bad idea at all!  What I'm saying is a fashion degree will not necessarily qualify you as a great stylist.  

3. Get an internship.  
This is probably the best advice I can give you.  It's hard but it pays off because you get an amazing experience, make lots of contacts and you may possibly get the opportunity to network with people from a big deal fashion house/magazine!  Like with anything, use your contacts.  Use who you know to get to where you want to be...I got my internship through knowing someone who worked at Ralph Lauren but I still had to pester them and hound them with emails for 6 months before I got the job.  Check out fashion houses, photo studios, magazines...anything you think would be relevant.  And aim high because you never know what might happen!

4. Be prepared to work for free!  
Fashion styling is not easy because you need to LOVE it to keep going.  Before you have a great portfolio put together, no-one will even speak to you.  You need EXPERIENCE!  (This is why an internship is important.)  You could be the best fashion stylist in the world but if you don't have a portfolio, it doesn't matter because you can't prove it!  So when you're in college, or starting out look EVERYWHERE for work. Photography studios, colleges, local magazines...try window dressing, showroom dressing and merchandising too because they're all related to styling!  The important thing is that you get lots of work.  And when you're doing all this, don't forget to network!  Impress people with your talents, your personality, your drive and ambition...they will remember you and possibly help you out in the future.

5. Don't get discouraged.  
Even if it means you need to get a part-time job (which could also be fashion related!) to keep on doing what you love, just stick with it and your hard work will pay off.  If you have a talent for styling it should be put out there for the world to see and it will!  Just remember to have something else to fall back on because this will make things easier for you.

So here are some shots from my own portfolio for you to enjoy!  

Choking Music Video, Cork Ireland.  This is where I met my fiancé!  I styled the band, the actors and and the extras for the video.  This was my first ever styling job!

The Style Diet photoshoot in Cork, Ireland.  This was before I went to the UK to study fashion, for my college portfolio.  I picked 5 models who were all different body shapes and styled them according to their colouring and body type.  I called it The Style Diet...

When I was in London, my blog and YouTube channel was just getting popular and I was asked by TK Maxx to model and style a look to promote their dress fest.  This was my first ever paid styling job!!  I got a £200 gift card for TK Maxx...not bad, huh?  View the video here.

One of my more recent shoots I did for the Sunday World Magazine.  I styled four looks for a jet-setting model, based around the same basics which could all fit into a tiny suitcase!  This was a fun challenge and I got to model them myself which was also pretty cool.  View the video of the shoot here.

My main work has been personal styling and image consultancy however I'm not permitted to post pictures of individual clients.  A lot of people have asked me "have you ever styled a celebrity, big or small?" and my answer to that is no, at least I don't think so!  Although I did once style a pretty successful musician (a girl) once but I'm not naming names!  

Let me know if this post helps you and if you have anymore questions! And if fashion styling is something you want to get into, I wish you all the best and lots of luck!

Stay Stylish!


  1. Hi Anna,
    thank you for this post! I'm starting my makeup career and yours advices work for me, too.

    I work hard, since early in the morning until late in the evening, I try to have as many experiences as possible, I don't have problems with no paid jobs because I know that I need to learn and make contacts.... but sometimes I felt used. People that I trusted promised me something, but they told me that only to make me work for free, and now I'm tired of this situation.
    Did you have these types of experiences?

    Love xx

  2. @Anonymous I completely know where you're coming from! I think anybody in the creative industry will go through this, a feeling of being taken for granted or "used" as you said and that sucks.

    I personally think you get to a point in your career when you have to stop doing things for free, and start becoming more tough and business-minded! If your portfolio is strong enough and you have experience you definitely should start turning people down if they don't want to pay you.

    Be smart about it, and value your work and your talents. I will probably make a video on this (in relation to both make-up artistry and fashion styling) very soon :) I hope that helps! <3

  3. Anna, there must be a new script running on your blog because every time I navigate to your site from Google reader, a message pops up about a script that may make my computer run slower. I'm Mac based, I don't know if that's an issue. Just wanted to let you know in case no one had pointed it out!

  4. Hey Anna :) Thanks for your comment! We have to start applying for work experience places now, even though we won't actually be going for another year! This post has inspired me to ask the big companies I was afraid to before - it would be the most amazing experience! x

  5. @Courtney Oops, thanks for letting me know! I will speak to Jonathan about it and hopefully he'll know what to do!

    @WeAreTheCrowd Definitely go for it, I've always aimed high because what's the worst that could happen? ;)

  6. Hey Anna,
    Thank you so much for doing this post and the video on how to become a stylist, it was VERY helpful, especially since i had absolutely no idea where to start from if i wanted to work in the fashion industry. I've just graduated from high school so i'm considering a career in fashion.
    I've been thinking of applying for a small job at a local fashion store, like ZARA for example, do you think it would be a good place to start from?

    Thanks again Anna!

    Amy <3

  7. Hi Anna :)
    I really have to start becoming more tough, I know, but sometimes it's not easy because I'm afraid to lose contacts or opportunities.
    It's a great idea to make a video on this, it'll be really helpful!
    Thank you for your words,

  8. Hi Anna :)
    I really have to start becoming more tough, I know, but sometimes it's not easy because I'm afraid to lose contacts or opportunities.
    It's a great idea to make a video on this, it'll be really helpful!
    Thank you for your words,

  9. Hi Anna,

    I just wanted know what college did you go to in London and what did you study there?

  10. Hi Anna,
    Your blog is seriously helpful. I think u can help me vid my issue, i want to become Film Stylist so how can i start with and for internship whom should i prefer which vil boost exp. for film styling? I m a b.a psychology graduate, done vid short fashion styling course n looking forward for masters course in same.
    Pls help me with best country n institute for d course.

  11. Hi Anna!

    This has really helped me, I am struggling to get into the styling industry as I live on the Isle of Wight, although last year I had the opportunity to help out Billy Idols fashion stylist while I was working at the Isle of Wight Festival last year a an Artist liaison. Its such a struggle being on a small island! Is there any more advice how to get into Fashion styling or Talent management or anyone who would be a good person to enquire of any experience at all?

    Take care,
    Madeline x


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