So you want to be a wardrobe stylist huh? Are you really sure about that? Don’t do it!
I’m totally kidding haha. When I was interning and dipping my feet into this possible path of a career that was the advice that I would get…. Basically to run the other way and never look back. Many stylist complain about their job because guess what? Its not as glamorous as you might think. Its a ton of people pleasing, dealing with vague clients, i.e “like this, but not like this, you know what I mean?” No, I don’t actually. Not one bit! Or goes onto tell you everything they DON’T want, so what do you want then? And my personal favorite “We just want it to be super edgy and cool” Okay cool! (super subjective) What do you think is cool? (eyeroll). Just a piece of advice, no one really knows what they’re doing especially in the world of fashion where its constantly changing, now at record speed. Don’t take things personally. The other huge downfall of wardrobe styling is it is a lot of schlepping. Imagine award season, having to haul tons of full encrusted gowns, each weighing more than you, to your car that you parked four miles away, it is Los Angeles after all (parking sucks!). To later be met with a parking citation dude standing at your car punching in his little douche-y machine, a ticket you did NOT need (you are interning aka no income!) The amount of parking tickets I racked up as an intern can probably equal to funding your college tuition. Anyways I’m going on personal tangents and about how unpleasant it can be getting started. I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to dissuade you, but it gets frustrating when people think its just hanging out with celebrities, shopping, spending other people’s money and thats a wrap. There is SO much more to it and if you’re willing to stick it out continue reading….
The biggest question, or statement I should say, that I get from aspiring wardrobe stylists is “Can you tell me what I need to do exactly.” That in itself tells me you’re not ready. In this world you have to carve your path, and do your homework. You have to be a hustler in this field because there are thousands of other who want it as well, so you’re competing with many for the same jobs. Hustlers don’t ask questions like that, they do their research and obsess over how achieve their next goal. We are so lucky to have internet at our finger tips at all times. Use it to your advantage. Instead of asking me to figure out your career path… I don’t know what type of wardrobe styling you want to do and everyone’s path can be different… just do your research research. Wardrobe Styling can be very broad, once you have answered what type of styling you want to do (celebrity,personal, tv, film, editorial, ecomm, etc etc etc) Google (or stalk in my case) people who already have that job you want and reach out to see if you can ask them a few questions, intern for them, and just develop a relationship with them.. it never hurts to do it today! When you’re ready to enter the styling field, you at least have them as a resource.
School was a huge question I kept receiving as well. I’ll tell you right now to be a wardrobe stylist school is NOT essential… at all! I’m only speaking for myself (duh) but I actually loved that I went to school. I got my bachelors in fashion merchandising at California State University of Long Beach. I appreciated school, not because it taught me anything about how to be a stylist, although I constantly thank Dr. Sherril for the History of Dress and Prof. Craner for Trend Forecasting & also implementing a creative hustler spirit in me that I still carry with me to this day, but because of the people I met and the opportunities I received as a student. School was such a great platform to network. Not only among the students but we had so many guest speakers, and classes that made you engage in the real world connecting us with professionals in different fields. If you take it seriously you can benefit from it. The other benefit I loved from college was the classes offered outside of the fashion curriculum that were mandatory to take to graduate. One standout class that I loved was Women’s Studies, it opened my eyes in a lot of ways. I kid you not that class was therapy for me. If you are in college definitely take women studies as an elective (I hope you get a great prof!). So to answer the school question, its not needed AT ALL, hit your library and brush up on a history of fashion to understand trends and patterns and how fashion is a reflection of our society, find yourself an internship and network like a boss. If you’re set on school, like I was… take your classes seriously and try to intern while you’re in school so when you graduate you have a list of connections you can reach out to.
P.S. You don’t have to major in fashion to get a job in fashion. Looking back I wish I majored in business and minored in fashion.
Internships are an essential part of getting started. By someone allowing you to enter their world of styling its a huge trust thing, they give you credit cards, petty cash, thousands and thousands in wardrobe and jewelry get put in your car that they are responsible for, not you. So its only fair to show them respect. Work your butt off and be the best delivery driver (it feels like this sometimes), rack organizer, steamer, FedEx-er this industry has. Ya you’re not getting paid but they’re taking a chance on you and in return you have all their resources at your hands. I know I say it sucks to work for free, ALOT, because it does… but at the end of the day the experience you get is priceless.
Best piece of advice I can offer is just go after what you want. Ya you might shy away from emailing or reaching out to someone big who you admire, you don’t want to look annoying, desperate, needy etc but it never hurts. They could say no, but what if they say yes 🙂
Become obsessed about your dreams and goals, with a fiery passion and the rest will follow!
Also, I’m currently fading away from styling, so I’m not looking for any interns at the moment. Thank you for your inquiry!
Here is a video of me answering some more questions in case you missed it