What Is a Wardrobe Stylist?

Learn about the job duties and career options for a wardrobe stylist. Find out what type of education and skills clients and employers are looking for, as well how much you can earn in this position. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Wardrobe Stylist?

Wardrobe stylists help clients determine what clothes work well with their personal styles so clients can always look their best. They are responsible for making sure their clients are dressed in stylish clothing that's appropriately tailored and up-to-date with the most current fashion trends. This also includes shoes and accessories. They often attend industry events as well, such as fashion shows. Stylists can work for a store, agency, or on a freelance basis. The chart below provides education and wage information to help you determine if this is the career for you.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree is common
Education Field of Study Fashion merchandising, fashion design, visual communications
Key Responsibilities Assist clients with putting together outfits, determine his or her personal style, and encourage a client to find suitable clothes tailored to their liking
Job Growth (2014-2024) 3%* (for all fashion designers)
Median Wage (2017) $59,198** (for all wardrobe fashion stylists)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Are the Job Duties of a Wardrobe Stylist?

As a wardrobe stylist, you assist clients in choosing and putting together clothing, accessories and footwear. You may have to help a client define his or her personal style and choose different outfits to suit that style. You may offer coaching to help clients understand the basics of putting together a look that works for them. Your goal is not necessarily to transform a client's look, but rather to encourage your clients to find a personal style that makes them look their best.

You may work with clients on a daily basis or only for special occasions. Your clients may include everyday people, celebrities or public figures. You may use color guides, take measurements and assist clients with shopping. You may go through a client's current wardrobe and assess which items can stay and which items must go. You might work with a team of other personal appearance workers, including makeup artists and hairstylists, to coordinate a final look for the client.

Jobs can be found at television stations, as part of a public relations team or you can start your own business. You may have additional clerical and administrative duties such as paperwork, accounting, marketing and client schedule management.

What Type of Education or Training Do I Need?

A certificate, associate or bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising, design or visual communications can provide you with a background for a job as a wardrobe stylist. In these programs, you may study topics such as clothing construction, visual merchandising, wardrobe coordination and fashion sketching and trend analysis. You may also consider a certificate program in image consulting. This type of program may cover topics such as figure types, special occasion dressing and interpersonal skills.

More than education, most clients and employers look for wardrobe stylists who have skills in fashion, accessorizing and wardrobe creation. You should have an eye for detail, be able to dress different body types, have the ability to choose the right colors for different skin types and have an overall good sense of style.

How Much Can I Earn?

Payscale.com reported that wardrobe stylists in the 25th-75th salary percentile made between $40,000 to $180,000 a year as of January 2017. The median salary was $59,198 for that time.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some related options are available in art direction, purchasing and graphic design. Art directors decide on the visual style of publications and productions. They have the final word about the overall design of a project and are in charge of those who put it together. Purchasing agents use their experience to decide on suppliers, negotiate contracts, and evaluate product quality. Graphic designers create visual concepts to communicate the ideas desired by their clients. They come up with the overall layout and design of brochures, ads and more. All of these professions require a bachelor's degree, though art directors tend to have significant work experience as well.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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