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  • Writer's pictureLouisa Gabriel

What is a Personal Stylist?

If you're reading this post, chances are you're thinking about becoming a personal stylist! Maybe it's been your dream for many years and you're finally ready to take that all-important first step, or perhaps the idea of working as a personal stylist is something that you haven't really considered before but you'd love to put your eye for style to good use and instead of styling your friends and family for free, actually get paid for it. Whatever your reason for wanting to become a personal stylist (or at least considering it), I need to ask you an important question: Do you actually know what a personal stylist is and what they do?

Now, I know that you may be rolling your eyes at me right now for asking such a basic question, but the truth is that there is often confusion about what a personal stylist is and what they do. Many people think they're the same as fashion stylists and style coaches. Some people think they only work with rich people and celebrities and their job is to source clothes from designers and high-end stores for their clients to wear. Others believe that a personal stylist simply shops for the latest trends for their clients to make them look good and be fashion-forward. The truth is that there are many misconceptions about what a personal stylist is, so before you start on the path to becoming a personal stylist yourself, I want to make sure that you know exactly what the deal is.

What is a personal Stylist - Career Blog for personal stylists from The Style Academy International

What's in a Name?

Before we take a look at the actual role of a personal stylist, we need to talk about names! Not so long ago there were only a few titles used within the styling industry; personal stylist, fashion stylist, and image consultant. These 3 names identified 3 very distinct roles within the industry and it was definitely easier to understand. Nowadays, there are so many different titles popping up; style coach, image architect, personal shopper, style strategist, personal branding specialist, wardrobe stylist, image and branding coach...The list goes on! And to add to the confusion, people often use these names interchangeably! People call themselves fashion stylists when they are personal stylists by true definition, personal stylists call themselves style coaches because they prefer the name. But don't worry! I'm going to clear things up for you!

The Recognized Roles Within the Style Industry

Within the style industry, there are 5 recognized styling roles; fashion stylist, image consultant, style coach, and personal stylist. Many of the skills needed for these roles and the tasks they do are interchangeable, but they also have some distinct differences:

Fashion Stylist

Fashion stylists often work in the world of magazines, advertising, or fashion shows. They collaborate with photographers, designers, and art directors to create visually stunning images that showcase the latest trends. Fashion stylists possess an in-depth knowledge of current fashion, have a keen eye for aesthetics, and excel at combining garments and accessories to produce captivating looks. Their work is primarily centered around creating editorial spreads, runway shows, or styling celebrities for high-profile events.

Image Consultant

Image consultants go beyond just fashion; they help clients enhance their overall image and personal brand. They assess factors like body language, communication skills, grooming, and etiquette, in addition to fashion choices. Image consultants work with individuals who want to make a positive impression in various aspects of their lives, from personal to professional.

Style Coach

Style coaches are trained both in personal styling and life coaching and use these skills to assist their clients to overcome self-esteem issues, gain confidence, and find their own unique style. Style coaching is a relatively new discipline within the personal style industry and does require specific qualifications in order to officially use the registered title of style coach.

And last but definitely not least...Personal Stylist

A personal stylist provides fashion and style advice and assistance to individuals. Their primary goal is to help their clients enhance their personal style, improve their appearance, and feel more confident in their clothing choices. Personal stylists work closely with clients to understand their preferences, lifestyle, and body type and then provide guidance on selecting clothing, accessories, and overall looks that suit their client's needs and goals. Personal stylists can work with individuals of all genders and ages, ranging from everyday individuals seeking a style update to professionals, celebrities, or public figures who require specialized image management. By understanding their clients' preferences, lifestyles, and body types, personal stylists aim to help them develop a unique and authentic personal style while boosting their confidence and self-expression through clothing.

Over the past 10-15 years, the role of the personal stylist has developed significantly and moved far beyond body shape analysis and outfit curating. As we understand more about the psychology of dress and the impact it can have on our lives and our well-being, personal styling has begun to take a more strategic approach. Because of these advancements personal styling training and education are becoming more essential for anyone who wants to become a personal stylist and style expert.

The Main Tasks of a Personal Stylist

The things that you will do once you become a personal stylist will dependent on the personal niche you decide upon and what services you want to offer in your personal stylist business, but in general, the role of a personal stylist may involve:

  1. Body shape analysis, facial shape analysis, and style consultations

  2. Color analysis consultations

  3. Personal shopping

  4. Closet audits and creating capsule wardrobes

  5. Special event styling

  6. Trend analysis

  7. Group workshops and events

  8. Online personal styling

Opportunities for Personal Stylists

The personal styling industry is booming, which means there are more and more opportunities out there for talented personal stylists, especially those with personal styling training and certification. While the majority of personal stylists open their own personal styling businesses, this isn't the only option. You could work as an affiliate stylist for businesses like Stitch Fix or Glamhive. You could work as an in-house personal stylist at high-end retail stores and even malls. You could use your personal styling skills and knowledge to work as an influencer or in fashion media. Or you could consult with television and media companies, law firms, and sports teams...the opportunities are endless!

So, now that you hopefully have a clearer understanding of what a personal stylist is, it's time to decide...

If the answer is yes, then we're here to help!

Louisa 💕


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