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  • Writer's pictureLouisa Gabriel

What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Personal Stylist?

One of the most common questions aspiring personal stylists ask me is, "Do I need to go to fashion school or have a degree to become a personal stylist?" It's also one of the top searches on Google by people interested in pursuing a career as a stylist and I'm sure it's something that you might be wondering too! If it is, then you keep reading because I'm going to share exactly what qualifications and training are needed to become a personal stylist in 2023 so that you start taking the right steps toward your new career.


What is a Personal Stylist?

Before we take a look at the qualifications and training for personal stylists I want to take a moment to make sure that you understand what a personal stylist is and what they do. There are many titles that seem to be used interchangeably these days; fashion stylist, style coach, image consultant, personal stylist...But that are differences in each of these roles that may affect the qualifications and training you need. So, what exactly is a 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, lifestyles, 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 that requires personal stylists to have more advanced skills and knowledge.

Do you need a degree to become a personal stylist?

The simple answer is no! You do not need a university degree or diploma to become a personal stylist, or any other type of stylist either. There are no formal education requirements for personal stylists and while many do have degrees they are often in an unrelated subject that was taken for a career in a different industry before the person decided to become a personal stylist. I have trained stylists with psychology degrees, history degrees, and even someone with an MBA who decided on a new career path.

Do you need to go to fashion school to become a personal stylist?

Again, the answer is no! You do not need to attend a traditional, brick-and-mortar fashion school to become a personal stylist. Personal styling, along with image consulting, style coaching, and fashion styling, are not licensed professions anywhere in the world, therefore there is no regulation related to the education and training required. This doesn't mean that you don't need specific industry training, but I'll talk more about that shortly. traditionally, fashion schools have focused more on fashion design, merchandising, fashion journalism, and other business-related courses however, with the increased popularity of personal styling as a career option we are now seeing styling being incorporated into programs at traditional fashion schools such as FIT and FIDM.

What qualifications do you need to become a personal stylist?

As I mentioned previously, the personal styling industry is not regulated and there is no governing body so there are no formal education requirements for people who want to become stylists. That being said, this doesn't mean that you can simply become a personal stylist with no knowledge or training. Contrary to popular belief, there is much more to what a personal stylist does than simply putting together cute outfits or creating Pinterest boards. Personal stylists need to know different techniques and strategies, they need to understand psychology, mathematical and design theories, color theory, and so much more. It is having an in-depth understanding of the theories and concepts that are behind the different style strategies that make personal stylists the best at what they do. So while you don't need formal qualifications, education, and training are a must!

What training do you need to become a personal stylist?

If you are thinking about becoming a personal stylist then I recommend at a bare minimum training in the areas below. How you obtain this knowledge and training is dependent on what works best for you! You could self-teach through online research, see if there is a trade school in your area for in-person classes, or you could take an online personal stylist certificate program like we offer here at The Style Academy International. Whichever route you take having training will make it easier for you to transition into a career as a personal stylist and help you attract more clients.

Recommended Training (the minimum you need to know)

Body shape analysis for women (vertical and horizontal)

Body shape analysis for men (If planning to work with men)

Balance and proportion theory

The golden theory

Facial shape analysis

Outfit building and styling techniques

Problem area camouflage techniques

Color theory

Color psychology

Color analysis (At least the basic 4-season color analysis)

Building capsule wardrobes

How to create lookbooks

How to assess style personality

How lifestyle, cultural, and religious factors impact personal style

Personal styling business-related training

If you want to find out more about how to become a personal stylist, then grab a FREE copy of The Personal Stylist's Blueprint, where I'll take you through the exact steps you need to take to get started and you'll get a handy checklist to help you keep track of the essential styling skills as you learn them. Get your exclusive blueprint at

Happy Styling!

Louisa 💕

Take your career to the next level with our online personal stylist courses and resources. Click here to find out more!

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