Viewing entries in
Fashion Stylist Institute

Musings: Falling Out of Fashion and Landing in Style

Musings: Falling Out of Fashion and Landing in Style

I have always prided myself in being fashionable. I read every fashion magazine, book, how-to, and any other information I could get my manicured hands on. Plaids, tweeds, and houndstooth, Oh My! This is the fall season that has returned to my favorite materials and styles.

How to Market Your Brand Using Pinterest – A Newbie Fashion Consultants Guide

Foreign Magazines to Pinterest
Foreign Magazines to Pinterest

By Gillian Armour, AICI CIP Launching a new fashion, image or style business is never easy or simple. No matter how much planning you've poured into creating your new company, chances are there is still more work to do. One of the most important things you'll need to do when launching your new image business brand is to engage in online marketing. Our industry is very visually oriented and utilizing Pinterest is a strong way to generate new leads and get traffic to your main site.  At Fashion Stylist Institute it's our goal to prepare you for success in all your business endeavors and we hope this tip sheet inspires you. Here are the steps to take immediately to begin marketing on Pinterest:

Create your Pinterest account

The very first thing you'll need to do is to create a business account on Pinterest. Make sure that your display name is the same name of your company. Additionally, you should aim to use the same username you utilize on other social media sites. The more similarities you have between your sites, the better off you'll be. Image consultants historically use their own name for a consulting business name. This makes your brand memorable and sets you apart from all other consultants pinning away on Pinterest.

Fill out your Pinterest profile

Make sure that you don't skip filling out your profile. Some new consultants are in such a hurry that they don't want to waste time with this. Keep in mind, however, that many people will check out what your business has to say about itself on Pinterest. In addition to sharing a few words about yourself, you'll need to create an interesting tagline (for example: “I help women find vintage styles for their wardrobe”) and upload a professional profile picture or a custom logo.

Create at least 10 boards

You should ideally create at least 10 boards to start off with, though many consultants do create more. When you create a board on Pinterest, you'll be able to sort items that you want to "pin" into these boards. Items that you pin should be related to your business, your service and any advice you want to pass on. When someone is searching for image advice, a fashion photo or style theme and discovers your boards, they'll have the chance to follow you and receive any future updates from you in their news feed. Creating a variety of boards will ensure that you get new followers on a regular basis. Just be sure that each board you title pertains to your fashion business since you want to attract viewers who can relate to your subject matter.

Find appropriate pins

Search on Pinterest for images that you can pin onto your boards. If you do closet makeovers, for example, create boards that have to do with organization, shopping or storage. You can then pin related images to these boards. The person who originally pinned the image will receive a notification and may choose to follow you, as well.

Create images for your website

If your goal is to draw new visitors to your own website, you'll need to create "pinnable" images for your site. A pinnable image is any picture that someone can easily share to Pinterest. Ideally, you should take images of makeovers (before and afters), your studio location or your products and add a label or quote to them. You can do this easily using photo-altering software on your phone or computer. You could also label the picture with the name of a relevant article it links to, the name of the service depicted in the image or even your tag line.

Pin items from your website

You might also consider the images you already use on your website.  Pin each of these to Pinterest. Then the picture will automatically include a link to your website, so anytime someone shares the image, their friends will have the chance to click on your link. Make sure that when you pin an image, you include a brief description utilizing SEO-friendly keywords such as “image consulting” or “fashion makeover.” When people search for images (or keywords) on Pinterest, your graphics could pop up.

Share your posts on social media

Anytime you pin to Pinterest, make sure you let your social media followers know. This will give you even more of an audience when it comes to seeing your pins. Remember that the benefit of having someone pin one of your images is that their friends and followers will see the image, too. Even if the person who shared it doesn't become a client, chances are that one of their friends might or may even know someone in the market for your help.

Like all social media marketing, Pinterest marketing can take time. Fortunately, with a bit of effort, planning and dedication, you'll receive new website traffic and customer visits from the images that you share online and your fashion, image or style consulting business will grow as a result.

If you would like further training Fashion Stylist Institute offers certification courses in fashion, image, and style disciplines.

Student Essay We Love "Why I want to be a Fashion Stylist"

editors note:  If you are considering a career as a fashion stylist here is lovely motivation from Mponeng Moraba a soon-to-be certified Professional Fashion Stylist. Thank you Mponeng for agreeing to share your lovely essay!

Mponeng Moraba – essay “Why I Want To Be A Fashion Stylist”

I want to be a Fashion Stylist because as a young girl, I admired my mom who was a model. I always played with her make-up and mix and matched her clothes and shoes. I have always been fascinated by the styles of different people, how they look, dress, behave and handle themselves. I work as a Hair and Make-up Stylist, running my own business. The gratification, I get when I see the look of a hairstyle and dramatic change it gives a client, is absolutely priceless. The many clients who recommend me to friends, the many who email back to share their happiness about the new look and all who keep coming back. That is what drives me. That warmth, hugs, smiles and feeling that, " Wow, she looks great!", is amazing. I love to change people and see immediate results. That is why I want to be a Fashion Stylist.

I want to give clients an experience they will never forget and which they can also learn from. There is nothing as fantastic as taking a woman who does not know how to put the right make-up on or do their hair, or someone who has suffered disappointments from previous hairdressers. Nothing is as gratifying as giving that person the best and most professional experience they will ever have. By being 100% on top of things. This is what I will use my fashion styling for, to give full make-overs and be a one-stop shop.

There [are] a lot of women who do not know what to buy, where or how. They often end up with a lot of stuff [that] will never be of use, or looks too tight or worse, looks the same as what they already have in the closet. I want to be that inspiration to them. That they can look good and be confident in themselves. Women have a lot to juggle with, in their everyday lives. There is a career, kids, husband, friends and extra-activities. They do not have the energy or time to go shopping for clothes and actually find those few pieces needed to expand their wardrobe.

I want to be a Fashion Stylist for career-driven moms who want to look good, like me, because I know how hard, complicated and time-consuming it is to find the right pieces. I would describe my own dress style as a bit dramatic. Some of the outfits I put together do not match but still tell a story. I wear a lot of black because of my job, working with hair colors, but will dress up at every chance I get. Thanks to Gillian Armour, I have now learned about lines and what fits to different facial shapes and bodies. I am already putting a lot of this information in my own wardrobe and now my outfits are more harmonious.

I want to be a Fashion Stylist because it is fun and I am a die-hard enthusiast, so this combination is a really good one, in a sense that is is a job I am going to love doing. The colors, textures, fabrics, hues, lines, the story that the whole outfit tells, the fantastic experience the clients get. This is all I am looking forward to. That is why I want to be a FASHION STYLIST..:-)

Investment Dressing: Paying More for Better Quality

How often have you thought you had found a great deal on a blouse or a dress and bought it on a whim, only to get home and discover that it practically disintegrated with the first washing? All too often, we are taken in by these so-called deals that are really just low prices for low quality clothing. It is a waste of money and time as well. Spending $200 a month on these poorly constructed clothes means you are wasting $2,400 a year! Investment dressing requires you to pay more money per item of clothing, but you are going to be getting high quality items that will look and feel great and last a long time. The trick is to spot these smart buys that will help you build up an investment wardrobe that you can use for years to come.

Know Your Colors

Getting your colors done does not seem to be as much the rave as it has been in years past. This is a mistake. One of the smartest investments you can make to always look great and to not waste money when you shop is to get your colors professionally done so you feel confident a color will look good on you before you make a purchase.

Look for Timeless Pieces

There is something to be said for the little black dress that is appropriate for all occasions. If you look for clothing that has lines that aren´t trendy, but always look good, no matter the latest style, you have a winner. This includes pencil skirts, sheath dresses and simple blouses. These are items of clothing that could hold their own in any decade, not for being at the height of fashion, but for their simplicity and quiet class.

Go for Quality Fabrics

Paying more for clothing that is made of better fabric is a smart decision. In fact, the type of fabric used in your clothes can make all the difference in how good you look. A cheap polyester dress will look far worse than the exact same design in a classy linen blend.  Choose the better fabric and you won´t regret it. Real silk, linen and wool are all fabrics that look terrific and will help build your investment wardrobe. Blends are fine too. Wool blends will be less itchy, linen blends will wrinkle less and silk blends will usually breathe more.

Remember That More is Not Better

Having a few expensive, classic pieces of clothing in your wardrobe is worth far more than having two or three closets full of cheap clothing that will never pass as good quality. Make sure you remember this when sticker shock hits!

If you have traveled to Europe, you have probably noticed how great the men and women look. They do not have as many clothes in their wardrobe yet everything they have is made of the highest quality.

Make It All Work Together

The best way to build your investment wardrobe is to plan your entire wardrobe for versatility. Having two or three pairs of pants, three to five blouses, a couple of skirts and a nice jacket and suit can actually work for you if you plan it. Choose just two or three classic colors that all complement each other and you´ll be able to mix and match your entire wardrobe, creating dozens of different outfits. Throw in a scarf or two and a couple of different belts and accessories and you can have even more looks, all with just a few select items. Opt for mostly solid colors rather than prints and you´ll have more combinations available to you.

Remember the Shoes

Choosing the best shoes available will also enhance your look. Invest in a few pairs of good quality, sensible shoes and you will be able to wear them with every outfit. A couple different high heels, a pair of flat shoes and perhaps some boots or sandals, depending on where you live, will serve you well and when chosen in classic colors that suit your wardrobe, you´ll never have any problems putting together a great outfit.

Investment dressing is not a trend it's a classic way to create your wardrobe and it´s one that is well worth jumping on. Take a few minutes to plan out a cluster wardrobe and choose a couple of colors to base it on. Then it´s time to go shopping. Stick to the plan, choose high quality items and at the end of your day, you´ll have a wardrobe that will last you a long time and suit any occasion.

Plus Size Tips to Help Clients Look Great

Are you consulting with Plus Size clients? Here is a tip sheet for you to hand out. Often, women who are plus size feel that they simply cannot look good. Not true. While it can be difficult to find something attractive when you are larger than the average sizes, it is definitely possible to put together outfits that look fabulous every time. Being plus size does not doom you to a life of black outfits. Plus size women can look great all the time; it is just a matter of choosing to follow these ideas.

1) Start With a Strong Foundation

No matter what your outfit, be sure to start with figure-enhancing foundation garments. Bras, slips, pantyhose, and even a comfortable shaper can make a huge difference. You want smooth lines underneath your clothing so the eye goes where it should and not to a bulky undergarment pushing through.

2) Make It Fit

There is a silly myth that larger women should use loose-fitting clothes, but that is actually not a good idea. Clothes that fit your body, no matter what size, will always look better than bulky clothes that hide your assets. With a nice, fitted shirt and pants, you will always look much thinner you look than in a baggy sweater.

3) Darker Colors Are Slimming

Bright colors do make you look larger. Don’t dismiss them – balance them with a darker color as darker colors make you look slimmer. Black, navy blue and burgundy are all very classy options that will make your clothes look better on your body. Add some darker neutrals to your wardrobe to help you look great.

4) Prints Should Be Proportionate

Have you ever seen a plus size woman in a dress with a tiny print all over it? It usually results in making her look far larger than she actually is. Much like a petite woman´s body would be overwhelmed by a large print, small prints are not usually suitable for larger women. Sometimes a small print combined with a bold larger colored stripe can look great. Evaluate each print option individually knowing that the smaller the print the bigger you will look.

5) Avoid Stiff, Bulky Fabrics

There is no need to bulk yourself up by using fabrics that stand out from your skin and add visual weight. The same goes for ruffles or layers. They add unnecessary bulk to your look. Rather than going with stiffer fabrics, look for ones that are light and flow without clinging, as clingy fabric just enhances any bulges.

6) Keep Accessories Proportional

What you use to enhance your wardrobe counts too. Everything from earrings and necklaces, to belts, scarves and handbags should be scaled to your size. A tiny clutch or delicate chain will only serve to make you appear larger than you are. Make sure your jewelry and other accessories are proportionate to your size for the best results. Do not hesitate to wear bold statement pieces. Leave the dainty earrings to the petite ladies – on you they will look out of place.

7) Wear What You Feel Comfortable In

All these tips can be helpful in creating a look that makes you feel confident and look great no matter what your size. No one looks good when they feel uncomfortable, make sure you also choose clothing that makes you feel good and you are comfortable wearing. The confidence you display when you feel at ease will shine through and help enhance any outfit.

8) Time For a Closet Review

It is important that you always feel you have some great outfits to wear. If your size fluctuates, keep only a few outfits at your smaller size, not a whole closet full. If you do, you will feel like you have tons of clothes but you never have anything to wear. Go take a look at your wardrobe and do an honest assessment of what you’ve got and what you might need. Try things on, send anything to the cleaners that needs attention and send anything to the seamstress that needs mending. Invest a few hours in putting different outfits together, and deciding which accessories finish out the look.

Follow the guidelines above and then go do some shopping to fill any holes in your wardrobe. With a little attention to your look, you will feel and look great every time you get dressed.