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Wardrobe

I Want To Be A Fashion Stylist What EDUCATION Do I Need?

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There are many fashion, art, design, photography and film schools ready to enroll students who show an interest in learning skills to launch careers.  Choosing which one to attend can be a daunting experience.  There are many factors involved when you set out to choose a school.  We cannot possibly cover the broad range of options available to future stylists here, BUT we can give you a few pointers to help you on your way.

First, narrow down your interests.  Think about your passions and analyze the direction they have taken you.  Ask yourself questions about the jobs you have had in the past and the experiences that have come your way – what did you like or not like?  What did you like enough to want to pursue further?

Keep in mind that formal education is not a requirement for a successful fashion styling career.  Work experience, contacts, good taste and a practiced “eye” are the most important talents you need to succeed.  Combine these assets with the previously mentioned enthusiasm and reliability and the fashion world is your oyster.

To learn the basics about fashion, color and image, I would recommend taking small courses to round out specific experience or knowledge you are lacking.  Many image consultants offer courses in these subjects.  You can get a complete listing of Fashion Styling and Image Consulting courses on line at www.aici.org.  This site is for the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), a global organization that upholds gold-standard certifications for Image and Style professionals.

You will also want to do a fair amount of “self-education” by studying the latest fashion magazines and periodicals to educate yourself on recent style movements, current trends, updates on designers and more.  The more you know about up to the minute trends in design and style, the more inventive you can be.  You can use this information for the creative components of your projects.

STYLIST TIP
Be plugged in. As a stylist, you influence trends and create new, exciting looks for fashion followers so, be plugged in to current events happening around you. Know who the hot new bands are, the latest eatery to open or who is dating whom for example. All these cultural threads can lead back to the work you do to create an exciting vision for the client.
— Gillian Armour, Master Fashion Stylist

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.

How Does the Wardrobe Stylist Fit Into the Styling World?

There is a significant difference between a Costumer, Costume Designer, Wardrobe Stylist, Fashion Stylist, and Image Consultant.  A Costumer works with the production team on movies and TV shows to create the vision of the costumes and the Costume Designer manifests the vision. The Wardrobe Stylist works hands-on with the actors who are wearing the costumes and the Fashion Stylist does the task of dressing the actor, accessorizing and sometimes tracking the inventory in the wardrobe department. A Wardrobe Stylist also works with private clients editing, curating and styling their clothing choices. The term “wardrobing” means to manage the wardrobe requirements of a project, whether it is film, television, stage or theatre.  The Wardrobe Stylist works with the Costume Designer, the Wardrobe Manager, the production crew, and others.

In general, the Wardrobe Stylist is supplied with directives for fashion coordination from the Wardrobe Manager or the head Costumer.  Depending on the budget you may also be supplied with a story line or design brief from the Costumer.  The design brief can include photographs of ideas, fabric swatches, color palettes, notes about the characters, notes about the scenes, the location, the story and other pertinent details that will help the Costumer create the outfits and costumes the actors wear to represent their characters.

Much of the work the Wardrobe Stylist does is a team effort.  S/he works closely with the Costume Designer (or clothing designer), the art director, the photographers and the stylists that are on set (or on project).  His/her people skills have to be professional and diplomatic.  Since styling for a project is always a team effort, employing multiple creative types, the Wardrobe Stylist needs to be able to negotiate egos and personalities well.

It’s important to know the hierarchy and the job description before you begin, so always check with the set, stage and costume designers for their input before you start work on the project.

You will be asked to supply costumes from wardrobe that fit a particular scene or storyline so it is important you know the inventory.  Most costume departments keep very careful records not just about their inventory, but also about when certain styles were worn, by whom and for what purpose.  The career tracks of Fashion Styling and Wardrobe Styling can, of course, have overlapping skills and techniques.  A Fashion Stylist can and does process wardrobe styling for clients and a Wardrobe Stylist can and does work with celebrity and personal clients on their personal style.

For the purposes of our online training courses we call a Wardrobe Stylist someone who manages the wardrobe, owned by an individual client or a corporate client, such as a movie studio, a fashion retailer, fashion designer, or photographer.

If you would like to know more you can purchase our bestselling book on Amazon "The Professional Wardrobe Stylist" or just sign up and get your professional certification today!