fashion-stylist
How to Become a

Fashion Stylist

The complete career guide to be a Fashion Stylist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $52,870
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 8.1%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Fashion stylists choose what clothes are worn by models, actors, and other individuals for photo shoots, in music videos, and for television and movie filming sessions. They work alongside hair and makeup stylists to determine an overall look and theme, and ensure clothing worn is stylish and appropriate.


What is a Fashion Stylist?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in fashion stylist roles:

  • Choose the attire for models, actors, musicians, and other individuals who are appearing in photo shoots for magazines, in music videos, or on TV shows or movies
  • Work with other stylists—hair and makeup artists—to create a theme and style, and ensure clothes are stylish and match the designed theme
  • Work with designers and other clothing distributors to obtain, purchase, or borrow clothing to be worn during events
  • Engage in continuing education to stay on top of industry fashion trends
  • Provide fashion consulting to celebrities, or write articles for popular fashion magazines and blogs on emerging fashion trends

A Day in the Life

Fashion stylists are fashionistas who choose what clothing and accessories are worn by models, actors, musicians, and other individuals in photo shoots, music videos, television shows, and movies. They work alongside hair and makeup artists to create a theme and ensure that all styles conform to that theme. The goal of a fashion designer is always to create the most fashionable, interesting, appropriate, and creative style for all individuals participating in a medium to be shared with the public.

Fashion stylists must be fashion experts who understand both historical styles and trending fashion. At times, their role will be to show off new fashions; other times, their role will be to recreate fashion styles from history. Additionally, they must be versed in different fashion styles that are appropriate for varying genres and audiences. A large part of their role is networking as they will need to be able to borrow clothing from designers frequently in order to supply clients with fashion and accessories.

Because fashion stylists are fashion experts, they often provide fashion consulting. They may be hired by celebrities to create styles for award ceremonies or parties, or they may write about fashion news and trends for leading fashion magazines and blogs. As such, continuing education is important for fashion designers—they must stay up to date on trends and attend  or watch fashion shows in order to make sure they’re always able to perform their responsibilities as efficiently and creatively as possible.

Typical Work Schedule

Fashion stylists may work full-time for employers, or they may work as self-employed freelancers. Schedules and number of hours required each week may vary depending on the employer. Some fashion stylists work traditional 9-5 schedules, while others may be required to work evenings, weekends, and overtime.

Fashion Stylist Specializations

  • Editorial stylists choose the clothing and accessories worn by celebrities and models in photo shoots for magazines.
  • Wardrobe stylists choose the clothes that actors, musicians, dancers, hosts, news anchors, and other personalities wear on television broadcasts, in movies, in music videos, and for theater productions. For movies and theater productions, wardrobe stylists may work under or with a costume designer.
  • Corporate stylists create styles for business executives, government officials, and government office candidates and their spouses.
  • Show stylists choose outfits for participants in concerts, parades, and other live events.

Typical Employers

Fashion stylists can work for many different employers. They may be hired to work for magazines, advertisers, celebrities, production companies, or musicians. Additionally, many fashion stylists are self-employed and take on a variety of clients on a freelance basis.


How To Become a Fashion Stylist

Most fashion stylists have, at a minimum, an associate’s degree, though many also pursue bachelor of fine arts degrees. In fashion arts programs, students study topics on fashion marketing, merchandising, product development, styling, and design. Students can take courses in all specializations or choose to focus on one. A BFA in fashion styling tends to be the most popular focus among aspiring fashion designers. In a degree program, students learn important concepts and techniques related to styling.

After graduation, most aspiring fashion stylists start off in unpaid internship programs. Generally, 3-5 years of experience in internship or entry-level positions is common before aspiring fashion stylists are able to strike out on their own as freelancers or find full-time work as fashion stylists. Being a successful fashion stylist is often about networking and forming good working relationships with photographers, celebrities, and editors—often, these individuals will call when styling work is needed or refer others.

Beyond education, experience, and networking, fashion stylists need an up-to-date and impressive portfolio of work. A professional website might also be beneficial to attract potential clients and showcase your abilities. Additionally, many fashion stylists opt to work with agents for opportunities. Often, agents can charge hefty fees for their services, but they can be assets in finding new and high-paying work opportunities.


Fashion Stylist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$27,540

Average

$52,870

High Range

$91,440

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$13/hr

Average

$25/hr

High Range

$44/hr

How do Fashion Stylist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Fashion Stylist's can make an average annual salary of $52,870, or $25 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $27,540 or $13 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #355 Nationally for All Careers


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Fashion Stylist. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among Fashion Stylists

  • 0.6%   Doctorate
  • 5.7%   Masters
  • 20.5%   Bachelors
  • 9.2%   Associates
  • 27.4%   College
  • 28.8%   High School
  • 7.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

6,200

2024 Est. Jobs

6,700

Job Growth Rate

8.1%

Est. New Jobs

500

How does Fashion Stylist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 500 jobs for a total of 6,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.1% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #278 Nationally for All Careers


What Companies Employ The Most Fashion Stylists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Theater companies and dinner theaters 1,600 --- 0%
Amusement parks and arcades 800 100 0%
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services 300 --- ---

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