Can you Make a Living as a Personal Stylist?

A personal stylist, fashion or image consultant is a professional who helps people to create and develop their own particular image or style. It may include helping people to piece together wardrobes, select proper shoes and choose the right haircut. The big question is, can you make money working as a personal stylist?

The answer is yes, you can earn money as a stylist, and if done right, you can earn a lot. Not long ago, we met a freelance stylist saying she got paid a lot of money to work as a consultant for professionals and celebrities and help them choose the right dress for every occasion. Personal stylist helps people avoid the wrong clothes for their work or for the event they are attending.

They also help them choose the right wardrobe for their body type and aesthetic. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of personal stylists do not do the actual cutting of hair or designing the clothes; they have professionals to do that to help their clients.

All they do is to connect their clients to the right hairdresser, tailor or designers. They also choose the right wardrobe for their clients from extensive selections of clothes and shoes. A lot of people ask how much does freelance personal stylist actually make? And how can you get started in this industry?

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The basic question: How to get started in this business?

According to experts, you are to study or educate yourself about fashion and have enough experience working as a fashion stylist before you can call yourself as a stylist. You need to have a high school diploma, and in rare cases, a bachelor’s degree in fashion or any related fields before you can get a job in this industry.

Some also say that you need at least one to three years of experience in retail or fashion related position to get you started. Sometimes, a beginner may even need to get a professional certification. These requirements are necessary if you want to get specific jobs or wish to apply at a fashion company, not necessarily a freelance career.

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As a freelancer, the biggest challenge would be to get possible clients to trust you. In this industry, credibility is crucial to make people want to get your services. How can you convince other people to hire you as a personal stylist? Why should they pay you to help them choose what accessories or clothes to wear, in fact, they can do it themselves? These are just some of the most common questions that you need to answer if you want to start a career out of styling other people.

Having a specialized degree or training, even if you are working as a freelancer could help you build your credibility. You could also build credibility in different ways. You can:

Work free or at a lower price to start building your portfolio

Build a website and publish relevant fashion articles or blogs

Do specialized work like taking jobs in the entertainment or corporate industry

Build your social media credibility by posting photos of you wearing the latest trends or fashion. It is the easiest path since we are now living in the online world. You can find a lot of freelance personal stylist who started as an Instagram model or has a YouTube channel doing makeup tutorials or giving fashion tips.

Gaining a lot of work experience is always the first challenge you will face when you are just starting in this business. That is why, unless you are working as a full-time personal stylist, this is a significant challenge that you need to face and get past through.

There is some stylist who works as an apprentice or assistant to a more established consultant for a few years to learn the tricks and trade, and to gain experience, as well as reputation in this industry. Having a lot of knowledge can be a good stepping stone when you are just starting in the fashion world.

Styling consultants need to know a lot about different things related to fashion. They need to know the trends happening in the fashion world, personal shopping, retail sales, fashion styles, networking, social media, customer service and fashion brands.

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Although choosing what clothes to wear, seem like a simple task, it is actually very complicated, especially when you are working for someone in the entertainment and corporate industry. So, to make the long story short, it is imperative not only to understand and know what you are doing before you start a career as a personal stylist, but it is also essential to look for ways to build your credibility at the same time. 

How do you know if it is okay to pursue a career as a personal stylist?

If you are not passionate about being a personal stylist, you should probably think twice before accepting a part-time job in this industry. If you do not like dressing up, shopping, figuring out the right outfit for the occasion, helping people solve their fashion problems or reading magazines like Vogue, InStyle, Allure or Vanity Fair, then this is not the right job for you. But if you like to do all the things mentioned above, this might be the career that you are looking for.

Not only that, but this is also a good side gig for people who:

Is well respected and established in the fashion community

Is well connected do wealthy and affluent in their social groups

Is already well-known and well-connected in the fashion world

Has a lot of passion for clothing design and wants to use it to start a part-time job?

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One of the most difficult challenges in this type of job is getting it started. It is like starting a photography career in the sense that there are fewer people who are taking this job seriously. Most people look for a more stable job, and this one is not one of them. Unless you are already an established personality in the fashion world or have too much money to work in an industry where you need a lot of time to build your reputation, it will be challenging to start as a personal stylist.