“Fashion Styling Foundations,” the five-module course created by Yellowbrick in partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies and WWD, goes deep into all aspects of styling — which includes the often overlooked role of the personal stylist.
If you’re eyeing a career change or want to upgrade your annual salary, you might want to consider being a personal stylist, who can make $40,000 to $50,000 at a retailer, according to Payscale.com and upward of $450,000 as a consultant serving high-wealth individual clients. Personal stylists can include those who specialize in shopping for a client, putting looks together for them, or working on just hair and makeup.
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In the second module of Fashion Styling Foundation, industry experts share insights into all aspects of personal styling and its various career paths. The module description noted that students of the online course “will learn about body types and how to discover a client’s style personality. We will also cover the tools that every stylist needs in their arsenal, such as getting a great fit and the basics of tailoring.”
Accessorizing, fitting, pulling together various “looks,” and styling clients that don’t have a lot of time or resources are also covered.
In one lesson, “Putting a Look Together,” instructor Natalie Tincher, owner of BU Style, explained how to work one-on-one with a client. The instructions are clear, concise and easy to understand. “It starts with a base layer,” Tincher said. “And then you make sure your proportions are right. With proportions, one easy way of looking at it is the rule of thirds.”
She then explained how you view a client and apply a base layer set on thirds, for example, where the waist of a pair of jeans in the base layer is set high, at the two-thirds mark. “From there you can take that third layer and figure out what can be mixed and matched with that,” Tincher said adding the additional layers could include different shoes, accessories, a baseball cap, etc., thereby creating looks for the weekend, parties or dining out.
The skill lies in working with the client to fully understand the potential of their wardrobe.
In a separate lesson on sustainable practices, Tincher said professional personal stylists may have clients that have specific goals and requests. For example, some clients may want to have apparel that is less harmful to the planet.
“Sustainability, carbon footprint, transparency, ethical fashion — there’s a lot of buzzwords surrounding the topic, so you have to educate yourself of what is true sustainability,” Tincher said. “And you may have a client who is more concerned with ethical fashion, which would be proper wages and proper working conditions; so, you would need to know [sourcing] and where the factory is.”
Tincher said sustainable practices can also mean changing buying habits, so you may need to urge clients to buy better, but less.