How to Become a Fashion Stylist/Consultant? - ICBI

Image Consulting Business Institute

How to Become a Fashion Stylist/Consultant?

Fashion styling

Fashion isn’t just about following the latest trends; it’s about identifying ‘your’ style that brings out the best in you. And in a world where everyone is consistently working on themselves to put their best foot forward, fashion styling has become one of the most preferred career choices.

What Does a Fashion Stylist Do?

Fashion styling icon

A fashion stylist helps people achieve looks that highlight the most powerful aspects of their personalities. They help clients comfortably adopt a new or enhanced style and also dress up for special events, such as interviews, reunions, dates, wedding events, award ceremonies, the launch of fashion brands, celebrations, international travel, etc. Fashion stylists also work as permanent fashion advisors for models, photographers, celebrities, politicians, etc. to help them project an attractive and influential public image.

Fashion Stylist Responsibilities

  1. Suggest styles based on aesthetic preferences, latest trends, personal style, and body type. 
  2. Give recommendations on individual pieces, entire outfits, colour palettes, styles, and fabrics. 
  3. Help clients pick the most appropriate and flattering dresses and accessories for social events. 
  4. Help them put together new and attractive looks with whatever they already have in their closets. 
  5. Assemble clothing and accessories for ad campaigns, television programs, prints, fashion magazines, etc.
  6. Solve fashion-conscious problems around clothing and grooming. 
Fashion stylists

What are the Areas a Fashion Stylist Works In?

Talent management

Event management

Travel styling


Corporate styling

Make-up artistry

Fashion styling icon

Fashion merchandising

Public relations

Fashion blogging


Fashion designing


TV and film industry

Wedding planning

Photography studio styling

Personal shopping

Wardrobe or show styling

Editorial styling

Commercial styling

Interview styling and grooming

Check out our blog post to read more on – Fashion Stylist Roles And Types.

How Much Do Fashion Stylists Make?

Fashion stylists can earn anywhere between INR 10,000 and INR 10 lac per month or more. The earning potential depends on factors such as:

  1. Marketing efforts to create a client base
  2. Networking skills
  3. Area of expertise
  4. Work experience
  5. Marketing 
  6. Customer satisfaction
  7. Structured business training to start, market and grow their consulting and training business

ICBI certified Image consultants have acquired excellent repute in the fashion styling industry since ICBI offers:

  1. Consistent mentoring and handholding support  
  2. Effective business training that helps set up and grow your image consulting and soft skills training firm
  3. An opportunity to become an in-centre trainer for ICBI subject to competency mapping assessment

Skills Needed to Become a Fashion Stylist or Consultant

Fashion stylist skills
  1. A strong creative vision
  2. Love for fashion
  3. A strong aesthetic sense & an eye for detail
  4. A knack for staying updated with the latest brands and fashion trends
  5. Understanding of colours, fabric, body type, and face shape
  6. Good communication and interpersonal skills
  7. Confidence & empathy
  8. Great people and networking skills
  9. Customer friendliness
  10. Ability and passion to start something of your own

Getting Started as a Fashion Stylist

Step 1: Learn the Basics of Fashion Styling

Professional training helps fashion styling aspirants understand the nuances of different personalities, body types, and colour schemes. Even the world-famous fashion stylists and celebrity stylists, such as Rachel Zoe, Anna Bingemann, Anaita Shroff Adajania, Kate Young, and Petra Flannery put in years of hard work and mastered the most important aspects of an overall image before making it to the highest of ranks in the glamorous world.

ICBI offers training on 24 modules based on a world-class curriculum, which helps students become fashion-conscious problem solvers. Its globally-recognized certification co-branded with Conselle Institute of Image Management (USA) and SQA also gives professionals credibility, which is much-needed in the fashion styling industry. 

Basics of fashion styling
Fashion styling projects

Step 2: Get to Know the Industry

The knowledge of how the fashion industry works is important for building repute as a fashion stylist and getting new projects. This requires in-depth research of the industry trends and a fruitful network of professionals. 

ICBI’s repute, pre-established network, and large client base gives fashion styling aspirants the right exposure they need to enter the industry.

Step 3: Develop Industry Specific Skills & Knowledge

To develop industry-specific skills and knowledge, expert guidance and practice are key. This is the reason it is best to take help from professional image consulting institutes, such as ICBI, where you canget ongoing access to trainers and hands-on training on various aspects, including building your business portfolio, identifying the right sourcing solutions, and promoting your work, in addition to enhancing aspirants’ fashion-related outlook on colour theory, trend evolution, etc. 

Fashion stylist skills

How to Become a Fashion Stylist?

The acquired fashion styling and entrepreneurial skills must be put to practice to establish a fashion styling business. Here’s a 5 step process to start and grow your own fashion styling firm: 

  • Step 1: Gain Experience

    Take up pro bono work to gain experience and strengthen your work profile. Offer fashion styling services to friends and colleagues if you have difficulty getting paid projects initially.

  • Step 2: Create a portfolio that showcases your strengths and connections

    Showcase your experience through your work portfolio. Make sure to highlight your strengths and unique skills , targeting the audience you’re skilled at servicing.

  • Step 3: Create a website

    Establishing online presence has become imperative to increase the reach to your target audience. So, hire a professional to build an attractive website that gives visitors complete insight of what you have to offer.

  • Step 4: Build your brand

    Build your brand by educating your audience on various fashion trends, clothing styles, body types, colour schematics, etc. Write blogs and post informational videos on YouTube to connect with your audience.

  • Step 5: Establish social media presence

    Leverage social media to market your services and expand the scope for collaborations. Use Google ads and paid social media ads to increase your reach and promote your work among your audience.

Tips to become a successful fashion stylist

As a fashion stylist, an innate sense of colour and style is the base material you carry. To this, a certified fashion stylist course builds the foundation and the structure, teaching you all there is to know about your profession. In addition to these, you need to pick up other practical elements to stay on top of the business every day of your working life. So, here are some tips on how to be a successful fashion stylist:

Choose your Niche

Whether you want to be a fashion stylist for print, TV, fashion shoots or for celebrity styling, work on a range of assignments. Based on this experience, choose your niche. Know all there is to know about your area of work. Also, choose your personal style. Eventually, this will serve as your imprint.

Be Flexible and Versatile

Choosing your niche doesn’t mean refusing all other work. Even when you gain recognition and respect, keep yourself flexible. Choose the occasional work that is outside your niche for the simple reason that it interests you and challenges you. This keeps your excitement alive. Secondly, it stops you from getting typecast into a certain style which will limit your choices over time.

Know your Fabric

Study fabrics deeply and thoroughly. Know how they react to different temperatures and body shapes; know their drape and fit once stitched. Armed with this knowledge, you would be able to choose what’s appropriate for your clients. Know the design and manufacturing techniques. This body of knowledge makes the difference between a great fashion stylist and a good one.

Study Fashion and Trends

The past can be a source of great inspiration, so know your fashion history from across the world. Keep track of what’s trendy, and the hot and the new stuff. Subscribe to fashion magazines and blogs. Watch fashion shows. Observe the designers. Stay on top of what’s happening.

Be Creative

In all likelihood, the client knows quite a bit about current trends. Get creative to deliver more than what the client knows and expects. You can work with a theme and build the outfit to fit the theme. Or you can give a special touch with a blend of the cool and the sleek. To know what works for the client and keeps them pleased, listen to them carefully. Be open minded while working with clients. Don’t ignore the art of getting the right body shape for the client. Body slimmers are sometimes needed to get the right silhouette.

Attention to Detail

It’s a job where your client is extremely high profile. You can’t let a single element slip. The dress must fit just right, the accessories must be perfect, no visible bra straps or drooping fabrics. Every slip is visible to all. Plan it to the last detail and don’t leave anything to chance.

Project Management Experience

You need to be very organized. Apart from planning the entire look, you are in charge of making it happen. That means bringing together all the elements as well as handling emergencies that arise in the last moment. You should be able to move quickly from planning to action to emergency mode, particularly on fashion shoots and expensive productions.


You will be the first in and last out. It all begins with your planning and ends with your packing up the stuff and returning them where they should be returned. Stay fit to have the energy to manage it all.

Your Wardrobe

Pay attention to your wardrobe. Represent the service you offer. Depending on the work you seek, you ought to look for example, sleek, trendy or hip. Mirror what you offer. What you wear doesn’t have to be expensive branded clothing. It just needs the right look.


Ease and confidence does half your job in convincing the client. Be confident about your abilities and convey that to your client.


Never let down your focus. Be patient. Persistence & determination will get you farther than you ever imagined.


Initially, build your portfolio with whatever project comes your way, big and small. Once you make inroads into the industry and start getting the more high-profile work, you can update your portfolio with the more impactful work. If you have to, do the unglamorous and the non-paying jobs. They help build your portfolio. Ask for a testimonial in return or a contact in the industry. Each piece of your work spreads the word. Supplement your income initially by offering your services such as personal shopping, wardrobe planning or any of the peripheral jobs you can get while you knock on doors for that perfect fashion styling opportunity. It’s a necessary part of setting up any business.


A business or profession isn’t just about your domain knowledge. Knock on doors. Network whenever you get the chance. Marketing, advertising and business development skills are important in equal parts.

Last of all, build a thick skin for the criticism that is bound to come your way. Learn from it and move on. Don’t let it hold you back.

How to Make Fashion Styling Business More Profitable?

Here are some tips to make your business stand out and generate more profit: 

  1. Make your certification speak for you. With international image consulting certification, you can assure your clients that you do not just excel in fashion but you also excel in understanding and improving their overall image. Moreover, an image consulting certification will increase your credibility, hence conversions, multifold. 
  2. Create attractive monthly packages that keep clients encouraged to continue seeking fashion styling services from you. 
  3. Offer additional tips on hair, makeup, grooming, and overall personality development for comprehensive image management
  4. Ask for referrals, testimonials, and reviews to increase credibility. 
Fashion styling business

Become an image expert in the thousands of crores huge image consulting industry with ICBI and make it big as a fashion stylist. 

Learn more about ICBI’s image consulting course.
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