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What is a Fashion Stylist?

A fashion stylist is a professional employed by either a retailer or a clothing design company to show you how all of their current designs go together.

The Big Question: What’s Hot This Season?

Fashion designers create a new range of clothing several times a year, in spring, summer, autumn and winter. And each range, whether it’s featured in International Fashion Week in Paris or the department stores, will have a theme of some kind. This season’s look may be sporty, or floral, or it may feature a particular pattern or print.

A fashion stylist’s role is to show you the range of florals or prints that work together to create a current look. When a fashion designer creates a range, they have a specific idea in mind, so the trousers, shirts and dresses will all work together. The suit will go with the shirt, and both will go with the handbag. Or the dress will go with the jacket, the shirt will go with the pants, the shirt will go with the skirt, and so on.

How You’re Seduced Into Buying New Clothes

When fashion designers release a new range, supposedly to help us all look fabulous, the subtle message is that what we wore last year doesn’t work any more, because this year’s theme is so much better. Now the current range is designed by a person, or team of people, who are actually working from a storyboard. If this season’s theme is romantic, then all the garments in the range must fall into this category. If the current concept is the great outdoors, then all the pieces will reflect that theme. A change of theme each season is essential in order to make last year’s theme look passé.

When you look in a store window at the range of new clothes, everything looks wonderful. Every item in the window is designed to show off and promote the clothes. The mannequin is simply an inanimate object - the clothing is what counts. The belts go with the tops, and with the dresses - everything is coordinated and catches the eye. And hopefully your wallet.

The Role of a Fashion Stylist

As well as working with individual shoppers, the fashion stylist also coordinates the pieces in the range for fashion parades or fashion showings. Within the store, the fashion stylist makes sure that each of the garments is displayed to maximum effect, both in the store window and on you. They’ll show you what accessories go beautifully with the garment you’re considering. And if big handbags are ‘in’ this season, they’ll find you a huge handbag that sets off the outfit. Their job is to show you what pieces go together to create the perfect look, at least according to this season’s theme.

Of course, there’ll be a new theme in two months’ time, but the stylist’s job is to show you what’s available right now, and how good it can look when it’s all working together. They present each garment in a way that makes you believe it really looks fabulous - and it does, because they have a flair for putting pieces together. Whether the clothes actually suit you is another story.

How An Image Consultant Works

By contrast, an image consultant starts with the person. She will look at your body, your coloring, your hair, and your lifestyle, and then choose the clothes that fit with who you are. Instead of the clothes looking fantastic, the image consultant makes you look fantastic. The clothing is utilized with that end in mind - it’s not about the current look.

Both professionals play an important role in the fashion industry, but they work from different perspectives. An image consultant will often tell you not to buy something, whereas a fashion stylist is hired to sell as much product as possible within a given time period. An image consultant may work with you for years, helping you build a truly functional wardrobe, while a fashion stylist is only focused on this season’s range. Clever shoppers can learn to how to use both.

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. . . What is a Fashion Consultant?

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