Wardrobe stylists are men and women who help clients choose fashionable clothing and accessories for appearances in films or television, or for their general lifestyles. Many professionals make personal visits to clients' homes, helping them select outfits, remove old or out-of-style items from their closets, and determine what new items they need to complete their wardrobes. They usually go shopping with their clients to help them decide on new, stylish outfits. Some wardrobe stylists work for professional agencies or fashion designers, though the majority of experts are self-employed.
Individuals who find themselves too busy to go shopping for new clothes or stay up on the latest fashions seek the services of qualified wardrobe stylists. A professional usually spends hours studying fashion magazines, attending seminars and fashion shows, and perfecting his or her own personal sense of style to provide clients with the best options. He or she may make small suggestions on how clients can look more stylish in the clothes they already own or completely overhaul closets and start from scratch. Individuals usually place a lot of trust in the guidance of their wardrobe stylists.
Before a shopping excursion, the professional might ask the client what style he or she would like to achieve, take his or her measurements, and make suggestions about which stores to visit. At a boutique or retail clothing store, the stylist picks out items and instructs the client to try them on in a dressing room. Clothing and accessories that receive the stylists' approval are purchased and incorporated into the individual's wardrobe.
Some stylists specialize in preparing people for commercials or television appearances. He or she decides on clothing items that are appropriate for a given show or commercial and coordinates outfits among a group of people. Such professionals may work with hundreds of clients on the job. Alternatively, a wardrobe stylist may work exclusively for a single celebrity or public figure. The celebrity relies on the stylist's expert knowledge to help him or her stay fashionable and look good in public appearances.
To find work as wardrobe stylists, most individuals pursue degrees or certificates from accredited technical schools or universities. Many institutions offer two or four year programs in design, fashion merchandising, or similar subjects. In school, prospective wardrobe stylists have the opportunity to build their knowledge of fashion as well as hone their skills by shopping and dressing volunteer participants. New stylists usually begin their careers as assistants or apprentices to established professionals, where they learn how to find and maintain a client base. Successful apprentices usually begin working independently after one to two years of training.