What does a Clothing Stylist do?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 July 2019
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A clothing stylist, also known as a fashion stylist or wardrobe consultant, is a person responsible for selecting clothing and accessories and putting them together in outfits that fit the visual expectations of clients. He or she may work for individuals, film or television studios, or photographers for magazines or catalogs. Clothing stylists typically are not required to have a specific educational background, but many study fashion design as a means to learn about how clothing is made and how it will look on the body or in photographs.

For a clothing stylist who is hired by an individual, the client will generally first discuss what type of look he or she wants for a specific occasion. Occasions that clients may hire clothing stylists for include photography sessions for aspiring models or just assistance in assembling outfits for formal or career events. A clothing stylist will usually meet with a client to determine the client’s preferences and where the outfits will be worn, then select clothing pieces and accessories for the client to wear. Stylists can also help clients determine what clothing pieces will be most flattering on their body types, while ensuring the outfits are appropriate for the intended occasion.


A clothing stylist may also work for professional studios to create outfits or costumes for models in film, television, or print productions or campaigns. He or she will meet with producers or photographers to agree on what types of colors, clothing, or costumes would be reflect the vision of the producers or photographers intend for the productions. The stylist may then sketch ideas onto drawing boards to give producers a visual example of the clothing or costume ideas to ensure everyone is in agreement.

Once a clothing stylist selects the costumes or outfits for a client or production team, he or she may also be responsible for ensuring the clothing appropriately fits the client or model. If a clothing item does not properly fit a client in certain areas, such as if a hemline is too long or a shoulder seam is too wide, a stylist may be able to quickly tailor the piece to make it fit in a more flattering fashion. For photography models, clothing stylists may attach pins to the back of a clothing item so it more tightly skims the models’ bodies, especially with long skirts or dresses. The tighter fit helps give the appearance of a more customized look in photographs without permanently altering the clothing item.


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