How To Become A Stylist In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how to become fashion, personal and celebrity stylists in Australia.


Are you creative and enjoy helping people discover their unique styles to look fabulous? If yes, a career as a Stylist can be ideal for you.


Stylists coordinate all aspects of a visual aesthetic to create a wardrobe that makes their clients look as appealing and stylish as possible and suits their professional needs and lifestyle.


You don't need a college degree to become a stylist. However, employers and clients value formal training and prior experience. Working as an intern or assistant with a professional stylist may increase employment opportunities in this profession.


Being a Stylist can be a great career if you are fascinated by the glamour industry and love dressing celebrities for a living. The blog gives you a better idea of a stylist's work profile, fashion courses, degrees, job opportunities, salary, and the steps to get started in this profession.



1. What Are Stylists?


Styling is about assisting clients in transforming and no not only their wardrobes but also their lives. Stylists work with clients of any size, lifestyle, or budget to create an image using fashion and achieve remarkable transformations and outcomes.


They select clothing and accessories and create outfits for individuals, brands, editorial shoots, runways, celebrities, politicians, musicians, news anchors, and corporate clients.


Personal Stylists work with people individually to help them discover their styles and uniqueness. Their services include style consultations, shopping, and wardrobe edits to fill the wardrobes for special events.


Editorial stylists collaborate with other creatives, including photographers, fashion designers, and hair and makeup artists, to produce imagery per the client's brief. They create photo shoots for large social media campaigns, personal branding, magazines, labels, and designers.



2. Rewards Of Working As A Stylist


Fashion stylists have the gift of transforming people's style, confidence, and identity, making the profession highly fulfilling and rewarding. 


If you are planning for this career, read on to find out the perks and opportunities that this profession has:


  • Seeing clients walk out of your salon with an energetic smile and a fabulous new look they love is great.

  • Working in this profession is a form of creative outlet. Clients with different hair types, textures and personalities give you a new challenge to be creative and create the perfect look for them.

  • Ability to work part-time or full-time for hours that suit your lifestyle

  • You get opportunities to attend brand and product launches and fashion shows to get a closer look at the fashion industry.

  • As you build skills and experience, you may also get the chance to dress celebrities and beautify them for magazine covers, advertisements, and photo shoots.

  • Your talent and creativity are recognised.

  • A career as a stylist provides a bright and secure future. Considering everyone needs a stylist, the demand for skilled stylists will increase.

  • Opportunities to work independently as a freelance stylist



3. What Does A Stylist Do?


The job of a Stylist involves research, understanding, knowledge, and relationship building. 


Understanding clients' requirements and desired outcomes, including identifying the places to get the right pieces are critical to achieving results. 


Here is a list of the most common day-to-day duties of a stylist:


  • Meet clients in person to understand their fabrics, patterns, silhouettes, and fashion history

  • Provide fashion advice and help with fittings

  • Create looks and ideas and gain approval

  • Source clothing, accessories, and shoes from a range of national and global brands and manufacturers that go well with the specific client's occasion or event

  • Dress clients head to toe in a stylish and best-fit outfit to create the best impression. 

  • Attend runway shows, fashion industry events, and brand showrooms to stay updated on the latest styles and trends 

  • Plan and enable in-store events to amplify sales

  • Prepare garments before photoshoots.

  • Create and maintain a personal client book

  • Discuss with managers or directors to develop plans to meet sales expectations

  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with customers, vendors, and suppliers

  • Work with public figures to craft visual aesthetics.

  • Style merchandise for e-commerce and digital media



4. Stylist Skills For Success


Knowledge, skills, and a passion for fashion are necessary to become a successful stylist. In addition, there are also technical and soft skills that can help you excel in this career.



Technical Skills


  • Knowledge about human psychology and the behaviour behind dressing in clothes

  • An understanding of different face types, body shapes, anatomy, and personality

  • Knowledge of fashion trends, brand names, designer labels, and colour schemes 

  • A talent for putting outfits together

  • Knowledge of marketing and consumer buying mindset

  • In-depth understanding of the fashion history 

  • Business acumen to establish and run a freelance business  

  • Able to identify present local and global trends in fashion

  • Technical knowledge in basic sewing, computer-aided design, and photography

  • Working knowledge in designing and photography software

  • Event management skills



Soft Skills


  • Artistic with design and colour

  • Open to people, change, and flexible to situations

  • Good listener

  • Empathy

  • Patience

  • High level of creativity to design flattering ensembles that catch other's attention

  • Eye for detail

  • Good Interpersonal and people skills are beneficial to working with makeup artists, models, and clients

  • Natural communicator 

  • Great negotiating skills

  • Teamworking skills

  • Persuasive 

  • Motivated

  • Organised

  • Like working under pressure

  • Imaginative

  • Innovative

  • Observant    

  • Good understanding of customer lifestyle

  • Good problem-solving skills



5. Stylists Qualifications In Australia


No formal qualifications are required to become a Stylist, but completing a relevant course may improve your credibility and give you an edge over other job applicants.


  • Undertake an internship or work as a Junior Stylist to gain experience under the guidance of senior Stylists.

  • Complete an introductory course, Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology (MST20616), to familiarise yourself with this creative profession.

  • Advance your learning by completing a 1-year full-time Diploma of Fashion Styling (10064NAT)



6. Steps To Become A Fashion Stylist In Australia


There are no formal education and training requirements to work as a Stylist in Australia. However, relevant practical training and industry knowledge are valued to get a start in this competitive industry.


Step 1: Complete your high school studies in English and Maths. Taking creative classes and Business studies could also be helpful.


Step 2: As with modern-day professions, there are many educational paths to get you where you need to be. Likewise, to become a Stylist, you can complete either a university degree or VET qualification to develop essential knowledge and hands-on industry experience.


Here are some popular stylist courses you may consider:



  • Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising – South Metro TAFE

  • Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology – TAFE NSW

  • Diploma of Fashion Styling - Training

  • Bachelor of Design – UNSW Sydney



Step 3: You need experience, expertise, and reputation in this profession. It is the experience you have that will open doors for job opportunities. So, focus on gaining relevant work experience and immersing yourself in all facets of the fashion world.


Some of the things you can do are:


  • Conduct photo shoots with friends, models and helpers using props and costumes at various locations. Use the best images to create your lookbook (a collection of photos that demonstrate your styling skills)

  • Additionally, you can join an art or photography club and get in touch with industry professionals.



Step 4: To pursue any career in the fashion industry, the best route is to complete an internship at a fashion house or agency, land a part-time job or an entry-level role with an experienced fashion stylist to learn about the field, and create valuable industry contacts.


Being an Intern for a stylist or assistant will help you develop a relationship with them so they can recommend you. Internships teach the things that you can't learn merely by studying. It comes from a mentor who has lived the path and has the experience and guides you on this path.


Internships are also a chance to gain further work experience, gain valuable on-the-job skills, and make helpful industry contacts to ease your job hunt.



Step 5: With gaining practical and theoretical experience, you must continually network with designers and industry professionals to build your reputation. 


To do this, you must attend fashion shows and industry events to market yourself. Try getting invites to lunches or parties. Don't be shy to ask your successful mentors for recommendations as you build your business.


Develop close personal and professional relationships to help you attain new style clients. Stay on-trend always and study different celebrities and their looks. 



Step 6: Once you have adequate work experience and a strong lookbook, you can apply for stylist jobs on job sites, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as most employers post open positions on their social media feeds.


Relevant resources:




7. How To Become A Stylist For Movies?


Movie wardrobe stylists are responsible on sets for dressing movie stars in outfits that give the desired look and feel. 


Here are the steps to becoming one:



  • Step 1: Study fashion by signing up for a fashion course at a college or a training institute. You will get an introduction to the fashion industry and learn about creating outfits and popular styles.


  • Step 2: Apply for an internship or assistant position with an experienced wardrobe stylist to understand the role and get industry exposure. The experience you develop will help you boost your resume and land a job as a Stylist for a movie.


  • Step 3: Gather your work samples and create a portfolio. Next, write up a job-centric resume. Mention the clients' names you have worked with, the type of projects handled, and your role in each.


  • Step 4: Submit your portfolio and resume to as many creative professionals you know, such as agents, managers, celebrity representatives, hairstylists, and makeup artists on sets of movie / and TV shows. Doing this will help build connections and find work. Remember to showcase your fashion skills by dressing in the latest fashion when you meet with potential clients.


  • Step 5: Be focused and selective when using social media to build your professional network.


  • Step 6: Stay updated with current fashion trends by involving in industry discussions on Twitter and Facebook groups. 



8. How To Become A Stylist Influencer?


Stylist influencers are personalities with a large following on social media. They create fashion content and influence people's buying behaviour based on their recommendations. 


Social media is a great platform to become Style Influencers and start making money.


  1. Choose a specific segment that interests you

  2. Gain more followers and expand your follower base

  3. Create a business fashion account on Instagram

  4. Write a noteworthy bio and outstanding content

  5. Upload some great photos

  6. Make your Instafeed appealing by sharing your stories 

  7. Maintain a consistent publishing schedule 

  8. Stay focused on your niche throughout

  9. Use the right hashtag

  10. Promote your Instagram blog

  11. Make it easier for businesses to do business with you



9. How To Become A Freelance Stylist?



  • Step 1: Build a solid educational foundation by completing a university degree, short courses, or a tertiary qualification to strengthen your skill set.


  • Step 2: Familiarise yourself with design software like computer-aided design (CAD) software that most modern fashion designers use


  • Step 3: Read books related to sewing and craftsmanship.



  • Step 5: Build a digital presence.


  • Step 6: Building an impressive portfolio is necessary since most photographers find stylists via word-of-mouth publicity and recommendations. Attend fashion events and connect with fellow stylists and industry professionals to make valuable professional contacts and build a reputation for yourself.


  • Step 7: Agency representation is beneficial for freelancer Stylists. Once you have enough samples of your work, you can show it to agents. They can help you find regular work and charges a commission for their service. Thus, when you finish one job, you are ready for the next one. While some agencies represent stylists exclusively, others also handle actorsmodels, and photographers.


  • Step 8: And lastly, and most importantly, spend time researching and staying updated with the fashion industry trends.



10. Fashion Stylist Courses


Many budding Stylists want to know how to become a stylist without a degree. In Australia, you don't need a formal education to qualify to work as a professional Stylist and offer paid services.


Styling courses online are the fastest way to make a successful career in styling. Working under the guidance of practitioners with strong industry connections, you learn about teaching and learning approaches to gain insights and experience in worldwide fashion workplaces.


If you want to know how to become a stylist in Australia, here is a compilation of top fashion styling courses to kickstart your career. 


These courses teach how to provide creative styling solutions for individuals or businesses in various areas, such as fashion editorial, personal styling, social media content, image consultancy, or styling for media and television. 



Diploma of Fashion Styling - 10871NAT - RMIT University


  • The only nationally-accredited fashion styling diploma qualification in Australia

  • One year Full-time 

  • On-campus

  • No Entry requirements

  • Interactive learning sessions with case studies, group work, workshops, and formal presentations 

  • Forty hours of on-the-job training on industry-based projects with fashion stylists or styling-related companies.



Online Personal Stylist Training - Ruby Slippers Styling


It is another highly recommended creative course for those who want to know how to become a fashion stylist.


Ruby Slippers Styling is Australia's most popular personal styling agency that offers online and 1-day training for aspiring stylists and fashion freaks.


Personal Stylist course highlights


  • Learn from Cert IV Qualified Trainers with Industry experience 

  • 6-module self-paced online course via Webinars held by the Ruby Slippers Styling Team 

  • Open to all age groups and genders

  • No styling experience required

  • Practical, hands-on exercises

  • Get instant access to support material, worksheets, and training documents throughout the training



Certificate Of Personal Styling - Australian Style Institute


Australian Style Institute, the industry-leading fashion styling school, conducts a five days hands-on Certificate of Personal Styling course.


Among the most appropriate clothing stylist courses, it gives you an in-depth understanding of human behaviour, colour application, structure, flow and body shape, methodology of style, and human psychology. 


Successful course completion leads you to become a certified ASI Stylist. 


Course Highlights:


  • Industry-specific mentors

  • Six months of access to the extensive online resources library

  • Flexible learning In-person and online

  • No prerequisites or fashion background needed

  • Hands-on practical learning in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or Perth

  • Monthly live webinars

  • WGSN membership



11. Work Conditions For Stylists


Stylists usually work indoors in climate-controlled environments. They may work in a larger company, on Television/ film sets, backstage at concerts, or run their business from home.


Working at night, on weekends, on public holidays, and even at special events is very common as they must fit their clients' schedules. Frequent travelling, lifting, and displacing of materials may be required.  



12. Employment Opportunities For Stylists


You can find stylists working in all of the following areas:


  • On professional photoshoots

  • On the set of TV commercials, music videos, and print advertisements 

  • To maintain a candidate's visual appearance on a political campaign

  • In a Television newsroom

  • Attending a discussion with sports teams on team uniforms

  • Develop a personal style for an existing or budding public figure



13. The Most Common Workplaces For A Stylist


Stylists work in a broad range of industries with clients who are famous or want to look their best. They usually work in retail, wholesale or manufacturing establishments, theatre or dance agencies, high-end salons, apparel companies, and design firms.


Advertisement agencies, magazines, and media companies also have stylists for staff. Some photo studios and production houses maintain a database of established stylists and employ full-time stylists as assistants. Celebrity stylists often work with musicians, Hollywood A-listers, and high-profile clients.


As most fashion stylists work as freelancers at the client's site, there are very few positions for full-time salaried stylists. Generally, photography studios, catalogue houses, ad agencies, and design firms hire freelancer stylists for their assignments and onsite styling services. 


A few also become mobile stylists and prepare their clients for events such as birthday parties, prom, weddings, professional photo shoots and more.



14. The Most Common Job Roles For Stylists


Fashion Stylist courses equip you with a range of knowledge and skills to work in the following positions related to fashion styling:


  • Personal Stylist/ Image Consultant

  • Editorial, Commercial, or Catalogue Fashion Stylist

  • Creative Specialist

  • Wardrobe Stylist for TV/ Films

  • Fashion Retail Stylist

  • Show and Event Fashion Stylist

  • Fashion and Style Blogger

  • Social Media Fashion Stylist

  • Fashion Brand Stylist



15. Career Progression Prospects For Stylists


Stylists start their careers with lower-end catalogues and gradually work their way up. Several factors determine their advancement in this profession:


  • The number of bookings a stylist gets

  • Type of the work assignments

  • The consistency of work 

  • Their reputation in the market

  • Quality and size of a stylist's clients 

  • Quality of the merchandise they sell

  • A regular hike in pay rate


In addition to the above, experience with the industry's key players, like photographers, is invaluable. 


After gaining substantial experience and building a reputation and client base, Stylists can find work in ad design and planning. Some even advance to become fashion editors and art directors.



16. Job Prospects of a Stylist in Australia


Styling is among the fastest-growing and most lucrative professions across the fashion industry. It is also an evolving and demanding field with a lot of competition.


The increasing urge among people to recapture their youthfulness as they age drives them to visit their stylists to feel and look their best. Furthermore, as advertising and visual forms of media continue to be present, the demand for fashion stylists will stay strong.


Looking at the high demand, many fashion schools offer basic to advanced-level styling courses. These include fashion design, clothing technology, dressmaking, fashion marketing, and fashion merchandising.


Thus, the overall job outlook for a Stylist career is positive. Numerous work opportunities are available for Stylists, particularly in larger cities and urban areas with design, film, and art communities.


So, if you're planning to pursue this profession, now is the best time to help other people in fashion and relish the economic and personal rewards that come with it.



17. How Much Does A Stylist Earn In Australia?


The Stylist's pay depends on a per-project basis. The main factors influencing their average salary are their skills, years of experience, client base, demand, marketing techniques, and postcode. 


According to PayScale, the average annual fashion stylist salary in Australia is AU$ 55,859 or an hourly equivalent of AU$ 25.49.



Average Salary Based on Experience


Senior stylists working on TV shows, music videos, and fashion earn comparatively higher than newcomer Stylists.


  • Early career Fashion Stylists (1-4 years of experience): AU$28.17 per hour

  • Mid-career Fashion Stylists (5-9 years of experience): AU$28.00 per hour


Those employed in larger cities have higher hourly average costs than the ones working in smaller ones. According to Indeed, a fashion stylist in Sydney earns between $25 to $30 per hour.



18. Conclusion


Hiring a fashion stylist is considered a necessity and not a luxury. The profession makes transformational differences in people's life.


By establishing yourself as a professional Stylist, you earn recognition, fame, and admiration worldwide, which is emotionally rewarding and inspiring. 


If you dream of becoming a Stylist, then the best stepping stone is to take stylist courses like Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology. 


It is where you expand your knowledge, gain expertise, cultivate credentials, and build connections helpful in seeking work experience.


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