How to make friends and style people
My road to becoming a stylist hasn’t been linear to say the least, and I often get asked how it all happened. So make yourself a brew, open a pack of McCoy’s and get ready for the story of my style life…
There isn’t really a set time when I became interested in fashion/style. I know my mother and I used to battle it out when I was a kid about getting dressed. I was adamant I wanted to pick my own outfits, in the end she just gave up and decided it was easier to let me dress myself. Anyway, I used to sketch dresses I liked (pretty badly) and even used to try and create dresses for my Barbie’s out of Ferrero Rocher wrappers (lol) but eventually decided fashion design was not the route I wanted to go down.
When I was in sixth form the careers advisor gave me a prospectus to the London College of Fashion and there I made a decision I wanted to be a Buyer (like Rachel in Friends) and travel the world looking at fabrics and brands. That didn’t happen. Life takes you on weird journeys and I actually ended up not going to uni, due to a pretty bad relationship I was in at the time, and got myself a job instead. I ended up working at Next in their stock room which I hated! But it was all experience and gave me some extra cash to buy my Saturday night outfits (short skirts, shorts and boob tubes).
The Middle - PT1
Then I hit 21 and I decided to move to Manchester with a friend which opened up a whole world of different styles, mainly indie. I loved dressing in band tees, ripped jeans and lace up boots. When I came back to London, people noticed my style change and I think I’ll always carry a bit of Manchester style with me. Whilst in Manchester I was working at a Telecoms company as decided to give the whole ‘working in fashion’ dream a miss, surely I couldn’t get a job in fashion if I didn’t go to uni?! WRONG. I could.
I moved back to London when I was 23/24 and decided enough was enough, I was sick of working in an industry I wasn’t passionate about and If I didn’t make the change soon, It may be too late. So we (my now husband and I) moved into my mum and dads house and I started interning (working for free) at a fashion sales and PR agency in the west end. This was by no means Lauren Conrad out of The Hills like I imagined, it was hard and I pretty much cried the whole time I was there. BUT it did give me experience and time to get to know how a fashion press office worked, how to dress a mannequin and it taught me this major lesson: Fashion isn’t that glamorous. I did this for 6 months until I managed to find a fashion job of my own, and guess what? It paid!!
The Middle – PT 2.
So what was the job? I was to be an International Sales + PR assistant at Fever (a lovely vintage inspired brand). This is kind of where everything happened for me and I am still connected to some of the people I met whilst working there. I can honestly say that without this job, I wouldn’t be where I am now. As it was a small company I could get involved in various things, ecommerce, social media, styling and more… Rather than being detrimental to my career, it opened up a whole host of opportunities. I had experience in fashion social media, PR, marketing and sales. During my time here my passion for styling took precedent as I was meeting with stylists all the time whom were arranging wardrobe for Loose Women, This Morning, Take me Out and the XFactor, they used to give me a brief and I used to pull pieces from the collection I thought would suit each celebrity, therefore kind of doing the styling (kind of). I kept thinking I should be doing this and every time we had an event I would offer a complimentary styling service to get some practice.
During my time at Fever, I took an online course In Personal Styling from the London College of Fashion and completed it within 3 months. This helped with colour analysis, body shapes and more. However, I was scared. I just wasn’t ready to take the plunge, even though my friends and colleagues had been telling I should be a personal stylist for years, I just couldn’t see it happening. You know the phrase ‘impostor syndrome?’ This is exactly what I had, so I decided to park it. I then got a job as a Copywriter at a multi-faceted fashion brand famous for creating clothing for the more mature woman. Again, this opened up a whole heap of opportunities as even though I was just a Copywriter I got to look after one of the brands’ social media and help style social media shoots and flat lay shots for some of the brands. I was nearing the end of my time here that I set up Wardrobe Doctor. My family cat had just died and I was sad and realised life is too short. I got my first client 2 days after creating the website.
It has been an amazing year freelancing in the content world whilst working on Wardrobe Doctor at the same time, I have done editorial shoots for brands, influencers, bloggers and celebrities AND I have got to meet some amazing clients and delve into their wardrobe. I can’t tell you what a journey it has been so far, but I’m looking forward to the ride (not in a sexual way) ahead. So if you’re looking for a career in styling, it does take time, but if you work your arse off connecting with brands, businesses and just anyone whom has their own business too, you’ll be winning. Believe in yourself and your abilities, make friends and try to influence people… Watch this space.