As a personal stylist, also known as a fashion stylist, wardrobe consultant or personal shopper, your clients are banking on your good taste. You are often called upon to renovate a fashion disaster and transform it into a knock-out signature style. It is crucial to your chances that you network and develop a list of quality clients since you generally work as a freelancer. Your pay is determined on an individual contract basis and is affected by your expertise, skill and industry. You may also work for a professional styling firm. You often collaborate with photographers and directors to create a certain look in photo shoots, commercials, movie sets, print advertisements and music videos.
Setting Your Price
What you charge as an independent, freelance personal stylist is up to you, according to "Seventeen" magazine, as of 2011. You can confidently charge between $20 and $2,000 hourly, based on the demand for your fashion skills, according to the magazine. You may work for less money initially, for the first few years, as well as doing volunteer work to get your foot in the door, according to Rachel Fanconi, professional personal stylist for celebrities such as David Beckham, Rachel Weisz and Calista Flockhart.
There are no formal educational prerequisites for becoming a personal stylist. However, those who have completed a two-year associate's degree in fashion design, merchandising, styling or related fields will have a competitive edge when competing for employment, according to Fashion Schools. Your entry-level salary as a fashion stylist may range between $150 and $200 daily, according to Fashion Schools, as of 2011. More experienced stylists may make between $500 and $5,000 daily, while those who work for the elite, such as celebrities and super-models, may earn over $5,000 a day or $100,000 annually, according to Fashion Schools.
Personal stylists may make between $2,400 and $300,000 annually, according to "Seventeen" magazine. A full-time personal stylist with advanced skills may make $40,000 annually, while exceptionally talented stylists with A-list clients can earn well over $100,000 annually, according to Fashion Schools.
National Average Salaries
The national average salary for a fashion stylist is between $24,548 and $73,061, according to PayScale, as of 2011. Ninety-one percent of fashion stylists are female, with an average pay range between $34,285 and $59,495, while nine percent are male, with an average income between $30,000 and $70,986, according to PayScale, as of 2011.
Salaries by Industry
The salary of a fashion stylist varies by industry. A stylist may earn between $21,331 and $86,309 in the clothing industry; between $20,705 and $82,188 in fashion; between $21,331 and $86,309 in retail apparel; and between $23,557 and $93,385 in department store retail, according to PayScale, as of 2011. A personal stylist working for the Nordstrom department store, for example, earns between $29,000 and $31,000 annually, according to Glassdoor.com, as of 2011.