We live in a world where we can order a new outfit at the click of a button and expect it in our hands the following day. Online shopping increased by 17.9% from 2020 to 2021, and the increase is only expected to rise.
However, while online shopping has its advantages, it doesn’t help if you have no idea what will go with the burgundy wedding guest dress you have your eye on or the black slip evening dress with no idea what shoes to wear.
- What Is A Virtual Stylist?
- What Does A Virtual Stylist Do?
- Skills A Virtual Stylist Needs
- What Companies Hire Virtual Stylists?
- How To Become A Virtual Stylist?
- In The Name Of Fashion…
- How To Become A Virtual Stylist – Final Thoughts
Almost everything is online now…
As people have become more comfortable shopping and spending their money online, they have become more open to other online activities too. There is a rise in online health coaches, online teaching, online personal trainers, and others.
But what about online stylists? If you are looking for a role in styling but want to reach a wider audience, online is an excellent option for you. Using a variety of free platforms to showcase your experience and work can allow you to gain a steady flow of clients. Of course, you need to have a little bit of style in your blood. It helps to know what things match and what materials and textures complement each other.
So, let’s take a look at how How to Become a Virtual Stylist in fashion and get paid well too.
What Is A Virtual Stylist?
A virtual stylist is someone who helps you create and define your style. Take a look at these celebrities, for example, Hayley Bieber. Her signature style is a boxy blazer and some cool pants.
What about Kim Kardashian? Every outfit she wears compliments her body and shows her assets. Both are always thinking about the tiny details in their style that makes a difference. A virtual stylist will help identify a person’s body shape and should pick out items that complement them.
It’s more about guiding the client…
They should guide clients through creating a wardrobe with timeless and capsule pieces. Virtual stylists ultimately help people define their style while sticking to clothing they feel comfortable wearing daily. A virtual stylist must also be good at money management as they have to stick within a client’s budget.
Instead of stylists having a ‘you should wear this’ mentality, they often give shoppers a variety of choices and create a type of lookbook where clients can then choose their favorite fits. Depending on if you work for a company or yourself, you may be required to send clients set outfits.
What Does A Virtual Stylist Do?
A virtual stylist rarely meets a client in person; this may suit some of you introverts or just someone who is generally looking to work in fashion but works from home. Many stylists use virtual styling apps such as stylebook and tailor, which can help create looks for their clients and receive feedback on their suggestions.
Often virtual stylists will create a questionnaire for their clients; this could be a tick the box scenario or a more in-depth questionnaire with options to include more information.
Finding your style can be tricky…
Stylists want to find out what styles their likes and dislikes are and what they expect from their virtual stylist. This questionnaire may also ask for personal information like height and measurements, so the stylist has these important details when looking for clothes.
As a stylist, you may face criticism or miss the look with some clients completely. That’s why you must be patient and understanding. A client may send your ideas back multiple times before you can genuinely help them.
Skills A Virtual Stylist Needs
Listening is, of course, an essential skill in virtual styling. After all, you must listen to your client’s wants and needs to create the correct style for them. That’s what they’re paying you to do. If you don’t listen to your client, it is likely they won’t come back to you. This means losing out on a customer, ultimately losing out on money that could be made.
If your client is looking for a professional wardrobe but states that they are not a fan of classic looks and you suggest a black pencil skirt, white shirt, and pumps, they won’t be happy, and it’s clear you haven’t listened to their brief.
Again, another key skill that’s vital in most day-to-day businesses involves a customer-client relationship. You must communicate your vision clearly to clients for them to have confidence in you. As well as be able to explain your choices.
If you do end up going a little out of your client’s comfort zone due to your apparent belief that this will make a difference and help their style, you must tell them exactly why you are doing so and why you want to give them this option.
The experience should be enjoyable…
You mustn’t bore your client with stylist talk; make sure your communication is understandable and easy for the client. They probably already feel overwhelmed with fashion choices, having reached out to you in the first place. Try to make their experience stress free and enjoyable by explaining things in a way they’ll understand.
Flare for Fashion
At the end of the day, looking for a job in fashion, you must enjoy it and understand what works together. If you are looking for any job to make money, virtual styling probably isn’t for you. Understanding the latest trends and clients’ options both online and in stores is important.
If your client is looking to stick with the trends, you must know what’s in and out. If your client isn’t interested in current fashion trends but loves 50s style, you must educate yourself on the style.
Know your fashion style history!
You must know styles over the years to gauge what your clients are interested in. Some may be easier than others; for example, a client who doesn’t care about anything just hates wearing too much color and dresses will be easier than a client who only wants to dress in 50s style fashion. This is because these are harder to find.
Body Types and Clothing Awareness
Today we see there are no limits on clothing and expressing yourself. For example, take a look at Tess Holiday; she doesn’t exactly fit the typical clothing ‘rules’ for her body type.
However, this generation is deciding that it’s okay to wear whatever you want regardless of your body type. We’re not in the 90s anymore. However, that doesn’t mean that a size two or size 16 wants to be wandering around in crop-tops and Daisy Dukes!
As long as the client’s comfortable…
Again it comes down to your client’s preferences, and even if you wouldn’t wear it personally, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps your client doesn’t want to wear tight clothing on their top half because they are uncomfortable with their belly; you find the things that aren’t tight and will make them comfortable.
Focus on the Client
This role is very client-centered. Of course, you have to be creative and bring your own flair to the table. However, you have to base everything on what your client wants and what you believe will suit them best. Whether they want a new wardrobe, a brand new style definition, or just help pick an outfit for a themed wedding, your job is to completely meet their needs.
What Companies Hire Virtual Stylists?
Whether you decide to make it on your own or work for a company, there are many routes into virtual styling. Take a look at Hannah Oh, for example. She began offering her free virtual styling videos on TikTok, building a following of over 60,000 people.
Now she’s invited to shows at New York Fashion Week and is gifted outfits to promote brands. Another virtual stylist goes by the name of Marie Zydek, with over 82,000 followers on TikTok, offers styling tips to clients no matter their budget.
Get styled online but shop in-store…
Companies such as Stitchfix hire virtual stylists to work with clients to find their desired style, then allow them to do the shopping in-store with a guide provided by the company. Trunk Club is another online virtual stylist who styles clients and offers clothing from Nordstrom.
It’s not uncommon for personal stylists to work for themselves. Whether you dabble in one-on-one personal styling alongside virtual styling or stick strictly to online styling, there are always clients looking for help.
How To Become A Virtual Stylist?
If you don’t have a college degree, don’t worry! A virtual stylist requires you to have a keen eye for fashion. That doesn’t mean to say a college degree will do you wrong. Many stylists study fashion at college and fall into the role of styling, whether in a regular store, online, or working at the top with high-end celebrities and in movies.
People love to see your work and your images, and this is where your lookbook or portfolio comes into play. You want to showcase your work and successes with your clients. The wider variety you have, the better, but remember quality over quantity. You can include your client’s requests and demonstrate them through your client’s needs, budget, and personal style.
Take a Styling Course
Virtual styling courses are readily available online. It allows you to pick up the skills, connect with other professionals, inform you how to get into the virtual styling market, get clients and run a successful business. Courses are a great way to open your eyes to the role and see if it truly is the right fit for you.
Apply at Companies
Applying for companies that hire virtual stylists is a great way to get your foot in the door if you want to work for someone rather than yourself. The more clients who accept your styling and buy the products you recommend, the more commission you earn!
This is a must if you are working for yourself. You must use social networking to get your name out there and gain a wider audience. You may have to begin offering your styling tips for free using Reels, Instagram posts, stories, or TikTok.
Facebook is a great tool too, but you might find it harder to reach a bigger audience other than your friends. Post free outfit suggestions, copy celebrity style, or match catwalk fit on a budget. These are appealing to normal people who are interested in redefining their personal styles.
In The Name Of Fashion…
Well, let’s first start with my articles on How To Become A Fashion Designer, followed by my Fashion Designer Job Description and the top Fashion Designer Interview Questions, or how about my Seamstress Job Description, and my Makeup Artist Job Description, to see if maybe you’d be interested in an alternative position.
Hone in on your styling skills with the online handbooks we found, such as So You Want To Be A Real “Paid” Celebrity Stylist? and Style Wise: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Fashion Stylist, or perhaps you need to know about The Art of Dressing Curves: The Best-Kept Secrets of a Fashion Stylist all available in 2023.
But I’m not done! I also recommend checking out How to start as a stylist!: Become a stylist wherever you live in the world, or how about The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise from a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look, the Fashion, Style, and Image Consulting: Textbook Manual, and Where Stylists Shop: The Fashion Insider’s Ultimate Guide to perhaps find your inspiration.
How To Become A Virtual Stylist – Final Thoughts
Virtual styling is no longer considered something that will happen in the future. It is a trend happening right now.
The market is growing, and with social media and image so focused on the media and our day-to-day lives, people are looking to define their looks. Ensure you have the skills and the fashion flare to make it in the industry, and you’ll be good to go.
All the very best in your new career as a Virtual Stylist!