The History of Wardrobe Styling and why it’s Important 

You ever look at a celebrity and wonder who picked out their outfit? Like, who is responsible for creating this masterpiece of a look?

Wardrobe stylists are the musketeers of fashion. We have the power to portray whatever image you may want to the world by simply piecing together garments. TV hosts, mom’s and even musicians are always in need of our help.

But it wasn’t always like this…

“Styling a shoot is almost like producing a movie. Casting hair, makeup, location – all the ingredients are essential to bring the story to life.”

– Elissa Santisi

Let’s take it back to the early 1970’s when image consulting was first created. Before this time, it was pretty much seen as a foreign act and only considered normal to celebrities and politicians. People who weren’t on TV everyday or weren’t well known, believed that image consulting was a luxury and not a need. But as time went on, everyday people became more aware of their appearance, and the need for styling went from nonexistent to extremely popular.

As the public began to grow an obsession with fashion, style entrepreneurs such as John Molloy took full advantage. His popular style guide “Dress for Success” gained much international notice during a time when both men and women began to care more about their overall appearance and yearned for guidance from an expert.

“Look fabulous. You are trying to explain what you are thinking by what you are wearing.”

– Camilla Nickerson

As the 1980’s approached, image consulting firms began to increase; offering services to everyday individuals who wanted a more star-like image.

Since this was such a new market, only a few firms were open to the public which made it a lot easier for them to monopolize. Celebrities began to not only hire image consultants for red carpet events and public appearances but also for their everyday wardrobe needs. This change brought much light to what we now know as the wardrobe stylist.

“Life’s too short to wear boring clothes.”

– Carly Cushnie & Michelle Ochs

Today, wardrobe styling is one of the most popular and emerging professions in the fashion world globally. It is simply known as someone who selects the clothing and accessories for published editorials, print or TV advertising campaigns, music videos, performances, and any other public appearances made by celebrities, models and/or public figures. But wardrobe styling has emerged into many other types of of styling that most people fail to realize.

Personal Styling

  • involves providing advice or assistance to clients on how to improve their image by selecting clothing and accessories that complement their figure and skin coloring and are suitable for their lifestyle. This can also involve taking clients on shopping trips and selecting clothing items for clients to wear to events etc., providing advice on skin care, hair style, self esteem, beauty treatments and etiquette. Personal styling is the basis of all other areas of styling. It is also known as image consulting, personal shopping and celebrity styling.

Editorial Styling

  • involves conceptualizing and organizing the photo shoots for the pages in fashion magazines and other media publications. This may also involve selecting items to appear in fashion product pages for magazines and writing articles on personal style, fashion trends etc. Here you will find yourself working closely with photographers, art directors, designers, artist managers, and fashion editors.

Video/Commercial Styling

  • involves styling models or actors/actresses for advertising commercials, film clips, industrial and educational videos. This could be anything from selecting the wardrobe item to coordinating the shoot – selecting the locations, models, makeup artists and even the photographer. 

Show Styling

  • involves organizing events and fashion parades. This could involve public speaking/comparing, working backstage at fashion parades, selecting models, organizing the running order, selecting garments and/or accessories, selecting the venue, developing the event concept, dealing with the media, photographers, and PR companies.

“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.”

– Ralph Lauren

Stylists are seen as trendsetters. And because of our close relationships with designers and boutiques, most of us have an “early access pass” to their inventory which allows us to stay ahead of the fashion game.

Depending on the occasion, our main goal is to make our client’s style memorable, in a good way of course. From red carpet events to speaking engagements, stylists do more than dress people. We create an image that sticks.

“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers, and style is what you choose.”

– Lauren Hutton

Some people think stylists aren’t important. Why spend money on a stylist when you can dress yourself, right? Well, just like teachers, stylists educate and inform their clients of ways to dress for their body type, their complexion and their age. Google doesn’t offer you one-on-one shopping sessions that show you how to shop while also staying within your budget. Google also doesn’t tell you what looks good on you and what doesn’t. Trust me, Google doesn’t have all the answers.

Fashion is and always will play an important part in everyone’s life no matter if your’e Beyonce or the manager at Applebees. Your appearance is important and if you look good, you feel good!

If you’re currently in need of a stylist or just need some fashion advice, let SophisticatedChic show you the way!

Send us an email at or schedule you’re 30 minute consultation today!

Schedule your consultation HERE

The Look 


Nude and Yellow Floral Applique Dress: Royaltique (not yet available)

Blush Adidas: DSW

Baby Pink Clutch: American Apparel (old)

Gold Hoops: ALDO (old)


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