stylist tips + tricks

become a personal stylist

The key to becoming a successful personal stylist is to know how to deal with people honestly and fairly.  Being honest and forthcoming will get you far — not only with those in this industry but especially with your clients.

5 Tips For Becoming a Personal Stylist

For those of you that are serious about starting your own business as a personal stylist or image consultant, here's some advice:

  1. Read The Perfect Fit by Lynne Henderson Marks and Dominique Isbecque.  This will tell you absolutely everything about how to start and run your own image consulting business.  It's outdated but they provide fee ranges and other great info that every stylist should know. Wardrobe 911 also offers a Personal Stylist Business Startup Kit that provides you all the forms along with our highly detailed 11-page Personal Style Assessment….it's beyond awesome.
  2. Join AICI (Assn of Image Consulting International).  Here you can learn about all aspects of image management and connect with men and women in the industry.
  3. Work in retail. If you don't understand how clothing looks on a variety of body types, you will never be able to truly help your clients.
  4. Write a business plan and get the proper small business training.  The SBA and SCORE are both great resources.  In San Francisco, there is the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center which helps you write a business plan.  I am a graduate of their program and I used to volunteer my time in consulting small business owners.
  5. Get the proper training and practice.  Training is critical and there are many wonderful image & shopping trainers within the country.  When it comes to color, it's easy to get it wrong. That's why I've refocused my training from personal styling to personal coloring so that you get it right.  As a color expert and mentor to heart-centered color consultants, I offer personal color training & systems at my main site.



  1. 1

    Hey there!

    I have been in retail management for about 6 years now and I’ve been interested in becoming a personal stylist for 10 years. I’m so glad I cought this blog!Where is the AICI located? And is there certain criteria you must have in order to join?

  2. 2

    Hi ChaVitta —

    AICI has chapters all over the world! You can join through their web site at To become certified, you need to obtain image training and take a 3-hour test that is given at the annual conference. Good luck!

  3. 3


    Love your blog! Thank you for this entry. I’m an image consultant and am also asked this question again and again and again and sometimes it just exasperates me! I’m fortunate that no one has ever been sneaky with me to get info – at least not yet. I am the president of the OH/PA chapter of AICI, so it’s my job to take some time to answer questions and explain things to prospects, but I put links on our chapter blog about the image industry. I always tell people to read those first, pick up Lynne & Dominique’s book, and then we can talk. A lot of people think that image consulting is shopping all day, having lots of fun and getting paid. It’s actually hard work, and you have to have a good business mind and know how to market, market, market in order to be successful.

  4. 4

    Good Morning,

    I was actually searching online on how to write a business plan for a personal stylist and quite frankly I AM SOOO HAPPY this site came up first. 🙂 I am going to pick up Lynne and Dominique’s book so I can truly have some insight!!

    Thank you for being every stylist’s secret source!!


  5. 5

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