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stylist Q&A

whats in a wardrobe stylist kit

August 25, 2015

The question that all young, blossoming fashion stylists always ask is “Whats in a wardrobe stylist kit, anyway?” Many stylists aren’t so eager to share what items help them best because the market is competitive and they’ve likely compiled their kit through years of trial and error. Though, with the quick-paced and constantly changing nature of a styling gig, compiling the perfect kit is essential if you want to be able to work fast and keep up with adaptations throughout the job.

From years of experience and impromptu fashion miracles, here are whats in my wardrobe stylist kit. My must-have items that ensure that you’re ready to combat any curveballs while on the job:

  • whats in a wardrobe stylist kitTopstick is a double-sided tape that is used to secure hairpieces to the scalp. I recommend the white/clear tape with 1-2 day bonding ability, because it’s cheaper, gets the job done, and will be easy to remove.
  • Glue Dots are adhesive dots that are great for small, quick touch-ups. Do the same job as top stick but are smaller, easier to take off of the sticky back. Do not get extra strength. These are more helpful working in studio than location for me
  • Zip-ties– good for tying shoes back together, keeping things together
  • Tagging Gun– for reattaching tags
  • Clear Garment Bags-it is really helpful seeing what it in your garment bags. Other wise I use tape and write what’s in each bag
  • Clamps, Clothespins, and Safety Pins are essential for getting the clothing to fit the model. Clamps and clothespins can be applied to the model on the side that is opposite from the camera, and for modifications on the front—safety pins! Black safety pins are great when working with dark colored fabrics, but beware of pinholes in the merchandise!
  • Lint Roller– hair, lint, and fuzz—be gone! And always have extra tape rolls ready
  • Tape/Duck Tape– eliminates the need to use pins (and puncture a hole in any merchandise), but it also serves as a great tool for marking your rolling racks and hangers. Tape is also handy for whatever bizarre, impossible to foresee issues that can (and usually do) arise. Masking Tape, gaffers tape… you will use it all over time.
  • Nude Bras/ Underwear– a fashion shoot is constantly evolving, so it is best to keep undergarments a nude color in case any translucent clothing is suddenly used for a photo. It’s your job to be prepared, even when the model isn’t. In my kit I have a couple strapless, as well as regular, bras in a range of sizes just in case a model shows up unprepared.
  • Boobs and Nipple Covers– seem like something that should be left up to the model, but in the end, not all models remember to bring the right gear, so having boobs and bras in all difference sizes (along with their companion, the nipple cover) you should be set! Some clients want more cleavage than others, or sometimes a garment looks better filled out
  • Needles & Thread– work great for on-the-spot alterations like buttons. PRO TIP: fishing wire makes for a great clear thread. I also buy the pre-threaded needles.
  • Scissors– a good pair to cut heavy-duty fabric and small ones to cut little threads
  • Stain Remover – shout wipes are the easiest for me to transport but getting stains out of stuff is part of the job
  • Lint Rollers– you should have a lint roller and refills at all time in your kit
  • Camera– to take pictures of all your outfits, I use my IPhone but when your IPhone goes dead it’s a problem. A cordless charger is something I have considered
  • Measuring tape
  • Hangers– both pants and shirt
  • Steamer
  • Beauty kit– filled with Band-Aids, deodorant; polish remover, toothbrush & paste, sunscreen, maxi-pad products
  • Rolling Racks– they sell lots of different versions, but I would recommend buying the commercial ones that are around $80 bucks. (you will need to get these from a display store)
  • Glam Bags-are awesome for prepping what the model will be wearing throughout the shoot. Loose tags, accessories, and any other stray items that can get caught up in the frenzy that is a photo shoot now have a home in their glam bag. Keeping these items together are not only important to the outfit and photo, but they are critical when you are ready to return the clothes you borrowed. (I have also used zip-lock bags for when I run out of glam bags)
  • Ikea Blue bags– great for lunging lots of stuff (especially shoes)
  • Face Mask– to cover the model’s face and preserve make-up while taking clothes on and off, plus it helps from getting on your wardrobe.
  • Super Glue is great for speedy repairs that cannot be sewn
  • Office Supplies– sounds a little strange for this post, but half of what makes a good stylist is being organized. I use note cards to tape shoes and write models down, post-it-notes for who is wearing what, paper clips to hold receipts together, a stapler to staple my return receipt to the bag, and a highlighter to cross off items that we have already shot. Notebook for taking notes and making lists, hole puncher to put copies in binders, binders to keep all your information together for the particular job your on…etc etc
  • Rubber bands– adjusting belts, and clothing, and grouping things together
  • Rain Poncho– cause you never know when it’s going to rain and when it hits you want to be prepared
  • Sharpies– great for labeling, and works wonders on dark denim stains and black jeans
  • Jewelry Shine Cloth– I can’t remember the last time I used mine…. But I have one just in case
  • Jewelry Hanger– I do a lot of lifestyle shoots and keeping my jewelry together nicely makes my life so much easier. Getting the jewelry hangers with zippers are a must since you will likely take them for location to location, and without zippers stuff will fall out
  • Water bottle– to spray clothes before you steam them (helps get really hard wrinkles out), or mix water and vodka to get smells out of clothes
  • Different color camisoles for women
  • Blow dryer– from leaky steamers… wet spots suck (another tip is to put a socks over the steamer if it is spouting)
  • Robes/ Slippers– So models don’t eat lunch in your wardrobe…. Truth be told I rarely have this on hand because it is so bulky compared to everything I have to bring. But depending on the job you are doing it’s something to consider
  • Wardrobe Changing Tent– I have used my changing tent so many times, really comes in handy on location. I do have trouble breaking my down… so it is currently laying down flat in the trunk of my car. Just want to warn ya…folding it down to fit in the bag is impossible for me personally.

If you are a new stylist don’t feel the need to buy everything on this list. Really it is trail and error. I would hate for you buy all this stuff and not use it since if you don’t get the opportunity to work a certain type job. For example, when I got hired to work on a rain shoot (they brought in a rain pump…ekk) I realized I needed a really good raincoat as part of my kit or else I was going to freeze and be drenched for 10 hours. I also bought giant zip-lock bags to pack the clothes in since it was waterproof, which worked great for putting the wet clothes in. My point being you don’t know what your going to need until a certain job arises.

stylist Q&A

What is the difference between a costume designer and a fashion wardrobe stylist?

August 18, 2015

Within the fashion industry, there are a few job titles that are often incorrectly used interchangeably, spurring the need for clarification on what is the difference between a costume designer and a fashion wardrobe stylist.

A costume designer is the easiest to distinguish from the others because the personality that they are dressing is fictitious, and the wardrobe is all original material specially designed for the character. As the job title suggests, this role is in charge of designing a full wardrobe for each character. A costume designer’s work is usually limited to films and plays, making it essential that the clothing not only fits well, but is durable.

difference between a costume designer and a fashion/ wardrobe stylist?

Differentiating between a wardrobe stylist and fashion stylist is a little bit trickier, but to me they basically are the same thing. Both jobs require carefully piecing together looks that embody hopefully what the client’s in visioning. I have met other fashion stylists who have never had to provide head to toe looks because they are working with clothing brands that provide the wardrobe for them. In that type of role they get to show up and style (create looks)… these by the way are super fun jobs if you ever get the opportunity to work for a brand.

When I show up to certain jobs I am creating the entire wardrobe for the talent. This includes socks, watches, accessories, basically every single item the person is wearing. A wardrobe stylist creates the look and feel of the character.

The term “wardrobe stylist” or “fashion stylist” can be applied to someone working in high fashion, celebrity or public figure’s personal image,  print editorial work, commercials or music videos.

Despite their differences, each of these jobs requires a keen eye and the ability to utilize color and texture in order to provide a stunning and fluid final result.

stylist Q&A

How much do fashion stylists make annually?

August 11, 2015

So you’ve decided you want to pursue the glamorous career of a fashion stylist, and you’re ready to talk numbers. How much do fashion stylists make annually? How much should I expect to make? How does pay-day work? Can this be a consistent paying career? While these questions have answers, they really depend on a plethora of factors: location, experience, competition, the client, the job, etc. So I’ll do my best to clear up the opaque nature of the job and send you off into the world of styling!
For starters, most fashion stylists work on a day rate, ranging from $500-$3,000/day (this range is where the numerous factors come in). Some gigs are only half-days, while others can have you on set for a painstaking 16 hours. As for location, in my experience I know that Los Angeles rates are a lot higher than somewhere like Las Vegas… but with more money comes more competition.
Ultimately, the money made from one gig doesn’t matter if you can’t continue to market yourself and get more jobs. There can be a lot of downtime spent job hunting in this field. I have had streaks where the jobs seem to be coming to me, and other times where there isn’t a job to be found for weeks. In the end, building a solid base of clients that love your work is really where the money is at—the money you can count on. So how much does the average fashion stylist make annually… in my case it varies from year-to-year. Keep in mind there are stylist like Rachel Zoe , Brad Goreski, Olori Swank who get contracts with brands or partner with clothing lines or create there own line, or open there own store. (think Patricia Field). Also note that stylist who have full-time help are kinda of on another level, for they are responsible for paying someone whether or not their check comes in.

stylist Q&A

Are there Full-time jobs for fashion stylist?

July 28, 2015

One thing that can be a drag for aspiring fashion stylists to understand is the inconsistency of the career: some weeks are full and others are void of jobs to be done and money to be made.

A common question can be “Are there full-time jobs for fashion stylist?” And there totally is! The sad part is that they are few and far between. Most fashion-oriented corporations have some type of stylist position if they have a strong web presence. Other will likely hire freelancers for photoshoots. For example, Zappos has a photo studio based in Las Vegas that shoots both product and on-figure clothing. Because the shoot Monday-Friday, their studio consists of  full-time stylist & photographers. (I know this because I tried to get in there as a freelance stylist which they never hire for) I have worked in many photo-studios that house both full-time and freelance stylists.

So if the freelance lifestyle isn’t for you and consistency is what you crave, start looking up retail companies based in your city. You might be surprised once you start digging which companies actually started in your city. Once you find the company than I would start looking creative directors, styling mangers to try and show you book to.  It should be noted, though, that oodles of experience is required to even be considered for a full-time lead stylist job in businesses like these. If your heart is set on it, find some internships and part-time work, and start your way up the ladder that is the fashion stylist career. The bigger the company the longer it will take to work your way up. Hopefully you know what your getting yourself into. Being a fashion stylist is not easy, so be prepared to put your time in!


Finding a good fitting sundress

July 28, 2015

Finding a good fitting sundress is no easy feat. The better the fit of the dress the more you will wear it. The Halogen dress I am wearing is pretty old, the pattern & cut seems very 60’s house wife to me. Every year I try it on and it fits like a glove, and as a result it has become a classic staple I wear at least once every summer. The key to finding any dress work is the cut, and I would encourage you to have summer dress (or anything for that matter) altered to fit your body. Below are some basic sundress guide-lines to think about when shopping for your body type.
Finding a good fitting sundress

Drawstring dresses– look best when worn loose slimmer sized hips… works really great on boy shaped bodies
Strapless dresses– work best on small busts
Wrap Dress– works wonders on a curvy body (mostly because they are belted & pulled in all the right places, and v-neck)
Tank/ T-shirt Dresses– work great on an athletic body
Slip Dress– looks great on petite body frame
Empire waist– tends to work great on a tall body frame/ for small busts
Halter dress– works well with busty ladies
Shirt dress– is always my favorite because it is timeless, and works well with most body types

So what is the true secret of finding a good fitting sundress? Finding the fit that works with your body type. It’s that simple. If you have trouble finding clothes to fit you right, you need to visit a tailor. The store… the brand…. how much it is…. doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit right.

Outfits, Tips & How-tos

How To Dress Down Sequins

July 25, 2015

I am going to blame being born and raised in Las Vegas for my love of all things glitz and glamor. If it has some flash in some way, shape, or form I will likely like it. With my causal laid back style it is only natural that I dress down sequins every chance I get. Sequins is great to dress things up but it is my speciality to show you how to dress down sequins.



How To Dress Down Sequins

I like to dress down sequins with softer lighter fabrics such as distressed denim, worn in cotton, and wool. For example: I might also pair the sequin skirt I’m wearing with a white button up collared shirt, a t-shirt and denim vest, and wool cardigan in the winter. Also your shoe selection helps create a dress down sequins look. Also the best time to find sequins on sale (usually 2nd to 3rd mark down)is end of January/ February.

tank:Forever 21/shirt:Jcrew/belt:Madewell/shoes:Steve Madden

Here is a couple more examples of how I to dress down sequins on shoot I styled with photographer Paul Herandez and MUA Shannon Rasheed.





$60 bucks bought me

July 22, 2015

As a stylist, depending on what I am pulling for I usually do a lot of buying and returning. Recently on shoot someone asked how can I afford to create my kit, and own so much stuff? I admit I have a lot of clothes but my job also involves shopping a lot depending on the project. While I am shopping and returning I tend to find really great deals. While doing my returns yesterday I got suckered in buying a couple of item’s that were a great price. No one twisted my arm but I know I will wear them a lot for how much I spent on them.

$60 bucks bought me

Loft I spent $35.87 & J.Crew $19.99

Loft I spent $35.87 & J.Crew $19.99

Of course this was before taxes, if I would included texts my total was $61.22.


Loft Belted Cargo Jumpsuit: $98.00 $20.99

Loft jeans in Sand Dune $69.50$14.88

J.Crew Isla crosshatch slides $88.00$19.99

Couple of things to think about. These items were final sale. You should only buy a final sale item if you have tried the item on, and still love them. Never buy an item that is too small. It is very difficult and expense for alterations to make a garment bigger. Buying items on final sale usually means it’s been markdown 3x’s. By the time a item reached 3rd markdown it will not go any cheaper. The most important thing I can teach you is it isn’t a deal if you do never wear the item of clothing at all.


The Loft jumpsuit looked a little Safari to me, so you can see it the picture above I already cut the sleeves. Now I love the jumper for $20.99, and I likely wouldn’t of cut the sleeves if I paid full retail for it. Happy Shopping!

stylist Q&A

Becoming a great assistant stylist

July 11, 2015

As the old saying goes… behind every great fashion stylist is a kick-ass assistant (or something like that), and it’s true! Having a great assistant that understands what you need help with is really important for your shoot to go smoothly, with as little hair pulling as possible. Here is my Do’s and Don’ts of becoming a great assistant stylist.

Let’s start with the facts: Assistants typically make $100-$400 a day depending on the job and client. This could be for quick returns or a 14-hour day, again, depending on the job.

So what qualities make a good assistant stylist? There are the basics like being on time, managing time well, getting work done rather than chatting, and so on… but what really separates an ok assistant from a great one is their ability to anticipate the stylist’s needs. Understanding the kind of job and knowing what to do without being told is priceless.

A great assistant will:

Know where all of the merchandise is all of the time. Losing merchandise is one of the biggest no-no’s!
Be able to set up and break down the wardrobe room efficiently.
Take pictures of all talent, and write down each look
Be working to repair clothes or clean up on down time.
Always ask questions when things are unclear.
Constantly be checking in with the stylist, and making sure that all of their needs are met. This can include little things like getting food and water.
Open communication… If a problem occurs that you can’t fix, communication is key to get it fixed ASAP
Have your own kit available if needed. (rolling racks, steamer, tagging gun, felt, hangers, etc.)

With all of the things that an assistant can do right, there is also a

“What Not To Do” list

• As an assistant, you should not try and hustle yourself a job; it makes the person who hired you look bad (and you as well). Trying to steal you stylist’s clients is not cool, and nobody in the industry respects that kind of work. With that said, if you have a good relationship with you stylist, you could talk to them about referrals or ask advice on how to go about getting new clients.
Complaining. This should go without saying, but complaining while on the job is draining for everyone there. We are all going through the same 10-14 hour day with you, so keep an upbeat spirit so everyone doesn’t have to suffer as well.
Don’t take short cuts… an assistant is needed because the stylist can’t do it all by themselves. Do it the right way first, so your boss doesn’t have to redo your work
• Social media sharing: do not post photos & information from a shoot/ or fitting before it is released to the public. Big NO…NO… If you’d really like to take a picture, ask for permission first, presumably at an appropriate time- NOT while you are supposed to be working.

Don’t be loud and draw extra attention to yourself: Even after you are done with your job and are waiting around on set, it is not the time to mingle with the crew. Other people are still working and you could miss something important or make someone else slack in the process of conversation.


1981 High Rise Guess Jeans

July 8, 2015

1981 High Rise Guess Jeans are where it’s at least in my closet. There is something about the iconic Guess Brand triangle logo that makes me smile. People on set always make fun of me…. but I am telling you I just love my high rise Guess jeans. It’s the fit and fabric, plus the little girl inside me thinks the logo’s cool. Shop 1981 High Rise Guess Jeans by clicking Here.


Crop t-shirt & belt/ Madewell, jeans/ Guess, sandals/Steve Madden



I met my girlfriend Lindsay out for breakfast this morning, and we got so much of my work done in so little time. First and foremost she taught me how to use my new Wacom Tablet. It is a pen pad verses using a mouse. I have owned it for over a month and just pulled it.. and it is hard to use. But I am told it gets easier over time and once I really learn how to use it I won’t be able to live without it. Caught up on girl time and she snapped pictures.


Best Poodle Mom Ever T-Shirt

June 28, 2015

My sister-in-law is hilarious. I love her so much. When my guy and me got together my sister-in-law, Beth, was not feeling me. Fast forward 12 years later and we are besties.

      Let me tell you about Beth. Beth wears themed holiday sweaters (like snowman in the winter), makes family recipes at Thanksgiving, organizes games and events (that you hate the thought of but have so much fun playing), has an amazing craft room in her home (endless cabinets full of supplies), has every mail order gift catalog know to man, and sends personal gifts (AKA my best poodle mom ever t-shirt). The bottom line, Beth always has me smiling and laughing.


On my birthday I opened a package to find this pink Best Poodle Mom Ever t-shirt. I smiled really big because I do love my poodle. After trying it on, it did took me a minute to think about how I could make this t-shirt wearable in public. My solution? Cutting it up. So I ripped off the sleeves, the collar, and the bottom half of the t-shirt. Then I washed and dried it. Voilà, I turned my generic t-shirt into a stylish Best Poodle Mom tank top! Thanks Beth! You’re the best sister-in-law EVER.



Best poodle mom t-shirt $19.99, shoes/ Ann Taylor, jeans/ American Eagle , bracelet/ Jcrew