Advice on Getting an Education in Fashion


Q- I had e-mailed you awhile back about the School Of Style and since then I’ve been following you on twitter as well as following your blog. I thought you had a lot of great tips and good advice for those who are just getting started in a styling career. I wanted to ask your advice on the issue of schooling.

I currently attend a community college in Chicago, and I am getting an AAS in Fashion Merchandising. They have an amazing program and I am confident attending will give me an advantage someday. I am planning to attend the School of Style this coming summer and I also think that will help me tremendously and teach me what any other school can’t.

My question for you then, is that I am wondering if that is enough? Do I need to attend a school to receive a Bachelor’s, or should I try to begin working and see if I can get an internship or assistants position? I have had so much trouble deciding what to do and what would be the smartest decision. Any help you could give me would be great! Thank you so much!!

A- That’s a great question and a question that I am sure many of my readers have as well.  The short answer is “yes, that’s enough”. The longer answer goes a little something like this …

I fell in love with fashion when I was 5 years old (maybe before that but I vividly remember knowing fashion was my life when I was 5). Since then I did everything I could to educate myself on the subject. I took sewing lessons from my grandma when I was a little kid, I sketched outfits daily after buying a book on fashion illustration when I was in the first grade, I made horrific little outfits for myself in middle school, I took fashion marketing classes and put on fashion shows in high school, I went to art school and got my Bachelor’s in fashion design during my college years, and I worked at Nordstrom and Betsey Johnson to get the retail perspective on things.

I did all that and ended up working at AOL, which has NOTHING to do with the fashion industry. After that I was determined to work in fashion so I just started to make it happen. I started my blog and 5 years later decided to take a chance on the School Of Style. Now, I am FINALLY doing what I want to do, which is working as a stylist and being my own boss.

Did I need to go through my laundry list of fashion education prior to my blog and attending School Of Style? Probably not. Do I regret doing everything before that? Of course not. I learned a ton on a subject that I love and would never take it back.

So my advice to you is this … Do what you have time for and what you can afford. If you really love learning and want to spend the time and money getting your Bachelors degree then do it. If you don’t have the time or money, then skip it because you really don’t need it. All you need is drive, passion, and a crash course on what to do.

Hope that was helpful and if you do end up coming to School Of Style this summer, then I will see you in class. Heck, after you graduate from SOS you may even get a chance to intern with me and Luke. We always pluck our interns from our graduate list first 😉

2 thoughts on “Advice on Getting an Education in Fashion”

  1. Hi great blog and great advice! I completely agree with you on this one…I went to community college for Fashion Merchandising after debating if FIDM was right for me. Some of the teachers I had at the community college had gone to FIDM and really didn’t suggest me going there. Their reasoning being that experience looks a lot better on your resume than anything else, and it’s definitely a lot cheaper! I, as well, got stuck in a non-fashion job even though it’s what I majored in and what I’m passionate about…I’m slowly making my way back:)

  2. GREAT ADVICE! I plan to attend School of Style in the summer, too. I recently rec’d my MBA just so I can handle the business aspect of running my own fashion-centered business (stylist in Nashville). But I def agree that experience is the best teacher.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *