The other day I styled a fun photoshoot with Nathan (photographer) and Natalie Gibson (model). Here are some of the final images and 5 of my tips for wardrobe styling!
1. Build relationships with brands - The ultimate styling goals are to have amazing relationships with lots of designers and brands so that you can pull from their collections for free and bring plenty of options to the shoot. If you're just starting out, though (like me!), sometimes you need to buy things!
2. Thrift - I generally have decided I feel morally ok about buying and returning things from normal stores (as long as I don't damage, it's within the return policy, and I'm not hurting an individual's commission goals) BUT honestly if you have a small budget thrifting is way better anyways. Obviously thrift stores have the benefit of being cheap, but they also are a great resource if you're looking for anything that's quirky, not trendy, etc. I found all of these outfits at Goodwill, and while all of these looks are pretty trendy to some degree, I felt like they had just enough of a statement to feel intentional.
3. It's better to size up - if you're not sure about sizes or if you're thrifting and there's only one size option, it's always better to size up. I like to include some clips and pins in a little styling kit so that I can pull anything in to make it fit once it's on the model. We did this with the denim dress on Natalie! It was pretty large on her, but we clipped it in the back to make it more fitted.
4. Consider the audience - this is obvious, but I always like to remind myself of it. This shoot was for Instagram portraits, so I wanted it to be interesting fashion-wise but I still wanted Natalie to feel like herself. She's representing herself, not just modeling my clothes. But for example, if I were styling for a high-end fashion magazine, I would have looked for something really unique that you wouldn't find someone wearing on a normal day. Just consider the purpose of the photos and try to help the overall vision, not just your own (duh).
5. BUT also don't get caught up in pleasing people - I say this because it's my weakness. A few weeks ago I was styling for a shoot, and I was trying to think of ideas the director would really really like but I was struggling. I was getting anxious because I didn't feel like any of my ideas were interesting enough... finally I gave up and said "okay well, if it were just me, and I didn't care about what you probably like, I would do this...." and then all the lightbulbs went off and we loved every idea and ended up planning to use them. So, consider the audience but also remember you were chosen to be the stylist for a reason! You're probably good at it, so sometimes it's ok just just trust your unfiltered opinion.