Introduction to Personal Styling - A Review by Style Me Sunday

Personal styling


Recently I attended a personal styling course at Fashion Retail Academy (FRA). The course was a great introduction to the world of personal styling, for people who are thinking about a career change or for anyone who wants to see if it is right career choice for them.

I was particularly keen to attend because I’ve often dipped my toe into personal styling through opportunities brought about via the blog, but I don’t actually have any formal qualifications. The course really helped me to recognise and consolidate my own fashion styling knowledge, as well learn new concepts.

The course tutor was Sarah Cook, she introduced to us to dressing different body shapes, current trends for men and women, the importance of colour when picking clothes for people and collating mood boards to visualise concepts.

I didn’t realise at the time how much I’d learned in only 3 days, until I started using what I’d been taught and putting it into practise. The course has been a wonderful introduction, and it has only given me the hunger to want to learn more.

To find out more about Personal Styling I asked Sarah (the course tutor) a few questions:

Tell us a little bit about how you got into Styling?  And what exciting jobs you’ve done to date?

Working in fashion was something I dreamt about since I was about 12, I would sit at home sketching ‘fashion designs’ and making outfits from my dressing up box. When the chance came, I enrolled at University where I studied Fashion for 3 years. After graduating I was lucky enough to get a long term work placement role on high end mens magazine and that was the beginning of my styling career. From there I soon secured my first job as a Fashion Co-ordinator on a men’s weekly magazine. About 4 years later I decided I wanted to branch out a bit and extend my skills further, so I decided to go Freelance and be my own boss. This was great move for me and since then (about 7 years ago now), I have worked with a large number of publications and brands – from Grazia and OK! magazine, to Sony Music and menswear brand, Jacamo. I recently worked on a new and exciting job that was something bit different for me. I worked closely with a female celebrity (who’s name I can’t reveal at the moment), and her book publisher on a new style book she is bringing out and I was closely involved in sourcing looks and styles to suit the various different aspects of her busy lifestyle. It will be on sale this Summer!

What do you like best about your job? What you like to do more of?

The thing I love most about my job has to be the variety, I get to work with so many talented people – from make-up artists and photographers, to Art Directors and models. I do also get to work with my friends when we happen to be on the same job, and its so good to know you’re going to spend the day with people who have the same love for their job as you do. There isn’t really any particular aspect of my work I would like to do more of. Being self-employed can be hard at times and really have to keep on top of your contacts and cash flow. So I’m just happy knowing I can be my own boss and get to have so much variety.

What is a typical day for you?

I don’t really have a typical day as my weeks can vary so much from one to the next. For the most part, it will start with a cup of tea and my laptop. Check in on my emails and have a little browse of Instagram to get myself set up for the day. Then I might pop into London for a meeting or perhaps some appointments to get some clothes together for a shoot. Alternatively, I might be heading of to a studio for the day to shoot some fashion. The down side is that I often find myself laden down with bags or a suitcase…but hey, it keeps you fit!

How would you describe your own style?

My style is very eclectic and I tend to wear quite a mix of styles depending on the weather or the event. As whole, I’m a strong believer in having good basics in your wardrobe as opposed to endless pieces of ‘fast fashion’ that you end up only wearing once or twice. I do have a soft spot for a good pair of trainers though and having a growing collection taking over my shoe rack! I found the talk about colours really interesting. I think many people don’t know much about what colours suit them, can you give us a very brief run through about colour matching? It can make such a huge difference to someones appearance just by wearing the right colour clothing and accessories…and of course make up too. To briefly explain the basics, you want to look at your hair colour, skin tone and eye colour to assess whether you might be better suited to warmer or cooler tones of colour. There is a good test where you can hold a piece of silver and gold card up against your skin. Look carefully at yourself in the mirror and as you hold each colour up against your neckline, look to see if it makes your face/skin look glowing and healthy, or drawn and pale. If the gold card is better for you, you suit warmer tones. If the silver was your colour, then you will suit cooler colours best. However, there are variations on these shades depending on your hair colour, but this basic test will give you something to start from and you can then go online to read up more if you wish. Just try to always trust your instincts, if a colour doesn’t give you confidence and glow, then its probably not for you.

The Introduction to Personal Styling course is 3 days and costs £340 but I have a special offer code for my followers. Use – STYLEME15 enter the code at the checkout online to get an amazing 15% off any short course (excluding postgrad).

The next personal styling courses are on 18th – 20th May and 19th – 21st July. Details of all other short courses can be found online.

If you would like any more information about this particular course, please free to get in touch via my blog -

Nat x