Wardrobe consultants are fashion professionals who provide guidance on the type of colors, patterns, designs, and clothing styles that are best for a given client. Consultants often work one on one with a single client, or provide services for ongoing projects such as fashions for theater productions or electronic media, as well as general consulting for larger groups that want to learn the rudiments of choosing clothing and accessories. The typical wardrobe consultant tends to specialize in a limited area of expertise, based either on the gender, age, or other circumstances relevant to the client.
There are several different names given to professionals who function as a wardrobe consultant. Often, these titles reflect something of the scope of the services offered. For example, an image consultant that specializes in working with business professionals will often address not only clothing options, but also general grooming, selection of accessories, and possibly even work with the client on issues of business decorum.
Another form of the wardrobe consultant is known as the corporate image consultant. This type of fashion consultant can often help companies develop dress codes that are appropriate for the workplace, and assist employees in how to make proper selections for office attire. Consultants may work with executives, salespeople, or anyone else in the company who comes in contact with the general public.
A personal image consultant is another common example of a wardrobe consultant. In this capacity, the consultant will work with an individual to make changes in dressing styles, grooming, and the general physical presentation. Unlike some other forms of wardrobe consulting, this approach often involves helping the client to learn how to dress for all sorts of settings, ranging from casual attire for the weekend, to choosing proper work attire, to developing a sense of how to dress at formal affairs. The personal consultant often helps the client go through his or her existing wardrobe, purge it of any inappropriate or unflattering garments, and then shops with the client to select the right clothing for his or her lifestyle.
Wardrobe consultants often have degrees in fashion design, or have some experience working in the garment industry. However, formal training is not necessary to be successful in this field. Anyone with a highly developed sense of style and the background necessary to understand what is considered proper dress in different situations can make a living as a wardrobe consultant. Whether working as part of a firm or as a freelance consultant, this line of work can be very lucrative, as well as provide a high degree of personal satisfaction.