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How do I get a Job in the Apparel Industry?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Getting a job in the apparel industry typically means starting in an entry-level position and working your way up. Since apparel or fashion industry careers are diverse in their scope, you should begin with a well-researched plan of what area you hope to work in, such as a designer, stylist or buyer. Getting hired in the apparel industry often takes a mixture of a focused passion for fashion as well as some education and experience in retail clothing sales.

Studying fashion trends and translating them into your own style in the way you dress is an important first step in getting hired at the entry level and growing beyond that in the apparel industry. People who end up successfully working in this industry often begin early on polishing their own look and learning how to use fashion trends to the advantage of their own body type. Taking fashion-related courses in high school and college as well as working in retail such as at a clothing store can help set the groundwork for a higher level apparel industry job.

To get a job as a fashion buyer, a college degree in purchasing or marketing is usually necessary. Higher degrees may be required for top apparel industry buying positions. Working in retail, starting with waiting on customers in clothing stores to eventually assist in ordering merchandise, can be great early steps for future fashion buyers. Working as an assistant buyer can lead to a full-fledged apparel purchasing position.

To work as an apparel industry stylist, you could start your own personal shopping business. Creating a business plan that includes who your customers and competition are as well as how you will manage your start-up costs is important. Taking courses in color theory as well as studying what works with different skin tones and body shapes is crucial if you want to get an apparel stylist job. Get your name out there as an industry stylist by appearing on the local news, handing out your business cards and perhaps staging fashion events at malls and shopping centers. Top communication skills and wanting to help people look their best can really help people advance into stylist jobs in the clothing industry.

To become a fashion designer either working for your own label or another company's, honing your sewing skills as well as your eye for design is necessary. Originality as well as creativity is something that many people who want to get an apparel industry fashion designer job fail to adequately develop. While you should definitely have extensive knowledge of past and present designers, making sure your designs are completely fresh is the best way to succeed in this career.

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