4 pieces of advice for fashion students

Advice for fashion students

This week’s short post is inspired by a conversation I had with a high school student. What would I say to someone planning to study fashion? What would I have said to my 17 year old self?

Learn how to sew. If you understand how clothes are constructed before commencing your fashion studies, you’ll be waaaay ahead.

Get a job in a fabric shop. As well as the very handy staff discount, you’ll be exposed to all sorts of different fabrics, tools and notions. In addition, you’ll be able to get advice from other staff members and customers who sew.

Get a job as an “ironing lady” (or man). Just for a few months. You’ll develop an empathy for handling fabric which will be a valuable asset. I ironed for two clients for one morning a week, doing their shirts. I did it for a couple of months and gee, did I get good and quick!

Be reliable. Do what you say you’re going to do. Get along with people. Who would you rather employ/do business with: a designer who is out-of-this-world brilliant, yet flaky, or someone who turns up (on time) and gets the job done? You’re building a reputation brick-by-brick and eventually your reputation will replace your resume. As well, consider that your fashion teachers are an informal “job agency” and like to recommend students to people who need staff.

Got any others? Please feel free to leave a comment. 🙂



  1. Janie Hampton on September 14, 2020 at 6:01 am

    Learn how to use and adapt patterns. Then learn pattern-cutting from scratch, Don’t just learn how to draw lovely looking clothes – they may not be wearable or make-able.
    If you can’t afford to buy new fabric, go to charity shops and remake clothes or use curtains or sheets.
    Unpick quality suits and coats to see how they are made. ( In the old days, they used to unpick suits and sew them back together inside-out for a second life.)

    • lizhaywood on September 14, 2020 at 9:19 am

      Thanks Janie – all excellent points, especially the last one.

  2. Donna on October 12, 2020 at 7:32 am

    Really Look at clothes. What fabric gives what effect? How do different shapes and fabric feel? Allow you to move. How do people act, stand, move in different styles and colours?

    • lizhaywood on October 12, 2020 at 8:23 am

      Great comments, thank you.

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