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Schools for Aspiring Fashion Consultants: How to Choose

Often a subsidiary of a fashion design and merchandising degree, image and fashion consultants train in apparel design, construction and marketing. Certificate and degree programs in fashion and image consulting are available at some 2-year and 4-year colleges.

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Image and fashion consultants help clients choose the clothing, accessories and shoes that best fit the client's needs, tastes and personality. This training stems from certificate and bachelor's degree programs in areas like image fashion consulting or merchandising.

10 Schools with Fashion Consulting Programs

Fashion consulting programs can be found at many two and four year schools. Here are ten schools where students can study fashion consulting:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public Bachelor's $1,598 in-state, $7,554 out-of-state
Fashion Institute of Technology New York, NY 4-year, Public Non-credit certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's $5,230 in-state, $14,230 out-of-state
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,632 in-district, $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state
Mesa Community College Mesa, AZ 2-year, Public Associate's $2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state
Pittsburg State University Pittsburg, KS 4-year, Public Bachelor's $6,508 in-state, $16,978 out-of-state
Wayne State College Wayne, NE 4-year, Public Bachelor's $5,898 in-state, $10,308 out-of-state
Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $48,791
Iowa State University Ames, IA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,736 in-state, $20,856 out-of-state
Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,107 in-state, $28,767 out-of-state
Auburn University Auburn, AL 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,424 in-state, $28,040 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Apparel and Textile Manufacturing
  • Apparel and Textile Marketing Management
  • Consumer Economics
  • Consumer Services
  • Fabric and Fashion Specialist
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Family Resource Management Studies
  • Human Sciences Communication
  • Retail Management and Merchandising

School Selection Criteria

Some considerations when selecting a program in the field of fashion are:

  • Some programs focus primarily on the trending fashions; others diversify their range to include figure analysis, color selection and business start-up.
  • Interning with an expert fashion consultant is often required for graduation, so students may want to research what connections a school has in the industry.
  • Programs that offer first-hand experience working in fashion and market shows provide industry exposure.
  • Some schools also offer study abroad programs within the field, if this is of interest to students.

Certificate in Image or Fashion Consulting

Certificate students in fashion consulting are exposed to a wide array of areas within the field, such as color and clothing style, nutrition, and starting and running a business. Since most certificates are offered within a larger fashion program, students can learn about other areas such as textile design, merchandising or fashion history. Many certificate programs take about one year to complete. Graduates can either begin their careers in fashion consulting or transfer to a bachelor's degree program in fashion consulting or a related field.

Bachelor's Degree in Image or Fashion Consulting/Merchandising

Bachelor's degrees in fashion merchandising or image consulting include coursework covering the aspects and content of the full range of the fashion industry. This includes retailing, selecting fabrics, color knowledge, identifying new styles and trends, and learning the most effective way to market products. Some schools require their students to complete a minor in a different area, such as graphic design, marketing or business administration.

Students who enroll in fashion consulting degree programs or a related field will learn about a broad range of concepts related to fashion, including merchandising, fashion history, retail buying and nutrition planning. Those who choose to study at the certificate level may choose a program that allows them to transition directly into bachelor's degree programs.

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