There are a lot of things to consider before pursuing a degree in fashion. People often think that studying fashion will only teach you how to dress better and look amazing. Or that you will only make dresses for events and all things glamorous.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
A Degree in Fashion is everything but simple. You have to put in a lot of work, a lot of time, little sleep, and a whole lot of creativity. Because you are going to be making clothes, yes, but as an art expression. You have to deliver a message, you have to tell a story. You may have to cover some functional necessities. And most of all you have to keep in mind that you will be working with the human body as the main tool. And all of these things tend to be rawer and makes you connect in a whole different and deeper level than just plain luxury.
Also, remember that fashion as we know it has not always been like that. In the beginning, clothes had functional needs to cover. For example; the weather. People were cold so they needed something to cover themselves up with so they weren’t cold anymore. So it wasn’t always a superficial thing like we now tend to see it.
Fashion has a very important roll in our social lives, deeper than most of us realize. But you will learn this better when you study art history and the real social history behind fashion.
Oh yes girl, you read that right. You are going to have to study history. There are even maths in fashion. So no, it’s not all fun and games like people often believe.
So I’m going to give you 4 things to consider before pursuing a degree in fashion, so you know what to expect.
Things to consider before pursuing a degree in fashion
1. It Is VERY Time Consuming
Expect to have a massive workload for a lot of different classes, you will be pushed to your limits and you are going to eventually run out of creativity and ideas.
You are going to spend several hours of the day attending class, and whatever hours left you will have to dedicate to homework and school projects. So say goodbye to your social life.
I know that sounds really harsh, but if you are going to study fashion, it means it’s your passion. So even though it sounds like a lot of work (which it is) you are also going to enjoy every step of the process. You are going to learn a lot, and you will find yourself getting better and better in everything along the creative process.
You’ll come up with better ideas, you’ll find a way to be more effective and efficient and you’ll even learn to distinguish how much time each aspect of your work really deserves. And that improves your general workflow.
This leads me to number 2.
This photo was taken by photographer Javi Dardó. Model is Alena Nurgaleeva, and it’s one of the looks of my undergraduate collection named XF3R.
2. You Have To Be Very Organized
Since you are going to have to put in a lot of time to each and every project that comes your way, I really -really- recommend starting the project the day that they send it to you. Forget about deadlines. If you focus only on the deadline dates, there will come a day that you will have a lot of projects still left to do and you won’t make it in time. But if you start the project the same day it is given to you, by the time you get sent another project to do, the first one is going to be really advanced or even done.
So you have to keep in mind that organization is KEY.
And I’m going to tell you something and I know it doesn’t apply to everyone because I’m actually a nerd. But I slept -every-single-day- through the 4 years of my degree. It had to do with my work speed. I work really fast. But mainly the real reason was that I am a very organized person, so neither of my projects piled up and I always delivered everything on time.
It depended on the months and the projects at the time, but I usually even had free time on the weekends. But my energy levels were the lowest because of all the work I put in through the week. When the weekend came I only wanted to Netflix and chill.
3. It Is Expensive
Fabrics, sewing machines, sewing materials, threads, a good pair of scissors, a computer, editing software. A lot of paper and ink or in that case also going to your local printer and paying the fees, different stationary products, school books, a good iron, rulers, the list goes on and on.
The monthly or annual cost of the university itself and don’t forget your undergraduate project (fabrics, materials, photographer, cinematographer, models, etc). Dear Lord if that costs money.
So keep in mind this degree is really expensive and I think this is an important matter to consider.
4. You Are Going To Become Very Competitive
Fashion at the end of the day is art. And art is subjective. So not everyone is going to like what you do but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Of course, fashion has it’s very technical side, especially through pattern making. So if you have the technicalities wrong, well then yes, the result is “wrong”. But if you are only considering if people like it or not, don’t bother yourself, as long as you like it, it’s good to go.
But of course we are all humans and sometimes we can’t avoid to compare ourselves with others. We have all been there. And believe me, it’s not worth it.
As long as you give everything you’ve got, and push yourself to make everything as good as you can. Then it doesn’t matter that the guy beside you is doing better than you. Because then again that will be very subjective. So focus on what you have to focus and push your own limits, always challenge yourself. That’s the only way to grow and get better at stuff.
Besides, I’ve always thought that it’s better to have someone that is better than you because that pushes you to constantly improving yourself. Otherwise, you will certainly settle for whatever lame thing you come up with first. And that is the recipe for not growing and improving at all.
Illustrations of XF3R Collection.
Also remember, no matter how good you are, someone somewhere is ALWAYS going to be better than you. No one is perfect and that is totally OK.
Healthy competition never hurt anybody.
So yeah, I hope this gives you a deeper look into what studying fashion is really like. And hopefully, I can help you make the decision.
For me studying fashion was my dream and I was fortunate enough to be able to pursue it. It is very sacrificing in time and money. But believe me when I say it is absolutely worth every single second and penny. And you will probably make a bunch of new friends that love the same things that you do. So that’s really nice!
Are you interested in pursuing a fashion degree or already are? Who are your favorite fashion designers? Let me know in the comments!