25 things you’ll relate to if you work in fashion

Words by Alyce Greer

Illustration by Twylamae

Let’s commiserate.

Whether you earn a (shitty, can-barely-pay-my-bills-this-month) crust from writing blogs, steaming clothes, styling shoots, buying, running the shop floor, working in magazines or getting coffees for other higher-up people that work in magazines, you’re part of an elite, well-dressed and regularly mocked club: the fashion industry.

While there are many different levels within the fashion industry hierarchy, we are all united by a series of experiences we’ve all dealt with at one time or another in our career. And sometimes we deal with them on a daily basis as a hot coffee is being thrown at our face.

Here are 25 of those experiences that we can all relate to. Let’s read them together as we hold hands and cry over a bowl of sauv blanc.

When you’re an intern

1. You tape shoes and ponder if this is all life has to offer.

2. One of your party tricks is carrying 1500 coffees in one go and only spilling two all over yourself.

3. You will cry often about how broke you are, especially when your whole day’s pay has to go toward your new parking fine.

4. Your mum and dad regularly ask, “but what do you actually do all day.”

When you work in fashion retail

5. You say “Hello!” customers say “No thanks.”

6. You deal with people that try on 200 items, take none of them and give them back to you in a big ball because they don’t know how to use a clothes hanger.

7. Customers will talk on the phone while you’re trying to serve them and you have to mouth “Paying by card?” while you pray they step their new boots in dog poop later.

8. Customers return things they’ve worn clubbing and act surprised when you say it smells like cigarettes and dancing on a podium for eight hours.

9. You’re all too familiar with the torture method of finger spacing.

10. Weekends and public holidays and Christmas do not exist.

11. You will develop your own personal set of icebreakers. Sometimes they will end badly.

12. You will know the style name of every item in the goddamn history of the store, which is sad because you don’t have room for your own phone number or your grandma’s birthday.

13. People walk past you in the change room because “they didn’t see you there”. You are invisible.

When you’re a stylist 

14. You have a long history of being teased over your fashion-forward outfit.

15. You once went missing for two weeks straight while shopping on ASOS.

16. You’re always one season ahead because of work, so are really over trends before anyone else likes them and there is nothing else for you to buy.

17. Most of your “glamorous” job is spent carrying shopping bags and pulling clothes racks.

18. You have a host of muscular issues thanks to the above, particularly in the shoulder region. You will spend your pay on physiotherapy.

19. While you’re sourcing, other shoppers will stare you down and whisper to their friends that you must be a shopping addict.

20. People will ask for a critique on their outfit once they learn you work in fashion.

21. You promise you usually look better than this but it’s hard to look cute with a 5am call time.

22. All of your friends will ask you for a discount that doesn’t exist.

23. To you, fashion week means being exhausted deep in your soul, and not being able to walk for a week after.

24. You will learn the true meaning of stress, when you have a shoot tomorrow and none of the looks have arrived.

25. Your friends will raid your wardrobe every weekend and you will never see those clothes again (except in their tagged Facebook photos).


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