How to make a costume design portfolio

A portfolio should show a selection of your best work that you have created either in your spare time, at school or at work. Invest in a large folder that can hold all of your work, so that it’s easy to carry around.

If you'd like to find some ways to develop your craft, look through our opportunities here. 

What should a costume design portfolio contain?

  • Mood boards, research findings, rough drafts to show your process.
  • Photographs and drawings/sketches
  • Photographs of final costume design
  • Evidence of any productions that you have designed for – include the programmes
  • Production photographs of the actors in your costumes under the stage lighting
  • Any reviews or interviews that have included you in them
  • Any other examples of your work; paintings, clippings, diagrams, textiles

Showing your process:

This can be in form of a sketchbook, something that contains all your research, rough sketches and textiles that got you to the finalised product.


If you want to include a particular costume that is light and small enough to carry, then you can include this as part of your portfolio. However, if something is quite large then include photographs and small cuttings of fabric that you used for it.


Choose good quality images in colour. Include photographs of the costumes under the stage lights with the actors in character as well as some close-up images of finer details.


Have these printed out and, if there is a particular section that mentions your work or your name, then highlight this so it stands out.

Search opportunities here and Find jobs with The Stage Jobs here.



Photo: Royal Opera House

Published: 04 March 2019

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