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What do wardrobe staff do?

When working in a theatre's wardrobe department, you will be working under the direction of the Head of Wardrobe to ensure the costumes for a production are looked after, maintained and fitted well to the performer.

What are the main responsibilities of theatre wardrobe staff?

  • Altering or mending costumes
  • Cleaning and ironing
  • Fitting costumes onto the performers
  • Looking after costumes between scenes
  • Helping performers change costumes between scenes
  • Storing costumes and returning hired items (known as 'breaking down' costumes)

What qualifications do I need to work in wardrobe?

While you do not need a degree for this role, here are some useful subjects and courses that could help you get a head start in the industry:

  • Costume design
  • Fashion
  • Dressmaking
  • Textiles

What skills do I need to work in wardrobe?

These are the desirable skills to have to be the right candidate for a wardrobe role:

  • Organised
  • An eye for detail
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Competent in sewing

What does a career in wardrobe look like?

You may start as a Wardrobe Assistant and move into more senior roles such as Wardrobe Master/Mistress, Costume Designer or Supervisor.

How much can theatre wardrobe staff earn?

Pay for theatre wardrobe staff varies depending on experience, and the tasks required of you. Typically pay is:

Starting/trainee pay: £13k

Experienced: £18k - £28k

Highly experienced: £35k

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

 

References:

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/wardrobe-assistant

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/costume-designer

http://openairtheatre.com/up/careers/pdf/8.pdf

https://www.youngvic.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Wardrobe%20Manager%20for%20Inheritance%20-%20JD%20Jan%202018.pdf

 

Photo: Royal Opera House/Sim Canetty-Clarke

Date published: 04 March 2019