What does a Costume Designer do?

A Costume Designer is the person responsible for designing the costumes for a production, making sure they match the time period, style and Director’s vision for the piece, as well as being practical for the Performer.

What are the main responsibilities of a Costume Designer?

  • Reading the full script, marking and making notes on areas that will affect costume
  • Research the time period and setting of the play
  • Researching fashion in certain time periods and places
  • Design the costume for each character
  • Liaise with the Director on the overall vision of the play

What qualifications do I need to be a Costume Designer?

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
  • Fine Art
  • Art and Design
  • Fashion
  • Dressmaking
  • Textiles

Find training opportunities in costume design here. 

What skills do I need to be a Costume Designer?

These are the desirable skills for the right candidate to have to be a Costume Designer:

  • Organisational skills
  • An eye for detail
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Competent in sewing
  • Ability to work alone as well as with others
  • Ability to communicate and present your ideas

Always ensure you keep examples of your work. Read our blog 'How to make a costume design portfolio.'

What does a career in costume design look like?

You may start as a Wardrobe Assistant and move into more senior roles such as Wardrobe Master/Mistress and then move into costume design. Some people have gone from set design areas into costume design roles.

Find costume design opportunities on The Stage Jobs here. 

How much can a Costume Designer earn?

Pay for a Costume Designer can vary depending on their level of experience:

Starting/Trainee: £13k

Experienced: £18k - £28k

Highly experienced: £35k

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here


Photo: Pexels

Published: 04 March 2019

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