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Costume designer

Costume designers are responsible for the overall look of the clothes and costumes in theatre, film or television productions.

Potential salary

£13,000 to £35,000

Employment by 2024

+1.34%

Working hours

40 to 42 variable

  • the ability to work well with others
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of maths
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • studying the script
  • discussing ideas with the director, and production, make-up, lighting and set designers
  • researching suitable costume styles and fabrics
  • sketching costume designs
  • creating costumes to fit the production's design concept and budget
  • giving instructions to costume makers, wardrobe supervisors and assistants

On smaller productions, you may also carry out some of the practical tasks, like:

  • managing the wardrobe budget
  • buying or hiring outfits
  • fitting, altering and adapting costumes
  • cleaning, ironing and mending
  • making sure wardrobe items are available at the right time
  • keeping the look of the costumes the same between shoots or scenes

You could work at a film studio, in a theatre, at a TV studio, on a film set or from home.

You’ll specialise in either theatre or in film and TV, but you could work in both areas once you’re established.

You can find out more about becoming a costume designer from:Royal Opera House; ScreenSkills

You can also get more details about working in the creative industries from Discover Creative Careers.

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