Costume Designer

Create costumes for movies, TV shows, or stage plays.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$33,000 – $131,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Costume Designers do?

The job of a Costume Designer is to design the costumes used in a film, stage or television production. A Costume Designer must have a strong artistic eye, and an ability to sew along with knowledge of patterns, draping, textiles and drafting.

As a Costume Designer, you are a very important member of the production team: Costumes are the fastest way to give visual information, like economic status of a character or the time period, to the audience. They also give incredible depth to the visual appeal of a production. This means it’s very important for you to find the right dress for the right moment—your audience just won’t understand the play if you put a man from the 1920’s in a futuristic space suit.

The majority of your work happens in preproduction and you start your work by reading over the script. While reading you figure out the number of Actors you need to outfit, and start coming up with a general idea of how you’d like the dress them. If you are working on a historical period piece you’ll need to research into dress styles and popular colors or patterns of the time.

Sometimes finding costumes will be as easy as renting or buying different pieces from a store, but other times it means you will have to alter found items or create completely new ones. And your job isn’t just about clothing either; you are also in charge of coming up with any props a character will wear.

Should I be a Costume Designer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Historic Clothing and Costume Maker

    How to become a Costume Designer

    Most Costume Designers have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:is9pap&chl=no+college+%285%25%29|certificate+%2826%25%29|associate%27s+%2836%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2824%25%29||doctorate+%289%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,5,36
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