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How to Become a Costume Designer: Career Breakdown and Instructions

Have you ever considered being a costume designer?

Learn the ins and outs of becoming a costume designer. Basic job duties. Necessary skills for a true professional. What should be on your resume, and how to start a career?

How to start a career as a costume designer?

Creative individuals can get a variety of jobs, including artists, writers, designers, and many more. Talking about designers, there are so many variations to choose from. Have you ever considered being a costume designer? They are engaged in developing and planning outfits for characters on TV, in movies, and in the theater. If you are interested in this position and want to build your career in this area, keep on reading our article to learn more about the profession and don’t hesitate to check out costume designer job opportunities on Jooble!

Source | Report

What does a costume designer do?

A costume designer is a person who creates outfits for actors, which they wear in theatrical productions and movies. These professionals are always in demand in the entertainment industry because it is often connected with fantasy or fiction worlds. Costume designers use their extensive knowledge in a variety of fields:

  • Art
  • Design
  • The process of creating the outfits

The final outfit depends on the very nature of the project. Professionals represented must have an excellent understanding of outfits from different eras and contemporary fashion.
How do you start a career as a costume designer?

As a recent graduate, you need to know where to start building your career. Together with the experts from job aggregator Jooble, we have studied this question in more detail and came to the following conclusions:

A costume designer should start looking for jobs through professional networks and personal connections. In addition, an excellent option would be bulletin boards.

You can get a job in various cities: from a regional theater to local film productions. As for the regions, these professionals are most in demand in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto.
This field is quite competitive, so you should start looking for jobs with local theaters and film studios. In addition, you should also pay enough attention to your resume. The best demonstration of qualifications is an extensive portfolio of work showing costume designs that have already been created. Every costume designer should have a portfolio of their works. It should include fully assembled images of characters or models, present fabric samples, and costume sketches. It doesn’t hurt to add photos or videos of the finished models.

What skills should a costume designer have?

To be successful in the workplace, a professional costume designer should have the following profile skills.


Creativity is essential for professional costume designers, as it takes a good imagination to develop clothing items and complete character images. Costume designers must exercise their creativity at almost every stage of the design process, from creating an initial sketch to the final fitting. In addition, creativity comes in handy during the selection of material, color schemes, and other important moments in costume creation.

Drawing skills

A costume designer should be able to draw to realize their idea on paper. Using the ability to draw by hand, you’ll be able to create your sketch of the future outfit without special computer programs or other tools. Developed drawing skills will be helpful to participants in the production of sewing costumes so the specialist can imagine exactly what the final outfit should look like based on the initial outline.

Concepts of Fashion Design

To succeed in clothing design, it is necessary to have reasonably extensive knowledge of adequately designing and sewing clothing. The represented professional must not just create sketches but skillfully convert them into an actual dress. A costume designer must know how to cut, have hand sewing skills, learn how to use sewing machines, and more. Also, some artists assign sewing their designs to professional tailors. But even in this situation, you should know precisely how the clothes should be made.

Scrupulousness and attentiveness

A costume designer controls every stage of the creation of an outfit. Before developing the design, it is necessary to study the theme in detail, as well as the time when the character lives or lived, to make sure that the outfit fully corresponds to the style of the time. In addition, special attention should also be paid to the little things – even stitching on the clothes, quality zippers and buttons, and other nuances. A costume designer ensures that the costume will sit appropriately on the actor and meet all standards.

How much does a costume designer earn?

Statistics show that the average salary per year for a costume designer in the United States is $57,567. Meanwhile, the salary ranges from a minimum of $30,248 annually to a maximum of $109,559. It is worth noting that the number of wages can vary and depends on several factors: experience, qualifications, position held, employer, and location.

You should also note that from 2020 to 2030, analysts do not predict job growth among costume designers and similar occupations in today’s market. Suppose you want to take a worthy position in this field. In that case, it is worth worrying about profile education, having experience, and developing the necessary professional skills so that a potential employer will be interested in you.

Written by Nazar Nytyksha

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