Costume attendants have many duties and responsibilities. They hand out costumes and props to each performer, and keep detailed records that state where wardrobe pieces are at all times. They also return pieces of wardrobe to rental facilities or storage when the production is complete. During show times, costume attendants carefully arrange all costumes in the order they will be worn to facilitate fast, flawless costume changes. They must also assist performers in putting the costumes on properly, or hire cast dressers that can do the job properly in their place.
Some costume attendants work directly under a costume designer and make, alter and repair costumes for the shows, or send the costumes to a seamstress or tailor in time to be ready for the performances. For pieces that cannot be made on site, costume attendants will travel to the appropriate shops to rent or buy costume pieces required for the performance.
Before show time, costume attendants check how the costumes look on stage under the lights with the set pieces, and how they contrast with other costumes on set. If the effects they hoped to see from the costumes are not present, costume attendants redo the work until they get the look that is desired for the performance.
Other duties of costume attendants are to create organized sheets that detail dressing and costume lists and checks, assign lockers and dressing rooms to performers, and see that all costumes are in the dressing rooms before show time with every piece accounted for.
Costume attendants work side by side with the producer, director and costume designers to establish the details of costuming for each individual production. Finding the right costumes could require reading the script and doing research about a specific time period to fully achieve the desired look. This could involve studying old books, photographs, and period clothing for details that must be carried over into the costuming.
Hiring is another duty of costume attendants. Finding and hiring cast dressers, seamstresses and tailors that have a high quality of work is an important part of the job. Costume attendants must train, schedule, and supervise these employees. They must also carefully monitor outside vendors that are brought in to take part in costume preparation. During performances, costume attendants must carefully direct their team to ensure everything goes of without a hitch.