It is imperative that all costume designers have good fashion sense, extensive knowledge of the fashion world and bring imagination, creativity and drive to the table. Being knowledgeable in theatre and film production is a definite plus.
Although you may have a strong sense of fashion and are an accomplished seamstress, in order to work as a costume designer you must also receive formal education in costume or fashion design. There are both two and four-year programs which meet the minimum requirements for employment but more advanced skills such as those acquired through a four-year program will improve your chances of being hired. Many costume designers have master's degrees which include a focus on theatre, broadcasting, costume design, literature or marketing. Although an advanced degree is not a hard requirement, the greater experience and knowledge you have, the more marketable you are.
Any opportunity to work as an intern will provide invaluable experience, and this combined with your formal education will help to develop your portfolio while also showing your drive. The best way to ensure future work as a costume designer is to take advantage of every opportunity presented to you to work, even if it is for free and as an apprentice.
What are Costume Designers like?
Based on our pool of users, costume designers tend to be predominately artistic people.
Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.
Costume Designers by Strongest Interest Archetype
Based on sample of 179 Sokanu users
Are Costume Designers happy?
Costume designers rank
among the happiest
careers. Overall they rank in the 92nd percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.
Costume Designer Career Satisfaction by Dimension
Percentile among all careers
Education History of Costume Designers
The most common degree held by costume designers is Drama.
13% of costume designers had a degree in drama before becoming costume designers. That is over 13 times the average across all careers.
Fine Arts graduates are the second most common among costume designers, representing 3% of costume designers in the Sokanu user base, which is 1.5 times the average.
Costume Designer Education History
This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Costume Designer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.