Wardrobe Assistant

Job Description:

Wardrobe assistants help to make, find and look after clothes and costumes used in theatre, film and TV productions.

Job Category:
Art & Fashion

What you will do:

Day-to-day tasks

You might:

  • help to buy and hire costume items
  • look after the costumes between takes or scenes
  • mend and alter items
  • pack and unpack costumes and accessories
  • clean, steam and iron garments
  • help to make pieces and put costumes together
  • fit costumes onto performers
  • keep continuity notes, so that performers look the same in each scene
  • store costumes and return hired items (known as ‘breaking down’ costumes)



You’ll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creative skills)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Wardrobe Assistant, you don’t typically need specific GCSE subjects, but there are certain subjects that can be helpful in preparing you for this career. Wardrobe Assistants work in the entertainment and fashion industries, and having a well-rounded education can be beneficial. Here are some GCSE subjects that can be useful:

  1. Art and Design: GCSE Art and Design can help you develop creative and artistic skills, which are essential for understanding clothing aesthetics, design, and costume construction.
  2. Textiles: Textiles courses can teach you about fabrics, sewing techniques, and garment construction, which are all fundamental skills for a Wardrobe Assistant.
  3. Drama or Theater Studies: A GCSE in Drama or Theater Studies can provide insight into the world of costume design and the specific needs of the performing arts.
  4. Business Studies: Knowledge of business and management can be valuable if you plan to work in the fashion or theater industries, as it can help you understand the business side of costume and wardrobe management.
  5. English: Strong communication skills, including reading and writing, are important for a Wardrobe Assistant, as you’ll need to understand and follow costume instructions and possibly document costume changes.
  6. Mathematics: Basic math skills are essential for measuring and calculating fabric requirements and garment alterations

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You can take a higher national diploma, degree or postgraduate qualification in costume design, fashion or textiles. This could give you an advantage later if you want to become a costume designer.


You could start by doing a college course to get some of the skills needed for this job.

In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Certificate in Fashion and Textiles
  • Certificate in Theatre Support Costume and Wardrobe
  • Level in Craft and Design


The following apprenticeships may be relevant to this role:

  • Broadcast production assistant
  • Costume performance technician
  • Garment maker


You could start out as a runner with a production company and get the experience and contacts you need to move into wardrobe and costume work.


Volunteering is a great way to build up your skills and to make contacts with people in the industry. Your contacts can be a good way of finding paid work later on. You could get volunteering experience through:

  • student theatre and film productions
  • amateur or community theatre
  • dressmaking
  • working for a theatrical costume hire company
  • casual work as a costume ‘daily’ or temporary helper on film and TV sets

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 41-43 hours of work. You could work freelance or be self-employed flexibly.

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

Your working environment may be cramped and hot.

Career Path & Progression:

You’ll specialise in either theatre work, film or TV, but you could cross over between areas once established.

With experience, you could become a wardrobe manager or move into set design, production design or stage management.