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:

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.