Costume attendant

Costume attendant article illustration


Costume attendants help dress actors and extras. They ensure everything is as the costume designer envisioned and ensure the continuity of the appearance of the performers. Costume attendants maintain and repair these costumes. They store them correctly and safely after shooting.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to costume attendant:

costume continuity attendant
costume dresser
costume assistant
wardrobe attendant
wardrobe assistant
costume coordinator
daily costume attendant

Minimum qualifications

Associate’s degree is generally required to work as costume attendant. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Costume attendant is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Costume attendant career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to costume attendant.

costume buyer
location manager
miniature set designer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of costume attendant. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of costume attendant with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

production designer
lighting director
video and motion picture director
director of photography
video and motion picture editor

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of costume attendant.

  • Document costume stock: Keep records of the costumes held in stock. Track all relevant properties of the costumes and how they are used.
  • Follow work schedule: Manage the sequence of activities in order to deliver completed work on agreed deadlines by following a work schedule.
  • Ensure continuity in the styling of artists: Ensure that artists are consistently styled during the production of a motion picture. Make sure that their look remains the same.
  • Wash costumes: Make sure that costumes are clean and ready for use when required. Take care to preserve the costumes in good condition as long as possible.
  • Select costumes: Find the right costume for a certain role and actor.
  • Perform costume changeovers: Perform quick costume changeovers during rehearsals and live performances.
  • Analyse a script: Break down a script by analysing the dramaturgy, form, themes and structure of a script. Conduct relevant research if necessary.
  • Follow directions of the artistic director: Follow the instructions of the director while understanding his creative vision.
  • Dress actors: Dress performing artists.
  • Maintain costumes: Collect, check, maintain and repair costumes.
  • Preset costumes: Make sure the costumes are set in place for the performers before the performance.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of costume attendant. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Photography: Art and practice of creating aesthetically appealing images by recording light or electromagnetic radiation.
  • Dressmaking: The craft of sewing clothes and dresses by following a pattern. This includes the assembly of cutout clothing parts.
  • Lighting techniques: The characteristics of techniques used to create atmospheres and effects on camera or on stage; the equipment required and appropriate setup to use.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of costume attendant. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Manage consumables stock: Manage and monitor consumables stock to ensure that the production demands and deadlines can be met at all times.
  • Work with the camera crew: Work with the crew responsible for the camera operation and movement to get directions from them on where to stand for an aesthetic result.
  • Use manual sewing techniques: Use manual sewing and stitching techniques to manufacture or repair fabrics or textile-based articles.
  • Attend rehearsals: Attend rehearsals in order to adapt sets, costumes, make-up, lighting, camera set up, etc.
  • Work with the director of photography: Work with the director of photography on the artistic and creative vision that needs to be followed during production of a movie or theatre production.
  • Measure the human body for wearing apparel: Measure the human body using conventional methods by hand with the tailor meter or using scanning technologies.
  • Draw up artists’ measurements: Draw up the measurements and sizes of performing artists for clothing purposes.
  • Analyse the need for technical resources: Define and make a list of the required resources and equipment based on the technical needs of the production.
  • Adapt costumes: Adapt, stitch or sew stage outfits for performing actors.
  • Organise costume fittings: Organise fitting sessions for the actors and decide on the required actions. Assign the right size costume to each actor.
  • Sew pieces of fabric: Operate basic or specialised sewing machines whether domestic or industrial ones, sewing pieces of fabric, vinyl or leather in order to manufacture or repair wearing apparels, making sure the threads are selected according to specifications.
  • Plan transport operations: Plan mobility and transport for different departments in order to obtain the best possible movement of equipment and materials. Negotiate the best possible delivery rates. Compare different bids and select the most reliable and cost-effective bid.
  • Draft styling schedule: Draft the schedule to indicate where, when, and how the actors should be styled.
  • Work with the lighting crew: Work with the crew responsible for the lighting setup and operation to get directions from them on where to stand for an aesthetic result.

ISCO group and title

3435 – Other artistic and cultural associate professionals

  1. Costume attendant – ESCO
  2. What does a costume attendant do? – CareerExplorer
  3. Costume Attendant |
Last updated on July 10, 2023

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