Costume designers are in charge of creating wardrobes for performers on the stage on television or in the movies. They must select design and care for costumes that will be worn by cast members and entertainers. They are also responsible for working with tailors to make sure costumes are sewn correctly and fit properly. Costume designers also choose accessories (canes shoes hats gloves and jewelry) to create visual interest and also to make the characters look distinctive.
Prior to embarking on a project costume designers read the script for the production and conduct research to determine what fashions were typical of the historical era when the production is supposed to take place. Initially they make rough costume sketches and present them to the director for feedback before finalizing the costume plans.
According to the website Aact.org it is important that costume designers collaborate with directors as well as set and lighting designers to make sure the performers' costumes will have the best possible result as far as visual impact on audiences. If wardrobe assistants are not available costume designers spend time in dressing rooms prior to and during performances to make sure everything fits correctly.
Aspiring costume designers must have a high school diploma but additional vocational classes are desirable and attendance at fashion and design schools is even more desirable. In addition it is helpful as far as job opportunities if they show they have served as an apprentice with an experienced costume designer.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual wages for costume designers range from approximately $16000 to $62000 with an average of $39000.