13 Things You Need To Know To Become A Costume Designer

At the February 2015 MAGIC show, we hosted some sensational, information-filled panels featuring some of Hollywood’s hottest costume designers and stylists. Take a look at the four experts who joined us:

  • Daniel Musto, Stylist: NBC’s Fashion Star; Fashion Correspondent: The Insider

  • Joe Kucharski, Costume Designer; Editor, Tyranny of Style; Assistant Professor of Theatre, Baylor University

  • Mandi Line, Costume Designer, ABC’s Pretty Little Liars

  • Lyn Paolo, Costume Designer, ABC’s Scandal

In case you missed Musto, Kucharski, Line and Paolo, we are happy to present these 13 takeaways from their panels on costume design and styling. If you want to become a costumer designer or stylist, these expert tips will help you succeed:

  1. You need stamina since these are demanding careers.

  2. You must be smart because these are multi-faceted positions.

  3. You have to be confident so people cannot feed off your weaknesses and make you stumble.

  4. You should be assertive, but kind at the same time, so you can get the job done proficiently.

  5. You have to be a good manager and leader since you will be in charge of some important pieces of production.

  6. You need to be highly organized because you will often be juggling tasks.

  7. You have to be dedicated, because there are 10 people behind you waiting for your job.

  8. You must have great interpersonal skills since you will be working closely with various types of people.

  9. You need to know where to source materials and clothing for any project you work on.

  10. You need to know the tricks of the trade since some of it is based on illusion, and some looks require tools like double-sided tape and even staples.

  11. You need to know about classic fashion pieces, but also keep an eye on upcoming trends because you never know what style a character will call for.

  12. You should know how to use social media since it can help tremendously with inspiration, research, sourcing, PR, marketing and networking.

  13. Your job is to populate an author’s world through fashion, so imagination and creativity are integral.