1st Edition

A Working Costume Designer’s Guide to Fit

By Jeanette deJong Copyright 2023
    232 Pages 81 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 81 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A Working Costume Designer’s Guide to Fit explores the concept of fit in theatrical costumes – what it is, how to assess it, and how to achieve it.

    Being able to assess whether a costume fits or not is a learned skill, which takes practice as well as information about what the fit standards are for different types of garments. Filled with detailed step-by-step illustrations, this book provides all the knowledge readers will need in order to achieve the perfect fit for their costumes, including:

    • How costumes can support actors onstage when they fit correctly
    • How to take measurements and how to assess them
    • How to conduct a fitting and what materials are needed
    • How to resolve a number of issues that may arise during a fitting
    • How to fit a mockup test garment in preparation for building a costume from scratch
    • How to adjust a garment or mockup to fit better

    Chapters 8-14 also explore different categories of garments and discuss how to check them against the wearer’s measurements before trying them on, what the standards of fit are for each category, and how to fit an existing garment.

    This is an essential guide for students of Costume Design courses and professional costume designers of any experience level.

    1. "Fit" and Why It Matters  2. Measurements  3. Obtaining Garments for Costume Use  4. Preparing to Conduct a Fitting  5. Standards of Good Fit  6. General Method for a Fitting  7. Interpreting What You See  8. Bodices  9. Sleeves  10. Tailored Shirts and Blouses  11. Suit Jackets, Sports Coats, Blazers, and Period Indoor Coats  12. Fitted Garments without a Waistline Seam  13. Skirts  14. Trousers and Jeans


    Jeanette deJong is Associate Professor of Costume Design, History, and Technology at the University of Oregon. A member of United Scenic Artists, she has been designing costumes and teaching costume design since 1984. She is also the author of A Working Costume Designer's Guide to Color (Routledge 2021). Her professional design credits include shows at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Illinois Shakespeare Festival, amongst many other theatres. Her technical costume credits include shows at Glimmerglass Opera, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, and Parson-Meares Studio, New York.