Top Trends in Theatre and Film Costume Design for 2023

Top Trends in Theatre and Film Costume Design for 2023

The costume design industry is evolving. For centuries, actors and actresses have worn costumes. Costume design involves the planning, creation and execution of these costumes. Professional costume designers work closely with producers, directors and other members of the production team to bring their characters to life with the right costumes. If you work in the costume design industry, you can expect to see more of the following trends going forward in 2023 and beyond.


Sustainability has become a hot trend in the costume design industry. Statistics show that 96% of the world's top 250 companies -- known as the G250 -- report on sustainability.

As you may know, sustainability represents the ease at which something can be continued and sustained without harming the environment. It goes hand in hand with environmental friendliness. Professional costume designers, as well as the production team members with whom they work, are now taking a more conscious approach toward protecting the environment from damage. This means choosing fabrics that are organic and recyclable as opposed to harsh synthetic fabrics.


Inclusion is taking the stage in the costume design industry. Professional costume designers are now creating costumes for a variety of body types. Inclusion is all about "including" actors and actresses of different identities, cultures and body types in roles.

In the past, roles were often limited to select actors and actresses -- specifically those with an average body type. The times are changing, however, and inclusion is helping to pave the way for greater diversity. Plays and films produced today are more inclusive than their counterparts produced in the past. With inclusion now taking the stage, professional costume designers must incorporate it into their work.

Historical Accuracy

Historical accuracy is another top trend in the costume industry, which you can expect to see more of in 2023 and beyond.  Professional costume designers are now placing a greater emphasis on the historical accuracy of the costumes they create. Instead of creating costumes that simply look like they are relevant to a particular time and place, professional costume designers are taking precautions to ensure that their costumes are historically accurate.

Historical accuracy is important when creating costumes for historical plays and films. Professional costume designers must conduct thorough research on the particular time and place. After performing this research, they can choose costumes that are historically appropriate in terms of silhouettes, fabrics, colors and accessories.


There's been a growing focus on the functionality of costumes in recent years. It's one of the top trends in costume design.

Most costumes, of course, consist of two core elements: aesthetics and functionality. Aesthetics represents the appearance of a costume. The colors, patterns, visual texture and overall appearance of a costume is represented by aesthetics. Functionality, in comparison, represents the mechanics of a costume and how the actor or actress can use it.

Custom Sizing

More and more professional costume designers are opting for custom sizing. Rather than creating costumes from scratch, professional costume designers may order them from a third party. There are third-party apparel businesses, such as StudioSuits, that produce and sell clothes. Consumers may purchase their clothes, and some professional costume designers may purchase their clothes.

Here at StudioSuits, consumers and professional costume designers alike can opt for custom sizing. Costume sizing eliminates the standard small, medium, large and extra-large sizes that are commonly found on clothing labels. Instead, it involves customizing each article of clothing so that it fits the person for whom it is designed.

Professional costume designers can order custom-sized clothes for specific actors and actresses; they just need to specify the actor's or actress's body measurements when placing the order.


Minimalism has found its way to the costume design industry. Many professional costume designers are embracing minimalism and simplicity in their designs. They use clean lines, few or no embellishments, and understated color palettes to create costumes that are sleek and minimalistic.

Luxury Brands

The use of luxury brands is a top trend in costume design for 2023. Luxury brands are premium, high-end apparel brands. They tend to cost more than other brands, but this is an instance in which the phrase "You get what you pay for" holds true.

For a more premium look and feel, professional costume designers may choose luxury brands. Suits are available in luxury brands. Solbiati, for instance, is a luxury suit brand. Solbiati suits are prized for their superior quality. They look cleaner and sleeker than other, cheaper suits, making them a smart investment for professional costume designers.


When most people think of costumes, they envision articles of clothing like suits, shirts, dresses and other common articles of clothing. Costumes, however, encompass both clothes and accessories. Accesses, in fact, have become an increasingly common element of costume design.

Professional costume designers must choose accessories that flow cohesively with the rest of their costumes. Common accessories for actresses include necklaces, bracelets and handbags. Common accessories for actors include ties, pocket squares and suitcases.


Costume design and storytelling go hand in hand. When creating costumes, professional costume designers must consider the story. Storytelling is all about conveying and telling the story of a production piece through costumes. Professional costume designers can choose costumes that convey character traits, plot points and other key elements of the production piece's story.

Unconventional Materials

The use of unconventional materials for costumes is on the rise. Conventional materials include everyday fabrics like cotton, linen and wool. You can still find costumes made of conventional materials such as these, but many professional costume designers have begun to use unconventional materials in their designs.

Unconventional materials include plastics, metals, alloys and other non-fabric materials. Certain types of costumes may benefit from the use of unconventional materials. Unconventional materials are better protected from damage, and they project a unique appearance that's not available with conventional materials.