The modern day Ladies' Maid

A Wardrobe Manager is a role specifically dedicated to the sourcing and care of the client’s wardrobe. A Wardrobe Manager has a keen eye for fashion and classic tailoring. Originally, this role would have been that of the Ladies' Maid or Valet. 

The Wardrobe Manager will have a wealth of fashion knowledge and have their finger on the pulse in terms of new and favourite trends, in both wider fashion and in their client’s requirements for their social calendar. The specially trained WM knows immediately how to select and pack a wardrobe for a last-minute trip abroad which might involve getting in truck for a safari as well as visiting local aristocracy for dinner. 

With sound understanding of the leading fashion houses, as well as keeping a diary of upcoming national and international shows, the WM knows their client’s needs and tastes well, is immediately able to spot the difference between a fake and real designer item and can easily fix, sew and mend by hand or with a machine if required. 

The WM is in prime position for the selection and buying of his or her employer’s wardrobe and may be instructed to purchase an entire season’s clothing for different climates and homes at any one time. Therefore, it is crucial that the WM knows and understands their employer’s taste and style. An employer will expect their WM to curate and deliver bespoke wardrobes that flatter and enhance.  

The WM must have an excellent understanding of fabrics and how to care for delicate silks and rare vintage items. Experience of the wider industry will help; many clients like WM’s who have worked in the film and TV industry and almost always the WM is expected to hold a degree in design, fashion or retail. Being organised and smart is a must. Knowledge of cultural differences in dress and etiquette is a bonus. 

What you’ll need to have to be a Wardrobe Manager 

  • A degree or certified qualification in fashion or related subject
  • A demonstrable understanding of laundering and care of fine or vintage clothing
  • Experience as a WM for film, TV or other employer
  • An understanding of international clothing customs
  • Up to date with fashion calendars and shows
  • Good connections in the fashion industry – bonus
  • Attention to detail and positive, people person and PA skills