I was really disappointed by this book. I learned my trade in costume by working alongside professionals not through education so I bought this book hoping it would concisely put years of of knowledge together in one read, highlight things I have missed and enable me to teach others. The contents barely scratch the surface of costume design and I learned nothing new from it.
The first third of the book is a tour on theatre departments and jobs and how to read a script. It is so generic that my colleague, who teaches lighting design, borrowed it to read to her students! The rest of it skims through elements of costume design with no real detail and that's what I was expecting from the "complete guide". There was little to none discussion on topics such as analysis of character, setting, time of day, season etc, natural vs abstract colour or shape, technical drawing, making a costume bible, effect of LX on colour and texture (the Rosco site is more informative), designing for quick changes, creating and working to budgets, difference in styles for specific types of productions (e.g. opera, ballet) ... The writing is dull and uninspiring, it reads like a GCSE textbook.
I would not recommend this a professional designer, I might suggest it to an inexperienced amateur company who might find the generic design elements useful, but it's not going to educate in costume design nor is it going to inspire or give a designer a "lighbulb moment". I was put off buying further "costume design handbooks" by this one but I can recommend Character Costume Figure Drawing: Step-by-Step Drawing Methods for Theatre Costume Designers
which teaches how to draw proportional figures and colour them with different media using the author's own work and photographs. Through osmosis you start to get a feel for her design process, thinking and methods, far more interesting and inspiring.