With Comic Con drawing near, it’s crunch time for cosplayers who haven’t started on their costumes. Here are some tips on choosing the right character and creating simple, innovative cosplays with a twist.
1. CHOOSING A CHARACTER
Some cosplayers prefer to look exactly like their chosen characters while others just want to be their favorite character for the day regardless of appearance. Either way, picking the right character is key! If you’re crunching for time, then it’s probably best to choose a character with a very simple design like L from DEATH NOTE or Luffy from ONE PIECE.
To help narrow down the search, check out online character databases. Anime Characters Database is strongly recommended since you can specify your search for characters by gender, eye color, hair color, hair length, and apparent age.
2. BUYING A COSTUME ONLINE VS. MAKING YOUR OWN
It’s not always cheaper to make your own costume, and it certainly isn’t always easier to buy one either! There is always a great risk whether you’re buying or making your costume. Buying a costume can work out great if you can manage to find a decent costume at a cosplay store. However, cosplay stores can be a hit or miss since they often use cheap fabric (satin is the worst!) to mass produce and sell poor-quality costumes at a low price.
Making a costume, on the other hand, can give you more control of the final outcome of the costume. You can use higher quality fabric, alter the costume to your liking, and don’t have to worry about being scammed. Though, finishing the costume will take an excessive amount of time and most likely cause a lot of stress. Also, if your sewing skills aren’t up to par, then the possibility of getting injured is very high.
In the end, your decision all depends on your budget, sewing abilities, and time.
3. CASUAL COSPLAY
Casual cosplays usually refer to costumes that can pass for street wear and be cheaply purchased at clothing stores. You can dress in a casual, everyday outfit that your character actually wears. Like how Wes cosplayed as Shinji from EVANGELION…
Now, doing casual cosplay doesn’t mean wearing a T-shirt and slapdashing a wig. Whether you’re a professional cosplayer, hobbyist, or beginner, it is always important to put in the effort to look the best you can. Remember, you want to make sure that you’re still recognizable.
Another way you can casually cosplay is to make your own interpretation of the character. Let’s say your character is from a period piece or a fantastical world, you can always cosplay as a modern day version of them.
A good website to get ideas for everyday, casual cosplay outfits is Polyvore. Not only do they ensemble great street wear cosplays, but they also provide links to store websites where you can purchase each article of clothing.
Phil at Anime Expo
All characters have props. Link has a sword, Arrietty has a giant orange hairclip, and Celty from DURARARA has her yellow motorcycle helmet. Props can be either purchased online via eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and special cosplay sites or it can be hand-crafted.
Though handcrafted fabrications require more time, they are sometimes cheaper and can be of better quality than a store-bought prop. You will be amazed at how far some plastic, cardboard, and spray paint can go.
Cosplay by lithefinder
Details can make or break cosplays. Just because your character design is plain, doesn’t mean that you should put less effort! Make sure to do your research beforehand and collect reference pics. Get the right shade of color, wear a good quality wig, find the perfect fabric, apply special makeup, etc. Little things boost the quality.
6. COSPLAY WITH FRIENDS
The fun part about going to conventions is meeting hundreds of fans from thousands of different fandoms. If you’re going to Comic Con with friends, ask them to cosplay with you. Your character will be far more recognized if you’re with an entourage of other cosplayers dressed as characters from the same series.
If your friends are reluctant, then find someone at the convention who’s cosplaying from your fandom’s universe. Cosplayers love doing group photos with other people, and most of the time, they’re excited to meet other fans who are just as passionate as they are about animes/games/comics.
ADVENTURE TIME cosplayers at Anime Expo 2012
Hope these tips will come in handy in your future cosplaying adventures. If you could cosplay as anything what would you be? Leave us a comment below!