Choosing a Cosplay Costume
Costume + Play = ♥︎
These two words are enough to make any hardcore fan giddy like a school girl on her first day of class. Those who are absolutely smitten by comic books, video games, TV shows and movies understand the hype that goes on with the word Cosplay.
There’s something about putting together an ensemble completely akin to your favorite fictional character. They always say that you should express your own personality and be yourself when choosing clothes, but in this case, you can dress as someone (or something) you are not!
For a lot of costume aficionados, it is more than just a hobby. It is passion and devotion wrapped together in an insanely graphic depiction of their favorite characters through clothing.
A spectator might only see the aesthetics of the costume but beyond that is the painstaking effort and the personal involvement in piecing together the embodiment of their childhood hero. If you want to navigate the world of cosplay conventions, Julbie is here to steer you through choosing the perfect convention costume.
The Character: Above everything else, your character will be crucial. Choosing it should not be taken lightly. You will be impersonating them from head-to-toe so go for a character you absolutely feel comfortable with. Choose a character you look up to. Do not simply choose it because it is on trend but you know absolutely nothing about. It will be difficult to pull off a character you are just getting to know so dig deep for ideas you will be able to commit to. Here are some themes you can start from:
Sci-fi – Princess Leia as a Space Princess is a popular character. I mean, who does not recognize the iconic Star Wars leading lady? Take the whole galaxy in the convention room by portraying your favorite sci-fi character.
Fairytale – Look right out of a fantasy storybook with dresses which will make you fairest of them all! With the multitude of fairytale costumes like our favorite mythical creature, mermaids, or the small yet spunky Tinkerbell, you are bound to land on a fairytale character you absolutely adore!
Cartoon – The perfect excuse to let your inner child roam free. Imbibe pure youthfulness by paying tribute to your favorite part of childhood with some cartoon costumes like Mickey Mouse, Jessica Rabbit, or Anime idols such as Sailor Moon or even Pikachu!
Superhero – Dudes are not the only ones entitled to enthuse about Superheroes. Strap on a cape and bring forth your own superpower to the convention! Pick your favorite champion from the wide array of Superhero costumes.
These are just a handful of ideas, you are free to go for any character you idolize! Time to temporarily let go of plain Jane and average Joe because it is time to marvel the convention crowd with your impressive character portrayal.
The Costume: If you have your mind set on a character already then it is time to act on your costume. Resemblance is key. Start from the top then work your way down. The most photographed cosplayers are those who depict their character to a T. For beginners, it would not be advisable to go full-blown handmade costume as most cosplay enthusiasts do. If you are going to a convention for the first time, then you can always play it safe with a store-bought costume. No one will judge you for going to the pre-made costume route unless you are entering a competition. Otherwise, go shop! If there are no available costume sets for your particular character then you can assemble your own with different costume pieces.
Hair: Wigs are essential in a costume especially if your character has a specific hair color or hairstyle that is far from your natural ones. Some characters have this as their defining feature so one must not forget to purchase a wig!
Makeup: If your chosen character requires body art or makeup, then we highly suggest you put on your creative hat and slap on some beauty products and/or body art to make you look more authentic! Try your best to recreate your character’s look as close as possible, Trust us, it will add to your confidence making it worth the effort! Also, you are totally free to go for a character with a different skin color from yours. But a word of warning: Avoid controversy and put justice to your character in ways aside from skin color. Though we are sure the green Hulk would not mind!
Shoes: You might be tempted to go for the exact pair your character is donning even if it means 7-inch boots! Yikes! In this case, you have to prioritize comfort over accuracy. It might look strikingly good but it might not be worthwhile when it kills your feet in the process. Do not hamper your enjoyment of the whole event by looking for feet-friendly alternatives which still mimic the real thing.
Accessories: Props also make or break a costume. The slightest details make all the difference. Do not forget your character’s weapon or accessories to top off the whole look!
Your costume will be worn for the whole duration of the event so putting your comfort first is of utmost importance. You will be running around, taking pictures, posing so make sure you do it without any health risk or injury!
The Challenge: Is it okay to wear sexy costumes in the convention? Remember that sexiness is not a piece of clothing, it is a state of mind! No one can call you out for being confidently sexy but it is still necessary to research about the convention you are attending since some impose strict rules about clothing. Though it might be a long shot that they prohibit your belly button from showing, but back-end nudity might not be permitted depending on event organizers. Balance your costume with authenticity, comfortability, and a dash of sexiness!
The Player: Do not lose sight of the whole essence of the convention. Have fun! The costume should reinforce your enjoyment and not hinder it. Go around and get to know other cosplayers and admire their works of art too. Give and take compliments and let your confidence shine through. Do not forget to bring life to the character and also impersonate the character’s actions, gestures and personality. Put the play in cosplay and simply have a ball!