The world of cosplay is incredibly fun and creative, and anyone can be a cosplayer if he or she wants to. No matter who you are, your skill level, and your budget, it’s possible to create a stunning costume for the next convention — one you can wear comfortably and have a great time wearing.
When you cosplay, you’re not just showing off your personality and paying tribute to your favorite character, but you can make a connection with other fans at conventions and have an even better con experience.
So here’s three tips on how to pull off that perfect cosplay.
1. Pick your character
When you’re choosing a character to cosplay, there are a few things to think about. It’s not so much that you should let the “rules” of cosplaying for your body type stop you, or that you should worry about being a called “fake geek.” While there is some controversy around who can appropriately cosplay which characters, and bullying and harassment in that way shouldn’t be ignored, it also shouldn’t stop you from dressing how you want to dress.
The majority of cosplayers have a positive experience, and conventions have a harassment policy in place and strive to create a safe atmosphere. Still, there some are technical things to think about when picking a character.
A con floor is crowded and you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so you want to choose a costume that you can walk around in all day without killing your feet or overheating, as well as something that won’t get destroyed if you bump into people on the floor. You also want to choose a character you like simply because you’ll have more fun impersonating him, her, or it, and running into other fans.
2. Be creative about where you shop
The whole point of cosplaying is to show your love for the character, so you might as well do it right. This is especially true if you’re entering a cosplay contest, where handmade cosplay is preferred over store-bought costumes. Depending on your time, skill, and budget, you’ll most likely want to construct your costume out of a combination of store-bought items, altered garments, and handmade pieces. You probably won’t be able to find everything you need in one place, so give yourself the time to shop around.
Part of the fun of cosplaying is the creativity that goes into taking common items like tubing, wire, rubber washers, cardboard, or foam and turning them into something really cool. You can either shop online for specialty items or buy things in bulk, or you can usually find what you need at a hardware store.
Whether you shop in person or online, don’t hesitate to ask questions, either of employees or customer support over email or chat, so you get exactly what you need.
3. Remember that it’s all about having fun
It’s easy to get so caught up in the process of making a costume and putting all the little details into a look that you forget what cosplaying is all about: having fun and celebrating being a nerd. When you get to the con floor, just enjoy all the hard work you put into your costume, find other fans, and geek out with them, and remember that as long as you have fun it’s a successful cosplay.
And if all else fails, embodying the character’s personality can make up for any details you didn’t have time for.