At first glance, the idea of cosplay seems pretty straightforward: dressing up and putting on a performance for others to watch or take pictures of.
It’s easy to see why people might become entranced by the idea since it can be great fun, but cosplay isn’t just about wearing costumes, what some call “extreme cosplaying” is more like living an alternate life as your favorite character.
Brainstorming: What Kind Of Costume Do You Want To Make?
If you’re serious about wanting to get into cosplay, consider doing the following:
- Get a good, up-to-date reference book.
- Choose a character that you like and admire.
- Study your favorite character’s costume thoroughly, read the books / manga series they come from etc.
- Read some basic information about the character(s) on their Wikipedia page(s) — the purpose of their existence, fighting style, etc.
- Go to cosplay conventions with other fans of the same character to see how others make their costumes.
Choose A Design, Gather Materials, And Make A Plan.
Some costume materials are very easy to find whereas others are harder to get hold of. Have a plan for where you’ll go to get items that are difficult, expensive or need to be special-ordered (e.g., special fx makeup products, weaponry, jewelry, etc.).
You may also need someone else to help you with the last steps, particularly if you’re making a costume for others’ enjoyment.
A few other notes:
- For any fantasy character, you’ll need to know what kind of armor and weapons your character has, metal or leather? Flat-soled boots?
- Bandages and gauze have a lot of uses for cosplayers, they can be used for making capes, belts and straps.
- You can make clothing yourself from pretty much any fabric you want; the only limitation is your own creativity.
There are cosplay costume makers who specialize in helping people custom make their outfits. You can purchase unfinished costumes to finish yourself or you can buy readymade costumes (if you’re going to get a readymade costume, just make sure it’s high quality). For example, some cosplay companies sell basic costumes that are just clothing items (like shirts or pants) with character logos printed on them.
Sewing and Construction
You should have a plan for how you will sew everything together. Make sure you have paper patterns (you can find these online), thread, needles, and pins. If you’re an experienced sewer, use the patterns and make them as simple as possible when you start out.
Follow your plan for the costumes; don’t just run around in a costume that doesn’t look like your character. Every piece must fit properly together. If any parts of the costume are baggy or out of shape, then people will notice and won’t think your costume is accurate.
Add The Final Details To Your Costume
If you want your costume to be as accurate as possible, then you’ll need to make sure you add the finishing touches. These could include painting your nails in a particular color, adding earrings, and so on.
When you’re out in public or at an event wearing your costume, don’t forget to take pictures!