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How To Choose Your Cosplay Costume

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How To Choose Your Cosplay Costume
With so many great cosplay opportunities around, serious anime fans love to get creative with their costume creations. But how do you choose the right cosplay costume for you? Here's some simple tips to help you pick the perfect costume every time.
Time Required: All depends on you.

Here's How:

  1. Start by thinking big. Come on... pull out your creative caps and pretend that your cosplay costume has no limits. If you could have any costume for any character, what would it be and how would it look? Think of as many as you can, no matter how outrageous they might be, and make a list. Why? Because cosplay is creative... ergo, you need to be creative too and the best way to get the juices flowing is to stretch those muscles a bit. Things to consider:

    • Anime shows you really like
    • Anime characters you really like
    • Any costume that would just be really cool if you could make it
  2. Toss out the obvious "no's". What's a "no"? Things you refuse to wear such as a mask or 5 inch heels, things that would be too bulky, too heavy or too hot and things you just don't want to have to fool with. Once you've figured these things out, you can tweak your list accordingly. Things to consider:

    • Too hot/too cold for the season
    • Heavy props and gear that you'll have to tote around
    • Masks, wigs and elaborate makeup that may become irritating after a while
    • Comfortable shoes (you will be on your feet most of the time after all!)
    • Something you can sit down in
  3. Narrow your list. Now look at what you have left and try to pick out your top three favorites. How do you do that? Here's some criteria:

    • Is the character one that people will recognize?
    • Is the costume something I can actually make myself?
    • Can I finish the costume with the amount of time/money I currently have?
    • Will this costume be unique or will I probably look like most of the other cosplayers at the con?
    • Can this costume stand on its own or do I need other cosplayers to complete the look?
  4. Choose and get busy! Making your final decision is really just going to be a matter of preference but you can probably pick your costume a little easier if you consider the following things:

    • What do I already have on hand to make this costume?
    • What kind of props will I need and how can I make them?
    • Do I resemble the character in any way?
    • How much outside help will I need to create my costume?

Tips:

  1. Obviously, you don't want to eliminate a costume just because its a challenge - half the fun of cosplaying is learning some new skills as you craft your own masterpiece. Just don't take on a project that you can't possibly finish in time and then find yourself frustrated and without a costume at all.
  2. Shop thrift store, garage sales and other discount places to find everything from fabrics to trims to, yes, even your props. Do this throughout the year and you'll find that you can build up a nice resource of supplies for whipping something together whenever a cosplaying opportunity arises.
  3. Get ideas from other cosplayers by searching the internet. You don't just want to copy what someone else did, but you may find some new ideas for creating that scepter or making a tail stand up instead of dragging on the ground.
  4. Study the character. The complete outfit might look beyond your talents at first glance, but if you break it down, what it is really? A top hat, a kimono, a sailor skirt? You get the gist... try to see each costume component for what it is and then decide if it's something you can do.

What You Need

  • Lots of patience
  • A great imagination
  • Supplies - fabrics, cardboard, wire, paint, makeup, wigs... you get the idea
  • Some sewing and building skills
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