You’ve probably – at one point or another – experienced the growing trend of cosplay. From comic book conventions to fancy dress parties, the tendency for people to embrace characters from the world of anime, manga, comic books, video games, movies, and more, has never been more popular. But cosplay is about far more than simple fancy dress; to many, it’s a career, a claim to fame, and a work of art.
Creating your own cosplay outfit does, therefore, demand a huge investment in time and creativity. Without the right preparation, the best materials, and dedication to replicate what you see, you could well end up with a pale imitation of your favourite fantasy character. So, how can you ensure you create a good cosplay outfit? Follow these simple rules to create the perfect cosplay costume.
1. Know your character
First and foremost, it’s essential that you familiarise yourself with your chosen character to a highly detailed level. Being able to identify the subtle nuances of an outfit will make all the difference between creating a humble homage and a true cosplay outfit. Plus, with cosplay outfits often worn at conventions and before other fans, ensuring your outfit is as accurate as possible is essential.
2. Identify materials
Choosing the right fabrics and materials to create your cosplay outfit is essential to its final appearance. Being able to find the right material for the job – whether a glossy finish from silk or satin, durable denim, or even figure-hugging lycra (a must for superhero outfits!) – heading to a fabric retailer will be essential to identifying the correct materials for the job. What’s more, you may even be surprised at the materials you will end up using, with all manner of items adding to a costume.
3. Component parts
Something that is key to creating the perfect cosplay outfit is being able to break an entire ensemble down into simple, individual components. After all, creating lots of little items and then adding together at the end of the project will be far simpler than hoping to craft the perfect outfit in one go. Instead, think of your cosplay outfit as a jigsaw puzzle that needs assembling.
4. Practice key skills
Not everybody is a dab-hand at costume designer. In fact, clothes designers and manufacturers take years to refine their skills in order to craft outfits. When it comes to your cosplay outfit, therefore, having at least the basic skills in place is essential. Take the time to practice such skills as sewing, and set aside the time to avoid any last-minute rushes. It’s important you utilise the core abilities involved in dressmaking, so give yourself a suitable deadline when crafting your costume.
With cosplay outfits based on those from film and fantasy, it’s to be expected that some items will be impossible to recreate. As such, search around for what you can buy; there’s no shame in investing in items that may otherwise need specialised, industrial equipment to create. You can even search in charity shops and on websites such as eBay to find second hand, affordable accessories to make your outfit as close to the original as possible.
Regardless of your experience in manufacturing outfits, and no matter which iconic character you wish to mimic, creating a cosplay outfit should be a fun and rewarding activity. Take the time to research your chosen character, and put in the time and effort necessary to learn the fundamental skills needed to craft your outfit. When you arrive at the final stage, you and those around you will doubtless be impressed.