Today I’ve decided to do a sort of fun discussion post in which I talk about cosplay and some tips I have to anyone wanting to get into cosplay! Just as a little disclaimer, I am in no way shape or form a cosplay expert. I’ve only done a handful of cosplays in the last year and all of those have been quite low key. But I would still like to share what I have learnt from my experiences so far so let’s do it!
First off you may be wondering ‘Gabby, what even is cosplay?’ In which case, I’ve totally got your back, or at least Google does… Cosplay can be defined as ‘the practice of dressing up as a character from a film, book, or video game’ (or really from anything in my opinion!) Now your next question may be, ‘Gabby, where the hell am I meant to do that?’ In which case, I’ve again got your back. One of the most common places to cosplay are at conventions and events such as Comic Con. There are events all over the world some for pop culture in general while some can be just for certain mediums such as anime or specific fandoms such as Doctor Who. Nevertheless, they are all super fun to attend especially if you decide to cosplay at these events. The other places where I’ve personally cosplayed are at dress-up parties or cosplay parties my friends have had or even Halloween parties. I’m sure if you looked around there would be plenty of other opportunities for you to cosplay!
So now that you hopefully understand what this whole cosplay thing is about, I’d like to share some of my tips for anyone wanting to start out.
1. Choosing a character
Often choosing a character to cosplay can be the hardest step of the whole process. For me, I always feel like there are a billion possibilities and I’m never sure which one to go with. What I usually end up doing is picking a few fandoms that I am considering cosplaying from and searching for other people’s cosplays from that fandom on either google or Pinterest. This usually helps me come up with a range of different ideas and inspiration for my cosplay. Remember when choosing a character that they don’t have to look exactly like you. Say they don’t have the same hair or eye colour, if you wanted you could buy a wig or contacts but honestly that small a detail rarely matters so don’t stress out too much if you want to dress up as a character who doesn’t look exactly like you. Also feel free to put your own spin on the character you choose. For example, you could do a gender bend cosplay (for example, if you wanted to dress up as a female version of a male character), or a modern day version of a character. These are always super creative and fun!
2. Bringing together your outfit
Often the characters we choose to cosplay have really specific or recognisable costumes that can often be really expensive to buy. In this case I would recommend searching around online for the cheapest possible option or just DIY-ing some aspects of the costume. If you are only searching for one specific piece of an outfit I would also recommend, before rushing out to the store, asking your parents, siblings and friends if they have something similar to what you want that you could borrow. Chances are they will and bam you just saved yourself a load of money! Also when choosing your outfit, be sure to pick clothes that you feel comfortable wearing. For example, if your character wears heels and you’re spending the day at a convention you may want to skip the heels or bring spare shoes just in case. You may also want to consider what the weather may be like on the day you’re cosplaying. Let’s say it’s a really cold day, you may decide to include a jacket over your cosplay to keep warm!
3. Cosplay alone?
Something else you might want to consider is getting one or more of your friends involved in your cosplay as well. Let’s say you all like a certain movie, you could decide to all dress up as characters from the movie. From my experience, I’ve found that dressing up with others can be even more fun than dressing up alone! It’s by no means a necessity but just something you may like to consider.
4. PICTURES! PICTURES! PICTURES!
In my opinion, pictures are an absolute must when cosplaying. For me, they are the perfect way to document all the cosplays I have done. You could also choose to post some of your favourites online to show off to all your friends and family your final product. If you want to, you could also edit the pictures for example including special effects that go along with the theme of your cosplay.
5. Have fun!
This should probably be the universal rule for cosplay. Regardless of who you dress up as or what you wear as long as you’re having fun, that’s all that really matters!!
There we have it! My top tips on how to have a successful cosplay! If you would like to checkout some of my cosplays be sure to check out my Instagram page @GabbyE2126 where I always post the final product of each cosplay I do. 😛 Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever cosplayed before and who you cosplayed as or who’s on your cosplay wish list. Thanks for checking out my post, I hope you found it somewhat helpful! But until next time,
Gabby The Dauntless Warlock xx