Writing my cosplay blog of a few weeks ago, a lot of issues came to mind where I have struggled with or where I’ve seen others struggle with. So here are some tips I can give to aspiring or beginning cosplayers. Some of them are based on my personal opinion on cosplaying (or how cosplaying should be), so feel free to disagree with me! It’s just some simple stuff you can do (or shouldn’t do!) to make you cosplay a little better 😉
Also, click on the picture to go to the original location 🙂
Wigs are expensive, but whether you like it or not, it’s the best option. I’ve experienced myself that you can never get your hair the exact same way as the character you’re cosplaying, and it just looks better than your own hair. Unless your own hair is by chance perfect for what you’re cosplaying or your hair doesn’t really matter for the outfit. I’ve seen people doing a perfect cosplay, but they didn’t bother to get their hair in the right model or color. It just looks so unfinished! Also, buy quality wigs, not cheap ones from party stores. They suck. You can buy wigs on most websites where they sell cosplay and on amazon. Also, make sure all your hair is properly tucked away under your wig!
When it comes to make-up, I usually believe in the rule ‘less is more’. In cosplay, that rule doesn’t count! Anime and manga characters have eyes that really stand out. I even encourage male cosplayers to try on some eye make-up. You can google tutorials if you’re not good with make-up (like me!).
I wear glasses myself, but most anime characters don’t. Now my eyesight is still pretty good, so I can manage without glasses for a day (I still wear them during AMV-compo’s and such, or I can’t see the stage very well). But if you can’t: Please wear contacts! I personally hate contacts, so I’m happy I don’t have to wear them (yet). But honestly, if you’re cosplaying a character who doesn’t wear glasses, don’t wear glasses! It just doesn’t look right and unfinished. Also, you can do awesome things with colored contacts!
I’d like to be original with my cosplay, but that’s a choice everyone has to make for him- or herself of course. But don’t be surprised if you find at least 10 other Hatsune Miku’s or 20 other Akatsuki members if you’re cosplaying as one of those. Recent hit anime will always be cosplayed a lot (right now, that’s Attack on Titan). The advantage of cosplaying popular characters is that you are likely to be recognized by others and store bought cosplay is easier to find on the web. The downside is that you’re not standing out as much and you’re likely to find someone else who’s doing it better, which isn’t good for your self-confidence. The downside of cosplaying an unknown character is of course that most people probably won’t recognize you. The trick is to find a good balance. But don’t let anyone stop you from cosplaying the characters you like! If you really want to cosplay as a certain character, f*ck everyone else! Also, an easy way to make a popular characters more original is to genderbend it or to give your own original twist to it.
A lot of female characters in anime and manga don’t wear much clothing, and if you’re comfortable showing skin, I’d say, go for it! But keep the current season in mind! I’ve seen girls in bikini waiting in line outside for an hour while it was snowing. You don’t want that. There are conventions which are partially outside so check that before you choose your cosplay. Same counts for summer of course: you don’t want to cosplay as a fully armored Gundam when it’s 35 degrees Celsius outside.
The most impressive cosplay is usually the most uncomfortable cosplay. Think about heavy armors and huge wings. Try to think about how long you want to wear the cosplay and how long you can bear to wear it. You want to have fun at the convention itself too after all. Even small things such as high heels or ill-fitted shoes can ruin your day. Also, don’t show more skin than you’re comfortable with! There aren’t much things more embarrassing than a nipple-slip and people can see it if you’re not comfortable with how much you’re showing. Things can be easily solved with skin-colored underclothing! And if you’re comfortable with showing skin, try to make your cosplay not too slutty. People appreciate it when you’re staying true to the character, so don’t make it more naked than it is. You’re a cosplayer, not a booth-babe. There are other ways to make a character look sexy!
A lot of cosplay outfits have open shoulders. Make sure your straps aren’t visible! You can choose for a strapless bra, transparent straps or maybe skin-colored straps. If you wear cosplay with an open back, try if you can sew cups into to cosplay outfit itself.
The most important thing about cosplay is to have fun. So what if you’re cosplaying a slutty version of Hatsune Miku with your regular hair and glasses on, and there are walking 1000 clones of you around. As long as you have fun, it doesn’t matter! There will always be people who bash your outfit and you’ll always find someone who does your character better than you. Don’t let that get you down. The only thing that counts, is that you have a great day!