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Cosplay Costume Tips Suggestions and Guide

Updated on January 24, 2015

Cosplay Costume Design Basics

This article is intended to provide tips and ideas on how to choose and have a great cosplay costume. The contents and tips of this post are advantageous and beneficial to the following readers:

  • People who are new or first timers who want to try out cosplay anime
  • Readers who have little to vague idea on what cosplay costume to wear
  • Seasoned cosplayers who wanted fresh costume ideas

Cosplay Costume Tip 1: Choosing the Characters

Yes folks, that was spelled with an “S” – as in plural, make a list of comic or anime characters to choose from.

There are many reasons why people choose their cosplay costume – and one of which is because they want to portray the character that they like, admire, or can relate to. They want to be the person – they want to bring the fictional character to life as them.

Unfortunately, sometimes a character that we like is not panned out for us to cosplay. This is the reason why we need a list of characters to choose from in case the first few choices are not realistically possible.

Photos are property of my good and cool friend Irish (girl in the photo)
Photos are property of my good and cool friend Irish (girl in the photo)

Cosplay Costume Tip 2: Narrowing down the list of choices

Once we have a list of characters to choose from, it is now time to narrow down the list. In this step, there are various factors to ponder.

Below are some things to consider and tips when choosing a cosplay costume and design:

Do you feel comfortable wearing the costume or cosplaying the anime character?

Remember, cosplaying is supposed to be fun. If you’ll have a hard time at the event because of the costume or feel uncomfortable because the character is showing too much skin – then the character may not be a good choice as it may take away the fun factor.

Confidence must be there

If you choose the character, you must feel confident when you don the costume and play the role. Try to practice in front of a mirror or video yourself roleplaying the character. This should give you a general idea if you would be confident enough to portray and wouldn’t be ashamed come convention time.

Note about Cosplay Convention Fees

Since we are on the topic about budget, it is important to note that not all conventions have standard fees. Some may have the following:

  • Entrance fee
  • Registration fee for participants
  • Free entrance

Do not forget about the budget.

Let’s face it – cosplaying costumes cost money. Some costumes are readily available for purchase – and then there are those that must be made-to-order to fit our size, built, and taste.

If the costume of a particular character is way out of budget, it might be advisable to move on to the next choice rather than stressing on looking for funds.

Additionally, be sure to make a checklist of everything you need for the costume – from materials (fabric / garment) to be use down to the smallest accessory.

Cosplaying the anime character and sustainability

When choosing a character to cosplay, it is also important to consider if you would be able to maintain the role for the whole duration of the event. Remember, cosplay conventions can last hours – be sure that you would be able to wear the costume and stay in character for the whole duration of the event.

Mind the convention

Last tip for this section is don’t forget the theme of the convention that you will be attending. Though there are commonly no specific written rules implied, it would be advisable to dress for the occasion. For example, if it is a comic convention, then it might be a good idea to dress as a comic book character. If it is an anime convention, then an anime character is more appropriate.

Pixabay Free Images
Pixabay Free Images | Source

Cosplay Costume Tip 3: Ideas from friends

This tip is more suited for readers who can’t seem to decide what character to choose even after reading the tips above. At this point, it would be a good idea to consult with friends.

Ask or consult with fellow enthusiasts about any issues or concerns that you may have that hinders on your character selection. Who knows – they might be able to give out great suggestions that is not even on your original list of choices.

Photos are property of my good and cool friend Irish (girl in the left)
Photos are property of my good and cool friend Irish (girl in the left)

Cosplay Costume Tip 4: The Costume

In this section, we will assume that you have already chosen the character or costume to cosplay. That being said, there are two important points to remember when it comes to cosplay costume – time constraints and budget (since we already discussed the latter on tip number 2, this section will concentrate on time constraints).

If the costume of the character you wanted to portray is not publicly available and must be made-to-order, then it is imperative to have a leeway time for everything. Even if you are a regular customer of the tailor, two to three months preparation is a good timeframe. Below are the reasons why:

  • It is possible that you are not the only customer of the tailor
  • Availability of the materials / products
  • Factor in emergency situations
  • The finished product does not usually come out perfect the first try. You may have to go back and forth for revisions, additions, etc…
  • You have to try the product before the actual convention. For any imperfections or changes, you have to bring it back to the tailor for revisions

If you would make your own costume …

Sometimes, the cosplayer themselves makes their own costume. In this case, the bullets above are still applicable except for those that involves an external tailor / sewer

Cosplay Costume Tip 5: Blend in and have fun

As we mentioned numerous times on this post – cosplaying must be fun. We hope you noticed the emphasis on that.

Unless there is a competition and you’re a contestant, then don’t be shy and blend in. Other cosplayers are not there to compete or criticize – just like you, they are there to have fun, show their passion, and cosplay.

If you are still conscious, then a good tip would be to go with a group of friends.

That’s just about it. Remember the tips mentioned here, enjoy the cosplay convention, and wear that costume proudly.

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