You’ve seen the countless images online of people wearing the most elaborate outfits of your favorite characters, gathering in huge groups to take an awesome team photo. Or you went to one of the many Comic-Cons around the world and felt right at home between like-minded people. And now you’ve caught the bug: you want to start cosplaying yourself and be a part of the culture!
But here’s the problem: you don’t know how to start cosplaying. No worries, it’s easy! Our editor Tino Schreuders was in the same situation. In this blog post, he helps you by telling you the steps he took to begin cosplaying at Comic-Cons and some of the biggest national fairs and conventions.
Step 1: Find a cosplay event
First things first: before you start wandering around in your awesome costume, it’s best to select an event where you’ll start your cosplaying adventure, since you’re not very likely to wear your costume just out on the street on your way to the grocery store (although more power to you if you do this, you rule).
A great event to pick for you to start cosplaying at is one of the many different versions of Comic-Con spread all over the world. A true gala for geeks, there are so many people dressed in all manner of cosplay: from the most subtle forms of casual cosplay to the most elaborate hand-crafted Power Armor.
Other popular events are spread throughout as well, from renaissance fairs to anime conventions to video game tournaments to movie releases. Generally, the bigger events will have a more diverse crowd of cosplayers and as such a more varied cast of characters, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with in the line for the bathroom.
It’s important to feel comfortable while cosplaying, and as a beginner that can feel a little bit scary. However, because of the many different levels of cosplay on display at these events, it’s easier to feel right at home with whatever you decide your first ever cosplay to be, since you’ll be surrounded by people just like you.
Step 2: Pick a character to cosplay as
Now it’s time for the most difficult part in my opinion: deciding what character to cosplay as. Cosplaying starts for real with this step, and while it might seem like an easy endeavor, it’s important for you to pick a character that you think is going to really be awesome to personify for a day.
Cosplaying starts with the costume of course, but for many, cosplaying is a way of life. The costumes are the foundation, but if you have the mannerisms to really allow you to crawl into the mindset of your character, you’re going to be the stand-out star! That’s why it’s important to pick a character that means a lot to you personally and that you have an affinity with. Someone whose design you really like, someone who you consider to be your childhood hero or an interesting character from a piece of media you cannot get enough of.
It’s important to realize that there are no rules when it comes to picking a character. Don’t let yourself be limited by the boundaries of gender, race, size or looks. That simply doesn’t matter.
That’s also why choosing a cosplay is the most difficult part of the entire process to me. There’s a near infinite amount of great characters you still want to cosplay as, but only so many events every year. This means you’ve got to choose just one or two per event and keep some of your other favorites on reserve, ready for the next event!
Step 3: Fixing your costume
Now comes the part where many begin to doubt their ability to start cosplaying: fixing your own cosplay outfit. However, there is a bit of a misunderstanding here. You’re not required to make your own outfit from scratch, making pauldrons and weapons and tools and sewing your own dresses or jackets. You can, of course, do this if you’re good at sewing or want to become better at it. But there are many others found online who craft bits and pieces of outfits for you. This commission work is pretty popular in certain circles of the internet, and you’ll no doubt find someone who can help you out.
Another option is to take your character and turn it into a ‘casual cosplay’. Casual cosplay is where you get everyday clothes and combine them in a way that invokes the character you’re trying to portray. Casual cosplay allows you a great amount of creative freedom with relative ease since you most likely already own something you can use in this outfit.
For example, a possibility that saves you a lot of time is using a suit or blazer from our collection. We offer many outfits that can help you put together your own awesome casual cosplay outfit. Simply mix and match the suits with some props and you’ve got yourself a unique outfit, worthy of a true cosplay fanatic.
Step 4: Practice cosplaying
Before the big event starts, it’s recommendable to practice getting into cosplay, especially when it’s your first time. Try your outfit on, including the make-up, wig, contact lenses, etc. This allows you to fix it if something’s uncomfortable or not really looks the way you expected it to be.
You could also practice acting like your character before you go to the event. Of course, this is not necessary, but it makes cosplay even more fun. You could, for example, think of some poses, in case people want to take pictures of you. People love to take photos of other cosplayers at cosplay events, so chances are high someone might want to take a picture of your costume as well.
Step 5: Go out to wear it
Once you have your outfit sorted, it’s time to enjoy, because of course, that is the main goal of cosplay! Try not to compare yourself to everyone else all the time (there are going to be really, really cool outfits out there). Just be proud of your own costume instead. Also, try to make new friends. You all have the same interests and most people at events like Comic-Con are very kind and open for a conversation. If you’re shy, consider going to the event with some people you know, or go to some panels where you can meet new people. You will make new friends in no time.
So, happy cosplaying! We hope you liked this article and it helped you take the first step (and the next few). Do you like our suits, and do you want to be the first to hear about new styles, epic offers and other exciting news? Cool! Sign up for our newsletter below.