Making a good cosplay, without spending too much, is all about the planning. Don’t expect real tutorials in these tips, nowadays you can find them everywhere. But if there’s something you’d like to know, just drop a line in a comment and I’ll try to include it in future tips. Mind that my speciality is cutting and sewing, although I also have some experience in small props or jewellery.
Choosing a Character
The first thing is to look for a range of series and characters you like, without being very choosy. That’s the easy part! Within that range, choose the characters and costumes that stand out more or whose overall look works, and is easily recognizable, even if the character is obscure. Downsizing the range, take away all characters whose costume is so complex that’s outside of your technical abilities (armours, hard to find or build accessories or too expensive to make). You should be practical, think about the most difficult parts first and think of what you have at home that can be adapted. You may venture into something bigger than you’ve done so far, but always take into account that you may be wasting money by biting more than you can chew, and end up with an abandoned project at home or a badly executed costume. Be critical of your own work!
Some characters have very remarkable details that make them easy to identify, without the need to have legs up to your neck or a sculptural figure: a different school uniform, like the one in Evangelion or Kagome’s in Inu Yasha, Usagi’s (Bunny/Serena) hair in Sailormoon, Naruto’s symbols, Rurouni Kenshin’s scar and red hair, and so on. Sometimes you only need to get those details right and you’ll have a recognizable and working cosplay.
The same way there are costumes that simply don’t work because they are just colourful clothes that out of context only result in someone dressed up in an extravagant way, but nonetheless you’ve put a LOT of work into your cosplay. Anne in Akage no Anne, Tom Sawyer, Honey & Clover, and more. I’d say avoid street wear characters if you wish to stand out and be recognized as the character. On the other hand, sometimes a person is so similar in body shape and facial expression to a specific character, that even if the clothes aren’t showy, maybe it’s a good idea to bet on that one. If you like the character, of course!
If you’d like to cosplay Nana Osaki from NANA, mind that most clothes she wears are actual real existing clothes pieces, most of them designed by British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Although I love Nana’s clothes, I don’t think most of her outfits are the most recognizable cosplay, as someone that isn’t familiar with the character may think you’re dressed in your everyday clothes and that’s your personal style. In a perfect world, you’d have access to all the real pieces of the outfit of your choice, but because this isn’t a perfect world, and many of Vivienne Westwood are advanced expensive tailored pieces, a bit hard to reproduce properly for an amateur, you should think twice before venturing into that kind of character.
If you’d like to cosplay Lupin, from Lupin III, it’s important that the pieces of clothing are the exact colours of the original artwork (there is more than one combination). All the pieces for a Lupin cosplay, are really common, a jacket, shirt, neck tie, tie clip, thin trousers, belt, boots, but in unusual colours and in unusual colour combinations. If you get the clothes right, just cut your hair really short, add sideburns and get a toy gun similar to one of Lupin’s. You don’t even have to be a thin guy like Lupin to be recognized, just get all the items right and you’ll have a cosplay!
Never cosplay a character you don’t like at least a bit, you’ll feel awkward wearing it and your overall performance won’t work.
~ ♥ ~
Next tip: AUGUST 17th
Tagged as: cosplay. cosplay tips. Leo COUTURE. characters. choosing. planning.