We live in a time of blockbuster films and extended fantasy franchises, and because of this cosplay and comic con events are only getting more excited. Comic culture and pop fiction have gone mainstream in a way no one could have predicted 25 years ago, and that means the crowds at these events are bigger, more knowledgeable, and generally more fun. It also means there are more characters and outfits than ever to choose from when you’re plotting how to show up at the next comic con or similar event.
Ultimately the best part of dressing up for these things is doing what you want to do. Personal inspiration is the key, and your first priority should be to dress up as a character you’re going to have fun with. But just for some general advice, here are some tips to keep in mind next time you’re gearing up for an occasion.
Tip #1 – Look For A Ready-Made Costume
There’s a lot of creativity in cosplay, and the temptation can be to design and outfit from scratch. But you might want to check to see if a costume collection features the outfit you’re looking for before you go crazy buying fabrics and blowing up your sewing machine. In some cases you can find pretty cool outfits for the most relevant characters, and if you really want to add a personal touch you can always make alterations and additions. A ready-made costume can at least be a solid foundation for your next cosplay experience.
Tip #2 – Be Up-To-Date
There’s definitely nothing wrong with taking a retro approach to cosplay. You can never go wrong with an old Star Wars costume, for instance. But these days there are so many fantasy and pop fiction movies coming out on a regular basis, it’s almost a shame not to be up-to-date. We see a new release suitable for cosplay just about every month, and if you like to get attention for your look at conventions, embracing a character everyone just saw on the big screen is a nice way to go.
Tip #3 – Know Your Makeup Limits
If you’re a great makeup artist, more power to you; you’re probably going to have more fun than just about anyone else getting yourself ready for a cosplay event. Otherwise, however, it’s a good idea to know your limits. For instance, a fairly straightforward makeup approach can get you a good Gamora or Drax look; but if you’re going for other Guardians of the Galaxy characters like Nebula or Mantis, you might need cosmetic surgery to pull off the look. Needless to say, that’s best left for subtle alterations in your everyday life, rather than the next big comic con!
Tip #4 – Know Your Character
As any experienced cosplay veteran knows, these events are about more than the outfit or makeup; they’re also about getting into character, and (playfully) staying there. Another set of tips for cosplay added that it’s a fun idea to connect with other characters from your universe. Naturally, if you march into an event dressed as the new Spider-Man, you’re probably going to be able to make friends with the guy across the room dressed up as Vulture. But you can also have a lot of fun collaborating with friends to head to a convention as a full group of characters – particularly given the popularity of teams of heroes and villains these days.
Tip #5 – Don’t Be Afraid To Be Obscure
We’ve already covered the ideas of looking for ready-made costumes and staying up-to-date. But you may also want to keep in mind that you’re heading to a convention full of like-minded, proud, self-professed pop fiction nerds. That means they’re probably going to get just about any reference you could come up with. Putting together a perfect costume for a more obscure character can be a great way to win the day.
Bonus: Don’t Be Ashamed of Store-Bought Costumes
Handmade are the standard when it comes to cosplay, but life doesn’t always allow you to do what you want. If you can’t make your own costume or don’t have the time for it, don’t let that stop you from participating in cosplay events. What matters is that you put in the effort to get a quality costume and modify your costume to be as close to the original as possible. Many cosplayers do this, as well, since a lot of them are people who have jobs and other responsibilities that keep them from cosplaying full-time. Don’t let this small thing keep you from doing what you love.