Cosplay for Beginners: 5 Things to Know

The first Comic-Con gathering happened in 1970 in San Diego. Since then, these conventions have exploded in popularity. People celebrate the arts in many ways, but one notable way is through cosplay. 

Cosplay, which is short for costume play, is a fun and creative hobby people love to partake in. This form of creativity allows a person to bring their favorite fictional character to life. 

Cosplay gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the world of your beloved character. People spend hours getting every detail perfect before conventions. 

If you’re new to cosplay, getting started can feel like an overwhelming task. We’ll break down the basics of cosplay for beginners in our guide below. 

1. Plan Out Your Budget and Timeline

Before you dive into your costume creation, you have a few things to figure out. First, you need to give yourself a timeline so you know exactly how long you have to create your masterpiece. You also need to know how much money you can allot for your project. 

Cosplay costumes can easily become very elaborate. By sticking with a budget, you can keep yourself from getting out of hand with your costume. 

You can figure out your cosplay timeline by choosing the convention you want to go to. Your timeline will dictate what you have time to make and what you will do better by buying online. 

2. Choose Your Character Wisely 

The number one rule in cosplay is to pick a costume and character that you love. You can choose anyone from anime to your favorite movie character. 

If it’s your first cosplay, try to find a costume that isn’t too hard to make. A Daredevil Season 2 Costume may be easier than costumes from Lord of the Rings

3. Have Fun Creating a Costume 

Making a cosplay costume is where the fun begins! Creating a cosplay costume can be as time-consuming as you want to make it. Here are the essential moves toward kicking you off. 

Costume Piece List 

Before you start, find lots of pictures of your character’s outfit. You’ll want to have pictures of everything from their hair to their shoes.

You’ll then analyze the pictures you have and break down the parts of the costume. Make a detailed list of each costume piece, accessory, or prop you’ll need. The more detailed you are in this step, the easier the process will be. 

Buying or DIY

Look at the list you made and decide what would make the most sense to buy. Some of the more basic costume parts will be easy to buy. You may even own some things you can use. 

If there are pieces you want to make, you’ll have to break out your sewing machine. It’s okay if you are a beginner sewer. There are thousands of tutorials online to follow. 

If you are sewing your costume, pay attention to the material you’re using. Some fabric is hard to sew or can easily fray. 

If sewing isn’t your thing, you can always buy the pieces of your costume. You can find pre-made costumes or costumes other cosplayers have made and are now selling. 

Finishing Touches 

Once you have finished the clothing, you’ll need to move on to the finishing touches. Things like makeup, wigs, and prosthetics will make your cosplay look come to life. 

Consider wearing a wig with your cosplay costume. They can look very real and cut down on hair-styling time on convention day. 

Cosplay accessories are another element that makes your look stand out. You can make props or buy them. Cosplay props aren’t necessary, but can be a fun extra to add to your costume. 

Don’t forget to practice your poses. Find a few poses your character makes and practice them in the mirror. You’ll look great when people ask you for a picture at the convention. 

Costume Fit 

Before you get ready for your convention, do a dry run with your costume. Try everything on and first make sure that the fit is how you want it. You want to be comfortable during the convention. 

Make sure you can’t see any underwear under your costume. Bodysuits are a superb choice for costume undergarments.

Finally, you have to be sure you can move around in your final look. You also want to test standing, squatting, and moving around. 

4. Plan Out Your Convention Day 

Comic-Con cosplay conventions are the most well-known. Here, you’ll find many people cosplaying their favorite characters. You can find a schedule online so you can travel to one near you. 

If you’re far away, book a hotel room well in advance. Steam or iron your costume when you arrive so it looks great the day of. 

5. Have Cosplay Etiquette

When you get to the convention, know that it will be crowded. If you have a large costume, be aware of your surroundings. 

Don’t give suggestions to other cosplayers about their costume. It’s also not kind to tell a person they would have looked better as another character based on their looks. 

Part of the fun of cosplaying is taking pictures with your favorite characters. Be mindful of where you are asking cosplayers for pictures. If they are in line for food or the bathroom, let them take a break in peace. 

Don’t touch any of the cosplayers. Although they look fantastic, you should never touch them or their costume. 

Cosplay for Beginners Leads Into Lifelong Cosplayers 

Cosplay for beginners is an exciting journey to go on. This hobby is filled with creative expression and amazing people. After your first convention, you’ll never want to leave the cosplay world. 

Once you get into cosplay, you’ll be eager to travel to other conventions around the country. Check out our other travel articles today to help with planning your other adventures! 

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