Putting Together Your Cosplay Costume
A lot of people find cosplays fun. The word “cosplay” is a Japanese contraction for the term “costume play”, where participants don costumes and dress up to look like characters from anime, from video and roleplaying games, from fantasy and science fiction stories, and sometimes from live action programs. In Japan, some people who engage in cosplays dress up as a popular J-pop (Japanese pop) or J-rock (Japanese rock) artist.
Most anime and comics conventions have cosplay events worked into their program to cater to people who love doing cosplay. There is no real point to cosplay; people dress up as their favorite characters simply for the sake of dressing up as them. When they gather at cosplay events, they spend most of their time showing off in their detailed and elaborate costumes, check out the costumes worn by the other participants, and to take pictures. Cosplay events are fun events, even if they are wacky, outrageous, and sometimes downright weird.
Deciding What Costume to Wear to a Cosplay
So, if you are going to a cosplay and it is your first time to attend one, how do you figure out what costume you are going to wear? First of all, you need to find out what kind of cosplay it is going to be. Is it going to be a purely anime or manga (the Japanese comic book) cosplay? Is it a fantasy or science fiction convention? What is the theme of the cosplay event? Knowing this beforehand will definitely help you narrow down your choices on what costume to wear to the event. It will also save you from the embarrassment of showing up and being totally out of place, like going to a cosplay event as a character from The Lord of the Rings at a Star Trek cosplay event.
Once you have figured out the theme for the cosplay event, you then have to decide which character you are going as to the affair. Do you have a favorite character that you are just dying to impersonate, even for just this event? Choose a character and study his or her costume. You will certainly find pictures on the Internet that will help you take in the details of this character’s costume.
If the character of your choice appears in different costumes, such as the character Sakura in the anime Card Captor Sakura, you ought to choose which costume is most identified with this character. The fun in cosplay is being recognized immediately whom you are dressed up as. What is the use of going to a cosplay if no one recognizes your character because the costume you have chosen is not that popular?
Should You Buy or Should You Make Your Costume?
Would it not be nice if you have the skills to be able to make your own costume for your cosplay event? Some people are just handy with needles and threads and can use the sewing machine without a lot of difficulties. Making your own costumes gives you the chance to get all the details of your costume right, and it always feels good to show up at a cosplay event decked in a costume that you worked on yourself.
Unfortunately, not everyone is gifted with the ability to work with needles, cloth and thread. In this case, you can go to a dressmaker with a picture or a sketch of the costume you have in mind and ask the dressmaker to make it for you. A good dressmaker can come up with a satisfactory set that you can proudly wear to the cosplay, but you cannot expect him or her to get all the details right.
Another alternative to making your own costume is to buy bits and pieces of items that you can throw together and wear to the cosplay. This is a good option if the character you are showing up as is not a fantasy character with an elaborate costume. Japanese schoolgirls are very simple to cosplay. You just need to get a short, pleated skirt; a blazer or jacket that matches the skirt; a blouse, preferably with a wide sailor collar; a necktie or a bow; legwarmers and loafers. The downside to buying bits and pieces for a costume is that it is not always possible to be as elaborate and detailed as you would have wanted to be with your costume.
Putting It All Together
Of course, the costume that you would put on for your cosplay event is not limited to your clothes. You would also need a wig, especially if the character you are showing up as has an unusual hairstyle and hair color. It may also be necessary for you to wear makeup – you would not want to cut a lightning scar on your forehead just to make yourself look like Harry Potter, would you?
Props and accessories are also in order in cosplay events. A Harry Potter getup will not be complete without his spectacles and his magic wand. Knights in shining armor need swords. A princess cannot be a princess without her tiara.
Cosplays are fun events for people who love going to them, all dressed up and dolled up for the party that cosplays often are. Putting together your costume for the event is definitely half the fun of it.
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