Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guest Post: So You Think You Can Cosplay?

It's finally here! Comic-con! I have some awesome guest bloggers to occupy this space while I'm gone. Give them a warm welcome and don't forget to check out their blogs too!

Hey guys! My name's Megan and I'm super excited to be writing a guest post for Stephanie while she's away at Comic Con! I hope she has a blast!

While she's running around dressed in her Ramona and Penny costumes, I'm here to give you a short introduction to the world of Cosplay. What is cosplay you ask? Well technically it stands for 'costume play' but it's easier to think of it as Halloween without the candy and on a completely different day of the year. It's a chance for you to dress up and act as your favourite character from video games/movies/tv shows etc, and meet other people who are fans as well. I personally started cosplaying 9 years ago when my best friend and I attended our first Anime convention. We've since moved on to bigger and better conventions and focused more on comic book and movie cosplays but the reasons behind it will always stay the same. We love playing dress-up!

Here are a few examples of my cosplays. On the left, my first steampunk costume thrown together the night before and it shows, in the top right my Zatanna costume (my friend is Catwoman) and in the bottom right is my Zombie Lady Gaga costume!

Now I admit I am not a professional cosplayer, but everyone whether professional or beginner has to start somewhere. For those of you interested in cosplaying for the first time, I've compiled a list of do's and don'ts based around my experiences that I think you might find helpful!

  1. Start simple then work your way up to harder costumes. This is especially important if you aren't strong at sewing. Try finding characters who's costumes can be made using thrift finds then add the details necessary to complete the outfit.
  2. Quality over quantity! I can't stress this enough! It's better to make one really well made costume and wear it over and over again than 3 slapped together costumes. People really appreciate craftsmanship.
  3. Use common sense when picking your costume. Large wings and props often become annoying to wear or carry and can make it impossible to walk down crowded isles.
  4. Practice posing like your character before you attend the convention so that getting your picture taken won't feel awkward. I know it sounds weird, but it makes all the photos of you look super cool! Here are two examples:
Boring Pose:

 Interesting pose:
See the difference?
5. BE COMFORTABLE! You're going to be wearing this costume all day which usually involves lots of walking and lots of public interaction outside of the convention area. If you are a shy person then don't wear a skimpy outfit. If you normally wear flats, then don't wear super high heels. You want to be as comfy as possible if you want to enjoy the convention to its fullest.

  1. Don't dress as a character from a popular video game/ anime/ movie if you have no idea who they are or what they are from. People will want to bond with you and talk about your character so make sure you are an actual fan of who you are dressing as. Also note, it's ok to dress as not-so-popular characters. You will always find someone there who knows who you are.
  2. This brings me to my second point, don't be scared if random strangers come up to you and ask to take your picture. It just means they really like your costume and would like to show their friends how awesome it was.
  3. Don't leave your costume making til the week before! I can't tell you how many times I've done this and my costumes always suffer because of it. Leave yourself LOTS of time to make mistakes and then you won't be so stressed to finish.
  4. It doesn't have to be expensive to look expensive. Get creative and hit up the thrift stores, the clearance section at your local fabric shop or dollar stores. You'd be amazed what you can make for cheap.
  5. Pay attention to what fabric you are buying. If your character's outfit looks like it's made of cotton, buy cotton. If it looks like it's spandex, then buy spandex. Please, whatever you do, do not buy shiny satin to make your costume! Same goes for wigs, cheap wigs ruin the look of a costume as you can see by my uber-shiny red wig above. Instead try sellers such as mildgreentea-1 on ebay who sell cheap but good quality wigs.
Now keep in mind these are just guidelines and observations I've made through my many adventures in cosplaying. We all know rules were made to be broken and all that really matters  is you have fun! Also, if you have any pictures of your cosplays, I'd LOVE to see them!!

Happy cosplaying everyone!!

<3 Megs

Thanks so Meg for the introduction into Cosplay. I like all the costumes you posted, but my favorite has to be the zombie Lady Gaga. Very creative! Also don't forget to check out her blog,  Lovely Miss Megs!

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