In this article, I will be sharing some tips and tricks on cosplaying for beginners.
The Joys of Cosplay
When I started cosplaying at a young age, I remember watching a group of friends who cosplayed together as Naruto characters. I thought it was so cool and looked like a lot of fun. I’m not going to lie, I started my journey without knowing anything about the cosplay world.
Start with Your Closet
Like everyone when they’re getting started, my first cosplay was a closet cosplay; closet cosplay being when you find whatever you have in your closet and turn it into a cosplay. I was a genderbent Kiba from Naruto, and lucky me I had a stuffed animal that looked very much like Kiba’s dog Akamaru. I’ve cosplayed as many characters throughout the past decade, such as Shura from Blue Exorcist, genderbent Spirit from Soul Eater, and Gaara from Naruto just to name a few. Many people starting cosplay are in their early teenage years, and most likely have parents that aren’t going to want to buy cosplay costumes online.
So let’s begin with the first tip, costumes.
Costumes are going to be the first thing you are going to want to focus on.
Most of the time, beginners are not going to know how to sew. So, if you don’t know how to sew, a hot glue gun, fabric glue, and thrift stores are going to be your best friends. Some people believe thrift stores such as Goodwill and your local one are not of the best quality due to everything being second hand. I have a few tips that can help you find the best quality.
What you’re going to need
Let’s say you are wanting to cosplay as Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII. First, you start off with her white tank top; to find the best quality you would want to stretch out the fabric, and if you can see the fibres then you know it’s not going to last. Second would be her skirt, now when it comes to skirts, I would recommend watching out for loose threading or snags, that is what you want to stay away from because we don’t want any accidents. Her boots, well, most likely you won’t have to worry about that because most of the time boots are made from the best material. I would just be aware of worn soles.
You can get red fingerless gloves very easily, but this is where the hot glue gun and fabric glue comes in. Tifa has two metal knuckle pieces on the gloves, which you can just find something from the Dollar Store to use, but you would want to hot glue those pieces onto the knuckles of the gloves. Now here’s the fun part, making her arm warmers. What you would need for her arm warmers is black spandex fabric that you can get at your local Walmart for a very affordable price. You aren’t going to need much, but you just want enough to cover your forearm and I will do a tutorial on a Tifa Lockhart cosplay in the future to be more precise and so you can see what the finished product looks like.
Getting the best wig for less
Now, my favourite part of cosplay are the wigs. Everyone has their own tactics when it comes to purchasing their wigs. When I was just a beginner I would just buy pre-styled wigs online, but now I just buy plain wigs and cut and style them myself. It definitely is a bit more costly due to all the products you would need to purchase, but I really enjoy styling them myself. When looking for hair products you can get bargains such as Got2b which of course are my go to products.
Got2b is a very common brand and won’t be very expensive, which is exactly what you’re looking for starting off. I will be listing some sites that you can purchase pre-styled wigs on such as Amazon. You may be saying to yourself “Oh, products sold on Amazon are just cheap and bad quality!”, well not exactly. When purchasing anything off of Amazon, you just want to be aware of ratings, and reviews. Another good site is Etsy. Oh Etsy, my all time favourite. Now, Etsy is where people can make products such as, well everything.
Clothing, jewelry, charms for your phone, and most importantly wigs. Keep in mind the same thing I told you about Amazon when it comes to ratings and reviews. Reviews and star ratings are what you should always be looking at wherever you shop for anything you purchase online. I will leave links to some shops I recommend on Etsy as well.
Now, I’m not going to lie; I am not the best at makeup, but what I highly suggest is practice, practice, practice. I’ve been wearing makeup for a decade and after all of this time I still can’t get it completely correct; Oddly enough, I still get compliments when i go out to conventions.
Your best bet when doing makeup when you’re getting started is to do your makeup for a certain character. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube for almost every character your heart desires. Sorry that I couldn’t help much in that department, haha.
Well, that just about does it. I hope these tips are helpful as you begin your journey into cosplay. Remember that the most important thing is to have fun!
Just a reminder; these are suggestions for those starting out on a tight budget and for beginners in the cosplay world. I hope you have fun with your next cosplaou have fun with your next cosplay!
This is Hana. Hana is a huge geek, who loves practically all genre of games. She’s also big into cosplay and watching Anime every weekend. You could even say it’s her obsession.