8 Important Tips for Your Cosplay Debut
Whether it is your first time cosplaying your favorite character, or it could be your upteeth time, there are still a few tips and tricks that never go out of date. Here are some important things to take note of, whether you are cosplaying for an event, a photo shoot, or a Halloween party!
1.Know your character
There are two ways you can choose which character to cosplay; a character you love, or a character you will look best in. There is no right or wrong way to choose a cosplay character, however, it is quite important that you know your character well enough so you can portray it well.
If it is your first time cosplaying, it is advisable that you choose a simpler character that doesn’t have too many complex designs or props, just to get into the jive first.
2.Buy or sew?
Unless you have some experience in sewing, it would be better to buy a costume and make minor adjustments to it according to your size and body shape. You really wouldn’t want to have a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of your Halloween party or while posing for a photo; that would prove to be pretty embarrassing. It isn’t shameful to buy a costume, whether it is your first cosplay or for all your cosplays. After all, it is all about having fun!
Before you head to your favorite online store or tailor, you should list down the things you need to get for your character, including the costume, props, accessories, wig, and shoes. This way, you can keep within your budget as well as ensure that you have all you need to be delivered to you before your debut. Work backward so that everything can be perfectly ready on time.
3.Hide your innerwear
In order to make your cosplay look on point, make sure to consider your innerwear as well. Bra straps should be well hidden; you can go for strapless, use transparent straps, or attach a bra insert onto your costume itself. Attaching an insert is the best when your costume has a low back or shows a lot of skin. For example, when wearing a Wonder Woman costume, you could wear a strapless bra, or attach inserts, or even go for transparent straps if you’re worried about a wardrobe malfunction when doing action poses. After all, it all boils down to personal comfort.
The color of your innerwear is also important. It is best to go for nude colored seamless ones to avoid it being seen through skin-tight or translucent costumes. This applies to both women and men; skin-tight costumes will look unsightly if undergarments lump at strange places.
4.Much ado about wigs
There are two schools of thought about wigs. Some say that it is OK to cosplay without wigs, and some are indignant about having to do that since it isn’t true to the character. Honestly, it really depends on your wig budget. Of course, wearing a wig brings your entire cosplay to life, so if you have issues with your budget, you can always choose a character that has the same hairstyle and color as your natural hair.
Next is wig styling. Unless you have the time and money to practice wig styling, or if you just cannot find a pre-styled wig for your cosplay, you should probably just go for wigs that have already been cut and styled accordingly. In this day and age, it is actually quite easy to find many different kinds of wigs for a wide range of characters.
5.Makeup and contacts
Putting on makeup for cosplay depends on how close you want to look to your character. When it comes to cosplay makeup, it is somewhat like putting on stage makeup to bring the character to life, regardless of gender. Makeup is usually used to even out your skin tone, to cover up flaws, and to accentuate certain features like your eyes. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube so you can learn a lot from there.
As for colored contacts, it is one of those things that is pretty much optional when it comes to cosplay. Of course with colored contacts, it makes your cosplay stand out from others and makes it look realistic, especially so for special contacts such as sclera lens like Kaneki Ken’s eye in Tokyo Ghoul or patterned lens for Rui of Demon Slayer. If you are not used to wearing contacts or feel uncomfortable wearing them, do practice ahead of time to decide if you prefer to forgo contacts or not. Make sure you are comfortable in them in order to enjoy your cosplay event!
6.Learn your pose
Being in costume means you have to be prepared to be photographed, although it is OK to refuse. To prepare yourself, why don’t you spice it up by learning all the different poses your character does? Don’t be shy to practice in front of the mirror in order to get the best angle to bring out the personality of your cosplay character. Whether it is a character from an anime, a movie or a game, you can watch the shows and take note of their signature poses. You can also go online to look for reference photos, still shots and even figurines of the character to get inspiration.
7.Consider the venue/weather
When choosing your cosplay, you have to seriously consider the venue and season of the event. If you’re planning to attend an outdoor event, you might want to consider cosplaying a character that doesn’t sport a heavy or complicated costume, especially if it is going to be hot and humid. In air-conditioned spaces, you will also need to bear in mind the seating arrangements, the traffic flow, and if there will be enough space in the bathroom for you, your costume size, and your props. If you have already thought of all these, just go ahead and choose a fancy cosplay!
Before you debut your cosplay in full glory, you need to do a full costume test. This includes your costume to wig, accessories, and even makeup. In the event, something feels off or doesn’t fit quite right, at least you still have some time to exchange costume sizes, do minor alterations, replace or repair parts, or fine-tune your makeup. Putting it all together and striking a pose in front of the mirror can really get you all pumped up and excited!