Cosplay is a popular activity that involves dressing up as fictional characters from various media, such as anime, video games, and comic books. It’s a fun way to express creativity and show appreciation for beloved characters. However, cosplay for beginners can feel intimidating. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of cosplay and provide tips for getting started.
How to Start Cosplaying
Are you interested in trying out cosplay for the first time? It can be a fun and exciting way to express your love for your favorite characters and fandoms. But where do you even begin? Cosplay for beginners can be overwhelming, and we tend to overthink when starting our first cosplay. That’s why it’s incredibly helpful to break down the process of creating your first cosplay, from creating your costume to debuting your cosplay in events.
The best way to start on your first cosplay is to stop overthinking things and begin working. While it’s true that your first costume might be a bit rough and your first cosplay event work out exactly as you imagined it, it is important to get your feet wet so that you are able to grow as a cosplayer.
Don’t worry; we’ll guide you every step of the way! Just remember that our goal is to get your first cosplay jitters out of the way so you can enjoy the hobby with less pressure.
Important Note: Start Out Small
When it comes to cosplaying, it’s easy to get excited and want to jump right into a big, elaborate costume. However, as a new cosplayer, it’s important to start out small and work your way up. Why, you may ask? Well, for starters, cosplay can be an expensive hobby, and starting with a simpler costume can help you learn the basics without breaking the bank.
Another reason to start small is that it allows you to focus on the important details. When you have a simpler costume, you can spend more time and resources to making your costume recognizable. With fewer details to consider, you can really iron out the most iconic parts of the costume. This attention to detail will set your cosplay apart from others and help you stand out at events.
Starting small also gives you the opportunity to learn new skills. Perhaps you’ve never sewn before or have never worked with foam or Worbla. Starting with a simpler costume can give you a chance to practice and develop these skills before moving on to more complex costumes.
Preparing Your First Costume
The first step when doing cosplay for beginners is to prepare your very first costume. This is normally the first speed bump we encounter when doing cosplay for the first time. There are a lot of decision points in this step and it can feel intimidating to manage your expectations while also unleashing your creativity at the same time. So let’s walk through the different steps in preparing your first costume.
1. Choose a Character You Love
The first step is to choose a character that you love. When cosplaying a character that you’re passionate about, you will be more motivated to put in the work needed for a successful cosplay. Choose a character that you feel a connection with and that you’ll enjoy portraying. Don’t feel pressured to choose a popular or trendy character if you’re not passionate about them.
2. Research the Character and Their Costumes
Once you’ve chosen a character, research their personality, backstory, and outfit. Look for reference images of the character to get an idea of what their costume looks like. It is important to have an understanding of what makes the character unique and recognizable. Take a look at their variant costumes as well. If a character has an iconic casual look, maybe it’s something you’d be interested to closet cosplay.
3. Plan What You’ll Make and What You’ll Buy
After researching the character’s costume, it’s time to break it down into smaller items and identify which parts you’ll make and which parts you’ll buy. By breaking down the costume into individual pieces, you’ll have an easier time planning how to create the overall look. Look for inspiration online on Etsy or Pinterest on how to simulate the appearance of your character using materials you have access to.
Remember that there is absolutely no shame in buying your entire costume rather than making it yourself, but you’ll be able to save some time and money if you do a combination of buying and making.
4. Create a Budget and Stick to It
Another common issue that can cause unfinished cosplay projects is going over budget. Cosplay can be expensive, so it’s important to create a budget and stick to it. Prioritize essential materials and supplies and consider alternatives to expensive materials. Remember, our goal is to with something small and manageable so that you’ll be able to enjoy cosplaying at the soonest.
Remind yourself that your first costume doesn’t have to be an exact replica of your character. What’s important is that it’s recognizable and you’re having fun.
5. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
If you have friends who do cosplay or are into arts and crafts, consider asking them for advice or help. Sure, there is a desire to finish the project all on your own, but bringing friends into the project can make it easier and even more fun. Whenever you feel stuck, the best way to get unstuck is usually to reach out. Other people might be able to see things from a different perspective and help you tackle an issue creatively.
Just remember to also reciprocate the help given to you when other people eventually come to you for help. One of the best things about cosplay for beginners is that there is plenty of help available for those that need it.
6. Make Sure That Your Costume Fits Perfectly
After completing the costume, it’s time to put it on and make any necessary adjustments. Ensure that the costume fits well and is comfortable to wear. Make sure that you can move around in your costume without worrying that it’ll rip or suffer from a wardrobe malfunction. The small adjustments that are made now will prevent big embarrassment later on.
Attending Your First Cosplay Event
So you have your first costume and are raring to show it off at your first cosplay event. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure that you’ll enjoy and make the most out of your cosplay.
1. Do Your Research and Plan Ahead
Attending conventions and events is a great way to showcase your cosplay and connect with other fans. Research the event beforehand and plan accordingly, including transportation, accommodations, and convention policies.
Familiarize yourself with the venue so that you don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of things. Make sure to identify where you can change into and out of your costume.
If you expect it to be a big event with lots of participants in cosplay, consider getting dressed before the event and putting the finishing touches when you get to the venue itself. Figure out how where you’ll have your meals and make sure that you can stay hydrated for the duration of the event.
Read More: Different Types of Cosplay You’ll Find at a Cosplay Convention
2. Get Into Character
Once you’re at the event, you have to remember that cosplay is not just about wearing a costume; it’s also about embodying the character’s personality and mannerisms. In fact, cosplay for beginners will rely mostly on getting into character to make their cosplay pop.
So practice the character’s signature poses and expressions to truly bring them to life. Don’t be afraid to interact with other people in character at the event but make sure to do so politely and with their consent.
3. Enjoy Yourself
Now that you’re at your first cosplay event wearing your first costume, remember to relax and enjoy yourself. Cosplay for beginners is meant to be enjoyed; you’ll only be a complete newbie once. Don’t fuss over your costume too much. Be confident and thank people who recognize your character. Make new friends and ask questions on how to improve your cosplaying skills. Cosplay for beginners is simply the starting point. There are more steps take in polishing your costume, but for now, take time to celebrate your work.
Easy Cosplays for Beginners
Now that you have a better idea of how to get started with cosplay, you may be wondering which characters are recommended to cosplay for beginners. Here are some suggestions to help get you started:
Superheroes – Characters like Spiderman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are popular choices for cosplay and are relatively easy to create or buy costumes for. You can also add your own personal touch by customizing accessories like capes or utility belts.
Anime and Manga Characters – Characters from popular anime and manga series like Naruto or One Piece are also great options for beginners. These costumes often feature simple designs and can be created using basic sewing skills.
Disney Characters – Who doesn’t love a good Disney cosplay? Whether you want to be a princess or a classic character like Mickey Mouse, Disney costumes can be fun and easy to create. Plus, they’re always a hit at conventions and events.
Video Game Characters – If you’re a gamer, why not cosplay as your favorite character from a video game? Characters like Mario or Link from The Legend of Zelda are recognizable and relatively simple to create.
Remember, these are just a few suggestions to get you started. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with your own ideas for cosplay. And don’t forget to have fun with it!
Start Your First Cosplay Today
Cosplay for beginners is all about making the right decisions and planning ahead. By choosing the right character, doing your research, and taking the time to create a quality costume, you can have a great experience as a cosplayer. Remember to have fun, be creative, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from more experienced cosplayers. Just remember, every journey starts with a single step; you should take your first step in your cosplaying journey today. With these tips and suggestions, you’ll be on your way to becoming a cosplay pro in no time!
Can I cosplay as any character I want?
Yes, you can cosplay any character you want. However, it’s important to be respectful and avoid appropriating cultures or identities that you do not belong to. It’s also a good idea to research the character and make sure that your portrayal is accurate and respectful.
Do I have to make my own costume?
No, you don’t have to make your own costume if you don’t want to. You can purchase costumes online or from a costume shop or even borrow a costume from a friend. Cosplay for beginners is all about having fun with the character regardless of where your costume came from.
Do I need to know how to sew or craft to cosplay?
While some level of sewing or crafting skill can be helpful, it’s not a requirement. You can purchase pre-made or partially made costumes or even modify existing clothing to create your cosplay.
What should I bring to a convention or event?
Be sure to bring any necessary props or accessories for your cosplay, as well as comfortable shoes and any items you may need for touch-ups throughout the day, such as makeup or hairspray.
How can I improve my cosplay skills?
Practice, practice, practice! Attend conventions and events, join online cosplay communities, and continue to learn new techniques and skills to improve your cosplay. Cosplay for beginners is all about getting the necessary practice in.