Cosplaying, on the surface, refers to players and fans dressing up like fictional characters and mimicking exactly how their favorite character looks like. But if you dive into the world of cosplay, you will see that there is a lot more to it than just copying the outfits as it is. 

Cosplaying is an art that allows the players to express their creativity. So while some people may mimic the characters as it is, there will also be others who change the character up with a different outfit or a non-canon gender to better fit their imagination of the character.

Photo: meijii

Standard Cosplay

First, we have Standard Cosplay. With cosplay at its core, Standard Cosplay is a type of cosplay where people try to mimic a fictional character as accurately as they can. Of course, it doesn’t have to be perfectly accurate as changes can be made to outfits to make them more comfortable or better fit the theme. But the main idea is to look exactly like a character and bring it to life!

Additionally, if you want to stand out from other people cosplaying the same character, you can choose to play a different, less common outfit of the character.

These outfits can either be crafted yourself, purchased, or commissions, or commissioned for the purpose of the cosplay.

Casual Cosplay

When you wear an outfit that is inspired by the dressing sense of a fictional character instead of copying the whole character itself. It is termed as a Casual Cosplay. This is quite different from your Standard Cosplay as the idea isn’t to copy the character design. However, to take some inspiration from it and come up with a design of your own.

In casual cosplay, the person makes use of similar colors and patterns to put together an outfit that resembles their favorite character! These outfits may not be easily recognizable by others, which means you can even wear them to your school or job without being too obvious!

Closet Cosplay

If you would like to add some fun to your Standard Cosplay, you can try Closet Cosplaying. Instead of buying or commissioning the outfit, the challenge is to craft it yourself by using the items that you already own in your closet! This means that the outfits may not always be very accurate due to the limited items, but it is a fun and rewarding challenge if you can manage to put together an amazing outfit.

It is also very cheap to do Closet Cosplay since you already own all the items in your closet and don’t have to spend money on anything. You can also combine this together with Standard Cosplay by thrifting some items and using them in combination with the ones you already own!

Original Characters

Instead of copying or mimicking a popular character, how cool would it be to dress up as a character of your own? This is what Original Characters are all about. This is where people dress up to showcase their original work or a character they have imagined inside a known universe (e.g., a new original Marvel character).

Group Cosplay

Have a group of friends that just got into cosplay? Try doing a Group Cosplay! Coordinate as a group to dress up as a popular group of characters. This can either mean that everyone dresses up as the same character, or they all choose different characters that are close to each other.

If you ever see your favorite group of anime characters all in one place, now you know that they are group cosplaying!


Do you have a knack for sewing and design? Try creating a costume design to cosplay a fictional non-human character. Gijinka Cosplayers have to create and design their own outfits from scratch by mostly using fan art as a reference. This type of cosplay is really fun as it allows the cosplayer to completely express their creativity and express how the character would look like if they were human!

Fursuit Cosplay

Fursuit cosplay is opposite to Gijinka. In this type of cosplay, people wear custom-made furry body suits with an animal head. This makes it look like the character is an animal that is walking on two legs.

Examples of Fursuit Cosplays are pokemon suits and other types of fictional non-human characters, which people can dress up as!


Next is Crossplay! The goal of Crossplay is to transform your appearance to look like a different gender. The cosplayer will dress up in a costume that does not match their own gender. This can be done using makeup or transforming the shape of your body to look more masculine or feminine to match the character you are cosplaying. The best example of crossplay would be a man dressing up as Cinderella.

Genderbent Cosplay

Now, this type of cosplay is similar to Crossplay but with one major difference, which often leads to people confusing the two types with each other. In Crossplay, people change their own gender appearance to look more like the character; however, in Genderbent, people change the gender of the character instead.

This means that you will see a female Ironman or a male Wonder Woman as a part of Genderbent Cosplay!

Photo: Charles Chen

What Is The Purpose Of Cosplaying?

The recreation of a character is one of the objectives of cosplay. You can accomplish this “appropriately” by carefully replicating a character’s appearance. You can even add your own original creative twist to it! Costumes, wigs, accessories, and props are all used by cosplayers to create their unique looks.

Several cosplayers participate in their hobby because they identify with the characters they are impersonating, with other people in their community who share their interest for the anime, video game or the character, or even just for the company and time spent with each other.

Do Different Types Of Cosplay Have To Be Perfect?

You can emphasize on specific aspects of the character you’re trying to imitate unless you include your own personal variations based on your creative style or the supplies you’re using.


It’s not necessarily crucial to replicate what we see on the movies, or internet. Cosplayers have come up with innovative methods to combine characters or add a fresh element to well-known stories. You might come across a zombiefied version of well-known figures, superheroes dressed casually, or even your favorite VTuber!

The effort you put into your apparel will, however, offer levels of realism and detail to your outfit. Those are the qualities you won’t be able to get in Cosplay shops once you’ve put everything together. And all of your effort will be worthwhile once you realize the impact this has on the people who see it!


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