The past few years have seen an epic surge in popularity of the practice of cosplay. What once was a small subset of fans has swelled enormously over time in the convention community. But how does one get started in such an involved and time-consuming endeavor? It is certainly easy to be intimidated by all the enormously talented cosplayers seen at conventions and featured in online publications. However, some tips and tricks may be able to help you traverse the expansive terrain that is cosplay.

What once was a small subset of fans has swelled enormously over time in the convention community, but how does one get started in such an involved and time consuming endeavor?

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces can be a bit of a hit or miss with their products. The biggest issue that many people encounter is that online shops often post photos of costumes that are nowhere near the quality of the product they ship to consumers. This can be increasingly problematic when these manufacturers are overseas and wait time for shipments can be incredibly long. Additionally, if there is an issue with the product, international shipping costs become a hassle. One such solution to this is buying gently used costumes from other consumers online via eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc. Custom made costumes are definitely expensive and hard to come by. However, purchasing a custom made costume from someone with roughly the same measurements ensures that your purchase is a quality product.

Online Marketplaces

Thrift stores like Goodwill are fantastic places to get started in cosplay. Granted, you may not always find something incredibly screen accurate but they are great for getting that starter piece you’ve been needing.

If you are like me and are not exactly skilled at sewing and creating your own pattern from scratch, thrift stores can be an invaluable place to find a base piece that you can modify to appear more screen accurate or find something close enough to the original.

The first costume I ever created was Cinderella’s ballgown from the classic Disney film and that was crafted from a $30 secondhand prom dress.

Online Tutorials and Forums

Cosplay used to be incredibly difficult to do before the age of the internet. Prior to the digital age, cosplayers had no resources other than the source material and their own imagination. Today, with the help of the internet, cosplayers are able to get multiple high-resolution photos of costumes, go on forums to chat and share ideas with other cosplayers, or search instructional videos for relevant tutorials on projects all to better realize their creative vision.

Jumping into the cosplay community has never been easier with all these online resources available to both veteran and potential creators. These guidelines are just a few tips and tricks to ease into the cosplay community. Have fun with future projects and keep creating!

About the Author: Phuong Pham

Phuong Pham

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