March, is Cosplay/Costuming month here at The Geeky Manifestos Blog. We are incredibly excited with all the leads and connections we are going to be sharing with you this month. But before we start talking complicated things, let us begin with those who want to Cosplay for the first time ever.
You probably look at this photo here and, can’t help but love the design and the work. But let me be the first to tell you, that this is not going to be an easy adventure to undertake. Cosplay is a very serious and expensive hobby. People spend hundreds of dollars purchasing fabrics, designs and accessories. Along with countless hours hunched over sewing machines to make the perfect outfit to take out and showcase to the entire world.
But with all adventures in life, you gotta take the first step. In this case the first step, is choosing a character that you are interested in taking the first leap of faith with. Choosing your first character, is a lot like having a first significant other. You meet, you invest time into each other, and then you either blossom, or break up. Regardless of how it ends, here are some important things to know about choosing your character:
1) Choose a character you know pretty well, and that you like.–Choosing a character that you don’t know only because they have a cute costume, is a set up to not only look stupid, but you won’t understand any character poses or any special quirks about your character. Which defeats the purpose of Cosplay–To be your character.
2) If you choose to make your costume by hand, be sure to pick a costume that fits your talent level. It’s okay to have a simple costume starting out. Always try to keep it simple. Many of the best cosplay costumes, are done with simple designs and patterns.
3) If you decide to purchase your costume, make sure to take the proper body measurements, and shop around. Also, be sure to know what the return and exchange policies are, so if you have any issues with your costume, you know what you can and cannot do.
4) Friends, do not buy and/or make a costume that does not fit your body shape. Best example: if you are a plus sized girl-a Sailor Scout outfit is not for you unless you make it to properly address your size. But if you squeeze into one that is obviously two sizes too small, not only are you risking wardrobe malfunctions, it’s just gross. There are plenty of cosplay characters to portray that will fit your style and size. And for the love of heavens, please get the proper undergarments to keep things in good order!
5) Remember, that your cosplay is not only for you, but for fans of your character. So it’s important to understand that your costume, must be good. If people are not taking pictures of your cosplay costume, it means that it has not been made well. Don’t be that cosplayer! Dress to impress!
6) Off that last point, now is a good reminder to DON’T RUSH! If the costume is not ready to be showcased, just leave it at home. Usually those who still take their cosplays out unfinished, can ruin the outfit to the point where it is unrepairable. So make sure that it’s 100% completed when you debut. There’s always another convention!
7) When the costume is 100%, be ready to have your photo taken! That’s kinda the point to cosplaying, that you are respected for building and creating your character. But to protect your identity, have a “cosplay” email, in which you can give to someone who took your photo, to send you a link, or send you a copy, without having someone knowing your personal life.
8 ) Do not invest in official shoots until you feel comfortable with your costume, and your costume is as perfect as you can get. Cosplay photographers understand, that while the costume is a part of the shot, if the designer doesn’t feel ready or comfortable, the photos will just not look right. Now if you have a friend who is willing to do it for free to improve their portfolio, then only go ahead if your costume is 100%. Cause you want to give them good quality shots with good quality costumes!
As we continue this month, we are going to talk more and more about cosplay development, and even talk a little about reenactments and costume period works as well. But we hope, that as you get started, you take these notes to heart and choose a character you love and will improve upon.