Cosplay, at its core, is about having fun. It’s about turning your passion and hobby into an art form that others can enjoy and appreciate. Having said that, it’s important that you choose a character that you feel most comfortable with. Although being unique and going out of your comfort zone is highly recommended especially when it comes to cosplay, if you’re not having fun it defeats the purpose of cosplaying in the first place. If you have a tough time choosing which character to come as, here are a few tips you can follow.
- Set a budget
Cosplay can either be easy on the wallet or not. It purely depends on the character you decide to come as. It’s important that you first create a budget when doing cosplay. Your budget should include not only the character costume you’re going to have to buy or make, but also include convention tickets, transportation, and accommodation. Also, include accessories like headpieces and weaponry in your budget.
If your budget isn’t too flexible, then you might want to go for a simpler costume, one that requires you to purchase minimal items and make the rest. This will also give you the chance to practice since most professional cosplayers will, at some point, create their character looks at some point.
- Create a timeline
Whether you’re cosplaying for a convention, party, or friendly gathering, you need to know how much time you have to create your look. Deciding on a character is quite dependent on how much time you have. If you have a large enough cosplay budget, you can simply buy what you need for your look at cosplay shops. There is also the option to hire a professional to create your look.
For a smaller budget, you might want to consider renting your costume from a local cosplay and costume shop, even those that sell cheap onesies for adults will have most of what you need. If you are pressed for time and don’t have the budget, then borrowing a costume is your best option.
- Choose your favorite character
The most obvious tip in choosing a cosplay character look is to choose your favorite character. Look through movies, comic books, and manga if you don’t have a particular character in mind. Before selecting a character, note what your current interests are as well as long-time favorite series. This will help you decide on a character to cosplay.
If you have several favorite characters, choose the one with the best costume and design based on your style. Also, consider the intricacies of their overall look and if you’ll be able to pull it off based on time and budget. Considering attributes that you like such as beauty, magical ability, strength, and intelligence will help you narrow down your choice.
- Know your comfort level
If you still find yourself struggling with a decision, then choose a character with a look you’re most comfortable with. For instance, if you don’t like showing off skin or wear high heel boots, you might want to avoid characters whose style includes those things.
You can also talk to your friends for advice on the best look suited for your comfort level. If they are also coming to the same convention or gathering, find out what character they’re coming as. Perhaps they could use you to fill in for a specific character to complete a series cast. This is also a great idea to avoid duplicating characters.
- Creating your costume
Another tip in choosing the best cosplay character is to choose a character that closely resembles your body type and a costume that you can replicate exactly. This is very important if you plan to enter into cosplay contests. Judges usually rate characters based on detail and accuracy. This also frees you up from having to use padding to fill in your costume if your character has a bigger body size.
And speaking of cosplay contests, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the guidelines of the event as well as the contest. Most conventions have tightened their policies about weaponry. Popular weapons like lightsabers and nerf guns have been banned for security reasons. Some conventions also have restrictions when it comes to dress code, with others having two sets of dress codes, one for night time and one for day time. Every convention is going to be different so make sure that you check the rules before choosing a character.