DOs and DONTs of COSPLAY
1. DO Make as much of your costume as possible. It will fit you better, it will look cool (assuming you or one of your friends/family can sew) and people will go Dude, you made that yourself? Gnarly!
Yes, there are some really good cosplay outfits on the internet, but then it kind of takes half the fun out of cosplaying, if all you did was buy it off eBay or Amazon or something.
Most cosplay competitions will disqualify you if you lie about making your costume (and they will catch you because they have special powers) and then youll look silly.
2. DONT let people tell you youre too fat to cosplay. (Well, unless youre, er, too fat to cosplay.) Just because anorexic is cool in anime world doesnt mean you have to be. Also, curves are NOT the same thing as flab! However
3. REALLY DONT wear a skimpy outfit that will make you
ahem, bulge. Its not a pretty sight, and theres really no excuse, because by the time you reach the age of wanting to cosplay, you should be able to dress yourself properly. Examples of skimpy outfits include, but are not limited to Faye Valentine, Rikku, Fran, Tifa, and Sailor Moon. Yes, Sailor Moon. Practically skin-tight outfits count too.
Remember, while adding a bit more coverage to a borderline outfit might make it less accurate, your wobbly bits will thank you for it.
4. DO dye your hair or buy a wig or something, if your hair isnt the right colour. Its so worth it, especially if you put heaps of effort into the rest of your costume. That being said, LOOK AFTER YOUR DAMN WIG. There are quite a few tutorials on wig-care on the web that might help you.
5. DONT Let anyone tell you youre the wrong colour to play >insert character name here<. So Namine from Kingdom Hearts isnt asian/African American/Hispanic. So what? You wont look just like her, but that doesnt mean you wont look FABULOUS. Sides, anybody who actually looks like an anime or game character is either blessed with good looks or cursed with freakishly huge eyes.
Of course some silly people will tell you uhh, Namine is white. (Like you couldn't figure that out for yourself, thanks.)Youll just have to get used to it, Im afraid.
Oh, and the myth that only Asian people can cosplay is just that a myth. Thats like saying only British people eat fish and chips. Whoever said only Asians can cosplay well needs a jolly good bop on the head with a newspaper.
6. DONT get upset if/when people stare at you to and from the convention. Youre dressed like a fictional character, for Petes sake. Just because you look splendiferous doesnt mean you dont look WEIRD.
7. DONT Get a friend to cosplay with you because you know they suck and will make you look good. Jackass.
8. DO actually LOOK at the character you intend to cosplay. Continue looking at them throughout the design and construction process. Pay attention to details. Use tutorials for the things you dont know, like weapons and such. Dont miss out on the little details that make the costume unique. Things like buttons, buckles, belts, fastenings, shiny bits, and ribbons DO matter.
9. DO Choose the right kind of fabric. This sounds really obvious, but fake looking costumes tend to use the wrong kind of fabrics. Granted, better fabric costs more money (which can make a real difference if youre on a budget) and with most anime theres a lot of guesswork involved. (Like does L wear blue joggers or jeans?) Just use your head and youll be fine.
Oh, and conventions tend to get rather hot. Unless you like the idea of massive sweat patches all over your costume, use light, breathable fabric. Youll thank yourself for it, I promise.
10. DO Wear underwear. I wish I was kidding.
11. DONT Verbally abuse other cosplayers. Ever. Even if they look terrible. Remember, its not your place to judge them. If they know they look terrible, the last thing they need is for you to rub it in. Unless they dont care, and then youll just be wasting your breath.
12. DO carry an emergency sewing kit with you, especially if youve entered a contest or your costume is really fragile. If you take one with you, then murphys law you probably wont even need it. If thats not a reason to have one, I dont know what is. Also, you can lend it to someone that DOES need it, and earn like a million brownie points.
13. DO check your costume after you go to the bathroom. The real Sephiroth wouldnt walk around with his fly down, and Ive never seen Chii with her skirt tucked into her knickers, mmkay?
14. DO Let creepy fangirls get their picture taken with you. We I mean they get their kicks out of it and theyll love you forever. If you pick up an unwanted stalker, then relocate yourself to a safer place. Or tell them you hate anime, or something.
15. DONT use the same pose for every photo. Work it like a supermodel! Practice the trickier poses so you dont end up falling on your face and knocking yourself out. And use your imagination! Remember, nothing looks worse than a badass character pulling the peace sign. Not to mention youll lose your con-cred! (Thats like street-cred only geekier.)
16. DO expect people to try and get you to do yaoi/yuri photographs. If you want to do it, then the fan-girls will love you for it, but if youre not comfortable with it, then its okay to say no. Just be polite and firm, and if people start getting creepy, tell them to take a hike.
17. DONT cry. Youll ruin your make-up, darling!
18. DO Roleplay/act in character if you want to. Thats half the fun of cosplaying! Just try not to be embarrassingly bad.
19. DO try cosplaying a character that you think doesnt get enough love. If theyre not very well-known, you might want to carry a picture of the actual character with you for anyone that asks who the hell are you?. Still, if you want to be recognised, dont pick the most obscure character you can think of from some unknown manga from the 70s.
20. DO take food and drink (or money) with you to the convention. Nothing kills your fun more than fainting in the middle of having your picture taken.
21. DO give yourself plenty of time to make your costume. Nothing sucks more than being too tired to enjoy the convention because you were up all night fixing up your costume, because you only got round to making it a week ago.
20. Lighten up, its just fashion! Its fashion! Faaaashion! Lighten up, its just faaashion!