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Cosplay 101

Our curated list of resources and tutorials for the beginner cosplayer!

cosplay

Aug 6, 2022

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Mengshu

Co-Founder

Cosplay has a long history, but many of us are discovering it for the first time. If you're new to the cosplay community, you might have a lot of questions. We've collected a handful of guides to answer those questions!

Costumes

Starting Place - If you are totally new, start here!

An awesome true beginner friendly guide if you just discovered the meaning of cosplay yesterday and feel totally overwhelmed by this new world that you’re launching into. This guide goes over everything from how to get started with cosplay? Should you buy or make your own cosplay? How to choose your first cosplay? And more!

Generally, you will have the following options for each piece of your cosplay. Which one you choose will depend on your timeline and what's important to you!

  • Make your own - A lot of work, but very rewarding!
  • Thrifting & upcycling - Start with a simple character design and see if you can thrift it.
  • Secondhand - Preloved cosplays are sustainable and convenient.
  • Commissioning - Find a skilled maker to create your dream cosplay just for you.
  • Factory-made - Sometimes it's just easy to buy something premade.

Cosplay 101 mentality for DIY costumes - How to think about making your own costumes

For cosplayers who are new to cosplay and want to make their own items, check out this 101 guide on the right mindset to be in to have fun making your own costumes. (Bonus: 10 tips for starting!)

Secondhand 101 - Buying secondhand costumes

This is our very own guide to help you buy secondhand cosplay costumes! It goes over everything from where to look, how to look for secondhand costumes and best practices. Plus, when you build up your stash and are ready to get rid of some, this guide has you covered on how to sell costumes as well.

Commissioning 101 - How does commissioning a costume work?

Check out this 101 guide that breaks down the entire cosplay commissioning process. It has all the answers to questions like “How do you commission cosplay”, “what does the commissioning process look like”, “how much does a commissioned cosplay cost” and more

Buying factory-made costumes - Which sites are best and what are the differences?

Which sites are good or bad? How do you know if the costume photos are real? What if you order the wrong size; will you be able to get a new one without paying extra? What if you’re on a tight budget and want to afford cosplay without breaking your wallet? This blog will answer all that!

Cosplay Ideas

Black haired cosplay - Easy no wig black hair cosplay ideas

For your lazy cosplay moods or Sunday cosplay outfits, check out this perfect list of female characters to rock if you have black hair!

Couple cosplay ideas - Love is in the air, looking for cosplay ideas for couples? Check this out!

This blog includes 10 in-depth suggestions for couple cosplay ideas and 40+ in a list. It doesn’t matter which gender you are, your sexual orientation or what type of relationship you’re in – you can do any of these cosplays regardless of these things!

Rey cosplay from Star Wars - using tea do dye fabric - A step-by-step beginner-friendly cosplay tutorial

'Cosplaying isn't what others think of you, it's what you think of yourself.' Follow Kate and go through the process of how she came up with the amazing Scavenger Rey cosplay - a super easy tutorial with step-by-step instructions!

Finishing

Ultimate guide to cosplay makeup - A giant list of basics and character-specific guides

This list includes a thorough collection of basic makeup tutorials, specific character makeup, and a focus on eyebrow coloring.

Using makeup to achieve that anime look - A video makeup tutorial for Haruhi Suzumiya

This video is an anime girl cosplay makeup tutorial from primer to lip gloss. See how successful makeup can add value to the entire cosplay outfit!

Wigs

Wig buying 101 - Guide to buying a wig for your cosplay!

This guide walks through a few steps to think about when you’re looking to buy a cosplay wig. It talks about how to pick the right wig, how to match colors, measuring lengths and sizes, different types of wigs like lacefront, bangs and bangless wigs. This guide also talks about how to care for and detangle wigs. Their section on how to put the wig on isn’t great so I have another link for how to wear the wig

Wig styling 101 - Great beginner guide if you want to style your wigs!

After buying your wig, you might think it’s ready to go. And for many people, it is! But, if you want your cosplay to look extra good, you have to put in some work to style your wig before you wear it. Even if it’s a wig that made for your character, it rarely comes out of the bag looking amazing. This guide has tips on what tools you need to style your cosplay wig, how to style it , how to wear and secure your wig, as well as trade offs when you’re buying the wig

Wig wearing 101 - How to actually put on your wig?

When I was putting a wig on for the very first time, I remember searching high and low for the video that show all the steps clearly, as obvious and basic as they may be! I like this video because she goes over how to prepare your hair under the wig, how to wear different types of wig caps, and how to wear and secure your wig

Cons

Attending your first convention - A survival guide!

Going to a convention for the first time can be overwhelming. This guide includes both the basic rules and extra tips to make the best of your experience.

Different types of conventions - What's a cosplay convention? And should you go to one?

Conventions come in a variety of forms - in size, in activities, and in atmosphere. Here is a quick breakdown of what to expect!

What to pack for cons - A handy checklist for what not to forget

Going to a convention for the first time can be a bit much. We put together this guide to help you pack all the essentials and nice-to-haves when you’re enjoying the show floor

Convention list - Our own list of conventions around the US

There are so many conventions big and small all over the country. This is our working version of the “complete” comic conventions in America. We broke it down by region so you can quickly see what’s around you and start the con planning

How to work with photographers - Best practices for your shoot!

Staying safe at the shoot

If you’re only recently getting into cosplay, you might not have had the chance to work with a photographer yet. Maybe you want to find a cosplay photographer to get better photos, or maybe you’re getting nervous about your first real photoshoot that’s upcoming. Take some time to read this guide and cooperate with photographers for better cosplay pictures!

Lastly...

Getting into cosplay can be overwhelming! There are so many options and so many tools and so many skills to learn. (And so many characters to cosplay!) But it doesn't have to be that way. All cosplayers - whether beginner or veteran - will agree that we all are doing this for passion and enjoyment. Keep that in mind when you're struggling or in a con crunch!

Some things to remember - having fun is most important

Do you have another resource that you found helpful?

Let us know!

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Mengshu is a co-founder of Coscove. Growing up in Canada, Mengshu loved theatre, dance, and all things photography. She did photoshoots in costume before even learning what cosplay was! Find her on Coscove: coscove.com/mengshus

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