How to Dissect a Costume into a Cosplay
This tutorial is intended to be a doorway for those who would like to step into the world of cosplay. While I'll use one or two costumes as examples, hopefully these instructions will be able to provide you with the tools to dissect your own characters in preparation to begin your own costume. And while I'll be using anime examples, this doesn't apply just to anime, you can easily use these instructions for Disney characters, original creations, movie characters - whatever!
Beginning: Selecting a costume
This will probably be the hardest part, or possibly the easiest. Chances are in looking for a tutorial like this, you already have in mind one or two characters you'd like to try to cosplay as. If not, then think about it for a moment. Is there a character who is your favorite? Is there a character that resembles either your looks or your personality? Are there characters your friends are dressing up as and you'd like to match? You can draw your inspiration from pretty much anywhere as a starting point. But you'll need a character to proceed.
As an example? My partner and I want to cosplay as Sol and Ky from the video game Guilty Gear. We've loved the video game for a long time and it's about time we dress up as the characters (because we've been talking about doing it for ages and it's never gotten off the ground).
When picking a costume, there are some important things you want to keep in mind. Keep in mind your skill level. If you've never sewn a costume before, you might want to start with something that's a bit easier to construct. For this, look at the main shapes of the costume. If it consists of a kimono or a simple pair of pants and top that's going to be a lot easier then a full blown dress with a corset top and a skirt made of belts.
Think about your hair. Do you want to wear a wig for the costume? While this may sound incredibly important, it can actually be trivial. Some characters you can get away without a wig, but in most cases the costume will look its best when you attempt to match all the details and that does include the hair color and style.
Important note: Body size and skin color.
When picking out a character, several people are deterred away from costumes because of their own skin color not matching that of many characters or because their body type is larger than the standard anime character. I speak from experience that you shouldn't let these scare you away from making and wearing awesome costumes! Just keep a few simple things in mind:
If your skin is darker, match your hair. Depending on your skin color, you may or may not look as good with a bright colored hair. For example, Princess Peach has bright blond hair, which might clash when paired with dark brown skin. So the easy way to fix this? Consider going with black or brown hair close to your natural color in the same style.
If you're larger than the standard anime character - and lets face it, in reality most people are - don't let this deter you either. Granted you may not look as good in a bikini or school girl's uniform, but several characters have large ornate costumes that look quite good on full figures. Larger hips and curves add volume to large dresses and actually make them look better. Don't let this scare you away from costumes at all, just take a moment to consider what will look best on your body type, because everyone should be allowed to enjoy cosplay!Brawl - Princess Peach
((My partner Chibi as Princess Peach))
Stay tuned for future parts!!