For many nerds and geeks, cosplay is the ultimate way to live out your dreams. You literally turn yourself into a character from your favorite movie, tv series, or game.
You have probably spent a long time figuring out how to create the costume and a lot of money and time bringing it to life.
But when you are ready to attend your chosen con, it can be easy to forget a few essentials that will make or break your experience.
Props can make or break your cosplay. To make sure that you have the right props for the occasion, make sure you do your research. Different venues accept different types of props and the rules are usually displayed on their website in a fairly prominent area.
Before you begin your construction, make sure that you read all the instructions completely. You don’t want to get to the venue and be turned away because of a prop you brought that doesn’t meet specifications.
When building your props, consider how you will be carrying them and how heavy or unwieldy they may be. While certain materials might be more authentic, they can also be miserable to carry around. This DIY foam cosplay helmet should be suitable for most events:
Consider using lighter-weight materials for longer events and more authentic materials for the competitions.
Depending on the material that your cosplay is made out of and how much skin you are showing, you may want to consider wearing some light clothes underneath. Not only will this help you feel more comfortable, it will protect your outfit from sweat and your skin from chafing.
It will also make it easier to remove part of your outfit if you need to repair it or if you just want a break. For some larger costumes, you may need to remove a piece to sit down, so wearing clothes underneath allows you to do so without flashing anyone.
When choosing the clothes to wear underneath, keep your costume in mind. The clothing will need to fit properly and move easily without getting twisted around. Most people do well with a high-quality undershirt and athletic shorts or shapewear of some kind.
Obviously, this doesn’t work if your cosplay shows more skin, so adjust accordingly.
It's impossible to overstate the importance of having supplies to repair your cosplay with you. No matter what you do to protect your cosplay, there is always a chance for something to go wrong.
Someone may run into you, you may lose a button or decoration, or something may just rip. There is no way to plan for these emergencies, so be prepared. While many conventions have a repair area for cosplays, they might not have everything that you need.
Make sure that you always have a small sewing kit and replacements for any details on your costume. If you have any special tools needed to repair your costume, it is important that you bring those as well, because there is no guarantee that anyone else will have that tool.
Just as you can’t plan for any repairs that you might need to make, you can’t control the weather on the day of your con. While weather reports can be helpful for planning, you should always be prepared for the unexpected.
While your outfit might be fine, if you are using a wig or props that can be damaged by rain, they won’t be. You also don’t want to find yourself improperly dressed and miserable because the temperature is very different from what you expected.
Make sure you bring an umbrella and coverings for any accessories that can be damaged by rain. If your wig does get wet, make sure you take care of it as soon as possible. If your con is during the winter, it might be a good idea to bring a coat. This may ruin some of the illusion, but it is better than freezing and being miserable!
No matter what kind of costume you plan to create, these essentials will keep you looking the part flawlessly until it's time to go home.
Keep the accessories light and keep a few important tools available to make quick repairs and you won't have to do anything but remember to stay in character.