Being a newbie is always a little intimidating. There are always so many questions about how to do things or what they even are. My first suggestion to any new cosplayer would be not to overwhelm yourself. There are many anime characters out there to choose from so the first step would be to pick one.
Choosing your first cosplay can be tricky as you debate between your favorite characters. There are a few things you should ask yourself before officially deciding whom to choose. Among these should be:
What is the character’s body type and what is mine?
Deciding your body type is actually quite simple. Do you have wide shoulders or slender hips? Does the character you want to cosplay do as well? How old is the character? It’s probably not very good body type match to have a tall 25-year-old cosplay as a small 12-year-old character. One of my own favorite characters is a slender built middle school girl and being a curvy woman myself the cosplay may not look that well. You don’t have to go by this, but it is a good suggestion.
What outfit does the character have?
If you feel uncomfortable about wearing a costume don’t feel pressured into wearing it. There are ways to get around things such as low-cut tops, lots of leg showing, tummy exposure, or strapless outfits. Here are some ideas: A thick pair of tights can make a whole world of difference in feeling comfortable when showing off your legs. Raising or lowering the waist line with tummy exposed cosplays can give you a better look for your body type. Or you can try extending the top just a little. As for low cut tops, try finding some fabric that matches your skin and sewing it in place there. If the cosplay has a choker, scarf, or necklace extend the fabric until that point.
How difficult would it be to obtain or make this cosplay?
This is usually the biggest factor for most people when deciding on whom to cosplay. Some elaborate costumes can be quite easy and some simple looking ones are a bit trickier. Find out what your sewing/making skills are. “Can I make a skirt, pants, or shorts? What about a jacket?” It’s perfectly fine if you buy items and alter them. If you can do that, more kudos to you!
You can also have a cosplay commissioned for you. Please be sure to give plenty of time for it to arrive before the event you plan on wearing it for. Take time to put your whole cosplay on before as well to make sure there are not any little things you may need that you may have forgotten.
What is the personality of the character?
If you choose a character with a happy, spunky personality you wouldn’t want to be sulking around all day in your cosplay. Just keep in mind whomever you cosplay as you may have to randomly pose for a couple pictures with a smile on your face.
Typically cosplays are worn to different events. In the U.S. you find cosplays done during an anime convention for the masquerade parade while in Japan there are pockets of people that cosplay regularly in various cities or in special cosplay cafes. Though nowadays it is not limited to just these few events. Cosplayers are found in all places having parties, going on trips, and even having picnics in your local park. Before you attend an event with your cosplay, you should take a little bit of time to take some pictures. There have been times that I’ve worn a cosplay to an event and then put it away and it never sees the light of day again. Then all I’m left with is a single picture of me in that cosplay doing a goofy face.
One last note; don’t be afraid to ask any questions. When you’re a newbie there is no wrong question.
Oh yeah! And be sure to Have Fun!