How I decide on cosplays

March 5th, 2014

Joy (who is running a giveaway so check it out!) asked me how I determine which costumes to make. She read my mind! I actually drafted an entry about it just last month! I originally wrote this because I couldn’t decide on which costume to work on next, so I began thinking back on why I chose other costumes in the past.

1. I really like the game/show/movie/etc.
This is really the base reason for all of my cosplays. If I don’t like what the character is from, I don’t think it’s worth pursuing. This reason especially applies to my Chell (Portal) and Knives (Scott Pilgrim) costumes. Their designs aren’t necessarily interesting or hard to make, but I’m obsessed with Portal, and Scott Pilgrim vs The World is one of my favorite movies.

2. It would be a fun group cosplay.
I have a few solo cosplays, but I actually prefer cosplaying in a group if possible. It’s just fun to match with your friends :) Our soon-to-be Spirited Away costumes were decided when we tried to figure out what we can do together, and we realized we all like Ghibli films.


3. I happen to be playing the game at the moment.
I actually think this is the most common reason. The game might not be a favorite, but I still like it, and it’s currently on my mind. I made Sakura (Street Fighter), Talim (Soul Calibur), and Dawn (Pokemon) while playing the games they’re in.

This is sometimes combined with the “group cosplay” reason. I finished our TWEWY and Trauma Center costumes before I even finished the games, and we chose them because we were playing them at the time.

4. I loved the outfit and wanted to make it as soon as I saw it.
Again, I have to like the thing the outfit is from first! There’s been several times where I saw outfits I thought were really cool but stopped myself because I wasn’t a fan of what they were from. Talim’s costume falls under this reason, too, because I love her outfits. (I actually play as Talim in the Soul Calibur games though.)

My Bastion costumes are an example of when it’s all 4 reasons. 1) I love their outfits. 2) My friend wanted to cosplay with me as Zulf. 3) We both had just finished Bastion. 4) Bastion is one of our favorite games.

And so, where do my future plans fall? Like I showed in my last entry, I plan on making Silica’s outfit. This one mainly falls under reason 4. I really like this outfit and wanted to make it the moment I saw it in Sword Art Online.

I’m also considering Phi’s outfit from Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward. This one falls under reason 3. I finished the game just recently, and it’s fresh on my mind. Plus, I’ve been wanting a simple costume for when I do photoshoots for other cosplayers. My current costumes don’t really work for when I go to conventions as the photographer.

Oh, and whenever I post cosplay entries, I usually get comments that people wish they could cosplay but don’t know how to sew or think they’d be terrible at it. Here’s a bit of encouragement!

I didn’t know how to sew when I made my first cosplay (Talim). It’s pretty easy to tell that the construction of my first costume is very poor. I didn’t know what I was doing.

I wore it anyway and really enjoyed myself. People were nice and still asked for photos of me. In other words, I wore a terrible costume and had a great time. I continued working on it and improving because of that. So, don’t let the fear of failure stop you. Everyone has to start somewhere :)

9 Responses to “How I decide on cosplays”

  • Holly says:

    I’ve seen some pictures of your costumes before but I’ve never seen the Trauma Centre ones. I love the games and the outfits are so simple but awesome!

    It’s encouraging to hear that you didn’t know how to sew when you started. I have some experience of sewing by hand, and even less using a sewing machine but I guess we all have to start somewhere. You’ve clearly come a long way since. :)

  • Amy says:

    Oh wow! This is a very interesting and inspiring post! Makes me stop complaining and get a sewing machine (i just don’t know where to place it)! I don’t know where to begin though. Are there any dress making tutorials I could read up in?

    The Silica and Phi costumes are so cute! My cousin is telling me to watch Sword Art Online. I must make time for it >.<

    • Cat says:

      Ah, I wish I could recommend some tutorials! I’ve just been randomly looking up things I need, and I was also part of a cosplay forum where I could ask people for help. So, I don’t have any specific tutorials in mind unfortunately =/ You can buy patterns at fabric stores though, and those help a lot since you don’t have to make the pattern yourself!

  • Michelle says:

    Oh wow, this post is simply amazing! I still wish I could sew and whatnot, but even still, it’s great that you have a passion for the games/movies/shows that you cosplay as. There’s nothing greater than having passion. Makes the cosplay just more fun.

    I really like Bastion too. It’s pretty fun and that reminds me that I have to finish it. XD

  • Carolynne says:

    There is so much involved when you make your decision!! It sounds like you think it through really well before you dive into it. You are so creative and I love all your costumes :D

  • Tiff says:

    Hahaha love your first coz play costume & how you showed you really didn’t know what you were doing, but you’ve since worked on your craft & improved drastically. We all have to start somewhere, right? No one is an expert sewer right out the crib!

    Excellent progression & costumes. Can’t imagine you’d choose a character to cosplay if you didn’t like her/him. Perfectly makes sense. Although street fighter is one of my favorite games, but I wouldn’t be able to make one of my favorite character’s outfits. I think people would just think I’m a vampire ho or something hahaha.

    So excited to see your silica outfit! Looks really complex, but you’re gonna make it look great, I’m sure! Also excited to see more photography from you too. :D

  • Nancy says:

    You rocked all of your cosplay outfits! I think it’s really cool that you can dress as the characters you like! It’s even better that you can make your own costumes because there’s that sense of hard work and I believe it’s cheaper? I know that if I learn how to make my own dresses, I could spend around $4 at home instead of $30+ out there.

    I can imagine how fun it would be to be in a group cosplay because people are completing the character set of a particular series. It brings animation to the real world XD. I think this is my first time seeing that Dawn outfit! That’s cute because Dawn is an adorable character :3. Have fun with making your current outfit!

    We all got to start somewhere when it comes to sewing our own things. Terrible or not, you worked your way up in being legit with sewing together your outfits! It’s all in the process of doing trial and error and we learn by doing. It’s even better that you still have fun wearing the outfit! I’m probably still at the level where you’re a beginner right now, haha. I just know that I’m supposed to make the edges go on the inside and as for how… I guess I can improvise until I actually figure it out and master the technique XD.

    Take care and have a great weekend!

  • Agent Q says:

    Sounds like reasonable things to consider when deciding. I think #4 is the driving force though. As long as you have the desire to create something, despite your initial skill level, you’ll get the job done. Besides, having fellow cosplayers giving words of encouragement helps. Although it’s desirable to perfect your costume, you can only go so far alone. It is the presence of others and their appreciation for your efforts that matters the most. It’s a social thing after all. :) Keep up the great work!

  • AnneMarie says:

    I love this! I always wondered what drives cosplayers to creating their costumes! And they’re all reasonable reasons.

    I definitely would be a lot worse at sewing than your first attempt. I didn’t even really notice your mistakes until you pointed them out. :P

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