What makes a good cosplay costume

10 cosplay tips for beginners

Sophia from skunkandweasel explains what to look out for when cosplaying
Cosplay is an entertaining and demanding hobby that countless anime and game fans around the world devote themselves to. It should not be underestimated how much patience and time it takes. Because characters, as simple as they may look, can be extremely complex, so that beginners in particular do not know where and how to start. Since Sophia has been among cosplayers for a long time, today she gives you 10 important tips for getting started with cosplay.
Research is the be-all and end-all, where can I find good templates, is there a cosplay guide? Look for as many references as possible and see if there are material specifications, for example. If there is, I look for the specified materials clumsily using the google search and then start the fine selection.
Functionality is one of the most important points. I look at a costume and wonder how it works. I make sketches and try to imagine how I gradually put it on in order to understand the structure.

Special features and details

I am often told my costumes don't look like costume and how I do it. I pay attention to peculiarities. I wonder, for example, which structures go particularly well with a costume and which materials are realistic for the particular costume. For Aloy, for example, I only used natural fibers (I replaced leather parts with imitation leather).
Proportions are very important! That's why I try on every piece that is sewn or built to match the pieces. For example, if I have armor parts on my arms and legs like Aloy's, I make it very easy for myself; I draw a picture on the television, use arms and legs as a size specification and then simply pause the part with tissue paper in the correct scaling. So the proportions are definitely right. We did the same with the spear!
To make everything look more realistic, I of course look at the makeup of the character. I say to myself, for example, Aloy has no fake eyelashes, mascara or lip gloss on it. That just wouldn't look authentic. Seams are also not sewn perfectly and attempts to repair the costume are made to make it look more real.
Super important. My favorite aids are my dear fabric glue / spray glue (it can glue anything), Wondertape or sewing clips. Everything is well suited for pre-fixing fabrics on fabrics. Wondertape is a kind of double-sided adhesive tape, just for fabric that fixes and can be washed out. I use sewing clips for fabrics that quickly have holes or slip with pins. And you don't forget that they are bigger, for example when sewing or ironing something.
Sewing is essential when working on cosplay. It's good to know what your sewing machine can do and what great accessories there are. E.g. there are extra feet for seam zippers. Just try out the seams and see what they are for. That makes a lot of things easier!

Know your character → correct posing

Another important point. I play everything that I cosplay and if this is not possible, for example, I look at videos or reference images. What is the posture like? Facial expression. When I take pictures, I usually try to keep a distance from the viewer by not looking into the camera and, for example, looking dramatically into the distance. Is the character serious? Funny? Cool? Is he in a fight? Then the body must also be in a defensive position.
Cosplay costs a lot of money and you can't always do everything exactly as it is if you're not Croesus. That is why I very often "fake" belts by sewing them out of imitation leather. If it has to be thick belts, I use a foam rubber core. With the right needle in the machine, all of this can be sewn very well. Or I save on materials. I don't use real leather, but artificial leather by the meter because it is much cheaper. And of course we use artificial fur instead of real fur. For large quantities of rivets and eyelets, I look for wholesalers online.
Also very important. At Aloy, we have deliberately avoided weathering clothing, as the cosplay guide speaks of new, clean clothing. We weathered the armor because we imagined that these were trophies from the machines. Weathering goes well with a dry brush and some paint.