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Your rundown of cosplay basics, starting the hobby, and even how to rock a wig.

The beautiful thing about Cosplay is that it is for everyone. To create, curate, interpret and wear the outfit of a character important to you is something that brings me and so many others such joy. The shared moment where someone recognises your cosplay and asks for a photo, or the fun photoshoots in nearby woodlands, houses or the alley between my house and the next - it can truly bring such joy.

Hi, I’m Becca from Misty Moon Illustrations - an Illustrator with a sprinkling of Cosplay. I have loved fancy dress and cosplay for years, but have only started creating and sharing my Cosplay with the wider world since 2019. I thoroughly enjoy cosplay, but I wouldn’t say I’m a pro.

There are some incredible and talented Cosplayers out there - and speaking from personal experience, I know it can be daunting figuring out where to even begin. This article is to give you some tips and help to get started - the stuff that I have found helpful and works for me, and some suggestions of where you can get your supplies.

I’ll share some of my favourite cosplays and a breakdown of where I got everything from.

The mentions I give are not sponsored, just some websites and businesses that I have personally used!

Right - let’s kick off:

Decide who you are going to cosplay.

It may sound like a daft point, but I have so many ideas swirling around in my head, and so many characters I want to cosplay it becomes very overwhelming. So - make a list of all the ones you want to do, and look at some practicalities around them - How easy

would it be? How expensive would it be? How fun would it be?

Group those into categories - Easy, Medium, and Hard. Doing this little planning stage breaks it down into more manageable chunks, making it easier to dive into something, even if it means choosing the easiest option!

Sometimes buying a complete outfit is best!

Misty Moon Illustrations cosplaying Himiko Toga frmo My Hero Academia, stood in front of a wall outdoors.
Himiko Toga

If it’s one of your first cosplays, then buying the outfit is a good place to start! If you’re struggling to find the specific print, shoes, or outfit as a whole - but know there is an online store that sells it - then get it! Buying a cosplay is just as valid as making a cosplay.

With my Himiko Toga cosplay from My Hero Academia that’s exactly what I did. I bought this entire outfit (bar the shoes and socks which I already owned) online from eBay. It came with the right top, skirt, cardigan, bow and wig - quick, easy and not too expensive. Buying your outfit is a good starting point - and I’ve found, especially with Anime cosplays, that it can be hard to individually source the right pieces.

Vinted will become your best friend.

I love Vinted. I bought so many things from Vinted for cosplay before I even bought clothes for myself. I enjoy looking through and being inspired to find some perfect pieces at great prices. Plus it’s better for the environment and your purse strings by buying second-hand! Plus, if you decide it’s not quite right when you get it, you can just re-list it!

Here are 2 Cosplays of my Original Dungeons & Dragons characters - Rowan, a Half Elf Nature Cleric/Druid & Odette, a Pallid Elf Cavalier Fighter.

And both of these outfits are steeped in Vinted finds. Rowan’s white dress, green overdress, gloves and boots are all from Vinted. Rowan’s belt and necklace were preowned, the wig is from Lush Wigs, the tights are from Snag tights, the elf ears and

antler crown are from Amazon, with the bow being handmade

Odette’s white blouse, belt, hat, neckerchief and boots are from Vinted.

Odette’s skirt was preowned, the tights are Snag tights, and the wig is Amazon.

When it’s a character of your own design, part of their character creation could be their outfit. Look for clothing they may wear - it could influence your characteristics. But also don’t forget to look in your existing wardrobe. You might be surprised that you have a top that’s already perfect, shoes that are spot on or a skirt that will work well. I’ve owned that skirt for Odette for years and wore it as an everyday skirt way before thinking about it for cosplay. Even the shoes for Himiko Toga are at least 7 years old!

When will you wear wigs?

I absolutely LOVE a wig. A wig instantly helps me transform into someone else and I actually have loads of wigs in my house. When looking for a more affordable or inexpensive wig then Amazon has been my go-to. My Odette, Imogen Temult and Laudna wigs are all from Amazon.

The Laudna Cosplay is a long black wig, and I bought individual white extensions to clip in throughout to give the look of white-streaked hair.

Laudna Cosplay - Top & shoes from Vinted. Skirt, belt and wig from Amazon. Pate de Rolo and scissors made by me, and I also embroidered the top!

But for some of my recent Cosplays I have invested in a quality wig from Lush Wigs.

My wig for Rowan and Keyleth are from Lush Wigs.

Keyleth Cosplay - Dress and boots are from Vinted. Belt was preowned. Wig is from Lush Wigs. Antler crown and autumn leaves decor from Amazon, and the flower crown made by me!

They have a huge range of beautiful wigs - and I instantly fell in love when I came across the site. - but I know there are some other beautiful wig shops out there. Arda Wigs is another wig store that I follow on social media - they have some very inspiring wigs! I always wear double wig caps to keep my hair hidden underneath, and I have silk bags to store the wigs

to prevent static when they're not in use. As a bonus, wigs are far easier than dying and styling your own hair!

Double or Triple it up!

Once you have some pieces for your Cosplay, is there someone else that it could be used for? By reusing some pieces then you’re expanding your Cosplays but saving money, time and effort. By thinking about some of the other characters in your lists you could look to use some pieces more than once. And with cosplay it doesn’t have to look EXACTLY like the original source, it is your interpretation of it. So if 2 characters have black skirts but slightly different designs - just have 1 skirt for both. A lot of waist belts can cover a range of characters.

With my Imogen cosplay, I have reused the accessories from other characters looks.

The dress was preowned. The waist coat, boots, gloves and neckerchief are all from Vinted. The wig and harness are from Amazon. And thee glasses are my actual glasses!

The boots from Vinted are used for Rowan, Keyleth and Imogen.

The gloves from Vinted are used for Rowan and Imogen.

The neckerchief from Vinted I use for Odette and Imogen.

The antler crown from Amazon I use for both Rowan and Keyleth

The autumn decorations for Keyleth - are actually set decor from my stall at conventions!

Get crafty!

Sure buying parts of your cosplay can save you time and effort. - but also by crafting some of the smaller parts and accessories, this will really make your cosplay unique to you and add finishing touches that really bring the look together and give identifiable character notes.

Crafting is so relaxing and you can create some awesome stuff that you may not be able to buy. The Pate de Rolo in my Laudna cosplay is an old TY Beanie Baby that I made a raven skull out of florist wire and masking tape! The flower crown I use for Keyleth is an old flower crown from a festival years ago with Sakura flowers hot glued on. The scissors for Laudna are some simple cardboard and masking tape. I have begun to make my very first sewn cosplay for Caduceus Clay, which is my current ongoing project. I have sewn a top, and a shawl for the Firbolg Cleric - but it is a long way off finishing.

This is my personal next step for cosplay - to sew from scratch. But it is by no means for everyone!

So there you have it - some tips for cosplay 101.

There is of course so much more to cover - more complex ways to cosplay - from sewing to working with EVA foam and more. And I haven’t even covered Make-up and Special Effects which is another incredible skill. I have brought together the ways I personally got started and hope they will bring you some guidance and help with the start of your cosplay journey.

Finally, remember - it's all about fun!

Please tag us in any cosplays you have and create with the help from here, we’d love to see them!


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