Know your costume types! - Cosplay Quickies #9
So let's say you're in a situation like this: a hot new cosplay-related event is coming up and you need to decide on a costume. The problem is, you don't really have a character in mind!
Instead of wrecking your head over that, why not do the next logical thing: comparing and contrasting the different types of costumes one can do!
The world of cosplay is wide, wonderful, and extremely varied - no one type is "better" than the other. But there *will* be a type that suits you better be it in terms of your skill level, how physically draining it is (what I like to call the "Sweat Factor"), or even your budget.
Sweat Factor: Low to Medium
Complexity: Low to High
Budget: Low to High
The "standard" type of cosplay, a cloth costume is one of the most accessible and versatile things you can do for an event! Simply put, just about any character wears clothes (or lack thereof in some cases...), which gives you plenty of character choices. Lots of resources such as cloth, wigs, accessories, or even tailors are generally readily available to help you get started.
Not to mention, cloth costumes can be just about anything you want it to be, from a simple school uniform to an elaborate gown! Just be mindful of things like the weather; if you're not comfortable in your outfit, it's going to show!
Sweat Factor: Medium to High
Complexity: Medium to Very High
Budget: Medium to Very High
Feel like turning into your favourite Super Sentai/Power Ranger, Kamen Rider, or intimidating armoured antagonist from a video game? Then an armoured costume might just be the ticket for you!
Although impressive looking when done right, an armoured cosplay also has lots of challenges that must be considered. Crafting armour is an expensive & time-consuming process. Not to mention, learning proper physical discipline is important - lest you end up collapsing from the heat!
Sweat Factor: High to Extremely High
Complexity: High to Extremely High
Budget: Medium to Extremely High
So you say you like to think big? Then perhaps a cosplay of a large scale is more your speed!
From Gundams to Monster Hunter creatures and even Transformers, many have taken up the craft of creating such large costumes, and their benefits are great; always eye-catching, always fun and always adding a whole lot of flair to any cosplay skit. Be warned though as crafting a large costume creates a whole world of new issues to consider as well - costs, the challenges of wearing the actual suit, and even transporting it!
Sweat Factor: Low to High
Complexity: Medium to High
Budget: Medium to High
Bringing together the best of cloth and armoured cosplays, a "hybrid" costume generally grants a cosplayer with the edginess of armour & weapons, along with the benefits of being able to show your own face (or most of it anyway)!
Whether if it's complementing a school girl with a large weapon or being in a dramatic partial suit of armour with a wild hairstyle; a hybrid costume grants one with many different posing options that other kinds of cosplays don't.
With its unique benefits however, come unique challenges as well. Managing both a cumbersome prop and suit of armour along with your own make up or wig can be extremely hectic and severely compromise your cosplay without proper planning. Always get help!
Sweat Factor: Extremely Low to Extremely High
Complexity: Extremely Low to Extremely High
Budget: Extremely Low to Extremely High
At the end of the day, cosplay is a hobby, which means it's about having FUN. So why not take your fun to the next level with a gag cosplay?
The infamous cardboard Gundam, 'Man-Faye' Valentine, or even sticking a mask of an anime character to your face - when it comes to gag cosplays, the sky's the limit!
Gag cosplays can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be, as long as the costume induces genuine laughter from all who see you, there's literally no limit to what you can do!
Just remember - don't become a nuisance at all cost, and make sure to keep your energy level high to keep the gag alive!