How to Make a Cosplay That Won't Fail

Do *you* wish to cosplay but don't know how to go about making a "good" one? Just follow these steps for a great result.


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    First, find out if there are any upcoming anime conventions in your area, and be sure to write them down on a calendar or in a journal.
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    Plan well ahead of time what anime character you want to cosplay. be realistic. Don't cosplay a gundam wing mecha when you only have 2 weeks before a convention starts. Too many cosplayers wait till the last few weeks, or days before a convention to start their cosplays.
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    Decide whether or not you plan to buy your cosplay costume or make one.
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    If you plan to buy a costume, find the stores that sell your character's outfit.
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    If you plan to sew your own outfit, look for anime references of that character, eg. manga scans, screenshots, etc.
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    Gather materials for that anime character, anything you may need like sewing patterns, fabrics, accessories, etc.
  7. Image titled Make a Cosplay That Won't Fail Step 7
    Unlike most cosplayers, try to aim for perfection when making your cosplay. If you Google "Japanese cosplayers" you will see that they pay EXTRA special attention to details. Detail, or lack thereof, can make or break a cosplay. So try to be as accurate as possible with yours instead of settling like many cosplayers do.
  8. Image titled Make a Cosplay That Won't Fail Step 8
    If your anime character has different colored eyes or hair than you, buy some contacts and/or a wig/hair dye.


  • Remember, cosplaying is an expensive hobby. Be prepared to put out the cash. When it comes to the quality of your cosplay: don't be too cheap, or you'll LOOK cheap.
  • Most importantly, have fun. Cosplaying is a form of entertainment, so enjoy yourself and take lots of pictures!
  • DO learn to use makeup. Cover-up dark circles (unless you're playing L or some such character), any blemishes, etc. You'll probably get photographed a lot, so you don't want to look unpresentable! Bring some to re-apply throughout the convention, and be sure to use a mirror to check when you need to touch something up.
  • DO try to stay in character. Even if you can't due to sheer excitement, when people ask for pictures, try not to do a stereotypical "peace sign" and smile. Pose in character. Use reference sheets for canon poses if you have to, or just remember a few key poses. Being 100% in character the entire time isn't the goal of a con, but if you can, go for it. It does make the experience more fun!
  • DON'T aspire to be like a Japanese professional cosplayer at your first con. Remember that many of their pictures are photoshopped, and some costumes are bought. Don't put yourself down because you don't look professional on your first try, instead set a higher goal for yourself.
  • If you can't sew and can't buy, you can try buying basic components from a thrift store and modifying from there. It's a good way to start, and once your sewing skills get better, you can upgrade. You could also commission a cosplay from someone who knows how to sew.
  • Browse photos of other cosplayers online, get ideas.
  • DO practice posing before you make your costume. You want to make something that'll work with you. It's no fun if you make a Link tunic that you can't sit down in.
  • DO use deodorant. A lot of cons take place during the summer, and that means -sweat-. Even without the season affecting body temperature, walking around all day can get intense! You don't want to be caught in a picture with sweat stains, do you?
  • If you have difficulty making your costume, ask a parent, friend or seamstress to help you. Even if it means spending a few extra dollars at least you get your costume right.
  • Check out "" for anime references that are usually hard to find.
  • DON'T go to a con or event just for the competition. Nothing ruins a con, especially for first time con goers, than rude cosplayers. These are the people that won't let you get a photo with them when you ask politely, ignore you, or diss your costume if you played the same character. Conventions should be about sharing tips on costume making and applauding other's work with respect for one another, sharing a common interest and having fun, not backbiting.
  • Pick a character you COULD REALISTICALLY PULL OFF Too many cosplayers, or aspiring ones pick characters that they either don't know much about, have incredibly complicated costumes that are above their levels, or costumes that won't flatter them. You don't have to limit yourself drastically, but part of the fun of cosplaying is feeling good about your costume, and how you look in it. Don't pick Tifa if you could really stand to lose your love handles, for example. Certain characters get a -lot- of attention, and you don't want it to be negative!
  • Glomping is a common event in conventions; if you don't do cosplay when at a con, if you see a character you really like, don't glomp them. They've probably worked really hard on there cosplay don't ruin there day by doing this.


  • Googling "Japanese cosplayers" might bring back undesired (pornographic) results so be careful.

Things You'll Need

  • anime references (
  • a calendar
  • time management
  • money
  • a wig or hair dye (optional)
  • contacts (optional)
  • clothes fabric, thread, scissors, buttons, zippers, etc.
  • a sewing machine
  • imagination

Article Info

Categories: Cosplay