How to Cosplay

Harley and Joker

My dearest fellow cosplay enthusiasts-

Many people still seem to think that the ONLY way to cosplay is to make your own costume. This is simply not true.

Rules for successful cosplay are:
1. Love a character
2. Dress like that character in whatever way you're able
3. Continue to exist while in that costume

That's it. You're cosplaying!
Not everyone has the time, talent, or funds to make their own costumes. Not everyone has the desire. Some costumes simply don't require it (why make a T-shirt?). And guess what, it's not necessary. People who try to tell you otherwise are flat out wrong.

If we believed people who try to say it's only real if you made it yourself, that means they make their wigs from scratch, their shoes, every piece of their props, and every stitch of clothing they wear. What about contacts? Or makeup? Where, exactly, is the line drawn between what is acceptable to purchase and what must be DIY? There isn't one. Make what you can/want, beg, buy, or borrow the rest. Seriously, it's ok.

No, you shouldn't claim that you made a costume that you didn't. Yes, go ahead and tell people about the alterations you made to the jacket you bought at the thrift store. No, you shouldn't claim that you made a costume that you commissioned. Yes, you can explain in great detail the styling you did to the used wig you got from your favorite Facebook group. Either way you go, just be honest.

If you want to make every single stitch of your costume, DO IT! But don't shame those who don't or can't. If you want to make your wigs from scratch, DO IT! But don't claim to be a bigger fan than the person who makes use of the many available resources to purchase one. If you want to make the shoes for your costume so they'll be perfect, DO IT (because seriously, that's awesome)! But don't call out the costumer wearing boot covers.

Everyone is working with different levels of skill, time, and funds. Do whatever makes YOU happy, and keeps you enjoying the art of cosplay. The important part of cosplay is to HAVE FUN. 'Cause if you're miserable about it, what's the damn point?

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