I was having this conversation the other day with a cosplayer friend, we both have instagram accounts and we both noticed that due to cosplay’s popularity, younger cosplayers, or newer, usually prefer buying their costumes. As such, 90% of the people I come across on instragram fit the case stated above.
I have nothing against buying costumes, I never bought one but am on my way of buying 2 in order to alter them, since I have lots of plans and building simple cosplays from scratch is too time consuming, and doesn’t allow me to work on more complicated ones, but that’s a little besides the point.
My point is, whilst buying a costume can be cheaper than making it, it is sometimes not.
I dare say, 8 times out of 10, it’s far more expensive.
So if you’re just starting out, compare prices and don’t buy thing out of impulse, money is a precious thing, and it should not be wasted in prone of us using what we can save on other things.
Think like this: Start out by gathering references, plan a budget for your cosplay and with what you’ve gathered do a list of how much materials would cost and compare it with the price of the finished costume.
Pros and Cons: Bought costumes rarely ever fit like a glove, the simple task of altering them is enough to start your sewing career and gain new abilities. Understand how things are made, plan them, and I do guarantee, that wearing a cosplay you’ve made has a completely different feeling from one you’ve bought.
And again, I can’t stress enough that buying is absolutely fine, it’s just that making one is fun, more inexpensive and a learning experience.
At the end of the day…are you proud of your costume? Do you feel good in it? Are the materials and cut flattering you?
No matter how much we say “Just have fun” which is the key element in cosplaying, fun also comes from working on something and seeing your hard work paying off. Choosing your fabrics, saving money for that one other cosplay you were planning, going through horrible machine mishaps and finally wearing something you made is a feeling beyond anything else. It’s experience, and more costumes, it’s an adventure and a wonderful thing.
Don’t be afraid, start out small and grow in your cosplaying endeavours, alter costumes or pieces as a start and then slowly grow into using or making your own patterns, believe me, it’s fun.