How to Improve Your Cosplay

^To make it up for my previous mean post entitled "Why Your Cosplay Sucks", as promised, I am here now to share some tips on how to improve your cosplays.

First off, these are simple tips for the general improvement of one's cosplays and not for one particular character.
It is already a given that proper application of make up and techniques, posing, costume making, material and fabric knowledge, prop construction and wig styling skills are needed to make a satisfactory cosplay but we should also keep in mind that those skills are honed thru time and experience.

In no particular order, here are simple ways to make your cosplay's a bit better.

Most especially for suits, uniforms, and capes. Why? It looks better and it feels better.
Pressed lines make for a cleaner and more polished feel especially if your character is from royalty, a student or needs to look good in a business suit.

It also looks better in photos when your costume is void of wrinkles and creases. ;D

Princess Emeraude
this costume required major ironing or else it wouldn't look as nice
plus it is white, just a tiny speck of dirt or stain will ruin the royal feel

If the character is meant to be an oddball vagabond who rolls around in mud on a daily basis, ok then.
But if say the character is a teenaged school girl then I don't think stains add anything to your cosplay.

Dirty costumes don't only look bad, they also smell bad and make you look sloppy.
Take care of your costumes, I am sure you paid much for them or worked hard on them so NO TO STAINS, NO TO TEARS and NO TO UNINTENTIONAL DAMAGES AND DIRT.

Are you a girl cosplaying a male character? Use shoulder pads and make the lines of your costume straight.
Sassy female? Pin the back to show off curves.

Make a conscious effort to make it seems like the costume is really made only for you.

For example, even if the reference has the skirt fall above the knee, if you want to look taller then make the skirt shorter. If you want to look smaller, make the costume a little bit loose or bigger.

Nothing wrong with padding up or down to get the effects you want to achieve.

Pins are handy and can save us from trouble but we should be discreet with them.
Very visible pins and loose thread here and there automatically makes a costume look cheap and poorly made.

I don't mean just underwear as in bras and panties or briefs. When I say underGARMENTS, I mean UNDERGARMENTS, corsets, spanxs, stockings and all hosiery, jock straps, dance belts, under shirts, petticoats and and all the wonderful types of clothing we wear underneath the actual outfit.

Why is this necessary?

For the men, remember that events and conventions are first and foremost public events. People go to events and sometimes they bring their kids because kids love super heroes and people in costumes in general.
Kids more often than not have your junk in their direct line of sight.
Spare people, most especially kids from this kind of trauma, please.

Proper underwear just doesn't make you sexy, it also empowers you.
It can shape the body and can make the costume you are wearing over it look nicer and fit better.

Without a petticoat, a skirt would just look sad and will not fan out proper.

I don't know how many times an other wise kick-ass body suit was ruined because of hideous panty lines... and don't get me started with out of place bras straps and bunched up "safety" shorts.

Choose your underwear wisely and see the difference.

Related: the Importance of Underwear

Platform shoes are usually the shoes of choice for cosplayers because not only do they add extra height but they also photograph really really nicely.

White Bunny Sheryl Nome with white platform boots
I just loved these boots <3 They costed a pretty penny but they were worth it. <3

True, they do hurt after a few hours and they aren't that easy to walk in but the rewards make up for the pain, at least that's what I think. hahahah They really do look great. Head to toe awesomeness!

NOT A MUST BUT DEFINITELY A PLUS. Jaw dropping costume but reeking with body odor cosplayer? Errrrr... people would not want to go near you if you smelled bad.

Take a bath or shower, use deodorant and brush your teeth, all these are basic for every human.
Some costumes are extremely hot and sweating is inevitable but at least do your best to reduce any amount of discomfort and stench.

Everyone around you will be grateful. ;D

And NO, splashing cologne over your body stench doesn't mask any odor but magnifies it even more, so don't cheat and just take a proper shower!

Even make up masters had to experience years of noobness to be the masters that they are now.
But for cosplay, the basics are perfect skin and well emphasized eyes.
Frame your eyes with colored eyebrows, false eyelashes to open up your eyes more and contour to get the face shape right.

Practice, practice!

No matter how much you look like the character, with out make up, your features will wash out.
Make up will magnify your strengths and hide imperfections making your cosplay all the more impressive. Male or Female, Gay or not, what ever sexuality you are, make up is important for cosplay.

Related : Cosplay Make up Tips

Learning how to style your wig properly or just mustering the courage to even trim the bangs can take yearssssss...

But the least you can do is make sure that your wigs aren't going too far north or too far south.

up north = too much forehead and your wig cap is visible 
too far south = cosplaying the sheep dog version of the character/ half of your face or most 
of your eyes eaten by bangs

Just make sure enough of your eyes and face is seen, is OK. It would be a waste if you worked hours on your eye make up and it wouldn't even be seen, right? Not to mention your expensive contact lenses...

A few hair pins around your ears would do nicely.

Most cosplayers don't understand just how much photography plays a role in making lasting cosplay memories.

Consider things like how colors show up in photos with choice of fabric and colors.

Consider proportions and how they look in pictures. Practice poses, expression and take photos even from your phone to see how they capture. Poses, do they look awkward or do they make you shorter than you are?

Pay attention to these things and I promise you, our photographer friends will thank you for thinking of this stuff and will most likely enjoy working with you more.

When you just started cosplaying, you are naturally excited when people want to get photos of your cosplay. And you are even more excited to add effects and what not to your cosplay pics.

Take it easy with the effects and adding in logos of the series you are cosplaying, a good cosplay is preserved better with good photos.
A good photo at the very least is clear, has nice colors and has the right ambiance.

Knowing how to hold a certain weapon properly is a subtle touch to cosplay but to those who will notice, it adds more and deserves a tip of the hat for dedication.

Ginchiyo Tachibana Samurai Warriors 2

This may be just a placebo effect but I believe in eating sweets before cosplay.
Sweets give you energy and just makes you happier and lighter which in turn makes you look better for cosplay and in pictures.

Me and my sister usually have some sort of chocolate or one of our guilty pleasures and it just soothes us, makes us less nervous and just feel better.

Eating your happy food during times of stress makes you happy and relaxed, so why shouldn't it work the same way before cosplay, right?

Pose in character, get the expressions and gestures of the character down to a T, use props to your advantage, these are the things that really makes a cosplay, cosplay.

Nothing makes a cosplay better than knowing exactly how the character is supposed to  be by playing them correctly.

Sunako Nakahara cosplay
really had to do my best with this cosplay since the costume was very simple

Do your research and BE THE CHARACTER. Even just one simple signature smirk, correctly executed, can melt any stone-y fan's heart.

Related : the Play in Cosplay

BOOBS and ASS and lots of it! hahahahahahhahaha

No, this is a joke, I swear! I SWEAR! NO.
No, showing off skin doesn't make a cosplay any better.
Sure, it can distract people from the misses but the less cloth doesn't mean more points for cosplay.
One can be sexy even without taking off your clothes.

But ask yourself this, are you willing to sacrifice decency and comfort for accuracy?
Consider comfort and mobility in making your costumes.

Accuracy is key in cosplay but you don't have to be 100 percent all the time.
What is important is you are comfortable and it looks good on your body.
It is ok to revise some parts of the costume as long as it still stays true to the original design.

Believe in yourself. For a brief moment, you are not you. You are someone you love and admire so take this chance to be someone or something that you have longed to be like.
Enjoy and savor the moment. ;D

Realize that you aren't perfect or great YET, but someday, through practice and effort, you will be.
But it won't happen if you let the hate from other people eat you up and you don't make a conscious effort to improve.

Take every criticism but leave the hate out.
We got into cosplay because we wanted to have fun and be happy.
If stress and hate is what we get then I don't see the point anymore.
No one needs extra helpings of all the negative stuff, so if you're not hurting anyone, just continue what you're doing and focus on improving yourself.

Practice, follow inspirational cosplayers, and enjoy cosplay, that's basically what you can do to improve your cosplays. ;D ehe.

Have fun guys!
I hope this made it up to anyone I hurt unintentionally.
Happy cosplaying, everyone!

thanks for reading!
 jaa! visit me again, ne!
     arigatou! (*^3^)/~