Cosplay is still cosplay whether you build or buy. However, some cosplayers find it beneficial to purchase parts or all of their cosplay pre-made for a variety of reasons. Some cosplayers are more interested in the roleplaying aspect of cosplay, rather than the creative side, and there's nothing wrong with that. At the same time, there are plenty of cosplayers who love making their own cosplay but still find that buying certain pieces to complete their build saves time, budget, and lots of crafting headaches. In this post, we'll explain which pieces to consider buying instead of making for your next cosplay.
What Cosplay Pieces to Buy
- Wigs. Most cosplayers will agree that buying your wig is the way to go. Making a wig from scratch is an intensive art that's not simple to learn or very affordable to carry out. Instead, you'll probably choose to purchase your wig from a costume or cosplay retailer, with the largest selections being found online. For some characters, you might be able to find pre-styled wigs made to match their hair. However, you can also purchase a wig in the right color and length to style on your own as well.
- Clothing items to alter. If sewing isn't your strong suit (or you just don't like doing it), an easy way to cut down on your sewing work is to buy an article of clothing that you can alter to work for your cosplay. For example, we purchased a plain black jumpsuit to make our Kat romper, and a plain teal dress for our casual Bulbasaur cosplay.
- Hosiery. Hosiery like socks, tights, stockings, slips, etc. to go underneath your cosplay are commonly purchased instead of made from scratch. These items require lots of sewing and often stretch material that can be cumbersome to deal with. Instead, consider purchasing your hosiery from a cosplay supplier or even a regular clothing retailer or thrift store if the style you need is common enough to find on the rack.
- Gloves. The same goes for gloves, mittens, and other hand coverings you might need. These will certainly be easier to buy instead of making them from scratch because of the amount of fitting you'd need to do on all of the fingers. However, you can always alter any gloves you find to be the right length that you need or to add necessary embellishments.
- Shoes. Shoes aren't easy to make from scratch, either. However, unless your character is barefoot, you'll probably need to find or alter a pair of shoes to go with your cosplay. You may be able to buy the exact shoe you need for a cosplay, if it's something common like a black boot or plain tennis shoe. Sometimes, it's enough to paint or embellish an existing shoe. Finally, making foam or fabric shoe/boot covers is a common way to recreate the look or more unique or difficult to purchase types of shoes, like knee high boots for superheroes, for instance.
- Accessories. Accessories like jewelry, belts, bags, etc. can go either way. Some will be simple enough to make, while others you might choose to purchase. In some instances, if you're going for accuracy, you may need to make the exact accessory you want to wear, but if you're fine settling for a close substitute, you can usually find something close, especially if you're shopping online.
- Matching items for a group. Finally, we wanted to mention the idea of purchasing matching items for a group cosplay. If you really want all of your group's cosplays to look as cohesive as possible, and you don't want one person to make all of the cosplays on their own for consistency's sake, make sure to coordinate where you are purchasing your matching jackets, shirts, etc. This way, you can be sure that the texture, details, and quality are the same across the board.
Whether you choose to make or buy these pieces for your next cosplay, it's always good to know what options are out there for pre-made cosplay pieces that might save you time and money during your next build.