So You’ve Been Invited To A Cosplay Party. What Should You Do Next, And What Should You Wear?

Cosplay is something that has grown in popularity since the 1980s. It became big in Japan and is now a form of culture many of us enjoy around the world. As you may know, cosplay is all about costumes and role play (hence the portmanteau cosplay).

Cosplayers get dressed up as their favorite characters from comics and video games. They even enjoy dressing up as people from TV programs they like watching! Each year, thousands of people attend cosplay conventions for a variety themes. These days, people are also creating themed cosplay parties!

It’s likely you are reading this article because you got invited to one recently. And it’s probable that you’ve never been to such a party before! As you can imagine, turning up to a cosplay party wearing your best evening wear isn’t a good idea. The idea is that you come as a character from whatever the theme is about.


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

You might be wondering what you should do next, and what you need to wear! Don’t worry because help is at hand. Keep reading to learn more about how you can impress everyone with your costume and looks:

Don’t panic!

By now, you are no doubt stressing out about what to do next and thinking about what to wear! Before you do anything, it’s important to keep calm and not panic about your invitation.

Sure, you could think of an excuse not to go to the cosplay party. But, cosplay parties are meant to be fun and exciting for all that attend them! It’s natural to feel a little anxious if you’ve never been to one before. After all; you aren’t too sure what to expect!

It’s important to note that nothing weird goes on at cosplay parties. The idea is to get dressed up as a character and just enjoy yourself like you would anywhere else. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to concentrate on what you need to do next!

Think about the character you wish to portray

When you got invited to the cosplay party, you will have been told what the theme is all about. What you need to do next is think about what character to go as before you do anything else.

You might not feel there is much to it; you just think of a character and choose it. But, you need to bear in mind that other people might go as the same character too! It often pays to think about characters that are perhaps less well-known.

Why is that important? The answer is simple: you want to create maximum impact! When you go to a cosplay party, you want to look and be the best person there. And it’s also a bonus if you get the admiration of your fellow cosplayers!

For example, let’s assume the cosplay party is about The Walking Dead. It’s a TV program most of us are familiar with, and it gets shown around the world. And let’s not forget that it’s based on a comic series of the same name!

During its time, there have been scores of characters that have made an impact. Some are regulars, and it’s likely other cosplayers will portray them.

Of course, there have been characters that are well-known but only had a short time in the limelight. I recommend going as one of those characters.

Make an extra-special effort

So now you know what character you’d like to go as, what next? Well, some of you reading this might assume you could just buy off the shelf costumes. Sure, that’s one thing you could do. But, that’s the easy and less thoughtful way of approaching your costume design!

Instead, you should think about making more of an effort to impress at the cosplay party. You might not relish the idea of making parts of your costume from scratch. But, cosplayers love it when others come up with original designs to portray characters!

One thing I should point out about cosplay parties is you don’t need to spend lots of money on your costumes. Appreciation often gets shown for originality, not for how much you spent! If you made part of your costume from an egg carton, you’d get the thumbs-up from fellow cosplayers.

The idea behind cosplay is to come up with striking designs based on specific characters. I can’t emphasize that fact enough!

Pay attention to your makeup

As you can appreciate, a cosplay costume goes beyond what you wear. A lot of the detail will be down to your makeup, or rather, how you’ve applied it. Some characters may not wear any makeup at all, of course. But, others may have striking features on their faces.

For instance, let’s say that you’re going to a Manga-themed cosplay party. Your anime character might have purple eyes and a ghostly white face. To achieve that look, you’d need to wear some circle contact lenses and put lots of white blusher on your face!

One thing you could do is print a photo of the character you’re portraying. You can then refer to it as you do a “test run” of your makeup and costume before the party.

Should you dye your hair or wear a wig?

Cosplayers often need a change of hair color before they can be the characters they portray. That brings us to one important question: should you dye your hair or wear a wig?

There are pros and cons to both options, as you can imagine. The one you select will depend on how best it works with your character portrayal. For example, let’s say you have long blonde hair and your character is a brunette. You might not feel too happy about dyeing your locks!

The good news is you can buy temporary hair dyes. You apply them to your hair as you would any other hair dye. When you want it gone, simply rinse it out under the shower. It’s that simple! If you can’t find temporary hair dyes in local stores, shop online for them.

Some cosplayers prefer to go down the wig route instead. Wigs are useful in cases where you’ve got long hair, but your character has a short crop. You can just “hide” your long natural hair inside the wig.

Again, look online for wigs if you can’t find the right one in your area. You want to make sure that your look impresses others at the party. Otherwise, people might not recognize the character you are trying to portray!

How much attention is too much attention?

By now, you’ll have realized that the point of a cosplay costume is to get noticed by people. The thing is, some cosplayers wear skin tight or revealing clothes! Is that something you want to do as well?

The only person that can answer that question is you. If you’re not comfortable with being the center of attention, tone down your costume. It doesn’t need to be an exact replica of the character you are portraying.

By all means, if you want a skin tight or revealing costume, go for it! But, it’s important you feel comfortable and happy creating and wearing your costume. Whatever you decide, bear in mind that other cosplayers may want their photos taken with you.

Where to get inspiration

When designing your costume, your goal is to look like your chosen character. But where can you get inspiration from when it comes to making your costume?

Here is where the Internet will come in handy. For a start, you could do a Google Image search for your character plus the word “cosplay.”

I guarantee you’ll find scores of photos from other cosplayers that portrayed your character! Have a look at the photos in detail; what did they use in their costumes? What colors have they gone for, and the types of fabrics? You might even find some cosplay forums online where people discuss what they’ve used.

Another thing you can do is experiment! Try out different combinations of fabrics and materials for your costume. Remember that you also need to feel comfortable wearing your costume. The last thing you want is something that will make you feel itchy or achy!

The preview

Last, but not least, you will need to wear your costume and apply your makeup before the event. In some ways, you could think of it as a test fitting for a wedding! Only you’re not getting married; you’re going to a cosplay party!

It makes sense to have a friend help you get dressed. That way, they can tell you if your costume needs adjusting, for instance. Consider spending a few hours wearing your costume and walking around in it at home.

You might be wondering why I am suggesting that. The thing is, you’re going to be a few hours at the party you attend. It’s crucial you get used to wearing your costume for such long periods.

Good luck!

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