Cosplay 101 Part 2/5: Buy or Make
So your friend tells you about an event and you want to cosplay. But you have worn every cosplay you have about 40,000 times and you want something new. The only problem is it’s only 2 weeks away. What do you do? Do you: a) purchase something, b) pull something together from things you have at home, or c) spend every waking minute of all of your free time making something that is worthy of praise and getting photographed and placed on the host's website for all to admire. This is the dilemma so many of us find ourselves in.
There definitely are pros and cons to each. On the one hand buying in such a bind would cause a lot less stress as well as be a lot less time consuming. On the other hand in such a short notice there are limitations on the characters one would be able to purchase in store in terms of availability and size or even online which would arrive on-time.
With creating your own you have complete control and can make any character in the entire world. The big problem with making a great cosplay is that the time and energy it usually takes is so immensely long that trying to cram it in a two week period might cause one to develop panic attacks or worse have an aneurism. I may be exaggerating, but my point is it’s it would be extremely difficult. My point is, both options present problems.
If you know that you’re to going to a convention that’s a few months away, for example Nerdbot-Con (September 24th at the Pasadena Convention Center), why not spend the time and make your cosplay. There are tons of outlets to get tips and tricks, not to mention the vast community of cosplayers who are more than willing to offer their help if you are a novice. Each new creation gets better and better and you’ll eventually be the one that the newbies are coming to for advice. And for those that have been in the game for a while building and creating you already know how exciting it is at the beginning stages. It’s so much fun seeing your baby come to life. And when it’s done and you’re walking around the con, for the new comers or the pros, you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in what you have made. Two words pop up on your screen called life: ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED.
Now the question still remains is one better than the other? The answer: no. In my own personal experience I have bought, created, and put together cosplays from items at home and regardless of which method I chose to do, I had fun doing it. Playing in costumes shops searching for some character to portray was just as much fun as hunting for materials and YouTube stalking the master builders. There are some folks out there who look down on people who buy theirs and to those people I say shame on you! We are a community of people who have been outsiders and have had people look down on us for just being ourselves. Cosplay means costume PLAY. It’s all about fun in whatever way you want. So buy it, commission it, or build it. No matter how you cosplay, just do it with heart and it will turn out great.