Buying Cosplay: What are the Options?
I am not posting this to debate whether or not buying cosplay is acceptable or valid. I think it is, and if you disagree, this probably is not the post for you. This is only to give options for those who have decided to take this path.
Commissioning is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about purchasing a costume. It is a good way to get a high-quality costume, and it is pretty limitless. However, it comes with a price tag to match, and you may need to save up in order to take this route. But the service and quality usually make the investment worth it. As an added bonus, you are helping to support another cosplayer’s hobby. If you think you might like to try selling commissions, you can get more info here: http://www.mismatchtrish.com/cosplaying-can-make-money/.
Sometimes, you may find out that what you want to go as already has a costume premade. If you look during Halloween season, there will be plenty of options, and you may find it easier to find a good deal. This works especially well if you want to go as a popular character, such as many superheroes or cartoon characters. It should be noted that some costumes are cheaply made. Read reviews from specific companies whenever possible. Also, be sure to look at sizing charts, since in my experience, they are made small.
Thrifting is a good option, although it can require as much creativity as starting from scratch. You may look for the pieces that you need, or you may look for pieces that can be reconfigured into the costume that you want. Coolirpa is an excellent YouTube channel that demonstrates upcycling clothes. While she mostly does everyday clothes, she does a lot of costumes as well.
I wasn’t sure what to call this method, even though it is my personal favorite. All it means is to look for pieces that will work. Buying it as pieces is very similar to thrifting. Basically, you just scour stores and websites to look for pieces that will fit with the costume. Depending on the costume, you might be able to stick to department stores, but if it is a science fiction or fantasy costume, Halloween and party stores will be more useful. This takes patience, so give yourself plenty of time before the costume needs to be done. Ebay can also be helpful, since it allows you to search for what you need using keywords. I did this with my Kimmy Schmidt Cosplay.
Buying your cosplay can be just as much fun, and require as much time and patience, as making it from scratch. What have your experiences been in buying costumes and pieces?