What is Cosplay?

What is Cosplay?


While there is no set in stone definition, the word ‘Cosplay’ usually refers to the act of dressing in a costume to recreate the appearance of character from a work of fiction. Popular forms of cosplay involve donning the outfit of popular anime, video game, and comic book characters. Cosplay is not limited to this, however, and can involve non-character specific costumes like maid or school uniforms.

Many cosplayers create their own costumes- sewing clothing, crafting armor and props from a number of materials. Others choose to buy ready made costumes from retailers specializing in cosplay, or commission the work of tailors or other cosplay hobbyists.

Wigs are an important part of cosplay. Often cosplayers will need to alter their own appearance with different styles and colors of hair with wigs. Of the various types of wigs available, heat resistant wigs are popular due to their ability to handle styling with tools meant for human hair.

Cosplay is a world-wide phenomenon, with people of all ages participating. Cosplay often occurs at conventions and events geared towards anime, comics, games and sci-fi interests, but is not limited to them. In many areas of the world, you can sometimes find cosplay out in the streets. In Los Angeles, the area known as Little Tokyo is often frequented by people in cosplay on weekends. In Akihabara in Japan, businesses hire cosplayers to pass out promotional items and flyers. There are also ‘Cosplay Cafes’ in various places in Asia where staff dress up in costume for the enjoyment of customers.

Cosplay is a crafting hobbyist's paradise, where costume complexity and quality is only limited by a person’s creativity! With experience, cosplayers can learn to craft impressive, sometimes seemingly gravity defying costumes and impress a community that spans across the globe.

Some cosplayers have gained notoriety for their costuming skills or ability to create a close likeness to characters. You can’t mention notable cosplayers without including American cosplayer, Yaya Han, who creates elaborate costumes. Yaya’s ability to create impressive cosplay year after year has resulted in her feature on reality TV on the SyFy network. Another cosplayer of note is Alodia Gosiengfiao, a Filipina cosplayer who’s adorable nature and pretty face have garnered her attention from millions of fans. A television personality and occasional actress in the Philippines, Alodia commissions her work from talented tailors and blurs the lines between cosplayer and celebrity.


Notoriety aside, most cosplayers in the hobby do it simply for fun. Cosplay is an activity that people of all age groups can participate in. Couples, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren, and sometimes whole families come together to cosplay at events. Some have even meet future spouses through cosplay and gone on to have cosplaying children! Cosplay is a safe, fun, and friendly activity with hundreds of thousands of participants enjoying it all year round!


Cosplay 101

If you are interested in participating in cosplay, there are a few things you might need to know to get started!

Start with a good wig!
Having a good wig to complete your cosplay is a critical part of achieving the likeness of a character when cosplaying. Putting your time and effort into selecting and styling the right wig will have a big pay off! Epic Cosplay Wigs carries a full line of heat resistant, thickly wefted, easy to manage, style-able wigs to meet this need! We’ve produced wigs we know you will love to work with and wear. As cosplayers ourselves, we want you to achieve the the best results possible and have designed our wigs with that goal in mind.

Participate with friends!
Part of cosplay is the fun of participating with friends and making new ones along the way. For first time cosplayers, the experience is heightened if you can make it a group activity with friends or family. Involving people you know is important. Having a network of friends to support you, give advice, as well as help you with your cosplay will improve your convention and cosplay experience.
Going it alone? Don’t worry! Many people make life long friends at conventions!

Be realistic!

Everyone starts somewhere, right? Pick projects you feel you can budget easily. This involves budgeting your time and your money. Set realistic goals when you start a project. Does the costume involve more than just clothing? Will you need to make props or armor? Starting with something simple is the best way to get into cosplay. Pick a character you like and would feel comfortable wearing the clothing of.

Take your time!

Don’t rush a costume for a deadline. Make sure you know you can complete the costume before the event you want to attend. Being happy with what you choose to make or buy is critical to enjoying cosplay. Try everything on before the event to make sure you are comfortable wearing your cosplay in public. You might find that you’ll want to make changes after wearing it and walking around.

Be positive!

Not every cosplay costume comes together without problems. Maybe you made a mistake in construction or your cat knocks over your paint. Mistakes are part of the process of learning to cosplay, and can be a chance to make something better on the second try! What is most important is that you enjoy what you are doing, even when roadblocks arise. If you feel stuck on a problem take a break- watch some anime or go see friends until you are ready to give it another shot. Cosplay is very much about creativity so give it time and think outside the box!