Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sailor Moon Cosplay Tips

We, the first time sailor moon cosplayer, want to learn from excellent cosplayers to avoid ruining our outfits and first show with some simple mistakes. So here I collect some good and bad things for reference.

1. Don’t stuff your bows.
The bows on the Sailor Soldiers' uniforms are big and fluffy and larger-than-life; so, obviously, an instinctive reaction when converting them to a real-life costume is to cut out a bow shape in fabric, and then fill it up with stuffing like a plush toy. However, this has the opposite effect; instead of being plump and perky, the extra weight of your plush-bow makes it hang down unflatteringly from your hips and chest (and tug on your costume), and it’s strange, irregular shape makes it barely even recognizable as a bow. The best ways to go are to use some kind of backing or iron-on interfacing; my personal favorite is when cosplayers utilize the enormous bows you see in Lolita fashion - they suit the look of the Sailor Soldiers’ bows perfectly.
Sailor Chibimoon Chibi Usagi Cosplay Costume

Sailor Chibimoon Costume Bows

2. When cosplaying with a group of Sailor Soldiers, make sure everyone is working from the same pattern. Even if individually your costumes are all beautifully-made, if they’re all of wildly different styles, your group photos are going to look disorganized and disjointed. It’s easy enough to assume that costumes that look so similar in the series will wind up looking similar in real-life, too, but even the smallest differences in things like skirt/belt placement/length/shape, collar cut, sleeves, etc. can add up and rob your group of its unity.

3. Wear makeup. But don’t go crazy with “anime” makeup.
Wear foundation, wear a little blush. Try powder on top of the liquid foundation. Powder reduces glare and kills the shiny face syndrome. There are some tutorials you can find on YouTube that teaches you how to look like an anime character. These videos are usually made by people with incredible makeup experience, but for most cosplayers, who aren’t professional makeup artists, the result is flat-out creepy. Those who try going for the white eyeliner/giant anime eyelashes/”cheek lines”, etc. usually end up falling into serious Uncanny Valley territory. Remember, you’re trying to represent a “real-life” version of the character and some things just don’t translate well when applied literally. Giant anime eyes are one of those things. Rather than trying to make your face actually look like an anime character’s, consider going for colored/themed eye shadow or lip gloss that matches your character’s color scheme - it’s a nice way to add some flair to your cosplay and highlight your features without coming off as creepy.

4. Pay attention to your shoes.
Remember to make or buy boot covers or get a paint made specifically for shoes, if you don’t, your perfect Venus heels will flake everywhere. The shoe-paint in particular is a very important point. I have seen the most gorgeous boots ruined because the paint has flaked off, which usually doesn’t start to happen until you’re already in costume at the convention.
lovely boots

5. Research the accuracy of accessories like tiaras, earrings, sword, wands, and etc. Little things like those always catch people’s eye, especially when they’re done well.
Sailor Mercury Mizuno Ami Cosplay Costume
Sailor Mercury Mizuno Ami Costume accessories
6. Double check your character outfit resources before you start making your props/costume. There’s nothing worse than being 3/4 of the way through a costume when you realize that the character you could’ve sworn wore purple pants actually usually wears blue, or that the earrings you spent $50 on actually don’t have the right number of points/beads for your purpose after all. No matter how well you think you remember a character, always, always, always double-check. Good resources for double-checking things like costumes and magical accessories.

7. Know your own weaknesses. If you’re not good at making Sailor moon cosplay props or costumes, then find a good store to buy your sailor moon suit,wands or brooches from them. There’s nothing worse than a beautiful costume with an ugly cardboard brooch hanging off it. It’s important if you know you can’t make something yourself, don’t settle for some crappy stand-in. Find someone who can make the perfect props/shoes/jewelry/whatever, because one little thing that seems “off” can ruin an entire cosplay.
Princess Serenity Tsukino Usagi Cosplay Brooch.jpg
Princess Serenity Tsukino Usagi Brooch

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