With Cosplay, you can be anyone or anything from any corner of any universe. You can leave your everyday life at home and step out as a conqueror of worlds, a saver of souls or a traveler of galaxies. While the endless possibilities of characters to cosplay is great, deciding on just one can be overwhelming. In this post we guide you through the ultimate question: who should I cosplay as?
This is not another cheesy personality quiz that spits out a random character based on your favorite colors. Rather, this post poses practical questions and offers actionable advice that will guide you through how to choose a cosplay character.
So, Who Should I Cosplay As?
Someone you will truly enjoy cosplaying!
In order to decide on a character, first we must ask ourselves some important questions. The first question to ask yourself is key:
Why do I Cosplay?
If it’s not your first time cosplaying:
What is it about Cosplay that got you into it in the first place? Was it a deep connection with a specific character or story? The enjoyment of building challenging costumes and crafts? Or the bond forged between fellow Cosplayers? If you enjoy creating challenging costumes, choose a character with an intricate outfit that will showcase your skills.
If you’re new to cosplay:
Or, are you new to Cosplay? If so, great! This guide is perfect for you. Now is the time to ask yourself why you want to try cosplay. Keep that motivation at the heart of your character decision. If you’re new to building cosplays but want to give it a try, find a character with a simple costume. (We have an article for that!) Check out these easy cosplay ideas for getting started.
Whether you’re new or not, when choosing a character remember to stay true to yourself and your original motivation. Don’t get caught up in trying to impress others. For example, if you like a character, don’t worry about looking exactly like them. You’re the artist – you decide how to portray them!
If you are looking to make new friends at a con, choose a familiar, likeable character that everyone knows. People are sure to stop you to take pictures or chat you up.
How Do I Want to Look in My Cosplay?
Now that we’ve identified our motivation for cosplaying, let’s get into deciding on a look.
What kind of Cosplay am I into?
Start by identifying a cosplay theme and/or property you want to go for. The major types of cosplay are:
Attack on Titan
Sword Art Online
Full Metal Alchemist
DC & Marvel
Legend Of Zelda
Movie & TV
Game of Thrones
What are some past cosplays I’ve worn? Do I want to keep a theme or try something new?
If you’re having trouble deciding on a character, maybe pick something from the same property as your last cosplay. Or narrow your choices by choosing something totally different from anything you’ve cosplayed before.
Do I want to be easily identifiable or more mysterious?
Why not try something more mysterious?
Do I want to cosplay an actual character, create a hybrid or invent my own character?
Can’t decide between two characters? Be both! Combine elements of multiple characters to invent your own hybrid. Or create your own character. There are no rules!
When deciding on a cosplay, don’t let your gender, age, ethnicity or body image deter you from a character. Cosplay is for everyone and you can cosplay any character you want no matter who you are!
Want to see how you look in hundreds of costumes right now? Virtually try on cosplays from any device with the Headwink virtual dressing room app.
How Do I Want to Feel in My Cosplay?
It is important to feel comfortable in your cosplay both mentally and physically. Choose a costume that is comfy and a character you feel comfortable embodying.
Ask yourself these questions:
What vibe do I want to give off?
Do you want to extend your own personality or take on the vibe of a character different from yourself? Do you want to be mysterious, fearless, powerful, compassionate, etc? Choose a character whose personality and traits you want to embody.
How does the character make me feel?
Choose a character that makes you feel special. Create a cosplay that you can feel pride in.
Will I be comfortable?
Will you feel comfortable in your costume? If the character you choose shows a lot of skin but you aren’t into that, modify the costume! Don’t sacrifice your confidence for screen accuracy. Will the costume be comfortable in the environment you plan on wearing it? More on that next.
Where Will I Wear my Cosplay?
The set and setting you plan on wearing your cosplay in has a lot of impact on choosing a character.
Where is the event I will wear my cosplay? Inside or outside?
Be sure to choose a character with a costume that suits the venue. Consider the weather and be sure you will be comfortable in your costume both inside and outside the event. Also check with the event and venue for any rules and regulations that may limit your cosplay. A lot of venues won’t allow realistic looking prop guns or metal swords and knives.
Does the event have a theme? Often cosplay cons will be focused on a theme like anime or comics, this can really help you narrow down your character options.
How often will I wear this costume?
If you plan on wearing a cosplay multiple times then choose a character with a costume that can be built to last.
How/Where Will I Get My Cosplay?
Alright, so you have a pretty good idea of who you want to cosplay, now it’s time to find your costume.
Buy or Build?
Would you rather buy or build your costume? Building cosplays from scratch is time consuming and takes considerable skill. But don’t get intimidated. Just give yourself enough time before the event to complete your build and be sure to bring some essentials like glue and a sewing kit in case of a wardrobe malfunction.
If you would rather buy something premade, you can find most major character costumes for sale online. Check out our list of the best cosplay stores online.
If you are after a more unique or nuanced character, then building a cosplay could be the way to go.
How much you are willing to spend is important to consider when choosing a cosplay character. Cosplays can be a big investment. If you are on a tight budget then consider a character with a simple, plain clothes costume. You can often find everything you need for a simple costume at thrift stores and resale shops.
If money is of no issue then by all means go for it! Like this guy and his insane Groot cosplay.
How to Choose a Cosplay Character
Let’s wrap up everything we just learned and more into some tips and takeaways:
- Identify why you like to cosplay and use that motivation to help you decide on a character. Stay true to yourself.
- Decide on a theme, movie, comic series or other property to narrow down your choices.
- Consider the vibe and personality you want to portray.
- Don’t attempt to change your body for a cosplay. Choose a character that compliments who you are.
- Ask yourself how a character makes you feel. Choose a character you can be proud of portraying.
- Consider the set and setting you will wear your cosplay in. Think about weather and venue rules/regulations.
- Consider your means for buying or creating a cosplay (time, skills, budget, etc.)
- Don’t be limited by gender identity, (remember rule 63) body style or ethnicity!
- Know about your character. People are sure to ask questions.
- Make your decision easier by virtually trying on cosplays with the Headwink app!
Still Asking “Who Should I Cosplay As?”
If you are still having trouble deciding on a character, there is a wonderful subreddit where you can post a picture of yourself and let other cosplayers give you character suggestions. Check it out: https://www.reddit.com/r/WhoShouldICosplay/
Hopefully you now feel confident in deciding on your next character to cosplay. If this article helped you choose a character, post a picture on Instagram in your cosplay and tag it with @head_wink or #headwink.
We want to know your tips on how to choose a cosplay character. Tell us what we missed in the comments below!