CosPlay by the Rules!

I’ve been to a few cons in my day- my first when I was barely knee high and my most recent just today with a stop in at WonderCon 2012 in Anaheim. Personally, I hope to be showing up at conventions for all time because not only is it a haven for geekery and pop culture information, but there is always lots of great people watching to be had. I’m a psychologist by trade, so human behavior is one of my favorite subjects. And cons are a great source. However, even more entertaining than observing behavior is the opportunity to enjoy those that CosPlay. Now, I don’t CosPlay myself- I may put on ears occasionally or perhaps done a shirt aimed to emulate a character, but true CosPlaying is beyond my ability. Perhaps I just haven’t found the right costume. Of course, to find the right costume I actually need to find something that meets my CosPlay rules. And truthfully, I think that those that do CosPlay should consider these very simple rules too.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. Seems simple enough, right? But take a look at some of the women CosPlaying- most wear heels of some kind. You have to remember- you will be wearing these shoes all day on floor that was not designed to be kind to your feet. You can’t take your shoes off because lord knows you have no idea what is on that floor. And you can’t switch out to flip-flops or something when your feet hurt- they wouldn’t be correct for your costume. So be sure to consider your feet (and your knees, and your back! And everything else that is effected by standing all day in uncomfortable shoes!) when choosing a costume.
  2. Wear comfortable clothes. You cannot pick your costume out of your crack every 5 minutes because you picked something that rides up. What are your plans for the day? Will you be sitting? Standing? Walking? Think about your plans when choosing a costume because you want to be comfortable in your costume for the ENTIRE day. Just like with the shoes, no one wants to see a half undone costume. You are choosing to become a character that you love- don’t take the magic away from your audience because after an hour your costume is too confining. Plan ahead.
  3. Weapons/accessories must be attachable. If your chosen costume needs any accessories they must be able to be attached to your person in some way. No matter how awesome your giant sword is, you won’t want to carry it around after a few hours. Let alone for an entire weekend of con events. If you can holster it or put it in a pocket/satchel/whatever, you will be much happier. Don’t count on your friends helping you carry stuff- by the end of the day you’ll be looking for new friends.
  4. You must be able to look in a mirror and say, “Yes, I look awesome and I should wear this out of the house.” Let’s be honest, most of the world is not a size zero or does not have muscles like Hugh Jackman. Your costume needs to fit you. Unless your costume is an overweight couch potato (it’s possible!), your belly shouldn’t be hanging out of your shirt. Your clothes should fit your body comfortably. Also, your underwear should be covered (unless, again, that’s the way the character is). And I don’t care who you are, duct tape and paint is not appropriate in nerd world (your “fans” will likely hurt themselves with their unexpected boners).

This last point really goes back to my earlier points because it is really about being comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable, 100%, you aren’t confident. If you aren’t confident then you won’t be able to carry off your costume.

See? Only 4 rules. Nothing really difficult.

Oh… additionally, and this one isn’t just to those that CosPlay- proper hygiene is a must for attending a convention. Trust me. No one wants to be stuck in a large room with thousands of people, in the middle of summer, when many individuals haven’t showered or applied deodorant. So… think ahead.

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6 thoughts on “CosPlay by the Rules!

  1. Pingback: CosPlay by the Rules! « NerdLush

  2. Elizabeth Ann

    I should also add… I went to the Ren Faire this weekend- within the comfort criteria, consider the weather! It was hot as hell out in Irwindale and I was dying in my tank top! The people in “period” dress must have wanted to keel over and die. We are still feeling the effects of the sun… so definitely want to add weather- especially sun/heat- to the considerations.

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