‘Cosplay’ is a blend of the two words: costume and play. It is the practice of mimicking a character from television, the internet or even a book. People dress up and act like said character to essentially express how big of a fan they are. However, cosplay doesn’t necessarily mean to mimic a celebrity. In America, for example, people commonly cosplay each year on Halloween.

The term ‘cosplay’ was coined in Japan in 1984. It is still more popular among the Japanese but has grown into other parts of the world as well. With the advent of Hollywood films, Netflix series and Internet trends, cosplay has grown in popularity among people all over the world. More and more people get intrigued and try it out each year.

If you’re among these people and are starting off in cosplay, then you need to know about its essentials. Believe it or not, pulling off a good cosplay isn’t as simple as buying a costume and putting it on. But don’t worry, we have you covered – in this article, we list the 5 essential cosplay tips that beginners need to know.

Choose your character wisely

Choosing a character is the first step of cosplay, and it is perhaps the most crucial one. A lot of beginners underestimate the complexity of cosplay. They get into cosplay with a mainstream character in mind and think it’s just a matter of putting on a costume. It occurs to them later on that cosplaying has a lot more to it.


We recommend beginners to go for a relatively simple character at first – one that doesn’t have too much detail or variety in the costume. Also keep in mind that cosplaying includes acting, so you should choose a character that you are naturally similar to. If you have a somewhat evil laugh, you should go for a supervillain. If you have a nice smile, you should go for a character famous for their smile, and so on.

Furthermore, you should always go for a character you really are into. This will give you drive and you will feel proud in cosplaying your character.

Ask for help from others

This is a no-brainer when starting off on anything and cosplay is no exception. The best advice we can give to you as a newbie in the cosplay realm is to seek guidance from other cosplayers.

It is common for cosplayers to get together at conventions and fan meetups. When they do, they talk about their costumes. This is the best time for beginners to seek help from people that are more experienced than them. Plus, there’s no shyness involved because everyone is cosplaying and you are part of the community.

The cosplay community is one of the most welcoming communities that you can join. People are generally helpful and you can easily fit in because everyone shares the same general interest as you. Thereby, you can learn new things that you can use for your cosplay. A good example is that most people who get into cosplaying learn how to sew from the community.

Avoid paints as much as you can

If you ask a cosplay aficionado, they will always tell you that the hardest characters to pull off are the ones that have paints in their costume.

Avoid paints

The paints that you find for cosplay online are mostly unsuitable for long term. They look good right after you apply them. However, once you head out in the heat of summer or the dry winds of winter, the paints run down or dries up respectively. Not to mention, they aren’t good for your skin.

It’s best to use stickers or something else to avoid paints completely. But for the characters that absolutely require painting, you can use painted nylon stockings as a base and then apply powder.

People who are quite experienced in cosplaying can make paint look good but that comes with experience. Therefore, we recommend that you wait it out until you’re ready.

Give yourself enough time

Had we been writing this a couple years back, we wouldn’t have included this heading. But today, with how popular cosplaying has become, there is an online tutorial for almost every character you can think of.

enough time

Beginners are especially encouraged to make use of these tutorials because it teaches them the things they didn’t think of. For example, if you realize your character requires makeup and you are struggling with that, then you can find all the help you need on YouTube.

The modern age is full of helpful material and, surprisingly enough, even cosplay experts use this help. We recommend that you don’t stick to just one tutorial but check others as well. This way, you can find more inspiration and can be creative with how you style yourself.


There are a lot more things that can be considered helpful for cosplaying, but the ones we mentioned above are the most common ones. A few quick tips worthy of noting are to use lightweight materials as props, not to pay much attention to critics and creepy glares, and to just enjoy the moment. Happy cosplaying!