Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

You don't need to be in costume to post in this cosplay forum... but sometimes it helps.
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FiretoIce
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Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

Post by FiretoIce » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:10 pm

So....this is kinda dumb... but how do you, community at large, get enough costume to cosplay characters that might not have the same body shape as you?
I usually hide under massive armor pieces or crossplay, but this year I'm trying a really feminine costume, but..... I just feel, like a fat version of the character I love..... I was wondering if there were any tricks or suggestions to kinda deal with that or make unflattering costumes look a little nicer....so....thanks guys...
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Genderbend Ganondorf
Ronin Flareon

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San
Boros
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Selestyl
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Re: Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

Post by Selestyl » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:30 pm

It’s so cliche but it’s repeated for a reason - confidence makes the cosplay! When you wear a character you feel good in you will feel less of the need to hide. Try to remember what you love about the character and embrace that! Cosplay is for all shapes and sizes :) You can also wear the cosplay before the con and become more comfortable the more you wear it - get used to wearing it and see how it makes you feel!

Best of luck and know you’re not alone in this struggle.
2018 Lineup:
Fem!Ignis, post-Altissa - Final Fantasy XV
[Fallback] Ema Skye - Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice

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ksmurf
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Re: Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

Post by ksmurf » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:29 pm

You are definitely not alone with this conundrum.

I also run into this issue - I'm rotund and I also frequently crossplay because I feel the costumes are more comfortable and offer more coverage.

When I've done more feminine costumes, I think about what shape wear I can use to modify my silhouette or make me feel comfortable.
For example, when I made the cleric from Disgaea, I got a cincher and a pair of spanx. These helped smooth my shape so I didn't feel "lumpy". This helped me feel confident in a tight velvet mermaid dress. Sometimes I'll buy a corset or build boning into the costume to give myself structure.

You can also play around with the design of the costume to make it fit you. I did Evergreen from Fairytail, but I have stretch marks on my legs, so instead of thigh-high stockings, I just wore thick black tights. It didn't impact the costume design much, but I felt like I didn't have to worry about my skin.

Don't be afraid to play around with changing shapes in the sleeves / skirts / bodice to create balance. When I made Emeraude from Magic Knight Rayearth (who is a twig), I changed her dress from an "shift" shape to be a dropped waist with a floofy fabric. It fit with my body shape more naturally. Was it a slight deviation from the character design? Yes. Did I love my costume and love being a sugary cupcake? Absolutely.

Other tricks: add details. Adding trims, beading, different textures (like lace overlays) will help break up large color blocks. Adding cool details can also make you feel bad-ass in the costume. I love sparkling when I spin, I love having trains that let me "sweep" down a hallway, I love opera gloves that make me feel like a villain. If there are fun details, I find myself having fun in the outfit, regardless of what I look like.

Cosplay is a super awesome hobby - you control where the designs go, what the costumes look like, and how you feel in the costume. To Selestyl's point - wear the costume before the con to work out any kinks and get used to it. It'll help you feel more accustomed before you hit the con floor.
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AB Cosplay Games Technical Coordinator 2017-2018
AB Cosplay Games Assistant Technical Coordinator 2016
Attendee: Anime Boston 2004-2015

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Selestyl
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Re: Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

Post by Selestyl » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:41 pm

ksmurf wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:29 pm
You are definitely not alone with this conundrum.

I also run into this issue - I'm rotund and I also frequently crossplay because I feel the costumes are more comfortable and offer more coverage.

When I've done more feminine costumes, I think about what shape wear I can use to modify my silhouette or make me feel comfortable.
For example, when I made the cleric from Disgaea, I got a cincher and a pair of spanx. These helped smooth my shape so I didn't feel "lumpy". This helped me feel confident in a tight velvet mermaid dress. Sometimes I'll buy a corset or build boning into the costume to give myself structure.

You can also play around with the design of the costume to make it fit you. I did Evergreen from Fairytail, but I have stretch marks on my legs, so instead of thigh-high stockings, I just wore thick black tights. It didn't impact the costume design much, but I felt like I didn't have to worry about my skin.

Don't be afraid to play around with changing shapes in the sleeves / skirts / bodice to create balance. When I made Emeraude from Magic Knight Rayearth (who is a twig), I changed her dress from an "shift" shape to be a dropped waist with a floofy fabric. It fit with my body shape more naturally. Was it a slight deviation from the character design? Yes. Did I love my costume and love being a sugary cupcake? Absolutely.

Other tricks: add details. Adding trims, beading, different textures (like lace overlays) will help break up large color blocks. Adding cool details can also make you feel bad-ass in the costume. I love sparkling when I spin, I love having trains that let me "sweep" down a hallway, I love opera gloves that make me feel like a villain. If there are fun details, I find myself having fun in the outfit, regardless of what I look like.

Cosplay is a super awesome hobby - you control where the designs go, what the costumes look like, and how you feel in the costume. To Selestyl's point - wear the costume before the con to work out any kinks and get used to it. It'll help you feel more accustomed before you hit the con floor.
I’m so glad you pointed out detailing and modifying designs! I’ve never had a chance to modify a cosplay like that and those are some awesome tips!!
2018 Lineup:
Fem!Ignis, post-Altissa - Final Fantasy XV
[Fallback] Ema Skye - Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice

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Thrillho
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Re: Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

Post by Thrillho » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:04 pm

Selestyl and ksmurf are spot on. I can give you some of my personal experience, FWIW.

For context, I'm a 37yo male that's definitely "overweight", but my favorite cosplay by far is Haruko from FLCL. My wife helps with my costuming and she did a FANTASTIC job in designing the red coat that helps hide my weight a bit. This year, I'm putting effort into learning more make-up skills so that I can actually look the feminine part rather than having it be crossplay. It's a HUGE undertaking that is definitely pushing my comfort zones, but I know I'll enjoy it more if I can fit the role.

Even before that, though, I had to learn the confidence bit. I have other cosplays of thin characters, and I sometimes I still get a little uncomfortable walking around in them. But I remind myself that I enjoy the character enough to cosplay it, I can act the part (I have an extensive theatre background), and I just need to get over it and feel better about myself. Admittedly, I'm more comfortable in cosplays that fit my body shape (like Wario), but I'm not surprised by that.

You just have to remind yourself that this is your fandom, and nobody can take that from you. And once you see other people cosplaying "outside of their body type", you'll see that not only are you not alone in your endeavor, but the AB crowd is super accepting of you in your cosplay for who you are.

Just try to remind yourself that you're not alone when you're walking around out there. Yeah, maybe there will be an occasional jerkwad that gives you a rude glance or mutters under their breath. Don't let them ruin your fun. And if you need some emotional support while you're out on the floor, look for me in one of my cosplays (listed in my signature), and we can get over our reservations together and be awesome out there.
Joe aka Gustav
1/4 of Curtain Call Cosplay


AB 2018
Haruko Haruhara (FLCL) / Zant (Legend of Zelda) / Professor Port (RWBY) / Rintarou Okabe (Steins;Gate) / Wario (Mario Franchise) / Over Justice (Space Patrol Luluco)


AB 2017
Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop) / Haruko Haruhara (FLCL) / Oscar Pine (RWBY) / Zant (Hyrule Warriors)


AB 2016 (First Time!)
Professor Ozpin (RWBY) / Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop) / Kouta (Elfen Lied)

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AnnaNeko
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Re: Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

Post by AnnaNeko » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:43 pm

echoing the shapewear and altering the outfit's style a bit

I am absolutely a fatkid, and so in my cosplays will either do some shapewear for under the outfit & tweak the design a lil to flatter better
Depending on the cosplay the undies it's either something simple like spanx to just flatten out the fat roll a bit, or a full-on corset to define my waist. Not the cheap plastic innards kind as that stuff warps & gives u weird new issues, but the stronger spiral-steel stuff to really hold everything up. Never underestimate the difference a good well-fitting bra makes too!

altering outfit's cut is the fun part! If you're like me with the tummy sticking out - raising the waistline instead of dropping means the skirt will flare out and not underline all that fat. Maybe do a "remix" of the character like... i dunno.. all those 50s or Victorian era designs, and suddenly there's more coverage in areas you're insecure about. Drop or raise waist, puff sleeves, different type of darts around the bust, etc...
Also avoid very shiny or clingy fabrics. It's like someone went in and underlined every worst most-insecure bit of you with a highlighter and triple underlined it

It also helps to have that one thing you're super proud of in the cosplay, so your insecurities about outfit fit elsewhere have no chance. Like hey.... I'm clearly not a stick-thin middleschool girl, but my hair and prop are so on point in this cosplay! I'm 200% awesome, yeaaaah!!
why, yes, I have been goin to this con since day 1. Wanna brain-break on the age math?

AB '18 cosplay check
[Friday/Sunday] Maid Cafe
[Saturday] "gym" Hanayo - Love Live!

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NaraHale
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Re: Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

Post by NaraHale » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:34 pm

I want to say as a cosplayer who has gained a lot of weight over the past few years due to medication and stuff (I am now standard US women's size 18, approximately) - I feel especially self conscious about my cosplay.

Furthermore, as someone who buys most of their cosplays because I have limited sewing abilities, it makes it even harder, because I can't alter them very well, and unless I directly commission it (which is generally too expensive for me to do) - I have a hard time finding my size on ebay, amazon, or someone selling a well-loved but in good shape costume.

Honestly? My two most recent cosplays have been crossplays. But I'm looking into doing Weiss Schnee from RWBY, who wears a short dress with bare legs, or even scarier Pyrrha Nikos from RWBY, who I cosplayed back when I was a size 8-10 and I was still incredibly nervous about my body then. (I hated that cosplay for other reasons, but that's a digression).

If you can't sew, and you buy a lot of costumes like me - I just say have fun with it. Makeup can go a long way in making you feel more like the character you love.

Fake it until you make it. Take selfies from flattering angles. Practice character expressions in the mirror. I think shapewear is a good idea - I've never tried it myself, but thanks to this thread I might go ahead and do so.

Self-esteem is hard. Wanting to look like your favorite characters and feeling like you fall short is even harder. But cosplay is about love and fun, and if you love the character - go for it! Do your best you.
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Anime Boston 2018 Lineup (Edited 3/13/2018):
Yuri Plisetsky - Yuri!!! On Ice. (Definite)
Joker (Theif's Outfit) - Persona 5 (Probably)
Servant!Komaeada - Ultra Despair Girls/Danganronpa (If I can get all the pieces on time)
Sango - InuYasha (Maybe)

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Kiarrens
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Re: Flattering Costumes and Self Confidence

Post by Kiarrens » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:31 pm

AnnaNeko wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:43 pm
Depending on the cosplay the undies it's either something simple like spanx to just flatten out the fat roll a bit, or a full-on corset to define my waist. Not the cheap plastic innards kind as that stuff warps & gives u weird new issues, but the stronger spiral-steel stuff to really hold everything up. Never underestimate the difference a good well-fitting bra makes too!
If anyone's looking to buy corsets, I usually buy my steel-boned ones from corsetdeal.com. I know it sounds super sketchy, but they're great. I usually get them in a matter of days and they're so inexpensive. I wore one of them all day every weekend day at Renn Faire last fall (over a month's worth of weekends) and you can barely tell.
Lyndsey Zusi
Assistant Director of Programming - Cosplay Divison 2019
Masquerade Coordinator 2015 - 2019
Assistant Masquerade Coordinator 2013 - 2014
Cosplay Chess Coordinator 2009 -2014
Attendee 2003 - 2009


The Anime Boston Masquerade Staff Creed: "It's our job to panic so you don't have to."

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