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31 Jul 2012 - 22:2988501
So at what point does cosplay just boil down to buying "stuff"?
The reason I'm asking is that historically we've just bought raw material and then made as much of the costume as we can. I'd run with that being the standard definition of what this hobby/passion is largely about.

However, we're engaged in quite a tricky one at the moment and although a large part of the costume (Hit Girl) can, and will, be made there's some fairly specialist bits of kit required as well. So for example, I can buy a 100% screen accurate yoke as the basis of the holsters Hit Girl wears but would it be truer to the spirit to make it instead? Thoughts?

31 Jul 2012 - 22:5288503
There are plenty of people out there who buy a full cosplay and wear it, and as long as they're not claiming to have made it themselves, then I don't think anyone cares.

There are certainly some pieces that you can't make yourself and have to buy instead.

So go for it =]

31 Jul 2012 - 22:5788504
I personally rather make my costumes. I like being able to go "I made that." It makes me feel really... warm inside. It's my creation, my work, it's part of me. Sounds corny, I know, but still, there is a feeling of pride when it comes to making a costume. There are times where you question why you're making it, but still. I do think part of the joy is to make it yourself. But that's me.

That does not mean to say that people who "buy stuff" are cosplaying any less than I am. If you don't have the time or skill (or both) to make a costume, then that's that. Not much you can do.

I'd personally say go for making it; it will improve your skills. Even if you fail, you'll learn something from it, which I think is really valuable. In the long run, learning from your mistakes now will save you money in the future (usually, it costs a lot more to buy something than it would to make it).

However. I do know that some things are just impossible to make without specialist equipment. So, I think you should look critically at it, and go "can I make that and do I have the time?" If either are no, then buy it.

Ayacon Plans
31 Jul 2012 - 23:3188509
It really is just down to the person who is assembling the costume. At the end of the day we're all grown ups dressing in costume, so whether you slave over something for months on end or just press the buy it now button on eBay, it's not really going to make a difference. You'll still be parading the costume around in front of everyone and I seriously doubt anybody is going to go up to someone and pinpoint a tiny piece that they haven't made themselves then shun them for it XD

There are some parts of costumes that are easier to buy then make. For example, for my Resident Evil costumes, a fair bit of airsoft parts were needed for the numerous pouches found all over the costumes. I saved myself a mighty hassle by simply buying all the pieces instead. The amount of money I'd spend (not to mention the hours of work) getting all of the materials for each different piece would probably mount up to being about equal in the end and to be honest, with how accessible all of it was, I just couldn't be bothered either XD

For me, buying vs. making always boils down to accessibility, cost or whether I can just be bothered making it in the first place. It doesn't make me feel any worse about a costume if a specific piece isn't made from scratch.

01 Aug 2012 - 07:2788516
I'd say cosplaying is about wearing whatever costume you want to. Whether you find it more fun to wear something you made by yourself or just skip the making and buy something. There're all kinds of arguments for each one - having a hand made costume can be a source of pride, but a bought one might look better and will certainly be easier.
Ultimately it doesn't matter which you do, though I suspect most people are a mix of the two - making parts and buying parts. People still look at the overall outfit and will be impressed, and you'll have the fun of running around in costume. You do get some people who are biased towards one or t'other. some people look down on people who buy costumes while some will pick on the quality of a hand made costume, but they are a minority. Do bear in mind though that many competitions require costumes that have been either entirely or mostly made by yourself.

Personally there are a few things I buy for costumes. Shoes I almost always buy, because I don't have the tools, skills or money to try making shoes. It's the same with real-world clothing, though I could make such things it is usually much cheaper and easier to buy such items. Military / tactical gear is made out of strange fabrics and so many straps or moulded plastic bits that to try to make it would be a nightmare. I suppose its a case of times/effort and money vs output. I couldn't make better shoes than I could buy, so I buy them. Some normal clothing - coats, for example - are easy and cheap to make, so i make them. Most bits that are specialist cosplay items you would either have to get specially made or risk buying from a less quality-focused Chinese company, so I tend to make those bits from scratch.

However you get your costume finished, don't let the method you pick ruin your fun of putting together and wearing the costume

01 Aug 2012 - 21:0988576
Thank you all for some, obviously, very well considered points and I think I'd be hard put to disagree with anything written.

I'd totally concur with the point that, actually, it doesn't matter providing that you're not trying to pass off something as home made when it isn't. Eleanor's worn both "off the peg" and totally self-constructed in the past and I'm sure will have both in the future (btw Nixie, I don't think it's corny at all - I totally get your point over the satisfaction of having made something. When we made her first costume together the joint elation of "hey, look at what we did" kept us grinning for some time).

I think on reflection, my question was the wrong one and should have probably been phrased more on the lines of "when is a prop not a prop?" perhaps, as the technical challenge of the non-clothing aspects of Hit Girl is looking to be above our current skill level. Not that we can't try and learn of course!

However, despite my own incoherence I think I've still got the answers I needed

Thank you all for your time.

02 Aug 2012 - 17:2288636
Cosplay is about dressing up, playing a part, being someone else. For some people the acting side of things, the posing, the stance, performance on stage etc is the main passion. For those people buying or commissioning a costume makes perfect sense, as it's the PLAY part of cosplay they're into, my husband falls into this category completely so I make his cosplay for him. For others it is the joy of wearing the costume itself, and for those a part home made part bought costume is their path, so equal parts of costume and play, with the journey being building up a skill base along the way.

I'm all about the costume, I love deconstructing characters and working out how to make pieces. I make pretty much everything from scratch, I draft all my own patterns for costumes too. I do buy wigs and shoes but I style and customise them myself.

I love the learning curve, seeing people develop their skills in making, acting, posing, the lot. The only thing where buying is a bad thing is when someone passes other people's work off as their own.

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