Comics and Cosplay
Costume Counsel: Making A Halloween Costume On The Cheap

Carly Smith | 31 Oct 2014 11:30
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Powerpuff Girls Halloween

4) Decide how accurate you want to be.

Accuracy will often increase the cost of a costume. There's a reason a lot of cheap, mass-produced costumes don't accurately resemble characters. There's a saying that goes, "Fast, cheap, or good: pick two."

A lot of cosplayers will pride themselves on accuracy, but a lot of Halloween costumes are more for the spirit of dressing up as something than bringing a character to life. Both are perfectly valid, and it depends on how much you're into costuming.

If you're short on cash, maybe you don't want to buy that $10/yard fabric that drapes really well for your cape; maybe you want to use a flimsier fabric at $3/yard.

Wigs are a huge part of cosplay, but they're pretty expensive for someone who is only going to wear a costume for Halloween once. High quality wigs can range from $30 to $60 depending on style and length, whereas lower quality wigs are around $15 to $20. These wigs will tangle very easily, come with a sheen, and resemble plastic. While these may be cheaper, if you plan on wearing your costume with a wig more than once, investing in a better wig will save you money in the long run. Temporary hairsprays are even cheaper, but they're more prone to accidents as they sit on top of your hair and rub off.

If you need to sacrifice accuracy due to time or money constraints, you can try to find one thing to invest your time in that will make the costume recognizable. Want to be a Pokemon trainer? Use a pokeball prop. This way you prioritize the important parts of the costume just enough to make yourself recognizable. Dressing up as a Jedi Warrior? Wear a long robe and carry a toy lightsaber. One year as a kid my mom and I found a brown cloak with a hood. I can't remember what I wore under the cloak, but with my blue lightsaber, even the out-of-touch parents giving out candy knew I was from Star Wars. I even repurposed the cloak for a different costume later!

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