Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Cosplaying

9:15 AM

For the first official post in my newly re-launched blog, what better way to start it than introducing one of my loves: cosplay.  When I was starting in the hobby, questions from various people started pouring---especially those who aren't that much familiar. So for my readers here who are still not familiar and wants to know more about it, I prepared a FAQ.  Most of the questions here are those asked to me when they find out I cosplay.


What is cosplay?

Cosplay is short for “costume play” where cosplayers such as myself wear costumes and accessories and hold props or weapons to represent a specific character from a work of fiction.  But I want to emphasize that it is not just about dressing up and looking like the character.  For most cosplayers (if not all), cosplay is about giving tribute to our favorite characters by not just dressing up but by ACTING as them--- down to every detail, if possible. I am not talking about undergoing surgery to look exactly like the character, but rather, to act him/her as if you are really that character and portraying can be done through great research and resourcefulness.

Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan (Starcraft II)
Photo by: Dang Nabit

Irisviel von Einzbern (Fate/Zero)
Photo by: Jovi Heartilly

Why do you cosplay?

The main reason I cosplay is I get to be my favorite character and portray him or her even for just one day.  It wasn’t enough that I just watch the character from the series or games.I want to feel as if I am him/her and, at the same time, I am giving tribute to my favorite character---which is, for me, the core of cosplay. I cosplay my favorite characters that I love so much. It doesn’t matter if the built is not right for me; I know I can make it look good with the things I learn like makeup, wig styling, and more.

Asami Sato (Legend of Korra)
Photo by: Lian Tablan

So, how do you do cosplay? Like, do you make your own costumes and props or do you let others do your whole costume?

Well, that depends on the cosplayer. For instance, I am still not an expert when it comes to sewing costumes and creating props and weapons. So depending on the costume, I usually have them made by our great seamstress. For the accessories, props and weapons, it also depends. My boyfriend and I have already made some few props, accessories and weapons but those are just simple ones. For the complicated ones, we usually have them made---especially when busy. But this does not mean it will stay that way forever.

I am learning other cosplay skills now such as sewing, styling wigs, making props and weapons, make-up and more. Why? Because nothing beats to at least having a personal touch on your cosplay.  In fact, in every cosplay, I make it a point to at least have one part of it done by myself---whether it be an accessory, a prop, styling a wig or doing my make-up. It’s just a matter of being resourceful and researching. After all, I know cosplay will help me enhance my skills in arts and crafts. J

My boyfriend and I did the sword and medallion of Mulan here
Photo by: Peppy Salita

Do you cosplay on your own or do you have a group?

I cosplay with my boyfriend and with my close cosplay friends because I get to bond with them. Aside from my high school and college group, it is in cosplay that I have found the greatest people I can truly trust and love. My boyfriend and I always look forward to cosplaying with them in anime/cosplay conventions and photoshoots.  I also love them because we also bond with each other EVEN outside of conventions and photoshoots.

What do you do with your costumes, accessories, props and weapons after you have cosplayed the character(s)?

When it comes to costumes, we usually store them in our cabinets because you never know when you will use them again---especially in conventions. For the wigs and accessories, I put them inside a big plastic container that can be bought in any supermarket and malls. As of today, I have 2 big boxes that contain my wigs, accessories, and crafting materials. For the weapons and props, they are just displayed in my room.

I want to borrow your costume for a company event, birthday party, Christmas party, etc. Can I borrow one of your costumes? 

It depends on each cosplayer. But in my case, I don’t let anyone rent my costumes---even to my relatives and non-cosplayer friends. For one thing, we already heard a lot of horror stories who borrow things from cosplayers and bring them back in bad condition/state. We put a big effort and do our very best to take care of our costumes, weapons and accessories, so we don’t want them to get damaged. So as much as possible, we don’t let other people rent our costumes.  Instead, we just recommend them to other cosplayers who rent theirs out.

Another thing, the costumes are made/customized according to our built---which means most of the time they won’t fit perfectly with other people. And of course, we won’t allow them to alter the design.

I usually see cosplayers in TV and print  as well as in company events and parties nowadays. Do you also do that?

Again, it depends on the cosplayer. But in my case, we are not fond of that. Cosplayers are not mascots and we do not want to be treated that way. And this is a hobby; we do not expect to be paid and do our cosplays out of our love for the hobby.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying those cosplayers who expose themselves to the media are doing things wrong. As I said awhile ago, it still depends on the cosplayer. I am not just comfortable doing that because I would rather do my cosplays in conventions and photoshoots with friends than appearing in print, TV or in company events.

There are also other reasons, but I will not delve into them now as this post will get longer. Maybe I will make a separate post on that.

I want to cosplay or one of my friends/relatives want to cosplay? Can you help them? What advices would you give?

I’ll just put here the advices I gave when my friend PinayOtaku asked me about it:

For those interested in cosplay, here are some advices I can give:

  • Always watch the series or play the games first because I can assure you, you will have a favorite character that you want to cosplay.
  • Don’t cosplay someone just because he or she is popular---always cosplay your favorite character no matter what because that is the basis of how you will portray him or her well. This is also the best way to give tribute to them. And I know if you love them, you will give justice to them.
  • While there are online shops and stores out there that cater to cosplay things, you must learn to be resourceful and research. The Internet is right at your fingertips, you can find anything you need there. And being resourceful also helps in lessening your expenses, especially when you’re on a budget.
  • Don’t rush your cosplays and plan early as much as possible so you can make your cosplay perfect and exact.
  • And lastly, enjoy! Cosplay is a hobby where you should be having fun, not being too stressed about it.


So, these are the FAQs that some people ask me when they find out I cosplay. I may have gotten a bit biased in most of the questions, but at least you know my view about the hobby. If you want to know more about my cosplaying, check out PinayOtaku’s feature of me here or drop by my Deviantart.

Now if you have questions about cosplay that I did not cover in this post, feel free to ask me in the comments section below or PM me in my FB page here. I will combine 2-3 questions and make a post about it. I will be happy to answer your questions and even give tips and advices if you want. J

~ Hainrihi

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