What you’re wearing right now might not be considered “cosplay” by some people’s standards, but the basic idea is the same no matter what.
There are two types of cosplayers: hard-core or professional cosplayers and casual cosplayers. As a general rule, it’s easiest for beginners to start with short anime/manga series that have simple outfits. For example, mai sakurajima from Mai Hime fits the bill perfectly because she has nothing covering her upper body except for a jacket/cape thingy over one shoulder.
You have two choices here: either buy one or make one. Wigs are relatively inexpensive compared to the other cosplay basics, for a nice quality one that you can cut and style yourself. You can also easily find wigs online by searching “anime wig.” However, if you plan on making multiple costumes of the same character/series, it might be more economical to make your wig rather than buying each time.
When choosing a store, you can usually get a good idea of their skills by looking at the other cosplayers in their catalogs/online galleries/etc. In Tokyo, there’s a store called “cosme” that specializes in cosplay makeup. They’ve got detailed guides on how to apply your base and accentuate your eyes and stuff all over their website under “cosmetic tips.” You might end up dropping 20k or more on costumes and wigs, but…well…it’s worth it if you’re serious about this hobby!
Last-minute costume prep If you suddenly want to dress up as Mai Sakurajima, you can make a surprisingly good replica by using some dark eyeliner to draw on her wing-like tattoos under the eyes!
Eyes For Mai Sakurajima’s look, go with blue contacts for this one. Some places will let you try them on beforehand if you want to make sure they fit your eye size/shape, but it’s usually pretty obvious once you put them in. If your costume is going to be outdoors for long periods (and you’re not wearing sunscreen), I recommend buying clear contacts that are resistant to sunlight since they don’t get gross and discolored when exposed to the sun.
Face paint To recreate her white complexion so visible lines show up, paint the outline of your face with a white base/foundation before applying regular makeup. This will make dark-colored shadows and blush stand out more as well! ・Prevent sweating Staying in character for long periods can be tiring (especially if it’s a hot costume!), so to prevent sweat from ruining your look, use a setting spray after putting on your makeup to set it all in place!
Let’s start with the basics: the top and shorts. Both are easy enough to find at any standard clothing store or online shopping site. Be sure not to accidentally mix them up though—that would just be weird…Shoes Those boots may seem daunting at first, but fear not! While they may seem complicated, boots are quite easy to make once you know the basic method. Here’s how I made my boots ・Patience If you’ve ever worked with leather before, it can be a pain in the ass to soften the stuff up. No matter how much you try, there’s always one or two spots that are harder than hell to cut through or glue together! The more frustrated you get, the worse your final product will look…so take some deep breaths and stay calm! That said, don’t forget to have fun while you’re making your costume! Cosplay is supposed to be a fun hobby.