Cosplay has been around since the early 80s. In recent years, though, it’s become extremely popular.
And it’s not just for Halloween anymore. There are several huge cosplay conventions that take place all around the world. Costumes vary from fun homemade costumes to serious outfits that are almost an exact replica of the original costume.
All this fun can mean mega bucks. Is it possible to do cheap cosplay without losing the quality?
Keep reading for our great hacks on how to find cheap cosplay outfits.
If you leave things to the last minute, you’ll probably spend more.
Planning in advance gives you time to do your research and find the best deals. While you’re planning, try to make a realistic budget and stick to it.
Create a list or schedule including the main conventions and events that will happen during the year. By arranging things now, you can benefit more from sales and cheaper times for buying.
Try to figure out which costumes you plan to create. This will enable you to keep on the lookout throughout the year for the things need. You’ll also be able to buy a few things in bulk instead of buying things as you need them.
Sales and Coupons
Kapow! Hit those sales! Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, end of season sales…
If you plan to buy most of your materials during these times, you’ll save mega bucks. Sign up for online newsletters, Facebook groups, and cosplayer blogs. They can keep you up to date with any major sales or even send out coupons at certain times of the year.
If you’re planning to buy anything, first Google “coupons for Shop Name.” You’d be surprised by what hot deals might be lurking.
And don’t forget the week AFTER Halloween is the absolute best time to buy costumes. You could find some seriously cheap cosplay outfits during this time.
For a great corset deal, check out these high-quality yet low-priced products.
Don’t feel that you have to buy something new for every event. Some cosplayers feel like they must have a completely new outfit for each convention, but there’s no shame in recycling.
Recycle some of your items for different costumes. Certain accessories can be multi-purpose and you can use them for several different costumes. For example, a set of “Spock” ears can also be used for an Elven look.
Basic essentials such as black leggings, white gloves, leather boots, a corset, a school skirt, masks, or a black cape can be used again and again for different characters.
Beg, Borrow, and Steal
Okay, maybe not steal…but trading pieces with your friends is a great way to save some cash.
Some of your fellow cosplayers might already have just the prop you need. You might have something they need. Swapsies, anyone?
What if you have a particular skill in making accessories but are not so good in the sewing department? You could trade skills, offering to make an accessory in exchange for sewing your costume.
Borrowing things from friends and family is also surprisingly helpful when it comes to those final random items. You’d be surprised at the things you can find in your grandparents’ closet or your parents’ attic.
You know how they say, “One mans trash is another mans treasure?” That’s definitely true when it comes to finding cheap cosplay costumes and accessories.
Thrift stores are the way to go. You’ll be amazed at the treasure you’ll find when rummaging through thrift stores, garage sales, and dollar stores.
For example, shoes can be a big expense. Buying gently used shoes from thrift stores can really save you some cash, especially if you’re going to customize them.
Old prom dresses, leather suitcases, tablecloths, baskets, and costume jewelry can all be transformed into an awesome costume.
Other cosplayers sometimes sell their used costumes on sites such as eBay, Etsy, or cosplay pages. After Halloween, many will be selling off their used costumes.
Create a Business
Maybe you’ve realized that this is something you’re pretty good at. Why not try to make some money from your hobby?
If you’ve found out you’re a good seamstress, you could make your own online shop selling costumes. Or sell your used costumes, props, and accessories.
If you’re not going to use them again, let someone else enjoy it. You’ll also make back some of the money you spent on it. It’s a win-win for all!
You could also blog about cosplaying. If you’re successful, you could even get sponsorship deals and a commission through affiliate marketing.
Another business idea is selling photos of super cool cosplayers–as long as you’ve got their permission first.
Know When to Spend
Being thrifty when making your costume can be done. But now and again, you may need to splurge on a few items.
You need to think about the long-term benefits. If you splurge on this item, can you use it again for several other costumes?
Sometimes spending a bit extra in the first place can save you money in the long run. You won’t have to constantly be replacing shoddy clothing or items.
And don’t forget that your costume needs to last the day. If it’s not up to standard, it may fall apart before the day is over. You’ll be left embarrassed, uncomfortable, or even exposed!
Cheap Cosplay Outfits
As you can see, finding or creating a cosplay outfit on a budget can be done. And it doesn’t mean you have to compromise and look somewhat ridiculous.
All you need is good planning, a sprinkle of imagination and BAM! You’ll totally look the part.
Check out our blog for more awesome life hacks that can save you tons of cash.