My first ‘official’ cosplay was in 2008 at the Rage Expo held here in Johannesburg annually. I had recently been introduced to cosplay and since I’ve always loved dressing up, decided to give it a go. I didn’t have much money to spend on cosplay but I really wanted to do it.
So, my first cosplay was Tifa from Final Fantasy in her Advent Children/Alternate costume. Unfortunately I don’t have any decent pictures of this cosplay, but it’s better than not having any at all, which is the case of my Re-L from Ergo Proxy cosplay at Icon 2010. (It’s always good to get pics of your cosplay! I was having so much fun at Icon that year that I didn’t get any and I regret it. I do plan on taking proper photos of my Re-L cosplay sometime… when it fits me properly again.) Anyway, this was before I realised that makeup is somewhat important when cosplaying, so I was hardly wearing any.
Putting the costume together:
The shirt/waistcoat is actually my sister’s. She had it made for a dancing competition and I asked to use it. I did not have the white undershirt for some reason.
The shorts I already owned, and the shoes I borrowed from my boyfriend at the time.
The over-skirt (not sure what it should be called) was made for me by a friend of my mom. The only cost was the fabric, which wasn’t very expensive, and a box of chocolates as a thank you to her.
So all in all, my Tifa costume did not cost very much at all, I had fun wearing it, it wasn’t too bad for a first cosplay, and it started my cosplay journey.
Over the past few years, I have done a few cosplays, all with minimal sewing/crafting skills and a tight budget, which I will share here soon.
Here are a few tips for those who want to cosplay but have a tight budget, which I’m sure I will add to over time:
· See what you already have in your home that can be used. Old clothes, household items, etc, may be turned into something new.
· Look around when you do need to buy things. Buying that perfect wig designed specifically for your character that you found online, for instance, is awesome, but if you simply can’t afford it, looking around at party stores, flea markets and the like is usually worth your while.
· If you aren’t good at sewing things from scratch, like me, there is always the option of altering things. It’s not only possible to cosplay if you’ve bought the costume or made it entirely.