#Costuming, #Cosplay & #CostumeClubs 101 on #WordPress!

To better reach the ever growing costuming, cosplay & costume club communities, we’ve created this WordPress blog to supplement our preexisting Facebook page.

The mission of “Costuming, Cosplay & Costume Clubs 101” is to share experiences and knowledge of the costuming & cosplay hobby with the entire costuming, cosplay and costume club communities.

People who engage in costuming & cosplay generally fall into one or more 6 broad categories:

  1. Casual Costumers: people who only occasionally dress up in costume for parties & holidays, such as Halloween, Christmas, etc.. Casual costumers typically purchase their costumes from stores or make simple handmade costumes.
  2. Independent Hobbyists: people who regularly dress up in costumes and attend events (such as comic conventions, anime conventions, etc.) more than casual costumers. Hobbyists typically make far more elaborate costumes on their own and/or purchase items from independent prop makers who cater to specific types of independent hobbyists.
  3. Costume Club Members: these are hobbyists who have joined an organized costume club and participate in events coordinated by the costume club. Costume club members typically have more opportunities to wear costumes than independent hobbyists. They may also focus more on charitable activities, such as visiting sick children in hospitals, raising money for charities, participating in public events (such as parades), etc.
  4. Professional Cosplayers: a handful of cosplayers have transformed their hobby into a way to earn money. The most successful to date is Yaya Han, who is not only paid to appear at a number of conventions, she sells signed photos and recently began to sell her own branded fabrics.
  5. Paid Actors: anyone who is paid to appear on stage, sporting events (mascots), films, advertisements, etc., while in costume. Costumes are made for the actors to wear and are only worn as part of the role that they are paid to portray.
  6. Independent Prop Makers: these are individuals who make their own props and sell them to interested costumers & cosplayers (usually independent hobbyists & costume club members). They are also typically independent hobbyists and/or costume club members themselves.

Topics discussed by “Costuming, Cosplay & Costume Clubs 101” are primarily intended for independent hobbyists, costume club members and independent prop makers.

While a very important aspect of costuming & cosplay is learning the crafts involved in making costumes (which we discuss), it also involves delving into the complex web of social interactions that develop & evolve as you embark on your own personal journey into the costuming & cosplay hobby. The complex web of social interactions that we discuss include the whether joining a particular costume club is right for you, potential risk for unwanted drama & conflict, what goes on in costume clubs, and other potential risks in the form of cosplay bullying, pictures of yourself appearing on inappropriate websites or social media groups, and a host of other topics.

As with any hobby, the intent for anyone who becomes a costumer or cosplayer is to have fun, and the keys to keeping the hobby as fun as possible for yourself include avoiding potential conflict & drama as much as possible. Unfortunately, some things will always be outside of your control: if you aren’t aware of their existence, they can sneak up and become quite upsetting when they manifest. We hope to shed light on these often overlooked and hidden aspects of costuming & cosplay so that you can make personal decisions that help you to either avoid them or overcome them if they ever occur.