Translating a costume design to fit you and your needs is challenging. No one I know even closely resembles the body shapes of characters found in anime, manga, video games, TV series or movies. And nearly all of the costumes I’ve run into have at least some degree of “how the ?!*@! does that work in real life???”
As cosplayers we try to make the impossible into reality. It’s tough, but it can be a little easier if you remember SCAB: Sensibility Comfort Aesthetic Body
Trying to match proportions exactly has merit, but be sensible.
Example: King’s spear (Seven Deadly Sins)
I’m 5’1″ – if I made King’s spear to scale, it would have been around 10′ from end to end. I opted to scale this down to 7′ so I could carry it. I also made the top part removable, so the longest part of the spear was around 6′.
Cosplay can be physically uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. And cosplay should NEVER be emotionally uncomfortable.
Example: Cleric from Disgaea 3
Emotional comfort: The Cleric design has a lot of cleavage and really long slits down the legs. I did not feel comfortable exposing that much skin, so I did away with the side slits and added more feathers to the front.
Physical comfort: Stupidest dress design ever to have ruffles that are sitting right on the floor. To make sure I could walk in this thing, I opted for a more mermaid silhouette.
Costume designs are often lacking in details, so take artistic license to flesh them out.
According to her fluff, Evergreen aspires to be fairy-like. As I am making the costume, I am looking to infuse little details that will make the costume feel more fairy-like, rather than just doing a straight interpretation. For example: I am making translucent fairy wings, rather than opaque, cape-like wings.
Work with the proportions of the costume and props to get the effect that you want when wearing the costume or carrying the prop. Work with your body’s shape and size – not against it.
Example: Emeraude from Magic Knight Rayearth
Emeraude is a tiny, little waif with no bust or hips to speak of. I am short, but not that short. I am also extremely full figured. Rather than follow Emeraude’s sleek, empire-waist silhouette, I moved the waist down to my natural waistline and made the skirt poofier to balance my bust and hips.
Just keep SCAB in mind – you don’t need to follow the designs exactly.