3-3. Breaking down a Costume

To help you with time and budget management, it’s a good idea to break your costume down into separate pieces. It’ll give you a sense of how much work actually needs to be done.


Main garments – these are the articles of clothing that make up the costume. They’re usually going to be made of fabric. Examples: shirt, tunic, vest, coat, pants, skirt, dress.

Under garments – These are important to keep your costumes clean (undershirts, chemise) and also serve as the foundation for the rest of your costume. Examples: undershirt, bloomer, shape wear, chemise, tights, leggings, corsets.

Footwear – whether you choose to buy, modify, or make your shoes, make sure to account for footwear when budgeting your time and money. It’s also crucial to make sure that you take comfort into consideration.

Head Gear and Accessories

Head gear – hats, headbands you name it! Take note of any pieces that you’ll put on your head whether they’ll be sewn into a wig or just popped on over your hair. Examples: hat, head band, combs, clips, head dress, tiara, bead strings

Accessories – Costumes often have lots of accessories, even the ones that you don’t notice at first glance. These can take a while to assemble or make.Examples: jewelry, watches, arm bands, gloves, anklets, knuckles, leg wraps, handkerchiefs

Wig and Makeup

Wig – If you’re like me, then your natural hair just won’t cut it and you’ll want a wig. When accounting for your wig, look to see if you’ll need extra hair pieces to make it work. Examples: basic wig, clip-in pony-tails, additional wefts (for ahoge or other bigs)

Make up – This also goes beyond foundation/eye shadow/blush/mascara. Many cosplays have tattos/markings, different skin colors (blue, gray, green), and pointed ears/horns.


Props – Although not necessary, a good prop can balance a cosplay. Examples: weapons, bags, staffs/wands, furry familiars

Example: Kite from .hack//Games


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