Costumes & cosplay, Video Gaming Merchandise

Video Game Costume Ideas

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If you are a geek and have been around the internet for a while, I think that you might be familiar with the term ‘cosplay’. For those of you who are lost, cosplay means ‘costume play’, where people portray their favorite characters from movies, games, tv shows, comics, etc. Cosplayers usually don’t just walk around every day like that but instead choose conventions of all kinds to show their love and geekery.

If you’re interested in starting up a cosplay of your own, there are a few questions to be asked before you jump right in:

  • Who is your character?
  • Is their costume complicated?
  • Do you want to make the costume from scratch?
  • If not, do you want to buy a premade costume?
  • Or do you want to commission someone to make a costume fit for you?
  • What is your budget?

Choosing a character

Do you want to cosplay Mario? Go ahead! Do you want to feel badass in a Bloodborne cosplay? Do it! Do you want to be a simple Tetris block? Awesome! When it comes to cosplay, imagination knows no limits! No matter your gender, size or age, cosplay is for anyone and everyone to enjoy and have fun.

If this is your first time, pick a few characters to start with. Now look at each one individually, working out the intricate details of their clothes and accessories. Of course your cosplay does not need to be complicated and done to the minute details as the original, but it would be good if your cosplay could be recognized at first sight.

Start from the head and go slowly down all the way to the toes, making note of all the character’s features, most notably the following:

  • hair color and style (would you need a wig?)
  • face make-up (if you want to cosplay Joker, that is a must ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), scars
  • face masks, helmets, hats, eye patches, bandanas, etc.
  • elf ears
  • earrings, piercings, tattoos
  • scarves
  • t-shirts, shirts, coats, jackets, hoodies, armor, bracers
  • trousers, shorts, skirts, dresses
  • belts
  • shoes – boots, heels, sandals, platforms
  • accessories – guns, bow, quiver with arrows, gun holsters, swords, shields


Do-it-yourself cosplay

Now that you have chosen your characters and listed all the items for each one, ask yourself how do you want your cosplay to come to life. Do you feel brave and want to get involved hands-on with it, starting from drafting a pattern and then sewing it? If so, that’s great! You don’t need to be an expert or anything – you will learn as you go. You WILL make mistakes but that’s okay, it’s part of the process. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re a beginner with sewing and costuming in general, you might want to choose the less complicated outfits, so you can cross out characters which would be too complicated for you. You can also cheat a little and maybe use some clothing that you already own and just alter them.

About a year and half ago I decided to start on a Connor cosplay from Assassin’s Creed 3. My first cosplay is certainly not an easy one to do (the thought of creating the coat from scratch still gives me anxiety) but I want to do it. If not only for the feeling of victory, that I can make anything when I put my mind to it.

At this point you want to see what budget you have and adjust accordingly.  Don’t forget to look into thrift shops, sometimes you can find gems for a fraction of the price and then adjust it if needed.

Pre-made cosplay

If the DIY route is not for you, nowadays there are a lot of pre-made costumes. They usually range between $90 – $300. Most of these don’t come with shoes though, so you will need to either look for a pair or use ones you already own.

I’d definitely recommend you to read reviews on each costume and if available, see the pictures of (un)happy buyers to give you a clear idea if that is what you want. Be careful when picking the size, definitely look into their size chart and measure yourself multiple times just to make sure.

Some costumes come with accessories such as bracers, swords and bows while some may not, so pay close attention to the description of the product. If there are no accessories, you should be able to purchase them separately.

Pre-made / DIY

You can combine the two options above. Whether it’s purchasing a sword or a part of a costume, this is the way many people go. I chose this option as well, opting to buy pants and accessories rather than making them from scratch.

Custom made cosplay

This is definitely the most expensive option on this list, reaching well into thousands of dollars. Yet at the same time, commissioning a professional to make your cosplay is worth the money for the quality that you receive. Your costume will be tailored just for you. If your budget allows this, then I’d definitely recommend getting in touch with a cosplay creator. Make sure to read reviews and look at their references, maybe even contact them to see if the creator is the right one for your needs.

Whichever option you choose to create your cosplay, the most important thing to bear in mind is that you have fun wearing it.

Let me know down in the comments if you have ever cosplayed and if not, would you like to try it? What character would you bring to life?

Photo of Lara Croft cosplayer ยฉ Leonardo Veras @ Flickr


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  1. Geeky Gamer Avatar
    June 28, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Hey Dana great article. I had no idea they made professional cosplay outfits! I think the DIY route is certainly the most fun although I have never done it before. I’m sure it would take a lot of time! What is your favorite cosplay costume that you have seen?

    • Dana
      June 29, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you, Matt! I have to say DIY route is very fun but also sometimes scary, especially when you are doing stuff for the first time. But practice makes perfect and I usually make prototypes first (like using scraps of fabric) before cutting into the real deal. ๐Ÿ™‚ There are *loads* of cosplay costumes that I totally loved. Being an Assassin’s Creed fan, I’m keeping my eye out for those costumes. But I have seen a really killer cosplay of Dorian Pavus from Dragon Age: Inquisition. It was absolutely flawless. I’ll have to see if I can find it and maybe make a post about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. June 28, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Hi, Dana. You are not alone, love! Lol I enjoyed your article because I am always talking about my favorite characters from shows and movies. Of course I’d have to pick one that stood for something (depending on my mood ) or one that just kicked butt! Does there have to be a special occasion to cos play? Lol The manner of dress worn today can cause one to assume everyday is cos play! Lol. Video games came out in my generation, so I think many of us are okay with the ‘geek’ reference. I was always in (fan-love) with Elvira! She was basically a vampire, but she was a fly vampire, her hair was gorgeous, her face beat, and that body….lol..For her to be one to fear…she was gorgeous! (IMO) Great Post!

    • Dana
      July 2, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Audra, thank you for your comment! Usually people wear cosplay to conventions (such as Comic Con, Anime Expo, etc.) but you can also use cosplay during Halloween or if you are attending a costume party.

      And Elvira! What a cool costume! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Geeky Gamer Avatar
    June 28, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Lol I am so going to cosplay a tetris block! I don’t know why, but it had never occurred to me to buy some of the outfit, and create the rest. Thanks, that’ll be a definite time and money saver. Awesome article btw.

    I have been meaning to cosplay a storm trooper for the upcoming star wars films, but the costumes are waaaaay out of my price range. Can you think of any possible way of creating that sort of attire?


    • Dana
      July 1, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Hi Ben, thank you for the comment! Combining the two approaches is definitely easier on the wallet than making everything from scratch.

      As for Strom Trooper armor, what I’d suggest is looking into EVA foam/craft foam. Cosplayers use it to create realistic looking armor and/or accessories. It can be molded while it’s heated (for example heat gun or hair dryer) and then painted, even to look like a true metal armor (or leather!). There is a nice tutorial here on how to use it:

      I also used craft foam while doing my own cosplay, I have a timelapse video on Youtube, you can check it out here:

      Let me know how you get on with the Storm Trooper! ๐Ÿ™‚


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