How to Pick a Character to Cosplay

by Stephen

Deciding what character to dress up as is something cosplayers constantly agonize over. There are so many characters in sci-fi, comics, and video game characters that we want to be that it often feels overwhelming to narrow it down to just one at a time. If you’ve felt similarly, follow these 5 steps to help you pick out a character to cosplay

  1. Make a list: List all the characters that you would love to have a costume for, regardless of size, gender, or species. Everyone from Darkwing Duck to Nagini to the Rocketeer make it on this list. This list should NOT be practical and should simply contain all the characters you enjoy. Think of it as your wish list.
  2. Prioritization: Narrow down that list. Rank all your ideas. You can highlight your favorite characters or cross off your least favorites. It doesn’t matter. The purpose of this step is to narrow down your options.
    • Things to Consider: 
      • Time Constraint: how long do you have to make or assemble the costume?
      • Budget: will this costume cost more to make than you want to spend?
      • Location: where will you be wearing this costume? Will you be able to wear it and walk around in a crowd? 
      • Group: are you planning to ask any friends to dress in coordinating costumes in order to make it a group event? 
** Don’t limit yourself to your skill level. It’s good to push ourselves to make things that are challenging. Going out of our comfort zones is how we learn new skills.**
  1. Cool Factor: Now that your list has been condensed to your top options, it’s time to think about what will look the coolest. Personally, I like to pick unique or “different” characters, so I often eliminate mainstream options. Basically, you want to pick the few options that will make you feel cool! Cosplay is about confidence and you will feel confident if you feel cool.
  2. Instinct: At this point, you should have two or three remaining options now, so go with your gut! Don’t rule out the remaining choices; keep them as backup ideas and/or future projects. So pick one and get started!
  3. Get to Work: Finally, get to work on assembling or creating your costume even if you aren’t 100% sure on your top option. If you debate forever, you’ll never end up doing any of them. At some point, we all just need to pick one and get working!

And there you have it – how to decide what character you want to cosplay. I constantly use these 5 steps to decide on my cosplays, so I hope they will also help you to focus and narrow down your options. Good luck and have fun!


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