Building a cosplay

If you have never actually cosplayed or bounded, getting started can be daunting.  However, I’m here to help!  I have come up with a method of creating your cosplays (for the sake of simplicity, I am going to call everything in this article “cosplay”, whether it is a cosplay, a bound or a mash-up.  I call it the “Team Build”.

To say you are constructing or building a cosplay is remarkably accurate.  Even if you aren’t getting out a glue gun or blow torch, you are still constructing.  Every cosplay has building blocks that, when put together, make a complete look.  The Team Build is organized so that when you put together each piece, or “member” or your team, you’ll have a completed cosplay.  So, let’s get building!

I’m going to actually construct a dapper Star Lord as an example.  I will break it down into team members and then at the end, you will have a complete super-hero team in one cosplay.

Team Member 1: The Leader

Every super character has that one thing that makes it, it.  Examples are Captain America’s shield, Iron Man’s arc reactor, Batman’s cowl, you get the picture.  What is that one thing you need to let everyone know who you are cosplaying?

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For my dapper Star Lord bound, I began with his jacket.  When building a screen accurate cosplay, I would begin with his Walkman.  Now, because this is a bound and a dapper one at that, I took the burgundy leather jacket piece and made it a burgundy shrug instead.  Get your own on Amazon by clicking this link.

Team Member 2: The Brick

This team member provides the muscle, the foundation.  This is your main piece of clothing in the cosplay.  This is the bat suit.  This piece will be doing your heavy lifting.  For my cosplay, I needed something dapper, so a dress.  A 50s style dress to be exact.  Now, think of your character, what color/style do you need?  For me, a blue pin-up style dress was key.  Get your own on Amazon with this link.  Blue to mimick his blue shirt.  It will go with the burgundy shrug nicely to give me a Star Lordesque look.

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Team Member 3: The Scientist

This team member is all about being smart about your cosplay, specifically self-care.  Let’s start with shoes.  What footwear does your hero wear?  How can you adapt that to a being-on-your-feet-all-day scenario?  Since I was dapper bounding, I went with a sneaker.  I adapted them to look like saddle shoes (I will give you all the details in a later post so you can make your own.).  Does your cosplay present any other physical challenges?  How can you adapt them to make it workable? Do you require any safety equipment?  Make sure you adapt that into the cosplay!

Team Member 4: The Exotic

Literally where the magic will happen.  Your exotic pieces will bring the cosplay to life.  These are your accessories and props.  Besides you Team Leader, are there other accessories that your character is known for?  How can you incorporate them into your cosplay?  If you are Iron Man bounding, instead of a full-size arc reactor, what about an arc reactor necklace?  Doctor Strange bound, a burgundy long cardigan instead of a cloak.  For my Star Lord bound, this was getting orange stud earrings for his head phones and a cassette tape necklace.  I also added in a couple of Star Lord bracelets.  All are available on Amazon.  The shades are also available on Amazon.  Just click the links above.

 

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Team Member 5: The Blaster

This is your hair and make-up.  Do you need a wig?  If not, how can you color/style your hair to emulate your hero?  How about make-up?  Is there something that your character is known for here, such as a certain color lip or certain color eye shadow?  For dapper and pin-up, best to go with a red lip, which is what I did.  I wear Revlon’s “Love Is On”, which is available on Amazon here.

So, that’s it in five steps!  You’ve built your superhero team, your cosplay!  Congratulations!  Attached is a checklist you can print and make notes on for your own team ups!  Click below to download and print to your heart’s content!

Click here for your own Checklist!

Happy Building!

Love, Kim and Scout

A Story of Fire and Ice

No, not THAT one! This is a story about a tube of lipstick and how it is a connection to the happiest and most influential time in my childhood.

When I was a girl, I was fortunate enough to have Doris Fulford as my Grandmother. Doris wore Revlon’s Fire and Ice lipstick exclusively.  Click here to get your own tube on Amazon!

Photo: Vintage Ad by Revlon

As you can see from the picture, Fire and Ice is a fantastic red lipstick that has been a Revlon staple since the 50s. Everyone should have a go-to red lipstick. Doris taught me that.

I got to borrow her lipstick and compact. When we were at home only, of course. I mean, a little girl wearing a red lip out in public “just wouldn’t do”. I felt pretty. I felt glamourous, just like her.

Doris had beautiful framed, top-clasp handbags all with matching shoes, which I would put on my tiny feet and shuffle around the house. Doris had hankerchiefs and hats. Doris wore gloves to church on Sundays. Doris had a group of friends with names like, “Madge” (her best friend’s actual name, by the way). They went to church, played bridge and went to the beauty shop together.

I drank all this in like a sponge. Just being around these ladies made me feel so glamourous! I was fussed over, but ignored just enough that I could employ my Dian Fosseyesque skills and observe and study. The Southern lady in her natural habitat…OBSERVE!

I got to wear dresses and spend time with them at the beauty shop. I was indulged and allowed to sit under one of those industrial size hair dryers that probably picked up signals from Sputnik. Cool air, of course, with a “Redbook” magazine to flip through with a very serious expression on my face. I mean, “Redbook” was serious business. So glamourous!

Which brings me back to the tube of lipstick. I carry it with me everywhere. Whether I go with a red lip that day or not. It reminds me of Doris, the bags with matching shoes, large hairdryers and the glamourousness it all entailed.

We all lost Doris in the early 80s, unfortunately. The example she set, however, was not lost. I grew up and fashion and beauty remained a huge part of my life. My kid and I started cosplaying, and then started a nerd fashion blog together.

I’d like to think that Doris would be proud of me and what I’ve accomplished. I couldn’t have done it without her.

Love, Kim and Scout

Outfit of the Day: 50s Dress by Steady

Our next outfit of the day is by Steady.

This dress is a lucky find at the Dapper Day Expo last month.

Steady Clothing has a great selection of items, and they are size inclusive!

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I love the fit of this dress, not to mention the print.  Who doesn’t love 50s spaceships and robots?!

I added the black belt myself, but I was thinking a bright color belt would be great to add a pop of color if you have one.

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Clothing companies like Steady make it easy to incorporate dapper into everyday.  Happy shopping!

Love, Kim and Scout