If you’re a true fan of any pop culture genre – movies, television, scifi, anime, cartoons or gaming – going to a convention is simply a must-do activity. Conventions bring together fans of all ages and affinities, create lasting friendships with other fans and give a creative outlet for artistic endeavors no matter what your preference. And it’s easier than ever to attend a convention without breaking the bank. There are popular large fan conventions in cities across the United States, including Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta comic cons.
If you want the most fun experience attending a con, go in costume. While costuming (known as ‘cosplay’ among fans) can be more difficult and time-consuming than just throwing on a T-shirt with a Superman logo on it, it’s infinitely more rewarding and even opens up aspects of the convention you can’t experience otherwise.
Here are some tips for first-time cosplayers going to a convention.
Cool Costumes are Cool
When choosing a costume, keep in mind that you’ll be in this outfit for hours or a full day. It should be relatively comfortable if you’re going to enjoy your con experience. Try to avoid costumes with multiple layers of fabric, robes or cloaks and enclosed helmets. Convention floors get very crowded and quite warm. Once you’ve created your costume, try it on and move around – including sitting and navigating obstacles – to determine how comfortable it is.
Try a Group Theme
Even if it’s just you and your partner or a couple of friends, choosing a costume theme makes dressing up more fun and noticeable. Try dressing up as all the Sailor Soldiers or several members of the Justice League. Have a child or baby? Make a simple themed costume for him or her to ramp up the cuteness factor.
Stand Out from the Crowd
If you want to get attention and have people take photos of your awesome costume, you’ll need to stand out from the masses. There are a few ways to do this, depending on your interests. One is to choose a very specific or lesser-known character rather than a generic one. Instead of dressing as a stormtrooper, dress as the Emperor, for example.
Another way to stand out is to warp a traditional costume or character and blend it with something else. This fun ‘mash-up’ makes even a well-worn costume choice stand out. Turn your costume into a Victorian variation known as ‘steampunk’ or mix two different genre characters like Boba Fett and Wolverine into one fun, unique costume.
Whatever costume you choose to make or buy for your convention experience, you’ll get to see a whole different side of things than you would have seen otherwise. Costumes encourage interaction, conversation with fellow fans and a sense that you’re having fun with the whole thing. Whether it’s simple or complex, a costume will forever change your fan experience.