View Full Version : Original Costume-Established Character? Opinions

flying cabbit
04-14-2008, 02:39 PM
What is the general opinion of those who do their own "take" and do original costumes for existing characters.

Like a Yuuko outfit of your own design, or your own Konoha ninja?

04-14-2008, 03:08 PM
I prefer existing designs.

Mainly I prefer existing designs because an "original costume" is usually code for "I didn't want to put out the effort on the existing design so I half-assed a new version! I call it Skater/Raver/Casual/Hungover/Covered in Bees _________."

When original designs are well-made, attractive, and in-character, I can stop rolling my eyes and appreciate the hard work and imagination that went into it.

04-14-2008, 03:40 PM
I've found that if you do an existing character, there's plenty of room for unprofessional criticism:

"You missed that color." / "That isn't the right fabric." / "You know, when i made mine at *enter little con here*, I did it THIS way..."

I have made my share of existing characters that it's always nice to go out of the hegemonic order, one could say. I usually follow rules if I'm going to make an original character:

-No crossover cosplay (female Yagami Kira / L / Naruto / etc). It. Looks. TERRIBLE. I've done it once and I was barely satisfied.
-Be tasteful and have common sense.
-Don't be too complicated with the costume. If you're trying to do "Punk Gothic Sailor Moon Wedding Day", people may just look at you funny or laugh unless you include elements that everyone will understand. It's a hit to the self-esteem.

Oh, I once saw a fem Kakashi Meido-san. That was funny, but it worked. xD

04-14-2008, 03:48 PM
I think doing your own character is one of few ways to be creative and original in cosplay...no matter how hard u try to find an existing character that is rarely done,, somebody else has done it probably.

Original characters are also much more personal, but as stated above if u want to do an original character do it well

04-14-2008, 04:59 PM
I have to agree with Mangochutney on this.

Original outfits for pre-existing characters are very hard to pull off. Even if you put a lot of work into it it tends to give off the vibe of "Not only could I not be bothered to make the character's real outfit, I couldn't even be bothered to create an entirely new character with their own awesome outfit".

I think if you're going to the trouble of making an original outfit, why not just leave it at that? If you make, say, a gorgeous ball gown, it's best to go just as an original character rather than slapping a Yuna wig on it and saying you're Ball Gown Yuna or something. ^_^;;

04-14-2008, 05:03 PM
Sometimes I can't tell if someone is doing their own take on a character or if they're just really....really off on the design. ^-^;

But sometimes it's neat to see people do something new to a character, especially to cosplays are way overdone.

04-14-2008, 05:10 PM
I think it's creative. *shrugs* There are loads of doujinshi and/or fan art out there where people put the characters in other clothing then the norm and no one seems to have issues with that.

04-14-2008, 05:30 PM
I would look on it as being creative rather than someone being lazy about either creating an orginal character for the design or creating an actual replica of whatever the character really wears. (My only exception to this is when someone does of female version of a male character. I've seen to many of them for it to be unique anymore.)I've done an Original Design Ancient Egyptain version of Ryou Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh to wear when my friend does a doujinshi Egypt version of Yugi and never had someone tell me I have the character's outfit wrong. I did keep to the color scheme of his Battle City outfit though so maybe that has something to do with it.

04-14-2008, 05:36 PM
I think it can be quite nice to see someone really putting effort in making an entirely new costume for an existing character. Wouldn't do it myself though 0.o
What I find interesting, is not just making the original outfit, but err adding some spice to it. Like putting extra ribbons on to it, or using fabrics with pretty paterns instead of the dull monocolor fabric the character wears. I believe quite some cosplayers do this already ^^

04-14-2008, 05:44 PM
I think you should do whatever you want, but have common sense. Don't do a emo Goku, Goku will never be emo. Also, try to do something thats not too random, like a high school girl Sasuke, WTH. Sometimes, if it makes sense, go for it!

My twin is doing a Wind Waker style wolf Link, but it make since 1) WW and TP Link are from the same series 2) Link already turned into a Wolf in one game 3) Everyone likes Wind Waker. Now, a gothic style Wind Waker Link will look stupid, I am sorry.

Again, common sense and nothing too random.

04-14-2008, 08:50 PM
Any costume, done well, made beautifully, will catch my eye...if it's an original concept design on an existing character, I may linger more or less depending on whether I give a crap about that character or series, but I will still appreciate a lovely, well-made, well-thought-out costume. I have to say, I have seen some very nice, creative kimono Naruto characters that I couldn't call bad even if I don't like Naruto. As an example.

But it ties in with other people. Halfassed and low-key, low-qual, does not impress. It just makes people think you didn't put the effort into even trying to make the REAL outfit. It's sort of worse when you know the character's default outfit is really complicated and someone comes out with a much simpler, completely unrelated costume and says they're the same guy but original. Sorry, don't buy it. So..."original" is a big category encompassing a lot of ideas. Some good, some bad. That's why you'll get most people saying, "well, SOMETIMES it's okay..."

04-15-2008, 12:33 AM
Mainly I prefer existing designs because an "original costume" is usually code for "I didn't want to put out the effort on the existing design so I half-assed a new version! I call it Skater/Raver/Casual/Hungover/Covered in Bees _________."

I can't imagine that being anything other than hilariously awesome.

04-15-2008, 12:50 AM
Basically, what Mangochutney said. I think that it can be good, and really interesting and awesome, but only if a lot of effort is put into the costumes. It needs to look good and still have all the basic character attributes +100% accuracy. Sometimes people use "original designs" for pre-existing characters as an excuse to closet cosplay because they don't want to do an existing cosplay. Inevitably, they end up looking like crap. It's all common sense, if it looks good, or sometimes if it is logical for the character to wear, I think it's okay.

Me and my SO plan to cosplay in traditional, fully accurate and properly decorated kimono. It will be "festival style" Konoha wear for Kurenai and Asuma. Obviously, some people are probably going to think we're lame and just being lazy, even though we already have normal costumes for the characters and just want to do something different with them that involves traditional culture. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

04-15-2008, 01:03 AM
Do it well. Or do it really, really weird. :)

I always only do my own original characters. Even if I do something generic like a wench I still have my characteristics. So I have finally got all the pieces and I'm doing my own original Alice.

And from all the criteria expressed here it seems it will just be terribly, terribly wrong. Oh I can just hardly wait to show it off.

MuAlice in weirderland

Fluorescent blue hair, eye shadow, and lipstick. Check.
Cheap, sexy Alice costume on the net. Check.
White tights. check.
Blue fishnets. Check.
Boots of doom. 5 inch black vinyl thigh highs. Check.


I think that about covers it.


04-15-2008, 03:12 AM
I think opinions will always differ on this topic - what's important, though, is that you are comfortable with the costume you're making and wearing. Of course, most of the time the opinion of others do matter, though, so there I can only second what has been said - it's hard to do and people might not get it, but if done well it can be great. Personally, I'm not much for original designs unless it's an original character, as part of the challenge for me is to re-create something already existing and doing it as well as possible. It's a bit like reverse design. *g* But, each to his own! ;)

04-15-2008, 08:25 AM
i took sasuke from naruto
and made him into sexy no jutsu sasuke
so i basically made a boy into a girl :]

04-15-2008, 02:20 PM
It all just depends too - If it's well done, then sure.

I think the only problem with that is that not many people might recgnonize you at a con. Such folks might think "Hey! Is that Yuuko..? Or is it? I don't know...um, hair looks like her but the costume is different" So it might cut off a little bit of attention or recgnonition. OR some people might confuse you for another character lol I know I read about that alot on convention stories.

As everyone said before, if it's done well and creative..and you add some new ideas to an existing outfit, it can work. But something that's completely different or, done not that great, might knock you off the beam.

Raiji Magiwind
04-15-2008, 02:44 PM
I'm more likely to go for a character whos in teh original more well known piece there in, unless I know the design is alternative design based out of a official series artbook, then I may impressed, since you decided to take the time to show what could have been for that character, if the creator would not have chose the design that became the final design.

Of course you have to make sure you commit to accuracy, because if you don't folks are just gonna be...Oo?!

Now if the character is something that you don't have a base design to call on, IE: Link's fairy, Navi from the LoZ series, then I could say ok to a personal interpertation of the costume, but still don't just be a closet cosplay. Be creative and take ideas from others who did the character, mix some of your own, or even ask people for ideas on the design. Basically give it somethign to make people go 'wait, is that person doing '.......' from so and so series....'
or 'oh wow, somebody decided to give so and so character a face, lets go check it out. taking on some of the characters quirks nad traits will help people figure out who you are too.

04-15-2008, 02:49 PM
As long as people cosplay ^^It's great that people cosplay at all, and I'm happy about that no mather what crazy version they do, or if it's considered crap or great. Attentionvise, a great costume - original or not gets mine and my cameras attention, while not as well done costumes won't get the same attention from me, but I think it's still great that people cosplay at all ^^

but then, I will look twice at an already existing awsome made character than a original awsome made one - just because I'm familiar with the existing one.

04-15-2008, 09:32 PM
Mainly I prefer existing designs because an "original costume" is usually code for "I didn't want to put out the effort on the existing design so I half-assed a new version! I call it Skater/Raver/Casual/Hungover/Covered in Bees _________."

If that wasn't an Eddie Izzard reference, I will incredibly depressed.

As for me, I like original designs for established characters if they make sense or look like a good amount of thought/effort went into them. F'rinstance, I think it'd be neat to see a bunch of the Bleach shinigami in clothes they'd wear in gigai. But, hey, if you want to throw Naruto into a SCUBA suit, who am I to stop you?

I just get sick of them when they're half-assed or obvious fan-bait (the lol-KH-guys-in-schoolgirl outfits spring to mind).

04-15-2008, 09:37 PM
I prefer existing designs.

Mainly I prefer existing designs because an "original costume" is usually code for "I didn't want to put out the effort on the existing design so I half-assed a new version! I call it Skater/Raver/Casual/Hungover/Covered in Bees _________."

This, lawl.
But if someone takes the time to make an original outfit that actually matches the character and their personality, I guess it's not bad.