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Unread 10-10-2012, 11:21 PM   #1
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Thrifty Costume Examples

I'm doing a thrifty cosplay panel at a convention, and would like to get some examples of cosplays made from thrifted fabric or altered clothing along with approximate price. I would need these by this weekend if you can help out! You would of course be credited!
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Unread 10-11-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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Okay, here's a costume I made for roughly 15 Euro: Dinah Wherever from Bizenghast. This is just a skirt and a tip sewn together to make a dress, and a shirt turned into an apron.
Interested in commissioning a costume or accessory from me? Go to my Facebook page for more information

Alternatively, order an accessory or some clothing from my Etsy store.

Etsy Deviantart Blog

Currently Working On:
Female Titan (touch ups);
Daenerys (Game of Thrones), Hannah Alexander's Art Nouveau Sailor Moon (long term project), Marianne (Brotherhood of the Wolf)
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Unread 10-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
Sarah Charade
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- I try to keep thrifted costumes between $20-$40 MAX budget
- Not everything has to be purchased from a thrift store. Digging items and parts out of your own closet, someone else's closet, the basement, attic, etc for free also counts as thrifting
- It takes time. You can't get everything you want on short notice, you have to have the time to return to the store several times after stock delivery, or travel to many stores, and be patient
- Spend time regularly at flea markets, even when you don't have a costume in mind

Here's a pic of the genderbent Black Widow costume my bf made for about $30 overall: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7126/7...d24d03bf_b.jpg
- combination of thrift store clothes we altered, borrowed boots, old toy guns, and cheaply made holsters and straps
Sector 6 Laboratories

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Unread 10-11-2012, 11:25 AM   #4
Lithium Flower
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Pretty much every costume I have has been made using clothing I happened to have already or getting creative with using store-bought items. As such I usually end up doing a less than accurate, but still visually pleasing, variant of the character.

Corset: Lingerie department of a department store (since scrapped, the boning was cheap plastic and I was unaware of what a proper corset should be constructed from)
Skirt: Hot Topic bought, it's a 3rd party seller however.
Stockings: Hot Topic
Boots: Had since high school
Blouse: Jcpenny Jr.dept
The wig was purchased online

I'd say the total cost without the wig was probably around $50-60, the skirt was the most costly piece. The wig was probably around $35+ shipping.

Motoko Kusanagi
Jacket: Bebe, purchased some years prior but never worn.
Bodysuit: A bodyshaper from the department store
Cargo Pants: Walmart
Boots:Owned prior
Gun: NERF squirt gun I spray painted black
Hat:Owned prior
Gloves: Hot Topic
Wig: A friend gave it to me!
There's also a watch under my glove that you can't even see..but I owned it prior.

Total cost was probably around...$40-60. I saved a lot of money being that I had the leather jacket prior to the cosplay, the leather jacket was probably a good $80+ at BEBE many years ago. The bodyshaper and cargo pants where both inexpensive and I saved oodles on a wig from a very good friend donating it to me. She's just incredibly kind.

I'd say the total if I had to pay for the jacket and wig would have been closer to $100-135.
Iíll tell you what people look like, really: they look like flames. Or like the stars, on a clear night in the wilderness.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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Do partially-thrifted costumes count? I saved a bunch of money on my and my younger brother's costumes last month. In this photo, I'm in the Katara costume on the far right, and he's in the "Bolin" costume right next to me. http://www.cosplay.com/gallery/a320575/

Katara: I made the robe myself, but aside from that:
- the pants were a $5 find at a thrift store, and I altered them slightly
- the shoes were already owned by me. They were darker than the characters shoes, but they had the right shape, as well as a neat swirl-graphic on the top that was reminiscent of water, which fans of the character took notice of, and loved!
- instead of buying her water pouch, I knew I needed a bag to carry things at the con anyway so I used a purse that was the right shade of brown, as well as the perfect shoulder strap. People knew right away that it represented her water pouch I don't know how much the bag cost as it was a gift from years ago.
The entire costume, minus what was preowned, only cost me about $30.

Bolin- bought the jacket online ($60) due to time constraints
- the undershirt was a turtleneck that was too small for him. I cut it up and trimmed it with scrap fabric to make an oriental neckline.
- the pants were the bottom of his old karate gi that were also too small for him. I altered them to look like knickerbockers.
- the spats were simply an old pair of thigh-high socks I altered.
- the shoes were pre owned.
- the sash was made from scrap fabric
Aside from the shoes, this would have cost about $130-$150 if it was all purchased new. By altering pre-owned items, my only actual expense was the $60 jacket.

I hope that helps!
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Unread 10-11-2012, 01:00 PM   #6
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My Fem!Shizuo Heiwajima cosplay was made entirely of clothes either from thrift stores or eBay.

Wig: eBay ~ $15
Vest: eBay ~ $10
Heels: Thrift Store ~ $5.00
Skirt: Thrift Store ~ $2.98
Bowtie: eBay ~ $1.08
Shirt: Thrift Store ~ .99Ę
Sunglasses: A gift
Pantyhose: Already owned them

Approx. overall cost ~ $35.05
(A new record for me! XD)
Cosplays in Progress:
~Dean Winchester (Supernatural)
~Bloody!Kevin (Welcome to Night Vale)
~LoveMeUniform!Kyoko Mogami (Skip Beat)

Last edited by sugarpunch18 : 10-11-2012 at 01:03 PM.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 01:31 PM   #7
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Lucy from Elfen Lied cost about 30 dollars.

White t-shirt cut up. -$5
Teal Shorts-$5
Horns were $10
Wig-$10 at a Halloween Store
Future Cosplays
Queen Victoria (Black Butler)]

Future Cons
Daisho-Con 2016 [All Days]
Con-Alt-Delete 2016 [All Days]
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Unread 10-11-2012, 01:40 PM   #8
Master Derper
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Riku - Kingdom Hearts II

White vest - 20 cents ~ Goodwill
Yellow fabric sewn onto vest - $5 ~ Jo-Ann's
Black vest that was altered - $6 ~ Target
Pants - $2 ~ Goodwill
Fabric for pants pockets - $4 ~ Jo-Ann's
Black and grey paint for altering shoes - $4

Approximate cost: $21.20
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Chloe - Noir (50% complete)
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Unread 10-11-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
I Am Not Sephiroth
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<- my icon is a thrift store cosplay. Jacket, pants, and shirt where from goodwill for less then 20$. The wig was bought from taobao and the tie was 2$ on sale on eBay.

Also, my Shuu cosplay was bought in the same way. Why make what I can buy when I'm not competing after all...especially for simple suit type cosplays.
Shuu cosplay: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3274622/
Working on: Thorin Oakenshield - The Hobbit, Jon Snow - GoT, Deathstroke - Teen Titans
Events: Hoku Kon 15, Amazing Hawaii Comic Con, Hawaii Amine Matsuri
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Last edited by Ineedaname9 : 10-11-2012 at 03:10 PM.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 03:47 PM   #10
Gohan Som
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I don't know if these count but here are some.

Solid Snake- Cardboard box: Free if you know where to go.

Gonard (kappa mikey):
-Navy blue hoodie from simple store 7$
-Green shorts from zellers $14
-Blue spray on hair dye 3 cans $9
Being Gonard for a day: priceless

-Blue and orange t shirts from Walmart $5 each
-Black and white paint $1 each
Not sure where to get pants though
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Unread 10-11-2012, 04:17 PM   #11
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I think my Ginko cosplay was relatively cheap to put together.

  • Wig: $30
  • Backpack straps: $4 (2 leather belts from a thrift store)
  • Cardboard for backpack prop: $0 (I already had it lying around)
  • Acrylic paint for backpack "wood" texture: $5 (from a craft store)
  • Pants: $0 (jeans I already owned)
  • Linen Shirt: $30 (this was a brand-name linen shirt from a thrift store that had the colour and texture I wanted)
  • Shoes: $10 (from a thrift store)

My total came to ~ $80 but with cheaper alternatives (such as a cheaper shirt), you could probably cut that cost in half.

Last edited by Pasiphilo : 10-11-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: more info added
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Unread 10-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #12
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I made Tsukasa's boots from old plush slippers I found at Salvation Army.
Cosplay page - LINK
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Unread 10-11-2012, 06:37 PM   #13
Phuriously Khorrupt Lily
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Pretty much all my costumes end up on the thrifty side, since I'm sort of broke.

My Soul costume (http://www.cosplay.com/costume/432729/) was actually very cheap.
Suit: $6 Men's '30s Gangster costume from Walmart (Bought post-Halloween XD)
Shirt: $4, red felt
Headband: $10 or so; it's a dyed sock safety-pinned closed in the back and the patches are just painted felt
Wig: $9, white felt
Teeth: $6, sharpened fake nails and denture glue
Lenses: $25, Pinky Paradise

So in total, $60. And a lot of cosplayers don't even use lenses, so sans the lenses, it's about $35.

Ryoga Hibiki (http://www.cosplay.com/costume/432733/) was even cheaper...

Hair: $3, not a wig, just heavily teased and sprayed with black hairspray
Headband: $1.50, yellow bandana from Hobby Lobby with black triangles painted on it
Shirt: $5, yellow t-shirt from Walmart with slits cut in the sides and the front
Belt: $3, black knee-high sock
Pants: $10, men's sweatpants
Leg ties: $2, yellow yarn crocheted into chains
Shoes: $8, Tom's knockoffs from an accessory store

Aaaand for Ryoga, $32.50.

(The overall lesson being that nothing is more useful to a cheap cosplayer than knee-high socks...)
~Finished costumes:
*Kefka Palazzo - Final Fantasy VI (Being repaired.)
*Kankuro - Naruto
*Ryoga Hibiki - Ranma 1/2
*Soul Eater Evans - Soul Eater
*Antonio Salieri - Mozart L'Opera Rock
*Rapunzel - Tangled

~Upcoming costumes:
*Miss Martian - Young Justice - 70%
*Monkey D. Luffy - One Piece - 60%
*Kotetsu T. Kaburagi - Tiger & Bunny - 40%
*Ryuk - Death Note - 30%
*Toph Bei Fong - Avatar: The Last Airbender - 5%
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