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Unread 02-09-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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What Takes a Costume to The Next Level??

There always seems to be certain costumes that seem to really stand out for whatever reason. Even with really popular costumes, something makes certain ones really stand out.

What do you think takes a cosplay or costume to the 'next level' and make it stand out?
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Unread 02-09-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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I think like all the minor details and fabric choice really helps make a cosplay look really nice. If the fabric works for the cosplay, it looks really nice compared to using another type of fabric that would not be used for that outfit. Then all the tiny details really help since it brings to cosplay to live in my opinion.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 01:07 PM   #3
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Patience and attention/care to detail. The willingness to take the time to make something come out right and putting in the effort it takes to work in the fine detail makes all the difference. It's about completing the entire effect and creating authenticity that takes a costume from beyond being just a costume into a true creation authentic to the source material.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 01:48 PM   #4
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Makeup, attention to detail, and knowing how to pose.

If you don't wear makeup, your outfit buries you. Cosplay, in my opinion, is about the person even more than it is the costume.

Attention to detail, whether it's making sure everything is exactly right or adding on your own little details and designs. The most important details are actually neat sewing lines, clean hems, and a good fit to your body. (not too tight or loose)

Knowing how to pose makes a HUGE difference in both convention settings and photoshoots. If you stand meekly in a corner, people won't notice your nice work, you have to get out there and strike a pose and be confident about it. Even if you do something dumb, people don't read it as dumb so long as you at least pretend to be confident. Knowing where to put your hands and tilt your head and show teeth or not is a big part of it.

Those are the things I notice most, at least, when comparing a great costume vs a costume that blows me away.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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Hmm, this may not be received too happily, but I'd say the looks of the cosplayer: how similar their appearance to the character (facial structure, height, figure) is/how attactive people perceive them to be etc.
That doesn't mean that I think something like that should be a requirement at all, though.

And of course also a certain devotion to the costume, details, posing, props and make up.

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Unread 02-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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The devil is in the details. The closer to screen accurate the costume is the more it stands out. Also I beklieve you have to own the character have his or her persona down pat.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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I agree. be your character. You may put on black bike shorts and a white t-shirt, but it your aren't jumping off the walls and rolling around on the floor, then you aren't Ed.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 03:04 PM   #8
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It depends on what you're cosplaying, for me.
Like for Homestuck, since a lot of the costumes are very simple, adding the extra details, or just up-ing the design is really great, like the Fancy Dreamers, or the Fancy Tiers!

But for anime, it's different. The more accurate you are with the costume, the better. The right shoes, the perfect wig, the contacts, the make up, they all make an anime cosplay eye catching.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 03:39 PM   #9
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Also another thing is how good your photographer is, and your photo locations. You can have an AMAZING costume, that is highly highly detailed, overly extravagant, and just all around perfect, but in a sea of photos, it's not really going to stand out if the pictures you're posting are taken with a crappy camera by someone who just picked up an average camera and snapped a picture in front of a crowd of people in a badly lit building.

However, even if your costume ISN'T overly detailed or extravagant (but still well made), if you do a photoshoot in a location that is perfect for your character, and your photographer is experienced, knows what they're doing, and does great editing to the photo, your picture will still stand out and look amazing.

It's not always just the costume that makes people stand out, there are a lot of other things that go into 'standing out from the rest'.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 05:01 PM   #10
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What everyone said is very true. The minute detailing can really make or break you. Also, just taking the time to finish everything properly can make a big difference. I've seen a lot of costumes that really attracted me at a distance, but then when I got up close they were still good, but I could tell the hem wasn't finished cleanly (like it wasn't rolled and you can see threads from the fabric fraying) or it wasn't pressed. I'm really nit picky about that kind of stuff because if you are going to take the time to make something really nice, you might as well go that final step and do the little things that can not only make it more presentable, but also make it last longer. Fraying seams will tear quickly and you will only get a wear or two out of it. Serged or French seams will last so much longer and make your costume appear of a better quality in the long run.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 06:21 PM   #11
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Good planning from the start makes a big difference: a costume with large details you can see from a distance and small, finicky stuff you can appreciate up-close will look more impressive and finished, so long as the costume itself is assembled with moderate skill (finished seams, competent fitting, et cetera).
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Unread 02-09-2013, 07:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mangochutney View Post
Good planning from the start makes a big difference: a costume with large details you can see from a distance and small, finicky stuff you can appreciate up-close will look more impressive and finished, so long as the costume itself is assembled with moderate skill (finished seams, competent fitting, et cetera).
This is so true. It's good to plan out everything you will need material-wise and everything you have to do to complete the costume. Without it, you could get halfway through before you realized you missed a vital point and now either have to tear everything apart or just forgo it and end up with something lacking a bit.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 10:01 PM   #13
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A good costume can be appreciated from across the room; a mind-blowing costume can be appreciated from less than six inches away.

Acting to me does not matter at all. Neither does having contacts, having certain props, or being lucky enough to have the facial structure of the actor who originally portrayed the character (for live-action replicas). Some of those things are personal preferences, some are dependent on budget, and the rest is dependent on the luck of your genetics, which isn't something you can control or has anything to do with your costume skill. It just means you have less work to do to make your costume stellar. Where the playing field is even is in terms of constructing the costume itself - everyone has the capacity to create and fit a costume to themselves, whether a novice or a master. If you want to go the extra yard, next level, whatever, you have to make sure your costume is impressive on close inspection and not just from a distance - proper fabric choices, proper fit, all the salient /accurate details, well-crafted. An amazing costume looks fabulous, and also makes YOU look fabulous.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 07:30 PM   #14
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Attention to detail. Fabric choice, wig color, shoes, a quality costume itself, and, something a lot of people forget, the facial expressions and poses for the character. Props can help too, though different ones will catch different peoples' attention, so it's more personal choice. (An example would be that while I like seeing Yoko's that have her gun, I absolutely LOVE seeing cosplayers with the goggles/glasses that she wears.) Try to be unique with your props, though- it makes you stand out from the rest!
Although, in my opinion, the one important thing to me is /passion/. You have to absolutely LOVE a character to want to pull out all the stops and make it the absolute best, and you can't do that for a character you don't like all that much. Plus, if you really love the character, it'll show on your face while you wear it, and make the effort you put in all the better.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 07:55 PM   #15
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The things that I notice are:

Oversized costumes
Full suit costumes
Costumes with working lights
Big gorgeous dresses
Underdone characters I know

Those are usually my "eye-catching" things.
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