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Unread 11-17-2009, 11:45 PM   #1
ChatNoir
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A few questions/discussion topics regarding "closet" or "found items" cosplay.

I considered posting this in the newbies thread, but it's more of something I was curious about than a concern, and I'm not sure if I'm considered new anymore. Also I thought it could maybe generate some (polite) discussion?

Also, I did do a search on this topic, but didn't quite find what I was looking for, or else I wouldn't be posting.

1. What exactly constitutes a closet cosplay? Is it always necessarily things you already own?

2. If you buy pieces of clothing that look exactly like a character's, but aren't official costumes, and piece them together into the cosplay, is it still considered closet cosplay? If not, what is it considered?

For example, for an upcoming con I'm going as China from Axis Powers Hetalia. (ref: http://www.animaxis.com/images/produ...anga155453.jpg)
Specifically, his military outfit. For the costume, I was planning on buying a military uniform on Ebay (I found one that's the same color and style as his) and tweaking it with the little details, like the red armband and red on the collar. I'm going to find boots and a belt, use bandages around my legs/over the pants, and dye my hair the same color. I don't feel that this is the same as putting it together with the things I already own, and I'm still going for as hardcore accurate as I can get. I won't be competing, btw.

3. Do you think that people who find items in the way I just described (that are accurate to the character, not just resemble the ones a character wears) can be considered "creative" or at least deserve some credit? Not nearly as much credit as those who make their costumes, but some?

4. This is more out of curiosity than needing an actual answer: I think most can agree that making a costume yourself is the best method, but out of the alternatives, which do you personally prefer:
-From the closet cosplay
-Finding items that look identical to a character's costume
-Commissioning a costume
-Buying a pre-made costume online


I'm interested to see what people say to this. ^^
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Unread 11-18-2009, 12:14 AM   #2
_Kumi-chan_
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1. To me, it means the majority of the pieces are things you already own. Closet cosplay generally means not much effort was involved; effort includes searching for pre-made clothing that matches what you need for the character, so this is pretty much just "had it on hand, happened to work for the costume" cosplay. Doesn't mean it's not good, just not as hard as handmade.

2. I don't consider this closet cosplay, because effort is involved. You may not have made each piece, but you had to hunt it down. Thrift stores, ebay, retail...it all takes considerable time to find what you need. I personally call this "found items cosplay" if I need to differentiate, but generally it's just cosplay. If you can find a premade piece that is accurate, there's no need to make it from scratch. The more alterations you do, the more "you" is, because it's no longer straight off the rack.

Now, if it's just "kind of accurate", it's moving towards ghetto cosplay. Closet cosplay can be ghetto too, but not always. There's a balance between accuracy, quality, cost, and time/efficiency that needs to be maintained when you're buying pieces.

3. Certainly it can be creative. Especially if you're altering something: finding a new use for an old set of drapes, seeing the potential in a skirt that's the right style but wrong color and length, they all take creativity to see what you can make out of it. There's also the added challenge of staying sharp when you're hunting down items, more so in a thrift store. Things aren't always well-organized, and most you find are going to be one-of-a-kind, in a manner of speaking.

4. I prefer finding my items. I do use items from my closet (white dress shirt for school uniforms, for instance), but for anything that's normal Western-style clothes, I'll hit the thrift store and ebay first, and only make it if I can't find something in my size that works. As I said, though, alterations are often a neccessity.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 12:21 AM   #3
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I agree completely with Kumi-chan. ^_^ If you can find items that look like the character, then there is definitely no reason to go out of your way to make it yourself. Like Kumi-chan said, there is effort involved when hunting down these items and altering them. Plus, not everyone is good at sowing, and a lot don't even know how to at all. I personally barely know how to hand sow, it's a bit disheartening to see people scoff at other people who find items for cosplay when you can't make them yourself. There's usually always a reason for finding the pieces instead of making them yourself.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 01:12 AM   #4
PurpleDuckie
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This how I see it.... Closet cosplay is what you own already and just piece together out of your closet. It's the articles of clothing that are the closest you can get without looking outside your house. Usually these are really inaccurate cosplays or overly simple and not recognisable.

Pieced together cosplays, I don't think they have a term, are ones that you go to a store and buy pieces for. It's actueally trying to be accurate and spend some time and effort on the costume, while it may be lacking in a wig or some details the main idea is clear and usually the character is recognisable.

I definately see creativity in people finding existing clothes to form their costume, and definately deserve credit points. I think making is actueally easier because you can just make exactly what you need - when you buy you have to search for something as close as possible and think of ways to edit it!


and 4, in order:
piecing together or -> buying premade or commissioned or -> closet cosplay

I rather be the one to put effort into the outfit, so I can say "yeah, I did that!" but if it came down to closet cosplay or buying it premade I would go with premade ... closet cosplays just seem last minute and effortless, some can be good but most aren't
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Unread 11-18-2009, 10:01 AM   #5
Ion
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1. I've seen people's definitions differ with "what constitutes a closet cosplay". Some people think it's anything NOT commissioned or made by you like store bought pieces and stuff you own. I always assumed it was made up of things you own.

There's a rather negative stigma attached to the term, in my opinion, I think people have seen too many crappy closet cosplays to appreciate them. However for some characters, if you already own stuff that looks exactly like what he/she wears, why would you bother making the same thing by hand or going out to buy it again e.g. your character wears a black business suit, you happen to own one for when you do job interviews. Something like that.

2. In the USA, anything you personally did not create from your blood, sweat, tears, possibly selling off/promising a first-born, and hard labor seems to have a bit of a negative stigma attached to it to. I personally think this goes back to ideology and how this country was formed (by kickin' a$$ with colonists telling the mother country they were going indie, now, with force!) This country is very geared toward independence and is very Do-It-Yourself. Just look around the forums and you'll read stories about people getting sass for not making everything. (I personally appreciate people who can't make their costumes, they keep me in business!).

Honestly I don't think it matters whether you own it now or are going to buy it to piece things together. You bought all things at one point, did you not? Unless the person is buying with little regard to accuracy, it does take some effort to get the best items for their needs.

3. I think piecing together things you own, things you buy, things you make etc. while keeping an eye out for accuracy and not just slamming together random articles of clothing because they are the same color as what a character wears can be creative. I think it really depends on effort level.

4. It would depend greatly on what the character's costume was. Some costumes really do not have store-bought counterparts so there's no way you could own or buy pieces. If I didn't have time to make my costumes, I'd probably find identical pieces---> commission --->buy online---> then do a closet cosplay.

I don't own many exciting clothes so unless the character wore office clothes, jeans, and athletic clothes, I would be out of luck.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 12:23 PM   #6
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1. some people seem to have different meanings to it but in my opinion it is any cosplay you made from items that you bought that arnt official. (even if you alter them) this is both stuff you buy especially for the cosplay or stuff you allready own.

2. well, thats what i concider closet cosplay.

3.i think so, yes. if the cosplay can be altered easily or even just bought then theres no reason to make it.
for example, i bought the blue jumper for my luke cosplay. ill most likely buy the shorts too. no reason to make these items when i can find ones exactly like them in the store!!
i wont just go out and buy any item, ill look around for a item which is accurate.

4. all of them are fine. i really dont have a prefrence.
cosplay is cosplay, no matter where it comes from or what it is created from.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
Asmaria
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I agree with Ion too. I think I stopped calling things by closet cosplay some time ago since no matter what I cosplay, I've finally accumulated enough random crap around my house for the hobby that inevitably SOMETHING will already exist in my closet for one costume I do a year.

I figure, use what is effective, what you are proud of, and what you will have the most fun wearing.

The only time I ever advocate making a suit (ugh, just did that this weekend, NOT FUN) or a uniform is if you absolutely can't find what you are looking for on the store shelf or your own. Competitions may have strict rules, but that doesn't mean your entire hobby has to.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 01:14 PM   #8
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im not against it if your limited on time and money and you just so happen to find something that looks very similar such like a dress or such that looks excactly like your character, however admiting you do it every cosplay just shows that you either dont like buying costumes or you dont want to make your costume. but hey what ever works , works right? ^^
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Unread 11-18-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
Pocketfightr
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Kumi-chan stated my feelings pretty closely. I'd consider someone who already has a closet full of Hot Topic gear and just picks pieces that look like something Misa-Misa *might* wear to be closet cosplay. Or the Ls that already had a white shirt & jeans (not necessarily the proper style, just close enough) and left it at that.

My best friend's dad does an awesome Porco Rosso. He bought most of the pieces off of ebay because he wanted vintage WW2 stuff (cap, goggles, gloves, etc). I don't consider it closet since he was trying to go for stuff that exists that Porco would have worn had he been real. Out of our group, he's the one that gets the best reaction from con-goers.

4- out of those options, I'd also rather find the pieces. Commissioning/buying premade takes a bit of the pride out of it for me. I don't think anyone is less of a cosplayer for doing any of the others; not everyone can sew, has time or whatever. I just personally prefer to have my hand in as much of the creative process as possible for costumes I'm going to wear.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 04:12 PM   #10
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to me closet cosplay literally means just using things from your closet, and not putting much effort into searching for stuff.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
RaDragon76
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1. What exactly constitutes a closet cosplay? Is it always necessarily things you already own?

For me it's a cosplay where the items used are pulled out of someone's closet without any thought to accuracy. In other words, something that someone pulled out their closet and thought was "close enough" to what the character would wear.

2. If you buy pieces of clothing that look exactly like a character's, but aren't official costumes, and piece them together into the cosplay, is it still considered closet cosplay? If not, what is it considered?

I use the term "found cosplay" for that or sometimes "Found/Altered cosplay" if the items where not quite accurate enough to suit me and I had to do some altering to them to make them accurate.


3. Do you think that people who find items in the way I just described (that are accurate to the character, not just resemble the ones a character wears) can be considered "creative" or at least deserve some credit? Not nearly as much credit as those who make their costumes, but some?

I do think it is creative and that some credit should be given to those who do "Found or Found/Altered Cosplay". Like making a costume by hand, it can be done very well if the cosplayer cares to do so. It's not as easy as some people think it is to run about looking for 100% accurate pieces among retail stores, thrift shops or your own closet. I know there is a stigma against it because of all the half a$$ closet cosplays but I've seen and done some very accurate "Found/Altered Cosplays". Personally, if I know that's what I'm going to do for a costume I make it that much more accurate.

4. This is more out of curiosity than needing an actual answer: I think most can agree that making a costume yourself is the best method, but out of the alternatives, which do you personally prefer:

-Finding items that look identical to a character's costume
-Commissioning a costume

These two are my preference when not making my own. I really prefer though to make my own whenever possible.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 07:45 PM   #12
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1-3: why does it matter?

I mean. Of all things, nomenclature is the least...no, make that, the most unimportant thing to cosplay and costumes.

As for 4, I'm a commissioner, so you'll never see me do any of the other alternatives. I only buy shoes from thrift stores, I've had so little success finding accurate "found" wardrobe items that I just default to making it myself. These days, "close" isn't close enough for me, and aside from a plain button-down dress shirt, you just can't find dead-on accurate stuff anymore - there's too many seam, collar, and pocket details being drawn onto plain old shirts. Everything has to be modified so heavily that you may as well just make it from scratch.
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Unread 11-18-2009, 08:09 PM   #13
WilwarinAndamar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChatNoir View Post
1. What exactly constitutes a closet cosplay? Is it always necessarily things you already own?
I consider "closet cosplay" to be items you own or that can be easily found in a thrift/department store. Usually they don't require a lot of altering. I consider my steampunk outfit to me a closet cosplay, because everything I used was in my house already. The only things I really made were the vest and belt pouch, and I altered the shirt and hat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChatNoir View Post
2. If you buy pieces of clothing that look exactly like a character's, but aren't official costumes, and piece them together into the cosplay, is it still considered closet cosplay? If not, what is it considered?
I think so. I bought the vest and tie for my Yomiko Readman outfit at a thrift store, and I consider that a closet cosplay. Same goes for the skirt and jacket for my Satsuki Manshita (Ghost Stories) outfit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChatNoir View Post
3. Do you think that people who find items in the way I just described (that are accurate to the character, not just resemble the ones a character wears) can be considered "creative" or at least deserve some credit? Not nearly as much credit as those who make their costumes, but some?
Part of it depends on the personality. Take L from Death Note as an example. Two people have bought the exact same clothes from the same store. One takes time to style the hair, practice posing, and actually act as the character. The other just walks around normally. The one who acts in character is going to get more credit than the person who just goes about his business.

But to me, a closet cosplay can still be just as creative as any other cosplay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChatNoir View Post
4. This is more out of curiosity than needing an actual answer: I think most can agree that making a costume yourself is the best method, but out of the alternatives, which do you personally prefer:
-From the closet cosplay
-Finding items that look identical to a character's costume
-Commissioning a costume
-Buying a pre-made costume online
I prefer the first two. I consider closet cosplay and found-item cosplay to fall on the same plane. What makes the difference is the amount of work put into it.
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