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Unread 10-12-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
Jia Jem
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Is it rude to ask someone if they made their cosplay?

Is it rude to ask someone if they made their cosplay? Does it put them on the spot? I never would have thought it was rude to ask, but since commissions and pre-made costumes have skyrocketed the past decade, it would be interesting to hear what the new "proper manners" are regarding this.

For reference, I started cosplaying almost 10 years ago, when it was pretty much guaranteed that the wearer made their own costume, so there was no point asking. (And if they didn't, they frequently lied.) Now that it is more common to buy a premade costume, is it impolite to ask?

Has anyone been offended if they've been asked whether or not they made their costume? Why or why not? I've been asked if I bought my costume, and I take it as a compliment (since I always make mine). But what if you didn't make yours? Is it awkward to say you bought it? Do you think it's rude to even ask? Stories?
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Unread 10-12-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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Well, I buy my cosplays, but this actually sparked my interest, so I asked my friend, who now sews her own costumes (but occasionally buys or commissions them).

"Well, personally I wouldn't find it rude at all. If anything, I'd be downright flattered! I mean, if someone thinks my work is as good as somone who can make a business out of their sewing skills, then why should I even be offended? They're just saying it looks really good, so good that it could have been done by a commissioner, ya know?"

I rather like her response. ^_^
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Unread 10-12-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jia Jem View Post
Is it rude to ask someone if they made their cosplay? Does it put them on the spot? I never would have thought it was rude to ask, but since commissions and pre-made costumes have skyrocketed the past decade, it would be interesting to hear what the new "proper manners" are regarding this.

For reference, I started cosplaying almost 10 years ago, when it was pretty much guaranteed that the wearer made their own costume, so there was no point asking. (And if they didn't, they frequently lied.) Now that it is more common to buy a premade costume, is it impolite to ask?

Has anyone been offended if they've been asked whether or not they made their costume? Why or why not? I've been asked if I bought my costume, and I take it as a compliment (since I always make mine). But what if you didn't make yours? Is it awkward to say you bought it? Do you think it's rude to even ask? Stories?
I don't find it rude at all, most people who ask me if I made my costume are interested in finding out where it was bought so that they can purchase it themselves.

It seem's awfully odd to be offended. As in I genuinely cannot find a reason to be.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 03:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses so far! I'm glad to see it's not really a big deal.

I suppose this was a little bit of a loaded question, here's why: I'm a really curious person, and really into craftsmanship, and I've also been a judge at a few conventions. If I ask someone if they made their costume on the convention floor (not in judging) and they say yes, I assume they can tell me how they did something. So I ask them about a particular detail and they flounder, and then I feel awkward, and then I change the subject by asking them about another detail, which they can't answer - and it becomes extremely clear they did *not* make their costume. Then it's just weird all around.

This hasn't happened often, but it's happened enough that I wondered if asking people about it was against proper con etiquette. Or if maybe my curiosity made me look like a beyotch.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
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I don't think its rude at all. Quite the contrary, I love when people stop to talk about the costumes that myself and my girlfriend make, it shows interest and appreciation for the work we've done.

If people don't want to be caught in lies and feel awkward then they shouldn't lie about making something that they didn't.

On a side note I actually feel that since commissions and premade costumes are so common now that all contest judging should require proof, or at least the ability to describe in detail, how a costume was made. While I'm sure several contests do have similar requirements, I know of several fairly large ones which only require a reference picture for the costume and the entrant wearing the costume to be judged.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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I wouldn't worry about it too much. I've found that if you ask someone if they made their costume and they say "yes" they'll automatically begin talking about it easily.

If they lie and say yes and falter when you begin talking shop it's hardly your fault they decided to be a liar so you shouldn't feel bad at all. If they falter switching subjects is the best way to go.

It's not shameful to buy a costume at all and anyone worth their salt won't look down on someone for doing so.
A lot of people however WILL have a problem with people entering craftsmanship competitions with bought costumes but that's a whole other topic/thread altogether.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 04:51 PM   #7
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I commission my costumes, and I have been asked that before! I also smile and say "Nope!" and if it's a commissioner, I give their name.

I think that the only reason why people would get uncomfortable or offended is because they're afraid of the reaction they might get, as I know some people do look down on people who buy cosplays, so they might be afraid of how people will react to learning they didn't do it themselves.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lithium Flower View Post
It seem's awfully odd to be offended. As in I genuinely cannot find a reason to be.
Reasons:
You will have to give up your source, and therefore aren't as "special". (i.e. someone with a few hundred bucks could look just like you, if not better!)

You don't want to breach the subject that you bought it, you just want to be admired for looking nice in your costume and not "talk shop". (Happens a lot with booth babes, like woah.)

You think your outfit looks so spectacularly original that it couldn't possibly be made-to-order and one of the pack.

...there are reasons.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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Personally I get more offended when people come up to me and ask me where I bought my costume

Now let me put that more into context before I get everyone jumping on me,

As Jia mentioned bought costumes have become alot more available and here in the uk it seems alot more people are happy to just buy one than make any attempt of making there own

Now I certainly am not here saying I made all of mine because I didn't and I know not everyone can but when hours of blood, sweat and tears have been shed making something to the best of your ability to have someone come up and ask where it was bought from kills me.
It just stirkes me as saying that they dont care about the skill, effort and hard work that went into creating it.

Sure I cant make some of the masterpieces I see other cosplayers produce but please dont belittle me by saying that it looks like something I just picked up off a shelf.

I would much rather someone came up to me and asked if I had made it because even if I didn't I could say: sadly my skills arent up to this level yet but hopfully one day I will manage to make it myself

Hopefully I manged to explain myself well enough for you to understand my view if not then Im sorry its not my strong point ignore and move on
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Unread 10-12-2012, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jia Jem View Post
You think your outfit looks so spectacularly original that it couldn't possibly be made-to-order and one of the pack.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfspeaker View Post
Sure I cant make some of the masterpieces I see other cosplayers produce but please dont belittle me by saying that it looks like something I just picked up off a shelf.
SEEEEEEEEEEE. Okay, the way I worded it came off really horribly (sorry Wolfspeaker!). But it is a valid reason to possibly be offended (depending on the delivery and context), and I completely understand.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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Wow Jia I didn't even see you reply before posting it took me a good 10mins to type my reply and have it sound vaguly readable XD
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Unread 10-12-2012, 05:24 PM   #12
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Until I started making kigurumi I never dealt with this issue. Every time I wear one of the kigurumi I made I always get someone asking "where did you buy that!!" -- I always have the same confused look and reply "um..I made it"

I'm not confused by the question, but it is all new to me to be asked about my costume. Normally, people just assume I made it I suppose..but with the new popularity of kigurumi prehaps they think I bought it online or something. Though, I'm proud of my unique style of kigurumi pattern I came up with...I thought it was a lot different than the store-bought cheaper versions (and they use very light weight fleece).
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Unread 10-12-2012, 05:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyabi- View Post
I wouldn't worry about it too much. I've found that if you ask someone if they made their costume and they say "yes" they'll automatically begin talking about it easily.
I definitely agree with this! I've been making my own costumes since I started and I've been asked several times "where did you buy that costume piece/prop!" I don't find it offensive... I just quickly explain that I made my cosplay and walk away feeling flattered. Now when someone asks if I made it, I geek out and start talking in perhaps more detail than they intended exactly how I did so.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 05:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jia Jem View Post
Thanks for the responses so far! I'm glad to see it's not really a big deal.

I suppose this was a little bit of a loaded question, here's why: I'm a really curious person, and really into craftsmanship, and I've also been a judge at a few conventions. If I ask someone if they made their costume on the convention floor (not in judging) and they say yes, I assume they can tell me how they did something. So I ask them about a particular detail and they flounder, and then I feel awkward, and then I change the subject by asking them about another detail, which they can't answer - and it becomes extremely clear they did *not* make their costume. Then it's just weird all around.

This hasn't happened often, but it's happened enough that I wondered if asking people about it was against proper con etiquette. Or if maybe my curiosity made me look like a beyotch.
I think some folks feel compelled to lie because of the stigma less than kind people will put on those who purchase versus making. I see it mostly with a younger set, they'll use jargon online that makes it seem like they know what they mean but if you ask them in person how they did X or Y they do the 'deer in the headlights' thing.

Nothing is wrong with buying a costume, hell I'd buy repeatedly from Fan Plus Friend, but there is a bit of stigma directed at those of us who purchase our costumes.

Shortly after I purchased my Alice in Wonderland cosplay I found someone on this website who bought the Parade Float version sold at F+F and was using an almost exact description from the website to pass it off as if they themselves had sewn it. Being that I had been stalking the F+F page for ages before finally buying the dress myself I knew immediately it was bought from them. When I went to the F+F page to compare the dresses they matched perfectly, and when I received my dress I knew they had been lying.

/shrug/
It was a young girl, probably around 17, who just liked the attention she got from people complimenting her on it. I imagine others who lie have similar reasons for doing so.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 05:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jia Jem View Post
Reasons:
You will have to give up your source, and therefore aren't as "special". (i.e. someone with a few hundred bucks could look just like you, if not better!)

You don't want to breach the subject that you bought it, you just want to be admired for looking nice in your costume and not "talk shop". (Happens a lot with booth babes, like woah.)

You think your outfit looks so spectacularly original that it couldn't possibly be made-to-order and one of the pack.

...there are reasons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfspeaker View Post
Personally I get more offended when people come up to me and ask me where I bought my costume

Now let me put that more into context before I get everyone jumping on me,

As Jia mentioned bought costumes have become alot more available and here in the uk it seems alot more people are happy to just buy one than make any attempt of making there own

Now I certainly am not here saying I made all of mine because I didn't and I know not everyone can but when hours of blood, sweat and tears have been shed making something to the best of your ability to have someone come up and ask where it was bought from kills me.
It just stirkes me as saying that the only reason that person looks good is because they can afford to spend alot of money rather than recognising the skill, effort and hard work that went into creating it.

Sure I cant make some of the masterpieces I see other cosplayers produce but please dont belittle me by saying that it looks like something I just picked up off a shelf.

I would much rather someone came up to me and asked if I had made it because even if I didn't I could say: sadly my skills arent up to this level yet but hopfully one day I will manage to make it myself

Hopefully I manged to explain myself well enough for you to understand my view if not then Im sorry its not my strong point ignore and move on
@Jia: True, those are reasons some people could have. Personally though, the 1st and 3rd reason are really matters the person's ego.... though I kind of understand the 2nd one. Sometimes people don't want to spend their convention explaining how they made something. XD I suppose it really depends on the person.

@wolkspeaker: I agree with your post. I think that asking "Where did you buy that?" and "Did you make that?" are two totally different questions. xD There's just something a bit rude about jumping to the assumption that it is bought.

As I said earlier, I find no fault with asking if somebody made their cosplay. If all you ask is "Did you make your costume?", they don't really have an excuse to get in a tizzy over it. :3
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