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Unread 02-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #1
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Explaining cosplay to friends

I've got 2 friends who actually know what cosplay is and want to do it, problem is this:

1st friend:
-Wants me to make this dress http://images.wikia.com/hetalia/imag...ng_Ukraine.PNG for free for her (heck no.)
-Expects my cosplay to be perfect. -newsflash: I'm not the best cosplayer in the world. I'm even to insecure to post them!-
-Wants wigs to be $10 each.
-Expects everyone to love her cosplays.

2nd friend:
-Thinks Arda and Epiccosplay's wigs are too expensive.
-$30 for a 3-day pass at a con is extremely expensive.
-Thinks I can make her 5 dresses in less than 1 month for $30.
-Constantly talks about people hating her cosplay (she's afraid people will hate it).

I could use some help. I've told them not everybody will love your cosplays, and cosplay can be expensive, Arda and Epic are good prices, and con passes are not that expensive, but they keep pushing me. (You'd think being the only one with finished cosplays and has been to cons, they'd think I'd know my stuff) I don't want to sound rude to them, but they're so hard headed they don't get it. Help?
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Unread 02-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Jeez, what's with people lately. I've heard way too many stories of people that act like your friends do.

Anyway, regarding the making costumes, I recommend taking them to the fabric store and pricing everything. They'll be able to see for themselves what it will cost. Tell them if they want their cosplay to look good, it's going to take money. $10 wigs ain't going to cut it. As for badges, if they think they cost too much, tough, then they can't go.

There's a thread somewhere around here where people talk about how much a costume usually costs them. The only ones who can do it for as cheap as your friends want have to go to thrift stores and alter things -- that's not even including a wig. I recommend finding that and showing them.
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Unread 02-17-2013, 01:05 PM   #3
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Ditch them. You don't need them to have fun at a con.
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Unread 02-17-2013, 01:16 PM   #4
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This is what I tell my friend who ask me to make them something because they want to try cosplaying. They had the same questions and problems your friends have:

"If you want me to make you something, you will have to buy the fabric yourself and pay the rest for the costume after I finish making the costume depending on how much time I used to make the costume and difficulty"
"Cosplay is an expensive hobby, so buying a wig worth only $10.00 isn't good. In fact, it's really bad quality (like those Halloween wigs)
"Arda wigs is an expensive shop because they use really good fiber for wigs. Those wigs are like mother of heat and styling."
"$30.00 is actually a good price for a convention because the convention has special guest and concerts so that is why conventions are expensive. Also, it is for the convention to actually keep running."
"Making 5 dresses under one month is torture. The amount of fabric you need and price (patterns possibly?), you may even have to do an all nigher. It took me 6 months just to make a dress."
"I sorry, but I am currently on break from commissioning. Once I am able to sew costumes for people, I will tell you."

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I understand if this is their first time cosplaying, but they sound like they are controlling you to do things in such a limited time. I have told those answers to at least 4 of my friends who wanted me to make them a costume.
I agree with Onigiri, try taking them to a thrift store. You will be amazed from what you find there. I found so many clothes there when I was in a rush making a costume.
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Unread 02-17-2013, 01:40 PM   #5
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If they think those wig stores are expensive, you can tell them to gamble on ebay. For their costumes, bring them with you to the fabric store, or Goodwill. Heck, have them cut out pattern parts for you. Recruit them for tasks that don't require skill. That way they get an idea of what cosplaying is. People who just have a costume handed over to them don't really understand what it's like to make something themselves.

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Unread 02-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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All you can do is tell them the truth and if they continue to be like this, tell them to either go on the internet and do the research into how much other cons and various costume parts cost for themselves, so they can see hard numbers and realize the truth, or tell them they're probably not cut out to be cosplayers.

I am all for cutting costs and not trying to spend money you don't have, but if it's a case of them thinking that cons and cosplay are just magically cheap compared to say, buying a DVD boxed set or that $60 rare figurine, then they need a serious reality check. Tell them to ask around for themselves - join this forum or just do the research. Look up how much conventions like Otakon, SDCC, and Dragon*Con cost. Even more hilarious, show them how much WorldCon costs.

Wigs and fabric, and other materials for constructing your own costumes, definitely vary wildly in price and yes, you can get good deals or shop smart with sales and coupons, or luck into a rare score on eBay. And yes, you can get high-quality wigs for less than what Arda sells. But at the same time, those of us who are in this hobby for the long haul have already prepared ourselves for how much money we're going to drop on our costumes and aren't deluded into thinking we can buy the materials for, say, a Trinity Blood manga uniform and prop for $20. So it's easy for us to scoff at people who don't know. But there's a very fine line between honestly not knowing and willfully ignoring the truth no matter how many times they're told and still clinging to this pie-in-the-sky notion of cosplay. If they've done the research, or they've asked you repeatedly and you repeatedly tell them the same thing and they STILL parrot the same party line, then I would have to say cosplay is not a hobby for them.

If they genuinely don't have the money to drop on costumes and going to cons, that's one thing. That's when you pat them on the head, sympathize, and then go to the con anyway because it's what YOU enjoy and YOU have the money for. Don't ever let anyone snow you into paying their way into the con or making their costume for them if they're going to be ungrateful, or continue to complain, or spend the whole time kvetching about how no one likes their costume and it was a waste. If they're just complaining to complain, or to feel superior and feel like they're right and everyone else who drops money on their costumes is a freak, then don't enable them. Don't enable this kind of entitled behavior at all. BUT....if it is just a matter of education, do what you can to educate. Mainly, point them to this thing called Google and tell them to go look up a comparison of what costumes cost, maybe send some estimate requests to commissioners, then show them Joann's and Hancock's websites so they can see what fabric costs, and have them search different wig stores to see what wig prices can be like. If they STILL bitch after that, or they won't actually do the work to research cosplay themselves, then it's likely they don't actually want to cosplay as badly as they seem to have made you think they want to.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 08:51 AM   #7
Difficult? I'll do it!
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Just tell them exactly what's listed in my signature. It pretty much sums everything up.
Good, Cheap, or Fast
Pick any two...

If its Good and Cheap, it wont be Fast
If its Fast and Cheap, it wont be Good
If its Fast and Good it wont be Cheap
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Unread 02-18-2013, 08:53 AM   #8
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Tell them that it's an expensive hobby, doing things cheaply but badly won't get you anywhere. Tell them to save up and it'll be worth it because having one perfect cosplay is much better than having twenty awful rushed ones.

Of course that doesn't mean everything has to be expensive! You can get cheap but good wigs, especially on ebay. My Gumi wig was £7 brand new including postage and it's one of the nicest wigs I own. On average, a wig only costs me £12-£14 if I buy it from Ebay and I've mostly had success with it. Worst thing that happened was ordering a 'black' wig that was actually a darker brown and wasn't styled like the photograph but I still use it and people seem to like it.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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You really have to be blunt with them, and not beat around the bush. I would tell them that like any hobby, you need to invest some money into it if they want a nice quality cosplay. Can you get a $10 wig, yes. Is it going to be good, nope!

Also if they refuse to pay you for making their cosplays, just stand your ground and say no. Yes they're your friends, but you can't have them using you. That is not what friends do.

And $30 for a 3 day badge...that is a VERY good price. Think that is $10 a day. Most badges cost $50-$70 depending on the size of the convention. If they want to see expensive, check out SDCC badge prices.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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Oh my God I never expected to have this many replies! My 2nd friend is -finally- starting to get it after I took her to a fabric store. I even had to explain to her wig prices. "See my Miku wig? Yeah. You think it cost $20? HAH. Try $60." Yeah she finally gets it. She even told me she'd pay for the materials for her dress (This one, BTW http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s...eychelles3.jpg ) and told me to take my time.

The first friend....yeah she's still being hard-headed. And I HATE being rude but I just had to tell her. "You never asked for me to make that dress for you. You just told me to and was extremely rude about it and have been no help to me. You won't even let me take your measurements!"

Thanks for your help! It really helped me explain it!
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Unread 02-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #11
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Take them to the fabric store on your next trip. That usually opens most people's eyes to the real price of cosplaying.

Most if not all of my friends cosplay, or at least know what it is, so I've kind of been spared this. xP
Current Cosplays:
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Ken Amada Dark Hour uniform - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3

Kyo Sohma Winter school uniform - Fruits Basket

Honey-senpai Ouran school uniform - Ouran Highschool Host Club

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Unread 02-19-2013, 07:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ToroSonyCat View Post
Tell them that it's an expensive hobby, doing things cheaply but badly won't get you anywhere. Tell them to save up and it'll be worth it because having one perfect cosplay is much better than having twenty awful rushed ones.
That is probably the best advise to anyone who wants their cosplays to be good. Also start the process of making your cosplay months in advance of the convention you plan to attend so you have time to make something of high quality. I would recommend at least 5 to 6 months before the convention to really make something of high quality. Many costumes on here have literally taken a year or more to make.
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