1. What characters do you like? Write them down on a piece of paper.
2. Look at the list. Think about your sewing/constructing skills. Which costume would be easy/hard for you to make? Take that into consideration when choosing your character.3. How accurate do you wanna be? Does your budget allow for all the items you will need to construct your costume? Will you need a wig, makeup, large prop, or even special contact lenses?
4. Do you resemble your character in anyway? This usually isn't really important, but if you feel it is, try to work with it. For example, if you are a short female, and you really like Sailor Moon, try going as Sailor Saturn or Sailor Chibi moon. But remember, what's most important is how you feel portraying that certain character.Where to get parts/fabrics/materials5. Depending on your budget and abillity, you have many choices on where to get parts. If you have some sewing experience, creating your own costume can be very rewarding. Search local fabric shops for deals on fabric. Checking the remnant bin can save you a lot of money.
6. If you don't really know how to sew, but have plenty of money to spend on a costume, you can find a seamstress in town who can create what you are looking for. Usually a few photos of what you want will do and they can create just by looking at the picture.7. If you are on a budget and do no have seewing abilities, then searching clothing/vintage/thrift stores can be of great help. You can make a "Found Item" costume just by searching for the right items. That is how I found my Sailor Moon boots.
8. Be careful when choosing a wig. Most "Halloween Wigs" are of poor quality and shed easily. When it comes to wigs you get what you pay for.9. Depending on your character, some costume/halloween wigs will do when cosplaying. If your character's hair is down, most straight and curly haired wigs will do. If you are styling a wig to fit a certain character (such as sailor moon), do not buy those mass-produced lady godiva wigs. The moment you try to style them, they start to tangle and shed. And combing them only makes it worse. Plus trying to put them in pigtails only shows the cheap netting underneath. There are many shops online that sell styled Sailor Moon and anime wigs. If you want to attempt to style your own wig, look for "Realistic Skin Top". These wont show the netting underneath, and tend to be better quality.
10. Makeup can help you create that special look. Some characters require a lot of painting detail. Do you have the patience and abillity to create that look? If so, remember to choose your makeup wisely. A lot of long lasting makeup brands contain oil, and if you are prone to breaking out, watch out. Check the ingredients to make sure. 11. I know some people get all paranoid when that pimple pops up the day before a con, and they're afraid of what their pictures will look like with that bump taking up space on their face! And the fear of how many people will see those pictures makes it worse. Relax! Makeup can be a blessing too. It can hide any flaws, and help you achieve that glowing look if done well. Guys, don't be ashamed to wear a little foundation! Celebrities do it all the time! If you really want to have a flawless face to match your character, by all means wear that concealer. If you don't want to wear any, then forget it. It's all up to you.
12. If you are doing a masquerade/ Skit, remember that makeup can help at this time as well. From far away, anyone on stage looks like a ghost without makeup. The stage light will wash you out. More makeup than usual will be needed if you expect the audience to be able to see your facial features.