Cosplay is a popular culture in Japan and some parts of Asia and Western countries that began during the 1990s as a hobby.

In Japanese, it is コスプレ which means ‘kosupure’ – “kosu” means costume, and “pure” means play. Cosplayers spend money to get their own costumes and act like them. Some even make realistic cosplay costumes to add a personal touch to their characters.

This article is dedicated to cosplayers who are interested in making their own realistic cosplay costumes, or for beginners who are trying to get into the world of cosplay.

How to make a realistic cosplay costume

Cosplay is simply the art of impersonating a character from mangas, animes, video games, and other forms of visual media. Cosplay costumes are more detailed compared to other forms of regular costumes such as Halloween costumes. And having a realistic cosplay costume in cosplay events is a rewarding experience.

How to make realistic cosplay costumes? Here are some things to remember:

Have a good reference picture

You might have in mind a picture of your favorite character. But most of time, you won’t be able to remember all the details correctly and when your costume is done, you got it all wrong.

So, it is a good idea to get some reference pictures – not only two, but more reference pictures. This is because pictures vary from one another. You wouldn’t like to dye that piece of cloth gray because it looked gray in your reference picture but in most pictures, the color is supposed to be dirty white.

Spend more time to do a great job

A costume done in the last minute is obvious. Comicon and other cosplay events are scheduled ahead of time so you have a lot of time to think about your character and to create it. Creating durable or well put together materials will secure the costume and won’t easily melt in the heat or easily fall apart.

These kinds of costumes can even last for another event or be sold in online stores when you’re tired of them. Spending more time creating your own cosplay costume will make it look more realistic.

Research more about your chosen character

Your cosplay costume should match your overall appearance including your hair and makeup; even the way you move and act should go along with your costume. Know more about your character to match with and create a realistic cosplay costume.

When having your pictures taken, strike a pose that speaks about your character. You should not stand there as stiff as a board, because your costume will look dull and bad. You should be in character, especially when in front of the cameras.

Improve your makeup

Some cosplayers have gorgeous cosplay costumes but their faces don’t match the costume; they have tired-looking and washed-out faces. When the cameras flash, there is a tendency to look pale, so, work on your makeup too. Some cosplayers even enroll in makeup workshops/courses to improve their skills on cosmetics.

But what if the character you’re portraying does not wear makeup? Even if the character doesn’t wear makeup, you should nevertheless apply concealer or foundation to even out your skin tone.

You should also work out your eyeshadows and eyeliner too. Do not trust your mirror view because it might make you appear washed out or sick looking in photos.

Pair up your costume with the perfect footwear

Many cosplayers do not give importance to the shoes they wear; in fact, many of them wear sneakers which totally ruins the entire costume. Having the right footwear might be expensive, but it could make up the realistic effect for your cosplay costume.

But if can’t find the exact footwear for your costume, at least try to wear something that will suit your costume and won’t look out of place.


Cosplay is a fun, self-rewarding hobby that is challenging, especially on the financial part. But having a realistic cosplay costume can be fun, easy, and inexpensive when you know how make one. The list above provides a few things to remember when you want to make your cosplay costume appear more realistic. Have a fun cosplay!