100 Cosplayers Answer Our Questions! The Common Questions Corner Vol. 2 [All About Costumes]



Check out Vol. 1 here:


The second volume of our “Common Questions Corner” is here!  We will explore the real world of over 100 active cosplayers in Japan.

In this volume, we have gathered questions specific to the costumes worn by cosplayers. Let’s unravel the intrigue of their gorgeous garb that are rare jewels in everyday life. This is a must-read for those of you who want to cosplay, but find making costumes daunting.  



★1 How many costumes do you have?


It’s not uncommon to open up an SNS account and be greeted with an array of countless costumes for countless characters. But how many costumes do cosplayers usually have?



1 to 5:               7.6%

6 to 10:             25.7%

More than 11:    66.7%


That means that 2 out of 3 cosplayers have more than 11 costumes on average!


“I have 6 costumes for the main character alone of Dragon Quest 11.”


“I have more than 11 costumes for just Touken Ranbu”


“I think the range of the answers was too low… I have around 80 costumes.”


“I probably have more than 150.”


…were some of the overwhelming comments we received. 


I wonder, it must be pretty difficult to find the space to store all of these costumes, right? We also had answers that went into detail on this.




~Creative Storage Solutions~

“I put costumes that won’t wrinkle easily and aren’t very bulky in a zipper file and store them in my bookcase.”


“I store my costumes that have a lot of accessories and sculpted pieces in cardboard boxes.”


“I rent a storage space for my cosplay costumes.”


“I enjoy decorating my room by hanging up my idol costumes.”


~The Selection Process~

“I get rid of costumes when I get new ones.”


“I take nice pictures of all of my cosplay, keep those and donate my costumes to people who might enjoy wearing them too.”


“I think I’ve worn over 100 costumes, but I throw away costumes that I haven’t worn for a while, ones that have become ratty and those that I’m not completely satisfied with. This way I can hone my skills by making even better costumes!”


Costumes embody a cosplayer’s feelings toward their favourite characters, so it’s no wonder that they have their own loving reasons keeping costumes or tossing them.



★2 Do you make your own costumes? Do you buy them?


Whether you are a cosplayer who has many costumes or a one-of-a-kind, elaborate costume, chances are a good amount of preparation, money and hard work went into them. That being said, how is it that you get your costumes? Please tell us!



I make costumes as often as I can:     20%

I make/buy based on the situation:      58.1%

I buy costumes as often as I can:        21.9%


As you can see, the responses are pretty split when it comes to handmade vs.purchased costumes. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for this as well as how some people construct their costumes.




 ~The Makers~

“I make my own costumes for minor characters that I can’t buy costumes for. If there is anything that I am unsatisfied with, such as the texture or the silhouette, I sell them.”


“In the past, it was cheaper to make your costume rather than buying it, but now I don’t mind spending the money in order to get it as close to the character as possible.”


“It’s really fun picking out the fabric that you want for your cosplay!”


~The Buyers~

“In the last five years or so, costumes you can buy like school or military uniforms that are made in China have a much better quality and are cheaper than making them yourself.”


~The Either-Ors~

“I don’t usually get 100% perfect costumes when I buy them, so I buy them with the assumption that I will have to tailor them.”


“If there is a costume that I think is too elaborate to make myself I will buy it and recreate it later. I love sculpting, so I make my own armour.”


It seems like there are advantages to both buying and making costumes. There are also people who like to add their own special touch to improve costumes and really enjoy that process.




★3 Were you always good at sewing?


Looking at the previous question, it seems that everyone is doing at least a bit of sewing, whether they buy their costumes or make them themselves. To all of you out there with your head in your hands thinking “All I’ve ever sewn is an apron in home-ec!” You may not want to throw in the towel just yet.



I was bad at sewing:                           35.2%

I could sew what we learned at school: 56.2%

I was pretty good:                               8.6%


There is only a small minority that have always been good at sewing and only about 1 in 3 people were not good at it at all. So how did you all become able to make costumes?




“It’s best to ask someone who is familiar with sewing. The more knowledge you have on your side the better the quality and the faster the production.”


“I was taught by my grandmother who is a pro (with a Spartan-like method)”




“The amount of free patterns you can get off the internet and items to help to make your costume quicker have increased, so I think that it’s easier than ever to make your own costume.”


“I am able to look at making costumes more like drawing than sewing by looking at cosplayers who are cosplaying the same character and borrowing tips from them.”


“After observing the construction of other cosplayers’ costumes and focusing on making costumes that are easy to wear, making them became a lot easier.” 




“At first I was so bad that I couldn’t even sew straight, but then I bought a sewing machine, started teaching myself and I improved exponentially. Rather than giving up, the best thing you can do is just try!”


“The love for my favourite character gave me strength”


“I became better at it because I loved it so much!”


One piece of advice that stood out to me was to “just try to make more and more costumes”. Even if you’re not that great at something in the beginning, the more experience you gain the better you’ll get, and the more fun it will become. The very same can be said about making costumes! 


So? What did you think? Did this article deepen your understanding of costuming? Knowing how much dedication and passion cosplayers put into their costumes might make viewing cosplay photos that much more enjoyable. 


We will leave the “Common Questions Corner” here for now. If you have any questions that you’re just dying to ask a cosplayer, please feel free to DM your questions to us!


DOUJIN WORLD Twitter : @dw_cos_survey




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