Cosplay, from "costume play," known traditionally as "masquerade" or simply "costuming" 1 is dressing up as a character from a video game, computer game, anime, band, or TV series. Though originally associated with anime, it it is not limited to just anime characters, and now often refers to any fandom costuming. For example, dressing up as Dr. House from House or a character from Rocky Horror is included in this definition. It is distinguished from "garb" by being focused on appearance as opposed to function (i.e., cosplay archery guards may or may not be functional, in contrast to on functional archery garb worn by historical reenactors). Garb is intended to be worn (and among reenactors often is) on a day to day basis as clothing, while most cosplay costumes are not designed for daily wear. See the Wikipedia article for more on cosplay. It is also different than lolita fashion in that lolita, much like goth, is a style of dress that can be worn daily.

Making Costumes

For simple sewing supplies, such as needle, thread, seam ripper, tomato pin cushions, and pins, Rite Aid has a good supply. The Dollar Tree sells cheap packages of needles and pins, but the needles break easily.

Not having to make a costume from scratch is easier and less time consuming. Thrift Stores, such as All Things Right And Relevant and SPCA Thrift Store, have cheap clothing. The Pincushion Boutique has a lot of cotton print fabric and Davis Upholstery may have more variety of materials. The Woodland Wal-Mart used to have a fabric section, but closed it around 2009 to make room for the "Super" part of Walmart. Limited sewing and craft supplies are available there. JoAnn Fabric also has good selections for fabric and crafts. The demands of advanced costuming can require a good deal of creativity. For example, using innovative materials such as shelf liner or automotive floor mats.

There are a lot of art stores and miscellaneous supply stores like ACE Hardware to help make props. A Better Place to Bead may help you make accessories, although JoAnn's is generally cheaper.

Finding General Costumes

Ready-made costumes can be bought at Party and Vac, but tend to be low quality. Around the Halloween season, Rite Aid carries a few items, such as wigs, but the Halloween Headquarters has a bigger and better selection. If you are willing to drive (or even bike), Evangeline's in Old Town Sacramento has an amazing selection (3 floors open up around Halloween, or if you arrange an appointment). There is Party City across the street from Arden Fair Mall that sells extra costumes after Halloween for about $5 (though this is a rumor).

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2010-06-10 10:49:30   By the definition on this page, dressing up as Spock counts as cosplay. Something seems very, very odd about that. —CovertProfessor

  • There unfortunately is a Star Trek manga... so it is definitely cosplay... —hankim
    • Now I am truly disturbed. —cp


1. These terms have fallen out of favor as the general term "cosplay" is now commonly used in general fandom costuming circles.