Cosplay is the art of dressing up like various fictional characters, most often from anime and manga. The style involves great detail, and much DIY effort on the part of the participant. It may also include acting as the character as well when in costume.


Cosplay (コスプレ) is a combination of the words "costume" and "play". [1] Although the act of cosplay has existed long before the term's existence, it was officially coined in Japan in 1984. [2]

Style BasicsEdit

Cosplay has no rules as a style. Rather, those who cosplay choose a character they would like to represent, and attempt to recreate their look in real life to the best of their abilities.

For some, cosplay is a chance to completely bring every detail of a character to life, with exact replicas of clothing and accessories and hairdos. However, for others, it is more a chance to represent the major themes of the character. Some even cosplay as casual versions of a character. The choice of how to represent the character is up to the individual. [3]

Popular choices for cosplayers, especially those in Japan, is the use of wigs to achieve unrealistic anima hairstyles and intense colors. Circle lenses are also popular choices for a larger eye look, similar to an animated character, and heavy, yet natural looking, makeup. However, some cosplayers choose not to do these things. [4]

Brands & ShopsEdit

There are many brands and shops that make cosplay clothing, but there is no cosplay brand. In fact, most who wear cosplay learn to sew and craft their own clothing themselves, although some do buy pieces from mainstream stores or cosplay specialty shops.


External LinksEdit

  1. Wikipedia - Cosplay, and Merriam-Webster - Cosplay
  2. The Artifice - An Overview of Cosplay: Exploring the Subculture
  3. iFanboy - What is cosplay and why do people do it?, Business Insider - What is cosplay?, A Cause to Play - The History of Cosplay, GEEKS - History of Cosplay, and Japan Powered - The History of Cosplay
  4. Cont.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.