Cosplay, or costume play, can be an expensive hobby. The costumes represent fantasy characters from anime, video games and comics, and fans tend to judge them on how accurate they are. However, if you have some basic clothing pieces and stick to some common characters, you just need to add a few details to make a functional cosplay costume on a budget.
Pokemon: Pokemon Trainer
These side characters from the "Pokemon" series are an easy cosplay costume subject because all it requires is a Poke-ball and a stuffed toy Pokemon. The Poke-ball can be the official toy, or you can paint a small plastic ball red on the top half and white on the bottom half. Add a stripe of black to split the colours, and a black-lined white circle in the centre. Finish the costume with a solid colour T-shirt and jeans.
Super Mario Brothers: Mario or Luigi
Mario and Luigi costumes are inexpensive because the materials you need can be found in your own closet or at budget prices at a thrift store. Start with a pair of blue or blue jean overalls and add a turtle neck in red for Mario or green for Luigi. Glue a white fabric circle with a red "M" for Mario or a green "L" for Luigi onto a hat matching the colour of the turtle neck. Finish the costume with a thick, fake moustache. Either buy one or make one out of black construction paper.
Cowboy Bebop: Ed
Ed from "Cowboy Bebop" is a cheap costume because she wears a simple outfit consisting of a short white T-shirt and black mid-thigh length spandex shorts. Her most identifying features are her short bright red hair, a pair of aviator style goggles and an ever-present laptop. Temporary spray-on hair colour or a bright red wig will take care of the hair. The aviator goggles don't cost much, but are optional since she does not wear them all the time. Make a fake laptop out of a binder with paper decorations glued on, or just carry your own laptop around with you.
Many video games and anime have characters dressed in Japanese schoolgirl uniforms. Making your own basic uniform can be very simple. Start with a pleated skirt and a collared blouse. Tweak the colours, the shape of the collar and add trim to the uniform to match your anime of choice.
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