So we’ve always made cosplay for friends but this is the first year we’ve actually accepted commissions! It’s been a fun journey as seamstresses and maybe I’ll, Star, write a demystifying post about our experience making cosplay for money. For now though, I figure I take this time to talk about the pro & cons of buying manufactured cosplay and paying someone via commission for cosplay. Let’s get to it!
Buying a manufactured cosplay
Most manufactured cosplay comes from overseas. Typically the sizes are decided based on the region it is coming from. Meaning a medium in the US is not a medium from the People’s Republic of China. Size charts are your friends online, but you need to make sure you are reading the right units of measurements.
*This should be a rule of thumb for shopping online in general and reading reviews to see if the cosplays run big or small.
An robe is a little easier to shop for but knowing your measurements or having a tape measure, string and ruler (if you’re really desperate) is the best course of action when it comes to purchasing online.
Due to mass production, fabric used can be cheap which means it’s scratchy and stiff. From afar, the details are enough to look like the character’s design.
Price is pretty cheap and you may need to do some adjustments.
*By that I mean it’s about $50 give or take shipping prices.
There’s a lot that goes into commissioning. Knowing who to commission and for what, getting fitted or sized, ordering times and material costs.
Some cosplayers have special skills and talents. Strengths in prop-making, ballgowns, armor, wigs, outfits, thrifting & tailoring. Sometimes it makes more sense to pick a cosplayer who is your body type or has a skill in crafting that you don’t possess. Cosplayers can commission each other based on strengths and often trade goods. based on that fact.
*Most cosplayers find each other on social media, con facebook pages, discord communities, physical cons and small get-to-togethers.
Fittings can be long and hard to schedule when you have a demanding job or hectic life schedule.
Commissioning can take longer to create. So if you’re looking for someone to make you something in a short time it can raise the price and not always guarantee it’ll be the quality you want it to be. But if you give them enough time, you can great accurate/realistic pieces made of fabric that lasts and looks possibly even better than the original design PLUS it’ll be custom fitted to you!
Commissioning can be pricey! Charging materials and hours worked cosplay can be anywhere from $100-$600 depending on the piece.
There you have it! If you’ve got the money pay for quality, commission away. If just starting out and have commitment issues buy it online!