Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easy Cosplay Tip #101: Pulling from Stock (Maid costume)

"Pulling from Stock": A pulled costume is one that is taken out of a theatre company's stock from past productions. 
     Impressive cosplay is commonly associated with lots of costume design and sewing skills. So I feel like reusing old costumes/clothing items or "pulling from stock" is often looked down upon, considered cheating, unskilled, or under appreciated. However, the truth is- reusing old costumes/clothing is actually pretty effective. It's free, it already fits you/the cosplayer, even if you need to adjust it there's minimal new work required, it's not time consuming, and there's no disadvantages.
     So here are some tips for pulling costumes from your own stock. For example, I am making a maid costume for Fanime 2014 and here are my steps.

1. Look in stock first. The first place you should go to is your closet/armoire/old cosplay storage box/etc.
     -This is an apron from my Hungary cosplay- tada!

2. You can always always always adjust something.
      -See this dress?

       -I have used it for my Rania "Masquerade" cover (which, oops, still haven't uploaded) and another cosplay once. It's too long for a maid dress, but I can still do this.
Pretend this will be sewed.
        -And then you can get this:

        -That way it's shortened, but I can still let it down after the convention.

3. Still can't find something? Look everywhere else! Under your bed, your brother's closet, your mom's closet, your roommate's closet, etc. Trust me- there's going to be a hidden gem somewhere if you look hard enough.
        -On the left is my Starbucks uniform. On the right is a 80s skirt I stole borrowed from my mom. If you look close enough, putting them together will form a black dress and the apron would complete the maid look. No other work needed!
You may recognize the skirt from my Kirishima Kano cosplay.

Bonus: Accessories can be found anywhere too! You may have old cosplay ties or costume pieces and sometimes to can completely re-convert something. The black tie I have in this image below is actually a belt from a skirt that I've been using as a tie since the beginning of time.

In the end, I could wind up with something like these:
Ignore the messy room.
 They look fresh, they look clean, and all I had to do was hunt for the right clothing and do minimal adjustments (on only 1 item!). Some of my other old cosplays have been completed in a similar fashion too: Lulu Bell from D.Gray-man, half of Kirishima Kano from AirTV, and half of Ringo Noyamano from Air Gear.

Of course, there are other common cheap methods of acquiring cosplay items (like thrift stores) but, let's be real, pulling is the cheapest and most on-call method there is. So good luck pulling and have fun!

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