AGeekyGal’s Cosplay Guide: Buying a Cosplay Online

AGeekyGal’s Cosplay Guide: Buying a Cosplay Online

So you want to buy a cosplay online and have no idea where or how to start? I’ll break it down for you and even discuss my own experience with buying cosplay online. If this is your first cosplay, start here!

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to sew (as may be your case as well). My first ever cosplay was in September of 2015. I agonized over this costume. I wanted to make it myself and had saved tons of tutorials to my computer. I was determined I was going to make my cosplay… Until I realized I didn’t have a sewing machine and literally had no experience with one. That’s okay though. I’ve since bought my cosplay and plan on revisiting it later when I’m more skilled and knowledgeable to handcraft it like I had originally planned (maybe).

asian-beautiful-blur-354943.jpg

Before you consider buying your cosplay online:

  1. Press Start. Ask your fellow cosplayers! Ask your friends and family! Where do they buy their cosplays? Are there sites or sellers or commissioners they would recommend? Do they have cosplays for sell? Would they mind helping you make your cosplay? Start in your immediate circle before branching out. You’d be surprised that you may not even have to buy your cosplay from a website!
  2. Research. Take this time to Google what you can. Write down site names, look for reviews on these sites (youtube and the reviews on the sites themselves are good places to start), and cross off the poorly reviewed ones. There’s also groups on Facebook that have cosplays and wigs for sale, offer commissions, etc. Check out the blacklist in these groups too; if they don’t seem to have one, message a moderator and ask for the list. Those are the people you shouldn’t do business with. If you choose to go the Facebook route, pay with PayPal using Goods & Services. The seller will pay the fees and if anything goes wrong, you can file to get your money back with PayPal.
  3. Check out commissions. If you know someone, or even someone who knows someone, who has a portfolio to show off their sewing and crafting skills, it wouldn’t hurt to get your cosplay priced out by them. Keep in mind that you’ll most likely be paying for materials and labor, not just materials! You’re paying for high quality work here too. This cosplay should last and last (with the right seamstress).

beautiful-celebration-close-up-437730.jpg

When you buy your cosplay online:

  1. Look for your costume specifically. What I mean is: look up the costume by your character’s name and the name of the show. You’ll get better, filtered results this way. No one wants to dig through hundreds of pages for a Sailor Moon costume with things like “crescent moon necklaces” and “lunar eclipse sunglasses” popping up alongside the actual costumes.
  2. Look at the reviews for your costume. Say you’re on AliExpress. The store you’re shopping with has high reviews and lots of favorites! Sounds like it’s pretty reputable. Now, when you get to your costume, look at its reviews. These are separate from the stores reviews and favorites. Sometimes they’ll even have pictures with reviews which I love and count on the most. This helps you know what you’re really getting!
  3. Compare prices. Now it’s time to really utilize those browser tabs! Find your cosplay on several pages and compare the prices! Lower is not always better but it’d good to know the average price for the cosplay itself.
  4. Get out the tape measure. You’ll need to measure yourself for the best fit. Most likely your cosplay will be in standard Chinese sizes which differ from what you’re used to! So get out that fashion tape measure that you bought years ago and take your measurements: neck, chest/bust, waist, hips, arm, inseam. See this link here for how to measure yourself!
  5. Compare your measurements to the provided sizes. Click on the sizing chart. Most cosplays should have a sizing chart available. If not, contact the seller for one. Now most people will be between sizes. My personal rule of thumb is to buy the size that accommodates my largest measurement which is my hips. I can get the rest of the cosplay tailored if needed.  The flipside is to think about how the cosplay should fit you: Should it drape and flow? Should it be tight and form fitting? Using your measurements, choose the best size for you. Another option is to see or ask the seller if they offer custom sizing, then you can give your measurements to the seller. Always add a little wiggle room in your measurements if going with a custom option!
  6. Email the seller any questions. Ask them about sizing, fabrics, shipping, when you would receive it, or anything you need to know before you place your order. This is a great opportunity to feel out the seller and make sure you’re getting what you pay for!
  7. Order the closest size to your measurements. After double checking your measurements and asking the seller all of your questions, it’s time to place your order!

asian-costumes-crowd-66142.jpg

After your cosplay arrives:

  1. Carefully inspect the cosplay and all the accessories. First insure that you have received the full cosplay you ordered. Check that all pieces are accounted for. Next, check for loose threads, glue, missing buttons, stains or anything that is not right. Take photos of any damage for reference. Unfortunately, things happen, and if your cosplay is damaged or missing pieces, it’s time to email the seller. If everything is right…
  2. It’s time to try it on. Hopefully those measurements were right and your new cosplay fits like a glove… or however it’s supposed to! Take pictures of the front, sides, and back to make sure it all fits right. If it’s uncomfortably loose in some areas, it’s time to take it to the tailor. If it’s too tight, double check the measurements and politely contact the seller.
  3. Test it with your wig, shoes and make up. Once your cosplay is the right fit, it’s time to put it all together before the con. Make last minute adjustments and buy any necessary accessories.
  4. Leave an honest review. Just do it! Now everyone else can find a great cosplay and reliable seller like you.

costume-crowd-fashion-66136.jpg

Places to buy your cosplay from:

  • Facebook Groups – Before doing a search for your cosplay and size, take a look at all the files and documents for the group. This should include a blacklist. Stay away from anyone on that list! They are a no-go for purchasing your cosplay. Ask for pictures of the cosplay and up close pictures of damage. Always use PayPal’s goods and services when purchasing from individuals. They will get charged a small fee, but PayPal protects you if something goes wrong. If a seller asks you to pay through PayPal’s friends and family, it might be a scam!
  • Etsy – Choose a shop with tons of reviews and read them all: the good and the bad. Take into account the complaint and how the seller handled the situation. Look at their listings and note the quality of their skills. If you’re still unsure, send them a polite message about the cosplay they have listed.
  • Ebay – Be wary if you decide to go the Ebay route. See if anyone has purchased the cosplay before and see if they wrote a review. Read all the rates and feedback on the seller before making a purchase and don’t be afraid to ask for more pictures or precise measurements! Many times stock photos will be used over and over again so check that if the seller is using a stock photo that their own logo is on it.
  • AliExpress – This site should come with a big, fat warning sticker. Be aware that everything ships from China and could takes months to arrive. Research any shops you’re considering buying from. Read all the reviews on the shop then all the reviews on the cosplay. Try to find reviews with pictures. Research the hell out of this one before making a purchase.
  • Other sites: EZCosplay, CosplayMagic, Uwowo, CosplaySky, Hello Cosplay, Amazon, HotTopic

celebration-cosplay-costumes-65767.jpg

Some tips:

  • Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for not making your cosplay.
  • Make sure your cosplay is comfortable for sitting, standing, and walking.
  • Do your research on any and every seller and website.
  • When leaving a review, add photos.
  • Iron your costume (if possible) before the con. Shipping adds folds to the garment and a quick ironing will take them out!
  • Now get out there and cosplay!

Got any tips for buying a cosplay online? Share them in the comments!

Advertisements

Link Loves

Link Loves

Welcome to the third installment of Link Loves. This post is all about my favorite links of the week! It can include bloggers, articles, news, clothing, accessories, and other cool links I’m enjoying. *Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

run.png

Quibbles & Scribbles gives us her first look at Marvel’s Runaways Vol. 1-3. I had no idea there was also a TV show out featuring the same characters but Quibbles & Scribbles gives us a great look at some of the similarities and differences between the two. Photo courtesy of Quibbles & Scribbles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When games meet movies, how high (or low) are your expectations? Which movies have flopped and which have held their own? Check out Ambi Gaming Corner’s post on Game Movies then read through the comments. Voice your own thoughts on game movies!

Rulebook-Campaign-Book-Extra-Scenarios-Town-Records-from-Gloomhaven.png

John from It’s More Than Just Gaming unboxes Gloomhaven! Check out the video and pictures of this detailed and beautiful game! Photo courtesy of It’s More Than Just Gaming.

marvel-captain-america-mini-apple-pies.jpg

Nothing says Captain America like apple pie. Just ask Monica at Popcorner Reviews. Check out her easy mini apple pie recipe and enjoy with your favorite avenger movie. Photo courtesy of Popcorner Reviews.

il_570xN.1348244494_l6pz.jpg

il_570xN.1424177259_8xp9.jpg

Are you seeing THIS?! Pokemon terrariums?! Take all of my money! No plants so no watering actually required is a bonus for me! Photos courtesy of PalletCraftsByXev.

 

 

Review Rave: OwlCrate’s ‘Castles, Courts & Kingdoms’ via Cratejoy

Review Rave: OwlCrate’s ‘Castles, Courts & Kingdoms’ via Cratejoy

This is the second month of my OwlCrate subscription, and it really blew me away with all the goodies inside. OwlCrate hooked me with ‘Find Me in the Forest’ and reeled me in with ‘Castles, Courts & Kingdoms.’ Let’s dig into this review of OwlCrate’s November box: ‘Castles, Courts & Kingdoms’!

Overview: OwlCrate is a monthly subscription box that contains a newly published hardcover Young Adult book with a special cover, 3-5 other items, as well as exclusive goodies from publishers and authors. Each box also has a unique theme every month!

Review: I was so excited for this theme! I love medieval settings with strong women and a dash of romance. I couldn’t wait either to see what what Harry Potter item would be included this time! The box came two days after I got my tracking number, and I waited a few days to open it due to the holiday craziness. The wait was so worth it though!

The small postcard on top goes into detail about each item inside the box with a handy spoilers tag. I always set this aside first so I can dig in without spoiling any of the items. There is a booklet with an author interview, word search, suggested reads if you liked the book, an interview with Fizzy Fairy Apothecary, photo challenge, and next month’s theme! There is also a matching button to go with the booklet’s cover art.

Now let’s get to the good stuff…

IMG_20180104_133451_961.jpg

The book in this month’s box was The Glass Spare by Lauren Destafano. After opening the book, I found an autographed bookplate and a note from the author!

Here’s the note from the author as well as some colorful temporary gem tattoos!

The beautiful, lined notebook is from Stella Bookish Art! “Don’t let the hard days win.” -A Court of Mist and Fury

IMG_20180104_133451_965.jpg

This wooden brooch with magnet back from Juniper and Ivy Designs is based on the Grishaverse was specially made for OwlCrate subscribers! There’s 3 brooches total; which one did you get?

IMG_20180104_133451_968.jpg

My favorite item in the box was this Expecto Patronum beanie from OwlCrate! I wear it every day. I also lovelovelove my lip balm in blackberry mint from Geek Fire Labs.

IMG_20180104_194523_820.jpg

Last but certainly not least is this adorable Elven bread soap from Lord of the Rings by Fizzy Fairy Apothecary! You may have seen it on my instagram feed last night as the “soap which may not be used… only looked at and sniffed!” The smell is A-MA-ZING!

Bottom Line: Love Young Adult reads? Love bookish , handmade items from your favorite fandoms? You’ll love OwlCrate!

Geeky Gal’s Score: 5 out of 5 stars!

Would you like to see a video of next month’s OwlCrate unboxing? Leave me a comment if you prefer the blog style review or if you wanna see a Youtube unboxing! Or both?!

Gift Guide: 10 Foxy Things for Fox Lovers

Gift Guide: 10 Foxy Things for Fox Lovers

Last year I created a few gift guides for those who LOVE fandoms like Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Sherlock. This year is no different! I’m sprinkling magic AND geek all over this holiday season. Click here to see Unicorn Must Haves and here for Witchy Essentials! Today is all about our favorite woodland creature: the fox! Let’s find where the wild things are for all the fox lovers on your list. *Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

Loly in the Sky Critter Fix Printed Sneaker

10095504_CRM_ALT05.jpg

For those casual fox lovers on your list. $34.99 via Modcloth.

Foxy Mug

201600006623-2.jpg

For your foxy coffee-drinking friend. $14.99 via Fuego.

Fox Infinity Scarf in Navy

fb0e88427edd901049e93bdcdaf45a79.jpg

Foxes are even better in Fall. Keep warm with this scarf in a fox pattern. $9.99 via Amazon.

Sleeping Fox Tote

tote13in-whi-z1-t-sleeping-fox-wreath.png

Slip all of your foxy gifts into this reusable tote! $27.99 via LookHuman.

Fox Crossbody Bag

Cute Cotton Canvas Crossbody Bag Purse w Vegan Leather Strap.png

An everyday purse for your gal pal fox enthusiast. $29.99 via Amazon.

S’ip by S’well Water Bottle in Sly Fox

71l0nIJtD-L._SL1500_.jpg

Got a foxy runner to buy for? Try this stainless steel water bottle in Sly Fox! $19.99 via Amazon.

Foxy Throw

52030006.jpg

Who cares if this throw is for kids? It’s adorable for the “always cold” fox lover on your list! $25.54 via Target.

Crochet Fox Coffee Cozy

il_570xN.872287441_hdii.jpg

To wrap around your love’s coffee or hot chocolate on Christmas morning. $8 via Etsy.

Fox Table Lamp

50193451.jpg

Perfect for any fox hole or library or game room. $29.99 via Target.

Foxy Casual Socks

52327866.jpg

Keep your SO’s toes warm with their favorite critter. $1.50 via Target.

Gift Guide: 10 Witchy Essentials

Gift Guide: 10 Witchy Essentials

Last year I created a few gift guides for those who LOVE fandoms like Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Sherlock. This year is no different! I’m sprinkling magic AND geek all over this holiday season. Click here to see the Unicorn Must Haves! Today is all about witches and spells. If the shoes fits, here’s your chance to get them a hat and broom to match! *Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

Witch Resistance/ Revolution Pin

a-witchs-place-is-in-the-resistance-revolution-pin-by-nyxturna-2.jpg

When your witchy pal needs to shut down the patriarchy. $17.89 via HellaHollics.

Witches Before Bitches Pencils

witches-before-bitches-pen-by-mysticum-luna-2.jpg

The perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite witch. $2.74 via HellaHollics.

Go Smudge Yourself Notebook

go-smudge-yourself-notebook-by-mysticum-luna-2.jpg

The best notebook for spells and lists. $4.64 via HellaHollics.

Basic Witches Book

51+gn0tW2kL.jpg

This one is probably going to sneak itself under my tree. $11.58 via Amazon.

Fueled by Crystals Mug

mug11oz-whi-z1-t-fueled-by-crystals-coffee.png

For the coffee-lover witch on your list. $15.99 via LookHuman.

Tarot Sweat Shirt

97100-black-z1-t-sorry-my-tarot-cards-said-no.png

For your tarot-reading friend. $35.00 via LookHuman.

il_570xN.1328438445_ds87.jpg

Sailor Moon, you say? As a witch?! Lana Jay Art gives you what you want. $7.92+ via Etsy.

Tea Witch Charms

il_570xN.1385206799_tb6g.jpg

Pick your bestie’s flavor of tea and give her a tea witch charm this holiday season. $11.81 via Etsy.

Cauldron Cakes Looseleaf Tea

il_570xN.1211060518_4rcv.jpg

For the witch with a sweet tooth who loves her hot tea. SOLD OUT via Etsy.

Where, Web, Why A-Line Midi Skirt

10093382_BLK_ALT05.jpg

For the fashionable witch on your list. $20.97 via Modcloth.

Gift Guide: 10 Must Haves for Unicorn Lovers

Gift Guide: 10 Must Haves for Unicorn Lovers

Last year I created a few gift guides for those who LOVE fandoms like Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Sherlock. This year is no different! I’m sprinkling magic AND geek all over this holiday season. Get ready for some unique and awesome gift guides for your family and friends! Today is all about magic and glitter. For that special someone in your life that is a unicorn in a field of horses… Here is your official gift guide. *Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

Unicorn Make Up Brushes

61nFmwEmPGL._SL1000_.jpg

You saw them on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Now buy a set for your magical gal pals! $14.99 via Amazon.

Majestic AF Mug

il_fullxfull.1281195293_4zb6.jpg

 

Every Unicorn needs a mug. Especially one as pretty as this! $14.35 via Etsy.

Goddamn Magical Unicorn Bag

normal_you-are-a-goddamn-magical-unicorn-makeup-bag.jpg

When your unicorn needs reminding of who they are. $24.40 via Not on the High Street.

‘Hold My Rings’ Unicorn

51Egu9wObpL._SL1024_.jpg

When they need a magical place to keep rings and bracelets. $18.20 via Amazon.

Fancy Unicorn Socks

101297448_1.jpg

To keep those toes warm and in style. $6 via CharmingCharlie.

Unicorn Matchbook Bobby Pins

101475558_2.jpg

This matchbook of bobby pins is a must for anyone on your list with hair as beautiful as a unicorn’s. $8 via CharmingCharlie.

Uni-Cozy Socks & Eyemask

52690019.jpg

You know I love fuzzy socks! Get the matching eye mask in a set for $8 via Target.

Pajama Pants in Unicorn

52432316.jpg

You can’t go wrong with pajama pants. Especially when they’re in Unicorn print. $16.99 via Target.

Unicorn Table Lamp

50191523.jpg

Gift the gift of light… through a unicorn. $24.49 via Target.

Whatever Unicorn Tee

3200bc-white_black-z1-t-whatever-unicorn.png

Let them wear their inner unicorn on the outside with this baseball tee. $23.99 via LookHuman.

MCFT: Librarian Chic

MCFT: Librarian Chic

So I am obsessed with the librarian look. You can make it edgy or hipster or preppy. It can be casual or business casual. It’s versatile and trendy but timeless. I can’t wait to try it myself! *Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

femininedoubledenim6.jpg

bur1.jpg

Both of these looks from Someone Like You remind me of Belle, the original Disney bookworm. The light blue shirt with white buttons is reminiscent of her first “peasant” dress. The mustard yellow cardigan is for her ball gown, and the burgundy dress is for her winter cloak. The scalloped edges on both of these outfits give them a whimsical feel.

To achieve this librarian chic look try this dress in burgundy, this cardigan in mustard, these boots in brown, and these tights in white.

Continue reading “MCFT: Librarian Chic”