Thursday, October 1, 2015

Creative Cosplay and Costume Thrift Tips From Angie S.

Angie as Gender-Swapped Ash from Evil Dead.
October is finally upon us! And with it comes apple picking, horror movie marathons, candy, and costumes. Of course if you're Angie S, costuming isn't just reserved for October 31st. 

Angie is a longtime cosplay aficionado, friend, and fellow thrift shopper. And she's here to share her wisdom on costumes, cosplay, and how thrifting can help bring it all together.

Q: So Angie, how did you become interested in cosplay? 

"I've been really into Halloween forever, and at 14 I started making my own costumes. After I got too old to trick-or-treat. (True story, I was 22... I'm 5 feet tall, so really, it's not like I can't pass for a  kid if I need to). But I still had that need to prance around in a costume. I knew people cosplayed for Otakon, but I somehow didn't realize that people cosplayed for practically EVERY kind of nerd con until I started dating my current boyfriend. He had done a few cosplays in the past. I thought about it for a couple of YEARS before one day, I suddenly felt like I really needed to dress up like Ash Williams. Now we go to every con we can feasibly attend!"

Gender-Swapped Joker & Harley Quinn from Batman. 

Q: Can you explain the creative process behind this couples' costume?

"These costumes are gender-swapped 1930s Public Enemies Harley Quinn and the Joker from Batman, which started when my boyfriend, Rick, wanted to be a gender-swapped Harley Quinn, and asked me to be the Joker. Since I had already started on the vest for his costume (two thrift store shirts sewn together), I kind of thought about the entire theme of his costume and realized that we could pull off an almost Bonnie and Clyde style Joker and Harley. My skirt, blazer, and blouse are all from a thrift store, mostly altered. (I still wear the skirt because it’s awesome!) His hat, vest, and tie are also from the thrift store."    

Q: What's your average cost per costume and the average time spent looking for thrifted supplies? 

"For the thrifted items, I typically spend between $15 and $35. The rest of it is either purchased online or compiled of stuff I already have. It never really amounts to more than $100, which is a bargain in a niche where people sometimes spend in the thousands on one costume alone. And it really depends! Sometimes I find mostly everything in one amazing trip, and sometimes I spread it out over the course of a few weeks so I can keep searching for just what I want."

Angie as Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2 

Q: Do you have any tips for secondhand Halloween costumes or cosplayers looking to make the thrift store their primary resource for supplies? 

"If you can, definitely give yourself a few weeks' time for finding stuff, because new things will show up often. If you don't find it the first time, you could potentially find it the following week! Also, if you can't find the right color and style combination for an article of clothing, try finding it in white, or a lighter version of the color you need.  Dye can make all the difference! Another thing I've found, particularly if it's not something you're going to be wearing a ton, faux leather can be painted with a flexible fabric paint. I've painted a belt and a pair of boots with it---and it's a real lifesaver. If you have mad sewing skills, the world is really your oyster in a thrift store; you can alter clothes to your heart's content! You can even go through the home furnishing section for fabrics. The main thing I took away from the movie Gone With the Wind is that you can make a fabulous dress out of curtains if you have some imagination." 

Q: Do you go thrifting recreationally for other things besides costume supplies, and if so do you have a favorite thrift store? 

"Definitely! My dresser is thrifted, as well as my favorite combat boots... I found them brand new in the box! There are also some cosplay items that I wear in real life just because I like them so much.  I also made myself a clutch for a wedding out of a pink sequined tank top. I didn't really know what I was doing, but it actually turned out pretty cute.  My favorite thrift store is the Feasterville Impact Thrift. It's massive, and it's right near Michael's Craft Warehouse and Five Below. (And it's also across the street from Starbucks. Close enough for when you need it, far enough to avoid temptation when you don't)."

Angie as Alabama Worley from True Romance
Q: And who might this be? 
"This is Alabama Worley---a southern girl who meets her husband while working briefly as a call-girl. She is sweet and a lot smarter than she seems. And a total badass! The thrifted items are the belt, which I painted, the fabulous leggings, and the bag. I had all of the characters in mind when I went to the thrift store… however, this Alabama costume is a SECOND costume. I had a costume based on the first thing we see her wearing in True Romance, and was out looking for shirts for my boyfriend’s costume, when I came across the hot pink leopard leggings. What are the odds?! When I found those, I HAD to make a whole second costume based on one of her later looks in the film. That was quite the happy accident. I'm also currently using Alabama's hot pink purse most of the time!"

Q: So what's next for you? Any future costume plans? 

"I'm working on a few Halloween costumes at the moment. A friend and I are being Blanche and Baby Jane from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane... I'm trying to track down the perfect dress or top and skirt combo. It should be a blast!" 


To see more of Angie's creative endeavors visit her online art portfolio where you can purchase her work. Also check out her super fun Tumblr here.

Many thanks for sharing your secondhand cosplay creations, Angie! 

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Witchcrafted Life said...

Totally fun post!!! Believe it or not, for all my love of dressing up and dressing outside of the box, too, I've never really done cosplay. The older I get, the more it appeals to me though, so maybe I'll take Angie's lead and give it a try one of these days.

Have an awesome October, Jackie!

♥ Jessica

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Jessica! I say give cosplay a shot. It looks like a lot of fun. Enjoy all of your Fall festivities!
<3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting

Millie Watts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Millie Watts said...

This is truly a funny post, Laughed a lot! It is crazy the good deals and very similar styles that can be found at budget-friendly stores and thrift stores. In my opinion, Inspirations is the best used cloth store in NJ.