Getting Convention Ready: Rewearing a Costume Multiple Times at the Con
There are a lot of reasons to re-wear a costume multiple times during the same convention! You may be a new cosplayer with only one costume to wear, or a seasoned cosplayer who knows that re-wearing an outfit makes it easier to find photos later. Whatever the reason, you should take some steps to make sure that your costume isn’t going to get ruined, smelly or dirty over the weekend!
Do this every day to help make sure your costume stays clean, and you stay smelling good! These preventative measures can be used even if you aren’t re-wearing the costume.
- Make sure the costume is clean before wearing it (wash it if necessary)
- Wear clean underclothes, and pack clean underclothes for each day
- Wear a slip or lightweight breathable undershirt, to keep sweat from getting to your costume
- Wear an antiperspirant deodorant, and reapply throughout the day as needed
- Shower before wearing the costume
- If you are wearing the costume and applying makeup, use a towel to prevent powdered makeup from falling onto your clothes.
- If you are wearing full body makeup, make sure that your makeup is sealed to prevent it from rubbing off on your costume - and the rest of the convention!
During the Day
While you are wearing the costume, there are some steps you can take to prevent it from getting overly dirty or smelly.
- If you are eating, be careful to not spill it on your costume.
- If you plan to sit outside, avoid sitting in areas where you may dirty or stain your costume. Bringing a blanket/towel to sit on can help you avoid dirty and grass stains.
- As Preventative Measures mentioned, reapply deodorant throughout the day as needed.
- If you stain your costume, use tide-to-go or another stain remover to help get it out quickly.
If you plan to be up all night, give your costume a break. It’s also good to change out of the costume if you plan to attend the rave/dance parties for various reasons.
It’s pretty common for people to hang out in pajamas, kigurumi, regular clothes, or stripped down versions of costumes for late night events!
If you don’t want to ditch the costume, just make sure you take it off at some point so you can do the steps in “Overnight”
When you do take your costume off, here is what you can do to get it ready for the next day:
- Wash the costume in the sink or bathtub. Just spot clean any stains, or sweaty areas as needed.
- Spray the costume down with Febreeze or another anti-odor spray, to keep it smelling fresh
- Hang your costume by a open window, to help air it out. Separate the pieces so any sweat doesn’t get trapped.
- Prepare new underclothes, shirt or slip, socks, and anything else that can be changed for the next day.
- Have a shower! Even if you don’t smell, cons can be a dirty environment (remember there are hundreds of people, some who did not wash their hands) and often a hot enviroment (you’re probably going to sweat a little during a con) and a shower will keep you clean
- Inspect your costume for damages, and use your fix-kit to fix them.
Just in Case
Sometimes the worst happens: your costume gets extremely dirty, it rips and can’t be fixed, or you find out it’s just extremely uncomfortable. Just in case, pack an extra costume, change of clothes, or both! You don’t want your con to be ruined because the cosplay didn’t work out!
Getting Convention Ready: Convention Budget
You’re packed and ready for the con, time to smash the piggy bank! How much should you be bringing to the con?
If you have been to the convention before, you probably know what is in the area and the prices of food. If you haven’t been to the area, use your google-fu to scope out what’s in the area so you can decide where you might be eating and plan accordingly.
When I first started congoing my food budget was roughly $60 dollars. I didn’t stay at the convention overnight, so $20 covered lunch for each day. Anything left over went to my spending budget! Now I stay overnight, but my food isn’t counted in the “con budget” since I pay for food with my debit card.
You can save money by bringing food with you. One year we had a hotel room and my friend brought a cooler full of sandwiches, salads and other foods which was stored in the hotel room. This is a great way to make sure you’re eating healthy, saving money, and not waiting in line at the busy restaurants! Another option is to bring small snacks to eat throughout the day, such as granola bars!
If you’re staying overnight at the con you’re probably paying for a hotel room and that’s going to take a bite out of your wallet!
If you are in charge of a hotel group (you booked the room, other people will be paying you their portion) try to get the money ahead of time to avoid any issues at the convention. If you don’t get the money ahead of time, be prepared to cover the entire cost of the hotel room in case something happens and you don’t get your money.
Hotels will usually ask for a deposit, especially if you are paying in cash, to be held in case of damages. The amount requested will depend on the hotel so call ahead to confirm! If you don’t damage the room your deposit will be returned at checkout.
If you aren’t in charge of the room, make sure that you have set aside the amount for the hotel room, and ask to see if the person in charge is also requesting people chip in for the deposit.
There may be other fees for the hotel, so check the hotel’s website before the convention. These fees could be for internet access, use of the pool, or for renting movies.
Getting Home / Emergency
Always have cash set aside as “emergency” money. In case you lose your wallet, keep this money separately.
Emergency money can cover a variety of things: if you lose your wallet, if your ride home leaves without you and you have to find your own way, if you get sick and need to purchase something at the drugstore.
I suggest calculating what you need for your other expenses first, before deciding on your spending budget. That way if you are on a limited budget, you can make sure you have everything important covered and then use the rest for spending.
To get an idea of how much to bring, have an idea of what you are looking for. If you can make a “shopping list” then you have an idea of how much you will need to purchase it. The internet is a great way to get price ranges! For example if my shopping list is a tiger kigurumi (approx.$65) and a couple plushies ($15-30 each) then I would want to bring at least $125 to cover those, but probably more in case something else catches my eye.
If you don’t have a shopping list, bring the amount of money you feel okay spending in the dealers room.
Debit + Credit
Debit and credit cards are great for things like emergency funds, hotel and food money, because they generally are accepted outside of the convention.
At the convention, few (if any) vendors have machines to accept payment from cards and the con itself might not accept electronic payment for tickets and other paid events. ATMs also empty very fast, even on the first day of the convention, so don’t rely on ATMs to be a source of backup cash!
Bring enough cash to cover what you want from the con itself, and use the debit/credit card to cover stuff outside of the con.
As someone who has worked for a vendor in the past, PLEASE PAY IN CASH. Many card systems used at the con rely on wifi or phone signals and oftentimes these are faulty at the con. To keep things moving smoothly, pay in cash.
Getting Convention Ready: Last Minute Cosplay Details
You’ve finished your cosplay, it came in the mail, or you dug your costume out of the closet for a re-wear. It’s (hopefully) a week or so until the convention and you have some time for touch ups, what can you do to get your costume convention ready?
Clean it Up
Check your costume for any minor things that can be cleaned up such as chalk lines or loose threads!
- Clean off any chalk or other tool marks that are visible.
- Trim any loose or hanging threads
- Use a roller to remove cat hair, lint and other particles
- Iron your costume to make sure that there are no wrinkles (especially if you bought the costume)
- Look over the wig for flyaway hairs
- Removal of tags (for bought costumes)
- Checking for stains, rubbed off makeup, or other spots (for reworn costumes)
- Make sure you have all the parts of your costume, and they are ready for packing
- Check for damages, and fix them (such as tears)
- Check for alterations you might need to do (adjusting the size)
Add minor additions
Look at how much time you have left, is there something you can add to the costume within that amount of time? Is there something you could have done better, and have time to fix?
Test it Out
Try it on and wear it around the house for a day. This will help you find and fix a lot of issues with the costume such as: low visibility, pieces that move around, discomfort, restricted movement, temperature, and seeing if pieces will survive being worn.
Test out your makeup before the con so that you know what it looks like, practicing before the convention will also help you get it on quicker at the convention. If you are wearing full body makeup you can also test ways of sealing the makeup, to avoid it rubbing off during the convention.
You can also try doing some poses in front of the mirror, or doing some test-pictures to see how your costume looks like in various poses and on camera
Pack a Fix Kit
Gather supplies needed to fix your costume, so that you can fix it during the convention! If you are staying in a hotel room you may want two fix kits: one to carry around the con (with small tools, such as safetypins and thread) and one for the hotel room (with larger tools, such as hot glue or duct tape).
Here are some suggestions of what to carry in your fix kit:
- Bobby pins / Hair Clips
- Safety Pins
- Stain Removers (such as tide to go)
- Needle and Thread (matching your costume)
- Hot glue, super glue or another fast drying glue
- Extra Makeup / Sealer
- Extra Snaps, Buttons, Velcro etc
- Clear Nail Polish (for stocking runs)
- bandaids/first aid kit (to fix yourself)
Bring what you need to quickly fix the costumes you are bringing, don’t feel like you need to pack your whole sewing machine in case a seam splits! Major fixes can be saved until you go home.