It’s dangerous to cosplay alone. Here, take these links…
Sites for Information
Cosplay.com – Whatever your cosplay question, there’s a good chance that someone has asked it before and that there’s an answer or fifty in the Cosplay.com forums. There’s a lot of typical forum discussion to sift through, but there’s also a lot of useful information and tips.
CosplaySupplies.com – One stop shop for everything from thermoplastic to full costumes, plus links to lots of tutorials. While not always the most organized or cost-effective source, it’s a good place to see all your options laid out.
The Engineer Guy – If you want to build props, prosthetics, effects, or pretty much anything that doesn’t begin and end with fabric, this is the place to go. Not only do they carry literally everything you could possibly need, they know their stuff, and they know cosplay, so you can just message them with questions. The shop is located in Atlanta, GA, home of Dragon Con, and they host workshops, as well as their own mini-convention: Goo-Con.
Smooth-On – This company makes a lot of stuff that The Engineer Guy sells. They specialize in materials for reproduction and special effects and contract with a lot of film effects houses. While not specifically for cosplay, the website has detailed tutorials for almost every one of their products and guides to help you figure out what you need. You can purchase product directly from them, but the options are limited to bulk or sample sizes.
Arda Wigs – If you need a wig for cosplay, go to Arda. Don’t shop around, don’t compare options, don’t ask for advice, because all inquiries will just lead you right back here. Arda’s wigs are designed for cosplay and come in a huge variety of styles and colors that stand up well to heavy styling. In addition, the site is freaking full of tutorials, comparison guides, and FAQs, plus pictures of customers wearing the wigs, so you can see what they actually look like. This is another site where the people know their stuff, and I’ve had good luck with asking for a little guidance.
501st / Rebel Legion – You know those Stormtroopers you see wandering around who look like they really did just waltz right off the Death Star? They’re with the 501st, one of the official Star Wars costuming organizations. Even though they’re specific to Star Wars, these sites are a wealth of tutorials, references, and discussion that can be applied to a variety of costumes. These are serious cosplayers talking serious cosplay, and we can all learn from their example.
Burda Style Tutorials – Burda Style patterns, published by Simplicity, are sold as downloadable PDFs and are designed to be simple, easy to make, and easy to modify. The real gem on Burda’s website, though, is the collection of How To guides produced by both the company and its members. With more than 800 picture tutorials, there seems to be a mod for every pattern and a fix for every problem. There’s even a tutorial for using Burda patterns.
Instructables – Don’t know how to do something? Check Instructables. Figure out how to do something that there’s no tutorial for? Write an Instructable. Looking for ideas? Browse Instructables. This is a site designed specifically for People Who Make Stuff, and I highly encourage any cosplayer to sign up for an account. You’ll find no shortage of project ideas. While you’re there, check out my Instructables, most of which have to do with Leia cosplay. (I’m sure you’re shocked.)
Sites to Buy Stuff
Sites to Look at Cosplay
WicDiv Style Blog
Looking for something that isn’t here? Have a resource to suggest? Let me know!