I wanted to write an article about one of my hobbies. It’s called costuming. A quick description, for those of you who may only consider wearing a costume on Halloween, or perhaps never, is its a hobby about collecting and wearing costumes at conventions and parties, sometimes replicas of favorite movie and TV icons. Alien and Predator are good examples, or it could be historical replicas of say Civil War Soldiers or Pirates of The Caribbean or Super Heroes or What have you. Costuming as a hobby is as wide and varied as the imagination can go.
One starts out costuming like this. You accidentally attend a science-fiction convention with a friend and have a great time walking around looking at all the great costumes and you think, wow, I can come back here next year and wear one too. So maybe you purchase a black cloak, and next year you come to that same con (because hey, you had so much fun last year) as a vampire with some black clothes you already had, some white makeup you borrowed from your sister and the cloak you bought a year ago. And so you walk around, and your having a great time fitting in, but then you think… gee it would be cool to have some awesome boots like the ones I saw that other person wearing, and that sword I saw in the dealers room and some honest to goodness real fangs…..and before you know it your working on your 10th costume.
The actual act of building a costume can be as much fun, and more fun in some cases, than actually parading around in it. The hobby part of costuming can be as deep or as lightweight as you want. You can simply research and purchase seperate items that will be combined as a final costume, this being the easiest and fastest way, but can also be the most expensive. Many costumers opt or even prefer to make every part of thier costumes themselves, which is more time consuming but cheaper.
The best example may be the Star Wars Storm Trooper. A deluxe outfit can run you in excess of $2,000, however you can make a decent one yourself for free out of cardboard, and many people have done this to terrific effect. The process can be uplifting and frustrating in a way that only labors of love in the artistic world are. I have been costuming for the past 10 years and I have only scratched the surface of hardcore costuming that I have seen at conventions like Dragoncon.
It can become an obsession for some and there is, like everything, a dark side to costuming. Addiction is easy when it comes to costuming, and collecting in general, so one has to put ones-self in check and make sure you dont bring financial ruin upon yourself just to afford another helmet for your Boba Fett collection.
Also, If you aren’t careful and plan your costume right, it can be an absolute nightmare and quite dangerous. Heat is an issue in planning , so keep hydrated and stay indoors if your doing the whole Chewbacca or Furries thing. Also make sure you are able to use the bathroom easily. There’s nothing worse than having to remove your entire costume in the public restroom, just to take a pee.
Well I’d love to hear comments and stories about your costume art and obsession. Until next time….