Cosplay and dressing up: fun for all ages

There are many occasions throughout the year when dressing up in a costume is perfectly normal. Discover why cosplay's never been more accessible or affordable.
Costume rentals and purchases surge during certain holidays and busy periods. Which begs the question: do we really need an occasion to dress up and play?

Children love role playing in costumes. No longer restricted to just Halloween parties, it’s becoming more and more common for adults to dress up for themed events as well.

Cosplay and dressing up: fun for all ages

Why dress up?

For most children, this is just par for the course. It’s a rite of passage on the journey to self-discovery and learning. The fun of getting dressed up in costumes is universal and the appeal doesn’t necessarily go away when we grow up.

Special occasions

Going to the supermarket dressed as a character may illicit some strange looks, so consider the appropriateness of the occasion. On the other hand, Halloween, Christmas and themed parties are an ideal occasion for dressing up.

While a costume event may seem like a carte blanche, you don’t want to show up to a formal masquerade ball dressed as Superman. A good disguise is artful and relevant to the moment.

Where to look for costumes

You can find traditional costumes at big box retailers. Most toy shops, especially larger chains, have a costume section as well. Party supply stores sell and rent costumes and have a diverse inventory, including theatrical makeup and accessories for a variety of themes.

If you want to build your own original costume, thrift shops are a potential treasure trove.

Costs

Costumes vary significantly in price depending on the popularity of your choice and the time of year. Complete costumes are available starting at about $20; however, at this price, the quality of fabric may not guarantee comfort or durability.

More elaborate costumes are usually in the ball park of $50 to $100, though dedicated cosplay fans have been known to shell out $300 for a clever disguise.

Trends

Current trends in cosplay are a cheerful blend of innovation, fantasy and nostalgia. Contemporary costumes often depict pop-culture celebrities and the superhero of the hour.

Pirates, robots, ninjas, police and clowns are traditionally targeted at boys, while princesses, queens and witches may sound cliche, they are still the most popular motifs for girls.

You can find inspiration by visiting costume websites and online party supply stores. You’re sure to find something you like and who knows—you might even win the door prize.

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