Sometimes, you have a convention coming up, and you decide a month or two beforehand that you’re going to “whip up” a quick and easy cosplay to wear, just for fun. Unfortunately, “cosplay” and “quick and easy” doesn’t usually go together, it almost always takes more time, energy, and money than you intend (unless you decide to go as Arthur Dent and already have a towel).
A few years ago, I bought my husband a Jayne hat for Christmas. You know the one:
He never wears it. I mean, honestly, if you don’t know Firefly it is a bit ridiculous, but I figured he was secure enough to pull it off. I was wrong.
I decided I was going to build a quick and easy costume for myself around that hat, for FanX last spring…buy cargo pants and a Blue Sun t-shirt, done. I told my husband, and he immediately said, “can I be Kaylee?” Now, you think a guy who is too self-conscious to wear an ugly orange hat in public wouldn’t want to cosplay as a female character, but he’s a helicopter mechanic, so he identifies with her. He had a green flight suit already, so I figured it’d be easy, just as easy as mine.
Then I started to think about it. At no point does Jayne ever wear his cunning hat with a Blue Sun t-shirt. I could be inauthentic…but no. I decided I needed a Talking Head t-shirt. I worked it up as cleanly as I could in photoshop, and the screen printed it on a sweatshirt. When I say it like that, it sounds like a quick and easy thing, let me assume you, it was not. It was not fun. At that point, I regretted not just buying a Blue Sun t-shirt after all.
I also decided I needed Vera. I know, I know, Jayne never carries Vera while wearing the hat, but I didn’t care, I NEEDED Vera. So, I made one. Out of a Nerf gun.
Again, saying it like that sounds like it was just something that came together easily, instead of taking hours and hours of sanding, drilling, dremeling, priming, painting, all the while spread out on my kitchen island like this:
My husband’s Kaylee cosplay ended up being almost as much work. He said boy Kaylee wouldn’t bother with a floral shirt, he’d have floral tattoo sleeves. And welding googles and gloves, because Kaylee is a mechanic, dang it!
It was all starting to come together, but then I realized that the hat that we had built our cosplays around really didn’t look that good on me, and it was going to be REALLY hot the weekend of the convention. We scrapped the hat and my sister-in-law whipped up some orange poms. My littlest sister joined us as Girl Wash, and we had a great time. No, we weren’t going to win any costume contests or anything, but we liked how it came together.
Yes, these were the most unflattering photos I’ve ever taken, just in case you were wondering. My sister’s Snapchat photo from the night before was WAY better (although decidedly lower quality):
And that, my friends, is how a simple, easy cosplay turns into a weeks-long ordeal. In a day or two, I’ll tell you all about the kids’ cosplays that weekend…because we weren’t just putting together two costumes in a two bedroom basement apartment, we were putting together five.