Recently I received an email from someone who had read my post about Cosplay for Old Fogies, sending me some suggestions for generously proportioned, mature women. Luckily for me, that someone – Diana Joan Bass – doesn’t yet have her own blog to put her most excellent ideas out there, and she was kind enough to consent to allowing me to publish them. Diana says about herself:
I am short and fat and I like costuming (I got into it before everybody started calling it cosplay.) I’m good with makeup and O.K. with wigs and hair, with basic sewing skills.
(Diana forgets to mention that she is also generous, thoughtful and creative – surely, the most important parts!).
A good reference pictures of Miss Piggy will give you inspiration. You will need –
• Long blond wig.
• Pig snout pieces (I recommend the type that have an upper and lower segment).
• Suitable facial glue.
• A good base makeup that will go over the snout.
• Full evening eye makeup with extra false lashes .
• Satin gloves, outsize diamond look ring, string of pearls.
• Floor length evening dress or designer look tailored skirt suit.
• If you are comfortable in heels, a cuban as opposed to a stiletto, possibly in a leopard print. If not, go for the full length evening dress and flats.
• Reasonably high recognition factor.
• Comfortable clothes unless you find it awkward wearing gloves.
• Can be accessorised with designer look bag.
• The clothes can come from your wardrobe.
• Easy to move in.
• Can be solo or couple costume, if solo Kermit puppet optional.
• Requires learning how to apply a prosthetic; you’ll need to practice applying and removing it properly.
• If you haven’t worn a prosthetic before it gets hot having something glued over your face, particularly your nose.
• Wigs can also be hot like wearing a fur hat in summer.
• Having to drink with a straw – eating at all in this is tricky.
Ursula The Sea Witch from Disney’s Little Mermaid.
Black strapless bodice with tentacle legs/skirt. My version has a stolen trident to lean on. The legs I did included disguising my legs as two of the six tentacles. There are several good versions that made a skirt with tentacles over it; decide on what is the most practical for you.
Golden shell pendant makeup is basically a violet skinned woman makeup over emphasised to the level of a drag queen. The near vertical hair can either be your hair and a lot of coloured hairspray or be done with a wig shaped with glue and dried upside down. Here is my favourite Ursula of those I’ve seen online:
• Good recognition factor.
• One you can be really outrageous in.
• Body paint is like really cheap fake tan – you will leave marks though powder helps and you can get violet powder as it is used to adjust skin tone.
• Strapless gowns are risky if you have to bend and people with no manners may try and get a photo down your cleavage.
• Walking in tentacles, people may not allow you enough room.
Princess Fiona from Shrek
• Deep green velvet long sleeved dress.
• Deep green velvet slippers.
• Green tights to match the body paint.
• Auburn wig.
• Green ears can be made from felt and either fixed into wig with hair grips or sewn onto an alice band and style the wig over it.
• Green body paint and and base for the face. Allowing for the altered colour, it’s a fairly normal makeup (freckles and lips are normal colours).
If you wish to do a Fiona from Shrek Ever After you can use body paint for all skin areas or use green tights and green sleeves so there’s less area to paint. The costume for that is:
• Suede or sturdy cloth top in brown.
• Wrist bracers and boot/shoe covers in the same fabric.
• Shoulder pads and protective covers on the front of the boots optional.
• Brown leather belt (see the film for details of the large metal buckle).
• Skirt is a piece of torn tartan so little or no sewing for that bit.
• Bead and claw necklace.
• Big stone effect double headed axe.
• Good recognition
• Both costumes are reasonably comfortable.
• Body paint as above; yes, you can get green powder.
• Giant prop weapons get really heavy after a short while even if you think you made them quite light.
Guest from the ballroom scene in Labyrinth
You will need –
• Cavalier/Restoration inspired fantasy gown.
• Half mask held on with long ribbons.
• Nature inspired accessories made to look slightly creepy. Can be used as ornaments on the hairstyle hair extensions or wig for the hairstyle itself.
• Ballet shoes or period shoes.
Even if you don’t sew much you can make something fairly good from a couple of old bridesmaid dresses. If you do sew well you can make a historical gown that will be useful for several other characters. You can do up a half mask with animal and nature inspired detailing. Either a direct copy from the film or simply in the general style works well.
• A half mask doesn’t get in the way when you eat.
• The look is slightly dishevelled so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
• If you are doing the full historical gown take a look at court portraits from the era of Charles 1st and 2nd. You’ll see how good larger women look in that style.
• Not as widely recognised as some others.
• Moving around in a full skirt.
• Eighties/ historical hair and the time it takes to do it and all the fixing spray/mouse/gel you have to get out afterwards.
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego
Looks very good on a tall woman. You will need –
• Red Trenchcoat and matching hat.
• Black cuban heel boots.
• Glamorous makeup.
• Long flowing hair – yours or a wig.
• Optional suitcase with stickers from all over the world.
• Good recognition
• Comfortable clothes
• Wearing a coat indoors
• Being found a lot.
Victorian/Edwardian inspired Science Fiction. The tabloids focus mainly on the girls in a corset and short skirt but there is a wide range to work from. My first outfit was a Victorian style blouse, long skirt, waistcoat, bowler hat and goggles. Take a look at various steampunk sites for inspiration.
• There’s room for a lot of variation.
• Being asked to explain all about steampunk by somebody who read a badly written article. (Actually, this happens to all brands of cosplay – if one person is in costume, they should know everything about everybody else who wears those costumes and it should agree with this article somebody wrote to fill space.)
• Comfortable loose clothing
• May get a couple of “Who are you meant to be?” comments.