The Difference Between Halloween and Cosplay

sf85083-back-chin-lo-costumeCosplay is a contraction of “costume play” and simply means playing in costume or character. Participants are referred to as “cosplayers” and the costume can be a simple homage to their favorite character or performance art where the cosplayer attempts to acts out or become the character as closely as possible.

Cosplayers draw inspiration from their favorite manga, anime, comic books, video games, and films. Any entity from the real or virtual world that can be dramatically interpreted may become a subject for cosplay. It is not unusual to see genders switched – for women playing male roles and men crossdressing as women. The SyFy channel has recently been featuring the art of cosplay in their series The Heroes of Cosplay which gives you a great look into the world of cosplaying.

Cosplaying started at events such as science fiction, fantasy and anime conventions where they would compete in costume contests to win fame or prizes often performing skits in their very elaborate costumes to further identify with their characters. It has continued to grow and become more mainstream over the years particularly in Asia where cosplay influences Japanese street fashion.

While cosplayers may also get into character during Halloween or Mardi Gras, cosplay is generally considered different from these fancy dress holidays as the intention is to replicate a specific character rather than just look like them or reflect the culture or popular costume trends of the time. The characters are often chosen from TV series and movies (Star Trek, Star Wars, Disney characters costumes and The Lord of the Rings being very popular choices), books, comic books (The X-Men and Avengers for instance), video games such as Assassin’s Creed Costumes or World of Warcraft, anime and manga costumes like Sailor Moon, or may be an original design or fusion of different genres (such as a steampunk version of Captain Kirk).

as85034-assasins-creed-mens-costume-sideOnce cosplay costumes had to be hand made with quality varying greatly depending on the skill of the cosplayer (or their friends and mothers). As a greater variety of commercially made Halloween costumes became available, cosplayers would often use these costumes as a starting point mixing and matching or modifying pieces to more accurately fit their character. Now costume manufacturers are creating more and more readily available cosplay costumes (with varying degrees of authenticity and quality) though cosplayers often modify these costumes and add details such as wigs or hair extensions, body paint, shoes, jewelry, temporary tattoos, colored or special effect contact lenses, and prop weapons to complete the look.

With a Halloween costume, the effort usually stops at the costume, but a cosplayer will often spend weeks or even months perfecting their characters speech pattern, mannerisms, and other characteristics that make that character unique. Their goal is to be instantly recognized by other fans as the characters they portray.

Getting started into cosplay is pretty easy – pick a character from something you love and start collecting pieces of costumes that fit that character or is perhaps something they would wear if they had it. Or choose a persona you want to portray such as a goth, punk rocker, steampunk pirate or whatever and get shopping!

How far you want to take cosplaying is totally up to you, but above all, have fun!

Article by Lori Anne Brown – All Rights Reserved. Originally Published at


Order Tracking is Back!

Not sure how it disappeared but I discovered the “Order Tracking” box was missing from the Account Page of the stores! It’s back now and working properly. I added a “Track Your Order” link in the footer too – just click on it or “Account” to view the tracking box in the top left column of the store.

Just enter the email address you used for your order and your order id number. This will redirect you to view your latest order (even if you didn’t register with us for an account). If your order has shipped, you will see a link for the tracking number in he history section at the bottom. Just click it to view the tracking and delivery information via UPS, Fedex, USPS or DHL. Easy!

If you did register, you can also view this information from your Order History.

Relaunching our YouTube Costume Channel

Okay, so while I love watching videos on YouTube, I have always found them hard to figure out when it comes to setting up our channel.

I’m taking another stab at it and starting to set up some playlists you might like, starting with InCharacter Costume’s amazing Costume Confidential line of premium costumes. These 12 styles for 2012 have scrumptious fabrics and great details with styles that are elegant and not too sexy, like the beautiful Queen of Hearts costume featured here.

Check them all out on YouTube with more videos coming soon. Of course they are all available for purchase at

New costumes coming soon

Most costume manufacturers actually start stocking their new designs in August, so watch for all the new styles to be going up on the store over the next few weeks as well as styles that were out of stock coming back in.

I’ve been adding shoes and accessories to it along with my other stores, but have pretty much waited until now for the new costume styles since I didn’t see any reason to add them with “Out of Stock – ETA August” on everything 🙂

Amazing costumes and accessories made from pull tabs!

Came across this amazingly cool site and had to share! Take a look at what this artist can create with can pull tabs! And the beer can googles are cool too!

She has a ton more of amazing pieces on her blog, The Art of Can Tabistry so check it out!! Most are steampunk oriented and simply amaze me.

Updating shipping information for each product

Since the current cart software lets me specify more delivery and shipping options than I could before, I’ve been tweaking and refining this information to try to make it as clear as possible and standardizing it for all my stores.

When you look at the product page for an item on one of my online shops, you will see the product title with a photo of that item on the left and information about that product to the right of the photo. After a brief description of that item, you will see the “Brand”, “Product Code”, and “Ships In” information just above the price.

This “Ships In” line gives you the standard handling time it takes for that specific product to leave the warehouse heading to your delivery address and these times are further described on the Shipping tab below the product photo with even more detail given on the Delivery Information page. Note this is the usual handling time – there are times when shipping might be delayed including invalid or unclear shipping address, holidays, peak seasons, warehouse inventory, natural disasters in the warehouse area, or other delays beyond our control, but this gives you a time valid 99% of the time.

This is the time to be packaged and leave the warehouse and NOT a delivery time. Total delivery time includes the packaging/handling plus transit time. Expected transit time is given on the Delivery Information page but averages 2-9 days within the US. Again, delays beyond our control can happen and delivery is out of our control once your package is shipped and in the hands of the USPS, UPS, Fedex or other delivery service – especially for international delivery.

The delivery confirmation or tracking number is now provided via email and/or your order history page for every shipment so please use it to for more detailed delivery times once your order has shipped.

SSL not reporting correctly? Your security

I’m getting some reports that our SSL certificate is not reading correctly on all stores in all browsers. *sigh*

Just to clarify, yes, I have an SSL certificate installed and yes, information is encrypted. It’s actually encrypted twice – once by my cart software using a random encryption key and once by the SSL certificate. Furthermore, my cart software only stores your name, address, phone, email and order information in the store database – encrypted so it cannot be read by any one but me. All credit cards are processed but never stored utilizing Paypal’s Website Payment Pro service if you pay on the site, or via their own servers if you select “Paypal” as the payment method and then select “Pay using a credit card” instead of using or setting up a Paypal account. I’m also working on getting Google Checkout (or Wallet as they call it now) set up again and plan to add Amazon Checkout in the near future allowing you to checkout via their secure servers).  Any way you pay on my stores, I never see or have access to your credit card information.

Browser SSL verifications have always had problems reporting security status for pages that include dynamic content like Twitter and Facebook as it considers those services un-secure (even though they don’t send data out!) and I believe that’s the main issue. But I am working with my web hosts as well trying to figure out what the problem is with it registering properly on all my stores. If in doubt, you can buy any of my products via which seems to be showing “Partially encrypted” (due to Facebook/Twitter) on most browsers at least or call in an order at 407-574-5327.

My apologies for the confusion.

Paypal problem finally fixed!!

I think the problem with orders paid via Paypal not showing to me as an order has finally been fixed!!! Keeping my fingers crossed as the orders in the last few days paid via Paypal have come thru properly!!

For those of you not familiar with Paypal, it lets you pay anyone online via an email address – basically like an online bank account. When you set up a Paypal account, you can deposit funds to it from a bank account or credit card but instead of using checks, you send payments to another Paypal account via their email address. The recipient never sees your bank account or credit card information which is one reason a lot of people like using it for online purchases. It is safe and secure all the way around.

By the way, you do not need to have a Paypal account to pay with Paypal – you can use their service to pay using your credit card as well giving you the extra peace of mind and security. Of course, our carts don’t store your credit card information and I never see your card information if you choose Credit Card as your payment method either, but I offer both methods for you to choose.

Cosplay Costume Closet mostly back to normal

My main costume store, Cosplay Costume Closet, is 98% fixed after the software upgrade. All images are fixed and the Quicktime movies of some costumes that let you see them in 360 degrees are functional again.

Still working on an update to the product filters to let you browse easier by size, color, price etc, but otherwise, everything is working as it should.

Naturally, I have tons more products to add – subscribe to our new product RSS feed to always keep up to date on new additions.

Slowly getting the stores back to normal

Thanks to a fouled up software upgrade, I had to basically redo the new stores, so over the last few days you might have noticed they were down or just looking weird.

I’m slowly getting everything back to normal and they should actually be better, stronger and faster once everything is completed.

Messing with code the last few days has put me a little behind processing orders too – I should be caught up again by the end of the day March 7. My apologies for the inconvenience.

Previous Older Entries

Follow Halloween & Cosplay Costuming on
%d bloggers like this: