Many of us are either incapable of sewing or simply don’t have to the time do so. That is why buying cosplay costumes pre-made or custom sized is a great option for people. Below you will find links to variety of different cosplay sites and my comments on each one. KEEP IN MIND; here you will find both good and bad cosplay places so make sure to read each review before you buy.
Cosplay places also offer wigs, but I will break this up into just wigs and just cosplay sections.
~~ Requested Reviews ~~
From time to time, a website will request that I do a personal review about them. Due to these reviews going into greater detail then my standard reviews, they will now be given their own section.
The kind folks over at HalloweenCostumes.com contacted me a few weeks ago and asked me to write a review about them for our Cosplay Resources page. They were even nice enough to send us a few items so we can review them first hand and then raffle them off to participants at our upcoming OkamiCon 2012.
Unlike most cosplay and costuming websites that are located overseas, HalloweenCostumes.Com is based locally in the United States. While they may not carry many costumes that specialize in Eastern anime and fandom (Final Fantasy, Bleach, Black Butler, etc.), they do offer a wide variety of costumes that are more western oriented (Star Wars, Mario, Halo). There appears seemingly endless choices for those looking for a Wester Cosplay genre. Also, those focusing on more of an Eastern Anime Cosplay will defiantly find useful accessories and costume add-ons.
Because of the great deal of content that HalloweenCostumes.com has to offer, I will be breaking this review up into sections to cover it all.
– Costumes –
HC has great deal to offer in the way of costume choices for men, woman, teens and children. Even when you are expecting your own little bouncy baby Otaku, you can still find a few reasons to dress up with their Maternity section. Costumes have a bit of a ‘Halloween costume’ look to them which is understandable (being that it is called HalloweenCostumes.com) but they do present a good amount of accuracy for TV / Movie designs, and they all have an affordable price. If you are looking for something a more detailed, they also offer an entire furry Chewbaca (Star Wars) outfit and a full armor Commander Chief (Halo) outfit for those with a bit of bucks to drop. They also have some truly adorable outfits for children.
– Accessories –
The bread and butter for every cosplayer is the accessories. Even if you already have your cosplay in hand, you may still be looking for those last finishing touches such as shoes, jewelry or those hard to find stripped stockings. Been trying to look for a decent pair of “Vash the Stampede” glasses for a Trigun cosplay? Look no further because they have them and only for 3.99! It may take a little hunting to find what you want since not everything is listed in a menu section, but when that happens, the search bar can be your best friend. The show section is a great place to find those hard to find period style shoes, particularly for Black Butler cosplays. The Sexy Vampire Shoes would be perfect for a Madam Red outfit or Child Black Patent Boots for a Ciel Phantomhive outfit.
– Wigs –
The wig section offers something a little different then what you will see on most cosplay oriented websites. Unlike the Eastern websites that feature both base and pre-styled character wigs, HC offers a variety of both, again targeted more towards the Western market and for generic costumes. However, with over 200 wig choices, the creative possibilities are nearly endless and styles can be easily crossed over to an Eastern style anime cosplay. Child Batty Princess is the perfect wig to compliment The Sexy Vampire Shoes for a Madam Red Cosplay and the Elf Warrior Wig is the perfect non-copyrighted-infringing way of saying “This wig is made for a Link Cosplay!” All wigs are well priced with most of them not going over $20.00. The pre-styled wigs look good and accurate towards their intended character.
– Product Review –
I had the pleasure of reviewing a few products first hand that HC was kind enough to send me for this review. I have also included photos of each product in action as well as the link to where you can find it yourself on HalloweenCostumes.com.
Mad Hatter Top Hat
I fell in love with this hat the moment I saw it. Not so much because I am a fan of the new Alice in Wonderland movie, but because I saw the cross-over possibilities it presented. This is the most positively perfect hat for any Steam Punk fan! Combine this hat with the pair of round “Vash” style sunglasses you are ready to board the next clockwork airship leaving port. The inside of the hat is also adjustable with elastic and Velcro so there is no worry about if your head is too small (or too big) for it to fit properly.
Images: [x] – [x]
White Knee Length Petticoat
My sister has an Alice in Wonderland outfit we had her try on with this petticoat and the difference between the before and after was amazing. People do not often realize the drastic difference in the look of a costume until they have a little tulle under the skirt. The White Knee Length Petticoat was well made and just long enough to poof all of the skirt but short enough to be hidden just under it.
Images: [x] – [x] – [x]
Satin Trim Red Petticoat
The Trim Petticoats are made the same way and with the same quality as the White Knee Length Petticoat but is quite a bit shorter and has more of a mini-skirt style. In fact, for the modeling picture we took, it is actually worn as a mini-skirt with shorts underneath of it. It just goes to show the versatility of the petticoat.
Nurse Pill Purse
The Nurse Pill Purse is a cute little accessory, especially if you are going to be doing an Injection Fairy Lily cosplay. The purse is completely hollow on the inside with a soft felt lining and is the perfect size for stashing away your convention cash for the dealer’s room and some granola bars so you don’t starve in between panels. If you pair it with the Satin Trim Red Petticoat like we did in this picture, you will have yourself a great outfit.
Zelda Wooden Shield
No Link cosplay is complete without Link’s signature Tri-Force shield. One of two Tri-Force shields that HC offers as part of their Legend of Zelda category, the one we got to play with is the more affordable wooden version (the other being plastic with embossed detailing). As far as shields go, this is a grand deal for the cosplayer on a budget who doesn’t want to skimp out on detailing. The design looks like it airbrushed on using a stencil and the paint has a bit of a metallic look so it looks more like steel. On the back is a cloth strap and plastic handle for easy holding and a wall mount for easy hanging. We had so much fun playing with this Link Shield, instead of just taking pictures we ended up filming a short film which is planned to turn into a three part parody series.
Images: [x] – [x] – [x]
The Legend of Hyrule: [x]
For those of you, who would like to get your hands on some of these fantastic items and more, make sure you come to OkamiCon 2012 because they will be raffled off at the end of the day. Thanks again to HalloweenCostumes.com for donating the items to our raffle and giving us the joy of reviewing their website and products.
– The Verdict –
They are defiantly recommended and worth checking out; especially if you are looking for a Western cosplay or accessories to top of your Eastern cosplay. My mother plans on buying my younger sister an outfit from them and I will most likely buy from them myself in the future.
I had a particularly good time reviewing this cosplay website, mostly because the website asked me to review them. I hope they will take some of the advice I can provide to them to help improve on their shop.
Cosplays: Overall, their cosplays are very well priced and decently accurate. You can get some of the more simpler outfits for around $50 or even lower depending on the outfit. They do, however, charge $15.00 for custom sizing but unless you are getting an insanely detailed cosplay that is up in higher price range, this extra sizing charge isn’t to much of a hit to your wallet. While they lack a little bit of variety in some categories, they make up for it in others and their prices are hard to beat. A full (and very nicely detailed) Sesshomaru costume for $110 bucks if you include custom fitting? Haven’t seen that kind of price anywhere else. I also enjoy how they include Care Instructions for all of their cosplays right on the website. Even though I am a fan of Machine Washable, I prefer to know if something needs to be hand washed before I’m standing their with a stain on my outfit and have to make a guess.
Wigs: While their cosplay section was cheap and wonderful, their wig section ended up being the opposite and left something to be desired. While they had some very accurate wigs, others were not so much and all of them where in the higher price range as far as wigs go. Most places price their wigs either on styling detail or length but these ones are all about the same price and all about $45 and up despite the styling and length. As a result, you could probably get the exact same wig at another shop for much cheaper. It was also hard to find a wig to a particular character on account that they are all organized by length instead of also being organize by series.
Other: Another issue that I found was the many items that ended up being mislabeled. I know that things sometimes have a tendency to get lost in translation but it seems to be a so wide spread throughout the site (especially in wigs) that it can confuse a shopper. A Madam Red (Black Butler) Wig was marked as being for a character from Prince of Tennis and an Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach) Wig was marked as being a character from Soul Eater. Even though one wig can sometimes double for two characters, these ones where just horrible mislabeled and not accurate to the character picture provided. In Cosplays, particularly in Final Fantasy, costumes were marked as being in Final FantasyVIII when they where really from Final Fantasy VII, X or another one of the franchise. I would recommend that MicCostumes do a more generic labeling for such costumes (as in put them all under Final Fantasy and leave it at that) to help avoid confusion and also perhaps do a little research on the labeling of their wigs.
– Verdict –
For Cosplays, they are worth checking out. Their prices are hard to beat but they do charge $15.00 for custom sizing and another $18.00 for shipping would can eventually add up. Depending on what you are buying, they can be a good, cheaper alternative to some of the other websites. For more higher end and expensive cosplays, you almost better off looking someplace else first.
For wigs, they are worth checking out, but you are better off looking else wear first.
~~ General Reviews ~~
Fan Plus Friend
One of the best cosplay websites I have seen as a far as costume accuracy and quality. They may be a little pricier then some other places but you can expect your outfit to be made very well out of good material. They also provide costume sizing at no extra charge. They don’t have the widest selection of goods, but they do feature a lot of popular anime and video games. I was very happy with them and I will buy from them again in the future.
Even though they have a fairly good selection and their costumes seem to be decently made, they are WAY over priced on most of their costumes (often simple simple) that you can get else where for less then half of what they asking. They also DO NOT offer custom sizing despite the price you are paying. Because of this, crossplay is pretty much impossible for woman who want to dress up as a male character since all costumes for male characters are in men’s sizes only. I don’t recommend them.
A pretty good site that is decently priced and has fairly good quality depending on the costume you buy. While some of them can be well made with good material and look accurate to the character, there are some that look rather cheap and lack accuracy. Like I said, it really depends on the costume you are buying. They offer costume sizing free of charge but please note that costumes that have been ordered from there tend to run a little large. Other then that, they are recommended.
I still have yet to buy from them but I do plan on getting a cosplay from them in the future. Their costumes are very accurate, affordability priced as well as they offer custom sizing and different variations and similar cosplays, giving you a lot of choices. While they offer a large selection on different anime cosplays, they sometimes don’t show pictures of the wigs they offer and only show a picture of the character. Either way, I would still shop from them so I recommend them.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about these people. While their costumes seem to be decently made, their prices are usually about $75 dollars and up but sometimes they can be much lower though (at about $45 or $50). However, they do have a lot of costumes that you don’t see at other places. Their site isn’t the easiest place to navigate but they are at least worth taking a look.
Even though they have a few moderately priced costumes that are accurate and a few things that other stores don’t usually carry, overall, they are way too over priced in most of their stuff. A lot of their pricier costumes can be bought somewhere else and made of better quality. They do, however, offer custom sizing so they are at least worth taking a look at.
Now onto the wigs! Same rules a before will apply. The good, the bad, and the ugly will be posted here with my comments on each one.
Cosplay.Com Shop (Formally known as Cosworxs)
A popular cosplay wig shop out of Las Vegas, NV, they have lot of good wigs for fairly good prices. However, their selection has a tendency to be limited and they seem to always be out of the most popular colors. From what I have heard from others, that their customer service is good and they are willing to help out the customer if the wig isn’t the right shade or the wrong color. I would recommend them.
EDIT: CosWorx has now become the Cosplay.com Shop and has greatly expanded their selection offering some very nice high quality Japanese Import wigs along with new Cosplay.com Shop brands and styles. A great many of styles and colors to choose from, it is easy to pick and choose and wear a wig as is or style it to fit your character yourself.
EDIT II: Once again…Cosplay.Com Shop has become complete and utter fail. All of their fabulous and colorful wigs they once have are completely gone, leaving them only with the run of the mill, same old same old, stuff that you can find in your local wig shop. They lack luster, they lack style, they lack anything unique at all which is complete fail and leaves me feeling completely disappointing since I was planning on buying a fancy orange wig from them. You are best off saving your time and looking someplace else.
In my opinion, this is one of the best wig places to buy from on the internet. They are very well priced and their wigs are of high quality fibers. They also have a large selection of wigs in a variety of natural and unnatural colors. I have gotten two of my wigs from them and have had a very good experience both times. My only complaint is that they only accept MasterCard and Visa. I highly recommend them.
I’m a little sketchy on Milanoo simply because they are a China based company and their prices seem a little too good to be true. While they have a lot of wigs that seem good and are cheap, at closer look, one can see that they lack quality and that is most likely why they are priced so low. If you buy a cheap wig, you get a cheap wig. You would be better looking else where first.
EDIT: The horror stories of Milanno continues! We have first hand accounts of items bought from there: Milanno Nightmare.
This place isn’t bad but the wigs are way expensive UNLESS you sort for the cheapest and then you can find a few decently priced ones. Because they are so much money, one would hope they are of good quality. They have a wide chose of natural colors but no unnatural colors. They are worth taking a look.
A very good place to get good quality pre-styled character wigs. They are well priced and despite them having a limited selection, their stylings are very accurate and look beautiful. They are highly recommended.
CosplayFu is one of those wig sites that offers crappy styling at outrages prices. You would be better off getting a wig else where and styling it yourself. It will save you a lot of money later on.
EDIT: It seems that CosplayFu has drastically cut their prices making them a reasonably affordable. They also now offer better wig styling as well as free shipping on most things as well as accept commissions with not extra fee. They have also have gone so far as to impress me. Never have I been able to find a decent Zexion Wig but they have one available. I highly recommend them.
EDIT II: Please see below for CosplayFu vs. Cosplay House comparison.
Light In The Box
Another China wholesale company but this one doesn’t seem as bad as Milanoo. They have a wide variety of wigs that are expensively priced else where and can be pretty accurate on their character styling. They are at least worth taking a look.
EDIT: I have heard off and on rumors about Light In The Box and how they acutally steal pictures from other cosplay wig sites and are scamming people. Cosplay.com also marks their links as spam. I would be careful before buying from them. Look other places first.
CosplayFu vs. Cosplay House
In the past few months, my sister and I both ordered Soul Reaper (Bleach) cosplays from two different websites and decided to compare the two. I ordered mine from CosplayFu and my sister ordered her’s from Cosplay House. Here are the results:
The cosplay that I ordered was very accurate towards the design and well made. It came in four parts: The Hakamas, The Belt, The Outer Black Robe and The Inner White Robe. One of the reasons I bought from CosplayFu over CosplayHouse was because they featured the Inner White Robe as a separate piece from the Outter Black Robe which gave it a more traditional look and feel. Price wise, It was a little more expensive then CosplayHouse but the fact that CosplayFu offered free shipping made up the difference. As part of my order, I chose the custom size options and had my cosplay tailor made. Even though my order arrived about two weeks earlier then expected, I was a bit displeased to find that my pants ran a little small in the inseam, despite having provided accurate measurements. Even though they were wearable, they did, at times, become a bit uncomfortable after extended wear and your undies ridding up half the time.
One of the biggest complaints my sister had with CosplayHouse is their lack of communication during the order process. While my order arrived two weeks early, my sister’s arrive near two weeks late and with no shipping confirmation. It did eventually arrive and we both put in our cosplays to make an accurate comparison between the two. My sister’s Soul Reaper uniform did not have a separate white under rope (only white trimming around the ends) which our mother did say she liked better, but also forced my sister to wear something underneath her cosplay. We had previously heard rumors that even with custom sizing, cosplays purchased from Cosplay House have a tendency to run larger. We have found this to be most evident with my sister’s cosplay as well, with her pants being much to large for her. As a result, with my pants too small, and her pants two large, we simply traded Hakamas and everything worked out perfectly; I simply had to heme my new pants because I’m so freaking short.
The Winner: CosplayFu
With out mother being the judge, it was CosplayFu that won the challenge by a hair. The price was better, you got more for your money and they had better communication after purchase.
Tips When Shopping With CosplayFu and CosplayHouse:
When you are shopping with CosplayFu, remember to add a little more room to your measurements when you are going with the custom fitting option. This will help you to avoid getting pants that are a little too tight in the bottom other parts of your costume that end up being too small.
When shopping with CosplayHouse, keep in mind that the sizes do run large, even with custom fitting, so you may want to consider taking your measurements in just slightly so you don’t end up swimming in fabric or having things way too loose for comfort.