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cosplay vs costume

What Is The Difference Between Cosplay and Costume?

It’s one of the top cosplay questions. As soon as someone gets into cosplay, or has a friend get into it, they ask, what is the difference between cosplay and costume?

It’s not a dumb question by any stretch. Being that cosplay makes use of costumes and dress-up, it can be initially difficult to distinguish between costume and cosplay.

Most people have worn a costume, most notably on Halloween. Costumes are plentiful in our culture. You can buy them practically anywhere, particularly in October as Halloween stores ramp up inventory.

At sporting events, some folks where costumes to support their teams or hoping for television time.

difference costume or cosplay

Costumes are often janky, not comfortable, and can be reworn over and over. While Halloween stores inflate the costs of costumes, as a general rule, they aren’t super expensive.

With cosplay, you don’t just wear a costume for the sake of dressing up. You feel the character. In cosplay, the costume is part of an immersion into a character and fictional world.

Cosplay costumes tend to be costly because most cosplayers strive for perfection. They may require specific, hard to find fabrics or jewelry. Many cosplay costumes are highly customized from the fit to the style to the extensions.

Cosplay feels the character while costumes simply mimic a character’s look. Cosplaying is a culture, a world that’s ecosytem is just as important as the player’s look.

Is Halloween Cosplay?

Hopefully after reading my explanation above, you realize that Halloween and cosplay aren’t the same. Halloween is dressing up, cosplay is immersive, performance art.