ByCatrina Dennis, writer at Creators.co
Host, Reporter, Podcast Queen | @ohcatrina on twitter/fb/insta | ohcatrina.com
Catrina Dennis

With San Diego Comic Con now officially one month away, I've decided to kick off a weekly column with tips, ideas, and basic advice for attending. Whether it's your first year or you're a seasoned attendee, I hope you find these tips interesting and useful for this year's event!

First up: Cosplay.

If you're like me, your stomach may have lurched a bit when you looked at your calendar today -- and that's fine! For some, cosplay is the highlight of attending a convention. While SDCC is constantly jam-packed with things to do (expect a round-up of that as we get closer to the con), going without a costume can seriously put a damper on the volume of activity one has over the course of the day.

While budget may not always be a factor, time certainly is. Below, you'll find a few ideas for what to do with your costume ideas as you get ready for the con.

1. Keep it simple.

KEEP CALM AND COSPLAY
KEEP CALM AND COSPLAY

Unless you're into the idea of an all-night sewing binge, you might want to save yourself the stress and go with more simple, but recognizable costumes. While I desperately wanted to dress as Daenerys Targaryen at this year's local Renaissance Faire, I knew her blue Astapor dress was something I simply couldn't get done in time - so I went for her simple, white draping dress, which required little effort on my part when it came to sewing (three pieces, quick sew, done) and a bit of creativity everywhere else (the neck piece consisted of two headbands covered and bonded together with black electric tape). If you're looking to avoid sewing completely, think of characters with costumes on the easier side -- Ash from Pokemon, Constantine, Tony Stark, Superboy and Wonder Girl are all great examples of simple costumes that don't require too much work. This leads into my next tip...

2. Thrift it!

Side note: can I please have this onesie?
Side note: can I please have this onesie?

Not everyone can sew, or has enough time to learn - but that shouldn't keep you from cosplaying your favorite characters! Do a little research on your area and hit up thrift stores to find the pieces for your costume. You'd be surprised at the items you'll find that can easily be modded or adjusted for under $10. Great thrifty costume ideas can range from Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers to the cast of X-Men: Evolution (which, in retrospect, wasn't half as bad as the Wolverine movies were... whatever, I loved that stupid show). This helps you put your money toward props and wigs, along with saving you time on sewing.

3. Go Alternate

Superheroines by Katarina Navarro
Superheroines by Katarina Navarro

There is a plethora of incredible original designs out there by artists that are based on our favorite characters! A quick tumblr or google search can turn up a goldmine of creative, recognizable outfits that will not only give you an easy alternative for costumes, but help you stand out from the crowd thanks to the unique design you're wearing. An important note to those of you who wish to take this on: ALWAYS ask the designer or artist permission before cosplaying their design. Alternatively, design your own take on your favorite character! Put together something recognizable that highlights their original costume (i.e. Batman's logo, Wonder Woman's bracers and headbands, Green Lantern's ring) and go nuts! Here are a few of my favorite takes on some classic characters to get you started:

Punk Rock DC Ladies by Cliff Chiang
Punk Rock DC Ladies by Cliff Chiang
Rockabilly Joker by Dennis Medri
Rockabilly Joker by Dennis Medri
Kyle Rayner by ZombieDaisuke
Kyle Rayner by ZombieDaisuke

No matter what you do, just remember that the only rule when it comes to cosplay is to have fun. Show off your fandom and get to know other people at Comic-Con that love the things you do -- that's the most important part of it all.

Next week, I'll be back with tips for packing and preparing for your weekend in San Diego! See ya' later, fellow nerds.

Cosplay is awesome - it is known.
Cosplay is awesome - it is known.
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