For fans who were not able to attend my Celebration Orlando panel in person, I will be posting the full slideshow and transcript online. Today’s post is part 7 of a 9 part series – stay tuned for a full video of my panel 🙂
You can read the previous panel topic segments here.
Part 7: Everyday Cosplay
As there has been a rise of Star Wars fashion available so has the popularity of costuming. It is no surprise to see these two fandom areas collide. The idea takes root in the ‘Disney bounding’ concept, where you can take every day garments and assemble them into outfits that resemble costumes of your favorite characters. This gives a subtle style which has been embraced by licensed companies in recent years. Many brands are now making costume inspired garments that can be worn on their own, or with coordinating pieces for a full character look.
One of the most popular every day cosplay styles is the skater dress. Her Universe and Hot Topic have made many of these dresses, starting with characters like R2-D2 and Darth Vader, through to X-Wing pilots, and Episode 7 characters like this BB-8 dress that was available at Hot Topic and Disney Parks.
Some collections utilize separates so that you can put together a full ensemble or wear them independently. The Han Solo Corellian ‘bloodstripes’ are a popular theme for every day cosplay as by themselves they are not recognizable as Star Wars to anyone but fans. Plus Han Solo is cool.
A strong theme behind the idea of every day cosplay is fun – nothing says fun like a big fluffy faux fur Wookiee jacket. This is one of those items that isn’t really a part of my everyday wardrobe (it’s quite warm!), but it is just so fun and perfect for conventions.
The every day cosplay trend has even extended into accessories like these Rey and ewok hooded scarves that were available at ThinkGeek. These are a little more strongly themed on the character rather than subtle, but I love seeing the variety of garments and accessories available.
In 2009 costume replica company Museum Replicas started producing a small range of Star Wars costumes and of course I was excited to see the release of Padmé Amidala shoes. These do not have Star Wars branded on them anywhere and most people will never recognize them but it is a great touch to any outfit. Perfect for days where you want to feel like a queen but can’t wear full white and red face make up to work.
A more recent example of every day cosplay footwear is the Po-Zu Piper V dark brown boots. Recognized by fans as an off-the-shelf item used for Rey’s costume in The Force Awakens, the connection to Star Wars has really helped this eco-friendly brand get a wider audience.
While the item itself is not Star Wars branded, its connection to the films has helped bring about a brand new license deal for the company. As well as being eco-friendly and ethically made, they are super comfortable which is perfect for every day wear (or long days at a Star Wars convention).
Musterbrand is a company that uses the everyday cosplay style and elevates it to a new level of sophistication. They take costume design and create garments that are recognizable for fans but blend seamlessly into your wardrobe. Their Rey sweater is one of my favorite interpretations of Rey’s costume for a real world garment. You can dress like Rey without looking like a desert scavenger.
There are even everyday cosplay style bags like this Rey backpack by Loungefly. All the major details of her costume bag are there, minus the metal canister greeblies. This is a great example of straddling that line between costume and every day item. It is functional and stylish but fans with a good eye will recognize it.
Some everyday cosplay accessories include more real world elements. This Rey leather cuff by Body Vibe takes inspiration from her costume cuff but with added jewelry elements such as the silver-tone charms. This bracelet is a great example of an everyday cosplay item that is costume inspired, but is a little more strongly Star Wars branded. The charms make it a more real world jewelry item than the raw edged leather of the costume cuff, but is still recognizable as inspired by Rey’s outfit.
So now with all the items available these days from a broad range of companies you can put together your own costume inspired outfit for every day or for conventions without needing to know how to sew a costume. This is a great outlet for those who are not fully into costuming but still love the idea of dressing up, and all the pieces are every day wearable items that you can use.
Costumes themselves are expensive and not usually suitable to do groceries in, so the every day cosplay style is great for fans who want items that are usable outside of conventions. I would probably get some strange looks if I wore my full Jedi costume to the supermarket but I can wear my We love fine dress and Irregular Choice heels anywhere and still feel like a Jedi.
To be continued in Part 8: Fan-made fashion.