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A cosplayer's guide to getting ready for New York Comic Con

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Oct 4, 2019, 12:00 PM EDT

Lace-up your corsets, buckle your boots and check your makeup — it's time for New York Comic Con 2019! We've got you covered with everything you need to know to have your costume ready to go.

If this is your first time donning a costume for NYCC, it's normal to be overwhelmed and unsure of exactly what to expect. It's a good idea not to try to do too much, too soon. Every con has its quirks and tricks, and if you aren't prepared for them, you may find yourself regretting your choice of costume.

There's no such thing as too much or too little when it comes to cosplay, so dress to your comfort levels. Maybe this year you go with a ready-made dress from the costume shop, but next year you'll feel ready to take it to the next level. At NYCC, Saturday is by far the biggest costume day, so if you only have one costume ready that’s the day to wear it.

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New York Comic Con cosplay

Do a superhero change.

While NYCC is held at the Javits Center and there aren't any onsite hotels, you don't have to walk down the streets of NYC in your full Viking gear or your kickass Captain Marvel suit if you don't want to. NYCC has a cosplay section located on the fourth-floor pavilion, complete with changing rooms! So you can walk to the con in street clothes and then, just like Superman, emerge from a tiny booth as a completely different persona. And after you've changed, you can check your bag with coat check so you don't have to lug it around with you all day.


Plan ahead.

Be sure to take a look at the panel schedule! If you're dressing up as a character from a show that has a featured panel like Roswell, New Mexico or the tribute to fan-favorite Angel, you may want to make sure you wear that particular costume that day. You're sure to make friends and find lots of other people in costumes that match yours. That's the perfect time for photo ops, so don't forget to snag a friend with a camera.


Check for meet-ups!

A lot of popular fandoms schedule meet-ups during the con so you can find your people and get some awesome photos together. These meet-ups are a great way to meet and talk to other costumers to compare techniques, admire their work, and bemoan the hours spent sewing. If you're thinking about making a costume, like Rey from Star Wars, the Rey meet-up would be a great place to chat with others who have already put it together and see what advice they have to offer. It's also a great way to make new friends.


Test, test, test.

Above all, make sure you test out every piece of your costume before the big day. Move around, bend and snap, strut your stuff up and down your hallway. Check zippers, ties, closures, and anything else that could come undone to see how it fares when you're doing more than standing still in front of the mirror.

Do whatever you need to see how the costume fits, feels, and moves with you. Otherwise, you may discover too late that while the heeled boots that perfectly complimented your Black Canary outfit looked great in the store, they kill your feet after just a few minutes of walking on pavement.

Whether you've been sewing for months to get ready or you're simply throwing a costume together from things you bought on Amazon, we're all part of the incredibly wacky and weird world of cosplay. When you put on your costume and hit the convention floor, you are Spider-Woman. Or Loki. Or a mash-up of a Game of Thrones character and Disney Princess. You become the character. 

So, walk with confidence and be awesome.