10 easy cosplay ideas for beginners

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Cosplay is a very alluring hobby. Who doesn’t want to put themselves in the shoes of their favorite fictional characters? But at the same time, it can be very intimidating. People invest so much time and money to bring the most precise and creative looks to life, and it can be hard for a novice to know where to start.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 perfect cosplays for beginners. None of these activities involve sewing of any kind (unless you want to) and you probably won’t need to go out and buy a lot for most of them either.

Mickey or Minnie Mouse

Singer Ariana Grande celebrates her 21st birthday at Walt Disney World
(Disney Parks/Chloe Rice via Getty)

The only “requirement” for this outfit is a pair of mouse ears, which you can buy directly from Disney or probably from a local dollar store (or a million other places online). You can also make them out of cardboard and stick them on a headband. And if you want to take it a step further, you can wear a cute costume for Mickey Mouse or dress up in polka dots and red for Minnie. A red dress can become polka dot with white fabric or pinned paper circles. White gloves can also be a nice touch.

The defenders

Jessica Jones in her signature gray scarf
(Wonder)

Most of these Marvel heroes are known more for their streetwear than their over-the-top costumes, making them good choices for cosplay beginners.

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are probably the easiest characters to impersonate in fashion; the first with his jeans and leather jacket with a gray scarf and the second with jeans, a yellow t-shirt and silver armbands.

The Marvel costume

Black Widow and Captain America disguised in Captain America: Winter Soldier.
(Wonder)

For those who would prefer to base their cosplay on one of the Marvel movies, look no further than the Marvel costume. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a running gag that sees its superheroes donning baseball caps and sunglasses as a sloth disguise.

What’s fun about this is that there are so many character options, as many of them have donned this disguise over the years. There’s Captain America and Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter SoldierAnt-Man in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Captain Marvel in his own eponymous film. You may have to explain who you are a few times, but fans will appreciate the humor in it.

harley quinn

Harley Quinn in the first Suicide Squad movie.
(Warner Bros.)

Harley Quinn has had so many different looks over the years, from casual to clownish, so there’s plenty of room to customize this cosplay.

Most of Harley’s casual looks can be seen in the movie Birds of prey, but cosplaying this character can be as simple as wearing red and black clothes with pigtails. Put on some red lipstick and dark eyeliner (and maybe faded hair dye!) and kick the look up a notch.

catwoman

michelle pfeiffer catwoman
(Warner Bros.)

Catwoman has a pretty iconic look, with her black jumpsuit, ears, and mask. However, cosplayers can easily forego the costume if they wish and wear whatever type of black clothing they like with the ears and mask.

Doctor Who

Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper in Doctor Who
(BBC)

There have been over a dozen iterations of Doctor Who over several decades, so there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to choosing a look for this character.

The simplest, however, is probably the Ninth Doctor. A black jacket, dark jeans, a dark top and black boots should do the trick. You can also carry a rose as your sidekick (get it?). Making a sonic screwdriver will also add to the look, and there are instructions for making one online, but you can also wrap aluminum foil around a pen. Hey, we work with what we have.

A ‘Stranger Things character

Sadie Sink as Max and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Netflix
(Netflix)

Again, there are a lot of options here, and they vary in “difficulty”. There are things like the Scoops Ahoy uniform and Eleven’s iconic jumpsuit from Season 3, but there are also plenty of outfits made up of “regular” clothes with a bit of 80s flair.

A good tip if your cosplay falls more into the latter area would be to wear a prop, like an Eggo box or tape recorder with “Running Up That Hill” prominently displayed.

A Pokemon Coach

Ash in Pokémon
(The Pokemon Company)

There are two paths you can take here: you can disguise yourself as an established character from the Pokemon franchise like Ash Ketchum or Misty Terrain, or you can dress up as a Pokémon trainer. For the latter, you can base your look on Pokemon Go! avatars (cap, hoodie, shorts).

Don’t forget your Pokéball or the stuffed animal of your favorite Pokémon!

A Jedi

Obi-Wan Kenobi casually leans down.
(Lucas Movie)

There are many Jedi robes and others star wars costume pieces for sale, but if you’re on a budget, a brown or cream robe with a belt and a cheap lightsaber will do just fine! And stop to give a sexy touch to each door? It’s free, my friends.

The mysterious gang

Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard in Scooby-Do (2002)
(Warner Bros.)

This is an especially fun idea for a group and works well because the outfits consist mostly of “regular” clothes that can be found at a typical retail store, online, or even at a thrift store. If specific styles are hard to come by (especially Daphne’s ’60s look), updating clothes can also be a fun option. Just go with each character’s iconic colors and people will get it.

And if you don’t have a party, one way to make it more obvious that you cosplay is to get a Scooby Doo (or another brown Great Dane) plush toy and carry it around with you. You can also expose an old man who terrified the town in a ghost costume by ripping off his mask and triumphantly telling everyone how you figured it out – if such a thing happens I mean it won’t be probably not, but… it’d really work for your look.

(Feature image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

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