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Cynthia Costume Outline

February 26, 2013

Champion Cynthia is a fairly simple cosplay to do, as half of it could be considered “closet cosplay”, meaning that a good portion of the costume is things you can buy more or less anywhere, with little to no alterations on your part. Her cosplay isn’t completely closet-based, but you’ll see what I mean. I want to take this post to outline what her costume consists of, how I intend to do it, and so on.

Cynthia has an overall color scheme of Black, Yellow, and Silver. We can break down her outfit into 6 basic parts.

-Shirt

-Pants

-Boots

-Coat

-Wig (Hair)

-Accessories

To start, her Shirt.

Cynthia’s shirt is a dark shade of black. Though it isn’t very visible, it needs to follow the same general neckline shape of the coat to allow it to be not-so-visible. This requires a V-neck that drops decently low. The shirt must also be form-fitting, otherwise the coat would bulk out more around the upper body. It also needs to be a nice shirt, as Cynthia is classy and mature.

I didn’t have any nice black shirts. Just a really old, ugly, hand-me-down T-Shirt. I started and ended my search for a shirt at Goodwill. There were a lot of nice shirts to choose from, most of which were only $4.99 (and some were 1/2 off). With my employee discount, I got 30% off of my final purchase. Goodwill also offers discount cards to everyday customers, giving you 10% off of every purchase and 25% off on your birthday. I’m pretty avid about Hobby Lobby for crafts, but for cheap clothes, go to Goodwill, Savers, or your local consignment shop. Don’t spend more money online for something you might stumble across in real life for cheaper. People donate brand-new or like-new stuff all the time.

I chose a nice fitting shirt. It wasn’t on sale, but it was priced at $4.99, which was fine. I chose to pursue a short-sleeved shirt to give a better fit than a sleeveless / tank top, without the risk of the sleeves being too long.

Shirt pictured here. Pay no mind to the scale necklace, unless you want one. I can arrange that.

Shirt pictured here. Pay no mind to the scale necklace, unless you want one. I can arrange that.

Next, her Pants.

Cynthia’s pants are long, dressy, and a slightly lighter shade of black than her shirt. Luckily for me, my closet is FULL of black pants. Cynthia’s pants have a bit of a flare at the bottoms and what appears to be a zipper down the front, but could be substituted for a seam. Again, it needs to look nice and classy.

This is where the term “closet cosplay” comes in. I have a pair of nice black yoga pants that have a seam down the middle and are a shade lighter than the shirt I got.

Utilize things you already own in cosplay. Closet cosplays can turn out really nice sometimes.

Pants and shirt together.

Pants and shirt together.

Third are her Boots.

Cynthia has black heels with a yellow stripe over the top near the toe.  The heels seem very boot-like in the fact that they are sturdy, closed, and taller than the visible hem of her pants. Due to this, I decided to look into getting some black heeled boots.

Enter Goodwill once more. Goodwill gets in all kinds of Women’s shoes. From my understanding, Savers gets more of the male variety. I got a pair of nice heeled boots with a squared-off toe (I hate pointy shoes). Priced at $9.99. They have a sleek shine to them without looking fake and ugly.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million times, Cynthia is CLASSY as all hell.

The heels are also wider and squared off, making them decently safe, though they are not shoes I am capable of driving while wearing. If you’re driving to a convention, wear your normal shoes until you get there. Shoes are usually a quick fix before you go in. Don’t compromise safety for a red-carpet entrance. If you’re driving, you would only be getting out to take your luggage out anyway before going to park…

As for the yellow stripe I mentioned, I’m intending to use a strip of yellow or gold duct tape. I considered paint marker, as that has proven resilient in the past, but I’d rather use something that won’t smudge if the shoe is scuffed, something that a scrub with rubbing alcohol and some scissors can fix and replace. The yellow duct tape would be about $5 at Hobby Lobby, and we have gold tape. I’m leaning toward the yellow as it is more accurate to her color scheme.

Here are the boot pictures:

Side zipper.

Side zipper.

They go a little over halfway to my knees.

They go a little lower than my knees.

With the pants over them.

With the pants over them.

Fourth is the Coat.

The coat can be broken down into a few parts itself. We’ll call them:

BASE

FUR

and GEMS

Each of these pieces come together to make the whole coat, which is the warm black part that covers most of her.

The BASE of the coat is the body. It’s a long-sleeved black coat that goes down to the mid-calves. For this, I decided to use a long black sweater dress. I found one on Amazon.com for a little over $13 that I think is coming from England or something. I don’t use Amazon often because the prices are so high. However, the quality is almost guaranteed to be good, compared to eBay’s guesswork policy in which shops will basically try to blackmail you to leave good feedback for them. Reviews on Amazon are also backwards to the feedback system on eBay. Reviews must be AT LEAST a certain number of characters, whereas Feedback CAN’T BE LONGER than 150 characters, which forces people to just say “good” or “thanks” or “i like it”. Therefore Amazon reviews are often more in-depth.

The idea with the sweater dress is to slice it down the center of the front side and hem a cutaway to give the “open, flowing coat” look. I may adjust the neckline, but that depends if I end up cutting all the way up or not. The only available size was a European standard Small. X-S in American sizes, and Large by Asian standards. The bust listed was the same as mine, but I don’t know if that’s maximum or not, or how much stretch it has. I am permitting room to improvise.

The terribly Photoshopped stock photo for the product. You can see where the model was lasso tool-ed out of the background in the large image.

The terribly Photoshopped stock photo for the product. You can see where the model was lasso tool-ed out of the background in the large image.

Next is the FUR, which is on the cuffs of the sleeves and along the bottom of the coat. They are also black, like almost everything on her outfit. I turned to eBay because Hobby Lobby didn’t have enough black faux fur to make this. I paid $6.25 for a 28×31″ faux fur fabric scrap that I can cut and sew onto the base when it arrives and I can measure it. There isn’t too much to say other than the fact that it is a separate section of the coat.

The fur fabric. It's folded up, so it's larger than that.

The fur fabric. It’s folded up, so it’s larger than that.

The third section of the coat is the GEMS. Cynthia’s coat has two silver oval gems on either side of a dangling silver/clear gem. Welcome to Hobby Lobby, where we have more or less everything you could ever want to make something. I grabbed a pack of silver-backed, clear Acrylic Gems (like the ones I used for the Mars Earrings), and a pretty dangling gem. I’m unsure how I’ll be attaching them so far, as the thought just occurred to me that gluing fabric with my nifty E-6000 might not be a good idea. We shall see.

Acrylic Gems from Hobby Lobby.

Acrylic Gems from Hobby Lobby.

Dangling Gem from Hobby Lobby.

Dangling Gem from Hobby Lobby.

That does it for the Coat subcategories.

The next (fifth) section from the original list is the Wig (Hair).

Cynthia has beautiful blonde hair that is parted out of one eye and covers her ears. Her hair also goes down to her knees, which is REALLY LONG. I’m considering a couple possibilities.

1. Finding a Panty Anarchy wig from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.

Panty Anarchy (Angel Form)

Panty Anarchy (Angel Form)

With the rise of hipsters and the decline of PSG’s popularity, used Panty wigs are being sold for crazy low prices all over the internet. Cosplay.com’s Marketplace is constantly having people desperately trying to get rid of their wigs (and cosplays) for cheap. Panty / Stocking things are all over, so a good quality, cheap Panty wig wouldn’t be hard to find.

Also, it narrows the search parameters to a buzzword that Chinese sellers know and would put in their posting titles on eBay. This is a great suggestion if you’re looking for a cheap wig that isn’t overly specific. If you’re buying a wig online from anyone other than a commissioner, you must expect to do a bit of styling, so find popular characters that match the basic length / style and color of your character. Search for wigs tailored to the popular character, then make modifications. You’ll find decent wigs for good prices that way.

2. Pretending that Cynthia got a haircut.

You say "unrelated", I say "adorable".

You say “unrelated”, I say “adorable”.

I hate long wigs. With a passion. They’re really hard to manage, they get tangled too easily, the hairs come out when you try to comb out knots… and the worst part is that they’re heavy in the back, so you can’t tip your head back or look up without holding your head to keep the wig from coming off. I have a short blonde wig that I use for Wolfram von Bielefeld from Kyo Kara Maoh! that seems to suit Cynthia color-wise. It may work if everything else comes together.

3. Doing #2 until I can afford #1.

Temporary Cynthia wig.

Temporary Cynthia wig.

I’m broke. I think I’ll end up going with the short wig until I can buy a Panty wig…

Back to the main list again for the 6th and final part of the costume outline: Accessories.

This (again) can be broken down further into her HAIR PIECES and FUR CHOKER.

Cynthia’s HAIR PIECES are four black baubles with a gold stripe around each. They seem to connect out of sight, but for this, I intend to put them on a mostly-visible headband. The Temp Wig picture shows what it looks like so far, but sit tight so I can explain a bit.

I got a set of two plastic headbands from Goodwill, brand new, priced at 98 cents.

Two headbands from Goodwill.

Two headbands from Goodwill.

And from Hobby Lobby, I got some black craft pipe cleaners (89 cents) and a couple packs of big clear teardrop beads.

25 Pack of black pipe cleaners.

25 Pack of black pipe cleaners.

Two packs of 2-per-pack teardrop beads.

Four packs of 2-per-pack teardrop beads.

I strung the pipe cleaners through two of the beads at a time, twisting and winding them until they were secure. I then wound the rest of the pipe cleaner through and around the headband until it was secure. Two beads on each side.

The headband after the winding.

The headband after the winding.

The beads on the pipe cleaner and headband.

The beads on the pipe cleaner and headband.

Half of the headband with the beads.

Half of the headband with the beads.

*Edit add* The headband on the wig.

*Edit add* The headband on the wig.

The next step is to use black paint marker (which we already have) on the beads to color them black. The ring around them will be done with yellow duct tape. Sharpie is translucent  (in case you were wondering why we wouldn’t use black Sharpie). We tried it on a spare bead, and it looked terrible and see-through. Sharpie is also LESS PERMANENT than most paint markers, as a smooth surface and a little friction can smudge Sharpie right off. Paint marker is more resilient, kind of like if you wrote on a window with marker, it washes off, whereas wall paint splattered on it would be harder to get off.

For her FUR CHOKER, John picked me up a “Giant Chenille Stem” ($2.99) from Hobby Lobby, which I guess works like a giant craft pipe cleaner. I’ll be winding that into a choker.

Chenille Stem

Chenille Stem. I took this from the Hobby Lobby site, because I don’t have it with me for pictures.

So, now the part you were waiting for:

I will be posting next some beta cosplay pictures. It was hard to avoid doing so beforehand, but I stuck it out. The next post will be the pictures I took of my beta Cynthia. Thanks for sticking it out with me!

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