What cosplay can I pull off?
If you searched this and wondered whether you can or cannot do a certain cosplay, don’t worry. When you see all the beautiful and amazing cosplayers on social media, it’s pretty normal to question if you can do the same. Or perhaps you’re looking for a character that best fits you. If any of these apply to you, then this article is for you.
What cosplay can I pull off?
What cosplay can you pull off? Let’s get this out of the way; just because a character has certain physical attributes that you may not have, it doesn’t mean you can’t cosplay them at all! There are many cosplayers who absolutely look amazing despite not being the same height, size or having similar physical attributes. Remember that cosplay is about dressing up as someone who’s not you, so the sky is the limit to whoever you want to pull off!
With that said, I understand that not everyone wants to a super tall Waifu when you yourself are a cute Chibi guy/girl. And that’s okay.
So in this post, I give 9 answers to the question, “What cosplay can I pull off?” This post will help you narrow down the characters that you’ll want to cosplay, so you can be sure that the character you choose is what you truly want!
This funny video by MVPerry can further help you decide what type of cosplayer you are and what you can pull off!
1. Characters you like
I believe that no matter who you are, when you’re deciding on what cosplay can I pull off, you should always start with the characters you like. I’m sure you have a list of your own favorite Anime, video game, comic or movie characters! Why not start cosplaying them? Not only will you enjoy dressing up as that character because it’s a character that you respect. But you’re also doing justice to that character because you’re showing the world how awesome that character is!
For example, I absolutely love Kaeya from Genshin Impact. He’s such a cool guy and kind of chill like I am. So it only felt great to cosplay as him at conventions. I also cosplayed Sylvain because he’s slick and loves women…like I do? 🙂 But he also has a soft side to his story once you get to know him.
Oh and don’t worry if your physical characteristics don’t match up with the fictional character; it’s not a big deal. Short people can cosplay tall characters. Tall people can cosplay short characters. Plus size cosplayers can cosplay smaller characters, etc. Not only is it okay, so many have pulled off amazing-looking cosplays despite not matching the characteristics.
Besides, fictional characters don’t have accurate physics anyway. E.g. many of those fan service Anime characters have pretty big proportions!
2. Characters with similar personalities
This might sound like the same as #1, but it is a little different. Maybe you’ve cosplayed all the characters you like. Or you decided you don’t want to cosplay them at all. What’s next? Go for characters that are similar to you! Perhaps there’s a character you don’t know about, but they’re actually like you. Because they resonate with you so well, I’m sure you’ll enjoy dressing up as them,
If you’re a person who fights for the right cause, you could find a character like Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. If you’re a quiet and reserved person, you might like a character like Bernadetta from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Or if you love your voice to be heard and have an eccentric personality, you’ll find many Shonen protagonists like Naruto and Luffy for you to cosplay.
There’s a character in Jujutsu Kaisen named Gojou who I’d love to cosplay someday! I haven’t watched the series yet but he reminds me of Kakashi and I love Kakashi! So this is an example of finding someone with a similar personality.
3. Characters who have designs you absolutely love
If you see a character that looks awesome and you want to dress up as them, then you can totally pull it off!
There’s a belief that you must know the character in and out in order to cosplay them. And it’s understandable why some may feel this way; a lot of people cosplay popular characters for the clout. But who cares! You can cosplay whoever you want (as long as it’s not offensive), so you do you! With that said, I do recommend doing some research on the character so you know a little bit about them. That way, when someone who is passionate about the fandom talks to you about it, you’re able to share that enjoyment with them!
Besides, some of the cosplays you can pull off…may come from a suggestion from a friend. For instance, I have a friend who was asking which character she should cosplay. I suggested doing Kamisato Ayaka from Genshin Impact because her outfit is cool. She totally loved my suggestion, and I’d like to think I’m the reason why she has Ayaka as a future cosplay plan!
So if you’re looking for characters for cosplay you can pull off, try browsing some cosplay photos and you’ll probably find a character whose design is incredibly awesome, that you too will want to dress up as them!
4. Characters with similar physical attributes
Again, before I start this section I want to emphasize that you don’t need a character to be physically similar as you, in order to cosplay them!
With that said, it’s perfectly fine to want to find a character that looks similar to you. One reason is if you’re going for cosplay accuracy, it’s a lot easier to strive for that if the character already looks similar to you
When you’re looking for a character that looks sort of like you, here are some things to think about:
- Height. Are you as short as Yuffie or as tall as Aerith?
- Facial structure. There are lots of characters with round and square faces that may be similar to you.
- Hair color. Do you naturally have blonde hair? Black hair? Brown hair?
- Eye color. Brown eyes. Green eyes. Blue eyes. Sharigan.
- Age. Don’t feel bad if you’re an older cosplayer, as there are tons of characters in the older range.
For example, one of my cosplays that look similar to me in real life is Roy Mustang. At the time, we had the same eye and hair colour, both round face, as well as height and age. It’s probably why I was able to pull him off so well!
I have a whole list of articles where you can find a character that is physically similar to you. Here are a few:
(NOTE: when going for cosplay accuracy and finding characters who like you, do not whiten or darken your skin for your cosplay, as it’s considered racially offensive to do so.)
5. Cheap, budget-friendly
In terms of what cosplay can I pull off…for many cosplayers it’s not about physical attributes or similarities…it honestly is about money! Because not everyone can afford those fancy cosplay that costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars to make. I can relate to this. Maybe your budget overall is really tight, and buying an expensive cosplay is out of the question for you financially. So you’ll only have to stick with cosplays that are less than $100. Maybe less than $50 even.
I myself have a friend who ONLY cosplays that are super cheap. In fact, I let him borrow my used cosplays so he can save his money and not have to buy a new one. That’s what friends are for. 🙂
Fortunately, you have plenty of options when it comes to cheap and budget-friendly cosplays! Some ideas include:
- Sports Anime characters. They dress in sport attire that’s cheap to make or cheap to buy.
- Pokémon. The Pokémon trainers and professors don’t cost much to do. I myself cosplayed Professor Sycamore and all I needed to spend was the wig and lab coat. Everything else I picked out of my closet! Even the Pokémon themselves can be affordable to cosplay, depending on the design
- Casual versions. Many characters have casual versions where it’s still noticeable you’re cosplaying that particular character, but doing a dressed down version. An example would be Hipster Ariel from The Little Mermaid!
If you want more closet cosplay ideas that are budget-friendly, check out my article here listing a bunch of ideas!
6. Expensive as *!
On the flip side, maybe you want to splurge on a cosplay! You’re willing to spend the big bucks on an elaborate costume full of armor or embroidery.
I say if you have the money, you can pull off many different cosplays. If a costume in a store doesn’t have the right size, you can always get it tailor made to fit your body dimensions.
In terms of being able to pull off a cosplay, it sometimes can be a matter of affording to dress up as that character. For me, I’m sure I can pull off a bunch of cosplays from Fire Emblem. But I’d rather not spend the money to customize the outfit the way I want it to.
7. Group cosplays
If you’re cosplaying with your friends in a group, your options will be more limited in terms of who you can pull off. Say you’re doing a Love Live! group, you generally don’t want more than one Nico. So you and your friends will need to decide which characters you all want to do.
If you want more information on how to run a cosplay group successfully, check out my guide about that here. Or if you want some group cosplay ideas, click here!
8. Makeup skills
In terms of what cosplay you can pull off, another limiting factor could be your makeup skills. Some characters require a lot of intricate makeup to look as good or as accurate in person. This also includes bodypaint.
While it’s not mandatory to have good makeup skills to do a certain character, I think we can agree that we want to do our character justice by putting as much effort as we can. For example, take the film Avatar. To me, an Avatar cosplay wouldn’t be quite the same if you don’t have the blue bodypaint. And not knowing how to use bodypaint can limit some of the characters you can pull off.
For me, I want to cosplay Xiao from Genshin Impact and Dabi from My Hero Academia one day. After doing some research, I found out that cosplaying both characters will require learning how to do their makeup, which is something I haven’t learned yet. I technically could still cosplay Xiao and Dabi without the makeup, but I want to do them justice by getting that part of their look done. Who knows, maybe one day!
9. Whatever the heck you want!
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this article, there isn’t really a criteria to what cosplay you can pull off; the sky is the limit! The other points listed were just a guideline to give you a better idea of who you’d want to cosplay as.
But ultimately, there really isn’t anything stopping you from cosplaying a character you like! The only exception is anything offensive or derogatory, that will get you the wrong kind of attention. But other than that, go for whoever you want! If you want to cosplay a popular character that everybody else is doing, then do it. If you want to cosplay a tall character even though you’re short, it’s not a big deal. Or if you want to cosplay a character who looks nothing like you physically, that’s okay as well. After all, the point of cosplaying is to be someone you’re not!
To summarize and answer the question of what cosplay can I pull off, here are 9 ways to find out:
- The characters you like
- Characters with similar personalities
- Characters who have designs you absolutely love
- All the Characters with similar physical attributes as you
- Cheap, budget-friendly
- Expensive as *!
- Group cosplays
- Makeup skills
- Whatever the heck you want!
And there you have it; 9 ways to answer the question of what cosplay can I pull off!
I hope you found this article useful. 🙂 If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!