Me and a friend have been cosplaying for a while and we have quite a few different tips and tricks from our own experiences. These tips and tricks can be used by anyone who needs them. When I first started I didn't know what I was doing so I had to ask for a lot of help from my friends. Now I have a better grasp o some stuff for cosplay.
Tip #1: Choose a character you enjoy/like.
My experience with picking a character I like normally makes the cosplay more enjoyable and fun. Also, you have more fun at conventions when you are dressed as who you want to be. Don't let others pick for you or force you to cosplay some character you don't want to do.
Tip #2: It's ok to have store-bought costumes.
Not everyone can make there own cosplay, it takes time to learn patterns and how to sew. Also, some people find it easier to buy their costumes instead of feeling rushed to make something. Or it could be hard to make a prop or part of the outfit you never know. Just know it's ok to buy cosplay and props.
Tip #3: You don't have to look exactly like the character.
Some people might like characters with red eyes, and they might get colored eye contacts to make themselves have the same eye color. Some people might not be able to wear contacts, don't let that discourage you from cosplaying the character you enjoy. Also ethnicity and skin color shouldn't discourage you from cosplaying a character either. If you enjoy the character you should feel free to cosplay them.
Tip #4: The magic of arm socks and bodysuits!
Lillith here, one of my very first conventions when I went all out with my cosplay, I decided to do Poison Ivy. I had bought almost 3 cans of Mehron green Paradise Paint and woke up 3 hours before the convention to make the illusion that my skin was filled with chlorophyll.
Foreshadowing, the interior of my former friend's dad's truck went from a nice white to green. I was leaving green wherever I went, and it was quite embarrassing having to not shake someone's hand or take a picture with someone without transferring my color
I had later found out by Kelly Kirsten & Sarah Spaceman that you can just buy colored tights and repurpose them for not only leg color, but arm color as well. Knowing this tip and my experience of the quote learning from your mistakes is now engraved in my brain. To use arm socks, simply go onto Amazon (or where you buy your costume materials) and search colored tights and buy them in the color you need. If you need to cover arms as well or just your arms, take them and adjust accordingly. Now, for a full-body color, I would recommend getting a bodysuit to avoid the hassle of adjusting all day.
Tip #5: It's okay to ask a friend for help on a cosplay
I know it's not just me, both me and Aspyn have had our fair share of eating crow and asking for help. I know I'm not the greatest at sewing with a machine but Aspyn has some experience with a sewing machine, so we get together and have a sewing day. I'll help with the pinning and she helps with the sewing. Snacks are definitely involved!
Tip #6: Don't be afraid to watch tutorials
I know both me and Lillith had to watch some YouTube videos on how to make some of our costumes or props. It's a normal part of the learning process with cosplay. Tutorials are very helpful for cosplayers because this is how we learn. We learn from other's tips and tricks along with our own progress.
These are just a few tips for cosplay and we have some tips for conventions but we will go over those another time. I hope this helps some of the beginning cosplayers out there or even those who just needed a refresher.