First Timer Needs Advice

Discussion in 'Art, Costuming and Props' started by KarrotKake, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. KarrotKake

    KarrotKake Newbie

    So I'm starting to think about my first costume but I have no idea where to start! What sort of thing would you guys recommend for someone who has little to no costuming experience and has very little free time to make anything (I.E tell me where to buy cheap bits haha) I'm fine with making stuff so long as its relatively easy and non-time consuming, though I understand a certain amount of compromise must be made. Any advice is appreciated!
    Jim likes this.
  2. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Adept

    My first costume came entirely from the thrift store. I won't claim it was good but at the time it was the best I could do. Later I bought some things from Dark Knight Armoury or some similar site but as with all internet shopping be cautious. I've slowly upgraded over the years and now most of my costume is made by friends I've made at LARP. Hope that helps!
    Jim likes this.
  3. Inaryn

    Inaryn Knight San Francisco Staff Marshal

    My first costume also came from a thrift store.

    Dark colored sweatpants are a good start for bottoms. is a good picture reference for modifying some t-shirts into period-ish tunics. Also, can confirm that you can turn another t-shirt into a hooded mantle (a thief's hood, as it were) also from a t-shirt. Made one for my toddler out of one of his dad's old t-shirts.

    You can also typically find some decent vests and/or accessories such as belts and pouches at a thrift store too. In general, with a little creativity and elbow grease, you should be able to, in theory, make a decent first costume without much difficulty and for under $30 to boot.
    Jim likes this.
  4. MondayMcGee

    MondayMcGee Artisan San Francisco Staff

    I recommend thinking about layers. Think about all the stuff you wear in your day to day. You don’t just wear a top and pants. You have that, plus maybe a hoodie and a jacket, a scarf, maybe some kind of bag, and some accessories. Adding that kind of depth will help make your costume look like something that a person actually lives in. And, it has the added benefit of letting you change up your look from day to day, with the weather, etc.
    Naomi, Jim, Krystina F and 1 other person like this.
  5. MaxIrons

    MaxIrons Squire Seattle Staff Marshal

    If you can sew at all, a simple long T tunic, leggings, long sleeve under shirt, and cloth bag will do the job well enough and is darn cheap.
    Jim likes this.
  6. VirulentAura

    VirulentAura Newbie

    My first costume came from the thrift store as well. Brown scrubs pants, a woman's shirt, a scarf for a belt, and some old snow boots was my first gear. My wife found some things on Wish, but it is made of the most brittle substance on earth, Chineseium, so YMMV. It did the job last event, tho.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
    MaxIrons likes this.
  7. Durnic

    Durnic Squire Owner Oregon Staff Marshal

    I cannot recommend this enough. Simple layering can really make your garb pop.

    Alkalin3 and MondayMcGee like this.
  8. Krystina F

    Krystina F Newbie Oregon Staff Diversity Committee

    Pintrest will give you great ideas for your garb. I've got great inexpensive items off Etsy and Amazon as well as through thrift shops. I've also got more free time, so I've made a lot of my stuff.
    But seriously, I don't think it can be said enough. Layering is so important. It's amazing how much it will make a difference. An undershirt under your Tunic for warmth gives a totally different look than when you're not wearing it because it's hot, a cloak if your freezing or it's raining, or a scarf like what Durnic and I have in our pictures (it's the same scarf but worn differently). Belts with Bags, Jewelry items - even if it's a cheap ring or necklace. Quick made bracers for your wrists.

    And start small. You can slowly build over time. My character now has several outfits and more accessories than I know what to with because I'm addicted to getting items... And the link above it super helpful. Check it out.
    Durnic likes this.
  9. AceiLyn Brown

    AceiLyn Brown Newbie

    To start off: thrift/second hand stores are your best friend. If something doesn't already fit what you want modifying it will be easier than starting from scratch.

    I was able to start of with just stuff I had from my closet. I had a few blousy shirts that looked in period along with a big flowy skirt and a few scarves and I had a fairly decent Selunari costume. Obviously I've bought and made things since then to add to it but you might be surprised at how you can work with what you have. It just takes a bit of creativity. Also, your first costume doesn't have to be amazing. We were all there once and most people won't judge anyways.

    As someone who sews my favorite method of doing things is buying then modifying but obviously that may not be a viable option for everyone. Sometimes people in your chapter may be willing to make something for you if you ask. I've noticed LARPers tend to be very crafty and creative people.

    As for designing a costume the most basic things you need are the right shirt and pants. You can get really creative with other stuff to add on if you want. Things to consider that might affect your costume are backstory and race. Is your character wealthy or poor? Do they have some sort of trinket a loved one gave them that they always carry with them? Are they very concerned with their appearance or do they just sort of throw together whatever they own? Are they an orc or a barbarian? You might be wearing a lot of fur and leather then! Are you a dark elf? Bright pretty pastels might not be in your color palette then. Speaking of which, do you want a specific color palette? This can make your character more recognizable and also give the costume an overall cohesive look.

    There's my two coppers but if you have any other questions I'd be happy to help. I love costumes so I'm happy to give any advice!
    Krystina F and Durnic like this.
  10. Muir

    Muir Fighter

    Just don't skimp on the footwear. This game involves a lot of running from people in the dark in uneven terrain sometimes, so plan accordingly.

    Nothing ruins your weekend faster than a busted foot, trust me.
  11. Krystina F

    Krystina F Newbie Oregon Staff Diversity Committee

    Good shoes and good support appropriate to your foot. You're going to be on your feet soooooooooo many hours. So supporting your arches is going to help your feet, ankles, knees, hips and back.

    Chris' advice here about not skimping on footwear is super important. Shoes are like mattresses, cars and bras for those us that wear them, get the best you can because you're going to spend a lot of time in them.
    Inaryn likes this.
  12. Inaryn

    Inaryn Knight San Francisco Staff Marshal

    To that, if you can’t find/afford good period footwear, you can make shoe covers for a pair of sneakers. It really is the single most important piece of gear you will have.
    Krystina F likes this.
  13. Naomi

    Naomi Artisan

    Yeah, good and WATERPROOF footwear cannot be discounted. If you're at an event where it rains or the ground is muddy. You really really need good foot wear.
    My first costume was also thrift store made. A neat vest or altered coat (weather permitted) is an easy way to improve your costume, if you're not ready to invest in more expensive stuff.

    I recommend looking at pictures of peoples costumes to get inspiration before you shop. Also, what class and race are you playing? Keep in mind requirements or possible thematic ideas for your characters costume while hunting down your new threads. If you want cheaper stuff, oddly Wish has a large Larp Section. Download the app and type in Larp. The quality is not the highest end but its not bad, especially for a new player/character. If you can wait a couple of weeks, I highly recommend it.

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