If you're getting into cosplay, it can be helpful to learn some of the terminology. Here are some common terms that might come up when starting out.


  • A cosplayer is a person who dresses up as a character from a book, movie, or video game.
  • A cosplayer is not a costume.
  • Cosplay is a hobby, not a career.
  • Cosplay is not consent.


Cosplay is a form of role-playing. You dress up as your favorite character, and pretend to be them! This can be done at conventions, or just for fun with friends. It's a great way to express yourself and have fun with people who love what you love.

Cosplaying is also known as "costuming," but many people use the terms interchangeably.

When it comes down to it, cosplay is just dressing up as someone else (whether they're fictional or real), so if you're interested in cosplay one day but don't know where to start, here are some tips:

  • Go online and find costumes that inspire you! Some good places to look include Etsy and eBay for both used items and new ones; DeviantArt for fanart; Pinterest for inspiration boards; Tumblr for fan accounts about specific characters; etcetera..the list goes on forever!
  • Don't be afraid of looking silly! Not only does this make everything more fun (and why should we care if other people think we look silly?), but most importantly: everyone will be wearing costumes too so no one will judge anyone else anyway.* Be mindful when shopping online—especially if buying used items! Make sure shipping costs aren't outrageous before purchasing anything because otherwise those fees will quickly add up over time.* Create friends lists on social media sites like Facebook so that when someone posts about upcoming events/conventions where there might be lots of fellow nerds/geeks around your area (or even internationally), then all their information will automatically appear in one place whenever checking out updates from said individual(s) or organization(s).


A con is an event where people get together to celebrate a particular fandom. Conventions are held in a variety of places, from convention centers and large buildings to hotels and other public spaces. If you've ever attended an anime convention before, then you know what I'm talking about—it's kind of like those places where hundreds of people gather for cosplay meetups!

Conventions are a great place to meet other cosplayers, get advice from cosplay experts (and your fellow newbies), and learn more about the culture surrounding the fandom that interests you most.


Fandom is a term used to describe a community of fans. Fandoms are usually centered around a particular subject, such as books, movies, anime, video games and more.

For example: The Harry Potter fandom is made up of people who love reading the series and/or watching the movies. They may attend conventions (which take place all over the world), make fan art and cosplay characters from the films or books or even write fan fiction about them!


Crossplay is a term used to describe the act of dressing up as a character of the opposite sex. In this case, "cross" means "across," meaning from one side to another (as in across a street). It's most common in anime/manga cosplay, though it can also be found in comics, video games and more. It's not only for women; men have been crossplaying since they've realized that putting on makeup looks cool!

In general terms, crossplay is when someone dresses up as an opposite-sex character. The word itself comes from the English words "crossdress," which means wearing clothes associated with another gender than your own—and isn't limited to just women.



  • Kigurumi refers to a type of cosplay that involves wearing a full-body animal costume. It's also known as a "Japanese animal suit."
  • These costumes are made from fleece or other fabrics, and they can be bought online or at conventions.

Lolita Fashion

Lolita fashion, also known as Gothic Lolita, is a Japanese fashion style inspired by clothing worn during the Victorian and Rococo periods. The term "Lolita" comes from Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel Lolita and refers to a young girl dressed in this style. In Japan, lolita fashion is often associated with the Gothic Lolita style, which was popularized in the 1990s by Mana and Moi-même-Moitié.

The most prominent aspects of Lolita fashion include:

  • Long dresses with petticoats or crinolines
  • Accessories like lace gloves and parasols


Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy that involves an alternate history of the 19th century. Steampunk themes often feature steam-powered machinery, particularly in Victorian-era settings. The genre also tends to be characterized by its use of steam power and technology, as well as anachronistic technologies or retrofuturistic innovations.

A quick Google search will tell you that steampunk is generally set in an alternate history where steam power was widely used during the industrial revolution era, but there are other definitions out there too! For example, some people prefer to think of it as a "mixture" rather than an actual genre (it's not just one thing). Others say that it's actually more about what happens when we combine different genres like sci fi and fantasy with historical fiction--so much so that some people don't even consider this term useful anymore since everyone's doing something similar nowadays anyway!



A wigcap is a wig that has been sewn into a cap. Wigcaps are used to cover the hair of the person wearing the wig, protect it from damage during use, and keep it in place during cosplay.


  • Wigging

A wig is a hairstyle that can be worn by both men and women, though it’s often associated with women because wigs are typically used to cover up baldness or thinning hair. When you’re cosplaying, you may want to wear a wig for one of these reasons:

  • You want to change your hair color from its natural shade. This could be because you have brown hair but want to cosplay someone with blue or green hair, or because you think that pink is the best color ever and all of your friends would agree if they could see it!
  • You have no hair at all (or very little), like me! My wigs are so long they reach past my knees when I sit down, which makes walking around far less embarrassing than if everyone saw my noggin without any protection from general public scrutiny."

Worbla Thermoplastic

Worbla is a thermoplastic that can be used to make armor, props, and other cosplay accessories. It is reusable and can be heated and molded again and again. This makes it very useful for those who want to make costumes since they will not have to buy materials each time they need a new piece of armor or prop.

If you're interested in getting into cosplay, these are some terms to know.

If you’re interested in getting into cosplay, these are some terms to know.

  • Cosplay is short for costume play and is a great way to meet other people who share your interests. It can also be done as a form of self-expression and creativity, or simply as a fun hobby! You can try out different styles and learn about new characters through this creative outlet.
  • You may have heard the term “crossplay” before: When someone dresses up as the opposite gender from what they identify with or were born into their own body type (e.g., dressing up like an older man when you're actually female). This word comes from the word crossdressing which means wearing clothes associated with another gender than your own (you might say that it's like transvestite/transgender but without all the controversy). However, there isn't really any difference between crossdressing/cosplaying and cisgender/cissexual dressing up as their own sex; both involve changing one's appearance (albeit temporarily) depending on one's preference or mood at that moment in time!
  • Another term that relates closely is cosplay competition (or convention). These competitions take place during conventions where attendees can show off their costumes while competing against others dressed similar characters from anime series etc…

Hopefully, this article has helped you get a better understanding of some of the common terms associated with cosplay. If you're interested in getting started on your own cosplay, we'd love to help! Check out our resources section for more information and tips from our team of experts.

If you're interested in learning more about our cosplay photography, please contact us today! We'd be happy to chat with you about our packages and discounts.

Thank you for reading!

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Hope from Fungirlwithacamera Photography specializes in Cosplay photography.

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