Excursus – Crossplay!

And there I am again! Now that was fast, hm? 😀

I do this little interlude because I was asked to give tips about a topic that is called “Crossplay”. For those who have no experience with Cosplay: Crossplay means dressing up as character of a different gender. So it’s about girls dressing up as boys and the other way round.

I will talk about girls dressing up as boys, because this is what I was asked about and it is way more common that boys dressing up as girls. But if some of you want me to give some tips about that, too, I will do so =)

Before I start I want to tell you: I never did a Crossplay myself! So I can only tell you what I think could be important from all the crossplay pictures I saw. I don’t know if I will ever try it… but there are some really cool male anime characters out there… who knows 😀

Oh but I cosplayed  a very boyish girl! Haruka Tenoh from Sailor Moon! Since she dresses up very boyish and is taken for a boy in the animation I at least have a tiny bit experience in make up/wig styling/posing.

First your planning depends on what type of guy you want to cosplay. Is he a really cool man or is he one of the characters that are called “bishi”? Bishi is the short word for Bi-shounen. Shounen is japanese for Boy and the word means the boy is more a feminine type. An example for that can be Ciel from Kuroshitsuji or Anri from Adekan. The other type would be Kamina from TTGL or something like that 😀

But since the girl who asked for help will cosplay a more bishi-type of guy, I will give a few tips for that!

The outfit she wants to do is a very good start for cosplaying such characters, because you can hide a lot of things! It is a wide hooded sweater and some kinda normal black pants. You might know it. It is a version of Matryoshka from Vocaloid. And this is the character she wants to cosplay:


It is a character she created and I thought it would be good to show you a picture so that you can comprehend what I am talking about.

For cosplaying a girl I would have said: shape the jacket a bit, so that your bodyshape is more visable and the whole costume looks more feminine. For cosplaying a boy I would say the opposite! You can leave the sweater wide! Clothes for boys and men are never tight around the waist and the shoulder part is mostly a bit oversized, because it fits the natural bodyshape of a guy more. And to get closer to a boyish shape you should sew your Sweater more like a boys one =) So go and take a look at the clothes of your dad, brother, boyfriend or whatever and use them as reference.

Same goes for the pants! Pants for boys and men are never totally tight so that you can see a nice round butt like with girls pants. They are wider and with not so much shape around the butt. You should sew your pants like that, too, because you want to cover your hips and give them a slimmer look. Just like boy’s hips.

Since I don’t know exactly how tall the character is I can’t say anything about the proportions… If he is still quite young and a more cute type (for me he looks like that =) ), then you can take one of the advices I gave in the last Blog: sew everything a bit wider so that you look a bit shorter. If he is more adult and cool then you can sew everything a bit tighter (but not too much as said above).

What I think is totally important for cosplaying boys is a good wig and the right make up! It makes such a big difference!! Mostly the hair of male anime characters look layered and kinda messed up. And that is really easy to create because you don’t have to work so accurate. You only should keep an eye on the right length of the hair. If it is a bit too long it can easily look too girly, which you want to avoid.

In case of this special character you have to do this bandage over the right eye. It is always hard to keep such bandages in the right place. So what I would recommend is 1. Wear it UNDER your wig if possible. So if you don’t see anything of the bandage over the hair on your reference picture, this is a way to get everything in place! 2. Sew the bandage at different parts with just some tiny stitches. That prevents the layers from slipping away. 3. If you want to play safe you can use a bit of spirit gum to glue it onto your skin at some places (forehead, cheekbone).

And now my favorite part: MAKE UP!! (I’m so looking forward to do some blogs about make up!). You definitely should use make up, even if you cosplay a boy! Use concealer and foundation to give your skin a more even look (that is important for these bishi characters, because they have a slightly feminine touch). Don’t use blush or anything like that! But you can use a bit of brown eye shadow to give your face a bit of extra shape at the places where needed. Take a picture of the character and just try to recreate the shape of his face. Use the eye shadow where you think shadows are needed. You could need several times of trying to get a nice result, so don’t give up after the first or second trial! Doing such things the first time is always difficult =)

For the eyes I would recommend natural colors. Beige tones and brown tones are a good choice. Especially for the character I am referring to. Spare the highlighting part! Normally you highlight a bit under your brow bone and in your inner corner. But that would give you a very feminine look that we don’t want to have. So just use a natural eye shadow on your lid and a slightly darker one around your eyes. You don’t have to use mascara! It will work fine without and give you that boyish look. And the lips are important, too! Use a bit of concealer to cover your lips. You don’t have to use too much, you just want to bring your rosy lip tone a bit more down 😉 In addition you can use a bit of brown eye shadow on the inner parts of your lips. That gives a bit more shape without overdoing it.

What you can definitely not skip when putting on your costume is binding your chest. I heard that it is really uncomfortable but indispensable…

And what you really should practice is posing! Boys have a completely different posture! Mostly they are more like sunken in shoulders or leaning cool against a wall. What you should avoid is enhancing hips or breast or everything that is girly. Same goes for facial expression. Try to practice a smile that is not totally “kawaii” haha. Stand in front of the mirror and try!

Ok… That is all I can think of at the moment concerning the Bishi-type 😀

Of course everything always depends on what character you are cosplaying. And there are characters that look extremely girlish, like Ciel. Of course there you can use a colored make up and a bit of mascara if you want. Or if you want to cosplay a type like Sebastian from the same series you can use eyeliner instead of eye shadow. And of course Posing is different for every character, too. Every character needs special make up, wig styling and posing, just the same as with cosplaying a girl!

The best tip is: try everything at least once before you will wear the costume at a convention. You will be more confident with your costume if you are really satisfied with the result =)


About blackbutterflycosplay

My name is Kerstin and I am a Cosplayer from Germany. Since 2006 I love everything that comes along with my hobby - may it be sewing, doing different make up looks or photographing. If you are interested in my work as a cosplayer and not as a blogwriter, please follow: http://www.facebook.com/butterflydreams.cosplay
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