Staying warm in a costume is sometimes difficult… especially in colder weather when you’ve got a thin costume or if it reveals a bit more skin than is recommended. When I lived in South Korea, I’d be outdoors at conventions for hours, and it was FREEZING during the winter. So here’s what I recommend if you want your costume experience to be as comfortable as possible!
- Heat pads. These are the cosplayer’s magical trick up the sleeve (or dress). There are stick-on heat pads sold at drug stores and online. Buy these. Buy many of these. A lot of packages will warn you NOT to apply it directly to your skin… but my overly sensitive skin has not had a problem with any complication as of yet. These bad boys can be stuck directly under corsets and not create an obvious bulge. The best place to put them? Directly where your kidneys are. Since all your blood filters through your kidneys, if your kidneys are warm the rest of your blood will be as well.
- Nude leggings. Or 2. Or 3. If you want your legs to look smooth and perfect, I would recommend these even during the summer! I’m not talking about pantyhose; I’m talking full-coverage ballet-quality nudes to match your skin tone. Try a dancer’s store and pick yourself up a few. Layer them on top of each other during the winter for even more warmth insurance. I once wore 3 pairs and my legs didn’t looked like giant marshmallows. This probably has something to do with the constricting and forming nature of tights. (Gotta love it!)
- Thin shirts/tank tops. Every layer counts, so if you can sneak a tank top under your costume, do it! Keep those kidneys warm.
- Full-body spandex. Have a character that’s a different color than normal? Don’t paint your skin – especially in the winter season. Just like the nude leggings, wearing a spandex can smooth out your skin… by covering it completely. This is a good time to combine some thin heat pads under your fake skin for bonus warmth coverage. Viola!
- The good ‘ol giant coat. If all else fails, bring a coat/cloak with you to keep you warm. Throw it off dramatically* whenever someone wants your photo, and get ready for your much-deserved closeup. *If coat is expensive, don’t throw it on the ground