In the world of cosplay, there are a wide range of options for those identifying with various pop culture figures to varying degrees. While cosplay is a hobby with a wide range of nuances, controversies and clashing sets of social conventions, the fact is that it still requires a good costume. Exactly which character one cosplays as is tends to be either a deeply personal decision or a favor to friends one has a deep connection to. Though some cosplay figures do it professionally and select costumes intended to maximize their appeal to their audience, most cosplayers tend to choose characters based on personal preferences.

Of course, for some characters, certain elements are required. One can hardly imagine Sailor Moon without her signature twin pigtails in one form or another and Mario without overalls and a red shirt is a bit hard to identify as the world’s favorite plumber. Among other complex elements of certain costumes is the matter of capes. For some characters, a cape is an absolute necessity; Superman of DC Comics fame is, of course, the most famous (and among the first to bring the popular image into the public consciousness), but cosplaying Bela Lugosi’s Dracula or Doctor Strange without some kind of cape accessory.

When constructing a cape yourself, the most important element is to ensure that it suits your specific height. A cape too short will merely look a little silly, but a cape too long makes for a long, frustrating weekend adventure of tripping on your own costume and mishaps with other people stepping on your cape and damaging your costume or causing you to trip. Measuring yourself with all due honesty is vital for getting a properly sized cape. Once you have a clear idea of your own height, ideally measured without shoes to maximize the effect, you have to select a decent cape length based on it. The perfect length will generally depend on the character you’re cosplaying. Supergirl’s cape falls somewhere between her lower back and lower thighs depending on the artist, while Thor’s cape generally reaches just above the floor itself. The height measurement of where these places fall depends on your height and the heights of your body’s proportions. This advice also extends to buying

The exact material you get a cape made out of should also be taken into consideration. Coloration is important right off the bat; Powergirl’s cape is a bright red color and One Punch Man’s cape is white as a dinner plate. Other design elements should also be included are extra materials that will need to be included to get the costume right, such as Sayaka Miki’s brooch or the fur trim on Liliana Vess’ cape. The shape of a cape may also need to be considered, and for some particularly over the top capes that are expected to hold a very specific shape, wires and starching may be needed to keep the cape in a form that is true to the character being cosplayed.

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