Set Standards In A Costuming Group Are For A Reason.

Being part of any organized costuming group with set standards means that you abide by the standards and do what you can to make your costume or piece set to those standards as the minimum. It does not matter if it is from Lord Of The Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars or one of the many other costuming groups with set standards out there. Those standards are set for a reason, lets go over some of those.

Just because something in a store is “officially licensed” does not mean it is accurate or even good. The only reason something is “licensed” is because the maker or creator of the original piece is getting money off of it. There is no other reason. This world works on making money and if someone can make money off of their creation they are going to do it no matter how crummy it turns out to be. They are making money off of those who think it is the greatest thing since they hit puberty.

You need to understand the making your own costume or item takes time. You need to plan it out, get an idea of what is involved, take a good look at the cost and time it takes of such a project and so much more. You do not make a costume or item overnight thinking it is going to be badass. No you have to work it out, plan it and not make a piece of crap. Yes I said crap do not waste your time or a groups time if you are not going to abide by the rules.

An example would be… let’s say there is a black tie reception and everyone there is dressed very nice and elegant. They are all drinking a glass of wine and then someone comes in wearing old beat up blue jeans, a comic book character t-shirt with hat and goes up to the bar and orders an ice cold bear. It does not fit with the set standards of that event. The guy who did not follow the dress code just sticks out like a sore thumb and has probably ruined the evening for some. The point is you just do not do things like this.

Some people use the excuse that the real thing was crappy and I am making mine like the original. STOP! No. Yes many costume pieces and props on television and in the movies are cheaply made that would not hold up to a child sneezing on them. This is because they are neither being handled roughly nor being abused. That is the magic of such programs and entertainment; those things are what we call an illusion. If you are going to make something to be presented in public you need to make it stand up to any sort of abuse. Remember that kids and many grown adults like to touch.

Lets talk about some people who say that they are there to make a child smile and that the child or parent would not know if a character is accurate or not. That is not the point. The point is that again standards in a costuming group are set for a reason. If you are going to represent a character, prop, ect you need to make it look like the real thing and better. You just have to look somewhat like the character you are representing.

Here is a prime example of what I am talking about. Lets take a character that most people around the world are probably familiar with. Lets take Darth Vader from Star Wars. If you are 5-foot 3-inches and weigh 270-pounds you would not represent Darth Vader very well. You are probably going to get a lot of people making faces and making fun of you. But if you were at least 6-foot tall and around 200-pounds you could probably pull off representing Darth Vader very well. Then again it comes down to how well your costume is represented. Is it off the racks at a store or did you put time and effort into it to make it look down right impressive? Sure you might be there trying to make a child smile but you have to look the part.

One thing that many costuming groups frown upon is someone who starts creating a specific character from their costuming genre and then customizes it. Ok, customizing a costume is all right if it is not part of the group that you are in. If you want to make custom characters from one of your favorite shows or movies feel free to do so but do not expect it to be welcomed into your group. Sure it might be neat but it is not part of the set standards. If you are going to show up to a set standard event it better be within the standards of the group. There is a place and a time for custom costumes and that is not at a set standard event.

All that I am saying is just follow the group rules. Do not get all upset at a group because they are frowning down upon you because you do not want to follow the rules that have been placed. The rules are there to keep want-to-bees and slackers who want attention out and to keep the standards of the group high so they can be represented properly.

Remember that representing something in force with set standards is impressive. Representing something with a cheap overnight knock off looks silly.