Even though these tips are already featured on the static pages of this blog, I’ve decided that, in light of recent events, some pointers and hints are worth repeating. I’ve been collecting Clara Oswald’s wardrobe for 2 1/2 years now and even though I haven’t been at it for as long as some other cosplayers have, I still managed to gather some experience that I would like to share with those of you newer to this particular hobby. Read on for a full list of tips and trick:
Cosplay costs money. Sadly, this is the case with all the best hobbies from learning an instrument to collecting the clothes your favourite character wore on screen. However, some items cost more than others and many new Claras (myself included) often make the mistake of spending too much especially in the beginning. On my blog, you will find a rough price range given for all the items I own. I check various websites and apps and over the years, I’ve seen many items come and go. The rarer ones will likely be a little more expensive, yes, and the same goes for brand clothes like All Saints or Claudie Pierlot, BUT you can always get lucky. The reason I say this is because there are people out there trying to rip off cosplayers. I’m not talking about former or fellow cosplayers selling their items at higher prices because they likely paid that price to begin with and would like to get back what they paid. I’m talking about “commercial sellers” who are trying to make a profit by buying cheap Screen Accurate items and selling them for a lot more. I’m not going to mention any names, but this is especially common on Depop. Consider your options before buying: look up what the item usually sells for, ask other cosplayers what they paid, check the seller’s reviews to see if maybe they even bought the item on the same app for less. Don’t throw your money at the wrong people because I can promise you, the item will turn up cheaper at some point!
Which brings me to my next point: where will the items pop up? In every item review, I will give you a few pointers on where to best find a specific item. Some are more likely to show up on Depop, others can be found on eBay, it varies from item to item. A general list of apps and websites is the following: Vinted (each country has their own version), Depop, eBay, Poshmark (for Americans), Vestiaire Collective, Videdressing. Except for Poshmark which sadly excludes Europeans, these are all sites I’ve bought items from.
How do you know what to search for? Naturally, you can try searching for Clara Oswald, but this will only wield results from people who already know that these items are cosplay items (and will, therefore, be more expensive). It’s often better to search for brand names, like “Urban Outfitters cardigan”. You can find a complete list of all Clara items with their brands here. I know some people are having issues opening the link, but I have honestly no idea what to do about that. Everyone I’ve personally asked was able to open the Google Drive link, so maybe, if it doesn’t work for you, try from a different device or install something that can display PDFs.
What else do you need to cosplay Clara Oswald? A mix of patience and determination. I’ve been collecting her clothes for 2 1/2 years and even though I’ve gathered a big collection, I’m still missing many times from her wardrobe, so I can assure you that it just takes a while. In the beginning, when you’re looking for everything, it’s easier to find and buy the various clothing items and shoes, but once only the rare items remain, it’ll get more difficult to find new things. Enjoy that first year of collecting while it lasts because I certainly miss receiving new Clara things every other week. Apart from patience, you will also have to put some work into it. I look for my most wanted items on a daily basis on various websites, so even if you just dedicate twenty minutes of your day to your search, it’s important to have a look at the main websites every few days so as not to miss out on a Clara item when it pops up. You’ll see the result in your mailbox soon 🙂