Sunday, 30 June 2013

How to Make Lightning's Costume from Final Fantasy 13

The Perfect Lightning Farron Cosplay (FFXIII)
Gonna be honest with you, FF13 is my least favorite of the Final Fantasy series (though it definitely picked up with XIII-2!), but one thing I did love to bits about it was the character designs and costumes, in particular that of the female lead character, the bad-ass Lightning Farron. Cosplaying as Lightning isn't cheap, but if you pull it off right you will look completely amazing, so lets dig in and find out how to do it! (Note all links here are to US sites: if you are shopping from the UK or EU, you'll find Lightning costumes here)
Final Fantasy XIII Lightning
Cosplay Costume

The Outfit

First of all you'll need Lightning's outfit, which consists of a pretty crazy combo of stylized overcoat, mini-skirt, blue gloves and a kick-ass cape. It's a hard outfit to put together piece-by-piece because of how intricate it is, but luckily there's lots of costume sets which give you the whole thing in one bundle. The one on the right is my favorite of the commercially available Lightning costumes online - I think it sticks to the original concept art absolutely perfectly, which is difficult to pull off with such an elaborate outfit. 

This set comes complete with all of the armwear, the brown mini skirt, the sash, a pauldron, underwear, a mantle, the thigh bag, and of course the overcoat. That's everything but the boots, which you can pick up separately here. This costume even comes in male sizes, so all you cross-players out there need not feel left out.

The Hair

Final Fantasy Lightning Long
Full Wigs Dream Wigs

Next up you'll need the hair to perfect the costume. Its difficult, though not impossible, to style your hair naturally to look like Lightnings, a  challenge posed by a combination of a unique color and the standard crazy anime hairstyle. If you want to have a go any way, check out this great tutorial by SecretLifeofaBioNerd on Youtube.

If not, you can easily acquire the look with a handy wig. The wig on the left is my favorite of the Lightning wigs as the curling and colors are more subtle and gentle. Some people prefer a slightly pinker look, and if that's you, you might want to check out this wig instead.

The Weapon

Lightning's Convertible Gunblade
Finally you are going to need your weapon. Lightning bears the honor of having the only gunblade in the series to actually be practical - it transforms from a gun to a sword and back again at will. Sadly this version of the weapon is in gun mode only - if you'd rather have the Blazefire in sword form, check it out here. If anyone ever comes across a version of the weapon which transforms for sale, let me know! Either way, this prop looks amazing and is a perfect compliment to the Lightning look.

Happy Cosplaying!

And there you have it, one cute and epic Lightning Farron Final Fantasy costume. I hope you have fun with it! If you liked this post or just want to check out some other cosplay ideas, be sure to browse the rest of my blog for the best costume ideas for women on the net. In particular, if you are thinking of going as a group to a convention as Final Fantasy characters, be sure to check out my posts on how to cosplay as Vanille, Fang and as Lightning's sister, Serah.

Top Five Harley Quinn Costumes for Women

Top Harley Quinn Costumes
One of my favorite comic book characters (well, cartoon character to be accurate), DC Comics' Harley Quinn has had a big couple of years. Harley's made appearances in the recent Batman games, Arkham Asylum and City and hopefully will be making a strong comeback in Origins. To celebrate her ditsy goodness, in this post I'll be featuring the best Harley Quinn Costumes, based on her unique outfit in the comics, Batman: The Animated Series and of course the recent video games. If you are looking for the perfect couples costume idea or cosplay, you can't go wrong with Harley Quinn. These are costumes available in the US: if you are shopping from the UK or EU, find Harley Quinn costumes here.

1. The Punk Gal (Suicide Squad Costume)

Harley Quinn Punk Suicide Squad Costume
We'll start with the most recent shall we? Suicide Squad may be a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it movie (I personally loved it) but even the haters agree that Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn completely stole the show. As well as having a few fun shout-outs to her old costumes, Harley gets a whole new look in the movie, complete with sexy boy shorts and some awesome coloured highlights. You can get the matching wig, boots and tattoo art for this costume here, and don't forget to pick up a baseball bat to do some whackin'!

Miss Enigma - PVC Harley Quinn costume

2. The Classic Catsuit Costume

First up is the original outfit itself, the classic red and black playing card themed catsuit that Harley wears in the comics and in her original appearance in the animated series. Its sexy but not revealing, which is unusual for villainesses of the comic book world believe me!

The best version of the catsuit I've found is this amazing PVC costume available via Artifice Products. It can be customized in both size and height and while the boots don't come with it the page provides a link where you can find a good pair. This costume isn't cheap - but having seen all the budget versions of the catsuit I'd happily pay extra for something that didn't look cheap and tacky!

You can also get other color combinations on request, but I'm not sure why you'd want to!

3. The Sexy Nurse (Arkham Asylum)

Batman Arkham City Secret
Wishes Sexy Harley Quinn
Asylum Costume

Here's one you're sure to love - the sexy nurse outfit from the Arkham Asylum game. One has to question what happened to the nurses Harley had to steal the various bits of this outfit from while incarcerated in Arkham, but perhaps its best not to ask. This is my personal favorite of her looks, and this is my personal favorite of the costumes as a result! It's also one of the less expensive costumes on this page, making it a great choice for comic book cosplayers on a budget!

This costume comes with the colorful corseted top, the choker, the red and purple fingerless gloves, the belt, the cute skirt, a smiley headpiece and the eye mask you see on the picture. You can pick up a giant comedy syringe here too if you'd like! Finish it off with some sweet black knee high boots with lots of buckles and you're good to go. How about these ones?

4. The Combo (Arkham City)

Batman Arkham City Secret Wishes Sexy
Harley Quinn Costume
Next up is a design based on Harley Quinn's costume from Arkham City - a combination of styles from the corset cut nurse top and the spandex catsuit pants. Its a darker and more gritty look, great if your are couple-costuming with some one going for Heath Ledger's Joker rather than one of the more comedic iterations. With every set of this costume you get the top, pants, belt, gloves and choker. Once again I'd recommend these boots as looking totally awesome with the rest of the costume.

DC Comics Super Villain
Harley Quinn Costume

5. The Evening Dress (Just for Fun!)

Finally, my fourth favorite Harley Quinn costume is this cute little number: a white collared evening dress style costume which, while not based on any of Harley's actual outfits, is still instantly recognizable as her kind of look and is in general incredibly sweet and sexy. With each costume you get the dress, the beautiful collar as well as the matching red and black ball gloves. 

DC Super Villain Collection
Harley Quinn Girl's Costume
So there you have it - my top 4 favorite Harley Quinn costumes of all time. I hope you've found one you like for your event, be it a Comic Con or just in time for some Halloween mayhem. Either way, if you are looking for more incredible costume ideas for yourself or your friends, be sure to check out the rest of my blog for all the best costume ideas for women on the net! Oh, and if you are looking for a Harley Quinn costume for a child, check out the cute one on the left.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Group Costume Ideas: Sucker Punch

Group Costume Ideas for Women - Sucker Punch
Sucker Punch is one of my biggest movie guilty pleasures - I've seen it so many times and love it more every time I watch it. One of the best things about it is how stylized it is - from the incredible CGI settings to the direction and atmosphere - and, of course, the costumes. For this post I've scouted the net for complete Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Amber and Blondie costumes and accessories so that you and your friends can cause some havoc as Team Sucker Punch. Lets roll! Oh, and if you are shopping from the UK or EU, you can find Sucker Punch costumes here.

Create the Baby Doll Costume
Zac Snyder's Sucker Punch Secret
Wishes Babydoll Costume

First  up, every group will need their little Baby Doll. The  best place to start is with the Secret Wishes Sucker Punch Collection, which has a sweet Baby Doll Costume that comes with the iconic sailor senshi top, split mini-skirt, belt, head band and thigh highs. Pair it with some Mary Janes and that's the basic costume down! 

If you already have long blond hair the Baby Doll haircut is east to pull off - just tie your hair in low pigtails leaving some cute bangs on either side of your face loose. If not, there's a sweet blond wig you can pick up here that is based on the haircut from the movie.

Here are your weapons. First you'll need Baby Doll's signature katana, which you can find here, and next her handgun - you can pick up a cute one here. Remember to check if replica firearms are legal to have in public in your area!

Now fight!

Sucker Punch - Sweet Pea Costume
Create the Sweet Pea Costume

She's strong, she's tough, she's the star of the show, and her costume is just awesome. Sweet Pea is more a leathers-woman than a sexy little school girl, and she has my favorite of the movie's outfits. You can pick up the Sweet Pea costume here, a great set that comes with the cool hooded jacket, the shorts, fingerless gloves and thigh high stockings.

The character's hair is nice and easy to pull of so long as you have long hair -just wear it down and give it a bit of a wavy curl if your hair doesn't have it naturally. Otherwise, you can find a cute wig that fits the character here

The last thing you'll need for the perfect costume is Sweet Pea's sword, and you can find a replica here.

Create the Rocket Costume

Zac Snyder's Sucker Punch Secret
Wishes Rocket Costume
Rocket is the cute runaway whose outfits are a tonne of fun for the tomboy of your group to dress up in. Secret Wishes does an awesome Rocket costume which comes complete with the dress, belt, hat, gloves and garters. Finish off the look with knee high or thigh high boots and a set of sexy fish-net tights.

Rocket's hair is the hardest to pull off if you don't already have your hair cut into an urban bob, but luckily they've made a wig styled after her look that you can use  instead. As for weapons, you can find a great replica of Rocket's knife and sheath here.

Create the Amber Costume
Zac Snyder's Sucker Punch Secret Wishes Amber Costume
Next up is Amber, mech-driver and warplane pilot extraordinaire. Sadly you can't buy that giant robot rabbit online, but you can buy Amber's cool military-style get up up here. It comes with the jacket-top, the short-shorts, the chaps, the choker and her awesome hat-headpiece. A wig based on her hair cut can be found here, and weapons similar to Amber's can be bought here. I advise picking up some fishnets to go underneath.

Create the Blondie Costume
Sucker Punch Blondie Costume

Last but not least, your group costume party will need an axe-wielding Blondie to finish it off. You can pick up a cute Blondie costume here, while a wig based on her hair can be found here and her signature hand axe can be picked up here. The wig even comes with her vinyl goggles, which is pretty sweet!

And there you have it, one set of Sucker Punch costumes for a group party event. If you are looking for a guide to each character's make-up you can find a tonne of tutorial videos on Youtube, so be sure to check some out. You now have all the weapons you need - now fight!