Anyway, cosplaying is already mainstream nowadays and it's nice. I remember back then, I'd go to a convention and be happy with the few cosplayers I see around. Everyone consider themselves cosplayers now. Wear a white shirt and poof! you're Light Yagami of Death Note, or a black dress and you're now Misa (of the same anime)
"Random school girl""Random Japanese artist"
That's what they'll say when asked who they are. Well, yes people could cosplay randomly, random shinigami, random Hogwart student, random identifiable characters that is. Unless you're really asking for it. Then might as well submit my random kwek-kwek eating photo in cosplay.com or cosplay.ph. I mean people, really?
HAHAHA I digress. So you're thinking of cosplaying? But don't know whom to cosplay? Well, here are some guides that might help.
1. What are the anime/games/movies/etc that you like? We usually cosplay characters that have significance to us so make a list of the shows/games that you like. Make a list of characters from those.
Mecha characters: You should be ready to have limited movement, eyesight and control.
Hentai characters: Be prepared to interact with hentai fans, it might get annoying if some of them do some disrespectful acts. They may be made into thinking that you are that character
(Skin) Showy characters: Yes, you will surely be surrounded by some kind of maniacs, it is a sad reality- show your skin and people will look at it, or worse.
2. What is your body type? I remember this plus size and tall cosplayer cosplaying cardcaptor Sakura. She was mistaken as a female Santa Claus by a kid. If getting mistaken for another character is fine with you, then I suggest you just do it! You go girl!
If you are a dudette and you want to crossplay a dude, it would be fairly difficult if you are well endowed, but it's not impossible. Just get some bandage, and wrap those tightly. Oh those cute thing of yours. Yes, it might hurt (I wouldn't know though, HAHAHA.)
If you're a dude and you want to crossplay a dudette, you must be prepared to be labeled as gay (by the general public and not the anime/game/cosplay community)
Hair, eyes, face are pretty easy to manage, so it shouldn't be that big of a problem provided you saved up your allowance or salary to buy some good make up, wig and/or contact lens.
You don't need to be identical because you could alter some qualities of the character when you cosplay. Just make sure that you don't completely alter it and turn it to your original made up character, it should still be identifiable.
3. What is your budget? Okay, I should have put it in the first consideration since cosplaying is an expensive hobby. Admit it or not, it is. Can you handle the expenses with your chosen character? If not, save up more or choose another one. There are lots of characters to choose from anyway.
4. Doppleganger acting. Can you act like your chosen character? I ask this because you have to show a performance in the catwalk part of any convention- should you wish to register that is. Besides when you are cosplaying, people expect you to portray that character. It actually gets a bit awkward when people are unable to realize that you are not actually the real character. Excuse me for not jumping after a yarn ball just cause you threw it away (well, I was cosplaying a cat.)
5. Don't follow this piece of crap I've written, and go decide on your own. Hey, it's a free country!
Cosplay 101: Choosing the character; Shopping for materials; The Photoshoot; The Performance
I do not own the images used in this post