by The Collected Mutineer
*Flashback to spring 2014—imagine a young Mutineer, contemplating her first cosplay. But where to begin? It all seems intimidating and complicated, and her sewing machine is tiny and cheap. The photos she sees online show intricate costumes from her favorite fandoms, most seemingly made by hand. And those that aren’t made by hand all look like expensive replicas.*
Enter Supernatural—aka the easiest gateway into cosplay that ever existed. (Thanks for that intro to my obsession, Collectress.)
Whether you’re a convention n00b or an experienced costumer, the characters of CW’s Supernatural can provide the perfect inspiration for your first (or next) cosplay. It’s been five years since I first cosplayed Sam Winchester, and I’ve never looked back! If you’re looking to get into cosplay but aren’t sure where to start, or just need some inspo for this year’s Halloween costume, here are a few ideas from SPN that will be a hit no matter what time of year it is.
Dean and Sam Winchester (and by extension, pretty much any other Winchester you can think of) are the main reason why SPN is the easiest cosplay pool to dip your toes into. Why? Because they quite literally wear plaid and jeans on the daily, sometimes paired with a jacket, usually sporting some type of weapon. If you already own a plaid shirt and jeans, then all you need to do is accessorize with some props like an airsoft gun or a replica of John’s journal! Oh, and of course, an anti-possession tattoo.
If you need to start from scratch, though, a visit to your local thrift store should get you what you need. Go the extra mile and make sure that your color schemes match the character you’ve chosen as closely as possible, as this increases the chances of people recognizing you. Cosplaying Bobby? Add a hat for good measure. Want to be Mary Winchester? You can get some great wigs that are better than what you’ll find at the Halloween store on Amazon.
If you’re really pressed for time and don’t have the chance (or funds) to get yourself a prop gun or angel blade, then fight your demons with an old standby: a regular canister of salt. Cheap, and effective. Likewise: don’t want to buy anything, but have a pair of black pants, a black blazer/jacket, and a white button-up shirt? Just print out a fake FBI ID, and you’re as good as Dean and Sam undercover.
Angel of the Lord
Castiel is a great character to try your hand at because there are so many ways you can interpret it. The first option is to go the route mentioned above in Winchesters 101 and purchase items that are similar to his at the thrift store, Amazon, or Target. It’s an easy cosplay to do a female version of as well, with simple alterations like adding a skirt or a trenchcoat that has more feminine lines.
Because Castiel’s colors are so recognizable, it’s also ideal for “bounding.” In the same spirit as Disneybounding, where you take elements from a character’s wardrobe (usually by color blocking), you can choose clothing that is tan, black, and blue—careful accessorizing is key here, because what would be a normal outfit can be so much more once you add pieces like wing earrings to your ensemble.
If you’re more comfortable or experienced with sewing and costuming, then you could always go big with a character like Cas. Take this wonderful 1901-inspired art by Diminuel, for example! I would love to create this look myself…in fact, I might just add it to my cosplay list for the future.
Hanscum & Mills
No SPN cosplay guide would be complete without our favorite ladies of the law—Donna and Jody! You have a few options here, too. You can choose from similar plaid/jean combos to the Winchesters, but add slightly different jacket styles like Donna’s signature brown suede and faux fur coat.
If you are able to get your hands on any uniforms that match their sheriff’s department outfits, then your choice is obvious. Blue for Donna, and either green or tan for Jody. Accessories, as always, are great additions; badges, holsters, jackets, or even donuts!
If you have a group of people who would like to cosplay with you, this is also a made-in-heaven chance to be the wayward sisters. You probably can’t walk around with a flame thrower or anything, but like the Winchesters, their outfits are fairly easy to match.
If you love SPN, but haven’t yet started your cosplay journey, then any of these options are a wonderful and fun way to get started. If you aren’t ready to wear a costume to a convention or photoshoot yet, then try it out first during Halloween season to see how you like the experience!
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P.S. Love the featured image? Check out their full set of amazing cosplay images, featuring the Human Impala!