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Buying a Cosplay Uniform

by COMM Richard Sams

As you may be aware, STARFLEET members get a 15% discount from costume site . Not being one to miss out on a discount, and fancying a new outfit for DoTF 2013, I decided to order from them.

There is a nice range of Star Trek costumes on the site covering all the different series and eras. I decided to go for a red Nemesis style uniform consisting of jacket, undershirt and trousers. The website asks for basic measurements and there is the option to add free text if you wish to give additional information. Having been raised the old-fashioned way I gave all my measurements in inches. It became apparent when I received my uniform that this was converted into millimetres, but I’m not entirely sure what conversion ratio they used.

Lesson No. 1 – Give measurements in MM or CM.

The other issue with measurements was that they didn’t ask for enough measurements to ensure it fitted how I wanted it to. Not their fault—they had enough measurements to make the uniform so it fitted me but the sleeves on the undershirt are a little too short for my liking (only by an inch or so).

Lesson 2 – Add on plenty of additional measurements.

There are lots of good diagrams on the internet describing the measurements you should give.

The next lesson was to check exactly how they describe the uniform. On the site, the outfit I bought is described as a Captain Sisko, Nemesis uniform. So that’s exactly what I got—a captain's uniform complete with rank pips sewn onto the undershirt! The rank pips are not ones I’d recommend, so out came the scissors to carefully remove the thread! It wasn’t too much of a problem as they’d sewn them in the right position so the rank pips I use cover the very slight ripple in the fabric.

Lesson 3 – ask for the pips to be included but not sewn on.

Don’t get me wrong—overall I’m really pleased with the uniform I got. And to be fair, I got exactly what I paid for, but if you want a truly screen accurate uniform, then you need to pay a lot more (look at ). All I would say is pay attention to the three lessons I learnt and you should be okay. I’m certainly going to order some other pieces from, but be aware that they suspend the discount during the main US convention season (roughly July—Oct/Nov).

To recap, the things to remember are:

  1. You are buying a costume from a Cosplay manufacturer. They deal in quickly turning out articles from a very wide range.
  2. Give ALL your measurements in metric and don’t be afraid to give lots of additional measurements (the one I would definitely add is a measurement for your bent arm. I reckon that’s why my undershirt is a little short).
  3. Check if the item comes with rank badges etc and ask for them to be included but not sewn on.

June 2013

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