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Mermaid tails, costumes, and cosplay ideas

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mermaid tails, costume, and cosplay ideas
If you are intrigued by the idea of becoming a mermaid, consider trying out a new look with a mermaid costume. Hobby mermaiding is a great way to socialize and get some exercise all at once. Even if you have no plans to work as a professional mermaid, you do have a great mermaid costume for a Halloween or masquerade party. Such an enchanting costume would be quite the attention-grabber at any event you might be attending.

A mermaid costume can be put together quite easily. It’s entirely up to you as to whether you choose to buy one, have one made to your specifications, or even sew a mermaid costume yourself! Everything can be chosen to suit your preferences, from tail colours, fabric and wig styles right down to finding the perfect accessories for your mermaid costume.

Start with your persona

Unless this is for a one-off costume event, you will want to decide early on about your "mer-sona" character. Your character is not you, and may act in a completely different manner. This is an opportunity to become someone else for an afternoon.

Begin with tail colours, as that may dictate your character's personality:

mermaid tails, costume, and cosplay ideas Once you have your tail colour in mind, decide on a suitable name and backstory for yourself. Choose a "watery" name, certainly, but who are you? What body of water are you from? How did you get here? Do you come to these parts often? Can you turn into a human (with or without a spell or charm)? Do you have any animal friends who come along with you?

Become your mer-character. Think as they might think. Perhaps you carry a special charm or trinket which will allow you to transform, or perhaps that charm is what turned you into a mermaid in the first place. This will suggest props which might be appropriate for your particular character.

Spin a story about yourself which will enchant anyone who hears it.

Make a mermaid costume

mermaid tails, costume, and cosplay ideas First, decide if you plan to swim in your mermaid tail or if this is a traditional costume. This will dictate the type of pattern you need and the best fabrics to make your mermaid costume. Then you should select a colour scheme for your costume. Blues and greens may be traditional mermaid colours, but if pink and orange are your favourite colours, it’s easy to find the perfect mermaid costume fabric to suit your preferences.

Sketch out a rough design of your costume -- fin placement and shape, top (or not), any accessories you might like. This will aid you in making the perfect unique mermaid costume. Once you have a design to work with, find a suitable pattern and fabric that works with your design concept. If need be, spread some large sheets of paper on the floor, lay on it, and have someone trace around your body to get a rough tail shape.

mermaid tails, costume, and cosplay ideas Some excellent fabric options would be anything with a fish-scale print fabric (of course), but also vinyl, spandex, or PVC fabrics. If you plan to make a “walking mermaid tail”, you might try foil sequin fabric as well.

Once you have your concept in mind, look around for a commercial mermaid tail pattern Butterick and McCall's seem to come up with new patterns every few years. This makes it easy to sew your own mermaid costume in the exact colours and fabrics you choose.

Once you have the tail, you will need a top to go with it. A bikini can work in a pinch because sea shells chafe. In addition, a simple bikini with your tail will allow for quick removal of the tail in the event of an accident. Don’t restrict yourself to a bikini top with your mermaid tail, though. If you’re staying on dry land, a corset or halter top can make a perfect tail accessory, especially with some sea shell decorations.

Swimmable tails

mermaid tails, costume, and cosplay ideas If your desire is to swim in a mermaid tail, use a swimming monofin to emulate the experience of having a tail. When making a custom mermaid tail, design the tail fin area to accommodate your monofin. This is easier to do with a sewn mermaid tail than a molded latex or silicone tail which cannot be altered after the mold is cast.

It is highly recommended to have a swimming tail professionally made if you plan to swim in it. There are plenty of artists who will, for the right price, make a fabric tail or silicone tail to your specifications. Swimming tails are usually made of latex or silicone, which takes some time and skill to work with. You do not want to handle such toxic chemicals in your home without a lot of safety precautions. A professional tail maker will not only be best equipped to achieve the correct fit of your tail for safe swimming, but will also be prepared to deal with the chemicals in a safe manner.

Tip: Swimming in tail is a basic dolphin kick (knees together, move lower legs as one unit). This will take some practice. Please try it without the tail first (monofin only, if you are using one) until you have the hang of it. For additional help in swimming, try a pair of webbed swim gloves in increase your speed and mobility. You can even find swim gloves in colors that will match your mermaid tail!

Warning: When you are ready to swim in your tail, be certain to have at least one other person with you. Never swim alone in a mermaid tail. Accidents happen quickly; always have a handler with you who is ready to assist you with any difficulties.

Mermaid fashion accessories

mermaid tails, costume, and cosplay ideas Once you have a basic mermaid costume assembled, it’s time to choose just the right accessories to complete the look! You can easily customize your mermaid costume with accessories and props to make it uniquely yours.

Think about sea shells, freshwater pearls, even long strings of water-like crystals when selecting accessories for your mermaid costume. These little touches can make the difference between wearing a standard stock mermaid costume to an event and having an eye-catching unique mermaid costume.

Those would-be mermaids with short hair might benefit from a long-haired wig, perhaps in a fantasy colour. You can add shell leis for necklaces and bracelets, or some inexpensive freshwater pearls or crystal jewelry would work just as well. You will also need someplace to stash your wallet and keys while attending a mermaid event. Why not carry a handbag or purse that any mermaid would love?

Mermaid makeup tips

mermaid tails, costume, and cosplay ideas The look of your perfect mermaid costume can be best completed with skillfully applied mermaid makeup.

It is important to choose makeup colours that compliment your costume. Traditional mermaid colours are greens and blues, but if you have chosen a mermaid costume in shocking pink or gold, select cosmetics that match.

You can also enhance your makeup with stick-on crystals and jewels.

Those going for a less-human mermaid appearance will want to paint on scales and include latex prosthetics such as webbing for ears and fingers. You are limited only by your creativity!

Further accessories

mermaid tails, costume, and cosplay ideas If you feel your mermaid costume needs something more to be uniquely "you", you can also carry props while wearing it.

A mermaid might be guarding an undersea treasure chest full of jewels. She might also be caught up in a fishing net with seashells and little plush fish friends. Of course, there is always the traditional mermaid image of her carrying a comb and mirror.

If you are like most would-be mermaids, you have a house full of sea shells. Look around the house to see what you might have to suit your particular mermaid character.

Human costumes for real mermaids

human costume for a real mermaid For a different spin or an easy costume for an event, consider playing the part of a real mermaid in a human costume.

Wear a simple blue or green shirt, then add mermaid themed accessories such as sea shell jewelry or something in the shape of a mermaid tail. Fish shaped accessories can also be a fun twist.

When asked about your costume, tell them that this is your human costume, but you are really a mermaid in disguise. (If you tell this to small children, they may be impressed to have encountered a real mermaid!)

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