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June 24, 2019
Cosplaying in hot weather is a given: rain, shine, extreme shine, cosplayers will proudly wear their costumes. Here are some tips and ideas to keep cool during the warm summer time.
Before going in cosplay:
Study and recognize signs of heat exhaustion and stroke. If you know that you will be attending a convention in a full cover-up cosplay, read up on symptoms on what heat stroke would look like. Some signs may be subtle or overlooked, be prepared in case yourself or someone else begins to show signs so you can take action immediately.
Pick a different costume. Nothing is more satisfying than to be able to wear a cosplay that you worked so hard on and want to wear it at the next convention, but summer can get HOT. Try considering a different cosplay that would be lighter to wear and more weather appropriate. If you must wear it, try:
Modifying the fabrics. For clothing based cosplays, use breathable lightweight fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk, and other fabrics with a light weave that allow for air to travel through. If possible, consider swapping out some parts for mesh fabric (commonly used for athletic and sports clothing). Mesh comes in many different colors, it can provide a bit of contrast to your costume, or even just modify a small part so your arms/legs/body can get some air.
Easy removable. Your health comes first. Try to make your costume easily removable in the event that you must take it off immediately, or at least some parts that can come off and you can cool down quickly. Cosplays can be complexed and have a lot of parts, but try to consider some parts that can be removed quickly (helmet, arm joints, small "hatches" that allow air through). In the event that paramedics are involved, they will most likely destroy the cosplay anyway to get to you to save your life, don't push it to that point.
Wear cotton underwear/undershirt. It may sound counterintuitive to add another layer, but cotton, breathable undergarments will prevent your cosplay from chaffing against your skin and raising your temperature further. And if it absolutely comes down to you MUST remove your cosplay to cool down, at least you would not be in your underwear if you do.
During your cosplay event:
Stay hydrated. This is suggested in every guide/tip, but some do forget during all the excitement and adrenaline rush of a convention. It's common, but you still need to remember to hydrate. Keep yourself hydrated, if you think you will forget, set a timer on your watch/phone to remind yourself. STAY HYDRATED.
Stay indoors every chance you get. All convention centers will be air conditioned and nice and cold inside. Stay indoors as much as possible, step outside for a quick photoshoot/phone call/gatherings, but get back inside ASAP. Plan ahead if possible and go outside when the weather is least hot and shadows are optimal.
Minty freshness. It won't be as effective, but perhaps a minty fresh breath will be helpful. Have powerful breath mints on hand for a minty fresh feeling, and the water you drink will feel colder. By no means will it actually lower your core body temperature, but it would at least give a cooling feeling, and will probably encourage you to drink enough water.
Bring your temperature down ASAP. Some suggest using a misting spray to cool down, and it does help, but the water will mix with sweat and usually will cause a cosplayer to smell (misting water will also get on your cosplay and pick up odors). If it were a fully enclosed cosplay (Gundam/etc), the water would fester and absorb odors, becoming stickier and smellier. To effectively cool down (and avoid unplesant scents), run cold water over your wrists, and soak a hand towl in cold water and place it at the back of your neck. The blood vessels there are closest to the skin and will recirculate the cooler blood back into your body, and will also signal the body to lower your temperature. It would cool you down for about an hour.
Stay safe, stay cool, happy cosplaying! :)
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, the above guide is based on my opinions, research, and Google search. Please use the guide at your discretion.
Please don't reuse/copy guide without permission.
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