The Art of Last-Minute Cosplay

I’ve had it happen myself: I start out the year thinking, “No, I’m not going to cosplay this year. I don’t have the [energy/budget/time/insert reason here].” Then as the convention creeps closer, the itch sets in. The next thing I know I’m scrambling to find something quick and easy in the days leading up to the my next convention.

Well, my repeated procrastination can now benefit you! Here are some fun ideas for a last-minute costume based on what you have lying around the house.

1. The Suit

If you have a black suit and black tie, just add shades and go as an agent from The Matrix! (Works especially well if you have a few similar-looking friends with their own outfits.)

Agent Smith from the Matrix

Go around con asking for Mr. Anderson! Photo by Toni Birrer

Add a gray vest and swap out the regular sunglasses for red and it becomes Simon from Firefly.

Or, use a red tie and add a bald cap to be Agent 47 from Hitman.

Agent 47 from Hitman

Don’t forget the bar code! Photo by Marco

2. Button-Up Basics

Having a nostalgia fit for dinosaurs after the latest Jurassic Park movie? Go in all white with a straw hat and a cane (a wrapping-paper tube works fine!) as John Hammond. Or dig up a pink button-up, blue T-shirt, and khaki shorts for Ellie Sattler.

Ellie and Hammond Cosplay from Jurassic Park

Team velociraptor or Team tyrannosaurus rex? Jurassic park photo by marakma.

3. Coveralls

White or yellow chemical coveralls, blue latex gloves, and some questionable-looking bags can make a great Breaking Bad cosplay!

Breaking Bad Cosplay

I question Walt’s fashion choices . . . Photo by Ilovebutter

4. Suspenders

Cosplaying as characters is so mainstream. Instead, try cosplaying as your favorite author! For example, George R. R. Martin: A black or green newsboy hat, button-up shirt, and brightly colored suspenders make the man—don’t forget the beard and glasses!

George RR Martin

Sick of character cosplay? Cosplay a real person! Photo by Gage Skidmore

Change the shirt to plaid, the hat to tan, and add every handyman’s secret weapon—duct tape—and you can go as the handyman’s hero: Red Green! If you’re a bit younger, use super geeky glasses to go as his nephew, Harold.

5. Other Everyday Clothing Items

Bob’s Burgers offers a host of choices for quick and easy cosplay! From Bob’s gray pants, light shirt, and apron to Lucille’s green dress and bunny-ear hat, there are lots of recognizable characters you can cosplay with clothes already in your closet.

Bob's Burgers Coslay

I love the pun on the sign! Photo by Michael Miller

American Dad is another show with some good ideas for a quick costume: for take Stan’s red button-up shirt with the orange T-shirt beneath, ****’s pink dress, or Haley’s hip green tank top with blue jeans and a green headband.

Cosplay of Steve Smith from American Dad.

The flag makes a great accessory! Add the chin if you’re feeling ambitious. Photo by The Conmunity

Archer is also full of fun cosplay that you can throw together quickly. Cheryl’s V-neck shirt and pencil skirt are classic. A lab coat, yellow button-up, and brown tie makes you Dr. Krieger straight form the lab (jazz hands!). Lana is quick with a sweater dress, belt, and shoulder holster. But Pam is my favorite, with so many awesome costumes to go with: her classic office look, her back-alley fighting look, or what is commonly called “cocaine Pam.”


Archer Cosplay

Are we really not doing phrasing anymore? Photo by Terry Robinson

Are you MacGyvering a last-minute costume for CONvergence or another upcoming convention? Tell us all about it in the comments!


  1. Mariah Kaercher By Mariah Kaercher


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