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Note: This costume was designed for me by Kathy’s Creations in Greenville PA. This is the 2nd cosplay costume that Kathy has created for me. About 2 years ago I also commissioned her for my Lunar Eternal Blue Lucia cosplay costume.
I have a bad habit of not taking wig caps with me to my fittings and/or losing wig caps lol. I will buy wig cap before the anime convention next month. These pics aren’t great, because of no wig cap, and I also wasn’t wearing any makeup, not even lip gloss, lol.
But of course I was so excited that I couldn’t help taking like a million (OK about 40 lol) pictures in my costume.
As I was trying it on (and taking copious amounts of pictures in the fitting room lol) Kathy was putting the finishing details on the costume such as the ribbons on the crown and trimming the arm bands in the same cyan aqua blue color as the skirt / bows. That’s why you may notice some slight differences in each image. It was a work in progress.
It turned out SO cute though!!!
This costume has been a dream of mine for at least the past 3 or 4 years now. Ever since I got the UR Snowbird Kotori card in the Love Live School Idol Festival mobile game. I shamefully have not watched the Love Live School Idol Festival Anime yet – I hear it is really good though. I love the mobile game. Kotori is by far my favorite girl. I love all of her costumes. And her hair and face are just the cutest to me personally. Though everyone has their opinion on favorite girls when it comes to anime and games like this. There are a lot of other Kotori Minami Outfits I’d like to try someday.
But, the Snowman (sometimes also called Snowbird) Costume was my favorite!! I ordered a wand too but sadly it has not arrived – it’s been 3 months so looks like I got scammed – I would recommend not buying anything from Joebuy.com FYI lol. I have contacted their support 3 or 4 times inquiring about when my order will ship to no avail — but it’s probably just as well – while having a prop would make the costume more accurate, it would be a hindrance to enjoying my day at the convention. Hard to go shopping / carry a prop / carry shopping bags / and play arcade games or do an escape room puzzle etc.
This is (supposedly) a pic of the wand I had purchased (I say supposedly because these Chinese knock off sites are so notorious for stealing other people’s images etc). I purchased it on January 8th. This is now March 9th, and the order is marked as “processing” even though I have an email (and bank statement) saying that payment was received on January 8th.
Seriously guys don’t buy from this site… I’ve waited 3 months and it says it’s “In Stock” so why am I waiting 3 months? I think it’s a fake website / scam.
It’s a shame because it looked cute – and the snow bird to clip on my shoulder was perfect too — but like I said maybe it’s fate or kismet that the wand didn’t ship because I would have been stuck holding/carrying it all over all day.
As you can see, in the original Kotori Snowbird Costume – the top is like a teddy or lingerie, with a slit all the way down the front, bearing the stomach…
1.) I’m chubby
2.) I have scars from a surgery on my tummy
3.) I wanted to be a bit more modest because of my age (36).
Yet, even with the modifications to the top, it still perfectly captures the spirit and design of the character. I kinda like the fact that I “pulled off” a fairly accurate representation of the character as a “plus size” cosplayer. A lot of girls my size would be scared to cosplay a more revealing costume. But we were able to make a few modifications that made it more “plus size” friendly while still capturing the spirit and overall look of the original. I think us plus size gals should cosplay as whoever we want! And if you’re comfortable bearing your belly – more power to you, but I myself was not. The modifications to the top and skirt let me feel more comfortable – and still clearly represent the intended character. Anyone who has seen the UR Kotori Minami Snowbird Card in Love Live School Idol Festival would still know who I’m cosplaying as – and I don’t feel anyone would shame me for wearing something too revealing for my body size/shape (or age for that matter being in my 30s now).
People might still be like “EWW a fat Kotori.” but I don’t care. I’m comfortable in the costume, and feel it represents the character and does justice to it. I’m proud of my cosplay. And my opinion of my cosplay is the only opinion that should really matter to me. It has been a literal dream of mine for years now to cosplay this exact character. But I always wondered how I would pull it off, given my weight. But now, seeing my cosplay vision realized, it’s so exciting and so amazing and awesome. I’m so glad I stuck to my gut and my heart and went for the character I wanted to go as!!
This just proves cosplay is for everyone. You can always modify costumes to suit your needs. Just go have fun with it. You’ll be happy in the end. Even if you overhear people saying negative things, just ignore them, and enjoy your day. I’m sure I might get a few negative replies here about my costume, my appearance, my weight, or even the fact I haven’t watched the anime yet (maybe I’ll try to watch it before Tekko) (but at least I’ve played the game lol. I’m not a fake anime/gamer girl by any means. I do know the characters and chose this as a character and game that I love.)
Other modifications were made
– Skirt was lengthened a great deal.
No bloomers —
Because instead of thigh highs, I ordered custom leggings from Artscow.
I wish I had made the blue stripes on the one leg wider and more noticeable now that I’m looking at it. But overall happy and would recommend Artscow. Their lead and delivery time felt a bit long, but you can make any kind of leggings – or dresses – or anything you want with your own art work. It was easy enough to create a white/blue stripe pattern in photoshop and save and upload my design. Price was fair too.
I chose leggings instead of thigh highs because:
1.) I couldn’t find blue and white vertical striped stockings anywhere. – horizontal stripes a plenty, but vertical no where to be found.
2.) I know I could have bought fabric paint and painted my own stripes onto plain white opaque stockings
3.) But 1, I worried about a steady enough hand to make the lines look straight and neat and tidy.
4.) I worried that my thigh highs would roll down to like knee highs, which is usually what happens when I wear thigh highs. Especially since David Lawrence Convention Center is HUGE. And I’ll be doing a LOT of Walking…
I know in the original artwork for the card within the game, we can’t see what Kotori’s shoes look like. But action figures and other character goods have been released which show a blue heeled shoe.
I have a VERY wide foot – So wide that sometimes even buying wide shoes does not fit me…. I found a pair of DOUBLE WIDE shoes on amazon… They run actually BIG… I had to return and go a size smaller (in length) and still my heel pops out sometimes. My shoes are not pictured in any of my cosplay photos yet. And yes, I know they’re not the right shade of blue. But none the less, they are close…. They aren’t very comfortable… But women wear uncomfortable shoes all the time. I can do it too I guess, for a day…
These are the shoes I ordered:
I know, not exact, but you have NO idea HOW HARD IT IS to find a “CUTE” wide width shoe – period – and then expect it to be BLUE — or a very specific SHADE of blue??? Forget it LOL….. Not happening….
If I was a millionaire I would make my own company that made wide width shoes for young women that were cute, sexy, trendy, AND MOST OF ALL, comfortable!!
Like most women, I love shoes!! But I can’t buy/collect shoes like other women because they NEVER fit — and what DOES fit me — Birkenstocks, Clarks, Cobbie Cuddlers, Earth Brands, etc — do not offer attractive designs….
Anyways — I think I’m going to wear my shoes from amazon (pictured above)… I may regret it – I haven’t broken them in — the toe box is a little too narrow, the heel is a little too wide, the top of the toes feel like they’re putting pressure on my toes. A bit – like not overly uncomfortable… I dunno lol. It’s like they’re not as comfortable as my Go to Shoes / Sandals (Clarks usually) — But sacrifices must be made in the name of fashion — at least when it comes to cosplay! LOL… But all this walking…. Maybe I will bring a backpack or some type of tote bag large enough to fit a pair of comfy shoes and trade off if my feet are hurting too much – I don’t want to ruin my whole day at the convention and not enjoy myself! And I could use said tote or backpack to store my goodies, my wallet, and anything I pick up at the convention.
So after writing this last paragraph, I took a break from writing this blog post, and decided to order a custom print crossbody bag that should hopefully be able to fit a comfy pair of shoes.
I ordered this from Artscow whom I also ordered the leggings from. I am kinda iffy as to if it will arrive before Tekko but nonetheless, I will use the bag on other occasions, even including just everyday use. And it’s not like this is the last time I will wear this costume either, so I will have it for next time I bust out the Kotori cosplay 🙂 To get free shipping (for orders over $20), I also ordered a Mini button with the same image (for just $0.99 – much better than the nearly $20 shipping fee lol).
I’m not even sure it’ll be large enough to fit a pair of shoes? I hope so though. I found this other crossbody photo bag on another site, for like twice as much (shown below)
Now clearly that looks large enough to fit a pair of sandals, flipflops, or flats.
The measurements on snaptote’s site are as follows:
9.5″W x 12.25″H x 1″D
The measurements for the one on Artcow are as follows:
10.25″(W) x 12″(H) x 2.5″(D)
Which means if those measurements are accurate Artcows is a bit wider, a quarter of an inch shorter, and almost 3 times deeper….
If the picture from snaptote is accurate in showing the bag on a woman’s body….
That should be plenty big for shoes —
If not… Well a girl’s gotta have a purse anyways — and I like the idea that my purse will show people “who I am” – both at the convention as part of my cosplay — and for everyday use by showing I’m a geeky anime and gamer girl. So all is not lost even if it doesn’t suit my plans for packing a spare pair of comfy shoes lol.
It’s like someone can come up and ask me who I am supposed to be at the convention and I can show them my purse and tell them I’m Kotori Minami from Love Live School Idol. OR Someone on the street or at a store or restaurant could see my bag and be like OMG I love Kotori too, or I love Love Live School Idol Festival too! Or even just “I love anime too” or even just “I love your bag!” I get compliments all the time anymore when I’m out I think it’s 2 fold – 1 I’m happier now than I have been in a long, long time. People are drawn to that happy energy – and 2. I buy 95% of my outfits on amazon and etsy custom made, and really weird farout there, I will do some reviews of some of the shops I frequently purchase from online, but the number 1 place I have found is on amazon and called CowCow – not to be confused with ArtsCow. I haven’t tried making a dress on Artscow yet – they do have that option though. – I have unicorn dresses, cat dresses, dinosaur dresses, candy dresses, rabbit dresses, just all these wacky crazy print dresses lol. Everywhere I go, people take notice because I’m unique and stand out because I’m not afraid to be myself and embrace it and rock my geekyness. I get compliments all the time. For a long time too I was dying my hair rainbow colors – but had to stop because of my hair getting so damaged from continuous bleaching. I also had a formal event to go to, so seemed like a good time to give my hair a break for a bit. lol.
Anyways the last prop that you haven’t really seen up close yet is the crown. I ordered this crown on ebay for hella cheap, and my seamstress sewed the blue/white striped bow onto one end. It clips into hair with two barrettes. It is a little heavy and weighs the wig down some. I’m hoping once I have wig cap and wig on properly it will be less slippery.
Yes, I know it’s not quite the exact shade of blue, but close enough and so cheap (I think it was like 2 dollars).
I even have the perfect nail polish for my costume too, assuming I can remember what shade this was lol. I always get my nails done at the salon because Gel polishes are just so much better than regular polish, Lasts 3 or 4 weeks and I can go swimming in it or do anything and it doesn’t come off. So nice.
Having shown you everything there is to see, I will leave you with some close up larger images of my costume itself. Sorry these pictures are pretty terrible. I actually had a really stressful bad day yesterday – Seeing my costume — and my boyfriend’s reaction to my costume though made my day so much better / darn near perfect lol. But the stress from earlier in the day left deep shadows on my eyes and broke out my skin a bit. I also don’t have any makeup on, not even lip gloss, and had no wig cap, so my dark hair is showing through / looking a mess lol.
Hopefully I will take more pics at Tekko – I was just excited lastnight seeing my finished costume for the first time and wanted to see the “complete look”.
If you see me at Tekko feel free to say hi!! Come talk to me about some Shoujo anime/manga, video games, or Asian Balljointed Dolls and similar toys. I’m really shy but if others talk to me first, I generally will reciprocate 🙂 I’m just recently getting back into cosplay and conventions. I’m dragging my boyfriend to Tekko with me even though he’s not into anime – It’s so nice to have someone to go with. We are both looking forward to the Escape Room and Arcade and other fun activities – Maybe some Board Games. I’m probably mostly looking forward to the Dealer Room LOL I wonder if they will have any Asian balljointed dolls or accessories, or pure neemos, or other dolls? Not that I can afford to spend much there this year :(… Life happens lol. Next year I will plan better and save more. :). My upcoming trip to Peru and some unexpected car repairs have zonked me hard. We’re also looking to do a short overnight/weekender local roadtrip type trip next month (potentially if it isn’t booked full yet). It’ll still be fun though just to wear my costume and walk around looking at everything and playing in the Arcade and Escape Room with my boyfriend.
I’m really looking forward to Tekko – it will be my first anime convention in probably 10 years or more. I’ve (recently) been to a few other geeky conventions but not anime specific, nor as large as, Tekko. I used to go to Tekko when it was further north outside of pittsburgh – I forget where? A marriott somewhere – maybe cranberry or monroeville- when it first started and for the first 3 or 4 years. – Man it’s been forever since I’ve been back to Tekko. I can’t wait! We will have so much fun.
Here are a few pics showing more of the details of my costume. Please excuse that they’re not photo perfect yet (no wigcap, shoes, makeup etc and I’m looking a little stressed/tired) — The costume is still cute though!! Can’t wait to wear it at Tekko!!
See You At Tekko!
In 2006, Jenilee graduated with a BS in Emerging Technology and Design. In 2012 she obtained an MBA in Ecommerce. Jenilee currently works for a small manufacturing company designing websites, email marketing, digital advertising, and print advertising campaigns.
Connect with Jenilee on social media or visit her blog at http://geekysweetie.com