I started this site in 2007 to share costuming info with the “civvies”. When you’ve been into costuming for a while, there are inroads in the community that those outside the costuming world might never stumble upon. Almost every time I appear at a 501st event I get questions about where I got my gear. This web site exists both to answer that question and to provide further advice after the purchases are made. I certainly don’t know everything about costuming but I’m happy to share the bits I do know.
I’ve found that most people are incredulous when I tell them how much a costume costs or how long it took to put it together. I recently had a guy freak out when I told him I’d made my Tusken Raider (he called me Sand Man) mask. For most people a costume costs between $50-100 at Halloween and that’s that, but 501st-quality costumes (the ones that can get you accepted in the club) can run in the thousands. So why do we do it?
First, there’s the attention. There’s nothing quite like getting your picture taken 10,000 times in an afternoon only to have everyone on the street ignore you as you drag your sweaty gear back home. Many will claim they don’t crave the attention but they’d be lying.
Second, there’s the charity work. Groups like the 501st and the Rebel Legion, while not 501c3 organizations (i.e. – no one can donate money directly to us) do a tremendous amount of work most of which is paid for by a charitable donation in the group’s name. Then there’s the real charity functions like hospital visits. I, for one, usually won’t do a strictly commercial event unless there’s a charity that will benefit.
Lastly, it’s the dream of actually becoming a fictional character in the eyes of children. It sounds hokey but it’s an awesome feeling when their eyes light up and they run over to you even though you’re dressed as the most evil villain in cinema history.
I got into this because of Halloween. I made my first home made Boba Fett costume when I was a teenager then I advanced to Vader. I owned one of those early Don Post Vader helmets and thought it was cool but I still thought it didn’t look quite right. Now I own an expensive fiberglass replica and let me tell you, I had no idea just how bad the Don Post was back then.
I tell you all of that simply to show you that everyone has to start somewhere. You have to jump in with both feet and work on something you’re passionate about. Pick a character that you’ll want to live with a long time and slowly go about the business of assembling everything you need. It will take time and a good bit of money but I promise it’ll be worth it in the end.