I love and marvel at everything about cosplay: the amount of work that goes into the details, the joy of seeing the completed project and the happiness it brings those wearing it. But, I've never wanted to be the one that dressed up. It's just not my thing.
There's another way to cosplay, however, and you aren't just limited to wearing it at conventions or costume parties.
I used Polyvore to create an "inspired by" Jedi member of the Rebel Alliance costume.
It's a simple idea. Create everyday outfits inspired by whatever fandom you're interested in. You can still achieve the look and, for anyone that would feel self-conscious wearing a full costume, be more comfortable subtly cosplaying in something closer to what you usually wear. It doesn't even have to be as elaborate as the above (no $1000+ leather trench coats needed) and the best part is you can style it for any occasion. Take elements from your source material and look for an accessory or a piece of clothing in the same vein that would work for whatever event you're planning on attending. For example, I chose brown tones, soft leather boots with wide straps, a jacket that cinched at the waist, a v-neck and lots of draping fabric, all details common in Jedi costumes, to create the Polyvore image pictured above.
Blog Disneybound has a number of really fun cosplay outfits based on a vast array of Disney characters and is a great source of inspiration for all sorts of affairs, from informal to black tie. Here are a few of my favorites.
So, what do you think? Willing to try it? Have you done "inspired by" cosplaying before? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!