If you’re a Lord of the Rings nerd like I am, you’ve probably at least considered dressing up like one of your favorite characters from this incredibly awesome trilogy. And with so many wicked cool characters with equally superb costumes, there’s no end to the fun you can have when it comes to LOTR cosplay. But should you go DIY or store buy? Where can you find good costumes? Looking to just browse? Whether it’s for a festival or just a fun Halloween party,  it never hurts to have your options open when it comes to incredible LOTR cosplay that’ll knock everyone’s socks off. Or I guess in this case, everyone’s masks. Ready? Let’s hit it.

LOTR costume ideas

Should I Purchase or go the Homemade Route?

There’s quite a few questions that come to mind when it comes to LOTR cosplay. One of those questions might be whether or not you should purchase or DIY your LOTR cosplay. We’ll tell you, there’s pros and cons to both, but remember that it’s entirely up to you. Cosplay is, in the end, what you make it. And if you put time and effort into it, we can guarantee it’ll surpass your visions whether you purchase a costume and accessories online, or carefully craft them yourself. Here’s some pros and cons to purchasing off the internet VS. homemaking your costume:

Purchasing Pros and Cons:

Let’s face it. We lead crazy busy lives and barely have enough time to make it to our kids baseball, soccer or football games and band concerts each month. So when it comes to whether you should make or buy, a total pro would be that it’s going to save you a heck of a lot of time. At the same time though, be wary of false advertising. Sometimes, a little saved time can result in a cheap and not-so-great costume that isn’t worth wearing outside a dressing room.

PRO: Saves You Time

CON: False Advertising

Purchasing a costume also means you can add custom elements with less work on the costume itself. So instead of blowing all your time on the outfit itself, now you can make that sword more than rubber, cardboard and paint! That being said, sizing can be a total pain and you never really know what you’re getting till it’s already there, so double check reviews and make sure you leave bump time in case a return is in order.

PRO: More Customizable

CON: Correct Sizing is Difficult

Homemade costumes are usually made with safety pins and glue, (unless you’ve been doing this for years and can really rock that sewing machine!) so purchasing a costume can mean that your cosplay is more durable and made with good material. This also means it’ll probably end up looking more like Gandalf than a painted on beard and grandma’s old cane. Again though, sometimes if you don’t beware who you’re purchasing from, you may end up getting something resembling this from an online seller. Often, when a purchase has come in a customer has received something that doesn’t look AT ALL like an advertised picture, so do your research and read reviews, contact the seller, check out the return policy and double check the different sizing charts for the best possible outcome.

PRO: Durable and Accurate

CON: Not AT ALL What Was Advertised

Homemaking Pros and Cons:

There are tons of benefits to creating your own LOTR cosplay costume. Then again, there are some drawbacks also. Homemaking your own LOTR cosplay will bring along with it a greater sense of accomplishment in what you have created for sure. Take a look in the mirror and congratulate yourself. YOU did it this! Showing off a costume that you actually MADE to family, friends and strangers alike at that upcoming convention is that much more satisfying when you can say “yes” to the question of “Did you make that?”. Of course, there is a drawback to this. Making your own costume, while VERY rewarding, is also VERY time-consuming. So keep this in mind when considering whether or not you’ll dive into the world of homemade Cosplay.

PRO: Greater Sense of Accomplishment

CON: VERY time-Consuming

Homemaking your own Cosplay, depending on what kind of experience you have and what kind of time and resources your willing to dump into it can result in a more durable and accurate Cosplay than anything you can buy. Of course, this depends on you, so this can go both ways.

PRO: *Can Be More Durable and Accurate

CON: *Might Not Be as Durable or Accurate

Another perk to homemaking your LOTR cosplay? It can be anything you want it to be! You can add your own twists to the ordinary LOTR characters and you’re not tied down to what a retailer thinks a twist in a normal Legolas costume should look like. That being said, homemade costumes, depending on how detailed you go, can cost quite a bit of money. If you’re going the homemade route, make sure to set that money aside!

PRO: It Can Be ANYTHING you want it to be!

Don’t Tie Yourself Down

Want to go as Legolas but lacking that long white hair? Don’t sweat. You have lots of options when it comes to lacking certain elements in an outfit and still pulling it off. If you want to go as Frodo, throw on some elf ears that can be purchased from almost any online cosplay store and a wig from the same and you’ll be halfway to creating one hell of a LOTR costume to be proud of.

Going as Aragorn? Homemaking his costume isn’t quite so difficult as say, Sauron’s, but it IS possible to do both. It can be as simple as a cape, some dark pants, a vest and some black fingerless gloves if you want to go simple. Remember, no matter who you decide to be, there’s an almost limitless pool of opportunities in regards to how you can go about making your costume look like it fell right out of the movie.

Best Places to Purchase a LOTR Costume

Looking to purchase the perfect LOTR costume for the upcoming festival? Check out Etsy for handmade costumes you absolutely can’t beat. If you’re looking for something to really wow the audience, there’s always CosplaySky. And trust me. They’ve pretty much got whatever you need when you need it. From Aragorn to Gollum to Arwen, you’ll not be in want of anything. Amazon even offers some fun LOTR themed costume garments and accessories, like the Evenstar Necklace, the Ring and even the sword called Sting.

If you want your LOTR costume to be the costume that rules them all, there are lots of options and you can look forward to wearing whatever it is you masterfully create, purchase or accent. Good luck and try not to look too epic with that black cape and Witch-King mask!