Cosplay 101: What Lies Beneath

Cosplay 101


Cosplay often involves a lot of weird fabrics, and we’re all trying to obtain impossible comic book shapes in our costumes. After hours building a costume, you can often find yourself what in the hell you’re supposed to wear underneath it. Here’s my guide to cosplay underwear. Most of this will be relevant to the ladies, as that’s my experience, but there are some handy-dandy tips for the gents too.

The Basics

Start on a good foundation. Cosplay often involves fabrics like spandex which shows through every weird bump of your underwear, so start with the smoothest foundation possible. Seam free thongs, smooth t-shirt bras or seamless bodysuits are a great place to start. No lines! If you do go bodysuit, do bear in mind whether you’ll be to escape from it to use the bathroom though. Stick with nude colours so it doesn’t show through. Your costume might look opaque, but fabrics can do weird things under camera flashes. Staying nude avoids any surprises when you get your pictures back…

Cinching it in

Lots of cosplayers are looking to create an exaggerated waistline. There’s a couple of ways to achieve this. Waist cinchers can work to smooth out your mid section and trim an inch or two off. Again, choose wisely and pick nude colours, smooth textures and minimal fastenings.

Underbust corsets can also be a great option to trim your waist. The same rules apply. If you are going to use compression garments like cinchers and corsets, please be sensible. Get measured, learn to put it on properly and don’t lace too tight. Practice wearing it around the house first so you know it’s comfortable and safe. Invest in the best quality you can afford and try not to wear the thing for hours and hours.


If you want to smooth everything out and avoid lines, shapewear can be a good option. Most cosplayers I know use shapewear of some kind under their costumes. There are loads of different options out there, depending what you want to smooth, whether you want shorts, vests, body suits or somewhere in between. You know the drill by now. Seamless, nude colours. Buy the best you can afford for the best results.

Cosplay Cleavage

Spandex can do weird things, including smushing your breasts down. If this is a problem and you want to create a more extreme silhouette, invest in a decent push-up bra. Lots of cosplayers swear by the Victoria’s Secret Bombshell bras to boost their assets. This…is not generally an issue I have so I can’t vouch for their effectiveness personally. Again, nude colour and smooth lines if you can. Get properly measured too!

There is also, of course, Pompberry’s famous Cosplay Cleavage tutorial if you want to do some serious boosting.


At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re an ampler chested lady wanting to minimise your assets for crossplay, you can bind your chest. I’ve never done this, but there are lots of tutorials out there. However, BE CAREFUL. Done improperly, you can really hurt yourself and permanently damage your breast tissue. Don’t bind with bandages. Just…don’t.

Safer methods include layering a couple of sports bras, sports compression wear, or if you’re going to do it regularly, just invest in an actual chest binder. Your boobs will thank you.

As with corsets, be sensible. Don’t squash too much and don’t wear for too long.

Legs for Days

Wanna know how cosplayers get perfect legs? Dance tights. They’re sturdier than fashion tights, so they last longer and take a beating better. They hold everything in and smooth it out. They’re thicker, so create the illusion of perfect legs while providing more coverage for a skimpy costume. They’re also designed to be with leotards so they don’t have that control top at the top of the thigh, which makes them perfect for wearing with short shorts or leotard based costumes. I’ve worn dance tights for years, as an actual dancer, and I swear by them. My preferred brand is Capezio, which you can buy on Amazon.

And for the gents…

This one is an awkward one, but I see it so often at conventions. Gents, please be aware that spandex is not forgiving and it has a tendency to cling. I don’t need to see every detail of Spidey’s trouser department, but most guys seem oblivious to how…obvious…everything is in spandex suits. You can’t just wear your regular boxers. Sorry. DO NOT try and use a sports cup to disguise it either, as this actually does the opposite. Like dance tights, dancers have the best tricks here. Invest in a dance belt. Buy one in a nude colour. Male ballet dancers wear them and are suitably contained for leaping about in white tights under stage lights without embarrassment.


Don’t forget, you can send me any cosplay questions you have and I’ll try and cover them in a future cosplay 101!.