1. Decide how dedicated you want to be to cosplay. If you don’t like people looking at you and asking to take pictures with you, maybe keep the costume more understated.
2. Stay as accurate to the character as possible. Comic book fans take their comic book characters very, very seriously. Accuracy is key to successful cosplay. Star Wars stormship troopers have definite guidelines on what they can wear. I think that the Rebellion does too.
3. If you plan to wear body paint, try the paint on a few weeks before attending the convention. You may want to change the type of body paint due to an allergic reaction or if it just doesn’t work very well. Also, get a friend to help you apply the paint. Trust me, you don’t want the back of your legs to look splotchy. Look good walking away! 🙂
4. Keep a budget in mind. Costumes and accessories can get expensive. If you are handy with a sewing machine, use it. Shop around at thrift stores for anything that you can use for your outfit. Buy the wigs from Wal-Mart or wherever you shop. (Go wig shopping the day after Halloween. It will be cheaper. Save the wigs for future conventions.)
5. Check out YouTube for tutorials. I found one this morning on making a female Thor costume. How awesome is that? 🙂