In Real Life

What Will Cosplay Look Like In 2016?

Cosplay trends come and go. Back in 2014 you could barely take a step in any convention without running into an Elsa cosplayer, and the year before that the same was true of Daenerys’s burlap-chic Dothraki outfit. It’s always fun to try and predict these trends ahead of time, so let’s have a look at the costumes that will be filling your conventions and computer screens in the coming year.

Star Wars

Scruffy Rebel by Mark Edwards Photographer
A sudden increase in Star Wars cosplay isn’t likely to surprise anyone. Indeed, the first The Force Awakens costumes appeared after the very first trailer was released mid last year. This year, expect plenty of Reys and Kylo Rens swinging lightsabers at a convention near you. Rebel pilots will likely be on the rise as well, with Rogue One set to fill the gap between Episode VII and VIII. The above image from Scruffy Rebel has even been making the rounds as an official poster for the movie — but rest assured, it’s definitely cosplay.

Rooster Teeth

Image via Sushi Monster
In Australia at least, plenty of cosplayers will be planning Rooster Teeth themed cosplays for the very first RTX convention in Australia. RTX is set to take place in late January — so you’ll probably be seeing these costumes around pretty soon.

Game of Thrones

Spoilers of Thrones by Pireze
Kings may come and go from the Iron Throne, but cosplay is eternal. This season is a bit of a mystery, having overtaken the book in the plot progression, but chances are there will be plenty of juicy cosplay opportunities for fans. Dragon-rider Daenerys, anyone?

Image Comics

Image via By The Way Cosplay

Comic book cosplays are usually restricted to either Marvel or DC titles, but Image Comics have seen a huge year this year. Saga has been hailed as one of the best comics in the entire universe and cosplays are already appearing in enough volume to prove that fans agree. Kieron Gillen’s bleak modern fantasy The Wicked And The Divine has also been inspiring more than its share of costumes.

Black Worbla

Image via Rhavaniel Creations
Okay, it’s not something people are cosplaying, but it’s definitely something that more people will be using to cosplay in 2016. Worbla is a low-temp brownish thermoplastic that’s been popular in the cosplay community for a few years now. Black Worbla is like that, but better. And black. So when you see cosplayers’ progress shots showing armour and weapons made out of a black, slightly textured material, that’s what it is.

Final Fantasy & Kingdom Hearts

Aly by Snap Happy Ian
Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts were huge in the cosplay world when I first started in 2007. Over the years it dropped off, but with the announcement of both a Final Fantasy 7 remake and Kingdom Hearts III (not to be confused with the 12 titles that have been made since Kingdom Hearts II), I’m expecting it to pick up again in a big way.


Rose Cosplay by EllusionStudio
Pokemon Go releases this year. Let’s not kid ourselves — we’re all going to need cute little trainer outfits to take our Pokemon obsession into the real world.

Original Designs

The Artful Dodger by Cosplay Australia
Cosplayers are becoming designers more than they ever have been before, and I don’t see this trend slowing down any time soon. Whether it’s a genderswapped version of a character, a humanised Pokemon design or an entirely original costume, look out for these creative new designs from intrepid cosplayers.

What do you think? Is there something I missed that you think will be getting cosplayed in 2016, or are you planning your own cosplay this year? Tell us in the comments!

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