February 20, 2016

Cospicky review: Hakuouki Sanosuke Harada cosplay costume!

Hello fellow geeks and cosplayers!

At the end of last year I happened to find out that Cospicky, a store focusing on cute fashion and cosplay items, had a good sale going on! I was bored and, honestly, quite curious of what they had to offer so I, of course, started to scroll through the site! :D Much to my surprise I found that they carried the western version of Harada's outfit from Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan. As a big Hakuouki fan and as someone who has already made his spear a long time ago (just for fun and so that I can cosplay his Japanese/shinsengumi kimono outfit one day!) I was really tempted to order the costume. 
The thing is that I've never bought a full costume from an online shop before, so of course I was a bit worried that it might not fit, poor fabric choices etc. Luckily Cospicky offers a convenient custom size possibility, which erased one of my biggest worries right away and made me lean over to the "let's buy it!" side, haha. I mean, with the sale the costume only cost me a measly 87 dollars (with the custom size additional cost included) and that, say what you want, is super cheap! Oh, and I got free shipping too! o/
So yeah, seeing what a deal I got I just had to buy it and, with the order placed, I also soaked up a "seeing what I paid for it any smaller inaccuracies are fine" way of thought. I honestly can't even imagine getting it for cheaper than this!

Full Sanosuke Harada costume.
Photo by Sacchan.
This review is all 100% my honest opinion. This is not a sponsored review – I paid for the costume with my own money; I just wanted to review the Cospicky store and the costume for the sake of spreading the word about a good online store and, of course, to help and inform the community. ^_^

I placed the order on 11th November last year and I got an email saying that it was completed and shipped on 11th December – exactly one month later. Notice though that I ordered a custom sized costume, which might very well be a reason for why it took one month to make/ship; I'd assume that those pre-made sizes would get through faster. Oh and yeah, on my order confirmation email they said that because it's custom made it would take around 2-3 weeks to make.
The costume arrived around 20th December something I'm sorry but I can't remember exact date anymore. ^^" The packaging was nothing special, just one of those big-sized white bubble wrap envelopes. Then again, my costume was pretty much all fabric so it doesn't need any extensive protection; it's not like fabric will break in transit, lol. I also want to mention that my parcel went through Germany, which is nice, because it might help to avoid additional custom/postal service charges since it's within Europe.
Inside the padded envelope were all the costume pieces, packed together nicely in a ziplock bag – it all gave a very neat and professional image. With the order there also came a Studio Ghibli postal card with a hand-written personal "thank you" message. I got one with My Neighbor Totoro motif, it's very cute! 

Costume as it arrived, in a ziplock bag.
I had wanted to cosplay Harada's western outfit for a while but it was one of those "not sure if I can be bothered to make it myself" cosplays, lol. The main reason for this is that I want to make Okita's, Hijikata's and possibly Shinpachi's western versions myself and, well, I'm not sure I'd feel like doing Harada's on top of that because yeah, they all are rather similar to begin with. Once in a while you can afford to take the easy route, right? ;) And besides, I had wanted to try ordering from an online costume shop for a while now and Cospicky seemed just like a perfect store to start with!

All costume parts laid out.
What is included:
• White shirt
• Black vest
• Jinbaori-style long coat
• Black pants
• Red arm wrappings
• Belt
• White sash for carrying sword

What is NOT included:
•  Wig
• Sword
• Spear
• Boots

Personally I am very selective and picky when I browse online cosplay costumes; I always scrutinize even the smallest details and compare with official reference photos to see how accurate they are. I always try to find the most accurately made costume possible but I also keep realistic expectations in mind – you can't get something that's 100% accurate, well-made and with quality fabrics for cheap. Most times you get what you pay for and that's exactly why I didn't have super-mega-skyhigh expectations for this costume, even though it looked surprisingly damn accurate on the stock photos on the site itself.

Detail photos ahead!
(all photos below are taken by Sacchan)

Front close-up. Notice the patterning on the tie.
Upper back. Please ignore the dust.
Side ties.
Side trims.

Costume information and thoughts

When I took out the costume from the bag my first impression was that the fabric choices were actually pretty damn good and this is coming from someone who has spent a good lot of his years helping and playing around in mom's fabric store; I've basically been surrounded by fabric rolls all my life. By good I mean that for example the fabric for the dress shirt actually feels like I could just as well have bought it from any normal clothing store's shelves or something. The jinbaori coat also feels sturdy and is made in a heavier fabric and heck, it's even lined in the right color! The hand wrappings are made of some fabric that feels a bit coarse in texture and that's awesome too. Also, I was surprised that the white sash was of some reaaaaally soft, flowy and elastic fabric with a sort of silky-smooth touch to it; it somehow, weirdly enough, reminded me of swimsuit fabric although that's not what it is, lol.
So yeah, ain't no shining satin monster here! I guess the fabrics are all synthetic (they do feel like it) and, according to the store, it's "uniform fabric". It's obvious though that the parts are not all made out of the same fabric. Oh, and the trims on the coat and the belt seem to be some kind of fake leather-like material.
I was also relieved to notice that the buttons on both the vest and the shirt are the "male way", aka so that when it's buttoned it is closed left over right and not vice versa. I've seen my share of cosplayers especially female cosplayers who wear women's shirts etc when doing a male character and, honestly, it irks me. I'm a stickler for details, okay? I understand that there might be problems finding a fitting/flattering men's size or just not wanting to spend extra money on the same piece of clothing (which you already own, except in women's version) that you'd only wear for a cosplay but yeah... still. :/

I want to say though that upon putting on the costume I was nervous. I was half-expecting that at least something wouldn't fit, even though I gave the correct measures for everything and I even put a couple extra centimeters to most measurements, just to be extra safe. I started putting on the parts one by one and when I got to the pants I took a deep breath. You see, pants have always been my main problem when it comes to finding fitting clothes. Much to my surprise the pants went on and stayed on with not even the slightest issue... WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?? Same thing goes for the rest too; there wasn't anything that didn't fit me or that was uncomfortable to wear. I must admit that I'm really positively surprised that, in the case of Cospicky, custom size really effin' means custom size in its purest form. I sure as hell would order from them again! *thumbs up*
Oh, and if anyone wonders why this is such a big deal it's because I've heard and read countless stories about people ordering online costumes and, even though they would pay extra for custom size, the costumes would still, in reality, be either a pre-made size anyway or fit all kinds of weird.

And if we get back to the whole accuracy thing for a while I want to say that Cospicky is one of those stores on which you will get exactly what is pictured
– rare candy! I remember staring at the Harada costume's stock images before purchasing it and noticing that even the silk tie has an elaborately woven design on it and well, when I received the costume and took it out I noticed that the exact same tie design was on mine! I'll say it again: THE COSTUME LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE ON THE STOCK PHOTOS – 100% FOR REAL!!! So yeah, you better look at the photos closely because you'll receive the exact same thing, down to the letter. Or at least I did.

Please note that on all photos on which I'm in costume I am wearing my own white sash and NOT the one that came with the costume. 

Front view.
Side view.
Note: it was very windy.
Back view.
Link to Cospicky main page: Cospicky Cosplay Store

I pretty much only have good things to say about my purchase and I would really recommend Cospicky for those who want to buy their costumes for whatever reason you might have. ^_^
I also want to state that I think that there is nothing wrong with buying costumes – it doesn't make you any less of a "real" cosplayer. Truth is that not everyone can sew, or heck, even like to sew! Some people also, like me, occasionally just want to choose the easy/comfy route, even if I could have made the costume myself if I would have wanted to; there's no shame in being a little lazy at times. :P Oh, and I think I also got this costume for cheaper than what it would have cost me to make it myself anyway, so that's also another reason for this choice. 
So yeah, as long as you have fun with cosplaying there is no rules or any "right way" to do it and anyone who says anything else needs to get off from their high horse. 

Cospicky store & Sanosuke Harada costume rundown Pros and cons:

+ Good fabric choices
+ Everything fits (note: custom size)
+ Looks exactly like on stock images
+ Sewing quality is great
+ Accurate to original character
+ Shipping and making time as promised
+ Good packaging
+ Excellent, kind and professional customer service
+ Affordable prices

+/- Dress shirt and vest are cut so that they will always be open at the chest

- Vest is square shaped = boxy fit
- Some minor detail trims on the coat are missing
- Coat is a bit too long
- White sash is really cheaply made
- Arm wrappings are too short to cover your hands/wrists well (aka don't stay in place)

I want to point out that most of the cons were visible on the stock images if you paid attention to them. They are also minor in the sense that they're easy to modify and/or replace.

List with thoughts of all the clothing pieces:

Belt: The belt is notably thinner than your average belt and yes, it kinda feels like a "costume belt". It's still fully functional (and adjustable) though and the holes are in the right places so yeah, it's a non-issue since the thing works like any normal belt.
Vest: The vest is square shaped (aka not slim fit), which means that it gives a really boxy and unflattering fit, but this is not a real problem either because you tuck it under your pants for the costume and then you can just adjust it so that the excess fabric is in the back, where it won't be seen. Also, because you wear the coat over it the general shape of the vest isn't visible; you could also just whip out your sewing machine and take it in at the sides, if wanted.
Shirt: The dress shirt has a sort of wonky fit/attachment at the armpits so it feels a bit tight at that spot, even though everything else is loose and comfy. I could also mention that the shirt is shorter than your average dress shirt but yeah, it's still long enough so that you can tuck it into the pants, so it's not really a problem. The sleeves are full length, in case you wondered on the photos I have rolled them up so they appear shorter because yeah, that's the way Harada has his sleeves. :) Oh and yeah, regarding the cut of the vest and the dress shirt I just want to mention that because it is made so that the chest will always be a bit exposed it also means that, although you can close the upper buttons, it will look really bumpy and weird; they are not supposed to be closed. Then again, because it's done like this you are sure to always show a bit of chest, which is exactly what Harada does, lol. So yeah, it's both a plus and a minus, haha.
Coat: The jinbaori-style coat is the highlight of the whole costume and for a good majority it's really well-made. The only cons I have is that it's a tad bit long, but I can deal with it (it reaches half-way below my knee when it should end at my knee), and that some of the edge trims on the bottom of the coat are missing for example the back slit has no trims at all, even though on official art it appears to have a black trim, and the same thing goes for the horizontal bottom trims that should be black too; the white front trims running down the lapels/flaps, the arm opening trims and the side seam trims are all white and thus accurate, though. Then again, it's not a hard mission to add those missing black trims...
Sash: The white sash is like... what the fuck? I don't even know. (・_・)ヾ It feels so off with its cheapness when the rest is so nice. I mean, it's basically just a rectangle of smooth elastic fabric, nothing more. And by nothing I really mean nothing – there's not a single stitch on it! I would have expected it to be at least folded in half and sewn shut but nope, I can even see the pencil marks where it was cut. ._. Besides it's too short for my liking; I'd prefer it so that I can at least wrap it around myself twice but this one only wraps once and barely gives me room to do a knot to secure it in place. I think I'll gladly just use my default white sash instead that I've been using for a lot of cosplays, lol. It's my trusty friend that has served me for years ~
Arm wrappings: I really like the color and fabric choice for these! The fabric feels very slightly rough to the touch but not enough to be itchy or anything. The big problem with these though is that I wish they were much longer I can only wrap them like 4 times around my wrists/hands before I run out of length and, well, I'd need them to cover and layer up more (looks dumb otherwise) and thus they are unusable. Also, because of the short length they don't stay in place really well either; I had to be very careful with what I did with my hands or they'd start to undo themselves, even though I pulled the wrappings tight and tucked the ends under previous layers. I ended up replacing them later with boxing wraps.

I also want to note that the Harada costume that Cospicky is selling is the GAME VERSION and not the anime version, the difference being that the game version has those black ties at the side seams, which the anime version lacks.

Harada Sanosuke reference image.
note: game version

Okay so, to conclude this review I want to say that my final score for Cospicky, based on this experience, is very good. I'd definitely recommend them and I sure would feel safe to order from them again. Oh and yeah, you get free shipping if you buy for over 80$ too, which is awesome!

Final Grade (from A-F): B+
Recommend to others: Yes

The main things dropping my grade from an A- to B+ is the cheaply made sash, the way too short arm wrappings and that the jinbaori surcoat is a bit too long, along with the small things mentioned above in the detailed description of each item. Then again, I guess the coat length issue is kinda my fault because I didn't think of providing a measurement of how long I wanted it to be so yeah, they probably went by defaults. (the coat is long on their stock photos too)

Thank you for reading and I hope this was helpful! (*゚▽゚*)
Shiro Samurai says goodbye!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this very detailed and honest review!
I'm a Hakuouki fan myself and I've noticed that finding the costumes online is actually pretty hard. Not so many stores have Hakuouki cosplays available. :( I wish it was more well-known!
You look great as Harada!