February 27, 2019

[Sponsored] MoviesCostume review: Star Wars Luke Skywalker cosplay costume!

Hello geeks around the world!

Firstly I need to apologize for this review being so so late; I've had a really rough time for a while now and some other issues delaying the review, in particular, which I'll mention later.

MoviesCostume contacted me for a collaboration offer a while ago, I accepted as I like to spread the honest word around about different cosplay online stores because seriously, there's a whole ocean of cosplay shops out there! I'll admit that I had not heard of them before this but after looking through the site I saw a lot of similarities with CosplaySky. I suspected they were related and after getting my costume I'm almost certain they are.

I had a bit of trouble deciding on a costume to review as I had to stay within a certain price range. I ultimately decided on going for Star Wars again, mainly as I have been more drawn to movie characters and video games lately. I choose Luke Skywalker, the staple character and front figure of Star Wars to many – and I ended up having to pick the "old man Luke" outfit from the newest movie, also known as The Last Jedi. Now I am very well aware that the fan opinions on this movie in particular range from pure unadulterated hatred to those who actually think it's the best in the series or at least enjoyable – I won't go into that as it's a fandom hellhole of galactic proportions and gets really toxic really fast but I'll just say that I liked the movie and yeah, haters gonna hate I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But if we get back on track I want to say that MoviesCostume seem to have a pretty large selection of costumes for affordable prices. They carry a wide selection of cosplays ranging from TV-series and movies to anime and video games, you should be able to find something you like.

My reviews are always 100% my genuine opinion, no matter if the items were sponsored or bought with my own money. I never compromise my honesty and true thoughts to my readers. 

With all of that said I want to welcome you to a completely honest review of MoviesCostume! I hope you will find this post helpful and feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions after you're done reading.

 Let's go!

~ "Forewords" ~ 

I feel like I should mention that I am generally observant when I browse online cosplay costume shops – I have a habit of scrutinizing even the smallest details (I'm a perfectionist to a fault, lol) and comparing them with official reference photos to see how accurate they really are. I do often strive to find the most accurately made costume possible but I also keep realistic expectations in mind – you won't get something that's 100% accurate, well-made and with high-end quality fabrics for cheap. Ever. 
"You get what you pay for" is something that I always keep in mind when I browse cosplay shops, especially once you know the process (I study sewing and fashion) and what things would actually cost if an experienced seamstress made it custom for you. I think most people who have done their research know by now that no Asia-based cosplay shops really are "tailor made" so yeah, I do lower my standards and expectations accordingly for most online bought costumes (unless custom commissioned), to give a fair review based on the quality that can realistically be expected.

 ~ Contact, packaging and shipping ~

So many things have happened since I originally started contact with MoviesCostume that I honestly don't really remember much, so sorry about that. Truth be told I've had an (ongoing) harsh depression period eating at me for a while now and I struggle, hard, with literally everything. The only thing I have a faint memory of is that the shipping took somewhere between 1-2 months from China, which is to be expected. I'm sorry I suck so much. ;_;

Costume bag.
The costume arrived in this green plastic bag that I had to pick up from the nearest postal office. Once you opened that up you were met with the costume bag itself, a ziplock style clothing bag and yes, it's in every way identical to the ones CosplaySky uses – a big reason for why I do believe that these two stores are related, or possibly even the same company. The costume bag is roomy, clean and actually really usable – you should definitely keep it for storage!

~ Fabrics and sewing quality ~

A quick look on the costume's product page tells us that the costume is made of PU, linen and "cloth" – whatever that is. Seems really vague to me and that's often not a good thing. But based on my previous experiences with online costume stores you can almost certainly assume the fabric to be polyester or a poly blend and I'm 99% sure that's the case this time too. Oh and yeah, PU most likely refers to PU-leather, aka fake leather.

Inconsistent sewing quality.
My first impression was that most of the fabrics felt thin and kinda cheap, save for the tunic and the cloak which appear to be linen (although it's hard to be 100% sure without doing a burn test as it could be a chemical fiber imitating linen really well) and notably thicker and more rough to the touch than the rest, in a good way. I don't really expect any costume parts to last more than a couple or so rounds through the washing machine but honestly, who really diligently washes their costumes anyway, lol? I only wash mine if I literally spill something on them or get some dirt etc that won't go away, otherwise I just air the costume out after wearing for a few days.

Okay so, I inspected the costume parts for a while and noticed that the sewing quality is kinda inconsistent. The majority are straight neat stitches and that's good but there's also some, err, questionable stitches. Mainly some hems were uneven, bunchy, warped or such. Nothing that ruins the costume in itself (as the seams still obviously hold the costume together) but when you study to become a professional tailor it's among the little things that you immediately notice.

Closer look on one of the tabard's lesser quality sewing.
One thing I also couldn't help but notice was the staggering amount of random loose threads poking out everywhere. Like I'm not even kidding, I can understand that there's a couple or so as when you tidy up your finished work it's easy to miss a few but seriously, whenever I cut one off it felt like soon enough three more sprouted on another spot! Sure it's really easy to just take up the scissors and snip them off, so in a sense it's really no big deal, but to me it gives a sloppy impression when there's random threads poking out literally everywhere I look.

What is included:
• Tunic
• Coat
• Tabards
• Under-belt 
• Belt (with pouch)
• Pants
• Feet wrappings
• Glove
• Cloak

What is NOT included:
• Boots
• Wig
• Any props (lightsaber, mechanical arm etc)

~ Detailed description of costume parts ~

Disclaimer: I had to go to school and dress a mannequin as, sadly, the costume doesn't fit me and I still needed to present it for the review somehow. :( More about that at the end of the post. Also, I'm sorry but I had no way to iron the costume before taking the photos as I did this after school time, so it's basically "straight out of the bag". Oh and yeah, in my class we pretty much only have female mannequins so sorry about the tiddies lmao.

Tunic: I'm not sure if it even is a tunic but that was what I saw it called on a quick Google search so yeah, I'll roll with it. Basically I'm talking about the collared under shirt. It appears to be made of linen, medium-ish thickness with a visible texture. It's one of the two clothing items that feels like it's of decent quality.

Tunic back close-up. Zipper.
There's a dress zipper in the back to get it on as the fabric does not stretch at all (linen, duh). The zipper feels okay and more sturdy than I expected, I'm not sure but the zipper head/lock itself appears to be of metal (painted white) while the zipper 'teeth' are plastic. I swear I had a photo of how far down the zipper goes but the photo magically disappeared from my camera and I can't find it anywhere.
Shoulder seams and collar visible.
The length is approximately to my hip bones so it's not super long or anything. This was also one of the few clothing items I could sort-of wear but it behaved in an unflattering way on the upper torso, it's hard to explain but the cut was kinda boxy and awkward, especially around the shoulders. Most likely a sizing issue.

Sleeve mouths.
Coat: Again, I'm unsure what to call this but I refer to the vest-like cream colored garment Luke wears that is the main part of his outfit. This piece is of a thin, polyester or poly blend that is smooth and has a very slight matte shine to it, in certain lights. I don't really like this fabric and feel like it's way too "flimsy" feeling to fit anything in Star Wars, to be honest. Only good part with it is that this fabric is light-weight and thus will easily flow in the wind and look cool, assuming you have ironed it.

Coat button. Grandma style. :'D
I honestly can't remember Luke's outfit having a button (at least not a visible one?) so I think this might be inaccurate. Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. The button is where the coat fronts overlap.

Notice the fastener on the shoulder, the tabards have matching ones to
keep them in place.
The coat is long, full-length pretty much, with the sides split starting from the waist and going all the way down. I had a photo that showed the split but it's somehow gone as well, but you can kinda see that the coat splits at the sides on the full body photos farther down.

Tabards: Basically two long rectangles that drape over the shoulders and just kinda hang there, in classic Star Wars style. Although when I laid them out they didn't seem to be completely straight but actually had a slight curve to them. These are made of the same creme colored fabric as the coat, except that there is some kind of interfacing between the layers to make them a bit thicker and less floppy. The tabards stay in place thanks to a plastic fastener on the coat's shoulders, so you won't need to be tugging at them constantly as they won't be inching towards your arms after a while.

Tabards attachment.
Under-belt: Not so much to say, a simple sash with velcro closure that goes under the actual belt. It helps to hold the tabards in place at the lower half too. Same thin cream fabric as the coat.

Under-belt velcro fastening.
Belt: Faux leather belt. My least favorite part, sadly. It just feels really cheap in every possible way it's not sturdy at all and awkward to wear. The belt doesn't stay put and the material is so flimsy that it just kinda buckles up and down, leaving gaps between the belt and your body you know? I can guess that the complete lack of any kind of tightening or adjustment option is the main reason for this and, honestly, there's literally nothing even keeping it in place as there's no proper closure in the back. What the heck.

Belt front.
I just don't like the "belt buckle". It's just a fabric shape stitched on top of the belt, it looks off to me. Only points I can give it is that it looks just like on the stock photo so I did expect it to be like that but yeah, as soon as you take a closer look it looks weird. And it feels almost a bit sticky to the touch?

Belt back.
Belt back. Closer look. Seems okay right?
The belt's "closure" seen from above. See what the problem is?
In case you don't see it I'll make it clear. Look at the photo above, see that little leather "strap" that goes in the metal clip? Well, on the backside/underside there's nothing to secure it to anything whatsoever. No button, no velcro. Nothing. So yeah, the belt totally comes off if you as much as move a meter. This could just as well be a single miss on my particular costume but as it's what I got to review and it doesn't work I have to mention it.

I've also tried securing the belt strap the "normal way" (as in first under the metal clip edge, over the middle part and then under the other edge of the clip) but it's no better because there's no prong nor belt holes to keep it in place and so it just slides off anyway.

On the belt comes a pouch that is attached to it. You can freely move it around as it's attached on a belt loop. It's fully functional and the flap closes with velcro. This pouch also reveals that the fake leather is fabric on the other side.

Pouch opened.
Pants: Same cream fabric as the coat and all, again. It feels way too thin for pants, like I honestly fear that if these would have fit me they might have torn if I sat down. The pants feel really costumey but they at least look like proper pants on the outside. The darts and stuff are there, belt loops and there's even functional pockets! The pants close with a button and zipper. I don't trust the zipper to last though, the tunic's zipper seem to be the better one of the two.

Pants front. Close-up.
Pants closure.
Pants back.
Pants inside, just to show pocket pouches.
Feet wrappings: Not much to say, same cream fabric again. It's basically just two long strips of fabric that's overlocked around all edges to not fray. You are supposed to wrap them around your lower legs like Luke seemingly has. There's no velcro or anything so you either just tuck them under themselves or tie the ends off or something to keep them in place, once wrapped.

A photo of all the costume parts I couldn't dress the mannequin with.
Glove: Fake leather single glove. Luke covers up his mechanical arm with a glove on his right hand. It has some shine to it and feels like you'd expect any inexpensive fancy dress leather glove to feel like. Good thing it's easy to modify as this thing is as shapeless as a potato sack. It's basically the same width all through with some chunky fingers and yeah, remember when you were a kid and outlined your hand on paper and cut it out? It looks like that. :D Okay, I know that making actually fitting gloves and patterning those can be a major pain in the ass but this is like such a level of bad that I don't know if I should laugh or cry, especially if we are to believe the "professional tailor" claim. I can't think of any human being who would have swollen shovel arms in these proportions that's gotta be a hypothermic neanderthal or something lol.

Inside of the glove is different color. (notice really uneven hem)
Glove, "above" view.
Glove, "under" view.
Cloak: And here's the best for last, the cloak! My favorite part of the outfit. It appears to be made of a grayish brown linen, slightly softer in touch than the tunic and less textured. It's basically a hooded full-length cape and it's really wide. Shame it gets wrinkled easily but it's still pretty sweet to twirl in and watch it flare out in the wind! There's no sleeves and to keep it in place there's a tiny hook closure at the front. I can see a lot of use for this cloak on live-action roleplays and such as it's generic and fits many fantasy settings more than just Star Wars.

Cloak worn on top. Front.
Cloak worn on top. Back.
Cloak hook closure.

Below is a couple "full" (minus the cloak, pants, glove and feet wrappings) cosplay photos dressed on a torso-only mannequin.
All photos taken by me.

Front without cloak.
Back without cloak.
Front close-up.
In all fairness this particular costume is about 90% accurate to the stock photos on the site. I knew what it would look like but I was hoping for the fabrics to be a bit more fitting but, then again, I'm not surprised as this is the typical China quality, give or take. But hey, make sure to study the stock photos carefully as you are likely to get something similar to it if you buy from MoviesCostume.

Feeling a need to dress up to align with the Force?

Link to MoviesCostume main page: MoviesCostume Online Cosplay Store
All Star Wars costumes: MoviesCostume Star Wars costume selection

MoviesCostume store & Luke Skywalker costume rundown Pros and cons:

+ Accurate to store's stock photos
+ The linen fabric is pretty okay
+ Sewing quality is good for the most part
+ Quick processing & making time
+ Shipping time as expected
+ Packaging
+ Easy to deal with customer service
+ Replies fast to emails
+ Clothing bag

- Despite ordering custom size some parts are too big and others too small
- A lot of loose threads and a few uneven/bad stitches
- The main fabric (creme colored) is thin polyester, doesn't fit idea of Star Wars
- Not applicable for Legion 501st etc standards
- Not for those who demand screen-accuracy
- The belt lacks any closure to keep it in place without falling off (mistake?)

~ Sizing ~

I have already realized that "custom size" is in reality not custom size with online costume shops. It can't possibly be with big factories that creates a full costume in less than a week. Because to do custom size you generally need to draw the pattern from scratch for each customer etc.
Which means that previously when I've had "custom size" costumes fitting it has been because I've been lucky with having my measurements corresponding to the ready-made sizes once they were mixed and matched; aka "custom size" is most likely just the store taking whatever pre-set sizes they have and making each costume part to whatever pre-set size lands closest to your given measures, for example M for pants, S for shirt etc.

Most of the costume parts were in this case too small, which is harder to do something about as bigger you can (almost) always take in but smaller you're stuck with. I would always prefer to wear the costumes that I'm showcasing myself but this time it was not possible so I had to resort to another solution, hence the mannequin. It was my only way to get the review done, I hope you can understand. 

Luke Skywalker reference image.

~ Conclusion and final thoughts ~

Okay, so despite how harsh my review might sound I want to stress that the costume does look like the stock photos and if that is good enough for your costuming needs then you need not worry, especially if you are not picky about fabric choices and fit into standard sizes. MoviesCostume are, based on my experience, really patient and easy to deal with.

MoviesCostume's turn-around times are comparable to other overseas costume shops, so be sure to plan in advance and order at least a couple months prior to the event you need the costume for, just to avoid any stress. Their costumes might not be the most character accurate out there but will work as decent bases if you can't sew from scratch but want to do some small modifications to an existing costume. There's a lot of crappier satin monster cosplay stores and scams out there so yeah, MoviesCostume is actually decent if you count in the whole spectrum of online shops. Some of the issues could potentially be fixed if you're sewing savvy.

Overall, I can say that I would only recommend this Luke Skywalker outfit for those who are new to cosplay, for Halloween, a movie showing, themed parties or your Star Wars crazy nephew's birthday and the like. Basically it's a "quick fix" costume or one on which you don't want to spend a lot of time doing research beforehand and are content with simply being recognized as "old man Luke" as this will do it. But if you're looking for a screen-accurate or authentic feeling Luke Skywalker costume then keep on looking, this is not the costume you're looking for. But if you don't care too much about details or don't mind being a grumpy old Jedi on a budget then by all means go for it, it's not expensive for the fun that can be had with it! May the Force be with you.

Final Grade (from A-F): C
Recommend to others: Maybe

That about sums it up. I hope you found this review helpful and hey, do hit that "follower" button if you aren't reading my blog yet, I always appreciate new faces!

A huge thank you goes out to MoviesCostume for making this review possible and to you for reading this!
Shiro Samurai says goodbye.