RECENTLY I DECIDED to rent a Lili costume from Mame’s Cosplay Shop, owned by Mayden Ong. Lili’s costume is very pretty and something I can actually wear on a regular basis and would love to own, but having it made, and ordering my own wig, can be very expensive. I’ll probs have to spend around 2k on it, that and it’ll take up closet space, which I’m not in the luxury of.

…So I decided to rent when I saw that Mame’s Cosplay Shop had it among their items available for rent. I was going to use it for a personal mini-shoot my brother and I had been planning. Let me give my review of the shop and the pros and cons of renting in general.

Lili Rochefort from Tekken

AFFORDABILITY:

I rented the costume at 800Php, wig included in the package. This really saves you a lot if you were actually going to have the costume made for yourself and bought a new wig.

The assurance fee/deposit may be a bit heavy on the pocket though, as it was 1500Php. While I understand that there is a need on the seller’s part to be sure that her items will be taken care of and damages (if any) will be covered, dishing out 2000+ in one day is a heavy feat. Maybe there could have been some ways to lessen it, say what other shops do where you can provide a valid ID or gadget to lower your deposit fee.

Me as Lili.

ACCESSIBILITY:

Miss Mayden meets up anyone by the UST area, and is willing to receive you in her home to try on outfits. That’s pretty accessible if you’re around the area, and from Manila or QC. She could also ship the items to you if you are from a rather distant area, granted you ship it back. While I know she has a busy schedule, she was kind enough to do a meet-up for me at work. If you’re sure to rent I’m positive she can find a way for you to see the items or fit a meet up with you in her sched. Just be sure to be nice as sellers are doing customers a big favor when the travel just to meet up with you in person.

ACCURACY / QUALITY:

The costume was not HQ and not the best quality possible, so if you’re picky this isn’t what you should get. The cloth is shiny, which I know would put off cosplayers who want to photograph well. However for renters who only plan to use it for costume parties and such, I doubt it will be much of an issue.

As for accuracy, the costume is definitely recognizable as the character, although the details and tiny things won’t pass if you want a 100% accurate costume. Also the wig was not a specific wig for Lili, and was rather a long blonde wig with curls and side bangs, which rather disappointed me, and it was a bit tangled, and I am just bad with long wigs.

As for fit, the top part was a bit loose on me, which was just remedied by some safety pins.

CUSTOMER SERVICE:

Customer Service from Mame’s Cosplay Shop is amazing. I’ve already mentioned Ms. Mayden sacrificed to meet up with me, and there are speedy responses to all my queries via text. It is preferable to text her rather than drop a comment on her shop page. Ms. Mayden is clear in all things and easy to transact with.

WILL I RENT AGAIN?

Probs. Say if there were a character I wanted to cosplay but only for a photoshoot, I would. Closet space is precious to me and I would save lots of money rather than having the entire thing made for me. Or if I like a character, but am not as dedicated to her and see myself cosplaying the character for a while, I probably would just rent. I recommend this shop if you’re not absolutely into cosplay, and instead am looking for something to wear for one time for a costume-themed office party or something.

And to summarize the pros and cons of renting in general:

PROS

  • Cheaper
  • Saves you closet space
  • No waiting time to get your costume made/delivered/no need to wait for preorder of wigs and the like
  • Great for one-time photoshoots and costume parties
  • If you’re a cosplayer, you can build up your portfolio in a cheaper way if you just kept renting. You can cosplay more characters as opposed to if you buy everything.

CONS:

  • No assurance on the quality and accuracy
  • No assurance on the fit of the costume/ may be too big or small
  • Late Fees. Some renters only allow you to rent for a day or two, and having to return a costume within the day, say, if you were using it for an evening party, is a hassle, especially if you have a day job and can’t have time to make a return.

Depending on what you need the costume for, renting may or may not be the best choice for you. Weigh out the pros and cons and figure what you need.

 Aki