Monday, December 4, 2017

[Sponsored] CosplaySky Review: Star Wars Imperial Officer Cosplay Costume

Hello everyone!

As the title says, to my very surprise, I got another sponsor contacting me! This time, it was CosplaySky (United Kingdom) who took contact on the 29th July 2017 and asked if I was interested in a sponsorship with them. Of course I said "Yes" as I love to help and support others, be it costume stores, friends or the cosplay community. A few days after CosplaySky contacted me, I browsed through their store to see what costumes they had. I didn't end up with my first costume of choice, as they were sadly out of fabric to make that particular costume so I went with my second choice which was an Imperial officer costume from Star Wars. I placed this costume request to CosplaySky on the 7th of August and they returned to me on the 9th August with a positive reply. This change was no biggie at all for me, as I wanted both the costumes about just as much. But now, when I think about it, especially during this time of the year, I'm really happy that I ended up with my second choice knowing that the new Star Wars movie is coming to the cinemas soon <3

I gave CosplaySky the details they needed to make the costume and after that, the game of waiting began. Meanwhile I was waiting for CosplaySky to make and send the costume, I bought myself a rank bar from Etsy (more about this in the next post) and I was really happy to see that the said Etsy store created character specific rank bars on request, so I got my hands on a screen accurate one for my favorite Imperial officer of choice, who is without a doubt, young Galen Erso.

The next news came on 22nd August, aka the day CosplaySky had finished the costume and sent it for travels abroad. Sadly, the postal services were delayed somewhere in the world, so I got the costume first at 30th September. Since I was in the middle of a really tough internship I had to postpone the review until I was done with the internship and had recovered enough from it. Somewhere during the second half of November I started to feel better and since then, I have been preparing and planning for this review. It was enough of a challenge to find a day that worked for both me and my photographer. A day that also had good weather during those very limited and precious hours of daylight, when the making of this review was even possible.

With all the waiting, prepping and planning behind that has finally become a result, I'm more than happy to be able to write and get this review out. I also want to thank CosplaySky for their patience and understanding of my situation and I hope that they are satisfied and happy with this review of mine, I surely am!

So, well, let's start this!

Even if this is a sponsored review, my thoughts and opinions will always be 100% genuine and my own. I despise dishonesty of any kind and I strongly believe honesty to be the best policy towards my sponsor(s) and readers in the long run. I will never compromise my honesty as I want others to learn and grow as a business/person. Thank you for understanding.

Yesterday I woke up early (3rd December) and waddled my way to bro's place at the other side of town and once there, I almost immediately started to put on the makeup and soon the costume. I want to thank both Shiro Samurai and my good ol' friend Ri-kun for their makeup tips for Galen, as I was completely lost myself. A few days before the actual review, I did a quick makeup test at bro's and we both agreed on that I needed to buy more appropriate makeup before the actual review, so I did.
Now to the cosplay photos and the costume itself; since this was a sponsored costume, I didn't pay for it and it was, just like my previous bought/sponsored ones, custom size and made in my own measurements for a better fit. The costume came in a turquoise-green plastic bag and was folded nicely inside a costume bag with a resealable zipper. I really like the idea that the costume is inside its own bag, as it helps protecting it from getting dirty or damaged during its journey towards the new home. I found the costume in my mailbox once it arrived and I'm always happy to find stuff in my mailbox, as it means that I don't need to fetch it from the other side of town, yay~

Photographer: Shiro Samurai

Costume in its original packaging.
Costume in its costume bag.
The color of the uniform on the second photo is of brighter green shade than the costume actually has. These two photos were taken on a day when the light setting wasn't the best. The full body photos below of the costume (taken during a sunny, cloudless December morning) shows the color better and what it actually looks like. This costume has one of those colors that vary a lot in shade, depending on the light source and light settings it's exposed to *shrugs*

Before we move into the full body costume photos, I just want to drop this official reference of young Galen Erso in his Imperial uniform. Just so that you guys have something to compare the costume I received with (and my makeup, if you like).

Below you'll find photos of my received costume along with a list of items that was and was not included in the costume. Enjoy.

This is what was included:
- Uniform jacket
- Pants

This is what was NOT included:
- Rank bar
- Those pocket details (please inform me if you know what they are)
- Belt
- Boots

Cosplayer: Frozen Angel (Galen Erso)
Photographer & editor: Shiro Samurai

Note to those fellow Star Wars cosplayers out there reading this: I know my boots and belt are not screen accurate to the movies but I had to go with what I had, as I had time restrictions. I plan to get an accurate belt in the future for my Galen Erso cosplay, when I debut it. Boots are not a big deal for me, as I take durability/comfort/economy over accuracy here.

Left side.
Right side.
Alright, there you have the costume and I must say, honest as I am with my reviews, that I personally think CosplaySky did a wonderful job in recreating the well-known Imperial uniform (501 Legion one) that we all geeks love and know from the Star Wars universe! Want to get your own Imperial officer costume and cosplay your favorite dude (or dudette for that matter) from the Dark Side? Get yours from the links below and have tons of geeky fun at your next cosplay or nerdy event! :)

Link to CosplaySky main page: CosplaySky Online Costume Store 

If you need or want the same uniform but in gray, you'll find it here: Star Wars Imperial Officer Gray Cosplay Costume

After being outdoors and reviewing the costume and doing the preview photoshoot on the same go, I got my fair share of time to take a better look at the costume and the quality of it and I must say I love this one, seriously! The seams are clean and the overall sewing job is of good quality. No loose seams, hanging threads or fraying edges or anything else that would rip apart easily. A solid, good quality costume for a decent price, if you ask me. Value-wise this is a good one too. When it comes to the color of the uniform (this is a matter of personal preference too) I dig the color of the fabric as it's not too green nor gray, it's just in that sweet middle spot in-between. At the costume page, it's labelled as "olive green" and I'd say it stays pretty true to that. The fabric is labelled as "heavy uniform cloth" but to me, it feels more like a mixture of medium-weight synthetic fabric with (maybe?) a bit of a cotton-ish fibers/touch to it. It's a wee bit different from the fabric used on my Prussia (Hetalia) costume that I bought from them last year, which is a bit more static to the touch.

The Star Wars costume is still really nice to the touch and comfortable to wear overall, with no itchy or irritating fabric. CosplaySky nailed the measuring part and the costume I received, fits like a hand in a glove (note: do not add extra centimeters to your own measurements, if you pick custom size). I can walk around and sit down, bend myself in whatever position I need to be at without needing to worry for something to start tearing and that's a good thing. In other words; nothing on the costume is too tight or too loose and I want to give CosplaySky a "good job!" pat on the shoulder for this one too. Nice one! Last but not least -and probably the most crucial part of a costume- we have the pants. Unlike the uniform jacket, the pants didn't have a lining making them less sturdy than the jacket. The pants "poof" towards the side as military pants tend to do and they have a basic "zipper and button" closure system and belt loop rings, if you need to use a belt for a secure fit. I didn't. Sadly, I and my photographer forgot to take detail photos of the pants, so I hope you guys get an image of what I'm trying to describe anyway.

One thing that mildly surprised me (not in a negative way) was that at the end of each leg's hem, there was 3 buttons. This surprised me because I've never seen it done on a costume before, so I dunno why they were there in the first place but I guess it's an option (as the fabric had a cut in it so that you could layer it over the buttons, which of course, had button holes) to either keep the fabric at your leg's end tight or loose, depending on comfort. I decided to close mine as I don't want the fabric to sway around and get dirty or stuck somewhere.

Anyway, enough talking here are more photos of the costume:

Front side. Notice the seams.
Right shoulder.
How to open the costume's front and take it off/put it on.
You fasten the front part of the uniform with buttons.
A (kinda) hidden zipper.
Small pockets on both the left and right side. According to reference art character seems to have some kind of object in each of them.
How the collar is put in place. Hook system.
Lower uniform jacket or "skirt" and pants that "poof" towards the side.
Back seams.
I don't have much more to say about this costume as I am personally really satisfied and happy with it. There is not that much to say about the costume itself as the costume doesn't have many details or things to photograph and write about, as it is after all, a clean, stylish, iconic and simple design. Oh and if you compare the costume to its stock photo image on the costume's page, it's 100% accurate if you ignore the belt on the photo which is not included in the costume itself. This is even mentioned if you scroll down and read the costume information.

If I have to say something I want to change/want CosplaySky to improve upon, on this particular costume, is the choice of fabric used. The current fabric is by no means bad but it could be better, especially for uniform type of costumes as their fabric tends to be thick, sturdy and well, warm. I happen to have some uniforms in the nerdy part of my wardrobe (other cosplays/costumes) and some of them have a more thicker fabric, be it cotton, wool or whatnot. What I'm trying to say is that uniforms overall (as far as I know) tend to have, as I already said, a sturdier fabric. So if uniform cosplays had a type of fabric more similar to actual ones, by default, I would LOVE them even more and yes, I would pay the money for that quality on a cosplay costume. Apart from that, I didn't raise my eyebrow to anything on the costume at all. With the costume summed up, let's take a look at CosplaySky as a store:

When it comes to CosplaySky as a store, they are fairly big by now which means they have stocked up on plenty of different costumes from many different series in their shop, ranging all from popular series to lesser known ones and costume/item-wise; they have everything from full costumes to weapons/props, accessories to boot covers and more. CosplaySky's customer service is (from my experience) fast, friendly and really helpful and understanding. They are China based (not everything from China is bad!) and their English is understandable. The making process of a costume is fairly fast (depending on the costume) and they ship with express shipping, meaning that if you need the costume for a deadline they can help you get it in time, you just need to let them know. What I want to say at this point of this review is that CosplaySky is a store that has good quality costumes, price and value-wise, so you get a decent, solid costume for your money. The costumes might not be perfect detail/accuracy-wise but they are solid nevertheless and you get pretty much what you see. If you need to re-adjust size (this can also happen, if measurement is taken incorrectly) or add/remove detail(s), this is easy to do if you have some basic sewing knowledge and time on your hands. Plus, CosplaySky uses their own stock images for their costumes, which at least, makes me feel safe buying from them, knowing that they are not scammers or ripping off other stores' stock images. When it comes to customer service, CosplaySky is very friendly, fast to reply, understandable and helpful being professional at what they do. They seem to value their customers and everything went really smoothly -for me- when they took contact with me and told me the reason behind why I couldn't pick my first costume choice and advised me to pick another costume from them, for example. I'm really happy with CosplaySky, the costume I received and the service they offered and I would personally return to do business with them.

Oh and if you've been looking to buy a costume or know someone who is interested in buying one, by all means check CosplaySky out! You might just find what you're looking for in their vast selection of costumes and costume-related items. If something tingles your fancy in this costume section, don't forget to use the discount code FA18 to enjoy a 12% off on your purchase. Discount code is valid until the end of January 2018. If you're looking for currently popular costumes CosplaySky recommends the following ones: The Pennywise Clown from IT, Jon Snow from The Game of Thrones (season 7) and Izuku Midoriya (Training Suit) from My Hero Academia.

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

All in all, at the end of this review I want to give a big thank you to CosplaySky for contacting me and offering a sponsorship along with a lovely costume. But I also want to thank them for their understanding of my situation and I hope that we'll stay in touch for years to come. Thank you CosplaySky for making this review possible and for fulfilling my geeky Star Wars cosplay dream, since I saw the movies for the first time back in 2013.

Anyway, thanks for reading everyone and I hope you guys found this post informative and interesting. Next up is a preview photoshoot of Galen Erso followed by the Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie premiere post, so stay tuned if you don't want to miss those two! But for now, may the Force be with you and goodnight! ;)

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