How to Cosplay if You Wear Glasses

Tips for cosplaying with glasses

Wearing glasses in your everyday life doesn’t mean you can’t participate in cosplay. Whether you’re open to wearing contacts or not, you can still look fantastic and be a great representation of your character. 

You can cosplay any character you want and still wear your glasses. Depending on how accurate you want your costume to be, you can take them off for photos, wear rimless glasses, or just keep your glasses on. It’s all up to your own comfort levels.

Most people you see at anime conventions honestly won’t care whether or not you’re wearing glasses. You may feel a little self-conscious at first, but once you go for it and decide to wear your glasses with your cosplay, you’ll find that no one really notices and you’re able to have just as much fun cosplaying. Don’t let glasses stop you from enjoying the hobby and cosplaying your favorite character.

chat noir with glasses
You can cosplay whatever character you want and add glasses, even if the original character doesn’t wear any.

It’s okay to cosplay with glasses

When it comes down to it, it’s perfectly okay to wear whatever costume you want with glasses even if the original character doesn’t wear them. Accuracy in cosplay is overrated. No one is actually able to create exact replicas of a two-dimensional character. There’s nothing wrong with taking creative liberty and cosplaying as a variant of your character that happens to wear glasses. If your eyesight is bad and you can’t wear contacts (or you don’t want to), it’s still okay to cosplay as whoever you want. 

Posing for photos while wearing glasses

Posing for photos with glasses can be a little tricky because of the reflective nature of lenses. You could end up with a flash of white light on your lenses, completely obscuring your eyes. If you’re working directly with a photographer, the two of you can find poses that will work with your glasses. Otherwise, you’ll need to follow some best practices to try to reduce the chances of a glasses lens flare.

There are no foolproof ways to pose for photos to avoid the glare on your glasses lenses. Light will always reflect differently depending on your environment and the locations of the lights in the room. However, these tips can help you get some good pictures with minimal reflection on your glasses:

  • Avoid bright sunny areas and spotlights. Whenever possible, find shaded areas to take pictures outside, since you’ll be less likely to get a glare on your glasses.
  • Angle your chin down. Since most light indoors and outdoors comes from above, angling your chin down just slightly will usually keep the sun or other lighting from creating a bad glare.
  • Wear lenses with an anti-reflective coating. Nowadays, you can buy glasses that have a coating that keeps them from being too shiny. It’s not perfect by any means, but it can help a lot with photos.
  • Push your glasses high on your nose. Before photos, push your glasses up the bridge of your nose. This will help to prevent the rim of your glasses from completely covering your eyes.

Consider rimless glasses

Rimless glasses are ones that have a very minimalistic look because they don’t have a frame at all. They’re just the lenses connected straight to the arms of the glasses. When wearing these, the glasses don’t stand out quite as much on your face which can keep the glasses from distracting anyone from the rest of your cosplay.

This type of glasses can still have a little bit of light reflection and depending on your prescription, may magnify your eyes. However, it’s overall a lot more inconspicuous and can help you feel a little more confident in your costume.

raven with glasses
If you want to add glasses to a costume, think about what type of eyewear you character would wear.

Wear glasses that work for the character

If you want to wear glasses so that you can see the whole time while cosplaying, but also don’t want the glasses to look out of place for the character, you can choose a style of glasses that looks like it’s part of the cosplay. Try to think of something that your character would wear if they had to wear glasses.

Consider the style of the glasses and the color. Don’t be afraid to go over the top for characters that have bold character designs, or use minimalistic glasses for characters who are more serious. You could also wear a pair of prescription sunglasses for any number of ‘cool’ characters or for any character at all when you’re outside. Don’t be afraid to get creative and use your glasses as a chance to purposefully add personality to your cosplay.

Remove your glasses for photos

A very common tactic when cosplaying with glasses is to wear them as usual and simply remove the glasses for photos. You can hold onto the glasses and hide them behind your back during the photos, give them to a trusted friend, or carry around your glasses case and put your glasses away in your back during the photo.

I’ll warn you that if you are used to wearing your glasses all the time, you will likely forget to take them off for a lot of photos. It also gets a little tiresome after a while since you are constantly taking your glasses on and off. You have to rearrange your wig every time, be careful of your makeup, and you have to deal with those few minutes when you can’t see very well. So, even though this is a simple method, it’s not necessarily the best for everyone.

me as Vivi
You can wear glasses underneath a mask to help you see better.

Wear a mask over your glasses

If you want to hide your glasses, you can incorporate them into the goggles, masks, or helmets of your costume so that you have built-in eyewear whenever you put the costume on. You can build a superhero eye mask on top of your glasses, make goggles using your glasses lenses, or attach the glasses to the inside of a helmet for characters who wear helmets all the time.

If you have a spandex mask as part of your costume (such as Spiderman, and other superhero spandex suits), you can wear your glasses underneath the spandex to help you see. I did this for my Vivi cosplay (Final Fantasy IX) and actually found the mask more comfortable to wear and easier to see through compared to wearing contacts. This works better with darker-colored costumes so you won’t see the shadow of the glasses protruding from the mask.

Iida
If you’re a little self conscious, there are still plenty of characters you can cosplay who wear glasses, such as Iida from My Hero Academia.

Choose a character who wears glasses

If you’re still self-conscious about wearing glasses with cosplay, you can always choose a character who already wears glasses. It’s pretty common for there to be at least one character in ensemble shows who wears glasses. It does tend to be the same type of character. So if you like the smart, nerdy characters or the older and wiser characters, you’ll have a lot to choose from. 

Learn to wear contacts

As someone who wears glasses myself and avoided contacts for a long time, I can say it’s worth a try. I decided to learn how to wear contacts specifically for cosplay, but have since found it pretty convenient for everyday life too. If you care about creating accurate cosplays but don’t want to carry your glasses around everywhere, you may as well start wearing contacts.

Of course, you need to meet with an eye doctor for a contact lens fitting first (and get over the squeamishness of putting something directly into your eye). This can also give you the chance to wear colored contacts so you can better match your character’s eye color. 

Emily Joice

My name is Emily, and I have been cosplaying since my very first convention in 2008. Over the years, I've experimented with all different kinds of cosplay costumes, especially loving the process of creating props and styling wigs. I also delved into cosplay photography, and love exploring how to optimize costumes so they look excellent in photos. Most of the photos you find on this site were taken by me over my years at anime conventions.

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