I am short. Really short, only 5ft tall. Most of the time, I don’t care (very much), but sometimes I look like a little kid trying to play dress-up whenever I want to cosplay a more mature character. Maybe this is you and you want to walk around a little taller.
Maybe you don’t care about walking around, but you still want to look taller in pictures. You may also want to make your height taller compared to the height of other cosplayers in the group. This way the relative height of all of your costumes is more or less accurate.
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1. Wear heels (or take photos on your tiptoes)
For women, the easiest method to gain a significant amount of height is by simply adding a pair of high heels to your costume. Platform high heels can add even more height without looking out of place for most costumes.
If you’re not a big fan of high heels, you can get a similar effect for pictures if you simply stand on your tip-toes. This won’t have much effect while you’re walking around the convention but can help you look more proportionally to other cosplayers in pictures. You may want to practice standing on your toes beforehand if you’re someone who has trouble balancing.
If you do choose to wear heels, I recommend carrying a pair of flats with you when walking around a convention. At some point, your feet are going to hurt and you’ll want to change out of those pesky heels.
2. Shoe Lifts
If you don’t like high heels or they won’t work for your costume (male cosplays, for example), then you’re not completely out of luck. There are these things called shoe lifts that you can add to the bottom of your shoes to add some significant height in a more discreet way.
These are shoe paddings that you add to the inside of your shoe that add height to the heel. They won’t work with sandals or shoes that are too low, but otherwise, they tend to be a relatively comfortable way to add a couple of inches of height.
3. Practice better posture
Some of you reading this may have excellent posture already, but if you’re like me, it’s something you’ve struggled with for a long time. Think of cosplay as your motivation to work on your posture. You’ll need to find exercises that work to help you strengthen your abs, back, and shoulder muscles until you start standing straighter without so much effort.
The difference between slouching and standing up straight can honestly add 2-3 inches to your perceived height. Practice trying to stand flat against the wall (or as flat as possible) lifting your upper body up from your abdomen and pulling your shoulders back.
4. Carry a box to stand on (or use stairs)
If you just want to look taller for photos, you can use elements in your environment to help change your height. You could choose to carry a box around so that you can stand on it and look taller. Alternatively, you can stand a couple of steps higher than other cosplayers in the group to help increase your relative height. You could stand up on a curb or even stand up while your taller friend sits down, to make a height difference look less dramatic.
Of course, this will only help for photos, and won’t make much difference when walking around the convention. There is also not always a good place in your environment to carry this out and carrying a box around can get annoying.
5. Platform shoes
Platform shoes are subtler than high heels and can add a lot of height. They also aren’t always gendered shoes, so you don’t have to feel subconscious if you are a male cosplayer who wants to look a little taller.
Platform boots are the easiest to come across, but with a little searching online, you can find sneakers, sandals, and other types of shoes as well. You can also combine platform shoes with shoe lifts to get even more height.
Personally, platform shoes are my favorite way to increase my height when walking around. They are so much more comfortable than heels, so I can walk around almost like normal (except for stairs, I always trip on stairs).
If you want to add more than 12 inches to your height, you may want to consider getting a pair of stilts. When you hear stilts, you often think of extremely tall poles that people stand on to have abnormally long legs at a circus (or something like that). But stilts can actually be a lot more subtle-looking if you create pants wide enough to cover them and add shoes to the bottom.
Of course, you’ll want to practice walking with them before the convention to make sure you don’t fall and hurt yourself or ruin your costume. Make sure to try walking on different types of surfaces and up and down stairs.
7. Wear a tall wig (or hat)
Another area where you can cheat your height a little is by adding height to your head rather than your feet. This is only possible if your character has a tall hat or up-do hairstyle, but adding a few inches here can also help you appear taller overall.
Bonus: Ask your tall friend to bend down
If you’re looking to have more-or-less accurate relative height for all the cosplayers in your group, you can make short people taller or you can make tall people shorter. Taller cosplayers can squat down, kneel, sit, avoid heels, etc. to help lessen the height difference too. So, don’t be afraid to work together with your friends to make the characters look more accurate in photos.