It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…Kigurumi!

Here’s a Halloween idea as comfy as it is silly!

Kigurumi!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolsakuma/

Kigurumi comes from a combination of two Japanese words: Kiru (“to wear”) and nuigurumi  (“stuffed toy”) which is very appropriate since you’re literally dressing yourself as a stuffed animal or cartoon mascot.   The equivalent of kigurumi in English is “splash mascot”. You see them pretty often from Mickey Mouse in Disneyland to the poor soul working as a sign spinner dressed as an anthropomorphic ice cream cone.

In Japan, there is another subset of kigurumi in the form of giant stylized onesies called “disguise pajamas” that  became a big fashion item among the girls of Harajuku literally overnight in the early 2000s. What’s better than raiding the giant Don Quijote stores (think of them as 24hr Japanese Walmarts) and buying funny animal pajamas to wear after night of heavy partying?

Ironically, most who wear these are male fans.

Kigurumi can also refer to these sorts of uncanny costumes.

But the Japanese aren’t the only ones who can turn the streets into an instant slumber party. The trend has caught on in the anime/manga fan community in recent years as well in conventions as a convenient and comfy costume.

 The Space Pirate Queen, House Cat, and I have all worn kigurumi and we all love it! It’s cute and quirky and you can’t deny how effectictively grown ladies dressed as cartoon animals will turn heads.

I choose you, Pikachu!

SPQ and House Cat got a great reaction from Misha Collins.

Kigurumi are great for all ages and body sizes. The only ones who can’ fit into it are party poopers.

Girls and guys dig ’em!

And once you get tired or hot, all you have to do is slip them off. Assuming that you have clothes under the kigurumi. I highly recommend at least a tanktop and shorts because those buttons in the front can leave big gaps depending on how you move and you don’t want to use FLASH on innocent friends while you’re dressed up like Pikachu. :(

My friend and I hamming it up at Anime Los Angeles.

I got my own at Anime Expo for about $40. They range between $40-70 on average online which is about the cost of any other sort of Halloween costume at the shop. You can think of it as paying for a costume AND the most comfy pajamas. Multipurpose! Check the links below for some online vendors. I’ve seen them in small Japanese-themed shops so you might be able to find some there too.

Still stingy? Or want something even more unique? You can always also check ebay or make your own. :)

Online Shops:

Cushzilla

Kigurumi Shop

Tutorials:

Idiot’s Guide to Making Kigurumi  (for those who can’t access Youtube or prefer written instructions)

Credit: First photo from Carol’s flickr page. Schoolgirl kigurumi picture from Google search.

Follow Fortune Cookie on twitter @alchimique

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Written by Fortune Cookie
Fortune Cookie loves all things cute and whimsical. She also especially loves tragic bishounen and anime and manga that stab you right in the heart.