Let’s take a look at what it takes to cosplay as an elf.
Elf Cosplay Costumes of 2021
Elves have been a mainstay in high fantasy as that race that’s almost human, except more beautiful and much longer lived. Whether it’s Lord of the Rings, Dungeons and Dragons, or some other title, elves are depicted fairly similarly enough across different media.
You can go with a specific character or mix and match different looks to come up with an elf costume. Perhaps you can also go for a more children’s story with it and go with a Christmas elf instead. Let’s take a look at what it takes to cosplay as an elf.
What is an Elf?
An elf is a fictional race commonly featured in the fantasy genre. The origin of elves come from Germanic mythology and folklore, wherein elves are believed to be beings with magical powers and supernatural beauty. They live their extraordinarily long lives well beyond the concerns of humans while having the capability to either help or hinder them.
Common depictions of elves in media throughout history share similar themes, including their natural habitat being in the forests. Elves tend to exist in the same plane as dwarves, who have become their polar opposites as short and stocky folk who live in the mountains.
While beliefs in elves among Germanic peoples declined with urbanization and industrialization during the 19th and 20th centuries, they have endured in literature, which would then lead to their depictions in film, comics, video games, pen-and-paper role-playing games, and so on.
How to Look Like an Elf
The elf’s most distinct physical features are their slender bodies, fair complexion, and pointed ears. There are differences between different kinds of elves that have since cropped up in works of fiction, thus diversifying the elven race beyond more classical depictions throughout history.
There’s also the matter of depicting elven character and culture. Elves tend to be shown as high-minded and even seemingly arrogant, viewing themselves as superior to other races. It’s not to say that they’re bad guys because of that, but they can be annoying at times when interacting with other races.
But most of the time, that attitude is within reason as they’re a noble race with great aptitude for magic and combat. In most fantasy media, they tend to be mages, archers, or warriors who use finesse and agility instead of brute strength to fight.
Modern interpretations of elves in media now have three main types of elves, namely high elves, wood elves, and dark elves. High elves are your classic elves who live in cities, wood elves are more feral and live in the forest, and dark elves are dark-skinned and live underground.
Elf Cosplay Variations
The most crucial parts of the elf cosplay are pointed ears and long, straight hair. Elves don’t tend to wear armor, opting to wear either robes or light armor in combat, depending on their character class.
A good rule of thumb here is if any part of your elf costume makes it hard to move, take it out. Perhaps the only exceptions to this would be paladins, and many of them would opt for lighter armor if a wonder material like mithril is not available in the setting.
Top Elf Costumes of 2021
Most depictions of elves in the media tend to be that of high elves. They tend to wear long flowing robes or form-fitting clothes, depending on their occupation, and seem to radiate light all on their own. Elrond, Galadriel, Celebrian, and Arwen from Lord of the Rings are prime examples of high elves. You can even say they were the basis for how high elves are depicted in the modern day.
They’re also known as sun elves, gold elves, or so on, depending on the fantasy title. In terms of dress, they like light colors that match their fair complexion and light-colored hair and eyes.
Imagine Robin Hood with pointed ears. That may be an over-simplistic description, but that’s what you’d typically expect of wood elves. They live amongst the trees and tend to be amazing archers. Since they spend a lot more time outdoors, they have darker skin compared to high elves. They also tend to have red or brown hair.
As they’re either archers or druids, their clothes tend to be designed with freedom of movement in mind. While Legolas from the Lord of the Rings may not be strictly classified as a wood elf, his fighting style and way of dress can be seen as similar to that of a wood elf, albeit with some subtle differences.
While not as popular in the mainstream as high elves, dark elves are starting to become more visible in various works of fiction. Perhaps the most famous dark elf in fiction is Drizzt Do’urden from the novels of R.A. Salvatore that are set in the Forgotten Realms setting. There are also the dark elves of the Elder Scrolls video game franchise, developed and published by Bethesda.
Also known as drow, their skin is very close to black, their eyes are usually red, and some depictions even have white hair. Due to their physical appearance and their underground cities, they tend to blend in with darkness. Their clothes are usually black, dark gray, dark purple, or in similar colors, and they have a lot of points and edges to them.