The Cat in the Hat // Cosplayer : LilyArcherCreative // Photo : devonmariejohnson_photography

 I don’t think I can really overstate the impact that cosplaying has had on my life. I’ve been loosely cosplaying for a little over ten years now, but I didn’t join the community until 2015. As a teenager I chased validation through theater and performance, but it wasn’t until I started posting my cosplay pictures online that I really found what I was looking for. My self-esteem and body image both skyrocketed as I settled into who “Lily” was; that’s not my real name, only a few people in the community know that! I think the most freeing part of my cosplay journey has been finding a lasting outlet for my creativity. Through sewing my own costumes I have learned how to bead and embroider, dipped back into my love of painting, and developed a slight obsession with rhinestones and trim!

The idea for the Cat in the Hat came from two main points of inspiration. First, it just seemed like fun! I wanted to do something where I could be sparkly, creative, and hopefully unique in the cosplay space. I thought it would make people smile to see something so different. And second, the decision came when I knew that my mom would be coming to the con with me. She has always loved the Cat in the Hat (she has the book memorized, it’s impressive) and this would be her first time coming to a con where I was in my full cosplay element. I thought it would be a great thing to do together, and it ended up being her first time cosplaying! She was Thing 1, and I am so proud of her!

This costume was put together from pieces I bought on Amazon or Old Navy and then altered for my own use. The jacket specifically was tailored with rhinestones added along the lapel, and the hat was stoned with as many rhinestones as I had time to add! I usually make my costumes from scratch, so the Cat was a nice break.

I started dressing up like characters from my favorite books and movies long before I knew what cosplay was, for book and movie premiers. My first “convention” was actually a Twilight con back in 2009! Once in college I was introduced to anime beyond my childhood Sailor Moon interest, and after graduation in 2014 my friends and I decided to give an anime convention a try. I wore the same costume all three days (not the best idea in hindsight) but fell in love with the hobby and haven’t looked back!