[TUTORIAL] Spirited Away Chihiro Casual Outfit Costume

Sunday, 8 May 2016

 Spirited Away 

Chihiro Casual Outfit 

Costume Tutorial

I decided to cosplay Chihiro when I wasn't sure about what to expect from the cosplay community, For myself as a beginner, choosing to do Chihiro is a safe option because let's remember, it's important to walk before you can run.
I would totally recommend this to somebody who wants to throw together a simple but yet iconic cosplay, for any occasion.

I personally decided to go for Chihiro as she's a character written by Hayao Miyazaki who writes female characters who strong and also aren't sexualised.
This cosplay is pretty easy to do for a beginner but the more devotion and research you put into your work, the better the results! 

Getting Prepared

What you will need:
  • White Shoes
  • White Long Sleeve T-shirt 
(preferably one size larger than your typical size!)
  • Green Fabric Paint 
(I used 3 tubs of Dylon Fabric Paint in Green 25ml)
  • Pink Trousers
  • Yellow Fabric Paint
  • Orange Fabric Paint
  • White Thick Socks
  • Brown Wig (optional) 
  • Foundation
  • Pink Lipgloss
  • Mascara
  • Blush
  • Brown Circle Lenses (optional)

Buying clothes

To start with, you will need to buy a baggy white long sleeved shirt and pink trousers. I got the shirt for roughly £3. Men's shirts tend to be larger on women but still keeping the high collar. Also, men's shirts are more cost effective for this purpose!

Modifying Shorts

 The pink trousers were bought for £7 and these are made from a thin pink cotton fabric. For the overall outfit, you want a thin plain cotton fabric.
I cut the shorts and then my friend double hemmed the shorts using a sewing machine. Sewing by hand will work fine too. Buying oversized shorts online, or picking them up at a thrift shop can also be an alternative. If you can't find them in a pink shade, then use pink fabric dye on a pair of white shorts.

Modifying the shirt

What you need to do next is to measure your proportions of where the green stripe should start and end.
You should place the t-shirt down on a flat surface to draw these straight lines. This step will involve you testing how these lines look modelled on yourself!

 I would recommend getting somebody to help when your creating the line of the stripes to contribute with a second opinion! This process was longer than expected but that's because I'm a perfectionist and I was measuring it similar to a blueprint design. 

For this step, I used lots of reference images to guide my judgement.  

You need to measure first before you can start painting, you can draw a line using chalk and a ruler. I have the green chalk lines on my shirt! 
(This will wash out after the t-shirt is painted! and the paint will look more evenly toned.)
It's important to plan this out as you want the proportions to suit your ideal preference. This part is up to you but I started the green stripe near the armpit and then ending halfway near my rib cage.

After I painted the front stripe of the shirt then you will need to align the front stripe to match with the stripes on the sleeves of the shirt. To do this, you need to model the shirt for yourself and check to see if the green stripes of the sleeves are in proportion to the front stripe when you move your arms. Once again a second opinion should be welcomed openly! When you paint the stripe it is important to stick tape over the lines and to paint in just one direction! I painted horizontally and I used one and a half tubs of green paint on the front stripes. The stripes on the sleeves were done afterwards and this was one tub for each sleeve roughly. 

The collar was painted last. I used a fan brush to do this part as using tape isn't effective. 
I firstly painted along the collar of the shirt but later I made the green collar stripe bigger to emphasize it in the proportion to the rest of the shirt. When painting on the white shirt, it's also recommended to wash your hands of paint to prevent the shirt from getting stained with green fingerprints. 

Painting by yourself is best for this step. If any mistakes happen then you can remove any green stains with fabric remover. :D 

(if you don't have any then surgical spirit and hairspray are often mentioned as alternatives.)


For the shoes I picked up a pair of white shoes from a local discount store. I had bought yellow fabric paint to colour these shoes... however I tested it with normal acrylic paint and there were no issues with either paint material.
Using acrylic paint on fabric is often a no-no, but  When I wore this cosplay out it was heavily raining and the paint didn't wash off! Hooray! The parts which should be painted an orange colour are the foxing, the tongue and Achilles tendon protector. 

Chihiro's shoes don't have a laced-up front, so I took out the laces and lifted the lacing to the front. I pulled the laces around the outside heel of the shoe and tied them at the back instead! You will need a pair of thick socks too, to prevent any blisters!

Before and after painting


You can use your own natural hair for this cosplay, but since natural hair has many different tones and shades choosing a brown wig will have a better quality effect as the synthetic material will make Chihiro's hair look thick and shinier helping to look more of a real-life anime character.

If you're using you're own hair then you can tie your hair into a ponytail and gently pull at the bottom half of the ponytail to create her hairstyle. 

 For the wig, I browsed on eBay and bought a brown wig which arrived within two pieces. The first piece is a short base wig, this wig is what you will need to style. Secondly, the package arrived with a drawstring ponytail which gives the illusion of full and thick hair. This is great as it helps to bring out the youthful aspect of Chihiro's character.

The drawstring ponytail is attached to a claw clip. The best way to attach these two wig pieces together is by making a ponytail on the base wig to be clipped onto the claw grip but this isn't necessary! A wig that has a clip on ponytail, compared to tying a ponytail yourself onto a wig has it's pros as it will help to prevent headaches by having less weight on your head. The downside, however, is that the ponytail at the back can also pull the front of the wig up in my experience.

For styling the fringe/bangs, I went for the simple blunt bangs. You can use wax or gel to style make the ends of the fringe/bangs pointed as Chihiro has pointed bangs but personally, I think it doesn't help to create the youthful image. The sides of the hair need to be trimmed to frame the face. Chihiro's front hair should be divided near the ears and then trimmed to align with the jawline. The longer pieces of hair don't need to be feathered for this step.  I went and coloured an elastic hair tie red to fix onto the ponytail.

Wig with an attachable ponytail!


Base Make up

Next, for the makeup. Simplicity is key as we're aiming for a youthful face. Firstly it's important to apply your primer to make sure your face is moisturised and protected from the sun!

 If you have any red areas then a green primer is really handy to cover these up, for instance around the nose and cheeks.
 I recommend using a green colour corrector and then lightly dab it onto any red areas, the youthful skin should look blemish free. You don't need to use a lot of product to achieve this result! 

Once you've applied the green primer (if needed!) then just use your normal foundation and concealer. 

 The most integral part of the makeup is the blush. I used "LOreal Paris Nude Magique BB Blush" on the hollow of my cheeks and then spreading it onto the apples of my cheeks as Using a liquid blush felt much more natural and brighter compared to a powdered blush. You want to achieve a rosy glow, but still, take note of your own facial bone structure to see what best fits you! The "hungover makeup" style in Japan is pretty popular so you can go with this style if you prefer.

  Next, choose your favourite pink glossy lipstick. The eye make up that I used was minimal for this look, I used white eyeliner on the waterline to make the eyes appear larger. Underneath the eye, I used a white shimmer powder and then used brown eye shadow to accentuate the outer corners of the eyes, as I have hooded eyes. Lastly, I applied mascara onto my lashes and that was all. The eye make up should look natural. 

Eye Make-Up

I went and bought Geo's Twin series Brown circle lenses from Pinkicon
as my eyes are not a dark shade as is Chihiro's eye colour and as well I also wanted to my eyes make look bigger and more striking which circle lenses are often used by many to help to achieve this look.

 If you do use circle lenses then insert these lenses before you apply makeup! and try to wear the lenses beforehand to get adjusted to them!

The eye make up that I used was minimal for this look, I used white eyeliner on the waterline to make the eyes appear larger. Underneath the eye, I used a white shimmer powder and then used brown eyeshadow to accentuate the outer corners of the eyes, as I have hooded eyes. Lastly, I applied mascara onto my lashes and that was all. The eye make up should look natural. 

Final Result

I'm also planning on doing a review next month of her bathhouse outfit which I bought so stay tuned!

Thank you for reading!

1 comment on "[TUTORIAL] Spirited Away Chihiro Casual Outfit Costume "
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