A little while ago I was given the opportunity to buy an unlicensed TOS skant (read: not Anovos) which was going to be made available this Autumn. I have previously made my own ‘spiral skant’, which is the season three variant, but being unable to source the double knit fabric I’d made it in valour, so I was keen to see what the change in fabric felt like, and what it was like to wear. My less pure interest was in the construction of the skant ‘sized up’, the patterns which are available have some nutty sizing which among other problems don’t cater for the larger beautiful bottoms, or arms. If you have larger than sticks for arms the patterns will not work without modification.
So basically I wanted to crib.
Well, why not buy Anovos? I hear you say. Well, when I have a few extra pennies, I may do, but let’s be honest they are a little bit pricey and importing them to the UK (shipping, customs) adds a fair bit onto the already high price. It feels like a bit of a risk especially if you aren’t a ‘standard’ size.
But I’m not here to talk about Anovos, that’s a subject for a follow-up blog.
Cosplay Boss – www.cosplayboss.com
$73.90 / £57.06 (price/exchange rate correct at time of writing)
My first impressions were generally positive. The first thing I noticed was the weight of the skant. The fabric is a heavy double knit which is quite flattering when worn as it smooths out lumps and bumps. I chose the largest size as I generally have to modify clothing to my size anyway :
Consequently, I did have a lot of room in the skant, but it means I have the opportunity to size down in the future. I was wary of the sizing sinceCosplay Boss is Chinese, however, they are true to size and considering the skants are worn pretty tight in the show, are accurate in this regard. When we shot the pictures for this review, the only modification I made was to the sleeve length although in the near future I will be modifying to fit me better – this is no fault of the manufacturer.
The seam work is good; strong and well finished this skant will survive much use.
Additionally, it fared well after two wash tests, the colour remained vibrant – although I wouldn’t risk putting whites in with it!
On the left is a comparison of the insignia provided on the skant and one bought from renowned Xscapes props. Cosplayboss makes a valiant effort to duplicate the insignia, but is slightly ‘off’. The gold isn’t quite as deep, the backing lacking the depth of Xscapes’ design. Additionally, there is a variation on the boldness of the outline. However, as part of an affordable floor costume and not an exhibition piece, I think it’s a fine representation – and you could always change it out!
Almost the same can be said for the braid. Cosplay Boss makes a good imitation of the braid, but Xscapes’ rendition has stronger, deeper colours and the ‘waves’ on the braid stand proud. Cosplay Boss’ in contrast are muted and sit flush. However, once again, for someone unconcerned with the finer detail (which probably won’t be picked up by the majority of cameras on the convention floor) will probably be happy with it as is.
The sleeves will need to be adjusted in order to shorten them, but this is also reportedly required of Anovos skants – certainly, I would have to shorten the arms, given the measurements available on the website. Of course, when shortening the arms, the braid has to be taken off and moved, so if you preferred the Xscapes braid you could substitute it in at this point.
Luckily, shortening the arms is an easy task, although it can be a little time consuming as you need to be careful when un-picking the braid. Using a stitch unpicker is a must, and one with a magnifier is better!
1) Unpick both the braid and the sleeves. You’ll notice that the braid is sewn into the seam itself, so you’ll need to open up the arm seam to the point you want the braid to be resewn.
2) Once you’ve worked out the correct height, tack the braid onto the sleeve, check it’s straight!
3) Once happy, sew the braid onto the sleeve using an appropriate colour thread. You will have noticed when unpicking the braid it is sewn on with two lines of stitches.
4) Change thread colours and sew the arm seam closed. It’s up to you if you want to cut the fabric or not. If you choose not to, it will just mean a more substantial cuff – it’s just preference.
5) Tack your cuff into place. Now you have a choice here, you can either machine it into place, or you can do it like the original series and use ‘invisible stitches’ to fix the cuff. If you haven’t cut the fabric and have doubled it up I’d recommend machine stitching it. A small enough stitch setting and patience will give a fine result. The picture shows how much I had to fold the cuff up in my case – the point where the braid was is now the bottom of my cuff! Obviously, it’s inside out at this point…
All in all, I am really pleased with this skant. The price very reasonable (less than half the price of Anovos standard version) and the quality more than acceptable – which is more than can be said for the skant in my next review – Inspiring Wave / FancyQube I’m looking at you!
I’d love to do a side by side comparison with the Anovos skants, in the future but that will have to wait for a while! In the meantime though, Cosplay Boss offers an affordable alternative to the more expensive licensed versions, and I thoroughly enjoyed wearing it!
» Credit: Images: Jennifer Cavill