So, you are looking to wear a Frozen Elsa costume? Since the release of the Disney hit film Frozen, Elsa “Queen of Arendelle” has become one of the most popular cosplay characters ever. The stunning character design and her strong personality have won the hearts of many.
But with so many Elsas out there, it may feel almost impossible to stand out from the mass. That’s why we have put together this ultimate guide so you can feel and look absolutely fabulous while paying tribute to everyone’s beloved Snow Queen!
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The Snow Queen Costume
Frozen Elsa’s Snow Queen costume is gorgeous and full of little details, such as the rhinestones on her sleeves or the snowflakes on her cape.
This means it is very challenging to make, so a lot of people prefer to buy a ready-made dress. As with buying any cosplay, buying an Elsa dress can have a lot of pitfalls.
Watch out for:
The old saying “you get what you pay for” is very true here. Anything less than about 100-130 USD is likely to be inferior quality in at least some aspects. Know what to expect for the price you pay!
If you are on a budget, it may be a good idea to try to find a quality second-hand costume if you can. You can find these on Facebook groups (such as Disney Cosplay Costumes & Props for Sale) or forums such as Cosplay.com Marketplace or AC Paradise’s Marketplace.
Cheap costumes are made from cheap materials. While everything always looks good on the seller’s pictures, be aware that this may not reflect reality.
Cheap Elsa costumes are often made of sheer glittery fabrics, and sometimes they are not lined properly which means you might end up flashing your underwear. Keep in mind cheap glittery costumes may also shed their glitter which means you will find it all over the place after you have worn your costume. Cheap material can also pose a dangerous fire hazard.
How to avoid bad material? If possible, don’t buy a costume any cheaper than 100-130 USD. Read reviews of the seller. Scrutinise their photos and zoom in as close as possible to see how the material looks. If the seller’s photos cannot be zoomed into, they appear bad quality or stolen, do not buy.
If you really want your cosplay to make an impact, try to find a costume which is as accurate as possible! Usually the more you pay the more accurate costume you get.
Decide what you are measuring against. You could base the accuracy on the film version or Disney Theme Parks Elsa.
When buying a costume, scrutinise details such as:
- The mesh top: is it sheer and does it have rhinestones on it? Are they arranged in the right pattern?
- The corset: Is it covered in sequins or rhinestones, with the hem of the dress being more plain? Does it have a mix of blue and silver sequins?
- The hem: The hem of the dress should be form-fitting, not gathered
- Cape: Are there snowflakes on the cape? Are they in correct sizes?
Top costume recommendations
Angel Secret, a Hong Kong based seller is very popular among Disney cosplayers. Reason? Their costumes are fairly high quality, beautiful and accurate, yet cheaper than many commission sellers on Etsy.
However, recently their prices have crept up, so expect to pay 180 USD+ for a nice Angel Secret Elsa costume. That’s right, they offer many variations at different price points, which may make buying from them confusing for a first-timer. They also offer individual parts and even materials of the costumes for sale.
Although many of the Angel Secret Elsa costumes look very nice, they are not necessarily made from durable materials. The skirt material of many of their Elsas (including J717, J727, J767, J777 and J800) looks beautiful but it extremely delicate and therefore difficult to wash and iron.
Another Asian-based seller, Cosrea are often praised for good quality and accurate product descriptions. They have a couple of nice Elsa costumes at a lower price point than Angel Secret.
The other bonus is that they have a more narrow selection and therefore making your selection is easier than with Angel Secret.
For commissions, Etsy or the slightly harder to find individual commissioner pages on Facebook are your best bet. Also, you could always ask your local seamstress for a quote!
Stunning commissions, hand made in Italy. Beautiful down to every detail such as corset and cape.
Beautiful Elsa, with less sparkles for those after a more understated appearance. Beautiful drape and choice of materials.
Gorgeous, sparkly 3-piece Elsa costume made in United States.
Although no Elsa photos at the time of writing, the US-made costumes and wigs are stunning.
This is the perfect pattern if you want to make a 3-piece Elsa dress.
McCall’s adult Elsa looks OK although you may want to modify the neckline.
The Perfect Elsa Wig
Wig is an important part of your Frozen costume, don’t skimp on it! Like with the costume, finding the right kind of Elsa wig can be tricky.
Watch out for:
Widow’s peak hairline
Elsa’s hairline is what we call “widow’s peak” ie. it is pointed in the middle of the forehead. It may be difficult to find a wig with the right kind of hairline. Also, regular “hard front” wigs will often look unnatural and too much like a wig.
Cheap hard fronts
There is a plethora of hard front, or so-called regular wigs on Ebay, Amazon and various cosplay stores. But with so many options available, how do you know which one is a good one?
The answer is easy. NONE of them are good! Sorry to break this to everybody, but the Asian hard front Frozen Elsa wigs are generally terrible. Why? They are made from cheap, shiny fibers, may not sit flat against your forehead, are often too small and therefore expose your own hair, are badly cut.. the list goes on.
Now, there may be one or two exceptions out there, but these are just about as easy to find as a needle in a haystack! Safest option is to stay away, but if you have a budget to stick to, know what to expect.
Lace front options
Lace fronts are a good option for Frozen’s Elsa, but they require more experience. They are called lace front because the front part of the wig has lace where individual hairs are tied on to. This means that the wig can be parted where ever desired, and the hairline will look natural even if you pull all of the hair back. This is particularly suited for Elsa, because her bangs are sweeped back.
However, the downside of lace fronts is that they are a bit difficult to wear. You need to attach the lace to your skin using wig tape, skin glue/adhesive or spirit gum. This also means that putting a lace front wig on takes more time than a regular wig. Also, if you accidentally buy a lace front with too small a cap, it will be VERY time consuming to add more hair to it (a very slow and painful process called ventilation)
Elsa’s hair colour can be interpreted in different ways. If you look at the photos of Disneyland Elsas closely, you will see that their wig is more of a silvery white rather than platinum blonde.
However, many opt for a blonde, which appears more true to the film. With blondes, there are many shades, and platinum blonde doesn’t suit everybody’s skin colour. So consider whether you should go for platinum or a more natural blonde.
Top wig recommendations
Arda Wigs’ Suzi Lacefront wig is a popular choice among Elsa cosplayers as it has pre-cut short hair at the front and a widow’s peak. For colour, go for titanium blonde, ash blonde, platinum blonde or white/silver.
Arda Wigs are known for high quality, yet reasonable prices. The wig cap size is comfortable on most heads, and it comes with elastic and side combs for better grip. The widow’s peak on Suzi is VERY prominent, so you’ll want to trim some of the hairs at the tip of the “triangle” while you trim the lace off.
Cons: By default, the wig isn’t very full, so for the best look you would need to add wefts in and this puts a lot of people off. It does not come styled, either, so you need to braid it and style the bangs yourself.
Amphigory’s wigs are generally praised for their quality. Their Elsa wig has an extremely reasonable price, however, unfortunately this seller only sells outside of the US on a “case-by-case” basis and to a limited set of countries.
A popular retailer among cosplayers, Wig Secret in the States is one of the rare sellers on eBay which you can count on. Just pop “Elsa” in the search box to find it.
Etsy is a good bet for high quality wigs that are a world apart from the cheap Chinese wigs you see on eBay. Besides getting almost guaranteed quality, you are often able to customise the wig if you have a special request – just contact the seller and many of them will happily oblige.
Some sellers I recommend (all based in the US)
Fairytale Wigs win passionate praise from many cosplayers, however, their wigs are quite pricey. A good selection of options for Elsa with different colours!
Selection of beautiful Elsa wigs at different price points so you can find one for every taste.
Another favourite, Little Penny Lane’s wigs are professional however also quite expensive.
BBeauty’s costumes are eye-wateringly expensive, but the wigs are more affordable. Sadly the current selection on Elsa wigs is quite limited.
QMandolin – Tutorial using Arda Wig’s Suzi Classic
Silver Fyre’s Elsa wig styling tutorial on Deviantart
Allsmiles123’s Elsa wig styling tutorial on Deviantart
Shoes fit for a queen
Shoes get often overlooked when people cosplay or dress up. Don’t ignore this important consideration and wear a cheap pair of ballet flats! You’ll want to get shoes that are fit for an Ice Queen!
Elsa’s shoes are difficult to imitate as they have a ragged edge. You won’t find this on any off-the-shelf shoes, so if you want to be accurate you need to either make the shoes yourself or buy ones specially designed for Elsa.
Watch out for:
If you buy shoes from an Asian seller, be aware that sizing can be expressed differently from your country’s convention.
Asian sizes are often expressed as centimeters, which is good because you can simply measure your foot for a true size. How to do this? Take shoes and socks off, and draw the outline of your foot on a piece of paper. Measure this with a ruler or tape measure from the highest tip of the big toe down to the lowest tip of the heel.
You could also refer to this handy conversion table although it’s always best to measure!
In the reference photos, Elsa’s heel looks like about 1.8″ (4.5 cm). But remember to consider comfort as well, especially if you have bunions and plan to wear the shoes for many hours at a time.
Although the heel in the reference photos is a very sharp, thin stiletto-type of a heel, you may want to opt for a sturdier heel just because a very thin heel can be wobbly and make you sprain your ankle.
Top shoe recommendations
Angel Secret sell a pair of Elsa shoes that are basically a glammed up version of the style you may also find on Ebay, Amazon or Aliexpress. The price is reasonable, however don’t expect a very high quality. These shoes can probably take occasional use only.
Cosplayfu sell a similar pair of shoes as Angel Secret, suitable for occasional use. Make sure to compare prices.
A different option, EZCosplay’s shoes look more robust and have a more stable heel than the Angel Secret and Cosplayfu ones.
There are not many Elsa shoe commissioners on Etsy, which reflects the difficulty of making such an item. Most of the options are an interpretation of the shoe style rather than being very screen accurate.
Wait what, can you actually *make* these? Yes, with some amazing talent and patience. Check these tutorials out.
Elsa’s snowflake hair accessories are the easy, cute and fun part of the costume!
Yes, you heard right, these are easy to buy or make! Unlike any other parts of the costume, you can safely buy these off an Asian seller on Ebay or Amazon – after all, you cannot really go that wrong with a hair accessory, and even if you do they don’t really cost much more than a couple of bucks!
“Hair screws” are good for slotting into the braid, while hair pins may turn out useful in securing bangs in place if they are long on your wig.
Make the snowflakes with a hot glue gun and decorate with glitter.
Pretty make up
Last but not least, the make up! You’ll want to perfect your make up skills for that “wow” effect, so be sure to catch a few handy tips from our recommended Youtube tutorials.
Watch out for:
Be sure to buy a quality brand for your eye shadow. You’ll want it to be highly pigmented to get those intense pink and purple shades that Elsa sports. Go for intense instead of pastel shades.
Popular quality brands include Urban Decay, MAC and NYX.
Besides eyeshadow, make sure you wear liquid eye liner, mascara, blush and lipstick. You should also use a brow pencil or brow colour to fill in any gaps in your brows. Be sure to watch the make up tutorials for more ideas.
Top make up tutorial recommendations
This concludes my Ultimate Guide. By now, you have hopefully transformed to a drop-dead gorgeous, head-turning Snow Queen!
Don’t forget to download your copy of CostumeKitten’s exclusive guide “How to cosplay anything (And rock it!!”)
Want to buy any of the products discussed in this post? Check out my blog sale – I am currently selling an Arda Wigs Suzi Classic and Elsa shoes!