We all love hugely elaborate, detailed, cosplays. There are fans out there that will spend large sums of money, as well as months of hard work, to build an Iron Man or Batman cosplay that looks ripped from the pages. When you walk the convention floor, or see the amazing photoshoots, you can sit back and completely be in awe of how well these detailed costumes are built. The following list is… well, it’s kind of the opposite of that. While some of these costumes have as much passion put in them as the big, elaborate costumes, they are way more… minimalist in nature.
Now, just because you are showing skin, doesn’t mean that this is a list of sexualized cosplays. Of course, some of the costumes on this list are going to show men and women who have chosen to use their skin as a canvas, but that’s not all. There are also cosplayers who have chosen characters that fight bad guys, but don’t wear much clothing while they do it. These costumes are incredibly faithful, but just happen to feature more skin than say Iron Man or Batman. So prepare your eyes because what follows is 15 of the skimpiest cosplays out there that are sure to blow your mind!
15. ÆON FLUX
When people discuss skimpy costumes from popular culture, they tend to forget about Æon Flux. The incredibly strange, and trippy, animated series featured a main character who wore a costume that is one of the oddest ever to be conceived. It’s so out there, and revealing, that it’s clear why many cosplayers don’t dare attempt it. One missing piece of fabric and your costume is suddenly a step too far.
Actress Bai Ling has never been shy about dressing provocatively. So, you have to guess she didn’t think twice when deciding to cosplay as Æon Flux. The resulting cosplay is incredibly intricate and very skimpy, too much so for us to show the whole thing on our wholesome site. Seriously, she probably had to think about every movement she made, for fear of showing a little too much. That being said, it’s one of the best Æon Flux cosplays we’ve ever seen, and infinitely better than what Charlize Theron wore in the film.
14. LADY DEATH
You could make the strong case that Lady Death doesn’t even really have a costume. The most iconic part about her look is her skin tone and her hair… and the lack of clothing. Now, if you want to get technical, her outfit usually consists of some sort of black bikini/underwear, with copious amounts of skulls.
With that in mind, cosplaying as Lady Death has three basic requirements: white hair and skin, black underwear, and lots and lots of skulls. Toni Darling has all three of those things, in spades. Her cosplay is most definitely Lady Death, with the skimpiness just being a given. White hair and skin? Check. Black underwear as a costume? Check. Tons of skulls? Definitely a check! As simple as it sounds, the execution shows details that prove there was plenty of thought put into it, while also making sure plenty of skin was showing.
She-Hulk, much like her cousin Bruce Banner, aka The Incredible Hulk, has always been about showing off those muscles. Of course, who wouldn’t want to show off your muscles if you could lift tanks and smash anything in your path. Therefore, She-Hulk has consistently been one of the best choices for cosplayers looking to take advantage of body-paint and show off their physique.
As seen from a photo taken by Nerd Fu, this cosplayer has one of the best body-paint She-Hulk costumes you’ll probably ever see. Not only does she paint her body green, but she also goes the extra step of painting the white and purple costume as well, complete with muscle lines painted on for extra definition. The result is a great take on the character, while also showing as much skin as legally allowed.
12. SILVER SURFER
If you want to cosplay on a budget, the Silver Surfer isn’t a bad character to choose. Paint your whole body silver, or buy a silver bodysuit, and cut a surfboard out of any spare cardboard you have lying around the house. Done! However, if you want to do it right, then get ready to spend a lot of time and effort capturing the essence of Norrin Radd.
For YouTuber Jesse Wellens, he didn’t want to spend $10 on a cheap Silver Surfer cosplay. No, he went out of his way to not only paint his body to look like the comic come to life, but he also created a surfboard that is fully functional. Granted, you won’t be traveling light-years in space on the board, but still, you can get around New York City pretty efficiently. Wellens took a simple concept and elevated it to a level that very few do, all while only wearing boxer briefs.
If you go to a convention with your friends, you might want to do a group cosplay. However, it’s difficult deciding which team or group you want to dress as. If you’re a group of several men, one of the clear choices is as the Spartans from Frank Miller’s iconic 300 series. Of course, if you’ve seen the film, you know that those costumes don’t leave much to the imagination.
As seen in a convention photo from Richard Gray, a group of daring gentlemen have decided to replicate the look from 300. An argument could be made about their relative success as cosplayers, but one thing is for sure, they got the costumes right! Also, you have to give props to the two guys who didn’t decide to wear boxer briefs under their “pants,” and instead, went all the way. That shows commitment to the craft!
It’s always sweet when you see couples cosplaying together. While many tend to go for the Joker/Harley Quinn combo, some like to go off the beaten path just a little bit. That’s what you get with this couple who decided to go as a semi-nude Deadpool and Lady Deadpool.
In a convention photo taken by Deviant Art user Panic Pagoda, we see a couple who has done an admirable job to make Deadpool a sex symbol. With unmistakable masks, and the red and black color scheme seen in their accompanying underwear outfits, this couple has created one of the more unique Deadpool looks out there. Of course, one has to wonder why they didn’t go all the way with the scarred body for Deadpool, but that’s just a minor nitpick in the grand scheme of things.
If you think about skimpy cosplays, it would never cross your mind that anything from Pokémon would be on this list. Well, surprise! In one of the most minimalistic cosplays ever seen, an unknown man has taken the beloved, cute Pikachu and turned it into something we’ve never seen before.
In a photo from Jill Harness, this Pikachu cosplay is the definition of the bare essentials. You have the yellow ears. There’s also the lightning bolt-esque yellow tail. Other than that, there’s literally nothing else other than yellow briefs. It’s obvious this guy wasn’t going for authenticity when dressing as the famous Pokémon. That being said, you have to respect his commitment to the art of skimpy cosplay by narrowing the essence of Pikachu down to two defining characteristics.
Namor has had a long history of wearing underwear as a costume. It makes sense if you spend most of your time underwater, but perhaps not so much if you’re a regular human in the real world. That means, by default, if you plan on using Namor as your inspiration for a cosplay, then get ready to pretty much bare it all.
Cosplayer Mike Baaden definitely wasn’t afraid to bare it all while attending a convention as Namor. As seen in the photo by David Ngo, Baaden does an incredible job capturing the confidence and physique of the Sub-Mariner. While, clearly, this isn’t the most complicated costume around, it doesn’t have to be. The hair, ears, clothing (or lack thereof) and gold bangles all look spot-on. Marvel, if you’re reading this, sign Baaden up pronto for any live-action Namor appearances on TV or film!
In the comic books, Mystique is a character that has always been fully dressed, and only rarely scantily clad. However, when she was brought to life in the first X-Men film, her clothes were gone and replaced by strategically-placed scales. In other words, she was naked.
By far, when cosplaying as Mystique, fans tend to adopt the movie version over the comic book version. While some just go for blue paint, with painted-on scales, cosplayer Nadya Anton went for a full movie reproduction. Her body is clearly painted blue, but instead of crudely drawn scales, she went for the full real scale look. She ends up presenting one of the best Mystique cosplays to date. And since we’re talking about the movie version of Mystique, there’s not a strand of fabric to be found.
6. EMMA FROST PHOENIX
Avengers vs. X-Men introduced Marvel fans to some of their favorite characters imbued with the Phoenix Force. Apparently, when you are given the power of the Phoenix Force, you get a brand new costume to go along with it. One of the more popular costumes from the Phoenix Five, as they were dubbed, was that of Emma Frost. A character known for being scantily-clad, Emma Frost now had perhaps her most revealing costume to date.
Cosplayer Krystle Starr and photographer Manny Llanura do a great job capturing the Phoenix-ized Emma Frost. This cosplay shows that just because the costume shows a lot of skin, doesn’t mean that it is simple. The craftsmanship of the costume is second-to-none. It looks incredible, especially considering that the torso is held together by little bits of white fabric. This is, bar none, one of the best Emma Frost cosplays ever.
When Starfire made her debut in her New 52 costume, fans freaked out. Starfire has always been a character that’s not afraid to show a little skin, but the new costume was looked at as perhaps going a bit too far. Not only was it skimpy, but her New 52 costume defied traditional physics. So, if you’re planning on using that costume as your cosplay inspiration, you probably should get ready to problem solve a few areas.
Popular cosplayer Rosanna Rocha constructed what is probably the best representation of the New 52 Starfire that we’ve ever seen. Rocha created a costume that is beautifully made, but also very difficult to construct. As is evident in the picture, she even came up with a couple ways to make what is a physically impossible costume become possible. It looks great!
4. POISON IVY
For a cosplayer, one of the best parts about cosplaying as Poison Ivy is the artistic freedom. Throughout the decades, Poison Ivy has donned numerous costumes. Unlike Spider-Man, there’s not one iconic look for the character. This gives a cosplayer the freedom to take the inspiration from the character and run with it, creating a unique look that is unmistakably Ivy.
Cosplayer Anastasia August and photographer Andrew Baran have captured the essence of Pamela Isley, aka Poison Ivy, without a hint of fabric. Using only leaves, obviously, August presents what is definitely one of the more minimalist Poison Ivy cosplays ever. However, the way the plant cuts across her torso (not shown), and covers her hips and neck, she gives you everything you need to know about the character. It’s faithful, but definitely unique.
3. NEW X-MEN DARK PHOENIX
One of the most popular X-Men cosplays is as Jean Grey, aka Phoenix aka Marvel Girl aka Dark Phoenix aka Always Dying Girl. The iconic Phoenix Force symbol that she wears across her chest is seen all over the convention floor. However, none of her standard costumes could ever be labeled as skimpy. Well, except for one…
In Grant Morrison’s “Here Comes Tomorrow” storyline from New X-Men, the Dark Phoenix is shown in nothing more than black pants, black gloves, and a black Phoenix symbol over the chest. In a picture from Brian Allen Thale, this cosplay model is shown representing that deep cut Phoenix costume, and she does it incredibly well. Using what appears to be latex for the black emblem on her chest, she has replicated a costume that just shouldn’t work outside of comic books.
2. CAPTAIN MARVEL
If you know anything about PETA protests, you probably know that they tend to feature men and women wearing not much clothing and lots of body-paint. So, when actress Courtney Stodden decided to show up at San Diego Comic-Con to hand out flyers for the animal rights organization, she showed up in one of the most revealing Captain Marvel cosplays you’ll ever see.
The only bits of clothing seen in this cosplay are the boots, gloves and iconic red sash around her waist. Other than that, it’s all paint. Granted, you have to give them credit for doing a fairly accurate cosplay, considering that wasn’t the point. It’s clear the shock value is what was the main purpose of this costume. We’re not completely sure, but Marvel Studios probably won’t go this route with the character when they adapt Captain Marvel for the big screen.
Whenever you talk about skimpy costumes, you have to talk about Vampirella. While, nowadays, she seems to have put on more clothing in her comic book appearances, the classic design is basically one long strip of fabric placed over her bits in a way that makes the comic book barely not adults-only. If you’re going to cosplay as Vampirella, then you can expect to show off a lot of skin.
That’s the case when cosplayer Joanie Brosas dressed as Vampirella for a convention. Somehow, probably with the help of tape, Brosas is able to replicate the incredibly skimpy costume in a very faithful way. For years, Vampirella has been a costume that models and cosplayers have been using in photoshoots, but this costume might be the best of the bunch.
Which minimalist costumes have you seen rocking around cons? Let us know in the comments!
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