“Ah, I can finally appear before you in my real form! Because isn’t it embarrassing to appear before a handsome guy without makeup?”
— Grell Sutcliff ~♥
So you wanna look like Grell, huh? Your favourite, fabulous Shinigami who stole our love in his appearances in the anime and manga, Black Butler. As someone who does not have the money to buy the official cosplays online, then here is what I did to compile random pieces of the costumes to put together my own Grell cosplay!
We might as well start from the first layers in!
The first, and perhaps easiest part of the cosplay to find, is Grell’s white blouse.
Any white, button-up shirt with a collar will do. Mine are left over shirts from my school-uniform days. A little wrinkled and grey, but it does the trick, since most of it is concealed by the remainder of the costume.
Layer two would be your waistcoat. Preferably a brown one, however I could only ever get my hands on black ones for Grell. I had to make my own waistcoat in the beginning out of an old t-shirt, since I couldn’t even afford a waistcoat for myself at the time. I may do a tutorial on that in the future. But this one, I was given to by a friend of my mother’s, and has more of a designer-look. But it is comfortable and does the trick!
The main, and perhaps most important part of the cosplay, is Grell’s beautiful blood-red coat. Complete with a large, black ribbon tied into a bow at the back. Your best bet is to buy a long red coat that goes down to your knees, at least. Make sure it is big enough too, so you can shrug the shoulders down to your elbows in true Grell-fashion!
I’d recommend getting a jacket a size too big for you. I got this jacket from a friend of mine, and I am forever grateful to her for it! It’s actually a size too small for me, so I can’t get the full Grell-effect, but it still looks pretty cool!
I bought a length of silky, black ribbon afterwards and sewed it to the back of the jacket. Around the small of the back.
The trousers are another easy find. Depending on the time of year, a pair of black skinny jeans or black office pants are perfect for Grell! You probably have a pair lying around the house, or if not, any retail shop will definitely carry some!
(Con-going Tip #1: I recommend getting one with pockets – any excuse to have pockets in a cosplay, and you should take it. At the very least, you can carry around your phone!)
Next, shoes! To be honest, always be careful with the shoes you pick for a cosplay. If you are wearing them to a convention – stick to flat, comfortable shoes. Even if it means sacrificing a certain look for your cosplay. At a convention – comfort is the most important thing, and the very last thing you want to do is cause yourself an injury! So the shoes I recommend below, I recommend only if your cosplay is for a photoshoot, CMV, or something where you are not wearing heels all day long. Otherwise, I recommend black converse with black laces, or some other form of black shoe.
The wig is obviously another major factor to Grell! His long, red locks are part of what makes his character design so unique and mesmerising. The one downside to this (if you’re looking for the most exact cosplay possible), is you’re going to have to buy the official Grell Sutfcliff wig, available on amazon and ebay. However! If you are like me, and don’t have that kind of money (the wig was over €80 last time I checked) and aren’t completely obsessed with perfection, then I recommend doing what I did: I hopped onto Amazon, and searched for “long, red wigs.” After a short search, I found the perfect wig. It cost just €11 and the only thing wrong with the wig is: it’s length is far too short to be Grell’s hair, but still gives the adequate look!
Don’t forget! Buy a red wig with a fringe! I almost forgot about this when on my own hunt! You’re going to have to style the fringe yourself, to get those spiky locks stick out in the right way. Buy a simple bottle of hairspray/hair gel for this.
Finally – the various accessories to complete the look!
First off, are the black bands that Grell wears on his arms and his white and red-striped bow-tie.
First up: the bow-tie. I bought a length of white and red-striped ribbon off amazon for just a couple of euro. It came on a long reel, and I still have plenty to spare. The ribbon was only one-sided, though, so I had to glue two lengths together. With constant tying and re-trying, it often needs quiet a bit of repair, but does the trick! Make sure the loops are long and hang down.
The two arm bands, I made myself, and it is really easy! You can do it yourself in one of two ways:
- Get a black, sleeved t-shirt you’re no longer using. Get the area around the shoulder and cut out the loops as straight as you can.
- Again, find a black shirt or strip of black fabric. Measure the length needed by wrapping the fabric around your arm. Cut to size, and sew in a loop.
Tip: Use elastic-y fabric, this will stop the bands from slipping down your arms all day! I’ve worn my bands so much that they’ve gotten a little loose and I should probably get my butt in gear and make some new ones…
Finally are the glasses! But don’t forget, Grell has a beaded necklace connected to his glasses. I adore wearing my Grell cosplay at a convention particularly because he wears glasses: so few characters I cosplay as wear glasses, and as someone who HATES contact lenses, it’s the perfect excuse. So, while making my Grell cosplay, I made sure that I created a beaded necklace that I could use with my own prescription glasses.
I took an old, beaded necklace I was no longer using and painted them black. I also got a thin length of black thread. Now, the next part is really finicky and you’re going to have to be patient: dip the entire length of the thread in a thin layer of clear-drying glue. Then, thread the beads, keeping them about an inch apart. Put aside and wait to try.
Once dry, tie a small loop at either end of the length of the beaded thread! This means all you have to do is slip the loop over the legs of your glasses and secure them in the hinges! Once you’re done, you can easily pull them out again!
There you have it! A Grell Sutcliff cosplay worthy of a kiss from Sebby himself, darling ~ ♥
I may do a full tutorial on how to do the smaller pieces included in this piece, like the waistcoat, arm bands and glasses beads! Let me know in the comments, and if any of this was helpful, please send me on some pictures of your cosplays, or how you would/have done things differently!
Next Cosplay Token: MCM Comic Con Ireland 2017