Fursuiting has to be one of the more unique aspects in the furry fandom – while it’s true that other fandoms might do things such as cosplaying, in regard to furries it’s more common place to see folks suiting and cosplaying as their own characters and personas that they create, rather than someone else’s. Though fursuits modeled after copyrighted characters do exist, as I remember seeing one of Asriel from Undertale the other day that was simply adorable.
I’ve had my own fursuit for a little over a year now – it’s a mini partial of my part-time mascot part-time fursona, Niko – and I think it would be interesting to share with you all my own thoughts towards being a fursuiter, as well as what made me want to do it in the first place.
The funny thing is I never had much of a desire to fursuit when I first started getting more active in the furry community. I considered it something that sounded interesting, but ultimately “wasn’t me.” However, the more time I spent getting involved in the local SoCal scene and getting to know and be around fursuiters the more my opinion on that started to change. I felt like it could be something fun to do, plus the idea of acting as a character was really appealing to me as I felt it could be something that would be entertaining to do, and I love to entertain others. What ended up pushing me to get a suit was when I started going to an event in SoCal called Tail that’s at the Executive Suite club in Long Beach. Seeing furries dancing on the top floor and watching them bounce around during Karaoke looked like loads of fun, as well as a way to try to escape my own stage fright with karaoke and dancing; couple that with the concept of bringing a character to life, and the seeds were planted for me to commission my own suit of Niko.
One of the big decisions when commissioning a fursuit is figuring out what kind of suit you want, and as mentioned in the earlier fursuit article there’s different kinds of suits you can have made, and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. I ultimately ended up going with a mini-partial – that is, only the head, hands, and tail are made – partially because the price of mini-partials are cheaper than even a regular partial, and a mini partial would leave the most options open for wearing outfits with Niko. Part of the problem with partials is they often come with feetpaws and furred arm sleeves, and those can restrict what you wear on your feet or arms. And while there are some who find clothes big enough to fit over a full suit, I personally would rather not deal with that if I don’t have to – not to mention full suits cost the big bucks.
What kind of outfits do I wear with Niko? Well all kinds actually:
I started experimenting with some more daring looks however, and it wouldn’t be long before I started to don one of my more usual costumes, which I’ve dubbed “Niko’s Club Outfit” which I assembled thanks to Amazon.
So some might be wondering what it’s like to don the fursuit and do the furry thing. It’s really, really fun! Well, I suppose that’s obvious, otherwise why else would I still do it? It is a little tricky when first donning the suit however, as they tend to have very limited range – your perhipheral vision pretty much goes out the window, which means you have to be a lot more careful and take care to watch out for obstacles more than you would without a suit on. Something that you could easily see out of suit becomes something that you have to look down to see with a suit on.
Despite that, it’s quite the experience, to me at least. Putting the Niko head on instantly launches me into a different headspace that feels a little different than when I put on other costumes. I suppose the thing is with putting on a fursuit I’m “becoming” the rabbit Niko – I wonder if cosplayers feel the same way when they don their costumes? It’s also fun to wear the different costumes as it can help me get in the proper mentality of expressing different sides of Niko: if I want to feel a little more rocker-ish I’ll wear the red coat with the black shirt and pants; if I feel like being a little more flirty or effeminate I’ll don the Club Outfit; if I just want to be laid back and casual I’ll just throw on some regular clothes. It all depends on what I feel up to, really.
One of the other things I love about suiting is how much people seem to like the Niko character, even non-furs get a kick out of fursuits whenever they parade around. I’ve honestly not had a negative experience fursuiting around nonfurs yet – but we’ll see how long that lasts, as it seems lots of fursuiters have at least one story about a child who was too scared to take a picture with a fursuiter. Guess Disneyland isn’t the only place where children get scared of the mascot characters!
I can easily see myself continuing to suit for the foreseeable future. I still have loads of fun fursuiting, and Niko isn’t the only character of mine I plan to turn into a fursuit. But before I can do that I think I’m going to need a lot more cash.
Have you cosplayed or worn your own fursuit before? What was it like? Have any other questions or comments regarding fursuiting or myself as a fursuiter? Sound off in the comments below. Thank you for reading, and as always I’ll see you all next time.