Suiting at a con is a fun, thrilling experience ESPECIALLY for first timers! If you've never suited before, or at still new to it, we have a few tips that can make the convention experience easier, safer, and a little more fun.
Explore the con and take note of where the fursuiting areas are (specifically the Headless Lounge) before suiting up for the first time. Headless Lounges generally offer air conditioners, fans, towels, and fully stocked water stations. They're little rest areas which allow suiters to cool off and take a break while out and about.
Costuming gives you the chance to be somebody else, to play, to let your imagination run wild. Don't sit still and stagnate! Move, be curious, explore. Let your suit develop its own personality and character. Make it memorable and unique.
There is no rule that says you can't speak or do anything else to "ruin the magic." If you want to speak then speak. If not, learn to pantomime some essential gestures most people will recognize. Point to your wrist as though asking the time, fan your face with your hand if you're too hot, or make a drinking motion if you need water.
Proper hydration is important and makes suiting a better experience. It not only helps keep you cool but lets you stay in suit far longer. Avoid drinking soda or alcohol and stick to water or sports drinks to help replenish fluids and salt lost from excessive sweating.
And sweat you will! Wearing a fursuit can be like wearing a second, third, and or even a fourth layer of skin all at once. They can take a lot out of you, and suits (especially full body) don't always breathe well. Try not to sit still if you can help it. Pace yourself. Learn you how well you and the suit work together, how much heat it builds up, and don't be afraid to take a breaks.
If you start feeling flushed or dizzy or are having trouble breathing, remove your fursuit's head and find water immediately. You may be able to afford the ambulance bill, but you'll hate waking up to find an EMT had to cut you out of your fursuit to treat you.
First time suiting, or still unsure about going it alone? Grab a friend to help! Handlers can make the experience safer, easier, and all the more enjoyable. Your handler is there to help be your eyes and ears, lend a hand when you need a hydration break, or if you start feeling overheated.
Oh, and don't forget to have them take plenty of pictures and video!