Fursuiter Survival Guide
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.
Be a Character, Act Out
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.
Stay Cool & Hydrated
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!
Suiting Upkeep & Maintenance
- Blower Fans - Affordable, highly effective, and they kill sweat where it stands. Air blowers allow you to dry off your fursuits or costumes swiftly and help you get back into the game faster. They're particularly well suited for drying fursuit heads.
- Anti-Bacterial - If you're suiting you're sweating. Simple as that. Sweat creates a venerable feeding ground for bacteria. Using anti-bacterial sprays will not only help keep your fursuit or costume clean, but also smelling good. A good smelling suit is a happy suit.
- A Portable Clothing Rack - Being able to hang your suit to air dry is always useful. Not all hotel rooms have proper clothing racks, so investing in a clothes rack you can take with you can help out quite a bit. A clumped up suit will not dry as fast as one hanging.
- Under Armour Hot Gear - Under Armour makes a line of clothing called Hot Gear: clothing specifically designed to help keep you cool and allows your skin to breathe easier. An Under Armour Heat Gear Balaclava is especially useful for keeping sweat from dripping into your eyes and soaking into your suit. If you can't afford Under Armour, general mesh clothing or cheap undershirts will work wonders.
- A Sewing Kit - A basic kit with needle and thread for on-the-go repairs.