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Let us get one thing out of the way first. Zelda is the princess in the story. The green guy is named Link, not Zelda. If you are new to the franchise, this is going to be the one mistake you want to avoid making when talking to fans.
The Legend of Zelda is known all over the world and has inspired a lot of people to do Zelda cosplay. This means you can buy a bunch of costume props online to have an even better and realistic cosplay.
Zelda, and this guide, is a cosplay that is mainly aimed at intermediary or advanced cosplayers. You need to have some experience with garment-making, and you need to know what you should buy to have a great matching outfit. Of course, we are going to give our suggestions here that you will be able to use. If you follow our guide, even someone who is almost completely new to cosplay is going to have a great Zelda outfit.
In this guide, I am mainly going to discuss Zelda. However, for the people who want to go as a couple, I am also going to discuss Link. Out of both, the Zelda cosplay outfit is the hardest to get right, so most of my efforts will go to this.
Who are Zelda and Link?
Let us start with the very basics and discuss Link. Link is the main hero of the story and is the one saving Zelda every time she gets in trouble. Our hero does not get a lot of credit for this, as the franchise is not named after him.
The Legend of Zelda Franchise has been around for multiple decades and has sold millions of copies, has been featured in countless magazines, and is overall one of the most well-known video-game intellectual properties out there.
Link is a young Elf (or Elf-like) boy who is very courageous, wears a lot of green, and has a hoodie, a short sword, and a shield. His appearance isn’t always the same in the games, but overall it is pretty similar. If you can not find a Link cosplay costume online, a great alternative is a Peter Pan costume. For this guide, I am going to discuss Skyward Sword Link, as this is where he looks at his best. I know Breath of the Wild is more recent, but I do not like the blue costume, and if this is your very first Link cosplay, I recommend you go for the Classics.
Zelda is the princess that needs to be saved every game. Her cosplay is a lot harder to do. Being a princess, she wears a lot of fancy clothes and accessories. That is why I do not recommend you to cosplay her if you are not used to cosplaying.
What makes a good Zelda costume?
I am going to go right out and say it. You will have to buy the dress 99.9% of the time. The dress is extremely hard to make yourself. You are probably going to spend countless hours and a lot more money on the material than when you just buy it outright. You need to be extremely skilled to make a dress like this. However, if you can do it, or you don’t mind that it looks a bit wacky, it is a very cool project, and you will learn a lot if you manage to complete it.
You should get long brown boots that go to about your knees. Winter boots are the best. Make sure they look clean and are not worn down. You are cosplaying a princess, after all. You can use any boots as long as they look light brown and look clean.
Triforce logo keychain or amulet
This is going to make sure you don’t get mistaken for any other princess. The Triforce logo is world-famous and one of the most recognized symbols out of any video game franchise. This is another item that I suggest you buy. Getting one online is pretty easy, and they are not expensive at all. If you are going to make it yourself, you are going to waste quite some hours making and painting the Triforce logo amulet.
Zelda, just like Link, has elf ears. These are fairly easy to make. If you make them, you should use foam. There are very strong kids of foam on the market that are going to make some great elf ears. The problem with this is that you need to be pretty good at arts and crafts. You are going to spend quite a few hours making them and painting them. So a very good alternative is to just buy them online. A good quality pair that will last you many years is pretty affordable, and it is going to save you quite some time.
Long Blond wig
Unless you are blessed with voluminous long blond hair, you are going to need a wig. Next to the dress, the long blond hair is the most important part of this entire costume. If you are someone who likes to cosplay a lot, then you should consider investing in a quality wig. High-quality wigs can be dyed in other colors, and a long blond hairstyle is pretty common for anime characters.
Princess Zelda’s sword
This is a cool item to have if you are going for the badass princess look. The sword is very hard to make, as you will need to make it out of real steel or high-quality wood. It is very long and narrow, so using foam is not a good idea. It will definitely break quite fast.
This is a great bonus to have for your costume and will surely add a nice finishing touch to it. The Goddess Harp is very hard to make, even more so if you want to play music with it. So I recommend you buy it unless you are a genuine master crafter.
Well, they don’t need to be real gold. Gold-plated earrings are a great alternative to more expensive genuine golden earrings. If you don’t have those, or you do not want to buy them, that is no problem. It is just an addition to your costume.
Zelda has a golden waistband. It is a minor detail, but it adds to the shape of the dress and just makes the whole thing look a lot fancier. You can buy them online for a pretty fair price, so no need to break the bank!
Great premade Zelda costumes: My picks
Blue and gold princess dress
- Very high quality: This is one of the best-premade costumes out there, judging from the quality of the materials and the accuracy of the dress. It is a dress that will last many cosplays if you take care of it.
- Looks amazing: The dress isn’t just high quality, it looks like it too. This dress is fit for a princess. The gold, red and blue look amazing in real life. It is not a dress you can make as an amateur.
- Expensive: It is one of your more expensive options out there. The price can be pretty hefty if you are buying this to do just one cosplay with it. If you like dressing up like Zelda, then the price is a lot fairer for what you are getting.
- No wig included: A minor con, but I do think the costume should come with the fitting wig. That way you would have everything you need for a Zelda cosplay in one easy package.
Warrior princess outfit
- Cheap: You won’t have to break the bank for this costume. The costume is very cheap for all of the things you are going to get. The cheap price makes it great for a one-off cosplay if you aren’t planning on doing more Zelda cosplays or if it is your first time and you just want to experience cosplaying.
- Lots of props: What I like most about this costume is how much is included besides just the dress. You get the Shoulder piece, the medallion, a special apron, and the tiara. So you get quite some items that you might be able to use for other cosplays as well.
- Handwashing: This dress needs to be washed by hand to make sure you don’t damage it. This is quite a bit a large con for me since I do not like to wash at all. It is also a bit annoying since you expect cheaper dresses from polyester to be machine washable.
- Props are not that durable: While you get a lot of props, they aren’t that good in quality. So if you do not take care of them, or you move a lot in it is not going to last as long as you want it to. However, for this price, the props still are more than worth it.
Best Link Cosplay Outfits Ideas
This character is a lot easier to cosplay and much more recognizable. He is the main character from The Legend of Zelda, after all.
The green tunic is going to be relatively easy to make if you know your way around sowing and have made clothing from scratch before. However, I would suggest you just purchase the tunic. Since Link is one of the most popular cosplays around, you have a ton of high-quality cheap options for the tunic—no need to spend hours making clothing yourself.
Yellow or brown pants
You can wear any brown or yellow pants. If you need to have a reference of how yellow or brown the pants should be, I would suggest the color to be brown like the ground or yellow like fresh clay.
This is another item you can buy for a relatively low price while still being high quality. Link’s sword is iconic, so there are tons of replicas you buy online. Making it yourself is going to be a pain. You can not use foam, as the sword is too thin for that. So you will need to use real steel or wood to make it.
Link’s shield is one of those items experts can make out of foam. It is a lot of fun, and it will teach you quite a lot about working with foam and shaping it in 3D. You can also get this shield online. Just like the sword and the tunic, there are a ton of great, high-quality options out there that are worth it for your wallet.
Dark brown boots
These should have a length of approximately up to your shins. You can wear any kind of brown boots. Try to pick some that have a rough look to them. Link is a warrior, after all, who travels all the time, so you will need to pick a pair that does not look too new for the optimal cosplay.
Triforce Metal Keychain
This is something you should just buy. Making it yourself is going to lead to a ton of frustrations. There are a ton of them you can get online for very cheap. Get yourself a high-quality one, even those that are not expensive, and you will enjoy it a lot more than one that breaks after a few times using it in your cosplay.
A link has elf ears, so your normal ears won’t suffice. You can make these out of foam, but it will take you quite some time to get it right, and it won’t be very strong since ears are thin. You can get a pair of them online for a very reasonable price.
Not only that, but you will save quite a lot of hours just ordering it. Since elves are pretty popular in anime and games of this genre, you will get to use them again if you cosplay often.
Short blond wig
A link has short blond hair. So you will either need to dye your hair or buy a wig. There are quite a lot of wigs on the market that offers you pretty high quality for a very competitive price. I am not sure if you can make your wigs and save money doing so, so I would not advise it.
Classic green link costume
- High-quality material: The cloth of this costume is very high quality and feels light and comfortable. You won’t sweat too much in it as it is very breathable to wear. It is meant to be worn multiple times and the quality reflects this.
- Very true to the character: You get so much more than just clothes in this costume. You get the tunic, white shirt, pants, hat, gelt, waist bags, sleeves, wrist guards, and gloves.
- No wig or sword included: The costume has all the bells and whistles except for the sword or wig (and maybe the shield if you are interested in getting one). You will need to order those separately.
- I can’t find a second con: Seriously, the only thing I can think of that I would do better is including the wig and sword. This is the gold standard for premade Link costumes. If you want to do a safe purchase and get a great costume, this is one of the best picks you can make.
Breath of the Wild blue costume
- High-quality materials: This is a costume is made out of very good materials for its price. While it is definitely in the higher tier price class, you will have a much better time wearing this costume as compared to some flimsy cheaper costumes.
- Best breath of the wild premade costume: There are fewer options for the Breath of the Wild costumes compared to the classic Link costume. I have looked around quite a bit and this was the best one I found from a price and quality point of view.
- Looks less detailed: This is partly due to Link his design being a bit different, but the costume looks less impressive and less detailed than the costume for the classic Link outfit. So this is more a con for Breath of the Wild costumes in general and not so much this one in particular.
- No boots or wig: While I do understand that there are no boots included since having all of those shoe sizes on stock is a nightmare. I do think this costume would be a lot better if the wig was included. You will have to order this separately.
The pros and cons of getting a premade Link and Zelda Costume
Thanks to the Zelda franchise being so popular, you can get a lot of premade costumes and. Link especially has a ton of options. I am going to discuss the best one I can find online. For me, a good premade costume is one, accurate, two, high quality, and three, budget-friendly.
Getting a premade costume is often as easy as just clicking a few buttons and opening your door the next day. In the case of these costumes, you get all you need at a very reasonable price. Doing this yourself is going to take quite a lot of time and will probably cost you more in raw material.
If you want to be a bit more original, you often want to have unique items you made yourself. If you do not want to make everything yourself, this costume is going to give you everything, and you can just swap what you make yourself. It is also a good idea to have a backup in case your DIY doesn’t work out.
This is an excellent idea for the Zelda costume. Since she is a princess, you can add a lot of gems and jewelry to the dress. In this case, you can see the premade costume more as a canvas. The link costume has less room for creative interpretation, in my opinion, but you might be able to find a cool addition for it.
Everyone can buy a costume like this. It is high quality; the price is within the budget of most people, so you might come across people who are wearing the same cosplay.
Less connection with the character
When making your cosplay, you get to spend a lot of time thinking about the character you are cosplaying. Making something from scratch also allows you to think about every little detail there is to know about the outfit.
Frequently asked questions about Zelda Cosplay.
Question: Is Zelda in Love with Link?
Answer: Zelda has feelings for Link. While there is a bit of ambiguity here, the undertones are clear. Zelda loves Link. This means this is an awesome couples cosplay. Link also obviously has feelings for her. You don’t save a princess 14 times plus without caring for her.
Question: What is the hardest about cosplaying Zelda?
Answer: By far, the hardest thing about cosplaying as Zelda is her dress. It has quite a lot of attributes and is made out of very high-quality material. The best cosplays have a lot of details on them and are a mix between buying a ready-made dress and adding some features and bling yourself.
If you want to have a decent Zelda costume, buying the dress is going to be a way better plan than making it from scratch. The dress is extremely hard to make for a beginner, and even for an expert. It is a princess dress, after all. You can also buy a basic model of the dress if you are on a budget. When you get the dress, you can add things yourself that are easy to sew on. That way, you still have a very original, amazing dress on a budget.
Question: Do I need to have a blond wig to cosplay Zelda or Link
Answer: Odds are, you are not going to have a hair length of a couple of feet long or more. On top of that, you also need to have pretty voluminous hair for a Zelda cosplay. You should buy a high-quality blond wig to play Zelda. Since long blond hair is very common for princesses, there are a lot of options online for you to choose from. No matter your budget, you will probably find a great wig that suits your costume.
The link is a bit easier. He has pretty short hair and wears a hoodie. So you might not need a wig. You can use a (washable) hair dye to make your hair blonde. You can also buy a wig online; these are often a lot cheaper since there isn’t a lot of material needed to make one.
Final thoughts about Best Zelda Cosplay Outfit Ideas
Cosplaying as Zelda or as Link is amazing! You can make it as easy or as hard as you want. The (very) hard way is making as much as possible yourself. Some items are not going to be too hard to make, e.g., the Hylian Shield. You can make this in a couple of hours when you have experience working with foam.
Cosplaying as Zelda or Link is popular all over the world. From the US to Japan, people love dressing up as these characters. This means you can find a ton of high-quality cosplay stuff online. I mean, I don’t think many franchises have so many options to buy props, even the more obscure ones like the Golden Harp.
In short, Zelda and Link are amazing to cosplay. They are a very popular couple cosplay for a reason. I also love the current trend of gender-swapping to make the cosplay more original. Give this cosplay a try; you are going to love it!