Let’s just get to the point, shall we? There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a cosplay. Buying a cosplay does not make anyone “less” of a cosplayer than someone who made their costume from scratch.
Back in the early days of cosplay there weren’t that many options for store bought costumes except those that came in plastic baggies at pop-up Halloween stores. Making costumes was commonplace because there really wasn’t any other option- especially for new series or obscure characters. Now the cosplay scene is booming and becoming more mainstream. With a quick online search you can order every part of a costume -from the wig to the shoes- and have it shipped to your house. It is amazing how accessible cosplay has become.
People order cosplays for a variety of reasons. Not everyone has the time, money, or skills to devote to fabricating a costume.
(Photo by Webyugioh)
Case in point: my recent Futaba cosplay was 90% purchased items. Half of the items I already owned, while the rest came from local shops or Amazon. I was on a very strict budget at the time as it was more cost-efficient to purchase the base jacket than to buy individual materials and made it from scratch. Does this make this costume any less of a cosplay than Liliana which has over a hundred hours of work in it? No.
The only time it actually matters whether or not you made a costume is in cosplay craftsmanship competitions. You can’t buy a pre-made pie at a bakery and enter it in a baking contest; you can’t enter a store-bought costume into a craftsmanship contest. Even though it’s a perfectly good pie, that’s not what the contest is about.
Cosplay is supposed to be fun. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where your costume came from. So go out there and cosplay however you want!