Abby Anderson, the most loved character in the Last of Us II, am I right? Well I definitely did love her, and still do. The Last of Us II has gotten me through 2020 and Abby was a big part of that. Seeing such a powerful, strong, muscular and complex woman in a game was a big deal for me. I decided fairly quickly I wanted to cosplay so let's talk through that.
If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen my Abby cosplay around a few times. After receiving a few messages about where I've gotten parts of the costume, I thought I'd put it in a shared space online, so it's easy to find. The costume is fairly simple but let's talk you through it. I'm happy to share links and places where I find pieces, so if I forgot anything, just drop me a message and I'll add it on. I do recommend to try thrifting and second hand pieces. It often adds on to the worn look, especially in a post apocalyptic world. Costume pieces always look best weathered and worn. Something that's been useful for me is the Abby Cosplay Guide which Naughty Dog uploaded, so definitely check that out for some more detailed information. This released after I finished my costume so not everything I have is completely screen accurate. Let's get started!
Wig A lot of you thought this was my own hair, it's not! I took a gamble on an Aliexpress lacefront, which you can find here. Abby is blonde but to match her game look and the colouring I really wanted to use a more natural ombre blonde looking wig. Natural hair is never really one colour so I like looking for wigs with slight colour differences. This one turned out even better than I hoped and I highly recommend it. You can see above how the wig looks in some different lighting, I've not edited any of them to show you the colour as naturally as possible.
Before the cosplay guide got released I struggled to figure out which colour Abby's top was. The lightning in the game is fairly dark and trying to figure out if it was khaki, black or a dark grey was a bit of a gamble . On my first shoot I used a khaki t-shirt (old model from H&M) which I already owned. The fit and fabric seemed right so I cut off the sleeves and went with it. After the cosplay guide release I found out it's actually a dark grey and bought a men's top (from ASOS, no longer available) which I cut up, took in to fit me better and weathered. I then used this one for our group shoot. Trousers These are fairly straight forward. Even though I later found out hers are actually brown. I went with a khaki colour and have yet to replace these. I'm fairly square shaped so went with some men's olive green army trousers (link).
Similar story to the trousers, I already owned some army style boots. Used both brown and black ones for different shoes. You can see how her exact ones look in the cosplay guide but I was happy with the boots I already owned.
The backpack was a little trickier, I tried to find a close replica but unless I wanted to spend around £250. I thought I'd rather do some modifications. I bought this backpack and decided to replace some elements. As you can see on the above photo it came with canvas straps, looked quite a bit lighter and didn't have any proper attachments for the weapons to be added on to the sides. I took off the canvas straps and replaced these with leather I had left over from a previous project. Added the torch, an attachment for the shotgun and weathered it. A little side note, the inside of this backpack is striped (black & white) this showed a little bit so I decided to dye/paint the parts of it that'd potentially show when using it.
I would love to say this was difficult... It wasn't. I have been cosplaying for a while so have saved up a fair amount of cosplay props. I already owned a prop shotgun, handgun and holster which I re-used. Bought a foam hammer and there's that. I'd love to expand to her crossbow and flamethrower, but that's for another time!
Jacket and beanie
I feel like maybe I was just always a little bit of Abby as I already owned both the jacket and beanie. The jacket was given to me by my partner, who did not fit it anymore. So I took it over and the beanie was bought for a previous cosplay. I unfortunately don't have a link for either but the brand of the jacket is Merc London. (sometimes called a Harrington jacket) I hope to get her patch in the future but this is in the work.
Shirt Her grey shirt was a second hand find from Uniqlo, I weathered this up for the shoot and all done.
You know the ones I mean... These are little harder to get by. By the time I first shot Abby I'd been doing CrossFit for about 2,5 years on a consistent and regular basis. I'll do a bit more of a write up on this eventually but it definitely takes at least 4 of Abby's years of hard training (mostly weights) to her physique. And even then it's dependent on your body and training style either way... This is not a requirement as the same body is not a requirement to cosplay someone you love.
For more photos of my Abby 1.0 photos click here. And photos of our group Last of Us shoot click here. If you're interested to read another article about my experience of my Abby photos going places... Go over to the Cosplay Journal where I did a write up about cosplay accuracy and how cosplayers are being treated online. If you have any additional questions, I'm most responsive of my Instagram. Hope this helped! Feature photo by: Carlos Adama Photography