Anyway, the cosplay story. So I was cosplaying Ruby at AX a couple years back. I went to the Pokémon gathering and saw a couple people wearing the same outfits except… they just had headbands on, not the either of the hats Ruby wears. Well, Ruby's design is based off of the male player character from the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald games, Brendan/Yuki. So I thought, oh, maybe Brendan doesn't wear a hat and it's actually his hair. Kinda weird, but hey, this is Pokémon.
I walk over to the other Ruby-esque cosplayers and they immediately say, "Why are you wearing a hat? Brendan doesn't wear a hat." I tell them that I'm actually cosplaying Ruby from the Adventures/Special, and they look at me blankly. I can't blame them or anything, the Ruby/Sapphire arc wasn't out here then and hell, it's still not out now. They repeat, "Brendan doesn't wear a hat." I say yes, okay, maybe Brendan doesn't, but Ruby definitely does and he's a different character. They look at me with one of those pitying looks that irks the hell out of me and go, "oh, okaaaaay." GAH! Whatever.
The gathering goes along as gatherings usually do and I get approached by a handful of other cosplayers, helpfully informing me that Brendan doesn't wear a hat. ARRRGHHHH!! I'm not Brendan! I'm Ruby! Even when I would tell them I was a different character that actually DID wear a hat, they would do one of those "whatever excuse floats your boat" sorts of things. Meanwhile, EVERYONE was accepting of the Red/Green/Yellow/Gold/Silver/Crystal Adventure characters being different than their game counterparts, but NOOOOOOOO I must be making up this mysterious Ruby character. UGH. I don't mind being mistaken for Brendan (hello, 95% same outfit), but please don't look at me funny when I try to explain why I am wearing a hat and look slightly different than the game's character. Later, one guy told me he liked my Ruby costume, so that made everything completely better. =)
But why did I post this old story? I was looking at Brendan's character design for an unrelated reason and I noticed something interesting…
What's that sticking out under the headband next to his ear? Is that… hair? I think it is! And it's dark. So either Brendan does indeed wear a hat, or he's got some interesting two-tone hair. (That would be pretty cool!)
Here's Ruby's design. A bit easier to see his dark hair. You can even see a tiny bit behind his ear. And if that wouldn't convince people, this should. (Possible spoilers for why Ruby wears a hat/what is under his hat.)
So hey there people, I think wearing a hat with that costume is fine. Even if I said I was cosplaying Brendan. I obviously can't say for certain if that Brendan is or isn't wearing a hat, but I personally think it should be fine to interpret it as either. On a side note, it was frustrating enough that the Brendan cosplayers gave me crap for wearing a hat, but if Brendan doesn't wear a hat, then his hair is long-ish and white. They weren't wearing wigs, they just had their own short brown hair. If you're going to give me grief about hair issues, look in the freaking mirror, jerks. Get it right yourself before attacking your fellow cosplayer. Yeeesh.
That's not quite the end of the story. This is where (I think) things get interesting. I decided to look up more pictures of Brendan. If you look at his original(?) key art, it looks like the hair near his ear is light, so maybe his hair IS white and that it's just a headband he's wearing. In this picture it seems clear that his hair is white, because the area on the back of his head below the headband is white. But if you look at the back sprites for the Ruby and Sapphire (Emerald has a slightly different sprite, but the hair looks the same) games, his hair seems to be dark (or very heavily shaded). Finally, this "Trainer Hill" (???) art seems to show pretty clearly that he is wearing a hat.
So is Brendan the character wearing a hat or not? Some images seem to say, "Yes, of course he is!" But others seem to clearly show otherwise. I think that's interesting. Cosplay-wise, it looks pretty evenly split between people who wear a hat for Brendan and people who use a wig. I find that just so… fascinating! I don't know why!
…but no matter what the "true answer" to the hair/hat question is, people shouldn't be jerks to other cosplayers. Revel in the fact other people may love the same character you do!
And now I've spent much too long looking at pictures of Pokémon characters instead of doing my actual work on Pokémon Adventures. Whooooops.