Becoming Jesse — The McCree Cosplay Guide

Often perceived as impractical and somewhat a frivolous use of resources cosplay has become an art form. Like any other art, the art of compiling an accurate and convincing recreation of a digital character can be time-consuming and difficult, this is my personal journey of becoming Jesse McCree; aka McCree.

NOTE: This is not a “click to buy from Amazon post” — real work and research will need to be done to create the best cosplay reproduction of your McCree.

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Researching McCree

Blizzard’s Cosplay Reference guide is THE place to start when reviewing the needs for faithfully recreating any overwatch character. To find the reference guide for your cosplay “audit” jump on over to the Blizzard media site and click on the “Misc” tab.

Jesse McCree Referenc guide displays McCree in hi default pose, featuring most of the major elements of the cosplay cosutme.
McCree Reference Guide Cover Image

McCree Reference Guide  — Mirror 1

Additionally knowing McCree’s background and history can really enlighten the choices for your cosplay construction decisions.

Researching Other Cosplayers

Almost every artist uses techniques and ideas adopted by other artists who inspire them. This can be an incredible springboard into refining and improving the process and final presentation of your cosplay.

Searching the internet there are dozens of different cosplays for McCree, from the budget, sexy, extravagant, and the just amazing recreations of this digital character.


This cosplayer was an early example, back in 2016 “geekswooshop” recreated this cosplay with surprisingly great results given the limited amount of information about McCree in 2016.

More information, including additional build photos, can be found on this build thread 



Featured on Deviant art — I love how this cosplayer had the opportunity to include photoshopped compositions that really make the cosplay come to life.


ZephonCos is a “professional” cosplayer and has participated dozen of cosplay competitions. This is a great example of a really well-implemented cosplay, featuring details that many others miss, specifically tattered hat and holes in the serape.

View more of ZephonCos on his facebook page.

Breaking Down the Components

McCree has a few items that I have broken down into different phases or steps to consider when acquiring the items need to complete the full cosplay effect.

The Clothing

Probably the easiest portion of the cosplay is acquiring each of the needed pieces of the actual clothing portion, this includes…

  1. the hat
  2. the pants
  3. the ‘leather’ chaps
  4. the undershirt
  5. the button-up shirt
  6. the serape
  7. belts
  8. boots

The Armor

  1. chest plate armor
  2. back armor
  3. shoulder straps
  4. mechanical (robot) hand
  5. knee pad

The Accessories

  1. the “PeaceKeeper” pistol
  2. “BAMF” belt buckle
  3. stun grenades
  4. hat emblem
  5. hat bullets
  6. belt bullets/holder
  7. gun holster
  8. cigar
  9. right-hand glove
  10. spurs
  11. hair and facial hair

Details, Details, Details

The believability and recognition of your costume entirely depend on the details. Below I will review each of the components listed above, and how you can get similar, or BETTER results, by using the data and information in compiled below.

One of the most convincing things you can do for an authentic feeling McCree is to make sure your items are worn, and dusty in appearance. Many of the overwatch characters are very clean, modern robot characters that demand clean lines, McCree — is the polar opposite. Spend time studying the areas that are worn, have tears or holes, and you will create a much more authentic cosplay.

The Hat

Any cowboy is nothing without a hat. It identifies a unique sense of style and tells a story about the character, just like shoes, you can tell a lot about a person by their hat! McCree’s hat is no different and it has some important features you will not want to miss.

McCree’s cowboy hat is well worn and contains several notches, and is scuffed up, especially on the crown of the hat.

Notice the rim notches and “wear”, along with the bullets and emblem. The strap is a solid thick leather strip.
Front view of McCree’s cowboy hat and emblem.

Consider the following items when looking to find a cowboy hat that suits your McCree cosplay.

  1. eBay / Facebook Marketplace can be a great place to purchase hats, if you’re going all out on re-creating all the features, you will placing notches in the brim of the hat as well as replacing the band or attaching items to the existing band. Additionally scuffing the top of the hat will give it character and help match the ‘worn’ feel of McCree’s character.
  2. A used hat can be stretched fairly easily about 1cm, or a half hat size, with hat stretching tools. You can purchase a hat stretcher (aka; hat -jack) or construct your own for a few bucks.
  3. If you have no other choice, you can purchase an inexpensive hat an Amazon or eBay. Look for a crushable stetson style hat.
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