I love to dress up and Disneybound is one of my favorite styles. Although it’s a lot of fun to cosplay, most full costumes aren’t very comfortable for wearing a long time, it takes a lot of effort to get all of the little details right, and they’re often expensive. Not to mention that costumes aren’t very practical to wear many places! (Even though I’m not shy and I’ve gone in full cosplay to some unusual places.) But Disneybound, also called casual cosplay or closet cosplay, is a fun compromise to dress in the style of a character, and it’s much easier because you can often use clothes you already have. I especially love to Disneybound when I’m at the Disney parks (where adults can’t wear costumes) or on a Disney vacation.
But first, I thought I would mention where I get some of my inspiration from. The Disneybound tumblr, run by Leslie Kay, is hands down the best resource for outfit inspiration. She also helps run a Facebook group which is full of great advice and helpful people. You can also find a lot of other people doing Disneybound with the hashtag #disneybound on social media sites like Instagram. Looking at other great Disneybound outfits always gives me new ideas.
One of my first and most repeated Disneybounds is this outfit inspired by Ariel’s “Kiss the Girl”/boat ride dress. It’s just a few simple pieces (a white t-shirt, black tank top, and a blue skirt) but they create a look that’s very recognizeable. The accessories (Sebastian or Flounder stuffie, dinglehopper necklace, and blue hairbow) are optional. This is also one of my favorite outfits that Ariel wears, so it’s really fun to re-create.
Another Ariel-inspired outfit that’s easy to do is a purple shirt with green jeans or shorts. It’s a little more subtle. When I used to wear glasses, this sometimes turned into a “Hipster Ariel” outfit. It doesn’t really need accessories but I sometimes add whatever Ariel or ocean themed jewelry I have lying around.
Green/turquoise and purple are two things I have a lot of in my wardrobe, so Ariel Disneybounds are easy. This is a different outfit with a blue-green dress and a purple wrap. The colors didn’t come out very well in this picture.
My pirate Ariel costume is a little between a true cosplay and a Disneybound. It’s not one of Ariel’s outfits, instead it takes her green and purple colors, and adds a pirate twist. It’s always fun when people realize the full concept of the outfit. I also just really like dressing up as a pirate.
Can you tell Ariel is my favorite princess to dress as? That’s also why I dyed my hair red! But let’s move on to something different.
Dark purple and black (plus a seashell necklace) make a subtle nod to Ursula. It was Villains’ night, so I dressed as Ariel’s nemesis.
Also for Villains’ day, I dressed up with a nod to Captain Hook. The little hook pin helped tie this outfit together, but I think it was too small for many people to notice it. Sometimes it happens that only I know I’m in Disneybound, and no one recognizes the character, but it’s still fun.
On a different day, I dressed as Mr. Smee–and then I got my picture taken with Captain Hook and Mr. Smee! Smee recognized my outfit right away and got really excited. He grabbed me and mimed stealing me away from the captain! Disneybound outfits can lead to a lot of great reactions from face characters and Disney cast members. This one got me a lot of compliments.
Just one more picture, this time with my other favorite princess, Anna. Her snow gear outfit is almost exactly the same as Ariel’s boat ride dress. I just switched the white shirt for light blue, braided my hair, and added a purple sweatshirt. I actually had this sweatshirt for years. When Frozen came out and I saw Anna’s outfit, my family said, “Hey, she dresses like you!” So this moment was inevitable.
I hope you liked seeing some of my Disneybound outfits. Have you ever dressed up as a character before? Which character’s style is your favorite? I love to see other people’s outfits, too, so if you have any pictures, please share them!