Before the summer of 2016, “Disneybound” meant “going to Disney!” – wonderful in its own right, don’t get me wrong, but now, “Disneybound” means so. much. more. My adventure into Disney bounding all started with an innocent-enough venture into the Disney realms of Pinterest. (Ever want to lose a few hours in what feels like 5 minutes? Jump down that rabbit hole.) For a quicker introduction to Disneybounding, just keep reading. I’ll tell you everything you need to know to get started!
The first Disneybound I remember seeing was Snow White: somebody had paired a blue shirt with a pair of yellow skinny jeans and an apple pendant necklace. These were regular, everyday street clothes, but she was, without a doubt, Snow White! Essentially, Disneybounding is wearing ordinary clothes that are themed after a character. If done well, the character is instantly recognizable but the outfit is not a “costume.”
I was hooked. I wanted to Disneybound every day. I can’t run around Boston in a princess gown, but I can easily color-coordinate my regular clothes to bring some magic to my everyday life. It’s PERFECT!
The next task was figuring out exactly how to do this. After some early Disneybounding flops, I’ve put together a few tips and tricks to make the most of your Disneybounding adventures.
1. Choose a recognizable character for DisneyBounding
In my opinion, character choice is the most challenging part of this whole endeavor. It can be very overwhelming to look down the enormous list of “favorites” and figure out where to start. Certain characters lend themselves to an easier Disneybounding experience while others may be more challenging.
Cinderella is a great princess – beautiful, classic, charming – but when somebody’s Disneybounding as Cinderella, it’s easy to miss the character because that person is wearing a summer blue dress and a headband, maybe with a black ribbon choker. Unless they’ve got the Danielle Nicole Cinderella crossbody (adorable, btw), it’s easy to see just an adorable outfit without having the character recognition.
Ariel is a perfect example of what I consider to be a great Disneybound. Her colors are unique. If somebody’s got a purple top with bright green bottoms and a red hair accessory, any Little Mermaid fan will instantly be reminded of our rebellious, land-loving princess.
Now, depending on your style, wearing bright purple and green may or may not be your cup of tea. (If you like tea, you should definitely check out some Mad Hatter Disneybound options – they get SO creative!!!) A good character doesn’t need to have bright or outrageous colors.
Sorcerer Mickey, for example, puts together some more common colors – red, white, blue, and gold – but he can still be very recognizable. The key is to find something uniquely “Sorcerer Mickey” about his outfit. I went with his hat and I found the perfect blue with white stars scarf on Amazon.com to represent it!
2. Pick pieces you’d otherwise wear
We’ve all got at least a couple of old Halloween costumes sitting in a box somewhere taking up space and being generally unusable without a costume party invite. One of the great things about Disneybounding is that each piece is just an ordinary article of clothing.
When putting together your Disneybound outfits, try to use pieces that you could wear all the time, with or without your character influence. Pick comfortable clothes that you generally like, so you can get good use out of them. Then, when you need to buy something to complete an outfit, you’re not buying a “costume piece”; you’re increasing your everyday wardrobe. This helps make bounding projects more affordable, especially if you put together outfits when it’s time to get new seasonal clothes anyway, and can help keep the size of your wardrobe in check. If you can keep your pieces work-appropriate, even better!!! I’ve Disneybounded to work before, no problem.
3. Don’t forget accessories
The tiniest accessory can really pull an outfit together and make it especially magical. Don’t limit yourself when you think of “accessories,” either. Sure, you should make good use of jewelry and nail polish (if that’s your thing), but also remember belts, hats, shoes, sunglasses, pins, bags, and whatever else you’d like to throw in. (Themed coozy on your coffee cup? I think so!!)
Your character look is a combination of everything you choose to include. If you’re going for Dumbo, maybe a feather necklace would be neat. If you’re doing Belle, a book-shaped clutch might be exactly what you need. The options are endless.
4. Don’t fret if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for
I’ve gotten unbelievably frustrated before when I’ve had an outfit imagined in my head, but I simply could not find the pieces to make it happen. I mean, COME ON! How could it be this hard to to find tan, lace shorts for Moana???
Here’s where some creativity comes in handy, and the internet can be your best friend. If you can’t buy it, maybe you can make it (or use free food to bribe a creative friend to make it for you – no judgment).
Did you know that you can dye white cotton clothes tan using tea? Google taught me! And it actually worked!!! Shorts soup, anybody?
5. HAVE FUN DISNEYBOUNDING
Yes, it’s cheesy, but this should be a given – it’s Disney. Is it possible NOT to have fun? But get weird with it! Do what makes you happy. There aren’t rules here. If you decide you want to wear all blue and say it’s Cinderella, you should absolutely go for it!
If you’re interested and looking for a place to start, Pinterest can be amazing. Just a quick “[[character]] Disneybound” search can be unbelievably inspiring. Happy Disneybounding!
Make sure to tag me in all your Disneybounding photos on Instagram: @castleboundkim I’d love to see your style!
What to see a character reference guide of what characters show up in the parks? Click here!