What does it mean to Disney Bound and where did the trend come from? Disney Bound came onto the scene in 2011 when blogger Leslie Kay founded a Disney style that has since become wildly popular. She defines Disney Bound as, “an outfit, but not a full costume, inspired by your favorite Disney character using items that you can find in your own closet or at your local mall.” Disney Bounding is fashion inspired by Disney. This style has no limit, from Dapper Days in the parks to more subtle wardrobe nods to anything Disney. Anyone can do it and there are countless ways to put your own personal spin on it.
We all enjoy bounding to different degrees. When we went to Walt Disney World in 2016, it was just becoming main stream. Now, it’s been taken to a WHOLE new level. It’s a way for us adults to show our love without stepping on the toes of the actual Disney employees, and you know what? I respect that. Plus this is a more chill version of cosplaying, which is not everyone’s cup of tea!
This post is part of a Disney Friends Blog Hop. Each of the posts are about the Fall season in some way. When you’re through with this post, click “next” and make your way through all of the posts!
Tips and Tricks:
Start with a character that you love or inspires you, then look in your closet for colours that remind you of that character. Colour blocking works really well to create a DisneyBound. Colour blocking is taking complimentary solid colours and putting them together in one outfit. When creating their characters Disney typically chooses colours that naturally go together. So now we put the colours together. Here’s an example: Buzz Lightyear’s main colours are white, lime green and purple. I recommend choosing a base colour, this will ground your outfit. So if you want to put together a Buzz inspired look choose a base colour, I would do the white, then accent with the lime green and purple.
When you are accessorizing try and find pieces that have a connection to the character. It’s as simple as a necklace design that echoes details on a dress or an object that is associated with that character. A rose or a book would symbolize Belle, and a clock could reference Alice in Wonderland.
The beauty of Disney Bounding is you can mostly use things that are already in your closet. Amp them up, add an accessory here or there, and “BAM!”… you are Disney Bounding! It’s also fun to do different bounds for different seasons. You can add a few layers or change it up completely depending on the season!
Thrift shops are great places to get inspired for different characters! Who knows what one piece will make you just go “YES!”
Of all of my Disney Bounds so far, my very favourite Bound is Belle. I just love her! I don’t look great in sunny yellow so I always end up in more of a mustard yellow and it really works.
For Summer I did a yellow tank top with white roses, a bracelet from Hot Topic, a rose in my hair with an “ode” to the hair style in the ballroom scene, and my painted TOMS from Danielle. For Winter, I simply did a yellow cardigan with the same accessories and jeans!
The other Disney Bound I am excited for (but haven’t gotten to wear yet) is Ariel. I have a green skirt and purple crop top… with my ears of course! My husband is doing cobalt blue shorts, a red belt and white t-shirt. For Winter, I would keep the top (add a jean jacket if needed) and green trash bag pants or joggers. I happened to find a green pair of pants in my drawer (WHY? I’ll never know!) so I went with it.
When I visited WDW in February 2019 for the Festival of Arts I Bounded as the “Orange Bird,” mostly because I really wanted to wear my orange Keds (they are just my favourite)! Simple white top (warm or cold), jean skirt (in Winter, change it up with a pair of jeans), and an Orange Bird bracelet (I found it at Disney Springs). I do wish I had Orange Bird ears, which I will totally get next time! Small shops have just got the best stuff!
Generally I don’t DisneyBound on the day to day, I prefer to reserve it for Disney events or when I’m in the parks. But since we aren’t allowed to travel to the parks I could use a little extra Disney magic right now. Our weather has officially crossed over from Summer warmth to cool, crisp Autumn. Time to pull out the sweaters, scarfs and boots… amirite?
In planning for a Fall Bound, Anna’s outfit from Frozen 2 really inspired me. I have a Disney Bound board on Pinterest (go follow us!) and have been pinning different ideas for this outfit. I think I walked in and out of my closet at least a dozen times over the past week before this outfit came to me. It was so obvious I don’t know how I missed it! I started with black as my anchor colour, then added the belt and cape on top with black booties. I chose a gold necklace with a pattern that reminded me of the gold thread on Anna’s dress. The beauty of Bounding is that it’s your personal take on a character so there is no right or wrong way to do it.
Don’t forget to incorporate make-up and hair into your outfit! For Anna’s hair I started by curling my hair in loose curls. This is how I style my hair anyways so it worked out nicely. I then took the front pieces on both sides, leaving out my bangs, and braided them. Using a small elastic band I tied them together in the back of my head. I am not a make-up artist, and don’t really have any clue what I’m doing in that department, but I was able to pull off a cat eye. (Is that what it’s called Danielle?) (Eh, it’s KIND of cat eye-ish… more just a Flick.)
My second look was from March of this year when Onward came out on Disney+. Themed movie nights are kind of our thing, complete with Disney Bound outfits. (You can check out what we did for Onward and most recently Mulan at these links.) I decided on the main character, Ian Lightfoot, for my Bound. This look is super easy to put together. I’m sure everyone has this basic plaid shirt from Old Navy and a pair of blue jeans. I borrowed my daughter’s blue pom pom toque, aka “beanie” for our friends south of the border, and there you go. This is an outfit I would actually wear since it’s so casual and low key. It doesn’t always have to be over the top!
Now, Disney Bounding can feel a little overwhelming for me. Going out and finding all the little pieces hurts my brain sometimes. Pinterest is a great place to start for ideas. Sometimes, specific items inspire the whole look. For Pocahontas, I started with these moccasins. I also had a teal necklace that felt perfect for this character. Don’t feel like you have to be monochrome. Jeans are neutral!
Last Fall (or… the Fall before that? COVID got me all messed up man!), I found the coziest red toque that just SCREAMED Smee to me. Combined with a striped blue and white top I had picked up on clearance at Old Navy, it obviously made for the perfect Smee Bound. Who says you have to be a chubby short white man to do it? Not I! Seriously though, you can be whomever you would like to be, which is the best part of Disney Bounding! You can genderbend, agebend, anything you would like! (Well not anything. Avoid being disrespectful. You know what I mean.)
And sometimes all it takes to inspire you is a make-up look! I recently have gotten REALLY into make-up, so this was super inspiring to me. (Check out my TikTok @Danimama1991 for some Disney inspired make-up looks!)
Also, quick props are also super helpful in bringing a look together! Like Erica said, a simple book, or rose, or an apple can add the perfect final touch to your Bound.
What I love about Bounding is that anyone can do it!
So now that you have an idea of what Disney Bound is, where do you go from here? Your first step is finding inspiration. We like Pinterest for that, as well as Instagram (follow the hashtag #Disneybound and you’re set!). Elisia also recently bought me this book and I LOVE it!
Your second step is going to be taking a look at your own wardrobe (or a sister or friend!). Then it’s as simple as knowing what accessories you will need and stopping at a thrift store for those items. For the more specific pieces (like ears, jewelry, etc.) Etsy is going to be your best bet! Loungefly bags are the ultimate accessory for any Bound too! You can get them on Amazon (click on the image to go to the store) or at Hot Topic.
Some of our favourite shops for such things are:
Isn’t It Neat Boutique: Wonderful cozies and the cutest ears!
EarristibleDisney: Ears, key chains and hair clips galore!
Take Away the Plain: Our very own Danielle custom paints shoes! What adds to a Bound more than a shoe?
Here are some small shops to check out for your Disney bound!
FOR EARS: jsacr3dtions (3D printed ears), littlelovebuggyllc (floral ears), sominnieears (ears), beourguestears (ears), B’s Handmade Boutique (ears, masks), toontownears (wire ears, 3D printed ears, cosmetic bags), perfectpixiedesigns (ears, masks), glassslipperears (ears)
FOR CLOTHING: CraftDesignsbyj9 (shirts, masks), kreativekingdoms (shirts, hats, jewelry)
the dapper design co (shirts, pins, earrings), splendideverything (masks, shirts), BestDayEvear (ears, shirts), nowurtalkin (shirts), leahsthreadsnbobbins (ears, shirts), nerdmountainshop (shirts), pbnjewels (shirts)
FOR ACCESSORIES: magicwithc (hair clips and ears), wonderfulthoughco (various)
heartcustomears (hand fans, ears), craftijaci (masks, ears, hair accessories), jolly_poppin_boutique (ears, pins, sunglasses), bellvieandco (cups, pouches), icdisneydreams (hair accessories, pouches, masks), glamorouslyGeeky1 (ears, pins, tumblers, bracelets), mouseonmainstreet (magic band studs, jewelry, enamel pins, key chains), castlesandconfetti (phone cases, pins, patches, tees, jewelry, totes, key chains), thevilleneuveshop (masks, tumblers, key chains, phone grips), excellentearsandco (necklaces, studs, earrings, charms), kenziesboutique1 (necklaces, bows and shirts), mickeyandmandy (masks, shirts, cozies), pixiemadeears (hair accessories, ears), sewthisislove (wristlets, bows, sewn items), kariskornerbowtique (ears)
Disney Parks Costume Guidelines:
If you didn’t know, Disney has specific guidelines when it comes to guests dressing up in the parks.
- Costumes may not be worn by Guests 14 years of age or older; however, some costumes may be permitted during select special events, such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Disney Villains After Hours.
- Costume masks are also not allowed to be worn by Guests 14 years of age or older, and there are guidelines as to what kind of costume masks can be worn by children.
This is another great reason to Disney Bound. It allows adults to visit the parks “in costume” without violating the guidelines. Why should kids have all the fun, right?
However, it looks like Disney is trying something new this Fall (2020). From the Disney Parks Blog: “To bring some Halloween party fun into the park this year, for the first time guests of all ages can wear your funniest, Disney-ist, most creative costumes during Magic Kingdom Park regular operating hours from Sept.15 to Oct.31.” Costume mask are still not permitted for adults to wear, and all Guests must wear approved face coverings during their visit.
We’ll have to wait and see if this will be a permanent change in guidelines during the Halloween season in the parks.
Thanks for stopping by our post! Don’t forget to check out our Disney Friends Fall Blog posts… just click the “Next” button and it will loop you to all of the posts!
Roll Call for all of the blog posts:
Have a magical day!
Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle