Several years ago, Disney fans starting doing this thing. It’s a thing where we dress in clothes inspired by our favorite characters, but not in a costumey way. If you’ve heard of Disneybounding, then you’ve heard of this thing. If not, welcome.
What the Hell is Disneybounding?
Disneybounding is essentially every day low-key cosplay. You dress in what looks like a totally normal outfit, but your super nerdy little Disney heart is soaring as you channel your favorite Princess, Adventurer, Fab Four character, etc. Since the concept was created, it has spread out to include period-based outfits based on a character’s style, original costumes inspired by the character, disney-bounding mashups, and the list goes on as far as your imagination will take you.
While there’s no proof to draw a direct parallel between the two, I like to imagine that the phenomenon has somewhat influenced the ongoing wedding line by Alfred Angelo, which this year added a dress inspired by Queen Elsa. Alfred Angelo’s line, unlike the Disneybounding fans online and in the parks, is endorsed by the Disney corporation–making the dresses “official” princess fare for grown-ups. There are also veils, flower girl and bridesmaid dresses inspired by various princesses–designed to match the aesthetic of the gowns in the main collection. But some of us (alright, all of us) don’t want to wait for a once in a lifetime opportunity to act like a secret dork, and walk out the door feeling like someone else.
And so, Disneybounding continues. As an example, I’ve been messing around on Polyvore for the first time ever, designing both a casual and “formal” outfit based on my own fashion sense and Donald Duck’s…choices. Donald is a great, classic character for Disneybounding because his colors are simple and his style is clear: he’s got blue, yellow and white as main colors, and a strong nautical theme to his fashion.
Is this overthinking a duck with no pants? Yes. Absolutely it is. But we’re talking about dressing like him in secret here, so we passed “taking it easy” a few exits ago. I guess there’s nothing else but to get to it.
Donald Duck Disneybound: Casual
The first outfit I designed was the most popular style of disneybounding, which is something you can wear everyday without looking out of place. I had never tried Polyvore before this article, so that was a new experience for me, but I really liked it. It’s a much more versatile site than I thought it was, allowing you to edit pictures and add layers to things rather than just copy/pasting items that are ready to buy.
Sidebar: My Polyvore creations are, for the most part all items “under $50”. Because I’m not a monster.* I hate when I fall in love with a dress or a pair of shoes, only to find out it’s $900 just to think about the fabric. I have tried to stick to reasonably priced items, as well as items that would be easy to find/locate something similar regardless of your budget.
*except for this shirt, because it was a random shirt that I was going to edit anyhow.
This t-shirt was designed by me using some of the editing tools i referenced above. I wanted a shirt that reflected Donald in the way it looked as well as showing off something about his personality. I decided to go with the old comic book speech bubble with profane wingdings inside, because of Donald’s tendency to shout rude things.
Fancy Pants. Sans-Pants.
The second version of Disneybounding is a more “formal” look. Sometimes people dress up for Dapper Day, an event at Disney where all visitors are encouraged to look their best even while riding splash mountain. This outfit could be appropriate for a dapper day, except that I definitely do not recommend heels in any Disney park ever.
Again, I went with items that are, individually, under $50. Additionally, if I saw that something was handmade or somehow unique, I chose it over other options. Because I’m that kind of nerd.
Looking for something more literal? We’ve got you covered. Well, someone has you covered.
Deviantartist Darlingarmy provides this Lolita-style Donald dress:
And a dress that would be perfect for Dapper day, via Hatandmouse on Etsy:
Do you design Disneybound outfits? Let us know in the comments.
And, I suppose, if you want to follow me on Polyvore, that would be okay.