As far as Disney princesses go, I've always been partial to Belle. So it was particularly upsetting, in a time when Disney hysteria is peaking surrounding the current “Beauty and the Beast” revival, to find out that Disney theme parks have a strict rule against guests over the age of 14 wearing costumes.
This is nothing new. In retrospect, it makes total sense — professional Belle would definitely be intimidated if I came around wearing a yellow ball gown and showed her up in front of her adoring fans. (Then again, Disney princess-inspired bikinis were too much for me, so maybe I'm not ready for the big leagues anyway.)
Regardless, there are Disney fans out there who have proven you don't need a costume to draw inspiration from your favorite character.
A cosplay-like trend called “Disneybounding,” credited to blogger Leslie Kay, involves dressing up like a Disney character using everyday clothes. The trend first started picking up steam thanks to Kay's Tumblr posts in 2012, according to Mashable, and it's still inspiring thousands today, if the “Disneybounders Unite” Facebook group is any indication.
The group description illustrates Disneybounding with a few examples: “Wearing a yellow dress? Add a red cardigan and some honey-bee earrings and you're disneybounding as Winnie the Pooh! Got some red shorts? Pair them with a black shirt and some yellow accessories and you can be Mickey Mouse!”
Some Disneybound looks give themselves away with a telling accessory:
I could barely sleep last night knowing I get to check out @disneystudioscanada "Beauty and the Beast" exhibit at @casalomatoronto tonight before it opens to the public tomorrow! 🌹The OG Beauty and the Beast was the first Disney movie I saw in theatres—so every Disney project I get to be involved in surrounding this movie feels pretty kismet. 🐗💙 #beourguest #disneybound #disney #disneystyle #beautyandthebeast #batb #canadianblogger #kwawesome
Others are more difficult to distinguish from an ordinary outfit to the untrained eye:
"Will you wear *this*" "Is this a DisneyBound?" "Low key, super mildly." "Okay!" "Don't you want to know who I'm dressing you as?" 🌹 Here's to the boys who let us dress them like Disney characters to go to Disney events.💛 #gaston #backofflefou #hesmine #disney #beautyandthebeast #disneybound #disneystyle #batb
Interested, but unsure of where to begin? As with any good fashion trend, there are plenty of YouTubers offering tutorials.
And while these outfits would make a trip to a Disney park especially festive, just remember, true Disneybounders channel their go-to character no matter where they are.