January 7, 2014

Everyday Cosplay the Disney Way, aka Disney Bound

Everyday cosplay has become a whole category of clothing. It's possible to dress like your favorite character and wear said ensemble into the office without getting weird looks from co-workers or being scolded by your boss for not dressing appropriately. Even though you can buy a subtle Dalek dress, you can also go another route by just wearing colors or patterns similar to those of the character you're trying to emulate. The phenomenon known as Disney Bound is a perfect example of the concept. It's cosplay without putting on a costume.


As with many cool nerdy things, I learned about it from Epbot. Though the Disney Bound Tumblr started because founder Leslie Kay and her friend were going to a Disney theme park and wanted an online venue to share their excitement, Kay put together an outfit based on a Disney character and it took off and evolved from there. Since adults didn't used to be allowed to wear costumes into the park, it's also become a way to do so in a trendy and sort of, not really secretive way. Seeing examples is the best way to understand Disney Bound, so:

Get the general idea? If you want to start playing Disney Bound in your wardrobe, you can approach it in a couple of ways:

- Take stock of what you have. Like, really take stock. Use a notepad, your computer, whatever and make an inventory. You can use general descriptions such as "purple long sleeve" and still be effective but the more details, the easier it is for you to put together outfits. Catalog your pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, belts, tunics, everything. Once you know what you have, I recommend transferring it into a spreadsheet so you can filter by color or style. This may be a touch overboard, but when you can check quickly whether you have a lavender ensemble for a Rapunzel Disney Bound look you'll save time by looking at a sheet instead of digging through your closet and/or dresser.

- If that's way too ambitious for you, make a list of Disney characters you like and make notes or sketches about what you want the outfits to include. The Disney Bound Tumblr is a great reference, but I also recommend searching the phrase on Pinterest and Tumblr. Once you have a list, go shopping in your own closet or out in the world. Polyvore is a good source to find available clothing, and you can pull together lookbooks and outfit inspiration there, too.

You can translate the idea beyond Disney, too. Pull some greens and golds together for Loki, some whites and silvers for Princess Leia, and on and on. Even if no one else gets it, you'll know what's up. Now I need to go put together a Merida-inspired outfit. For reasons.

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