4 Ways to Play Dress Up as an Adult — and Not Look Crazy

posted: 01/12/16
by: Blythe Copeland

Whether you're planning a trip to a "the happiest place on Earth" -- where adults aren't allowed to dress in costume -- or just want to let your inner fan out on a daily basis, Disneybounding, when fans dress up as contemporary versions of their favorite characters, is for you.

Sure, at first it sounds sort of strange, but once you see the chic looks, you may change your mind. With a few simple wardrobe tweaks, you can imitate your favorite princess, cartoon character, or Pixar star without investing in pricey costumes (or looking like you're playing dress-up at the supermarket). From outfits lightly inspired by the characters -- think: a pale blue dress and sparkly accessories for your office party as an homage to Cinderella -- to nearly exact copies, like this Prince Naveen look from The Princess and the Frog -- you can bring a little fairy tale magic to any occasion.

1. Choose your character

The Disney canon offers hundreds of characters to choose from when you're putting together your costume, from the obvious princes and princesses-- Aurora, Belle, Elsa, Prince Charming, Gaston -- to the classics -- like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy. Keep in mind the larger world of Disney films and supporting characters, too: You can put together an outfit that calls up everyone from Buzz or Woody to Dumbo or one of the seven dwarves. The Disneybound Tumblr has thousands of inspiration photos to help you get started.

2. Focus on the colors

Instead of looking for wardrobe pieces that will exactly match the look you're going for, plan to focus on your character's iconic colors. Belle is best known for her yellow ballgown, Alice is recognizable from her blue dress and white apron, Snow White wears a dark blue shirt and yellow skirt with red accents. You can even call up the look of cartoon monster Sully from Monster's, Inc, by taking your cues from his light blue and aqua fur, purple spots, and Monster's University letterman jacket.


3. Consider the shapes

Once you've chosen the colors you want to focus on, look at the overall shapes and styles of the clothes your character is wearing -- not necessarily the details. If you're dressing as Jasmine, you don't need to copy her wide pants and top exactly: Instead, the off-the-shoulder top and exposed midriff will do the work for you. A green, off the shoulder dress mimics Peter Pan, while a red polo shirt with yellow trim works for Gaston.

4. Pick your accessories

As with any outfit, the finishing touch is your choice of accessories -- and here's where you can take a few standard pieces to Disney level. Add snowflake jewelry to your Anna or Elsa outfit; wear all white with a carrot necklace to dress as Olaf. Pair a light blue shirt and darker blue pants with a red belt and gold bracelets to copy the Genie from Aladdin, or wear a white dress and pink scarf inspired by Marie from The Aristocats. A necklace or headband with a bow can turn you into Minnie or Daisy, and seashell jewelry and sparkly green shoes can be the perfect finish to a casual Ariel look. Shoes, bags, and jewelry are also easy ways to show off your character style without spending a lot of money on a more detailed costume.