Disneybounding: A Beginner's Guide
This week we have our first post from our new contributor - Mother Of Figments. This talented lady is not only a runner, an accomplished knitter, and incredible singer/performer, but she is also our very own Disneybounding Expert! Here you will find the first post in her new series where she'll not only introduce newbies to "Bounding" but will also be sharing her tips and resources for those who also want to get in on the fun.
My very first ‘Disneybound’ was completely by accident. As a fan of Once Upon A Time, I heard that there was a storefront at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park that was meant to be the storefront of Mr. Gold’s/Rumplestiltskin’s shop from the tv show. To show my love for the character, I bought gold eyeshadow and gold shimmer lipstick and wore my Loki t-shirt (because Gold/Rumple and Loki share much in common, in my mind). I had no idea that what I was doing was a ‘thing’ and that it was becoming more popular by the moment!
Around that time I started seeing people walking around the park in green, mermaid-scale leggings and purple tank-tops, obvious homages to Ariel in ‘The Little Mermaid’. It was later in that trip that I realized that what they were doing, and indeed, what I was doing with my Mr. Gold/Rumple homage and my ‘Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party’ costume had a name: Disneybounding.
Buzzfeed defines Disneybounding as: ‘When Disney fans dress up as contemporary versions of their favorite characters. It's basically closet cosplay at its finest.’
A question that often gets asked is ‘What is the difference between Disneybounding and Cosplay?’ The members of the ‘Disneybounders Unite’ Facebook page generally say that when a costume is built to be an exact copy and wigs/prosthetics are involved, then it’s ‘Cosplay’. Otherwise, it’s considered "Bounding" (there can be other types of Bounding...I’ve seen Pokemon, Star Trek, Harry Potter, DC Comics, Dr. Seuss, Elfquest etc. represented!).
Bounding came about because of the Walt Disney World and Disneyland rule that "Costumes may not be worn by Guests 14 years of age or older; however, some costumes may be permitted during select special events." Adult guests, however, wanted to show their love for certain characters so the idea of representing them in more contemporary ways came about. Google ‘Disneybound ideas’ and there are pages upon pages of images and Pinterest Boards devoted to outfits for almost any Disney character that anyone could think of.
As someone who loves dressing up and loves the idea of costumes as a whole, this idea fascinated me. The next time I attempted Disneybounding’was during Dapper Days, an unofficial celebration of all things Vintage at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. Everything that I wore that weekend came from my closet as I used the ideas of color and pattern to convey the characters I chose.
The Disneybounding Bug had bitten me! I started going through my closet, putting together outfits that, maybe with an accessory or two, would create a Disneybound for another character...or seven. I started collecting clothing items that could work as a ‘Bound’. Amazingly, there are quite a few retailers that have embraced and encouraged this trend, such as Hot Topic, Torrid, BoxLunch, Etsy, Unique Vintage, and even The Disney Store itself.
My favorite way to find items, however, is to first dive into my closet and pull up basics such as solid-color shorts or skirts and solid-color tops. I then see what color combinations might inspire a character for me. All it takes is a black shirt and a pair of red bottoms and voila! It’s Mickey Mouse! Then I think about what accessories might enhance the outfit. I’m a fan of enamel pins (that could be a whole other post!) and other jewelry bits that give a little hint. Sometimes those are a special purchase or can be easily made if you’re crafty (or know crafty friends).
If I’m missing something of a specific color or style, I then tend to look through consignment/thrift shops to see if anything might work if it’s not something I would normally add to my closet. There’s no need to buy something crazy if you’re only going to wear it once! That $8 purple t-shirt from a craft store or thrift shop is just as good as one from The Disney Store if you’re only going to Ariel-Bound once! It’s also a lot of fun to make pins or hair accessories from Fimo (molding clay) from a craft store.
For my trip in February 2019 for the Princess Half-Marathon weekend, I’m planning to Disneybound every day. Thus far I have Casual Snow White (t-shirt purchased from Etsy), The Genie (belt purchased from Pin Up Girl and t-shirt to be determined), The Mermaid Lagoon from Peter Pan, and Joy from Inside Out (dress purchased from Poshmark). All other items not specifically mentioned, have been pulled from my own clothing collection.
Budget is super-important to me, especially as the trips to the parks themselves are so expensive, but there is also no rule that says you can’t collect pieces as you come across them! I will also be the first to admit that I have put together an Evangeline (The Princess and the Frog) Disneybound that I’m quite proud of...even though every piece was purchased specifically for it. Disneybounding also isn’t just for the parks! I’ve worn some outfits to work that I have either accidentally or purposefully curated for Bounding purposes.
There are some great resources on Disneybounding on the internet including videos, Pinterest boards, and Facebook pages. In my next post, I’ll go into a little more detail about Closet Shopping and figuring out character color-blocking.
Anyone can Disneybound; all it takes is a little faith, trust, and Pixie Dust.