How To Disneybound in 5 Easy Steps—With Tips from the Experts

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Disney Style, Magic at Home, WDW Blog

You may have heard of “Disneybounding”, but do you know what it is? We’ve got a step-by-step how to Disneybound.

If you don’t know what Disneybounding is, fret not, as I am here to let you know exactly what is it, how to do it, and where to connect to the Disneybounders community.

Essentially, Disneybounding is a worldwide #DisneyStyle phenomenon that people use to dress up as beloved Disney characters… without wearing a costume.

Through color blocking, accessories, and close attention to detail, fans wear a Disneybound to emulate a character with regular clothing. 

How DisneyBound Started

Leslie Kay, of Ontario, Canada, booked a trip with her friends to Walt Disney World.

She was so excited about her trip to Disney World, she started a blog on Tumblr called DisneyBound… because Leslie was literally bound for Disney.

It consisted of Disney fan art, film stills, and other Disney photography, but then Leslie started to create collages of clothes and accessories that were outfit inspirations of what she thought specific characters would wear in real life. 

When I first created an Instagram account in 2011, @thedisneybound was the first account that I followed.

I looked forward to these awesome style posts that were inspired by my favorite Disney characters.

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At the time, there was absolutely nothing like @thedisneybound, and as a fan of Disney and fashion, it was the perfect combo for me. It’s no wonder DisneyBound took off the way that it did.

DisneyBound Book Leslie Kay

I loved reading my copy when it first came out! Photo Courtesy of Leslie Kay

If you want to learn even more about her story, you can read her book DisneyBound: Dress Disney and Make It Fashion available on Amazon, Disney Books, and select bookshops.

1. What is Disneybounding?

There isn’t just one way to Disneybound.

Everyone has their own unique style, and Disneybounding allows you to channel your own fashion sense, while also giving it a Disney twist. 

In her book, when describing her fashion movement, Leslie says, “It’s not a costume. It’s a lifestyle.” If you search #Disneybound on Instagram, you’re sure to discover just how many people have adopted this fashion trend as a lifestyle.

The best thing about #DisneyStyle is that you can express yourself as mildly or as wildly as you’d like. Disney World is the perfect place to show off your looks… without any fear of being judged. 

The key to Disneybounding is color blocking.

Color blocking a character means that you pull the prominent colors from a Disney character and coordinate those colors throughout your entire look.

2. Gather Disneybound Ideas

There’s a good chance that you already have a Disneybound in your closet ready to come to life without you even realizing it. 

  • Do you have a red blazer and a brown pair of pants? That can be a Captain Hook Disneybound.
  • Do you have a red dress? That’s the start of a Minnie Mouse Disneybound.

Disneybound characters don’t just stop with fairytales. Some of our favorites are inspired by Pixar, Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Muppets… just start brainstorming which characters you’d love to give a nod to in your everyday wardrobe.

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On Instagram or Pinterest, type in your favorite character’s name, then the word Disneybound.

This phenomenon has been going on for a long time, so you’re sure to find inspiration for characters that may not be wildly popular.

3. Find Disneybound Accessories

Not only do you want to color block through your clothing, but a great Disneybound comes to life with the accessories. 

Of all the Disneybounds I’ve put together, my favorite was my Snow White bound. I pulled pieces from my wardrobe that matched Snow’s tri-color palette (red, yellow, and blue), but I was also able to wear her most iconic accessory– her red bow.

snowwhite office How to disneybound

Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

One of the biggest tips that Leslie Kay mentions in her book is to add a kitschy bag to your look.

Thanks to brands like Loungefly, Danielle Nicole, and Petunia Pickle Bottom, you can add a purse, backpack, or clutch inspired by the character you’re Disneybounding as.

Pro tip: Leslie made an important note that having a pair of yellow shoes will prove to be very useful for multiple Disneybounds. Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and Daisy all have yellow shoes or feet. 

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There are many other characters with yellow in their color palette too.

Flounder, Belle, Pooh Bear, Pluto, Simba, Joy, and Bambi all feature yellow in their color schemes.

Imagine that– just one pair of yellow shoes can open up so many possibilities for great Disneybounds.

There are so many Disney characters with even more color palettes to choose from. If you took a look at your wardrobe, you’ll probably be able to pick out a Disneybound right away.

Now that you’re on your way to being a Disneybounder, make sure you follow @thedisneybound on Instagram, as Leslie posts all sorts of fun Disneybounding challenges.

4. Thrift Your Disneybounds

One of the best ways to participate in the Disneybound challenges, as well as to expand your Disneybound wardrobe, is to shop at thrift stores. 

Thrift shopping is a great way to reduce waste and to find unique pieces that no one else has. It’s a serious fashion win/win. 

thrift shop finds - Disneybounding

Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

Second-hand stores are my one-stop-shop for all of my Disneybounds. They can be a little overwhelming since there can be so many things to look through, but it is for sure worth it once you start finding exactly what you’re looking for. 

Here are some key things to always look out for when you visit a thrift shop.

Always check out the accessories. If you take a quick trip to the accessories aisle, you’ll be surprised how many cute belts, bags, and scarves are just waiting to bring your Disneybounds to life.

Did you see that light blue bag? Doesn’t it give you serious Cinderella vibes? It would be the perfect addition to a Cinderella Disneybound, or maybe even The Blue Fairy. 

thrift shop bags - Disneybounding How to Disneybound

Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

Shoes, shoes, shoes.  I absolutely love shoes– I have more pairs of shoes than I care to admit. The great thing about the shoe aisle at thrift stores is that you can find shoes that have never been worn before. 

“Like new” items can run a little more expensive than the more “pre-loved” items at thrift stores, but if it is a good name and in great condition– buy it! I even stumbled upon these brand new David Bridal heels.

All I could think of was how cute they would look with a pink dress for a Marie Disneybound!

Thrift shop shoes - Disneybounding How to Disneybound

Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

Also, keep your eyes peeled for polka dots and solid garments. Polka dots are the easiest way to Disneybound as Minnie Mouse.

Not to mention, every year the Disneybounding community comes together for Rock The Dots Day to pay tribute to Disney fashion icon, Minnie Mouse.

The more solid colors you have, the better when it comes to putting together a Disneybound.

If you have one piece of clothing in every shade of the rainbow, you’re basically set to create almost any Disney character! Thrift shops are so key for expanding your Disneybounding wardrobe because you can buy a lot of pieces at really low prices. 

5. Join a Disneybound Challenge

Disneybound challenges are a great way to jump into a community of Disneybounders on Instagram.

Challenges typically run for a week and follow a theme. An Instagram account owner will come up with a theme, and promote it the previous week to inform potential participants. They will request that participants use an associated hashtag to keep track.

Everyone uses the same hashtag so that participants are easy to find, for example, #HauntedMansionStyles

Add the hashtag to your photos and follow along to see the styles everyone else put together for the challenges. Every day of the challenge is a new surprise!

Whether you are new to this fashion phenomenon or you’re a seasoned Disneybounder, we want YOU to participate in our Haunted Mansion Disneybound challenge.

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This week, make sure to use the hashtag #HauntedMansionStyles for your chance to be featured on our page.

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Posts by Alessandra Sferlazza

Aly is the Social Media Coordinator for WDW Magazine as well as a contributing writer. For the past five years, she has worked with The Walt Disney Company and completed her BA, B.Ed, and a certificate in Journalism. Aly loves spending every second she can at Disney World with her best friends and family. Follow Aly on Instagram

Authored by
Alessandra Sferlazza

Aly is the Social Media Coordinator for WDW Magazine as well as a contributing writer. For the past five years, she has worked with The Walt Disney Company and completed her BA, B.Ed, and a certificate in Journalism. Aly loves spending every second she can at Disney World with her best friends and family. Follow Aly on Instagram
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