Dapper Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland

Usually I go all out for Dapper Day, but this year was…well, I just wasn’t feeling it. A lot of stuff was going on around this point in my life. Long story. But I still wanted to participate, just without a lot of sewing.

I ended up putting together a really simple outfit out of items in my closet. I had a black strapless Forever 21 dress with big fabric flowers on the skirt that had just been sitting around for ages, and I decided it would be perfect. I based my outfit off of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, so I added a thin black cardigan and a red belt with a silver heart shaped clasp. The red tights were from Target and the black flats with the red hearts were from Modcloth too (but from via eBay). And of course there was a petticoat stuffed up there too; it’s not Dapper Day if I’m not swathed in chiffon ruffles.

My hair was surprisingly successful. I used my little mesh donut from Target to shape my bun (since I have the WORST BABY FINE HAIR EVER) and I curled my bangs back from my forehead and pinned the ringlet in place. I sprayed the whole thing to death with hairspray and surprisingly it all stayed! What a miracle for Florida.

Dapper Day was held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and a bunch of us Icon cast members (current and former) went together. It was also the final day of operation for the Backlot Tour, so we rode it together. Honestly, while it’s sad that the attraction closed, it took up a lot of space without offering a lot to do. I’m looking forward to Toy Story and Star Wars opening up in the now-vacant space!

Also I bought a Sven plush. That happened.

Disneybounding 101

Ah, Disneybounding. One of the best and most controversial trends to pop up in recent years. Personally, I love it, but some people are divided on the topic, since there’s such a wide spectrum of possibilities.

 

For those who don’t spend all their time in Disney parks and feel a little out of the loop, Disneybounding was created by a blogger named Leslie Kay. Its a specific style of dressing in a manner influenced by a Disney character, film, or attraction. For instance, if I wear a yellow skirt, a navy top, and a red bow in my hair, I can be fairly identifiable as Snow White. It’s a great way to compromise when you can’t fully dress up to go to the parks.

 

Why can’t you dress up for the parks? That’s a great question! There’s a rule in place that no one over the age of fourteen can dress up for the parks. A lot of people think that’s unfair, but it’s really a great rule. Let’s say that five-year-old Jenny goes to Magic Kingdom for the first time, and she’s so excited to meet Cinderella. So they get to Fairytale Hall, and it’s a forty-five minute wait, and Dad isn’t too excited about that. But wait! A teenage girl in a Cinderella dress is standing outside Fairytale Hall. Close enough! Dad sends little Jenny up there, and Cinderella puts her phone away long enough to take a picture and scribble an autograph. But that’s not the same. It’s not the same at all. And imagine this- if Jenny goes up to “Cinderella” and the princess swears at her and says she’s just trying to have fun and leave her alone. Jenny would be heartbroken, right? Disney magic ruined. So yeah. Save your costumes for Not So Scary, when the party wristband can set you apart from the real characters. Maintain character integrity!

 

So that’s where Disneybounding comes in. It’s a great way to “dress up” as those beloved characters (or even attractions!) without being in full costume. The best way to do that is to pull from the color schemes of the characters- yellow, navy, and red for Snow; aqua, purple, and red for Ariel; red and white polka dots for Minnie Mouse. You get the idea. A lot can be done with makeup and hairstyles as well, although wigs should be avoided. Not only does that send you into costuming territory, but really, y’all. It’s Florida. It’s swampland. Y’all are gonna sweat to death.

 

Another way to pull inspiration is through accessories. I’ve used a necklace with a gold comb on it for Rapunzel, and a necklace with a thimble on it for Wendy. A lot of Etsy sellers create beautiful bows, custom ears, and themed flower crowns as well that can make you intsagram ready in no time. Some of my favorite shops are Ever After Bowtique, Soundsation Ears, and Magic by Courtney; all three of those shops are run by fabulous ladies who do good work.

 

But Caitlin, you say, have you ever Disneybounded? Have I ever! Here’s some examples.

 

I put together a Disneybound pajama outfit for the 24 hour day at Magic Kingdom the one year I went (RIP, but mostly RIP to the cast members who worked all night). I wore a white tunic from Target, lavender leggings from Walmart, and cream lace shoes from Payless. I made the flower crown myself, and the satchel was a gift from my friend Carrie (Pascal was hers but she lent him to me for the night). Her pajamas bound was even cuter- green plaid pajamas and bear slippers, because she was Merida!

My hipster Kylo Ren disneybound is probably my all time favorite. The dress is one of my faavorite Modcloth purchases, the Bells of London, Ohio dress made by Dear Creatures. I wore it with black low top converse style shoes and made myself a flower crown- the best part is the hidden Darth Vader.

I had a blast running around Studios and taking pictures, especially when I went to Starbucks. I had a conversation that went like this:

 

Barista: What’s your name?

 

Me: Can you please…can you please write Kyle Lauren on it?

 

Barista: …

 

Me: …

 

Barista: Okay.

 

So then flash forward to when they’re calling my name.

 

Barista: I have a venti peach green tea lemonade for…Kyle Lauren?

 

There was a dad wearing a Star Wars shirt leaning against the bar. He looked at the cup, then me, then back at the cup, and he started laughing hysterically. “Come on!” he chortled. “Kyle Lauren! Kylo Ren! It’s so funny!” Thank you, random dad. The barista might have looked at me like I had twelve heads, but I appreciate your laughter.

On St. Patrick’s Day a while back a bunch of us met up in our best green disneybounds. I chose to go as Pascal, so I wore a green dress from Pink Rose, a brown Faded Glory belt, a pair of Nicole sandals from Ross, and a Forever 21 flower crown that had been admittedly rather sparse, but I spruced it up with some extra blooms left over from another project.

Elsa is always one of my favorite cosplay choices, especially when my sister and I are disneybounding together. For Frozen Fever Elsa, I wore an aqua tank and white shorts and a flower crown made by my sister. As an extra surprise, she ordered the Frozen Fever bows from our favorite Etsy shop, Ever After Bowtique, and added them to the backs of our crowns. You can also see that Lindsay went a little more intense with her disneybound- she cosplays as Anna and has made three of her outfits so far, so she wore the vest from her Frozen Fever cosplay, but styled it with street clothes.

Our first Anna and Elsa Disneybound was a lot more intense. This was when the movie had only been out for a few months and the princesses were at their first meet and greet location in Epcot. Lindsay usually likes to wear wigs, so she wore her Anna wig, but the rest of her outfit was clearly street clothes in Anna-inspired colors, which balances out. I wore a dress from Ross and sparkly shoes, and we both wore the park tiaras. I also styled my hair and makeup to be Elsa-inspired.

For another example, I custom ordered a beautiful set of holiday Anna and Elsa bows (also from Ever After) for me and my sister. To be super honest, I don’t have any full photos of our outfits and I don’t remember what we wearing, but aren’t these bows cute? Amber custom made them after I had a terrible experience ordering from Caleigh’s Crowns (which has now closed), and not only was she brilliant to work with, she delivered them to us personally in cute holiday gift bags with candy canes!

I don’t always disneybound as just Elsa- this was my adorable Kristoff inspired outfit! I wore an embroidered peasant top and a gray skirt, both from Forever 21, navy leggings, my black Hamish boots from Blowfish, and my Kristoff bow from Ever After Bowtique. And of course I posed with a troll. I think that’s like a rule or something.

This is a sweet and simple Alice in Wonderland disneybound- a blue dress from Target, a white lace top from Forever 21, a blue bow from Ever After Bowtique, and my trusty iCarly sandals. It was cute, comfortable, and just identifiable enough.

Dapper Day is another great opportunity for subtle disneybounds! I’ve documented my Queen of Hearts, Queen Elinor, Rapunzel, and Wendy themed outfits before, but my very first one was a simple disneybound of the house from Up. I wore the Air of Adorable dress from Modcloth with the same Modcloth oxfords I wore for Rapunzel, plus a small petticoat, the Grape Soda pin, and a borrowed vintage hat. It was subtle, but effective.

You don’t even have to be at Disney for a disneybound! I went to Unviersal in a Hogwarts student disneybound (who else is a Hufflepuff?) I wore my Record Time dress in black from Modcloth, a yellow coat from Forever 21, black tights, black combat boots from Charlotte Russe, and a black hair bow from Forever 21. It was a great time (and my wand fit in my coat pocket!)

Here’s another example of a more subtle disneybound. I bought my sister these matching shirts from Tee Public for Christmas, and we styled them to be the stepsisters from Cinderella. She wore a lime green tank, aqua shorts, and an aqua bow to be Drizella, and I wore purple shorts and a pink bow to be Anastasia. (Even better, our mother disneybounded as the stepmother! We don’t have any pictures, unfortunately.)

And just for fun, here’s one of my favorite meet and greets in a Disney inspired outfit. I wore my Arendelle crest shirt from Tee Public and my Kristoff bow from Ever After for a VIP meet and greet at the Frozen singalong for my birthday. Clearly I had a little bit of fun (and was super embarrassingly excited to meet Kristoff!)

What are some of your favorite Disneybounds? Do you have any tips, tricks, or rules for disneybounding? Comment below if you want to see a follow up blog or video about disneynounds, and maybe you’ll be featured!

 

Dapper Day Queen Elinor from Brave

Fall Dapper Day is somehow always harder to plan for. Dapper Day in the spring naturally lends itself to soft pastels and fluffy petticoats, but picking something in a fall color scheme is harder. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s just me.

I went through multiple options for my Dapper Day attire until I finally settled on Queen Elinor from Brave. I love the character and I hadn’t sewn anything in that rich green color before. I also decided to make it easier on myself by making a skirt and cape instead of a dress.

The skirt was self drafted- if I’m making a dirndl or circle skirt, you can bet I’ve drafted it myself. (Comment below if you want to see tutorials!) I made a basic circle skirt (with pockets) out of a gorgeous green taffeta I had in my stash that had been sitting around for years, waiting for the right project. The zipper came from my stash too, so I ended up not paying anything out of pocket for the skirt! I also pulled out my trusty Malco Modes skirt.

The cape was a little more complicated. I wanted to do something special with it. I bought a super basic New Look pattern for a cape and used the hood pattern piece from McCall’s 5534 (it’s out of print, but if you can find it it’s a super cute hooded bathrobe pattern). I bought a cream and green plaid and a black textured fabric, and made the cape fully reversible. I also made little ears and sewed them to the black hood. Why? So I could turn into a bear, of course! It was lightweight, easy to wear, and added just the right touch to the outfit.

I paired the skirt with a cream colored lace top from Forever 21 and a brown leather belt from…someplace. Walmart, maybe? I’ve had it since college, so who knows. The boots were bought at TJ Maxx after a long, nearly fruitless search. Really, why is it so hard to find plain brown lace up ankle boots without zippers and cuffs on them? But I found them at last and paired them with lace trimmed socks folded over the tops. My hair was straightened and I added a pearl circlet headband from Claire’s.

Dapper Day was actually scheduled to be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the fall, but beforehand I needed to go to Magic Kingdom to meet Merida (obviously). It was by far one of the best meet and greet experiences I’ve ever had. Merida was very sweet when I came up, and in order to make things easier (I get weirdly awkward and nervous when I meet characters and I have no idea why) I blurted out “Hey, Merida, I’m dressed like your mum and I can turn into a bear.”

She stopped and looked at me in confusion, and I took off my cape and started flipping it inside out. You can actually pinpoint the moment that she realized what was going on.

It was so great. She adjusted my ears for me and we posed like bears, and then she told me to make my best mum face and scold her (but she kept sticking her tongue out at me). It was a great interaction, and as I was about to leave, she stopped me and with the most sincere expression said “you’re beautiful.” I’m not going to lie, I got a little teary walking away. It was a great moment.

After a few more shenanigans at Magic Kingdom, my friend and I moved on to Studios, where clearly photoshoots had to happen, especially in front of Great Movie Ride.

All in all, it was a really successful (and comfortable!) outfit, and one of the best dapper days I’ve experienced.

Dapper Day Rapunzel from Tangled

This dress was a long, long long time in the making. It starts when I was in college, and I was tasked with making a dozen colonial-era costumes in the span of two and a half weeks (Comment below if you want to hear that story!) I drew inspiration from a lot of places, including Sofia Coppola’s dreamy Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst. The costumes in that movie are absolutely stunning, and I especially fell in love with the soft pastel gowns worn during the Petit Trianon scenes. I ended up making this beautiful white gown lined in soft pink, with a pink satin sash. I was totally in love, and honestly I wanted to make one for myself.

So when I was planning my spring Dapper Day outift, I really wanted to make something like that dress, but with a Disney twist. I decided to base my outfit off of both the chemise a la reine and Rapunzel!

 

I used my favorite fit and flare dress pattern, Simplicity 1873, for the bodice, but cut both the back and neckline in deep scoops. I also added a waistband, to give the bodice a more definited shape. The sleeves were pulled from…well, I’m honestly not sure. Another pattern. Both the sleeves and the neckline were trimmed with pleated white ruffles.

I made the dress out of white muslin (because cheap!) but the bodice and the full circle skirt were both lined in a light lavender cotton, partially because, well, the white dress was see through, and also because the lavender gave just enough of a hint of a Rapunzel color through the thin muslin. As a final touch, I used a double-faced satin ribbon in the perfect lavender-pink shade as a sash and made thread loops to hold it in place. (Comment below if you want a tutorial on how to make those!)

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I also made a flower-trimmed headband using a cream colored headband from Joann’s and a bunch of silk flowers. They were only hot glued into place, but they held up really well and I didn’t lose a blossom during the long humid day.

My shoes were a pair of pink and cream oxford flats from Modcloth and I wore them with a pair of white lacey socks from the kid’s section of Target. What can I say? They worked really well. I also wore a necklace with a little gold comb on it, also from Modcloth.

I wore my Malco Modes petticoat underneath the dress and carried around a cream colored purse from Forever 21, and it was a magical day. I mean, I did get stared at in the parking lot, and it’s REALLY HARD TO DRIVE IN A PETTICOAT, but I had a beautiful time and took a lot of pictures. And also met Rapunzel. I got to tell her that my dress had pockets and she thought that was great. So all in all, a success! I really need to wear this dress again. Maybe the next time I go grocery shopping.

 

 

Dapper Day Wendy Darling

Oh lord. This dress. This dress nearly killed me.

So for starters, my sister and a bunch of her friends were visiting for Dapper Day, and we decided to do a big Dapper Day Peter Pan squad. I was unanimously chosen as Wendy (because really, have you met me? I’m a Wendy.) I planned my outfit pretty quickly-  a sky blue lace dress with a blue sash. Nice and simple, right?

Wrong. I procrastinated. I waited until literally the night before. Oh, and guess what else was also the night before? My first 10k. I was running the inaugural Disney Star Wars Dark Side 10k race, and for some reason I decided to procrastinate.

I used Vogue 2960, which is a vintage reprint pattern, and I’ve used it before to make my Ellie Frederickson dress. I did the same alterations- I cut the front pieces on the fold so that the dress could zip up the back instead of button up the front. I adjusted the shoulders. I checked all my measurements. I cut the pieces from a sky blue lace and a sky blue cotton and had sky blue bias tape to hem the edges.

Yet somehow, when I sewed the skirt (a gathered dirndl), somehow the bodice was DRASTICALLY longer in the back, making the whole thing droop and making the skirt hang too low. I was devastated. I honestly could not figure out what was going wrong with this stupid thing. And by then it was around nine at night, and I needed to be up at 3 am to run the 10k.

Luckily my friend Kimberly stepped in and offered to do some work on the dress and to finish the sash. I cried my way home (did I also mention I put myself into a panic-induced asthma attack? I’m a quality human.) carboloaded with some pasta from Panera, and crashed.

Somehow, though, I dragged myself out of bed, got to the race, and did a fairly respectable job! My time wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible, and I felt pretty good about things. When everything was over I drove to where my sister and her friends were staying at the Caribbean Beach resort, showered, and wrestled into this stupid dress. I had preemptively packed my Rapunzel Dapper Day dress from the year before and picked up a blue ribbon as a backup sash,but magically the Wendy dress was wearable! Kimberly had done some magic to raise the waistline in the back and finish the sash. It still wasn’t perfect, but it was going to work, and that’s all that really mattered.

I clipped my beloved cheap eBay weave into my hair and my sister’s friend Torrance styled it into a nice half up-half down for me, and I added my Wendy bow from Ever After Bowtique. I wore black ballet flats from the kid’s section of Target (I wasn’t even going to try with heels) and wore my thimble necklace from Whosits and Whatsits.

Somehow I survived the entire day walking around. I don’t know how. My friends were like “do you want a wheelchair? We can totally push you in a wheelchair” and I was like “I AM STUBBORN I WILL WALK.” I ended up walking 38,000+ steps that day between the race, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom.

And then I crashed. I crashed so hard.

At least I looked cute, right?

(And here’s a closeup of my bow!)

I only got to do Dapper Day for a few hours- I had tour guiding to do in the morning and a show to perform at night- but @altermyheart managed to snag the perfect action shot of me and my hair and my #heruniverse Thor dress. (And I know going without makeup might not seem very dapper, but I didn’t want to do my makeup, scrub it off, and do my stage makeup, and also I think I look perfectly fine without makeup!) #dapperday2016 #dapperdallfall2016 (at Epcot – Walt Disney World)

Dress: Her Universe

Shoes: Reel Simple Flat in Red from Modcloth

Here’s a closeup shot of the beautiful custom Eleven bow Amber made for me!! The EggI layer is obvious, the pink is for her dress (complete with collar!) and the navy is for her jacket. The plaid is for the shirt she wears for the last episode! I really love this bow, you guys. @extrasweetbowtique is so great!! #strangerthings #eleven @milliebobby_brown