The Inventor of Disneybounding Gives Her Top Tips for Dressing Disney

in Cosplay, Merchandise

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Leslie Kay kicked off her fashion career as the first Disneybounder… she coined the phrase is 2013 when she (like the rest of us) wanted to exude character, quite literally, on her trips to the Disney Parks.

Nearing half a million followers in her community makes her quite the authority on Disneybounding, so D23  took an opportunity to quiz Leslie Kay about her favorite tips to create a Disneybound outfit, as well as where to get that animated inspiration!

Leslie’s favorite character to Disneybound it… whatever makes her happy! Transition your mood into your outfit, and toss ina. few fun accessories that tell a story. After all, Disney is in the details!

Whether you’re dressed to the 9s or feeling loungey, “expressing yourself through Disney and fashion—however it speaks to you, through your own personal style—is what this is all about.”

Leslie Kay’s Turn of Phrase

Kay told D23 that she adores watching the way the DisneyBound community uses clothing. They are incredibly creative, with no two bounds being alike, and that’s what she loves most. Personal style takes hold, so you’ll see a ton of different aspects.

“For instance… a grey v-neck top is a great silhouette for Meeko because of his natural V shape in his markings. Or, a white infinity scarf is a great way to bring out the white fluff around Thumper’s neck. There are just so many unique ways that bounders use their clothes to recreate Disney characters.”

thumper disneybound Leslie Kay Top Tips

Kay recently took pen to paper with her first book, DisneyBound: Dress Disney and Make It Fashion. The coffee-table-style tome is Leslie Kay’s first foray into print after first creating her Tumblr in 2013. Her book covers best tips, “bounding” around the world, accessories, and the importance of community, which, as we know, is paramount. A description left on the Amazon sales page for Kay’s Disneybounding book reads,

“This book walks readers through every step of the Disney-bounding process, from choosing the outfit using items in your closet or from the local mall, to pushing Bounders beyond their comfort zone, to spreading good vibes.

It also shows Disney fans and beyond that Disney-bounding is not just about playing dress-up? It’s about community, about finding who you are and expressing it through the intersection of Disney and fashion. At the end of this book, readers will be left feeling inspired, empowered, and ready to start a new Disney-bounding fashion adventure!”

Choosing A Disneybounding Character For Yourself

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Credit: Lindsey Paris /

Oftentimes, new Disneybounders get stuck in their own closet. Who should I style? What should I wear? Do I need to go shopping? Leslie Kay (as well as myself) say no! Look in your closet for solid pieces of any shape or color, and then go from there. Find a character that wears that same color and build out from that item. For instance, a red t-shirt can be used by Mickey, Winnie the Pooh, Mr. Incredible, and Lightning McQueen! A green dress could nod to Rex, Alien Dudes, Kermit, or Pascal! Kay said to D23,

“I recommend starting with looking at the colors that exist in your closet. For me… I wear a lot of black, so when I want to do a quick at-home bound, I start thinking of Maleficent, Ursula, Edna Mode. If you have a lot of pink… you may have Piglet, Aurora, or Cheshire Cat hiding in there.

You can also take a look at fun accessories you have. I find it’s the accessories that help to make a bound pop—as they act as your props. You never know what characters have been hiding in your closet all along!”

For my latest Disneybound, I pulled a magenta top and black denim to style into a Princess Anna from Frozen 2 Disneybound! My hair is reminiscent of her braids, and I used existing jewelry from my closet.

This outfit didn’t cost me a thing! Remember, you’re not re-creating a costume; you’re modeling character and mood! If you need even more help to find your place, try Disney Style’s Disneybounding character Quiz!

Snap Your Shot

If you’re feeling stuck finding a background to theme your look, either think neutral (plain wall, bushes, etc.) or check out this new idea from the first Disneybounder herself!

Leslie Kay recommended trying out the new Disney+ trend for Disneybounding at home. Of course, since you may not have a plethora of natural backgrounds at your disposal, what you may have is over 500 Disney movies on Disney+!

Simply pull up the title screen of the movie (or tv show) in which your character appears, and then pose with the screen! Kay’s own IG shows her Toy Story Disneybound right in her living room.

Follow all the fun on Instagram by using #Disneybound in your posts, or check for inspiration at @thedisneybound or on @lesliekay. We’re waiting to dress up with you!

What Disneybound character are you channeling at home? Leave us a comment below!

in Cosplay, Merchandise

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