By the D23 Team
Disney characters wear iconic costumes that inspire us to dress our best, even if we are just hanging out at our houses! “DisneyBounding,” or taking inspiration from Disney characters in your everyday outfits, was pioneered by author and influencer Leslie Kay—and now, she’s written a book that walks readers through every step of the DisneyBounding process. It also shows Disney fans and beyond that DisneyBounding is not just about playing dress up—it’s about community and discovering who you are—and expressing it through the intersection of Disney and fashion. Check out DisneyBound: Dress Disney and Make It Fashion to learn how to become a DisneyBounding expert!
We had the chance to chat with Kay and get some tips on DisneyBounding at home, finding inspiration, and snapping that perfect outfit photo:
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club: How do you find your inspiration for Disney bounds?
Leslie Kay (LK): Between new seasonal fashion trends and Disney’s stacked calendar of new releases, promotional events, and film anniversaries… there is always something exciting around the corner. There’s an infinite number of ways to create one character, and there is inspiration everywhere!
D23: What kind of DisneyBounds do you think would be most fun to do at home?
LK: My answer for this is pretty similar to my answer on an average day—whatever makes you the happiest! If getting dolled up and dressed in your vintage best is what makes you happy… do that! If you’re just wanting to find a cute way to add a little Disney magic to your loungewear… take a look at the colors you have and the characters they remind you of. Expressing yourself through Disney and fashion—however it speaks to you, through your own personal style—is what this is all about.
D23: What kind of characters have you been drawn to bounding as lately?
LK: Just about any character that suits a pair of jeans. Putting on a pair of jeans feels like “dressing up” now—as it’s different from my usual sweatpants or PJs. Lots of Ian Lightfoot, Fix-It Felix, Genie… and even a little Cinderella and Anna!
D23: Do you have advice for your readers on how to “shop their closet” for new Disney bound ideas?
LK: 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!
D23: What’s the most creative way you’ve used a piece of clothing for a DisneyBound?
LK: Beyond myself, I love to see the creative ways the DisneyBound community uses clothing to get really creative. That’s the fun of it all—there are SO MANY different personal styles so you’ll get many different takes of the same character—using items they would normally wear to bring out a particular aspect of a character that the person next to them might not. 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’s just so many unique ways that bounders use their clothes to recreate Disney characters. It’s a lot of fun.
D23: Do you have any recommendations for taking an at-home photo shoot of your Disney bound?
LK: One thing I have been seeing A LOT of (and I’m not getting paid to say this), is bounders using Disney+ to help them create a themed background. They decorate their living rooms to match their bound and then pull the film up on the screen to really help pull the scene together.