My daughter loves the Disney Princesses, so it’s no surprise that our suitcases contain no less than one princess dress per day for her to wear when we visit the Disney Parks. Outfitting a pint-sized Disney Princess is a fairly simple task for most; after all, it’s much easier than trying to present a proper Disney Parks prince as we’ve discussed before. The dresses can be found in any size ranging from infant to adult and they carry them in just about every gift shop at the Disney Parks. You can even find them at most major department stores across the globe. Simple, right? Unless, of course, you have a picky princess on your hands.
DIStracted daughter has a few of these costume dresses; they are covered in glitter, rhinestones, and loaded with yards and yards of tulle. Yes, they are the epitome of every little girl’s dream (well, except mine). Sure, she loves getting gussied up in her store-bought ballgowns, but she’s a casual princess at heart. Those glittered frocks don’t last more than a few minutes at a time on her, especially when we visit the Disney Parks in the warmer months. I can’t say I blame her, though, and who’s going to argue with a toddler in crinoline melting in the Florida sun? Not me, that’s for sure! Seriously, there’s nothing more sad than witnessing a pouty pouty princess at the most Magical Place on Earth.
What’s a mom to do? You scour the internet and get creative, of course! So, my friends, these are my tips for getting amazing princess dresses without the fancypants fabrics:
1. Try Etsy! Etsy is a wonderland of amazing talent. This is where I found and fell in love with Lover Dovers Clothing. I cannot stress enough how delightful her Disney-Princess-inspired dresses are! DIStracted daughter owns three of them from the Practical Princess Collection. I have laundered these dresses hundreds of times and they still look regal. Yes, they do cost only slightly less than the ones they sell in the Disney Parks, but they are just as cute and much more comfortable for the tiny people who are opposed to scratchy fabrics.
DIStracted tip: Don’t be afraid to order up in size. On a whim, I chose the Snow-White-inspired dress in a 4/5 when my daughter was only 2. It was a little long, but she wasn’t tripping on it or anything and the tie-back waist makes it easy to conform to just about any size. The mastermind behind Lover Dovers also runs specials on multiple item purchases once in a while, so make sure you check before you make a purchase.
2. When you can’t find what you’re looking for, hire someone to make it for you. Thankfully, I am blessed with an arsenal of friends who are even craftier than I am. I hired Nina Eachus of Crabby Apple Creations to make DIStracted daughter a toddler Anna-inspired dress.
Nina is my Fairy Godmother of sewing. She’s amazing! I presented her with this project and she just ran with it. The result? Oh, it was pure adorableness! DIStracted daughter loved it and it was a huge hit at the Parks. Anna and Elsa recognized the dress immediately.
Having your own thread ninja on speed dial is always a solid life choice. There are many a seamstress on this earth that would be happy to help you make your visions a reality. You can find them online, at craft shows, or you can even hire mine. Much like adventure, they’re out there.
3. Get crafty! Just about any solid-colored sundress can become a Disney Princess dress with a few embellishments. DIStracted daughter really wanted Cinderella’s mouse dress. I figured if the mice can do it, then I could, too! I started with a dark pink cotton sundress that I found at Old Navy.
I tacked light pink ribbon onto the dress, added some chiffon to the neckline, and finished it off with a set of blue beads. The entire ensemble cost less than $15 to make and she wore it until it fell apart–without the aid of jealous stepsisters. If you’re not good at sewing, don’t fret! There are plenty of adhesives and sewing shortcuts available.
4. Be unique! The one thing I love most about finding and creating comfortable princess dresses is the ability to have one-of-a-kind items. Having a unique costume is a great way to get a little extra attention from your favorite Disney character friends. Also, the Cast Members and fans will recognize that you went above and beyond to recreate the magic for your tiny person. Who cares if it was all done in the name of comfort?!
So, DIStracted readers, what are some of your best tips for keeping the costumes comfortable? Please share them with us.