Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dressing Your Teen Daughters for Walt Disney World

Katie's "Tomboy" Dress
One day last week as my husband and I were sitting upstairs at Columbia Harbor House taking a break the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom I got an idea for a blog post.  It would be titled "What to Wear at Disney: My Daughter vs. Yours"  I know... too snarky, and I couldn't bring myself to snap a candid picture of the young lady that inspired the idea, but she would have been better suited for a beach in Brazil, you probably get the gist.

Over the years I've written many different articles about dressing for Disney on a number of websites, however it never ceases to amaze me what some people wear.  So, here's my little rant on covering your daughters.  Of course it's easier when they're young, and many a Disney loving Mom goes to great time and expense in bedecking them in the very cutest vacation gear, but it only takes minimal observation skills to see that when those young ladies become tweens and teens their mothers give up the good fight and let them pack for themselves.  Please... Moms, Dads... Aunts, Uncles and Guardians of all sorts, please don't give up on your girls, you are still in charge, you are still paying for this fantastic vacation everyone is about to go on, and you still get a say how they look.  

I know that it can be difficult, and I'm not saying that making a teenage girl look respectable won't have its drama (lord knows I get enough with Katie) but I want parents to start fighting back.  Though Disney Parks create a fun and casual environment, Disney Parks are not the beach, and they are not a keg party way down yonder on the Chattahoochee (I love that song, but let's not dress for it).  At around $100 a day to just walk through the front gate, you would think people might get the idea that the Magic Kingdom is nice.  Let's leave something to the imagination and swimsuits for the pool.

Tori Cute Dress
Tori's Casual Princess Attire
So how do you get a typical disengaged teenager in the midst of asserting her independence to get with the program?  Well, like everything else Disney, it can take some serious pre-planning.  If you start planting the seeds of a great wardrobe at least 2-4 months in advance it will help ease everyone into meeting the expectations.

Introduce Your Girls to DisneyBound - Just because your girl has grown up, doesn't mean that they can't dress like their favorite Disney character.  While they can't actually wear costumes in the Parks, one of the hottest new trends is called "Disney Bounding".  Also known as "closet cosplay" DisneyBound outfits use colors and accessories to create daily street wear inspired by all things Disney.  There's a whole blog and pinterest board that inspired the craze.

My girls still love the idea of dressing like their favorites, and with such a broad variety of Disney characters to chose from they can still express their personalities while looking great.  You can get your boys to DisneyBound too!  Talk to your teen about her favorite characters and how they can inspire her vacation outfits!  For a little extra fun, be sure to get her picture with the character that inspired her. 

Visit DisneyBound at http://disneybound.tumblr.com/
and http://pinterest.com/lesliekaydb/disneybound/

Outfit inspired by Finding Nemo's "Peach"
Go Shopping - Help your daughter get excited about the upcoming family vacation by taking her to buy some new clothes.  Before you go, make sure she knows that the bill is on you, as long as she follows some rules. You can set your own rules, just be sure to stick to them once they're in place!  My rules include no plaid, at least one sundress, coordinating colors, and some modesty.

Pay Attention & Teach - I know that one of the best things about having teens is that they can pack for themselves.  But please folks, pay attention to what is going into your kids' suitcase.  You know that saying about "garbage in = garbage out" the same applies when packing for vacation.  Help your kids make a packing list and check it twice.  No one just naturally knows how to pack, it's something that you have to learn and setting your kids up for success by getting them organized with appropriate clothes ahead of time will teach them a skill that they will use for their entire life.

When traveling to Walt Disney World my family's default dress code is "Resort Casual" and that means that everyone should be cool and comfortable, yet still look neat, clean, and put together.  Sometimes, that means a cute sundress and sometimes it's just jeans and a t-shirt - but always it means that clothes match, are in good repair, and no one is showing off too much skin.

This message and these methods have been approved my my teenage girls. 

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