It’s fun to dress up and go to your favorite Disney Park. Whether it is a special event, a date, or just a Sunday in the park, there is some added magic to putting on your best and strolling through the park. However, if you are like me, I often forget to pre-plan and find myself realizing that I am a day away from needing to be dressed up in the park and didn’t plan. If this is you, fear not! You are not out of options. There are some quick and easy ways to get an outfit together so you can be dressed up at the park without breaking the bank.
First off, decide on a look. Yes, it is last minute and maybe it’s just a day or two away from your outing in the park but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan. Pick a color scheme. Since it is last minute, I’d keep this pretty basic. In general, you are pretty safe going with a blue or black foundation. In most cases, this is going to be the color of your suit/sport coat and/or vest. Since this is last minute, I wouldn’t worry about getting a full suit together. Instead, I would piece things together. I would suggest pulling together the following:
- White Dress Shirt – There are several kinds of white dress shirts out there, I’d keep it simple and get one that buttons up and looks nice. Don’t worry about anything super fancy with cuff links or anything.
- Khaki Dress Pants – I would go with khaki just because it matches just about everything. You don’t want to try to match black and black or blue and blue and just slightly miss
- Black or Blue Sport Coat or Vest. – You can do both if they compliment each other but really since it is last minute, I’d just keep it simple and not worry about it.
- Dress Shoes – Choose black shoes if wearing a black coat or vest, brown if you are wearing a blue coat or vest.
- Socks – Choose socks that match your coat or vest. If you feel like going crazy, they can also match your tie.
- Belt or Suspenders – Choose a belt or pair of suspenders that match the color of your shoes. Do one or the other, not both.
- Tie – I personally like bow ties but neckties are completely acceptable as well. You will want a tie that you (or your significant other) likes that also either matches or compliments your coat/vest and pants. There are quite a few options for both ties in terms of width and styles and really that comes down to what your personal preference is. If you like what you are wearing, it’ll show how you wear it!
- Optional: a dapper looking hat i.e. a fedora, trilby, bowler, etc. When picking a hat, make sure it matches with the rest of your outfit. An easy rule of thumb is to have your hat match your shoes and compliment your jacket or vest.
Pulling it Together
An outfit like described above can be pulled together very quickly. Depending on the budget you have this can be found at various stores. Here are some options for you if you don’t already have these in your closet. For the most part, you can get an entire outfit in under an hour by going to most of the stores I’ll be listing below. If you want to spend some more time and be choosier, spend some time shopping.
- White Dress Shirt – A dress shirt can be found at just about any store that sells menswear. At the inexpensive end of things, one can look at stores like Target, Kohl’s, H&M, or Burlington. J.C. Penney, Nordstroms, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and other big stores like them can have some more white shirts of varying prices.
- Khaki Dress Pants – These can be found just about anywhere.
- Sport Coats/Vests – Sport Coats and Vests can be found sometimes at Target but will almost always be at Kohl’s, H&M, J.C. Penney, or Burlington if you are looking to get a more inexpensive jacket. If you have more money to spend, Nordstroms, Macy’s, and other stores like them will have more options. Personally, I think everyone needs a solid Blue (or if you prefer black) sport coat on hand at all times. When shopping for these, I tend to check the clearance racks first and look for deals. If you don’t have money for a sport coat and can’t find a good deal, I’ve had pretty good luck at Burlington and J.C. Penney when looking for deals on vests. With both vests and coats know that not all are created equal. Don’t get something that has too thin of a fabric that will just fall apart. Also, you want to try and avoid fabric that already looks wrinkled in the store. If you think it is wrinkled then, imagine what it’d be like after you’ve had it for awhile.
- Dress Shoes – These can be found at just about any of the aforementioned stores. If you envision yourself dressing up frequently, don’t go TOO cheap on the shoes. Your feet will regret it (especially if going to Disneyland or something) and they just won’t last. If you DO need to save money on shoes, Target and Payless Shoes have some decent looking shoes that won’t break the bank. But… this is a place where I’d say it is worth spending some extra money in the long run.
- Socks – Here is the easiest thing to find. Don’t worry about spending extra money here. Just go and get some blue or black socks at whatever store you go to.
- Belts or Suspenders – These can be found at all of the stores I’ve mentioned before as well. Make sure you get a belt that fits though. Basically, you want to find a belt that when you put it on utilizes one of the middle holes. If it is on one of the end holes, get a bigger belt. If you are pulling it super tight and using the last hole at the other, get a bigger belt. Suspenders can be a bit trickier and also harder to find. They tend to not be at Target or Kohl’s as often and are generally found at Burlington or one of the more expensive stores.
- Tie – You can find a tie just about anywhere thankfully. Any of the stores listed (except Payless Shoes obviously) will have neckties. For most people, the average necktie will fit. If you are taller or have a larger neck, you might need an extra long necktie. Bow ties can be a bit trickier. I have some bow ties made for me by friends and find others on Etsy or Amazon. However, they can also be found quite often at Burlington, Macy’s, Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, and sometimes J.C. Penney. I prefer bow ties that I actually tie when I’m going to wear them. There are tutorials for how to tie them (and I will be making one at some point in the near future) that make it fairly simple to do. Make sure the bow tie matches your neck size though.
- Hats – Hats can be a bit harder to find sometimes. In general, there are some that can be found at Target and Kohls fairly inexpensively. From my observations, these tend to not last as long. Some J.C. Penney have decent hats made by Stetson that are worth the money (which sometimes isn’t a lot). The other stores I’ve listed I’ve had mixed results in finding decent hats at through the years. This is one of the reasons I made hats optional. Sometimes it’s just easier to comb your hair nicely than search for a hat that fits comfortably and also works with your whole outfit.
Stores for Dressing Up Last Minute
I have mentioned quite a few different store in this article that can be used for pulling together a last-minute outfit for in the parks. With most of these, you’ll be able to go in and within an hour walk out with everything you need. Just for quick reference, these are the stores where you should be able to get most everything in one stop.
- Target (sometimes does not have the dress coats or vests)
- J.C. Penny
- Men’s Warehouse
There are definitely other stores that can accommodate your last-minute dressing up needs but these are ones that I’ve observed can consistently be worth the trip when in a rush.
Getting all the right clothes is just half of dressing up. How you wear dress clothes is just as important. Make sure that when you go shopping you know what sizes you are. If you don’t, go to a store that will measure you. Generally, any store that sells full suits will be able to measure you. If you don’t know your measurements go to Bloomingdales, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, or a store with a suit section to get measured before you go shopping. Men’s Warehouse is also a good place to get measured and also buy an entire outfit but it will cost more.
It isn’t really that hard to dress up and look good for a trip to your favorite Disney park. Knowing what to get and making every minute count if it is the last minute dressing up situation makes all the difference in the world. I hope this guide will be helpful to you the next time you realize that you are going to Disney and need to dress up…. tomorrow. You CAN do it and you don’t have to stress! Get clothes that you like, that fit well, and then have fun looking good as you enjoy the park!