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I am a part time child minder and look after myy neice and nephew, while their mum goes out to work three days a week and it's good to keep something in the house for them to play with as they are over around at mine so much.
My little niece just loves Disney films, and one of her favourite Disney Princesses is Belle from Beauty and The Beast, so this Halloween instead of opting for the scarier costume, she decided she wanted something a bit more girly and prettier, so when I was in the Disney Store in Belfast I came across this and just couldn't resist spoiling her a bit and buying it for her.
This little dress was good for Halloween because it covered her almost from head to toe, so it wasn't hard to put some clothes in underneath it when she was out trick or treating to keep her warm, however she plays dress up quite a lot and doesn't need to wear extra clothes underneath it when she is in the house.
The dress itself is soft yellow satin and there is white puffy shoulders and jewels and print on the bodice, the dress is flowy and really princess like and the skirt is puffy and has some extra netting in it to make it sit out just like in the movie. It isn't hard for my niece to get into the dress as an outfit and she can dress up in it all by herself, there aren't any extra bits and pieces that come with this dress, though they are available for purchase at an extra cost.
Prices really do depend on where you shop, I bought this dress in the Disney Store, but I didn't buy the rest of the accessories because they were so expensive and my niece has loads of dress up accessories so we could use something from her collection instead.
This dress is suitable for ages 2 and up, there are a range of different sizes that you can buy, so just check the age on the label when you are buying, my niece is 4 and a half I think she bought the age 4-5 dress, and hers is a bit big on her but that was all the better as you could fit clothes under it at Halloween as opposed to it being too tight, and also she will grow into it which gives her more use out of it.
The only thing that this dress is missing is a pair of little shoes and extra jewellery, (it is a shame it didn't all come with the dress) though my niece already had yellow shoes and a little plastic dress up jewellery set so she puts them on along with her dress when she wants to dress up and play princesses.
I bought this dress in the Disney Shop in Belfast for £30, however I can see it online for around the £10 mark which is cheaper and a more reasonable price to pay for it.
Overall I think that this was a lovely little present for my niece, especially because she loves the Disney Princesses and also growing up, she has got lots of use out of this costume and I think that when she grows out of it, I might get her the Snow White one if she is still as interested in the whole dressing up game as she is now.
*also on ciao under lorrainek858
This review is for Belle's summer gown, not to be confused with Belle's reversible dress, also available at the Disney store but for £30.00. At first glance the two costumes appear very similar in colouring and style but their overall designs are quite different and in my opinion the summer costume is the better designed of the two and also the prettiest. This costume takes inspiration from the signature yellow ball gown worn by Belle in Disney's motion animation Beauty And The Beast and is designed with the effect of an off the shoulder ball gown although there are two shoulder straps for support and the draped hem is not floor level but a couple of inches higher, eliminating the danger of the child constantly tripping over.
Not depicted particularly well on Dooyoo's photo (drawn from the Disney website) the actual colour is more yellow/gold as opposed to cream as the photo suggests and is far prettier than the picture gives credit for. The gown, split into two main sections (bodice and skirt) is made entirely of synthetic materials (front panel and over-skirt 100% polyester, underskirt and organza 100% nylon). With the exception of the bodice the costume doesn't cling to my daughters body and there for she doesn't get hot and sweaty while shes playing, usually a problem with these materials.
The gown is available in five children's sizes (ages 2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10 years) and is one universal price regardless of the size purchased where as several other children's costumes I previously viewed had a multi price structure with their retail price increasing as the size increased. I paid £28.00 in store although the gown is also available on-line with free UK delivery for orders over £75.00 otherwise you would need to add £4.95 for postage and packaging. It's worth pointing out that Disney's sizing is not particularly generous. My daughter is four (soon to be five) and with no option available in her age range I brought the 5-6 which offers a snug fit with slight give and it was clear as soon as she tried the gown on that had a smaller option been available it would have been far too small. It would definitely be prudent to view the gown in store to gauge the sizes although I have always found Dinsey to be very accommodating when it comes to refunds or exchanges.
The upper body has been designed to replicate a bodice but in fact the material used is soft velour with a satin effect front panel and elasticated waist. The bodice is adorned with some pretty detailing which includes tiny jewel effect sequins as well as sequin seams that produce a delicate beading effect. The detail is very understated keeping the main focus on the skirt. An organza shoulder sash is gathered at the front of the gown and secured by a fabric rose. It's a nice feature but I would have preferred there to be an option to remove it as the sides tend to droop onto my daughters elbows and annoy her. Anyone with a confident ability to sew could probably remove it fairly easily if required however, I am no seamstress and so this is not an option for me. Perhaps an alternative method would be to starch the sash to encourage it to hold it's shape, keeping the height at shoulder level?
The lower body is multi layered, although rather than several layers of heavy fabrics to produce the fullness, the shape is actually created using a removable plastic hoop sewn into the hem of the organza underskirt. Despite my reservations about the hoop it doesn't actually restrict my daughter at all whilst she's wearing the gown. The second, top layer of material is satin effect, gathered and stitched to create ruffles that help produce the appearance of fullness with the entire top layer of the skirt being draped with a soft pink organza which creates a pretty shimmering effect. Pink applique rose petals are speckled across the skirt and again, it's understated. More an introduction of colour without being over the top and garish.
Over the head or stepping into the gown makes the task of dressing and undressing my daughter quick and easy, although I've found the latter the most effective. At the back of the bodice is a velcro fastening that my daughter can easily undo herself if she wants to remove the costume although at four years old she still needs assistance to secure closed and the velcro is certainly an easier option for older children rather than an awkward zip.
Possibly of greatest importance to me is the ability to easily clean the costume. I have previously been caught out by the inappropriate "sponge clean" or "dry clean" only, both ridiculously impractical methods of cleaning children's clothes. Disney's website assures the gown is machine washable, a factor that encouraged my purchase however, this advice is contradictory to the label which states hand wash only at 40 degrees. I took the gamble and decided to machine wash on a delicate setting at 30 degrees and the gown survived with virtually no colour bleeding or creasing but this was not without difficulty. Before washing it is advisable to remove the plastic hoop, however there is no opening in the hem and not wanting to cut into the material I decided to gently overlap the hoop, threading it back on itself to make it small enough to fit in my washing machines door. It's not ideal as the risk of it snapping is high but for me it was the lesser of two evils as cutting the material would have ruined the hem. I should add that my daughters gown was not heavily soiled, just speckled with a few juice splashes and dirt marks, all of which were sufficiently removed during washing but I'm not sure how the gown would stand up against heavy staining.
---- Overall ----
The gown was brought for my daughter to wear to her school garden party to celebrate the royal wedding and I did have serious reservations about the cost. There's no denying £28.00 is excessive for a child's costume that for all intense purposes will have limited wear particularly if you add on the cost of the accessories (in a moment of madness I purchased the shoes and tiara!) however I have been impressed by the overall finish which has been executed beautifully. A great deal of attention to detail has been paid not just on the design but also the stitching and seam work. The rose motif, sequins, applique petals and ruffles have all been stitched and secured tightly although the delicate nature of the organza means the gown isn't conducive to rough and tumble play so it's not the most practical of designs and I do have reservations as to whether it will still fit her when she is six although in the past month she has had a great deal of use from it exploiting every available oportunity to dress up and for a limited time to become a princess (even if it is only in her imagination!).
Is it worth £28.00? That's a difficult question to answer because on one hand it's expensive, especially if you buy the matching accessories, the gown isn't particularly practical for play (role playing and dirt will have a detrimental effect eventually) and the material is very delicate and prone to tearing but on the other hand the quality of finish is exceptional, exactly the standard I expect from Disney, dare I say these costumes have a good resale value on-line and of course my daughter is absolutely delighted with the purchase which for me more than justifies the price. My overall score is four stars but if you can buy on-line cheaper then consider my score five stars.
Item Reference: #2802009840011M
Matching Accessories Include:
Tiara £6.00, shoes £14.00, handbag £6.00 and wand £5.00