Product Type: Disney Fancy Dress
Newest Review: ... Wand £3.00 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 accesso... more
Belle Of The Ball
Disney Belle Costume
Member Name: savvyshopper6476
Disney Belle Costume
Date: 25/05/11, updated on 03/06/12 (171 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent quality, machine and hand wash, very pretty
Disadvantages: Expensive, delicate fabrics, washing is a bit of a faff
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
Summary: A beautiful gown perfect for any little princess in training!
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