NEW YORK, February 10, 2013 — Wearing running costumes at Disney races has become an art, thanks to the popularity of events like Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. The race celebrates its fifth anniversary on February 24, and probably inspires more runners to dress as their favorite Disney characters than any other Disney race.
Last year, I was not immune. My husband, Phil, and I ran the 2012 Princess Half Marathon dressed as Cinderella and Prince Charming. (Here’s how to make those costumes.) It was so much fun that we got costumed-up again for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon on January 13, this time, as Cinderella in Rags and Jacques the Mouse.
Here’s how we put together Cinderella in Rags and Jacques the Mouse race-friendly running costumes that were both recognizable and comfortable to run in. Best of all, the only tools we needed were a needle, thread, tape, safety pins, and a healthy imagination.
Cinderella in Rags Running Costume
1) Skirt: Start with a beige skirt to replicate Cinderella’s iconic rags. My skirt was from Deb. It took a lot of online shopping to find it. It wasn’t a running skirt per se, but with its elastic waistband and 100 percent polyester fabric covered in sequins, it did the trick. I paired the skirt with black boy shorts in case of wind gusts. But you never saw the shorts under the skirt.
2) Shirt: Cinderella’s work dress is topped by a dark brown tank. I used a basic brown tank top that I already had in my closet and paired it with a sports bra that had a similar profile.
3) Sleeves: Cinderella’s rag dress had blue sleeves. Unless you’re tackling a very cold weather race, you probably won’t want to run in long sleeves. So I bought a pair of turquoise Sparkle Sleeves from Team Sparkle to complete the look of the dress. It turned out to be a great decision, since race-day temperatures peaked in the 80s. I was glad not to be in a long sleeve shirt.
4) Apron: It wouldn’t be a Cinderella in Rags running costume without a white apron. Rather than buy something, I made an apron out of an old, ripped pillowcase buried deep within my linen closet. I simply cut the pillowcase in half, and then hand-sewed a long, white ribbon along the cut edge of the case. The ribbon was long enough that I could then tie it around my waist to keep the apron in place. Next, I took an extra strip of fabric from the end of the pillowcase I wasn’t using. Using that fabric strip, I sewed a “secret” pocket onto the inside of the apron to hold my gels for the race.
Accessories are what complete any running costume, as I learned from running costumer extraordinaire Kelly Lewis of Team Sparkle, and give it that really finished look. I used:
1) Kerchief: When Cinderella wears her work dress, she wears one of two hairstyles: one with her hair simply tied back with a blue blow and one with her hair in a white kerchief, a la “Sing Sweet Nightingale.” I figured that the white kerchief was more iconic and instantly recognizable. Luckily, I already had one in my closet. But if you don’t, you could easily fashion one out of the unused half of the pillowcase from making the apron. The kerchief is simply a square piece of fabric folded diagonally to make a triangle.
2) Cinderella’s rag dress doesn’t have any other accessories, but to spice up my running shoes, I added little white bows to help them match the rest of the outfit.
1) Cinderella has bangs and I do not. But I tried to replicate her hairstyle as best I could. First, I pinned the sides and top of my hair into a “wall of hair” to mimic her bangs. I gathered the side and top from my ears up (as if I were going to put it in a barrette), twisted it, and then pushed the twist as close to my hairline as possible before pinning it down with bobby pins. This created a pouf of hair.
2) I laid the kerchief just behind the pouf, covering the bobby pins, and tied the kerchief under the rest of my hair.
3) I fastened the kerchief in place with white snap clips from Goody. If you can’t find white ones, painting any colored snap clip with white nail polish will do the trick.
Jacques the Mouse Running Costume
1) Shirt: Jacques wears a solid red shirt. Easy enough. My husband took a red patterned tech shirt that he already owned and turned it inside out, so you couldn’t see the pattern.
2) Shorts: Technically, Jacques doesn’t wear any pants. But in polite company, that just won’t do. So we paired the red tech shirt with a solid pair of red running shorts, which my husband also already owned.
3) Jacket: Jacques has an oversized orange jacket. Rather than buy something expensive—like an orange cardigan—I bought an XXL orange, long-sleeved Jerzees tee from Target. I simply cut it down the front to make the jacket.
Jacques’s Hat, Ears and Face
Hat: Making Jacque’s hat took a bit of creativity. I wanted something sturdy that would stay on Phil’s head, but also lightweight so he could wear it for an entire marathon.
1) The base of the entire hat is actually a fabric-covered headband. By rigging the hat to a headband, I knew it would stay in place and not fall off of Phil’s head as he ran.
2) To give the hat shape, I cut up a thick paper shopping bag and made a wide cone, leaving a hole at the top of the hat, so that it looked like a small lampshade. I fit the size of the cone to Phil’s head.
3) Using safety pins, I fastened the paper cone to the headband.
4) Now that I had a sturdy headband base and a lightweight paper shape, the hat needed its red cloth cover. I used a red cotton neck gaiter that I already owned. I slid the gaiter over the cone and tucked the excess material through the top hole of the cone. The overall effect was like an elongated Fez.
Ears: You can’t be a mouse without ears! I looked through my magazines and found a stiff piece of paper—the kind of stock they use for perfume and other special ads—something stiffer than a paper bag, but lighter than cardboard.
1) I cut the paper into the size and shape of large mouse ears, in proportion to Phil’s head.
2) Then I covered the paper with pink tissue paper, taping it on.
3) Finally, I pinned the ears onto the headband through the red fabric, so that the ears stood upright and didn’t flop back. You may need a little brace behind the ear to make it stand up.
Nose and whiskers: How do you turn a man into a mouse without an elaborate costume? Makeup.
1) I colored Phil’s nose with brown eyeliner.
2) Then I drew whiskers on his cheeks, emanating from the nose.
Voila! We were ready to run as Cinderella in Rags and Jacques the Mouse. We topped off our costumes with some Bodyglide and Vaseline to prevent chafing. All that was left was to run a marathon. Our costumes held up through all 26.2 miles, and we got lots of shout outs for Cinderella and her mouse all along the way. To read all about it, check out my race report.
Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runner’s lifestyle web show about running. She has completed six marathons, two triathlons and trains with the New York Harriers. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.
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