From the time of innocent Snow White and her seven dwarfs to the time of misfortunate Cinderella and her magic shoe, Disney princesses have been a mainstay of any and all Disney productions.
Traditionally, most Disney princess movies have been based on the original princesses of the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and to this day, they remain well-loved among fans of both mediums.
That doesn’t mean that non-Grimm’s princesses are any less popular. A most recent example would be Princess Merida from the award-winning animated film Brave, a Pixar Animated Studios production.
Pixar’s first female lead and Disney’s eleventh princess, feisty and spirited Merida breaks the mould of traditional princesses in many ways: she is skilled in archery, swordsmanship, and riding; does not need to be saved by a male love interest; and breaks custom by refusing to accept arranged marriage.
In light of this, it should come as no surprise that Merida has been described as a modern feminist in ancient times.
Before we get to her costume, a small summary of Merida’s appearance and personality is in order. This lion-hearted princess with her adorable mane of curly red hair and even more adorable personality is, as the name of the animated movie would suggest, brave.
Her fiery hair reflects her adventurous spirit; her blue eyes are keen and one of the assets that make her a master archer.
Her dress is a Scottish gown of emerald silk, but with adjustment on the back and elbows to allow for the freedom of movement and posture required for archery.
Despite sometimes being rash, impulsive, and unintentionally insensitive, Merida is soft at heart and very loyal to her loved ones.
Thus, if you are dressing up as Merida for Halloween, it’s important to come off as courageous, lively, and curious.
For the dress, you can go with cheap and comfortable cotton instead of expensive shiny silk or velvet – the difference in appearance is so negligible that the former might be preferable.
Merida’s dress is green and minimalistic, with decorative gold trimmings around the boat neckline and practical cream fabric loosely puffing out at her armpits and elbows in an otherwise fitting dress to allow for archery.
When she’s riding outside the castle, Merida is frequently seen to be carrying around a bow and arrows for target practice, and wearing a travel cape.
So you’ll need a brown belt with a quiver on it, a sturdy bow and a grey felt cloak. Et voila, you’re now Princess Merida.
For a complete look, you must get Merida’s signature fiery mane right. You can do this in one of two ways.
You can go through all the hassle of dying your hair red, then painstakingly curling your hair into crisp ringlets or you could simply purchase a wig.
The latter will probably save you a lot of pain, all things considered. You could lightly dust your eyebrows with orange powder in order to match your hair, and if you want to add a small smattering of freckles if you don’t have any.
Although her emerald travel costume is her signature costume, you can also try Merida’s other costume.
One option would be her blue dress outfit with the white headdress; another would be a more sparkly and low-necked variation of her emerald costume.
To stand out even more from the other Meridas in the party (and there will no doubt be a lot of them due to the popularity of Brave), you could have a cute blue wisp plushie accompany you to the party!
Now get out there, and don’t forget to be brave like Merida in the face of adversity.
photo by Alessio Busanca via Flickr