Ever since moving to San Diego, the temptation to go to Disneyland has been strong. It’s quite nearly just a jump, skip and a hop away from us.
My husband and I were unashamedly “Disney Adults” before our kid came along, but now that we have a toddler who is fond of all things Mickey Mouse and Lightning McQueen, each trip to the parks is even better than the last.
On our recent visit, I wanted to pack something different than my typical leggings-and-a-tee theme park outfit.
While being comfortable is my priority when visiting Disneyland and California Adventure, I’ve also come to realize that black leggings with a toddler can actually get destroyed by sticky fingers a whole lot faster than a pair of jeans (a mistake I still made the last morning at breakfast, and I left with very noticeable syrup splotches everywhere).
What To Wear To Disneyland: Keep It Practical W/ Loose Jeans & Comfy Shoes
Toddlers aside, my main love for Disney parks is actually the sweet treats and food, and I’ve had enough beignet-dust and churro-sugar messes of my own to realize dark spandex materials are not actually the most practical choice. When I’m looking for the same kind of comfort and wearability that leggings provide, I’m going to be reaching for a loose pair of full-length jeans (the looser the leg, the better).
Between my new pair of FRAME Extra-Long Barrel Jeans (FRAME also makes a great 27.5-inch-inseam pair) and the only Levi’s 501s I’ve ever obsessed over (more washes here and inseam options here), I created a few outfits that were perfect for Disney (and allll the sweet, sticky treats).
But First Up, Pick Shoes That Work For Walking All Day
My first step in packing for Disney is actually starting with the shoes.
If I’m going to a park for just the day, I’ll lace up my most comfortable sneakers (don’t forget the perfect Disney socks). If staying at a hotel and making a vacation out of it, I’ll also throw in some sandals to switch into if the day gets hot.
The most comfortable sneakers in my entire closet are actually all from New Balance, but I opted for my 550 sneakers purely for style preference. NB 550s are a hot buy — they’re sort of the New Balance version of Nike Dunks.
Wildly comfortable, these sneakers are also effortlessly cool with long jeans or trousers, and in my opinion, they run slightly big compared with other NB sneakers (if in between sizes, go down. If you have wider feet, try a unisex or men’s style).
The sandals I threw in (and did, in fact, swap out when I felt warmer), are these delightful slides from Reef. I’m not sure I’ve ever owned a pair of slides that’s quite as comfortable, and I could easily walk all over Disneyland and California Adventure in these without even thinking about my feet (it’s truly shocking).
Loose Jeans Make For The Perfect Disney Outfit
Up next came my decision for jeans.
Having never been a fan of the original Levi’s 501 jeans, I was worried these could also be a flop, but I ordered them anyway when I found the patchwork style. I’m a sucker for the quilted, patchwork and crochet trends of late (still a coastal grandmother at heart) and was willing to take the chance on them.
Everything about the Levi’s 501 ’90s Patchwork jeans are phenomenal, from the slightly lower rise to the almost-boyfriend-style slouch of the bum and legs. I’m wearing a 32 inseam, and they hit just in the perfect spot on top of my shoes.
For a second outfit, I opted for something even looser (and dare I say, even more comfortable).
FRAME’s Extra-Long Barrel Jeans were a part of my recent full-length denim try-on. With an inseam of 35 inches, they’re definitely “too long” for what I typically need in jeans, but I was smitten with the oversized style.
FRAME not only makes exceptional-quality denim that often takes long legs into consideration, but the extra-baggy, extra-long profile of the jean is just what I’d been looking for.
As jeans styles continually trend further away from skintight silhouettes, I’m joyfully embracing the comfort that comes with looser fabric. I never feel as though I want to rip off loose jeans as soon as I come home, but rather find them just as comfortable as a favorite pair of sweatpants I could wear from morning to night (and all over amusement parks).
The Key To Dressing For California Theme Parks? Layers
Disneyland in California is not always warm enough for the typical tee-and-shorts outfit inspiration you see so commonly on Pinterest when searching Disney. Especially if you make a trip in the winter or spring, you’ll enter the park in the morning with cool temperatures. But since midday is typically toasty underneath the sun, the key is to layer.
I threw on my holy grail tank top from Reformation (I seriously cannot stop wearing this thing) under my favorite sweaters and found it to be the perfect solution for cooler mornings and evenings, then rocked just my tank when the sun was the hottest.
As for a bag? I was actually quite annoyed with the bum bag style I took into Disney in the fall, so I simply opted for my everyday crossbody bag this time around and was infinitely happier.
Fit Notes: I’m 5’9″, wearing my true size in both pairs of jeans (28), a 9.5 in sneakers and a 10 in the sandals, and a size large in all tops.
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