Truly Magical: The Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Lookbook

This timeless classic turns 30 today! And zut alors did I dive in for this one. (Quite literally, if I may add)

So I packed up a little bag of 6 Ariel inspired looks and headed under the sea – or beside it at least – to celebrate 30 years of mermaid magic.


“I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know something’s starting right now.
Watch and you’ll see, some day I’ll be part of your world.”

Now, before I ask you to look at this stuff and ask you how neat my Ariel costume collection is, I feel like I need to get something off my chest. I remember watching The Little Mermaid as a kid. And unpopular opinion: I didn’t like it.  Okay don’t drown me, and let me explain.

  1. Although the idea of being a mermaid is absolutely magical, I am not an ocean person. I can swim, and I enjoy lounging in the water so it’s not necessarily drowning that I am afraid of (although okay I’m afraid of that too, who isn’t?). What I don’t like is the unknown. I don’t like not knowing what is swimming around my feet. It really freaks me out. Lol.
  2. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. Well okay I’ve always been a family girl in general. So when I was a kid, Ariel letting her father go through all of that for a boy she didn’t know was unthinkable to me. It still kind of is. I thought she was selfish and bratty, and when King Triton got turned into a polyp (apparently – I had to Google this lol) it was downright traumatizing. And even that happy ending kind of broke my heart. I can’t get through that goodbye scene without crying my eyes out.

As an adult, Ariel is still not my favorite Princess. At all. I still stand by what I’ve believed since I was a kid. However, I do recognize now that as a whole, The Little Mermaid is a beautiful film. It arguably has one of the best scores and soundtracks in Disney history, as far as Princes go Eric did contribute more than say, Prince Florian in Snow White or Prince Charming in Cinderella, Ursula is amazing, and the plot is quite riveting even 30 years later. So despite our differences, I can definitely agree that The Little Mermaid is worth celebrating.

Knowing that that’s out of the way, let’s explore the mysterious fathoms below now shall we?


“Mermaid off the port bow!”


The first look I did is Ariel’s most classic one. Her purple mermaid shell top and green tail. I don’t own one of those fancy scuba tails, so instead I made a green wrap around skirt that doubled as a kind of coverup.


I thought it was the perfect way to Disneybound Ariel and still keep things practical for a day at the ocean. And after testing it out, it really was. I loved walking along the shore in this.


I also added a red flower in my hair, both as a nod to her red hair and the flower she put on as she swooned over Prince Eric.




“It’s a Dinglehopper”


As a variation of the first look, this swimsuit actually comes with high waisted mermaid scale bottoms.


This really gave me all the mermaid feels when I got in the water, since in some angles, it actually looked like it was a tail.


And yes, I really did bring a fork Dinglehopper to the ocean. And I really did brush my hair with it. Lol.



“Just a little twirl here and a yank there and voila. You’ve got an aesthetically pleasing configuration of hair that humans go nuts over.” – Scuttle

“Life is the bubbles”


Since I didn’t want every look to be full on cosplay or complicated Disneybound, I decided to add a casual bound to the mix also – which meant that I got to showcase my DIY mermaid ears! Wore these to Tokyo Disney Sea last year and wanted an excuse to take them out again, so I decided to base an outfit around them for this lookbook.


Made the top by cropping an old white shirt, and ironing on purple seashells where the bra would be (Comment below if you want to see a DIY tutorial on this). And paired it with high waisted green shorts.


This was definitely the most comfortable out of all the outfits I did for this. And the most fun to play around in.


“Listen to me. The human world, it’s a mess.
Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there” – Sebastian

“If we could stay all day in the sun”


I was originally supposed to sew a dress for this, but as I was figuring out the pattern, I realized that it actually looked better if I just haphazardly threw the canvas around my body like Ariel did. Lol.


I didn’t even need to place the fabric in any particular way. I just made sure that everything was covered up, then I tied some rope around the chest and waist, and I was good to go.


For my hair, I placed a starfish clip in it, and I thought it was the simplest yet most effective little accessory to finish off the fresh out of the water and finding my land legs vibe. Lol.


“What would I give if I could live out of these waters?
What would I pay to spend a day warm on the sand?” – Ariel


“There’s something about her”


This has got to be my favorite outfit from the entire series. Although it is more cosplay than Disneybound, it’s not quite that accurate, since I wanted a more pirate-y sort of feel to the costume. I also never wear wigs, so obviously I can’t claim that this is a genuine cosplay, but I am super proud of this one.


Made the entire dress out of scratch, and added a thick black belt to tie the entire look toegether. I also wore a big blue bow in my hair to complete the look.


And for some strange reason, the wind blew exactly right when I was wearing this, that it made walking along the shore in my flowy blue skirt all the more magical.


“Oh, she’s out there somewhere. I just… I just haven’t found her yet.” – Prince Eric

“Something’s starting right now”


And last but not least, I wanted to do Ariel’s sparkly dress when Triton turned her into a human. So I threw together this purple-y silvery dress with scraps of fabric from other costumes, and added a slit like she had in the movie.


Ariel didn’t have any accessories for this, but I wanted to add this gold starfish and pearl hairband to make it more whimsical. Like Ariel taking a piece of home with her. (Yes, I am still not over it lol)


And then I did my best to walk out of the water as gracefully as she did. (Spoiler: I was unsuccessful. Lol. I did have fun trying though!)


“There’s just one problem left – how much I’m going to miss her.” – King Triton

I know this lookbook is pretty different from what I usually do, but I thought a change of scenery and a peak into one of our many beaches in the Philippines would be a nice way to showcase my Ariel looks. With so many changes in Disney now, like the casting of the live action version of Little Mermaid, it’s nice to sort of present a Disney Princess in a different way. In my case – on a Philippine beach, in my Filipina skin.

I hope you guys enjoyed our little adventure today! Happy 30 years of magic, Little Mermaid!

*Photography: Ayn Rand Parel
*Venue: Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club, Morong, Bataan, Philippines
*For more Disney content and Disney conversations, feel free to follow and message me on Instagram! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this lookbook.
*My Truly Magical Lookbook Blogs:
Big Hero 6
Disney Villains
Beauty and the Beast
Lion King
Toy Story




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