The Fab 40’s Are Princess Inspired

Brave. Headstrong. Free-spirited. Impulsive. Quick-witted. Stubborn. Outgoing. Willful. Intelligent. Impetuous. Soft of heart. These are all words that have been used to describe Princess Merida of DunBroch from the Pixar movie Brave. Coincidentally, I have been called these things myself on a few occasions. So when I was asked to participate in this month’s Fab 40s collaboration with the theme of Inspired by our favorite Disney Princesses, I was excited, flattered, honored, and completely willing to accept the challenge.

When I heard the theme we were to use to inspire our look for this series, my mind went immediately to Merida. She is absolutely my favorite of all the Disney Princesses. She breaks the mold of the traditional princesses and she is completely badass. I love that she does things her way and once she makes up her mind, she sticks to it. Merida is never a damsel in distress. She never relies on a man. She is never haughty. She is always tough. She is always brave. Yet she is always kind of heart especially when it comes to her family. Well…except maybe for the part where she turns her mother into a black bear. But then she admits her error and does everything she can to right her wrong. All of these qualities I admire in her and am proud of in myself. Merida is a wonderful role model for any girl at any age who wants to get shit done. And get it done her way.

How I created my look inspired by Merida…

I love Merida’s traditional dark green gown, but that is just not my style. And I don’t own anything like it anyway. But I wanted to honor all the wonderful traditions present in Merida’s Scottish culture as well as all of the little details in the movie. I chose a green and navy plaid shirt dress to represent the plaids of the clans. To keep it modern, I paired the plaid shirt dress over a black pleated midi skirt.

To represent Merida’s sass, I added these kick ass heels, some fish net stockings, and a golden corset (Merida’s traditional gown is all trimmed in gold).

I really wanted to pay homage to Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor. And since Merida turned her mother into a black bear, I thought it quite fitting to carry a black fur clutch and added a black fur scarf for good measure.

A fun little-known fact about the making of the movie Brave is that it was originally to be set in a very snowy background. And I have snow. Lots of snow. So a tribute to the original idea for the film, I played in the snow a bit. I am sure Merida would have thrown a snowball or two!

One of my very favorite things about Merida is her expertise as one of the most skilled archers in her kingdom. I love when she joins the archery competition and says, “I am Merida, and I’ll be shooting for my own hand.” When I found these arrow earrings, I seriously was jumping for joy! How fantastic they are! And I had this old necklace that resembles a target. I cannot even get over my own cleverness!

I actually did contemplate coloring my hair red for this photoshoot…but it takes a lot of work to get this black hair to red. So instead, at Amy’s recommendation, most of these photos were shot against the background of her house which is just the vibrant color of Merida’s hair! And lots of woods as well to represent Merida’s trip into the woods where she encounters the witch who gives her the spell to change her fate (i.e. change her mum into a black bear).

I hope you enjoyed my little interpretation of Merida and Brave! I had a ton of fun putting this together. I have never done anything quite like this before and it took me back to those days of writing interpretative papers for English and Philosophy classes!

Outfit Details
*Everything I have had in my closet for a while except for the bag, earrings, and shoes.
Shirt: Burlington Coat Factory (Old).
Skirt: Kohl’s (Old).
Corset: Adore Me (Old).
Belt: Cato Fashions (Old).
Shoes: Nine West from Burlington Coat Factory.
Scarf: Target (Old).
Necklace: Old.
Stockings: New Chic.
Earrings and Bag: @kskloset on Poshmark (Best seller I have ever purchased from on Poshmark).

*Photo credit to Amy of 5 Memory Lane.

Now, these other fabulous ladies have completely different inspirations and interpretations of this theme. And I simply adore every one of them! Can you guess who has inspired each of them before you hop on over to their respective blogs to find out?

Ann of Kremb de la Kremb.

Ann looks like a modern day princess on the go in her gorgeous embellished black dress with white capelet and her no nonsense, I-mean-business choice of footwear.  Always fabulous, Ann, every single time.

Diane of Fashion on the 4th Floor.

Diane, who fabulously goes outside of the box in all of her stylings, has done it once again. She is the vision of  a modern day, do it your way, kick ass heroine and the perfect embodiment of wonderful tomboyish beauty!

Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots.

Jennie is the absolute vision of a goddess of the sea, no?  I am in a complete swoon over her beachy vibe with that gorgeous green maxi skirt and her floral crown.  Well done, my friend, very well done!

Mary of Curlybyrdie Chirps.

Mary has been inspired by her heritage and also shares a very heartwarming story behind her look.  She has nailed this style in the most magnificent way, indeed.  Gorgeous, my dear!

Samantha of Fake Fabulous.

Sam has created an outfit that completely embodies a toughness as well as an astonishing beauty with the contrast between glittery top and distressed denim.  I feel like this contrast represents a certain princess’s delicate relationship with her own powers and her struggle to control them.  I am so in love with this look! Just magnificent, Sam!

Sheela of Sheela Writes.

Sheela has put a Sheela twist on her princess inspired look the way Sheela always does…in her own marvelous way.  The result…she is fabulously representing Princess Sheela in this gorgeous red floral gown.  Ravishing, my friend, plain and simple.

Veronica of Cid Style File.

Veronica has created the most beautiful vision of earthy femininity with her gorgeous ivory dress.  Pay attention to all the pretty little details in her accessories to find some clues to her inspiration.  Stunning, Veronica.

How would you create a look inspired by a princess?  And who would be your inspiration?  It doesn’t matter how old we are, playing dress up is always fun!


“There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it.” -Princess Merida of DunBroch


Keeping it on the edge,


Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.


I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

40 Responses

  1. Oh I love a pleated skirt and combined with the fishnet tights is fabulous! I love ot. What a fantastic theme you have chosen! You all look wonderful.

  2. Dear Shelbee, I love this outfit inspired by merida. Wonderfull interpretation. Very cool and sexy, Bear Mum :))
    XO Tina

  3. What a fun theme, Shelbee!! I haven’t seen this movie, so I’ll have to check it out now!!
    I love that you added fishnets to the look–I need to remember to break mine out!

  4. Bonita Barbush Urban

    You look awesome Michelle. I enjoy your blog. You are so talented !!!

  5. Well, THAT woke me up! Heehee.
    Great interpretation.

    • OMG, Anne! You are too funny! Can I just tell you that showing cleavage (especially that much cleavage) is so entirely outside of my comfort zone. I can’t even believe that I had the nerve to publish these photos. Although I would never actually walk around in public like this. No way. Uh-uh. And I have another corset post coming soon to a blog near you! Also very much outside of my comfort zone. But great things happen outside your comfort zone…at least that’s what I always say! Hahaha. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  6. I am so glad the fabulous 40s ladies invited you this week. And what a fantastic theme and what a fabulous writer (not just fabulous dresser) you are. I never knew Merida existed until a few months ago and I learnt it from my then 3-year old daughter. I guess I had never heard of her. Your interpretation of her is beautiful, fun and brave. You are just as bold and brave in showing some beautiful cleavage in a sexy and glamorous way. I cannot guess any of the other ladies’ looks, except Jennie’s. But everyone looks beyond amazing! Love, love your look dear Shelbee. Please link this post up with me this upcoming Thursday!

  7. you are all brilliant, and looking like fierce (but kind) warrior princesses! thanks for sharing the adventure with Visible Monday. xo

  8. Shelbee, it was wonderful to have you join us this month and for such a fun/challenging theme. I love your interpretation, as well as your own choice to be brave in that Fabulous corset. I also truly enjoyed reading your thoughts on Merida and how you channeled her attitude into your wonderful, kick-ass look.

    • Jennie, thank you so much for allowing to be a part of this amazing group of ladies! You all rocked the princess attitude in such fabulous ways! I had so much fun with this!


  9. Cute – fun look!

  10. Get shit done on your own terms. That needs to be the mantra for every single woman out there. Correction, for every single human being out there. Get shit done on your own terms, and so long as you’re authentic, and not hurting anyone, you get my vote!! Just as your outfit is getting my vote for supremely wearable sexiness!! Thank you so very much for not just being my guest this month, Shelbee, but for putting your entire heart and soul into creating an outfit that doesn’t just fit the theme, but which echoes your own personality beautifully xoxo

    • Wow, Sheela! That is the best, most flattering, most genuine, authentic comment/compliment I ever received in the history of this blog! Thank you so much for inviting me to join in this amazing collaboration with so many fabulous women who get shit done on their own terms! I had so much fun creating this outfit even though I was supremely out of my comfort zone with all the cleavage! But I wore it with confidence, that’s for sure…even if it was only in Amy’s yard!


  11. I love Disney princesses so of course, I love all of these outfits! Love seeing how everyone styled theirs 🙂


  12. Shelbee loved your look ! It was such a pleasure having you in the group this month! You have a new fan 🙂

  13. What a fun look! I love the gold bustier underneath the plaid. Very Merida and very you!

  14. Oh Shelbee…Merida and Elsa were my to two and I swithered and dithered between them.
    Finally deciding that Merida might be too stereotypically Scottish for someone in Scotland.
    I’m so glad you chose her as your inspiration!
    She is feisty and strong-willed and, although she messes up, comes good in the end.
    You smashed it lady!

    • Samantha, thank you so much! While I am not Scottish, I do have a wee bit of Welsh heritage and it seems to be the bit that I relate to the most for some reason. Being mostly Italian, I do identify with that heritage greatly as well…but there are no Italian Disney Princesses to my knowledge! Ha. I was smitten with Merida the very first time I saw Brave and she has been my favorite princess since. I had such a great time creating this outfit, too. And I am so thankful that I was invited to join your fabulous ladies this month. I think you all smashed it!


  15. Wow Shelbee, this is a fantastic look! Those shoes are fab! I haven’t seen Brave, but I did go to see Moana recently and thought it was great. I’ve probably seen Frozen a thousand times!

    Emma xxx

    • Thanks so much, Emma! It was such a fun look to create. I just saw Moana as well and I absolutely loved it! If you liked Moana, you will love Brave as well! They are both such tough, independent, determined princesses!


  16. THis is adorable! Love the plaid with the pretty pumps and va-va voom< your a princess!
    thanks for linking with turning heads tuesday
    jess xx

  17. Wow I absolutely love this. I’m glad you chose Merida to channel. She’s so strong and independent just like you. 🙂
    I definitely think you nailed the sexy, fashionable Merida look!

    Thanks so much for linking up with us on the Wearable Wednesday link up!

  18. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. This look is so chic!

  19. What a fabulous idea Shelbee, love your imagination, especially the black bag/bear! Great to link up with you, you’re looking great in this outfit. Jacqui

  20. Great look Shelbee, thanks for taking part and sharing at today’s blog hop 🙂

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