I’m about as feminist as they come, but even I have a special place in my heart for Disney princesses. There’s just something soothing about escaping to a world of talking animals, fairy godmothers, and happy endings. And who could forget all the Disney princess dresses? From romantically glamorous to uniquely bold, there’s a gown for every princess personality type. For me, that’s one of the best things about those Disney stories: you could be whoever you wanted to be. (Spoiler alert: Cinderella went from rags to riches and Mulan became a warrior. Those are pretty incredible tales.)
Whether you grew up hoping for a fairytale wedding complete with your very own Prince Charming, or you pictured yourself as a powerful woman who doesn’t need a man to be happy, Disney’s got you covered. Though many of the real stories behind Disney movies are spooky and misogynistic at best, society has (thankfully) come a long way in representing princesses as fully fleshed-out and complex characters. It doesn’t hurt that their fashion has pretty much always been on point, too. So where exactly do Disney princess dresses rank when it comes to how brightly they shine in the spotlight? You’ll have to read on to see.
13Rapunzel of 'Tangled'
Though her story is one of the most classic fairy tales, it focuses largely around her tangled tresses and her journey. The soft lilac hue makes her long hair shine even brighter, which is sort of the point of the story.
12Anna of 'Frozen'
Anna actually wears a few different dresses throughout the film, but they all are fairly understated. But who can blame Anna for making some subdued fashion choices when her older sister has such an elaborate and bold style?
11Ariel of 'The Little Mermaid'
One of the classic '90s Disney princesses, Ariel was definitely an inspiration for many girls. But she seemed to feel and be at her best when she was in her natural, mermaid state and not in the formal attire of the human world. Thankfully she finds happiness regardless of what she wears.
10Jasmine of 'Aladdin'
I know, I know, this isn't technically a "dress" that Princess Jasmine is wearing, but it is her royal attire and that's good enough. Longing for a life beyond her current confines, her outfit is upstaged by her sassy personality and fab accessories (including that amazing hair).
9Pocahontas of 'Pocahontas'
The first Native American to be featured in a Disney movie, her dress is a tribute to her culture. The simplicity of its design speaks to both her selfless nature and the lack of importance she places on material things.
8Mulan of 'Mulan'
Mulan is an amazing Disney princess and she totally kicks *ss in the movie. But as far as dresses go, you'll probably remember that she's only in one for a brief amount of time, proving that a princess doesn't need to wear a frilly gown to gain attention.
7Snow White of 'Snow White'
Snow White is both the first animated Disney princess and the youngest. So it's not too surprising that her dress is youthful and not exactly as sophisticated in its color scheme as some of the other, older princesses. Still, she's definitely memorable.
6Elsa of 'Frozen'
Elsa is nothing short of fierce and fabulous when she is creating her own palace and redefining her look. Her dress pulls double duty by both complimenting her icy powers and showing how she truly has a new identity.
5Belle of 'Beauty And The Beast'
Though her dress may not be as fancy as some of her fellow Disney princesses, that's not a bad thing. She's looked down on by her community for not fitting into the typical feminine mold, but she just ignores the haters and rocks her simple style regardless.
4Aurora of 'Sleeping Beauty'
How much more magical can a dress get than if it's designed by not one, but three fairy godmothers. From changing color to its flawless fit, Princess Aurora's dress is certainly enchanted.
3Tiana of 'The Princess And The Frog'
You already know that Disney movies are full of firsts, but Tiana really inspired a whole new generation by being the first African-American Disney princess. Her dress is full of fairy tale goodness but the real happy ending comes from Tiana's hard work paying off.
2Cinderella of 'Cinderella'
Cinderella's transformation is arguably one of the most iconic scenes, not just of a Disney movies, but of any film. For audiences of all ages, her story of going from being under appreciated by her family to becoming a princess resonates with many.
1Merida of 'Brave'
It's not sparkly. It's not made by magic. So what makes Merida's dress number one? It's the fact that she retains her royal princess identity in it while still being an independent bad *ss. Bonus points for not needing a glamorous dress (or a man) to find a happy ending.