Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Show Your Stripes

I bet you couldn't have guessed we'd be featuring more pinstripe pieces this season. Or ruffles. Definitely not pinstripes annnnd ruffles. (Insert all the eyeroll emojis here.) These were both on our list of favorite trends for the Spring and Summer, and our love for either is sure not dwindling. Sorry #CantStopWontStop.

When I saw this ruffle shoulder stripe top (for less than $20!), I knew I had to make it mine. Bold vertical stripes are so sophisticated and classic while the cut of the ruffled shoulders give it a fun and edgy flair. It's just fitted enough and the material is so flowy and comfortable. It's going to be a staple of my summer wardrobe for sure.

Hot pink accents, some dreamy blush slides, and a simple denim skirt makes for an everyday look that's casual enough for running errands and dressy for an evening out. 

What styles can you just not get enough of this summer? 

Denim Skirt (similar)
Sunglasses (similar)
Earrings (similar)


Friday, May 26, 2017

Wear it Two Ways: Sheer Floral

One of the our favorite looks for the summer we told you about in our spring trends post is the sheer trend. Sheer materials are super adaptable to all sorts of looks and styles and you've probably noticed them around a lot lately. We are particularly loving sheer tulle with embroidered floral details for an ultra feminine feel. Here are two ways we styled floral embroidered sheer pieces!


Zara has a ton of great sheer pieces this season. This top is less than $40 and great quality! I love the delicate embroidery and the ruffle sleeves. It pairs perfectly with flared jeans, but would also look cute with cropped jeans or a skirt! 

I'm excited to try out more sheer pieces this summer. It's a great way to stay cool while looking super chic! 

Bag (vintage, similar here)


You may recognize this dress from my Kansas City Fashion Week post, but I wanted to challenge myself to style it it a totally different way and to show its versatility. Rather than a glamorous etherial look, I went for a 90s-eque mix of grunge and prom queen with some unexpected layering. 

The black strappy cami, black shorts, and flatform sandals really toughen up the look and make it perfect for a festival, winery tour, or any other outdoorsy activity that lands somewhere between fancy and casual. 

Strappy cami (similar
Flatform Sandals (similar
Sunglasses (similar)

Check out some other sheer floral pieces we're currently loving below and let us know in the comments if you'd rock this trend or not!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nelly Don: The Story of Kansas City's Original #Girlboss

A year ago, I had never heard of the brand Nelly Don. It's no longer being produced, and honestly I'm not that particular at looking at labels when it comes to buying vintage. So, an old vintage brand with everyday dresses that were produced in a flyover state...not that thrilling, right? Wrong. So very wrong. This is a tale full of scandal, of mobsters, of a woman entrepreneur in a time when women weren't entrepreneurs. A tale that includes abduction, crooked politicians, and an amazing business model headed up by the ultimate #girlboss, Nell Donnelly.

My husband and I were lucky enough to fall into an amazing rental situation when we first moved to Kansas City, and lived in the Carriage House apartment on the grounds of the Nell Donnelly Mansion for nearly a year. During that time, we had a lot of fun researching the history of Nell and her mansion. We even got to dress up and present on a tour of the mansion where hundreds (thousands?) of guests came to see the home in all its glory and soak up the dramatic history that accompanied it. My segment was all about the Nelly Don fashion brand, and since I'm deeming myself total expert now, I'm going to share the story with you!

Nell was born Ellen Quinlan in 1889, the twelfth of thirteen children, in a small town in Kansas. While at stenographer school, she met and married Paul Donnelly, and he helped finance her way through college (she was the only married woman at the college). After school, made dresses for herself, friends and family, and began getting requests from strangers. Nell talked the owner of a local hardware store into letting her sell dresses there, much to his chagrin. After selling out on the first day, and then growing her operation, she and Paul opened The Donnelly Garment Company in 1919, and that eventually grew into Nelly Don.

Her motto was "women want to look pretty, even while washing dishes." I'm not an early 1900s housewife, but, baby, I can relate. In 1929, she patented the Handy/Dandy apron, a staple for the housewife made in bright colors and floral patterns and that she figured out how to sew using one continuous stitch, which saved the seamstresses lots of time. Time that equaled money. This became a key product of Nelly Don, with consistent high sales.

In 1931, this story takes a dramatic turn! Nell and her chauffeur were abducted just outside her home and held for ransom for $75,000. Nell's husband called his lawyer, James Taylor, and Taylor reached out to his friend James A. Reed, a well-known politician and neighbor of the Donnellys. Reed left an out of town trial to come help with the search. It's been said that Reed had hefty connections in the Kansas City Mob, and apparently threatened to have underground secrets published on the front page of the newspaper if she wasn't returned home with in 24 hours. The cottage where Nell was kept was stormed by gangsters that night and the victims were found at a candy shop outside of the city.

Later that year, Nell divorced her husband, who was now a raging alcoholic with a bad temper. Not wasting any time, she married Senator Reed right after his wife passed away. Since they had been neighbors, it was said they would often sit together in the dog run between their two homes and watch their dogs run. That was our portion of the yard on the grounds, so we like to think we grilled meals and had cocktails right where scandal had been in the making decades earlier. Because...

It turns out Reed had been so vigilant in looking for Nell not as just a friend and neighbor, but he was was also the father of her young child she'd supposedly "traveled to Europe to adopt." Yep, her undercover lover and father of her child had sent out mobsters to rescue her. You can't make this stuff up!

By the time Nell divorced Paul, Nelly Don was a $3.5 million business with more than 1,300 employees. In 1940, Forbes called her the most successful businesswoman in the United States. However, her company was waaaaay more than a money-making machine. She was so incredibly ahead of her time in so many ways. She paid higher wages than her workers could make sewing anywhere else. She was among the first to provide medical insurance, and paid tuition for night classes for any employees who wanted to continue their education, as well as providing scholarships for their children. Nell spent lavishly on the children of her workers, and every Christmas, each child received a personalized gift from Santa. The company owned a home in Kansas City that was used as an event space for company parties and events. Any employee could rent the space free of charge for any type of celebration.

She went out of her way to make her employees more comfortable, making structural changes like adding wooden floors, so workers wouldn't have to stand on concrete, and adding large ceiling fans to keep the temperature comfortable. She provided on-site childcare, a service that's still almost unheard of today. She even established a canteen with free coffee and donuts. Now, that's a gal after my own heart.

In 1965, she retired and sold her company. The new owners introduced the sale of fabric by the yard (which Nell had always been opposed to), and essentially created their own competition. The company went bankrupt in 1978, after having made 75 million dresses, and being recognized as the largest dress manufacturer of the 20th century.

That, folks, is your fashion history lesson of the year. Hope you enjoyed it! Let me know if you have any other questions (What became of Paul? Did the kidnappers ever get convicted?) because there's tons more I couldn't pack into this post that I'd be happy to elaborate on in the comments!

Now that we're feeling the vintage spirit, I've rounded up some of my favorite vintage-inspired dresses below so you can be a styling Nelly Don Doll in no time!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Let's Get Together and Wear Polka Dots

I am seriously digging bright colors this season. As I've said before, it's not really in my comfort zone, but I am branching out and adding some sunshine to my otherwise black and gray wardrobe. That being said, I still have a soft spot for black, so when I saw this polka dot maxi, I knew it needed to be added to my wardrobe! The best thing is, it's ridiculously cheap, but still really great quality. You can't beat that! I added in the color in the form of this beautiful Bob Marley mural in downtown Decatur. The local artist is Shani Goss, and you can find more of her artwork here! Check it out, she has tons of cool stuff. 

I added pearl studded sandals, a turban and a white ring bag to complete the look! I think all of these items will be constant staples in my closet this summer. 



Monday, May 15, 2017

Take My Money Monday

When we're feeling those Monday blues, one thing that always cheers us up is Take My Money Monday, the feature where we compile all the things we're currently in love with and tell our fav retailers to go ahead and take our money already. Without further ado, check out what we're currently drooling over and stay tuned over the coming months to most likely see some of these pop up in our style posts. 

Molly's List

Right now, I just cannnnnnot get enough resort wear looks. From over-the-top sandals, to loud floral patterns, everything tropical is screaming my name. Typically I'm super drawn to quirky patterns and airy pastels, and this season is no different. Now, just to plan a vacation where I can run around in some of these whimsical retro pieces!

1.   Floral Slides
2.   Shoulder Tie Tank
3.   Retro Pool Cover Up (or maybe I'd just wear it as a dress!)
4.   Statement Earrings
5.   Fur Platform Slides
6.   Ball Drop Earrings
7.   Floral Jumpsuit (yes, it's a jumpsuit!)
8.   Purple Floral Dress
9.   Palm Print Co-ord Set
10. Sheer Unicorn Top
11. Tassel/Pom Wicker Bag

Jodi's List 

I also can't get enough resort wear style right now! Give me all the palm and tropical print things. Of course, I also can never get enough gingham, but I'm also crushing on red, white and blue everything at the moment. A few of these items will be perfect for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Happy shopping!

2. Knit midi dress (already have this in black and want it in every color because it is SO comfy and easy to wear!)
6. Straw bag (straw bags are HUGE this season!)
10. Toucan romper (a toucan AND pinstripes? I'm in love!)


Friday, May 12, 2017

Welcome to the Jungle

Ruffles and tigers and palm print, oh my! This tiger print shirt checks all the boxes of all the things I'm currently loving. And add a ruffled mockneck neckline? That sealed the deal. We're going to go ahead and give you fair warning of our palm print obsession that's already beginning this summer. It's equal parts retro and trendy, which is exactly what we aim for. 

To complement that palm print, I brought in a green purse and green statement ring (one of my favs and it's on major sale right now!). Black flares and heels help balance out the airy pastels and a hot pink lip holds up against everything else that's going on, including my newly punched up pink hair, which I'm still navigating how to style with certain colors TBH.

What prints are you most excited about for summer? Let us know in the comments! 

Tiger blouse: H&M (blouse is sold out, but here's the bomber jacket and similar tops here and here)
Cropped Flares: H&M (similar
Shoes: Urban Outfitters (similar)
Purse: Target (similar)
Sunglasses: ZooShoo
Gold hair cuff
Ring: Stella and Dot (currently on sale for less than $16!)


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ask Mod Circus

Welcome to our very first edition of Ask Mod Circus! This segment was a reader request and we're so excited about solving any style challenges you want to throw at us. Please let us know in the comments what your style questions are, and we'll do our best to tackle them in our next Ask MC feature!

Are overalls still acceptable to wear as an adult in 2017?

Molly here. I don't know if I can speak for us both, but my answer is a resounding "Yes!" Comfort aside (gosh they are comfy!), they're a fun alternative to any type of pants, since they come in such a variety of cuts and colors. You can style them as quirky as you'd like, dress them up, or keep them casual and sporty. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I've styled a couple of different looks to prove my point!

For the look below, you can kick your weekend wear up a notch with black overalls by throwing them over a tee and pairing them with sneakers. I feel like this look is not too "out there" while still being a little fun and different.

For the next look, more structured overalls can be dressed them up a bit. Style a button down or nice blouse with a pair of wide leg overalls for a polished look you can take to the office. 

A photo from my Autumn Daze post, shown below, shows a more stylized boho look if you're looking to make a statement with your newfound love for overalls!

For more inspiration, be sure to check out Steffy, of Steffy's Pros and Cons who is basically the blogger queen of wearing overalls.

Now that you're hopefully ready to take the plunge, check out some of the overalls we're ogling below and get your own to try out!

What are good options for flat sandals that are work appropriate? 
Jodi here to tackle this question! I've worked in office settings that range from business to business casual, so I've styled my fair share of looks for the office. The type of sandal you can wear really depends on your office dress code, so I would strongly recommend checking that to see what is and isn't allowed before you start shopping.

I know most offices are okay with a variety of footwear, especially during the summer when it's just so darn hot out that you can't be bothered to put on cute heels. I personally like an espadrille or a wedge in the summer, but I wear flats quite a bit too! I've popped a few options below that I would be great for work!

What's the best long-lasting lipstick? 

This is such a great question, we're going to give it two answers! 

We really love Lipsense from our pal Rylee at Arkansassy Lips, which stays on all day and night and then some. It's a bit of an investment, but totally worth it if you want no hassle color. I'm actually wearing some right now because it's gotten us in the habit of wearing lip color at work without ever having to check a mirror. See our full review here and check out Jodi in the color Lexie Beary below. 

If you're testing out the lip color waters, or just wanting to wear some for a night out, we've found that it's just as much in the application as it is in the lipstick you use. See our tutorial of How to Make Your Lipstick last here. For this method, we think Revlon is a great drugstore brand to use, and colors without gloss stay much better. Molly's wearing the color Hot Coral below.

I'm having a baby at the beginning of September and going to a wedding at the end of September. What are some good styles that can camouflage the squishy stomach I will have? 

Lucky for you, silhouettes that aren't fitted and gigantic ruffles are both so in right now! There are lots of options to camouflage your midsection in all sorts of styles and price ranges (though we're convinced you'd look great no matter what, it's important to feel confident in what you're wearing).

A maxi dress is perfect for weddings, no matter the season! Also, a fit and flare dress is great for cinching in your waist and giving you a flattering shape. Swing and trapeze dresses are super comfy while still being appropriate for formal occasions. Check out options for what to wear below as well as past posts that feature wedding appropriate dresses!

That's a wrap on our first edition of Ask Mod Circus! Have a burning fashion question? Send them to us at modcircusblog@gmail.com or contact us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Belle of the Flare Ball

I go through phases where I become a little obsessed with certain things. Might be a certain type of wine, might be a TV show, might be a certain trend or two! Right now, I am obsessed with cropped flares, palm print and stripes! Just kidding, I'm always obsessed with stripes, but I digress. 

Let's talk about this top. This little gem is an almost exact replica of a MUCH more expensive designer version, for a fraction of the price. I don't know about you, but if I can get something for a fraction of the price, I am all in. Plus, the quality is superb. It's a nice heavy material that I can tell will hold up. 

On to the next obsession, cropped flares! The more flared the better in my opinion. I picked these up during the recent Shopbop sale and I can't stop wearing them! They go perfectly with t-shirts and sandals just as much as nice tops and wedges. I know I will be wearing these all summer and into the fall!

Last but certainly not least, I am SUPER obsessed with palm print right now. I might have a problem. I picked up these ah-mazing platforms during the Shopbop sale as well and I am so glad I did. They are my new favorite shoes. I have my eye on multiple palm print items, so stay tuned for those! How about you? What are you obsessed with right now? 

Outfit details: Top: SheIn, Cropped flares: Shopbop, Shoes: Shopbop, Bag: Target

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