If you have been into a MODE store lately, you have noticed a look that our customers have fallen in love with as much as we have! Two words, Dip Dye! Now don’t be confusing this amazing fashion statement with the tie dye look of the past. With a variety of cuts and patterns, this look combines a fun and feminine style.
A few fun ways to wear the look is to go casual and combine the top with a fabulous pair of jeans or make a white and colored dip dye pop with a great pair of white jeans! Even our simple tee or tanks that have a dip dye look to them are perfect to add some variety to a casual look.
Finding a work-life balance, recharging the battery, relaxing, enjoying down time. Four phrases that busy women often hear, covet with a passion and yet find hard to do. From one busy woman to another – sometimes you just have to trade those jeans for yoga pants!
Coffee and jeans are my life. Jeans by career, coffee by design (and let’s be honest, to help me better my career!!!). At the end of a long day, on a weekend or on vacation, the last thing I want to pull on is another pair of jeans. Don’t misunderstand – I have a PASSION for a good pair of jeans. Nothing looks so classy and put together as a well fitting pair of jeans with a white tee and a stack of bracelets to add a little sparkle! In all honesty, I believe that a good fitting pair of jeans is sexier than a little black dress. However, jeans to me signify “work mode” (pardon the pun)! I have found that in order to create a work life balance that works for me, I have to literally compartmentalize my day by what I allow to consume my thoughts and this starts with what I wear.
My husband, Jim and I started our concept when our children were young and because I have boundless energy (from the coffee, mind you) I am often asked how I create a work life balance. How do I unplug? How do I separate my work life from my everyday? Choosing to slow down when away from the office, spending as much time outdoors in fresh air as possible (front porch or long walk …either will do), reading to silence my thoughts and scheduling intentional and consistent time with family are all tools that ensure that I continue to prioritize what matters in life.
Everyone’s work life balance looks different. It is not important what it looks like to you, but rather that you strive for it as you see fit. As with everything we do, small choices create habits and habits comprise our patterns of life. If something as small as choosing yoga pants at the end of the day can create a habit of self reflection then I will choose those yoga pants every day as I work to be a better me and Get My MODE On!
Summer is still here and we can confirm that that by the high temps we are seeing across the country! While some minds are already wandering to the fall clothing options, we have a fun fashion tip that will keep you feeling the summer vibes regardless of what your closet or favorite fashion icons are saying.
One of the easier tips that can be changed depending on events, your mood or anytime you want is nail color. The perfect hue can fancy up even the most ordinary look. Some of the colors we love this summer are navy, grey/silver, coral, rose and the ever classics of cherry red and bubblegum pink. Obviously some of these are easy to transition into fall (don’t worry we won’t call the fashion police on you) as the darker hues and the more neutral tones are often just as beautiful with the fall clothing colors. We are also in major love with the options for the at home manicures lately. Gel polish sets are a great investment as many times they include a polish/base with a good gel top coat. No need to purchase that pricy get light either, the sets often offer the same benefits as the expensive packs. Updating that manicure for the next season or color choice is easy as pie!
Now go out and enjoy your day, pick up some fun polish and Get Your MODE On!
We are taking a different angle on our Fashion Tip Friday today as we think it is one of the most important tips for all women. While we highly believe in good style, great looks and easy ways to look and feel your best, we have an even bigger idea. Our tip this week: Be Kind and Smile. As women today we have immense pressure to look great, be healthy and have it all together. The pressures of social media, perfect filters and criticism (even from those we don’t even know) on our every move can add such pressure to women who are simply being themselves. We hear stories of body shaming, mom shaming, or over the top criticism of women who are putting themselves out there as leaders, story changers or advocates. How about we, as women, play nice, act nice, smile and give other women grace and not criticism. Building up other women and approaching your day with kindness and a smile is free, it is the best accessory, the perfect outfit and the answer to many questions on rock any look.
Let’s make change MODE girls and add some kindness and a smile to the world today!
Ciara Stockeland was recently featured on the International Franchise Associate blog regarding opportunities for women in franchising. As Stockeland writes “while the franchising industry is chock-full of viable career opportunities for both genders, it can be a particularly smart decision for women entrepreneurs.” See the full article here: http://www.franchise.org/how-to-increase-franchise-opportunities-for-women
MODE Founder and COO, Ciara Stockeland recently provided her thoughts on increasing opportunities for women in the franchise industry. As Stockeland notes, “while the franchising industry is chock-full of viable career opportunities for both genders, it can be a particularly smart decision for women entrepreneurs.” To read the full feature, click on the link below!
When I pulled off my cute striped blazer on Thursday in order to easily lift and stack 11, 25 lb boxes to drag down to the UPS hub, something suddenly hit me. You see, just like I was changing outfits to easily transition from the role media interview to delivery woman, so an entrepreneur has to be able to maneuver seamlessly from role to role as they work to build their company. In fact I had just talked to the editor of Fargo INC! about that very thing just an hour earlier. In our time together I told him that entrepreneurs that succeed are those that can adjust the sails and change direction depending on the wind. I learned this early on in my small business journey and to be quite frank, the same message applies to me today. Often this redirection can look like a significant concept change. A great example of this is when we launched the reinvented “MODE concept” in 2008 and chose to move forward from the Mama Mia maternity concept which had first positioned us in retail. Similarly, it can look like minor adjustments throughout the day as you observe the needs to the business and the team.
Take last Thursday for example, I started my day with a commute to Fargo for a press interview. Concept conversation, reminiscing about the company’s history and culture talk were all part of that first hour of the day. When the reporter and photographer left, there was hands on work that needed to be done. Throwing aside the blazer and multiple accessories (all of which looked fabulous for the camera but would hinder my mobility), I boxed up, labeled and delivered boxes so that my team wouldn’t have to stop their day to solve a problem that I had identified and could easily do. Fast forward to putting my blazer back on for meetings, conversations, a store visit; blazer back off for an in store team meeting and office hour and then back on one last time for another commute, landing me at an evening event celebrating women.
Just as the ability to be agile and adapt to the needs around us on a daily basis and big picture is essential for a forward trajectory in any company, so the ability to stay on task and use time efficiently is key. Although a master of none, I have observed that all great entrepreneurial leaders find these pieces to be key to their success. So, with that knowledge, I press ahead always ready to adjust my sails as needed whenever the wind drives our ship, called Small Business on a different, unknown or new course.
Preparing yourself for shopping seems a bit strange, doesn’t it? Well, we have started to notice that so many of our customers come in with the wrong “gear” to get gauge a new look. We totally understand the spur of the moment shopping adventure, but we gathered a few tips for you if you are on a mission for the perfect look.
Shopping for jeans:
Be sure you wear (or bring) the shoes you would normally wear with your pants. This can be helpful for both the look of the style you are trying on, but also for the length. At MODE we offer alterations, but often women don’t have the right shoes with so they estimate. Save yourself the guessing and toss a pair of shoes in your car for days you are pants shopping.
Wear the right underwear! For real – we aren’t trying to be funny! The ones we wear under our workout gear may not be even close to what we would wear on a normal day.
Shopping for tops:
The most important tip is wear a bra if you normally wear a bra. If you are like many of our MODE girls, you love a workout top with a built in bra for casual days and working out. Not having a normal bra can really add to the need to improvise on the look.
Wear the right bra! Again, the workout look is a-ok with us, but we know it can be tough to imagine that great tank dressed up when all you can see is the bright orange sports bra under it at the moment.
Have a blazer you need to match, or a top you need a cardigan for? Bring it with – this will help you in deciding and you can try them together. Let our team know what you are looking for and show us the item, we can help you pull together a fun look to match the item you currently own.
Shopping in general:
Ditch the suitcase of a purse when you are ready to shop. Do yourself a favor and get a small bag that you can throw over your shoulder or wear without discomfort. Fanny pack it up if you need, but don’t add bulk to your day!
We love accessories at MODE, but another favor you will thank us for – leave them at home when you shop. Taking off scarves, necklaces, bracelets, watches, etc. can get annoying. Go simple, add some fun earrings and a simple necklace that can be worn easily. Less worry about forgetting those items in the room too!
We’ve all been there – trying to decide if it is a casual, comfy or classy outdoor event. It is a struggle when the weather is hot, the sun is shining and the humidity is creeping in. We all want to look good, but we know the term “BBQ” means many things to many people. We came up with some tips for you to dress the part regardless of the weather and event type.
Tip #1 – the invite is simply “BBQ”, but you aren’t sure of the attire – or will there be activities? How about this, pair a nice pair of shorts (denim or cotton) with a fun and flattering tank. A nice loose tank like the chiffon tanks we have at MODE pair well as they can be easily dressed up or down. We then suggest a long, yet simple necklace or a fun pair of earrings. These can be easily taken off and put in a purse if the environment is a bit more low key. Add a simple pair of nicer flip flops or a strappy sandal and call it good!
Tip #2 – the invite is a “BBQ” with a pool party, but you know it isn’t the type of place where you can show up with your floatie and snorkel. We suggest wearing a fun sun dress or a strapless maxi along with some strappy sandals. A bonus of this is that you can put you swim top on as a strapless bra under the dress and easily change into your suit if a dive in the pool becomes an option.
Tip #3 – a BBQ that turns into a later evening with a possible bonfire. Hot days don’t always mean hot nights. Some of our MODE girls live in climates that get downright cool at night. For this type of event, pair your daytime attire (be it a dress, shorts and a tank or a pair of capris) with a nice scarf. Sometimes a chill can be avoided by a little coverage on the neck area. A light cardigan is also a great go to as it can easily be brought in a bag or purse.
We don’t get many months of summer, so be sure you are enjoying them to the fullest and always feeling great!
Ironing can be a real drag, can we just be honest about that. When I first learned to iron, my mom gave me the task of starting with cloth hankies, you know the ones used in lieu of a tissue? Yep, family tradition to still have those! I felt so cool, testing out my skills and thought to myself, “I can’t wait until my adult years when I can wake up to iron before work!” Let’s flash forward to the year 2016 – I now dread the task…like can’t even stand seeing an iron! That all being said, as an adult I know there are reasons and seasons for the iron and much to my dismay, I get wrinkles in my wardrobe. If you are like me, you may end up LOVING some of the tips to eliminate wrinkles without the iron.
Spray clothes with a mist of water (buy yourself a fun spray bottle if you must), gently smooth them out and let them hang. This won’t work if you are trying it out a minute before you leave the house. Give it some time to dry!
Lightly wet clothes (with that fun spray bottle you just bought!) and put them in the dryer on low. Be sure that you are doing this right before you wear them and you are not letting them sit to get wrinkled yet again in the dryer.
Use your flat iron for a double purpose. Be sure your flat iron is clear of any hair products and that your clothing can take the high heat. This is a good option in a bind and you won’t have to haul out the irons evil twin, the ironing board!
There you have it! Don’t get angry with those wrinkles, get even and get on your way to a great day!
Until recently, I thought it was my weird obsession, I was a sunglasses hoarder! In cleaning out my stash of shades, I found out that many women have a collection of sunglasses similar to their shoe collection. It’s true, there can be a shoe and a shade for every occasion, let’s examine the options!
The formal occasion sunglasses: these often include the types of frames that have clean and simple lines. Less attention on the frames and more on the simplicity of it all. Soft corners, casual colors and a matching color scheme with your outfit.
The casual sunglasses: while many expensive brands are designing the plastic looking shades, these are often more for a casual look. Given the texture and sometimes the color and style of the look, they go well with jeans, shorts or even a day at the beach in your favorite swimsuit.
The concert and party shades: These are the fun pop of color, eclectic styles and trendier looking frames. Often big brands will slap their logo on a great pair of shades and use them as giveaways. If you are one to lose your shades at big events, seek these businesses out before you hit up the next big concert or festival. The fun pops of color are also so great to go with any fun summer look and are the perfect accessory!
One final tip as it is definitely wedding season. We recommend not wearing sunglasses at extremely formal events, unless it is after the event. Even the fanciest of shades do not always go well with that black tie affair!
Ladies, with sunglasses priced at $14.99 everyday at MODE, you can definitely find a look to compliment any outfit!
On Thursday, June 16 MODE Founder and COO, Ciara Stockeland testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship regarding the challenges of the National Labor Relations Board’s new joint employer standard and it’s impact on franchising. Check out the full story here!
Distressing denim can often be puzzling to women as we cannot fathom ruining a perfectly good pair of our favorite fashion item. Many women have received the comment “you PAID for those jeans with holes?” but ladies, we know that too often, THE most comfortable pair of jeans can have holes, are slightly thinning and are well worn. Here is a great tip to distressing your very own pair of denim, so you can avoid paying the high prices that can often come from a regular pair of distressed denim.
First we suggest finding a great pair of jeans in your closet that you don’t wear a lot as they have “seen better days” but you can’t give up. We know you have those in your closet and instead of ditching them, distress them and give them a whole new look. If you took our advice from earlier FTF posts and donated or consigned your jeans, hit up a local thrift shop for a cheap pair that can be easily re-purposed.
Put the jeans on and make marks on your jeans where you are wanting a good area of distress with chalk or a pencil. This works well so you don’t end up with awkward placing in areas you are not wanting the distressing.
Use sandpaper on the marks that you created for some extra distressing. If you want to keep this to a minimum, feel free to skip this step.
Cut small slits on areas that have been marked. These slits will need to be 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from each other so you can easily pull out the synthetic thread (indigo thread) from the denim.
Grab your trusty tweezer and pull the synthetic threads from the area. Don’t stress about getting them all out as some will naturally fall into place when washed.
Once you have all areas done that you wish to (don’t forget the pocket areas – both front and back!) toss those jeans into the wash on a cold cycle so the distressing can be enhanced with a little natural scrub in the tub!
Throw the jeans in the dryer or air dry as you wish.
Rock your “new” pair of jeans like the beauty that you are!
Ciara Stockeland participated in a US House of Representatives Small Business Roundtable, held by Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) to discuss the New Overtime Rule and its impact on small business.
Additionally, Stockeland and Courtney Barstad Logan took part in the Main Street Ambassador program on Capitol Hill where they met with legislators regarding small business.
MODE was recognized at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit as a Regional Finalist for the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award. MODE team members attended the summit and were able to network and learn from some of the top business names in the country including Marcus Lemonis and Kat Cole.
One of our favorite add-on accessory to any outfit at MODE is a camisole, or most often referred to as the “cami” in most stores. We are often surprised at how many women have never tried or don’t normally wear camis, so we wanted to share our love of the cami with you today. Here is our list of why you should become best buddies with this great accessory!
When you get a good one, it “hides the bumps and lumps” as one customer recently told us. We couldn’t agree more, the long, stretchy material is often what can separate the shirt from clinging to the lumps and bumps that are caused by our pants, undergarments and what God gave us!
Adding a light and RIGHT layer to those great sheer tops and tanks this season will take a look from slightly risky to wear anywhere! The light part will not leave you overheated with gobs of layers, but will give just what you need to wear any top comfortably!
Square up that V-neck like a pro! We love the V-neck as it often shows up in many summer dresses, the ever popular rompers and even some great tops, but sometimes the V-neck shows off a bit too much of the girls up top. By simply adding a cami to any top, you are squaring off the look and eliminating your worry of showing off too much skin.
It can be worn as a top, not just a layering piece! The cami comes in a variety of colors and can be perfectly tucked into a great pair of jeans and worn solo. We also love the look under a blazer or loose fitting cardigan!
MODE stores offer two amazing camis, one priced at $4.99 and our one size fits all stretch cami at $14.99. If you have yet to dive into the world of the camisole, try one out next time you are shopping, we know you will fall in love with them just like we have!