The Very Mod Bod


For about six Christmases in a row, my childhood wish for Santa was that he bring me some socks that fit. My 5,000 pair just didn’t feel right on my feet. I’m serious. We have it on camera. If you talk to Chris or any of my family members you’ll find out that I’m known for my temper tantrums about clothes and the way they fit and look. I was really excited (and a little nervous) when The ModBod gave me some clothes to try out. Here’s how I wore them and my honest opinion of each garment:

the cowl girlCowel Girl 2

Cowel Girl 1

Outfit details:

  • sweater: thrifted
  • yellow necklace: Brazil
  • purple necklace: Right-Aid (ages ago)
  • cowl top: The ModBod
  • pants: Gap
  • boots: thrifted

The Kali Cowl is fitted in all the right places, loose in even better places and has a sweet pleated detail in the front. It comes in brown & plum; plum being one of the hottest colors of the season. Granted it’s a lighter plum, but it looks great with all those dark purple accents that are popping most everywhere. The fabric is a medium weight, soft jersey knit, perfectly warm for layering when chilly, or wearing plain on warm fall/winter days. Fits true to size. And I’ve worn this top three times this week.

blue + suede shoesBlue + Suede Shoes 1

blue + suede shoes 2

Outfit details:

  • amberlee jacket: The ModBod
  • perfect tee: The ModBod
  • tiered silver necklace: Forever 21
  • silver + turquoise necklace: handmade by my dad
  • denim: Pura*Mania, Brazil
  • suede boots: thrifted

The amberlee jacket has button details on the pockets, zippered front and has a slight hint of military styling. It’s a light-weight sweater jersey with plenty of stretch. I love the side orientation of the pockets and the fit in the sleeves. There’s no collar or hood which is perfect if you want to layer a scarf or two. Fits true to size.

The perfect tee has a very appropriate name. The half-sleeve length is my favorite part about the fit, capped sleeves are becoming a little dated (IMHO) and they’re not flattering on old arms. The fabric is very soft and very stretchy. The neckline is high, but it never bugged me. I’m not used to wearing very tight shirts these days so the uber fit took a little getting used to. If you’re not comfortable with form-fitted shirts, buy a size larger. It was tighter in the chest and armpits and tummy when I first put it on, but loosened up in the tummy area after a while. This shirt kept riding up, probably because the shirt was a little tight.

the violet femmethe violet femme 2

the violet femme

Outfit Details:

The katie jean skirt is that perfect shade of denim that easily coordinates with both dark and light colors. I thought from the photo on the site that it would be more of a greyish, brown denim, but it’s actually more blue than brown or grey. I’m a sucker for the inverted pleats (isn’t that what they’re called?). The only downside I see to this skirt is that it wrinkles quite quickly. It’s not nearly as bad as linen, but you definitely need to iron before wearing (as you can see from the photos above). I like skirts to hit at my natural waist or a little higher, so I’m wearing a size smaller. It still seems a to fit a little low on the waist.

banded groupieDance, Dance Cardigan

Dance Dance Cardigan 2

Outfit details:

  • necklaces: thrifted
  • collared shirt: thrifted
  • banded cardigan: The ModBod
  • red belt: thrifted
  • dark denim: Forever 21
  • red shoes: thrifted

The banded cardigan is my favorite item of the bunch. It comes in black, charcoal and brown in a silky-soft, lightweight jersey. My first impression was that my skin was happy to be touching something so wonderful. It has a deep V with buttons down the front. Have I told anyone that this is my FAVORITE color combo to wear? The cardigan fits true to size, so go up a size if you’re looking for a more draped look. The sleeve cuffs are snug and fit me well, but as anyone who has seen me heaving to lift my 18-month old daughter can attest, I have  super scrawny arms. I might be looking for a larger size if I had better-developed biceps.

Fit makes or breaks any garment, so I hope that my sizing notes are helpful. The cardigan and the skirt are my favorite ModBod pieces of the group. I’ve been impressed by the ModBod’s quality of fabric and construction, and I’ve found myself wearing at least one of these items every day this week.


Now that you’re thoroughly convinced that you need every single piece from The ModBod’s fall clothing line, use the promo code above for 15% off your online order! Hurry! Promo expires December 7th, 2009!

Full Disclosure: I was given free product in exchange for a review. These are my honest opinions and have not been influenced by the ModBod.
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    1. becca says:

      you. are. so. ridiculously adorable.

    2. Emily H. says:

      I second becca’s comment–you are so dang cute! ModBod needs to hire you on as one of their models. Love the time you put into the post and appreciate your honest opinions. Now if I could just find as many cute thrifted things as you do I’d be all set! ;)

    3. Cherisse says:

      you are so cute and your style is timeless:) If I could pull off those outfits like you! My favorite would be the cowl girl.

    4. Rachel says:

      Melissa, you look fabulous and I love your styling! They should put you on their website as their model. Well done.

    5. christina says:

      the clothes are great, but you are even greater!

      i love love love everything on you.

      p.s. i am a reader/fan and just started my etsy store. you are exactly the kind of person my stuff is made for. i hope you will give it a look. :)

    6. Jenn says:

      I love the clothes! I think I will set aside some of my x-mas budget to get myself some of these. I love them.

      I also love your backdrop – very creative :)

    7. […] job of showing different looks! Here is a sneak peek at one of her looks, but you will have to read her complete blog post to see all of […]

    8. Mmmmm….free clothes are so tasty. Wish I could get some!

      Nicely done. You have a knack for putting outfits together.

    9. Melissa says:

      I just tried to use the promo code – it should not expire until next week but it says it is expired already!

      • Melissa says:

        Oh dear! It should have been up and running yesterday. I’m sorry about that! I’m working on getting it fixed. Thanks for letting me know, Melissa!

    10. Jenn says:

      Of course I had to RT this! I wanted to title it “Why we all want to be Melissa Esplin.” But the Twitter Nazis said I wrote too much.

    11. love it! They have great items. I also love how so much of your clothing/accessories are thrifted :-)

    12. Jenna says:

      You are so cute! Love your style.

      You probably don’t remember me, but I used to work at Cougar Creations on the color side when you were doing design work for BYUSA. I’ve printed a lot of posters from you! It was from 2006-2007. I hope it’s not weird that I remember that. I guess that means you’re unforgettable!


    13. Alma says:

      You are basically the coolest girl I know.

    14. Jones says:

      These pics and outfits are so cute! I like Blue and Suede Shoes & The Banded Groupie the best! I haven’t visited your blog in awhile, I forgot how beautiful and inspiring it is. Such cute stuff!

    15. I love your photo shoot! Seriously, I’m a total ModBod convert. Their clothes are just so. well. made. And adorable. As are you.

    16. […] Payless (won from a Chronicle Books giveaway) necklace: DownEast $6 cardigan: the ModBod (free) belt: dunno dress: thrifted $6 shoes: thrifted […]

    17. I enjoy this information presented and it has presented myself a few sort of commitment to have success for some factor, so thank you.

    18. prs santana says:

      There’s been a lack of music in my day, so it’s time to go jam it out on the piano/ukulele/guitar. At a push I may even practise violin.

    19. sara says:

      it would be so cool to be a model

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