When I asked my sister-in-law which book was her favorite, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen was the answer. I totally get why this period romantic fiction captured her attention and her heart. Gruen did a fantastic job of evoking the mysterious glamour of the 1930s as well as the bleakness and desperation of life during the Great Depression. It's always hugely disorienting to me that these images are from the same year (1936) and same country (USA):
I wanted an outfit that I could see Marlena wearing in her downtime but that would also work in a more modern context. Luckily the bohemian glam aesthetic that I envision for an off-duty circus lady (who happens to be married to one of the big shots and is therefore just a little bit privileged and pampered) works very well for a festival worthy outfit. Or, if you're me, standard weekday wear. Some Big Top-esque stripes work well on these cotton trousers. I paired them with a "Marlena" camisole and a decadent kimono-style jacket (trés '30s chic) and "Queenie" flats. Marlena for protagonist Jacob's love interest and Queenie for Kinko/Walter's Jack Russell. I added an elephant cross-body bag because elephants are kind of an important thing in this book, in case the title didn't clue you in at all ;) Those eye catching horse hoop earrings are a nod to Marlena's talent/career and the "Ginger" ring is for poor Camel and all the tainted Jamaican Ginger he drank that left him helpless. The feather necklace is mostly because I like feathers and I can't picture a circus horse and stunt rider without copious amounts of feathers. Finally I added a bandeau style headband in Marlena's signature red satin.