October 26, 2017 – Plaid Is Rad (OOTD #145)

(Alternative title: plaid is bad, depending on your opinion of plaid.)

I’m sitting here writing this blog in my Astronomy lecture.

And by that I mean, of course, I’m not paying attention at all to my Astronomy lecture. My poor Astronomy professor is horribly sick, and every five words he manages to wheeze out, he’s interrupted by a 30 second coughing fit. It makes listening to him rather difficult – he sounds like he’s dying. It doesn’t help that he wears a microphone, and every time he licks his lips or exhales a rattling breath, I have to hear it like he’s right next to my ear.

It all just makes you want to fall asleep, if only to escape the horrible, pained gasping. Or maybe write a blog.

The Meilin of today (Halloween, by the way – happy Halloween!) is rather jealous of the Meilin of October 26 – the Meilin of October 26 was wearing pants, and today’s Meilin is not. And now, as a result, today’s Meilin is cold.

It, of course, doesn’t help that I’m drinking an iced coffee from Starbucks – yes, I’m one of those people. Allow me to explain myself – I like to have something with a bit of sugar in it in the afternoon to wake me up. However, I don’t enjoy things that are both hot and sweet, and thus, I’m not a fan of Starbucks’ hot, dessert drinks. I’ll go for one every once in a while  – see my blog about pumpkin spice lattes – but in general, hot drinks are best bitter, and cold drinks are best sweet.

And so, even though it’s 30 degrees out outside, I don’t mind the cold drink. Or rather, it’s not that I don’t mind it, but I need it, and so I grimace through the negative effects. Is this what addiction is?

Anyway, happy Halloween! Even though the post that depicts my ~sPoOky~ Halloween outfit isn’t going to come for another few days, because that’s what happens when you have your blogs on a several day delay. I hope you have fun doing whatever festive things you’re doing tonight, or, if you’re like me and you did your festive stuff over the weekend and now that it’s Tuesday you have too much homework to do to bother doing any more festive stuff, I hope you have fun being non-festive!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Turtleneck: The LOFT (thrifted)

October 25, 2017 – Short Sleeve Sweater Weather (OOTD #144 )

Short sleeve sweater – isn’t that kind of counterintuitive?

See, I’m wearing one here, and I don’t really know why. My body was warm, and my arms were freezing. A short sleeve sweater would be too warm to wear in the summer, when you typically wear short sleeve shirts, and yet too cold to wear in the winter, when you typically wear sweaters. How does this design even make sense?

One of the cool things about fashion is that it’s fairly close to pure design. Unlike, say, cars, where the designers have to work with the engineers to make their ideas practical for use, fashion designers have fewer restraints to work within. Sure, in the mall, the designs sold are more likely to conform to trends in order to sell, but head to a local boutique, and you’ll get something more unique, like a short sleeved sweater. It’s not practical, it’s not trendy, but it’s some designer’s vision, and that’s what makes it special.

Special, or maybe just difficult to wear. Welp, at any rate, I own it now, and, as with all of my clothes, I see it as my duty to wear it.

Thankfully, it went nicely with a new pair of trousers I got over fall break. Less thankfully, the trousers were made form a fairly thin material, so my legs were cold, my chest was warm, and arms were cold. It’s alright though – I looked fashionable, despite freezing half of the surface area of my body off.

Who needs arms and legs anyway? If Chuck Close manages, then so can I.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: The LOFT (which is admittedly not a local boutique – but my point still stands)

Trousers: Forever21

October 24, 2017 – On Trend (OOTD #143)

Look and me – grey hair cut into a lob, oversized cardigan, crop top, boyfriend jeans…just make me Instagram famous already; my ability to follow trends deserves it.

If that painfully millennial statement didn’t make you run away cringing, then congrats! Here’s your medal.

(In all actuality, I don’t consider myself a millennial – I believe I fall more under the definition of Generation Z, as I have been using the Internet since a young age, and it has almost always been a large component of my life. That’s the key component that distinguishes millennials from Generation Z, and it kind of peeves me to be lumped in with millennials…but that’s a rant for another blog).

Anyway, I am, admittedly, quite a fan of the Fall 2017 trends. It was no secret that Summer 2017 didn’t particularly impress me – firstly, because summer fashion never impresses me because it tends to rely upon pieces that are worn alone, rather than intelligent layering that winter and fall fashion revolves around, and secondly, because I felt like it had nothing new to offer. Off-the-shoulder tops and high-waisted denim shorts have been in style since Summer 2016; Summer 2017 just seemed like a re-hash of old trends we had seen before (and seen very recently).

But oversized sweaters combined with oversized pants – now that’s something that’s a little more unique. And also, way more comfortable than tight skinny jeans! It’s all very 90s, which is a decade that’s been trending for like, four years, making me think it’s possibly on its way out, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying it. I feel like skinny jeans have consistently been in-style since I was about 11 (I don’t believe I owned any other fit of jeans from 6th grade to senior year), so it’s refreshing to see something new.

I was just recently in a Forever21, which, to me, is the epitome of trendy fashion, and for the first time in a while, I actually liked a good deal of the things I saw. Forever21 clothes are all pretty cheap, meaning they’re really good at churning out pieces as soon as the Instagram influencers and fashion magazines declare something to be in style. They also tend to lean trashy and juvenile, but I saw less of that there than usual.

I’m optimistic for this winter’s fashion scene. I like the 60s and 90s influence we’re currently seeing, as I’m always here for vintage fashion, and I think it’s quite possible I could go a few months without complaining about the state of the fashion industry. Because you know, I, a teenager with no connections to the fashion industry and no educational background in fashion, am the de facto authority on what should and shouldn’t be trendy.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Forever21

Top: H&M (thrifted)

Jeans: American Eagle

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Gonna Make It To The Game This Time

Considering the fact that I’m sitting in the ND stadium right now, I think I’m going to make it to the game against NC state today.

For context, last week, after rushing to get back to campus in time for the USC game, I missed the game regardless because I couldn’t find the email with my tickets. Instead of going to the game, I sat in my dorm and folded clothes – so in other words, it was kind of a bummer.

This time, I made sure to have my tickets downloaded the day before, so I could definitely be there for the game.

In exchange, I might have lost my camera (with the last several days of OOTD photos on it too!) because I have no idea where it is currently, but hey, at least one thing went right today. Little victories.

It’s currently 35ish degrees right now in South Bend, Indiana, which is, to me, way too cold for October. That’s like, December weather to my Southern brain. And furthermore, that’s like, much too chilly to be standing outside for hours in a stadium without a coat.

And with a wet butt to make matters worse! It was drizzling this morning, so all the stadium seats are damp. I’m actually fairly warm right now because I dressed in so many layers, but my butt is having a different experience from the rest of my body.

Anyway, kickoff’s in 10, so it’s time to devote my attention to field. Go Irish! Beat Wolfpack!

October 23, 2017 – Ketchup and Mustard (OOTD #142)

I mean, those are kind of the colors I’m wearing in these photos, right?

Alternatively, I guess you could see them as USC colors, but they’re losers, so why would you want to see them like that?

In my opinion, actually, ketchup and mustard are kind of losers too. I don’t know, I’ve just never liked them together? They’re fine by themselves – macaroni is excellent with a touch of yellow mustard, and french fries wouldn’t be complete without ketchup. But together, I just get flashbacks of those tiny McDonalds cheeseburgers I used to get as a snack before karate practice as a kid, that I always sort-of disliked because I didn’t know how to request no condiments.

These two pieces – the fuzzy mustard sweater and the carpetbag ketchup skirt – are actually brand new. I got them over fall break when my mother and I went shopping at the mall for new clothes that I absolutely don’t need. In fairness, I did get rid of quite a lot of clothes before I went off to school, but admittedly, I do have more clothes than I need.

I think I do a fairly good job of wearing them all though. I think of all of my clothes with the same kind of low key fondness that I do for all of my stuffed animals – I like to think they like being worn, and that it’s my duty as their owner to wear them so they don’t become sad.

That’s probably a little weird, but the way I see it, some people humanize their cars, their plants, or their pets – I humanize my clothes. And in return, my clothes make me look good. What do plants do? Give you oxygen to breathe? Pfft.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Forever21

October 21, 2017 – You Had a Bad Day (OOTD #141)

You’re taking one down…The Meilin of these photos did not have a fun day.

You might not have guessed that from the way I’m smiling here – I look rather cheery, don’t I? That’s because I was about to go eat a Five Guys burger and fries, and I love that restaurant. Saturday was also the last day of my cheat week, so that burger was going to be the last ones I’d have for a while.

I was also happy because I had just found a really cute place to take my OOTD photos, despite being far from home and not knowing where I was. Finding a good background for your OOTD photos is kind of a tossup when you’re on the road – sometimes, you can find some really nice restaurants with beautiful flowers and colorful exteriors, and sometimes, there’s nothing but the dirty brick wall of a Taco Bell. this time, I was lucky, as there was a spa with these really pretty lion decorations just around the corner from the restaurant we were stopping at.

Unfortunately, my day went rather downhill after my burger and fries. In these photos, I  was in the process of heading back to school, and I was about a third of the way there. This first third simply involved sitting in a car, writing my Saturday Musings + Coffee post, and dreaming about how exciting the ND vs USC was going to be when I finally arrived on campus. More on that travesty later.

The last two thirds of the journey involved sitting on the Greyhound bus and waiting for it to pull into the South Bend airport. If you’ve never taken a Greyhound, let me tell you – they are uncomfortable, some of the people are sketchy, and it takes forever to get where you want to go. But they’re cheap and they get you there, and that’s ultimately what matters.

Finally, after having sat in my parents’ car, the bus, and an Uber for a combined length of about eight hours of travel, I finally made it back to campus. I lugged my two giant suitcases back to my dorm, touched up my makeup, and prepared to head out to the stadium.

BUT ALAS, it was not meant to be, for, as I was just about to go out the door, I realized that I couldn’t find the email with my tickets. I searched my Gmail, my computer’s email app, and my phone’s email app using every combination of the words “football” and “tickets” possible, but to no avail. After about 30 minutes of searching and bitterly listening to the cheers of the people who were actually there in the stadium, I gave up, and decided to spend my evening putting away the clothes I had packed.

Thankfully, a few days later, I was able to get my remaining tickets re-emailed to me from the ND tickets office, so I’ll still be able to go to the rest of the games this season. Still, I’m kinda bitter I missed this particular game – apparently it was a really good one.

Ah well, next time.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Forever21

Sweater: American Eagle

Boots: LL Bean

Jeans: Hollister

October 20, 2017 – Last Day of Fall Break (OOTD #140)

Fall break went too fast.

I guess all breaks go quickly, but this one seems to be particularly speedy. I guess it was because I was so busy – carving pumpkins, going shopping, catching up with my friends, and studying for some exams that are due after break is over. It was a good busy though, except for the maybe the studying part. That was significantly less fun.

I spent most of Friday lazing around in my pajamas – in fact, I spend most of any day over fall break when I didn’t have any reason not go outside in my pajamas. I also didn’t once exercise, and I took every opportunity I was offered to eat junk food. Ramen, pasta, french fries – you name it, and I probably felt no need to deny myself it.

I like to think I’m usually a pretty healthy person, so I decided to take a few cheat days during the holiday. Or…okay, it was more like a cheat week. It was probably bad, and I probably should’ve have done it with such vigor but I had fun.

So what was so special about Friday that I decided to put real clothes on?

A Goodwill trip, that’s what! I love Goodwill because I love hunting for thrift clothes, so I never pass up on an opportunity to go out to one. My mother hates Goodwill – she thinks it’s dirty and disorganized – but my father and I love it. Or at least, I love it. I think my dad just loves me.

I didn’t find anything too exciting there – I was hoping for something retro and 90s trendy, like what they sell at  Urban Outfitters for $100, but n such luck. I did find a cute tank top, though, which was pretty cool.

Afterwards, my parents and I went out to dinner at a barbecue place, and I cried a little on the inside because I still had to finish packing all of my crap to return to Notre Dame. With the exception of that packing bit, it was a very nice last day of fall break in Lexington.

Poncho: Altar’d State

Boots: Target

October 19, 2017 – My Inner Emo Kid (OOTD #139)

How many times have I described myself as something of an emo kid, here on this blog?

Plenty, it seems. And the thing is, I’m not even a proper emo kid – not at least, in the sense that emo kids existed in the early 2000s. I don’t even know if the “emo” subculture exists anymore; I’m pretty sure they were replaced by hipsters as the predominant “alternative” crowd sometime around 2012-2013.

When emo kids were a thing – say, back in 2006 – I was just eight years old, and Hot Topic was the scariest store in the mall to me. It played loud music, had scary masks in the window at Halloween, and had dim lighting that made the entrance look more like the entrance to a dungeon than a clothing store.

It wasn’t until I was about 14 that I actually started listening to some of the music that they played in Hot Topic and experimenting with an “edgier” dark style. It started with Fall Out Boy and some black sweaters, eventually evolving into My Chemical Romance and leather jackets, and finally, Bring Me the Horizon and Doc Martens. I never had a full-on emo phase – no fringe haircuts, studded belts, or rawr XD text messages (at least, when I was 14…I probably experimented with a “rawr XD” or an “lol so randomz” message when I was 11)  – but I did like to dress in all-black every once in a while.

The decision to dye my hair blonde when I was 17 actually came, in some part, from my love of My Chemical Romance music. I wanted to look like Gerard Way circa the Black Parade era (and also Elsa). I instead wound up with an orangey honey color – I didn’t wind up with truly white hair until about a year later, and even then, it was impossible to maintain, haha.

So impossible, that I decided the other day to chop it off. The ends were just looking too scraggly and awful – just have a look at my last blog with blonde hair if you don’t believe me. And since I was chopping it off, I figured I would go for another change while I was at it – dying it grey.

The dye I used, if you’re curious, is the Ion Semi-Permanent color in Titanium. It was quite easy, actually: all I did was whip up a 1:1 mixture of conditioner and dye and then paint it on my already bleached hair. I didn’t add any more bleach to my hair than what was already there, since I didn’t want to damage it further, so I’ve still got my black roots.

So, with my newly grey hair and my outfit that made me look like a Hot Topic model (well, a short Hot Topic model), I went out to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant with my family to celebrate my birthday. In actuality, my birthday’s not until November 1, but since I’m going to be back at school by then, my family wanted to celebrate it early.

I’m not sure exactly what my grandmother thought about going to lunch with her grey-haired, Doc Martens-wearing teenage granddaughter, but I don’t think she minded too much. And if she did, well it’s because *whiny voice* she just doesn’t understand, right?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Forever21

Jacket: Forever21

Boots: Doc Marten

Also, if you’re curious about how my father’s and my pumpkin display from this year turned out, here it is!

October 17, 2017 – The Most October Day (OOTD #138)

This is it folks: the day I finally got to do all of the stereotypical American fall things I’ve been prattling on about for the last month.

Last year, my senior year of high school, my father and I went out to a local orchard for an afternoon to pick pumpkins. As it turned out, we didn’t pick any pumpkins – by the time we went, I guess it was too late into the season and all of the good pumpkins were gone – but we did have a lot of fun wandering around, picking apples, and going through the corn maze.

Thus, being a sap for anything nostalgic, even if it’s only from a year ago, I requested that, when I went back for fall break, my father and I go back to the same orchard.

It was a rather different experience this time, though – we went on a Tuesday, when all of the Fayette County schools were still in session and all of the kids were stuck in classrooms doing work (heh, suckers), whereas last year, we went on a weekend, when it was super busy and crawling with children. Thus, it was pretty nice to be there when it was fairly quiet – I got to climb up on the jungle gym since there were no kids there, which was pretty sweet, and there was no line for the hay ride out to the pumpkin patch or the corn maze, which was also pretty sweet.

The best part of any farm adventure, in my opinion, is eating a caramel apple. I rambled on about my love of caramel apples for a while in a blog from a few days ago, so I’m not going to do that here, but allow me to say: a caramel apple from a farm is the best caramel apple you can get.

Also, if you don’t eat your caramel apples with nuts, I don’t know what you are (unless you have a peanut allergy – then it’s acceptable).

I don’t necessarily know how Kentucky farms compare to farms in Idaho or New York (or really anywhere else in the US, or the world), but if I had to make an overarching generalization based on little evidence and/or experience, I would have to say that Kentucky farms are the best in the world. There are hills, for one, which I know you don’t get in some parts of the Midwest (South Bend Indiana, I’m looking at you), and chances are, if you’re heading out to a  farm in Kentucky in October, it’s probably still warm enough to go without a jacket.

I must say though – latitudes further North do have better leaf colors in October. I do suppose that would be one gripe about my farm adventure, that there wasn’t much color in the trees other than green and a touch of brown. It’s really odd, coming back to Kentucky after having been in Indiana, as the weather is so different, despite only being one state over.

This year, my father and I did manage to find some decently-sized, attractive, and carvable pumpkins at the orchard, so I will be sure to show you guys what our Jack-o-Lanterns turn out looking like as soon as we get them done. We also found some apples, a bale of hay, an abandoned flag football belt, and the joy of…something, I don’t know, I was trying to come up with a charming and insightful, but I’m not good at that. All I can do is point to my own inadequacies and hope people laugh.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Vest: Altar’d State

Sweater: Target

Shirt: American Eagle

Boots: LL Bean

October 16, 2017 – In Which Meilin Forgets When The Sun Goes Down (OOTD #137)

I’ve discussed this so many times already, but allow me to say it again, in case you missed it: lighting really makes the photo.

Over the summer, I was in the habit of taking my fashion photos after dinner, around 7:00pm or so. At 7, the sun was just beginning to set, making for some lovely golden natural light for my photos.

And now that I’m in school, I’m in the habit of taking my fashion photos around lunchtime, maybe noon or so, due to the convenience of asking the friends I eat lunch with “hey, would you mind to take pictures of my outfit real quick before you head to class?” At noon, I don’t quite get  the beautiful fading light, but, since it’s usually overcast in South Bend, I don’t have to worry about weird shadows.

So over fall break, I was back home again, and, since I don’t think anything through, I just figured I could do my pictures around 7:00pm after dinner, just as I was doing in the summer, and get the same golden light effect.

Not so much.

To my surprise, when I looked out the window as my family was beginning to clean up from dinner, the sun was completely down. I had forgotten that it’s late October, and by late October in Kentucky, it’s getting fairly dark fairly fast.

Flash photography to the rescue.

Of sorts. Flash photography didn’t quite solve my problems, and my photos from Monday suffered from having to be taken in the dark. I got some taken outside with the flash on, some taken by a garage light, and some taken indoors. It’s not the best work I’ve ever done, but hey, tomorrow’s another day. At least I got this nice selfie with my mom.

Ah well. I’ll call it “artsy” and we can pretend this is all intentional, right?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Unknown (thrifted)

Scarf: Altar’d State