January 27, 2018 – All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go (OOTD #212)

You think I’m kidding? No – I really did get all dressed up here just so I could take some pictures and then sit in my dorm room the rest of the day trying to convince myself to do homework.

It started off with a very productive morning – I got up at 9:30 (which is fairly early for me for a weekend), then, I worked out and took a much needed shower. At that point, 11:00, I proceeded to spend an obscenely long amount of time on my makeup simply because I could and I was feeling it that morning. Most days, I roll out of bed ten minutes before class is due to start so I barely have time to draw on some eyebrows before I rush out the door, so getting to spend some quality time on my makeup is a luxury.

After making myself look pretty for nothing and no one in particular, I tackled the challenge of trying to find some good lighting and a decent background in my dorm room to snap some selfies. The end result, which I’m pretty proud of, bar the bunk bed background, you can see below.

By afternoon, though, all of my motivational energy from the morning was drained, and I was left with nothing but a dull sense that I probably ought to get some work done and the even stronger sense that I had no desire to get work done whatsoever. As I result, I wound up sitting around in my room for most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing.

In fairness, I did have a rather eventful evening the day prior. My friend, Michaela, and I decided to go to the Max Schneider concert on campus, which, while not as exciting to me as the Wombats, who were there the week before, was still pretty fun.

I wasn’t really familiar with any of his work before we went, but I wound up really liking some of his stuff, for pop music at least. He was an excellent entertainer with a ton of energy, and you couldn’t help but feel his enthusiasm for what he was doing, which was really neat to see. Plus, we arrived early enough that we were able to stand right up next to the barricade, which was an experience I’d never had at a concert before – but one that I’d love to have again, especially if it was for a band that I was really into.

All that excitement though completely wore me out, and now I’ve caught a cold. Since starting university, I swear I’ve gotten sick more times within just two semester than I ever was during the entirety of high school. I also just ran out of NyQuil, so I’ve been trying to cure the virus with cough drops and allergy nose squirts alone. I don’t think it’s working.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! 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: Missguided

Watch This: Wood Watch Review + Giveaway with JORD

Stay tuned for details on how to enter a contest for a $100 gift code for a wooden watch from JORD! 

Welp, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and as usual, I have no one in particular to share it with.

In years past, I’ve usually gone out to eat on a “date” with my dad. This year, as much as I would love to have our usual date night, I’ll be away at school on Valentine’s Day, and we likely won’t be able to do anything together except perhaps talk on the phone. And that’s too bad, but c’est la vie – colleges and distances will do that to people.

Of course, there’s that radical and ridiculous concept that I could actually find a significant other within the next two weeks to go on a romantic date with on Valentine’s Day, but we all know that’s not particularly likely. Besides, I’m pretty content as I am, and I’m not really in the market at the moment. Seeing as Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year (no really – check a calendar) it seems like my only Valentine this year at Notre Dame is going to be Jesus.

Anyway, as I will likely be eating Valentine’s dinner at my university’s ever-glamorous dining hall on a date with myself, I figured I would at the very least treat myself to a gift – a new watch. That’s where JORD comes in.

The folks at JORD were kind enough to send me this beautiful Olive and Acacia wooden watch to try out, and after wearing it for a few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would make for a lovely Valentine’s Day gift – for your significant other, or, if you’re gloriously single like me, for yourself.

My favorite part about my new wooden watch is probably the elegant mechanical movement. The uninhibited view behind the beautiful grained acacia and velvet olive wood case shows a mechanical movement and steel grey ring, effortlessly pairing modernism with the simplicity of natural materials. It’s a dazzling way to show someone you love just how deep that love runs.

And now, for the GIVEAWAY DETAILS! 

JORD Wood Watch Giveaway: How to Enter

You can check out JORD’s women’s and men’s shops over here. If it looks like something you might be interested in getting as a Valentine’s Day gift (or honestly, just for any time of the year) for yourself or for someone else, JORD and I have partnered to create a giveaway for you guys! Follow this link, enter your information, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift code courtesy of JORD! Giveaway ends February 25, 2018.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Disclaimer: This post includes products that were sent complimentary to review and affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Luxury Wooden Watch

January 26, 2018 – Sweaters Forever (OOTD #211)

You know, I think two of my all-time favorite sweaters are Karen Scott ones that I bought at a Goodwill.

This purple one, if it weren’t obvious enough by that lead-in sentence, is one of them. The other one is this oversized navy turtleneck. Neither sweater fits me in the way they were designed to – in fact, I think they’re both mediums, when I am definitely an extra-small – but it’s their oversized-ness that makes me love them so much.

I really don’t know much about the brand, and I’ve never bought anything from this designer new or full-priced, but for used and significantly-discounted, I’m a big fan. They’re just the right kind of oversized-but-not-frumpy, well-made-but-not-overpriced, vintage-but-not-dated that I’m into.

I haven’t been thrifting for a while (read: I haven’t been thrifting since like, two weeks ago when I left home for school) because there’s not really anything close enough to campus to warrant bundling myself up and walking for forty-five minutes to. Granted, we have had some really beautiful weather these last few days in South Bend, and I haven’t had quite as much homework as usual, but it’s not been a huge priority for me. It’s not exactly like I need any more clothing – I mostly just love the hunt for a good bargain.

I’ve always been so amused by the cliché of a rich girl you might see in some preteen drama who turns her nose up at discounted or secondhand items – it seems to me that even if you can afford to buy everything brand new and full price, you’d want to take advantage of a sale if you see one. Maybe that’s my “broke college student” status talking, but I’m pretty sure saving money is in vogue regardless of your economic status.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! 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: thrift

Dress: Kohl’s

January 25, 2018 – Shoe In (OOTD #210)

These poor shoes get so much wear.

I don’t know if you pay attention to the shoes I wear in my OOTD posts – and it’s totally fine if no one does – but I basically wear this same pair of black Clarks boots every day.

I’m serious. Go back to any given outfit post on this blog – take this one or this one for example – and you’ll notice that the same black pair of shoes are featured. And even before this pair of black shoes, I had another pair of very similar black shoes that I wore until they fell apart – and I mean like literally fell apart the sole had fallen off when I finally threw them away.

I’m just not really a shoes person, I don’t know. Is that ironic? Like, I easily fall into the stereotype of a fashion-obsessed teenage girl (which I would argue should not at all carry the negative connotations that it does), but I don’t fall into the shoes-obsessed teenage girl subcategory.

These shoes just go with everything so easily – there are few outfits they don’t go with. They can lean classy or grunge-y or preppy or hipster depending on the context I put them in. In this outfit, they lean more classic, with a touch of hipster thrown in there with that strange Hawaiian-esque mobster shirt.

Speaking of this outfit, I literally put it together in five minutes while I was running out the door already five minute lates to my first class on Thursday. Yep, I’ve already made it to that state in the year. It’s barely been two weeks in, and I’m sleep-deprived enough to start considering skipping classes. I won’t, but like…I definitely want to, especially some of those seemingly pointless ones where the professor posts the PowerPoints online after class.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! 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

Shirt: Thrifted

Jeans: Abercrombie

Saturday Musings + Coffee – That iPhone Depth Effect

Look, I’m no photographer, but I like to think that my new phone makes me look something like one.

No, this isn’t a sponsored post – though hey, Apple, if you’d like to share some of your massive wealth with me, that’d be neat – I just really legitimately enjoy the camera feature on my iPhone X.

Granted, I never had the iPhone 7, so the jump in technology from 6 to X was more dramatic, but I think regardless I would have noticed the shift in quality. This phone just takes some nice photos – and notice how I said the phone takes nice photos, not me. I know it’s not my artistic vision or technical skill that made these shots look neat.

I’ve actually switched my OOTD photos for this blog from all on my old Canon camera to my new phone, and honestly, I think my new phone does a better job.

I brought it along with me to some concerts I’ve attended recently at my school, including The Wombats (who were truly fantastic, and whom I didn’t realize how much I appreciated until I saw them live) and Max Schneider (whom I didn’t know of before the show but whom I am now interested in), and I’ve managed to capture some fun videos for my Snapchat story. I’d add them here but like…I don’t think you care to see my shaky cam 10 second video clips of college kids screaming what, if you concentrate, sounds like lyrics.

I love a good concert – my summer shenanigans seeing Train, Cage the Elephant, and All Time Low are testaments to that. I’m hoping to see Fall Out Boy next fall, maybe the Wombats again this summer, and maybe hit up Warped Tour for its final run depending on who they get to perform. I’ve been getting spoiled with all of these free shows on campus; I’m going to hope I get a better summer job than Home Depot again if I expect to pay for all of this.

January 24, 2018 – Return of the Brick Walls (OOTD #209)

That title makes it sound like a Lord of the Rings installment.

Unfortunately, my life is significantly less interesting than either of the Bagginses’, and significantly less full of beautiful Middle Earth scenery. I also don’t have a magical ring that can grant the wearer unlimited but horribly corrupting power, so I guess that’s one point to me, at least.

Even though some Notre Dame buildings looks to be straight out of a Harry Potter film  and the amount of snow we get makes it comparable to Winterfell (look at me go with these fantasy references), it’s still a lot of tan brick and fancy doorways. It’s fairly nice tan brick and fairly pretty fancy doorways, but it makes me miss some of the more variable, natural scenery I got in Kentucky. 

Today’s photoset reflects my attempt to get some more variation in scenery of my Notre Dame photos – by including some snow covered bushes! It’s no babbling brook or rolling mountain range, but at least it’s not a wooden doorway with a brick border. I’m trying.

I must admit, Notre Dame is much more more varied in architecture than my high school ever was, not to mention the fact that it’s so much prettier. I never would have done my OOTD at my old school – partially out of the embarrassment of having to go through my various awaked fashion poses in the visibility of judgment teenagers, and partially out of the fact that my high school looked like a prison.

Good thing I’ve totally gotten over my embarrassment of having to ask a friend to go out of their way to indulge this narcissistic hobby of mine, and good thing it’s not all awkward anymore to have to pose in from to people’s dorms and classrooms! I’m so glad the end of high school meant the end of all my social anxiety!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! 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: H&M

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: J Crew (thrifted)

January 23, 2018 – Boyfriend Jeans Instead Of A Boyfriend (OOTD #208)

If you had asked me this time last year if there’s anyway I could’ve seen myself with short brown hair, wearing a motorcycle jacket and boyfriend jeans, I’m not sure I would have believed you.

I guess a large part of my disbelief would have come from the hair – I think the Meilin of January 2017 would have liked to believe she could be long-haired and blonde forever.  It was such a major part of how I defined myself that I even wrote one of my college application essays on it.

I’m not actually blonde though – I’m a brunette – and eventually, the bleach got to be too much for my poor hair follicles. We’ll see how long until I start assaulting my scalp with chemicals again, but for now, the plan is to let my hair rest and grow out for a while.

Just as surprising to my 2017 self would have been the outfit though. Boyfriend jeans and  a motorcycle jacket? Not that I would have had anything against something edgier like that – my little high school emo self was definitely into anything that made me look like a scary teenager – but it was always still within a very feminine vein.

This outfit is much more tomboyish than I ever would have seen myself in before – and I think that’s actually a pretty great thing! I guess this is still more an observation than a passage of judgment, but regardless, I think trying out new styles and expanding on one’s fashion repertoire is always a healthy thing to do.

It’s definitely been for me getting to explore and investigate into this new boyish kind of style that I hadn’t really considered myself open to before. More options the better, right?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! 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!

January 22, 2018 – Little Miss Grey Cloud (OOTD #207)

“On this grey Indiana day, you look so bright and colorful!” Shouted my friend, MaryKate, as she passed me on the way to class.

“Thanks!” I responded. “It totally matches my personality, how I feel on the inside, and is not at all ironic!”

If I actually dressed for how I felt every day, I probably would look like this – head to toe black, edgy hair color, sunglasses to avoid eye contact with people. But, as days like this one illustrate, I sometimes like to dress differently from how I actually regard myself. It switches things up, keeps things fresh, and prevents people from making generalizations about me too quickly.

That’s not to say I’m uncomfortable or somehow less genuine than usual when I dress brightly and colorfully – it’s just a different outfit, after all. The way I see it, fashion should be used for whatever you feel like doing with it, and, contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, it doesn’t always have to be about self-expression. Sometimes it’s more about self-creation – with each unique outfit, creating new identity, slipping out of yesterday’s personality and into some new character each morning.

In a roundabout way, maybe that is a form of self-expression – an expression that fashion can be both a reflection of your identity and a costume to try out different versions of your identity with. It’s a mirrored shield.

That, or maybe I’ve just too much time reading my philosophy textbook, and I’m trying to turn this into my next essay. This should at least be worth a little extra credit though, right?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! 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!

Coat: Target

Sweater: Forever21 (thrifted)

Skirt: Pitaya

January 19, 2018 – Pippi Longstocking (OOTD #206)

I actually know very little about the Swedish children’s book character Pippi Longstocking – I’m just going off of the fact that a friend said I looked like her in this outfit.

I guess it was the short jumper and the striped motif that was reminiscent of the character? I don’t really know anything else about her, admittedly, though I do remember watching a TV series from the 70s about her adventures occasionally in my third grade class as a reward on Fridays when we were good.

The theme song was super catchy. Pippi Longsticking is coming into your town  /
The one no one can keep down, no no no no…
That’s all I recall from the show though. In terms of television from the 70s that my third grade class watched sometimes on Fridays, I was more of a Gilligan’s Island or Little House on the Prairie kind of person.

I much prefer to think of this outfit of reminiscent of the 70s themselves rather than of a Swedish character from a 70s television show, though. I’m a sucker for late 60s/early 70s fashion – it’s just modern enough to be relevant but just old enough to be vintage. This denim dress actually came from a vintage shop in London, so you know – I’m really authentic. 

I’m actually going to a film series here at Notre Dame as a part of my Peace Studies class over 1968 and its 50th anniversary. I think the series is supposed to be a discussion of the impact of films released in 1968 on the social and cultural climate of the time – though I’m not really sure because when I went to the first one, a showing of Oliver!, there wasn’t enough time for the discussion portion and all we did was watch the film. I don’t really know what a film about a little boy singing and dancing through the streets of 19th century London has to do with America in 1968 (or peace studies as a whole), but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

In the mean time, I guess I’ll just keep dressing like I’m from 1968 and see if I can pass the class on the merit of my authenticity and enthusiasm for the time period.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! 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: Vintage (thrifted)

January 18, 2017 – Just Bro Things (OOTD #205)

Note to self: menswear + pixie haircut + minimal makeup = Meilin looks vaguely like a guy.

I don’t really think there’s anything particularly wrong with that – just that looking like a dude isn’t really what I’m personally after.

I forget what a difference in appearance this new haircut makes for me. With long hair, I really never had to worry about how masculine or feminine I looked; I could go out in guys’ clothing with no makeup and still look very definitively female (maybe not particularly nice, but female). Now, with the pixie cut, I have to be careful to actually wear lipstick, put on earrings – you know, the culturally-determined feminine things – to look feminine.

I guess it especially doesn’t help that the jacket I’m wearing here was found in the boy’s section of a thrift shop, and I’m wearing so many layers of clothing (it was a cold day!) that whatever vague hint of a feminine figure I have is hidden.

In fairness, I’m like, three feet tall, so I don’t think anyone’s ever going to actually mistake me for a male. And if they did, it probably wouldn’t be the end of the world either; I’m just a little self-conscious about how this new haircut makes me look. It’s taking some getting used to, you know?

I think part of it is that I’m going back to being brunette after having had unnaturally-dyed hair so long long. I was so used to seeing myself as long-haired and blonde (though I was shorter-haired and grey for a while) that it’s strange being brunette again – not to mention also having shorter hair than I’ve ever had in my life. I’m thinking I’m going to let it grow out again, though the low-maintenance of a pixie is particularly nice.

Or maybe I’ll dye it some unnatural shade of pink or blue for the fun of it while it’s still so short and easy to manage – because clearly what my chemically-treated hair needs is more chemical treatment!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! 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: Thrifted

Sweater: Abercrombie

Shirt: Banana Republic

Leggings: Thrifted (from a second-hand riding apparel store, of all places)

Boots: LL Bean