March 17, 2019 – Pinch Me (OOTD #474)

It was St. Patrick’s Day, and somehow, I didn’t wear green.

Now, to be fair, I had to spend a significant portion of my day traveling, and when I travel, I tend to concern myself more with comfort and practicality than fashion. It completely slipped my mind that it was St. Patty’s Day, and that I was supposed to wear green.

In fact, not only did I not wear green, but I wore the opposite of green — red. Red’s opposite green on the color wheel (and hence, they’re complementary colors), and so I guess you could say I committed a particularly offensive faux pas.

To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I took the time to make sure I wore green on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not a holiday that’s a huge deal in Kentucky, as we don’t necessarily have a ton of people with Irish heritage. And at Notre Dame, where we do have a ton of people with Irish heritage (the consequence of being a Catholic school, I suppose), we still don’t do much since St. Patrick’s Day usually falls during spring break, and no one’s around campus.

One of these days, I’d like to go into Chicago for St. Patrick’s and see the Chicago River turned green. There isn’t a lot in Chicago that I have’t seen yet and that I really want to see — but that’s probably on the bucket list.

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


Coat: J. Crew

Sweater: Abercrombie

Blouse: Forever21

Trousers: J. Crew

March 16, 2019 – Hobby Lobby Challenge (OOTD #473)

Do you remember back a few years ago when the Hobby Lobby Challenge was a thing?

No, it didn’t involve trying to eat something super spicy or otherwise inedible. As Internet “challenges” go, it was actually pretty tame — the point was just to go to a Hobby Lobby and take artsy photos in the floral department. No habanero peppers or Tide Pods required.

I’m not sure my photos quite turned out as professional-looking as the ones that inspired the original hashtag, but I’m happy with how they turned out anyway. They were very spur-of-the-moment pictures — just the sort of thing where I was passing the artificial flowers with my dad while we happened to be in Hobby Lobby, and I asked him to snap some pictures. Thanks Dad.

(This jacket was actually originally his too. So double-thanks, Dad)

One day, I need to go back with a portable circle light and take some really artsy Hobby Lobby floral department photos. I really like how these turned out, and they only took about five minutes to take. Imagine how they’d turn out if we’d had a chance to really get the arrangement and lighting right.

I didn’t even get any funny looks from the Hobby Lobby employees! Maybe they were already pretty used to young Instagrammers trying the Hobby Lobby Challenge. Or maybe they weren’t paid enough to care what was going on in their store — back in my Kroger days, that definitely would have been the case for me.

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


Jacket: Levi’s (thrifted)

Sweater: Abercrombie

Jeans: American Eagle

March 9, 2019 – A Slytherin in Cincinnati (OOTD #468)

A big shout out to Cincinnati for being grey and rainy the day I wanted to take pictures of its skyline.

I don’t go into Cincinnati much, despite the fact that it’s the closest (major?) city to me in Lexington, beside Louisville. I actually go into Louisville way more, as my grandmother lives there and it’s where I grew up. Cincinnati is just a place that sort-of exists on the edge of my consciousness, one of those places I recognize exists but I hardly ever think about it.

One of my best friends, Jane, actually lives in Cincinnati, though, so it’s slowly becoming more relevant to me. I stopped by her apartment to visit last winter after I came home from Qatar/France, though unfortunately, I was too sick to really do anything. All I really felt well enough to do when I visited her last was lay in bed and sleep, so I wanted to make it up to her with another short visit.

As it turned out, on my way back to Lexington from Notre Dame, my flight went through Cincinnati. Instead of just driving home after I got in, my parents and I decided to meet my friend for lunch.

I still want to go back and visit Jane properly again sometime so we can actually spend more than an hour together while I’m not spaced out on cold medicine. Maybe I’ll visit her this summer, if I’m able to make space between my various travel experiences — and if I’m not too exhausted in the space between my various travel experiences.

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


Hat and Scarf: Harry Potter store

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted, Foxhouse Vintage)

Sweater: American Eagle

Jeans: Abercrombie (thrifted)

 

March 6, 2019 – By The Lockers (OOTD #466)

Oh look, I’m two months behind now.

Will my blog ever get caught back up again? Maybe not, as long as I’m a stressed college student trying to balance her multitude of assignments that for some reason, all seem to be due at the same time. I’m normally pretty good for a few weeks at a time, and then school life hits me like a truck and I find that that’s all I can focus on for a period.

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everyone needs a turquoise blazer

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But it’s finally Easter break, and so I have a little time to relax. A little. Easter falls late in the academic year this year, and so once school is back in session on Tuesday, we have only two weeks left of class before finals. The school year’s almost over. I’m almost a junior; I can’t believe it.

These pictures go so far back that they were taken before spring break, which fell in mid-March. Funnily, I think I was in basically the same headspace back in early March as I am now in late-April. The time right before spring break and right before Easter break tends to be super busy, and so I’m not uncomfortable saying that the Meilin of March 5 isn’t really all that different from the one of April 21 — which is to say, they’re both kind of tired and in need of a break.

Not to jinx things (knock on wood), but I’m hoping I won’t have an awful finals week this year. Last spring finals week was pretty painful (I spent nine hours in a basement one day, it was awful). This time, though, it looks like the weeks leading up to finals will be awful, but then actual finals week itself will be okay. I only have one final to sit for and a short reflection paper due during that actual week; here’s to hoping that that means my suffering will be over relatively soon.

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


Jacket: Banana Republic

Blouse: Anthropologie

Skirt: Abercrombie

February 10, 2019 – Excuse Me, Professor (OOTD #454)

These are new glasses, in case you didn’t notice.

You probably didn’t notice because they look almost exactly like the pair of old glasses in my last post. I personally think these new glasses are way more flattering than the old glasses (hence buying new glasses), but I know, it’s hard to tell.

On the top half of this outfit, with the green blazer and glasses, I look like a professor. Not like, a real professor — like, a person who has a PhD and gets paid to do research and corrupt students or whatever — but a professor from a mystery novel. Basically, I look like Professor Plum from CLUE if he wore green. Professor Granny Smith?

On the bottom half, however, with the jeans and the hiking boots, I look more like a mountain man or a lumberjack. I wasn’t really aiming to mix the two aesthetics, but it happened, mainly because it had snowed and I needed to wear the boots in order to not break my ankle as I walked around campus. It’s like people who mix pastel and grunge  and wear tutus with leather jackets.

Will professor/lumberjack be the next big mixed aesthetic fashion trend in 2019? Stay tuned to find out.

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


Jacket: Thrifted (Goodwill I think? Or maybe Salvation Army)

Jeans: Abercrombie

Boots: LL Bean

February 1, 2019 – Back to Work (OOTD #447)

After a half-week break from classes, it was back to work for me.

But by back to work, I don’t mean back to classes — I’m now back to work work. Like, adult work, at an office.

I’m interning at the St. Joseph County Prosecuting Attorney’s office with their Special Victims Unit this semester. The downside: so far, it’s been a lot of paperwork. the upside: the paperwork has been of a more interesting nature than the paperwork I was saddled with while I was interning at the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office (surprise: annual business reviews are not that fun to scan for hours at a time).

One of these days, I hope to get an internship (or you know, an actual paid job or whatever) where I get to do something other than somebody else’s paperwork for hours at a time. I’ll be interning in Washington DC next semester in the fall, and I’ll have to work 20 hours a week. I’m really hoping to avoid the paperwork intern scene, which I imagine is the role of a good chunk of interns in DC. And if I’m going to be stuck as a paperwork intern, at least make me a paid paperwork intern, you know?

I’ve found that my “office work” outfits often tend to look pretty similar — Banana Republic Sloan trousers,  blouse, and a blazer. Since I only have to go to the office twice a week, that’s not a huge problem, but I do hope not to get into too much of a repetitive rut. With the restrictions of what constitutes appropriate office clothes, it’s a little more difficult to be creative.

It’s also super cold right now, which makes wearing skirts or dresses impractical. I also have to walk ten minutes to the bus stop and another ten minutes to the office, often through unsalted sidewalks coated with slush and ice, which also limits my choices.

I’m going to try to get better though. I recognize that I’m slipping into a rut, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to change that. By announcing that on this website (to all…2 of its regular readers? Hi Mom and Dad), I’m hoping that I’ll feel as if I’m being held accountable.

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


Jacket: thrifted (Salvation Army)

Top: Abercrombie

Pants: Banana Republic Sloan Skinny-Pant

January 23, 2019 – A Sense of Direction (OOTD #443)

How come the math building has become my favorite place to take pictures?

This time last year, you couldn’t drag me away from the art building. I would stay there for hours at night in the empty classrooms to do work, steal plants, and take pictures next to whatever random works of art struck my fancy.

This year, however, my 24 hour card access to the art building was revoked since I’m not in a studio art class anymore, so I almost never find myself going over there. If I set up camp before about 5pm in the evening and I don’t leave, I can stay — but I can’t open the door to get in if I want to go there late at night anymore, which is sad.

Since I’ve been forced to find another place to haunt, I’ve been trying to branch out and spend more time in other ND buildings that I wouldn’t otherwise hang out much in — like, for example, the math building. I’ve never had a math class at Notre Dame (shoutout to Mrs. Brooks and Mr. Young for helping me get a 5 on AP Calculus), and so it was never a building where I ventured. My first time I visited was actually last spring, when I went to take some pictures with my friends.

I actually do have a class in the math building this year (it’s a history class, though, interestingly), and so I’ve found myself in here a little more often. As it’s turned out, there are some really great places to get pictures.

These maps are in the same room as the big globe, which I’ve featured as a background on this blog before. I thought they were colorful and pretty and would make for a nice backdrop to my outfit, and since I’d used the globe before, I wanted to try something different. As the maps (and globe) also situated in a rather central location in the building, I had to be careful about not getting caught posing for pictures by anyone walking by (not that it’s like, illegal to take pictures of yourself for your fashion blog — but it is a little weird) , but otherwise, it was an easy place to use for pictures. Maybe I’ll feature these maps again.

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


Jacket: Anthropologie

Sweater: The LOFT

Pants: Abercrombie (thrifted, yard sale)

January 19, 2019 – A Sign of the Times (OOTD #440)

And in that moment, I remembered why I wasn’t meant to be a design major.

Sometimes, I like to pretend to myself that in some alternate universe out there, there’s a Meilin who decided to go a more unconventional route and went to art school instead of a research university. I’m good at art. I could have gone to art school — I mean, I have friends who weren’t good at art who still went to art school, so it’s completely feasible that I could have gotten in somewhere. I ultimately chose not to go (or even to apply) because I like the idea of job security, and because I figured art would be something I could incorporate into my life without making it into my career.

While I’m happy with my choice to become a corporate sellout or whatever, I do wish Notre Dame had a better visual arts program, and I do sometimes regret not even applying for a design program.

Then things like this sign happen.

Okay, some background: the Friday after the start of classes, I went with a cohort of other Notre Dame students on a trip to Washington DC to attend the 2019 Women’s March. It was the first year that they’d gotten enough interest and enough money to organize a bus to go, and so, 4 AM Friday morning, I hauled myself and my suitcase to the bookstore to board a bus for the 12 hour journey from Chicago to DC. For those of you keeping track at home, that was the sixth weekend in a row of significant traveling — though thankfully, it wasn’t a flight. I didn’t need six weekends in a row of flying.

Anyway, when you go to a march, the fun part is making a cool sign to carry, and so I was determined to use my artistic skills to make something worthy of posting pictures on Instagram. I’d been thinking of this design for weeks leading up to the march, and I thought for sure it’d be brilliant.

So the idea was the make something that said “A Sign of the Times,” but with the G in “sign” turned into a female anatomical sign. It’d be clever on multiple levels — it’s a play on the fact that it’s literally a physical sign, that the Venus sign is a symbol for the female sex, and that the phrase “a sign of the times” implies change. It was going to be the next great feminist quip, people were going to print it on t-shirts at Forever21 — Susan B. Anthony can step aside.

Unfortunately, I misjudged the distance I needed to put in between “A “and “Sign,” and it ended up reading more like ASIgN. You know what “ASIgN” looks like? Asian. My sign ended up reading “Asian of the Times.”

That’s not what I was going for.

Thankfully though, I am Asian, so it didn’t look that strange when I was carrying it around. Can you imagine if I weren’t Asian, though? Like, if I were white and I was carrying a sign that read “Asian of the times?”

So why am I ranting about my failed sign-making endeavors in this blog, when I could be talking about the Women’s March itself, my time spent in DC, or my experience sleeping in a church basement with 50 other people? The truth is, the march itself wasn’t that interesting — I don’t know what I expected, but it was about three hours of just…walking slowly in the cold. I’m all for nonviolent social change, but apparently, it can be rather boring.

The other unfortunate bit was that Washington DC itself was pretty much dead when we were there due to the government shutdown. All of the museums and buildings were closed, so all you could do was walk around and see the monuments from a distance. I did get to see the White House and the Capitol Building from afar, but you couldn’t do much other than take pictures. And even then, I saw them at night, so my pictures weren’t that great.

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tag yourself i’m feminist dad

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I still really appreciate the time I spent on the trip. It was an opportunity to get off campus, and selfish as it may sound, that was probably what I liked the most.

I guess it didn’t take that long for me to get restless staying on campus after all. 


Coat: The North Face

Jacket: Ralph Lauren (thrifted, Goodwill)

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Abercrombie

Hat: Target

January 17, 2019 – Bratz Dolls and Drama Teachers (OOTD #439)

Today’s outfit inspiration: my Bratz dolls and the drama teacher from High School Musical.

Alright, let me explain: The Bratz inspiration comes from the lipliner. I’m admittedly new to the whole lipliner game, since I didn’t join in back in 2015 or whatever when Kylie Jenner first came to prominence. I’ve been experimenting a little with my lipliner though for daily use, and in general, I like the look. I may have gone a little overboard with this look, though.

Oh well. It’s not a makeup blog.

Where does the drama teacher from High School Musical  have to do with it, then? That’s what the scarf and leather jacket combo reminds me of. I don’t honestly know if there’s a way to wear an untied scarf like this without looking a little pretentious — or like a priest — and in tandem, the overall look is definitely reminiscent of an underpaid music teacher in a public high school that’s trying to cut its arts programming.

But you know, like….the fashionable version?

Sometimes I forget that the point of this blog is to convince other people to like my fashion choices, because I’ll get caught up in weird descriptions like “underpaid music teacher in a public high school that’s trying to cut its arts programming. ” For me, fashion is all about creating an aesthetic, and an aesthetic needs an inspiration. That inspiration isn’t always inherently fashionable, because if it were, there would be no challenge and no enjoyment, for me at least.

Inspiration comes from anywhere, I guess, including children’s’ dolls and films from 2006.

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


Top: Abercrombie

Jacket: Hollister

Jeans: Abercrombie (wow, I must be a model for middle school fashion circa 2012)

 

December 31, 2018 – Le Réveillon (OOTD #432)

I don’t believe I ever imagined spending New Year’s Eve in Vichy.

I mean, I always assumed I’d make it to France one day — I mean, it’s such a huge tourist destination, and it’s an easy place for English-speakers to travel to. Besides, I speak un peu de français — pas très bien, mai j’essaie. 

But I always figured I’d go in the summer for vacation, and that I’d see Paris like all of the other American tourists. This small spa town had never really been on my radar, at least until Notre Dame offered me funding to visit.

Let me give you a little context — Notre Dame has a ton of money, and they like to give it to students who can do things that will reflect well upon the university, so that they can then make more money. I, as a student with little money who seems to end up surrendering any money I do make right back to Notre Dame, am happy to take advantage of any opportunity Notre Dame has to give me money to go do something academic.

I heard from (of all people) my Russian literature professor that the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures was offering grants to students to go abroad during the winter break to do an intensive language study, and I figured there was no harm in applying. Lo and behold, they gave me $3,000 to go to France for a week, enroll myself in some language courses, and stay with a host family.

And so that’s what I did. But of course, the trip was not without some difficulties — including one really big one that hit me the moment I got off the airplane in Clermont-Ferrand. Air France had left my bags in Paris, and, having basically just arrived in a new country where I only sort-of spoke the language, I was at a loss for what to do.

Thankfully, my host mother, who met me at the airport, was able to help. Naturally, she spoke flawless French, and I was able to communicate to her with my rudimentary conversation skills what had happened. I’m so grateful that she was there — I’ve never lost bags before, and I wouldn’t have even known what to do had it happened back in the US.

Unfortunately, I was forced to sleep in the same clothes as I had worn to the airport (which were also the same clothes I had worn all day for my last day in Qatar), as well as attend my first day of classes in that outfit. By the time my host mother texted me in the afternoon to tell me that my bags had been delivered to the house, I was pretty sick of that outfit.

Because of the holiday, classes were shortened to a half day. Since I hadn’t been there for very long, I’d had no time to make friends with whom I could spend my afternoon. The school offered some cultural excursions for new students, and, with nothing else to do and still a little afraid of going out on my own, I figured I’d take advantage of the programming.

Monday’s trip was a walking tour of Vichy. It was just me and another student, a Swiss high school student whose French was superior to mine. It was a little awkward, but I’m glad I got someone to show me around a little. It’s not like Vichy is a huge town; in fact, it’s quite small. It doesn’t really have a huge tourist presence, except for its spas and natural springs, and so I don’t know how else I would’ve learned about its history and culture.

In the evening, I returned to my host family’s house for New Year’s Eve dinner. That was the longest dinner of my entire life. 

I’m not speaking figuratively — I think it literally took four and a half hours from start to finish. By the end, I was exhausted, anxious from having strangers question me about my life in French (which would have been intimidating even in English), slightly intoxicated from all of the alcohol that people kept offering me, and absolutely stuffed from the four-course meal.

And it was a delicious meal! And the people were wonderfully kind — there were even some young adults about my age who were able to speak in English a little bit! Even if it was a little stressful in the moment, it was an important to have had that experience, I think. It was something of a trial by fire in French culture — there was nowhere to hide, so I just had to sit there and try to use my French as much as possible, and pray that I didn’t accidentally say something offensive. Call it exposure therapy.

By the time I went to bed at 3 AM local time (who knows what time my body thought it was), I was worn out. I mean, I’d basically been spending the last two weeks worn out, either from traveling or from studying for finals, so it wasn’t anything new. But what was new, at least compared to the kind of exhaustion that finals inflicted, was that the exhaustion felt rewarding. Sure, I was tired — but I was tired because I spent all day in a new culture, speaking a different language for longer than I ever had before and trying to make the most of my immersion experience. It was a good tired.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my travels. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Skirt: Abercrombie