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

December 7, 2018 – A 20th Century Christmas (OOTD #419)

There nothing that “20th century” about this outfit except maybe the hat — and the hat’s not even mine!

For this post, my friends and I decided to all go out and take a family Christmas photo together. We had initially thought we’d make a Christmas card to send out to our families, but then we remembered how much work that would take and how stressed we were with our finals, and we decided just to take the picture without worrying about the card.

And I’m pretty satisfied with the result! We did them right before we exchanged secret Santa gifts, so we were all feeling festive.

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a six chick christmas

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I do wish I had an ugly Christmas sweater so I could have matched my friends a little better. I have a lot of Christmas sweaters — check them out here and here and here — but none  of them are ugly. Like, really ugly and wacky. They’re almost all too…cute?

Ugly Christmas sweaters are all super trendy, and while I’m normally hesitant to buy into trends, but I like this one. There’s something fun about purposefully being ugly — that is, as long as it’s authentically ugly. I’m not so much a fan of ugly Christmas sweaters that people just buy at Walmart. There’s no fun in that! You’ve got to go out and actually find something in a secondhand shop — or if you’re super crafty, make something.

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#sleigh, girl, sleigh.

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That’s why I love the ugly Christmas sweater market my school holds in late November. I didn’t actually buy anything this year because they raised their prices, and I don’t really feel justified spending $20 on an old ugly sweater I could get for a lot less money at a Goodwill, but I like the idea. I hope that perhaps next year I can find an ugly sweater that makes the $20 price tag worth it.

Or better yet, maybe I’ll find something at a vintage shop or a Goodwill the next time I’m home. I love the hunt that a secondhand store entails — it’s even more of  a hunt than my school’s secondhand Christmas sweater market!

Anyway, Merry Christmas from everyone here in my dorm room at Notre Dame! I don’t know for certain that they actually want to wish my readers happy holidays, but I assume they do. They’re nice people. They probably want you all to have a nice life.

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Thrifted

Sweater: Abercrombie (thrifted)

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

Hat: borrowed from a friend

December 5, 2018 – Christmas at Hogwarts (OOTD #417)

There are plenty of buildings at Notre Dame that look like they could be a part of Hogwarts.

South Dining Hall is probably the most notable. Some of the arches of the Rock and certain dorms can lean that way too. It’s that collegiate gothic style of architecture — gotta love it, because it makes going to class in the buildings and living in the cockroach-infested rooms a little more bearable.

These pictures were taken in the math department’s building, a building which I never venture into, in part because I have no math classes, and in part because math is terrifying. I made sure to test out of college math for a reason — contrary to the Asian stereotype, I rather hate math.

I so hate it that for the majority of my time at Notre Dame, I’ve tried to completely avoid the math department building out of fear. That was, until last semester, when some friends convinced me to go inside for some pictures.

Turns out, the math building (or at least, half of it) is actually really beautiful and makes for great photos. In fact, I’ve gone to the ivy garden courtyard many times this year for photos because I love it so much.

This was the first time I ventured up to the second floor to look for photo locations, and as you can see, I was not disappointed. I think the second floor might be even more lovely and Hogwarts-like than the first. Don’t be too surprised if I wind up taking pictures again sometime soon.

I guess math really is magical?

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: thrifted (Goodwill)

Sweater: Abercrombie

Skirt: Forever21

November 27, 2018 – Pacing (OOTD #414)

I wore this sweater in a post from just a few days ago.

I normally try to avoid repeating pieces so soon like this — not that I think many people would notice, unless I said something, but it’s just not as fun to wear the same things over and over. Plus, I like to actually wear the clothes I buy. It’s wasteful just to let things sit in the closet.

In fairness, the actual amount of time between wears for this sweater was longer than this blog makes it seem. In truth, it was ten days in between wears — and Thanksgiving beak was a part of that time —  though it was only four blogs.

If you’ll notice, I’m also getting caught up on blogs again. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing — good in that now my blogs should line up a little more with the actual calendar dates, but bad in that that puts more pressure on me to get content for my blogs  more often.

It’s a little frustrating, because I get more views on LEDJ when I publish new content every day. But publishing new content every day is hard — I don’t wear cute clothes every day, and even if I do, I don’t always have an easy way to photograph them. Publishing blogs every day while also taking photos every day leads to blogs of lower quality — something I’ve definitely been guilty of before —  and I don’t want to do that again if I can help it.

I guess that’s a reality that every Internet content creator deals with — of course you’ll get more views when you’re churning out new content. But since I’m still such a small Internet presence that I don’t really get much readership at all if I’m not posting, so I try to post every day.

I think that’s just something I’ll have to learn to deal with though. As I’ve learned, forcing myself to post and photograph my outfits literally every day is bad not just for the quality fo content I put on this blog, but also for my enjoyment of the writing process. This is still just a hobby after all.

Any other bloggers out there with how to pace oneself with how often to upload content? I’ve been doing the daily blog thing for so long, it would feel unnatural to stray from that — but I think maybe it’s getting to be time to find a regular upload schedule that’s not quite so chaque jour, as it were. I want to still post often, but avoid the burnout of a daily schedule. Thoughts?

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 home. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Matching bra and underwear set: TomboyX

Sweater: Forever21

Jeans: Abercrombie

November 12, 2018 – Layers Upon Layers (OOTD #406)

As Shrek once wisely said, “I’ve got layers like an onion.”

Shrek was referring to his identity as an ogre in that scene, but I’m referring to my clothes. I don’t think I’m an ogre…or ogreish?

Those of you who have been around for a long time might remember that I’ve used the “like an onion” quote before to describe an outfit with layers. I was back on OOTD #55 at the time, and Shrek memes were still relatively fresh. Now, I’m significantly less original, not to mention less culturally relevant or funny.

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wearing more layers than an onion

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I really like this outfit, though. It wasn’t my idea, however. A friend forwarded me something on Pinterest with a turtleneck layered under a striped button-down to ask what I thought of the style. I was a big fan — so much so that I decided to copy it.

To add to the look, I paired the turtleneck/button-down combo with my ripped black skinny jeans with fishnets layered underneath. Hence, the title — layers upon layers.

The lighting is darker here than I would like, so you can’t really see the fishnet texture in every photo, unfortunately. I just really didn’t have any time to get pictures before after it got dark on this day.

It was a Monday, and on Mondays, I’m usually busy until 6:30pm. With daylight savings, it’s now solidly dark by 6:30pm, which is unfortunate for me trying to get pictures of my outfit in decent lighting. I tried to make up for it by going inside of a building and getting pictures with the artificial lighting, but it just doesn’t compare to natural.

Oh, well. It’s a cute outfit anyway, and it shines on its own, no light required.

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Turtleneck: The LOFT (thrifted)

Button-down: Abercrombie

Jeans: Hot Topic

Belt: Not Gucci, unfortunately

November 8, 2019 – Très Petite (OOTD #404)

Someone remind me to stop posing by touching my hair.

Seriously, four of my last nine Instagram posts include me posing by playing with my hair. It’s a little excessive, like, don’t I know anything else to do with my body?

I don’t even that much hair! Or that much body!

Fun fact: I always used to imagine I would grow up to be my parents’ heights. My mother’s like 5’9″ and my father’s nearly 6’0″ yet I stand at barely above 5 feet. What could possibly be the explanation?

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is it christmas yet

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Welp, I’m adopted. And I knew that as a kid, and I knew I looked different from my parents, but I didn’t know that that meant I wouldn’t still grow to be their heights. All the other kids used their parents’ heights as an indication of how tall they would grow, why couldn’t I do the same? I don’t think I ever imagined myself to be a tall adult but like…definitely a more average-sized one.

I stopped growing around fourth grade. I like to think I look a little older than a fourth grader now, but sometimes I’m not sure. Sometimes I don’t even feel mentally much older than a fourth grader either.

With finals coming around the corner, that might not be such a good thing.

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Ralph Lauren (thrifted)

Top: Some boutique in Nepal

Skirt: Abercrombie