June 30, 2018 – Calm Before The Storm (OOTD #317)

Here I am, my first full day in Nepal!

This was the day that most of the students attending the Madrasa Discourses conference were to be arriving, meaning I was finally not completely alone at the lodge! My two roommates arrived, one of whom is a Notre Dame student I was vaguely familiar with before Nepal, and one of whom is a Pakistani woman in a full niqab (who arrived at like, 1 AM in the morning, the poor thing).

In all, there are about 20ish Pakistani students, 20ish Indians, 7 South Africans, and 7 American students from Notre Dame. Since there was no programming today, those of us who arrived in the afternoon (or like me, the previous night), simply hung out, chatted, and took meals together to socialize and kill time.

An American student, a Pakistani-German student, and I were all feeling energetic enough to go for a short hike after lunch, so we decided to venture down the mountain of Dhulikel. We heard there was a village at the bottom, but little did we know, that village was probably a solid two miles away. Two miles isn’t bad when you’re jogging on flat terrain, but walking down a steep mountain is another thing. We didn’t even make it a quarter of the way before giving up and turning around, sweaty and exhausted. Meanwhile, several local Nepali people walked by, steady-footed and swift, to put us all to shame. At least we got a pretty view of the area as we went down.

I wanted to get some sleep after our walk, but I knew it would be best for me if I stayed up all day and didn’t sleep until the night. The jet lag was hitting me like a truck at that point, and even though I desperately wanted to take a nap, I resisted.

That night though, I of course had very little luck actually sleeping. I got about three hours before my Pakistani roommate showed up, and after that, I really wasn’t able to sleep anymore. My body kind of hates itself for the nine hours and forty-five minute time difference, so I guess I can’t blame it.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Nepal. 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

Pants: Forever21

Scarf: My mother’s closet

June 29, 2018 – Welcome to Nepal (OOTD #316)

Here I am in Nepal, finally!

It took a little under 30 hours of total travel time, but I finally made it here to Dhulikel, Nepal, just outside of Kathmandu.

The majority of my travel story can be found here, in the Saturday Musings post published on that day, but allow me to fill you in on the rest of the journey.

So after running through the disgustingly poorly organized O’Hare airport in order to catch my flight to Abu Dhabi, I had 17 hours sitting in a tiny, cramped aisle seat thousands of feet above the ground. It was quite different from my experience flying first class all the way to London.  

On the way, I attempted to get some reading done for the conference I was to be attending, but I only made it about halfway through before I started nodding off, It’s not that the content wasn’t interesting — the articles were over feminism, theology, philosophy — but there was too much to try to get through in one sitting. 17 hours was definitely enough time to have gotten it done had I had the motivation but…I lacked the motivation.

After watching Moana and Beauty and the Beast (the mediocre live action version) on the entertainment system, slipping in and out of sleep for hours, and eating one of the most disgusting turkey sandwiches I’ve had in my entire life, I made it to Abu Dhabi.

I only had about two hours in Abu Dhabi before I had to fly the remaining five hours to Kathmandu, so sadly, I didn’t have the time to do anything but walk through the airport and wait for my plane. Had I had more time, perhaps I would have tried to see the city a little — it’s not like I expect to be in the UAE again any time soon.

Once I made it to Kathmandu, all that was left was to get my visa, make it through customs, exchange money, go through airport security for the 20th time, claim my baggage, and then find the taxi that was waiting for me to take me to the hotel. Simple, right?

Actually, I guess it was just about as simple as I could have asked for it to have been. The only hitch I really experienced before I made it to Dhulikel was way overtipping the cabbie, but if that’s the worst that happened to me, then I suppose I wasn’t in too bad a shape.

Driving though Kathmandu alone at night was perhaps the scariest thing of the entire trip — I’ve been bad traffic before in China, but it had been a long time and I was not at all prepared for Kathmandu driving. Are there lanes? Are there speed limits? Are there lights or laws or licenses?

When I finally arrived at the hotel, I didn’t have the energy for much more than eating a small meal and then crawling slowly to my room. 30 hours of travel I guess will do that to you.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Nepal. 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: Forever21

Pants: Abercrombie

June 20, 2018 – Blue and White, Sans Red (OOTD #307)

Happy Fourth of July! You’ll have to excuse my lack of an Americana themed outfit — you probably know already, but these blogs are on a delay, so the blog I’m publishing now on July 4 is actually the outfit I wore earlier in June. Rest assured, there will be some sort of patriotic festive outfit coming up, but it won’t be posted for a while still. 

I can’t believe it took me an entire year to think to pair this shirt and this skirt together.

Let me go back and contextualize a little — so I bought this skirt back in London last year at a Zara shop off of Oxford Street. There was some huge sale going on so the shop was super crowded, and in order to avoid standing around in queues forever, I decided not to try it on and just buy it. Slight mistake, I guess, because it turned out that the waist was too big, and now I have to keep it held in place with a pin. Because of the less than ideal fit, I don’t wear the skirt as often as I would like, even though I’m a huge fan of the design. 

The point being, I’ve had this skirt for a while and have worn it in a couple of different ways before (see example here). However, I’ve never really been satisfied with the styling — it’s such a fun skirt, and I really want to do it justice with an outfit that can properly highlight the unique layered structure. I just had not, until now, come up with a good way of wearing this skirt that was able to meet that goal. 

I was so concerned with finding the best way of wearing this skirt — and by extension, so afraid of messing it up and styling it poorly — that it took me until this point to think to pair my blue and white striped shirt with this blue and white skirt. It would seem obvious, since they match so well, that they would work well together, serving to highlight the architecture of the skirt.

I guess it was just how closely they matched that was what caused me to hesitate. I was afraid they would look too “matchy-matchy,” too similar, and that they would only make me look like one big blue and white-striped blob.

But now, at least, I don’t believe that that fear was warranted. In fact, I’m quite happy with how these two pieces look together, and rather than matching too closely, I believe the matching patterns rather serves to emphasize the uniqueness of the skirt. 

The moral of the story — try pairing new pieces together, even if you think they won’t work! I’ve worn a lot of stupid outfits in my time, some of which have been published on this blog (I didn’t think they were stupid at the time of wearing them, but looking back at them, I see they were kind of ugly). But I’ve also worn a lot of really cool outfits that I only managed to put together because I put things together that i didn’t think would work (see here and here).

Anyway, that was the preachy, educational segment at the end of our Saturday morning cartoon. You know, the moment at the end of a kids’ show when the main character addresses the viewer directly in order to communicate some educational lesson that should be taken from the episode, like “don’t do drugs” and “don’t talk to strangers.” Too bad I don’t have a cool catchphrase to end this with. Or better yet, merchandise I could try to convince you you need.  

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

Skirt: Zara

June 5, 2018 – Four Years Later (OOTD #299)

Storytime!

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, my mother and I were shopping at an outlet mall. The store, I believe, was Charlotte Russe, which is a brand I’m pretty sure I haven’t shopped much since.

We were looking for a dress for me for my sophomore year Fall Formal. It was my first formal dance in ever (excluding father-daughter dances when I was really young), and I was determined to find something perfect. This was my first big high school dance, and I was excited for it.

I had a vision in mind of how I wanted to look, but I knew that it wasn’t really practical. 2014, if you’ll remember, was the era when the faux nude Elie Saab dresses were all the rage on the runway and on haute couture Pinterest boards. I mean, they’re still pretty big, but back then, during my sophomore year, they were both wildly popular and wildly innovative and new. I wanted something that drew inspiration from Elie Saab gowns, but was still appropriate for a high school formal.

So, that day, when my mother and I happened upon a dress in the Charlotte Russe outlet with a high neck and lace detailing, I thought perhaps that that was the best I would be able to do. As much as I loved the lacy neck detail, though, I didn’t much like the style of the actual dress — it was a peplum, and, not that I had anything against peplums, but I thought it was a little boring for my first high school dance.

In other words, I wanted something with more impact. I put the dress back on the hanger, and resolved that I would buy it if nothing better came along before the dance.

As it turned out though, something did some along that I liked better — a red dress with similar faux nude lace detailing, but with a skater style skirt instead of the peplum. I don’t know if I would call it a showstopping hit, but I remember getting a lot of compliments on it.

So what’s the relevance of this story? The other day, in Goodwill, I happened upon a peplum top from Charlotte Russe of the exact same styling of the dress I had passed up in the outlet mall so many years ago. And even though the style was a few years old, I couldn’t resist picking it up, if just for the sake of staying I finally owned a high lace neck piece.

And that, four years later, is the end of the lacy high neck detail journey. I’m not sure if I really feel like I’ve become any better of a person at the end of this story, but at the very least, I now own a piece I always sort of regretted not purchasing. Yay closure?

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: Charlotte Russe (thrifted)

Jeans: Abercrombie

April 9, 2018 – Low-Key Angst (OOTD #262)

The first time I wore this sweater…jacket thing, a friend of mine told me I looked like “low-key angst.”

For some reason, I remember thinking that was a major compliment. I didn’t really like to wear my angsty teenager status on my sleeve in high school, since there were already so many edgy teens with badly dyed hair running all over the place so the fact that someone could tell I was trying to be little more “hardcore” but in a subtle way was flattering.

I still think of this as my low-key angst sweater-thing. Partially, because I don’t know what else to call it — is it a sweater? Is it a jacket? A shirt? In the absence of a real name, I’ve just gone with calling it the piece that makes me look like a “low-key angsty” teenager.

I don’t have much longer to be an angsty teen though, do I? In a few months, I’ll be 20, and I can’t blame my problems on hormones anymore. What are adults even supposed to blame their woes on anyway? The government?

In other news, I’m still on the hunt for a summer job. I’ve had a couple of possibilities come up, but for one reason or another, nothing’s really worked out, unfortunately. McDonald’s is looking more and more inviting as the days go by. Moschino made fast food look very chic in their iconic Fall 2014 RTW collection — too bad you can’t actually afford Moschino when you’re working a minimum wage fast food job.

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

Jacket sweater shirt thing: Free People

Jeans: Hollister

March 21, 2018 – Insert Joke About Being Hot Here (OOTD #251)

Meilin’s adventures in exploring the art building at night continue!

At this point, I’m just heading out to Riley every night that I don’t get my pictures done earlier in the day — in fact, I’ll probably do the same today, as I didn’t get my pictures done at lunch like usual on Tuesday. It’s basically my second home.

The longer I spend in Riley, the more I come across unusual settings that make for interesting backgrounds, like this yellow paint cabinet. I loved both the bright color, and the “Flammable” text printed on it — figured it would make for some funny Instagram captions.

The summer job/internship search is in full swing, just as it was in April of last year. If you look back far enough in the archives of this blog, you’ll see my discussions of interviewing and trying to get hired last summer. You’ll also see that the job I ended up working last summer was really not any fun and a terrible fit for me, so I’m trying to avoid that by getting on the whole application thing earlier.

Honestly though, I’m realizing I probably could have been even earlier. Getting a job is hard, especially when you’re just an unexperienced college kid like me who can only work for a few months.

Worst case scenario, I’m sure I can get a part time job maybe at a local restaurant. It’s not really what I want to do, and it doesn’t really contribute at all to my resume, but it makes money, and that’s what’s important. I’m jealous though of my friends who are able to study abroad or work academically or professionally-relevant unpaid internships over the summer.

Anyway, pray for me, wish me luck, whatever you want to do to send me some good will as I try to procure some summer employment.

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

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Shirt: Thrifted

Jeans: Abercrombie

Boots: Ralph Lauren

March 15, 2018 – Springtime Cerulean (OOTD #246)

Guys look! I found some wall art in Lexington!

I’ve mentioned this many, many times but I find wall art to make for some for the best backgrounds for fashion photography. Shots like these here just support that thinking for me — all of the pretty archways at Notre Dame can’t compete with some colorful walls.

On a side note, these are some of the tightest, most uncomfortable jeans I own — though thankfully, you can’t tell that here. Seriously, I could barely bend my knees. Granted, I’ve had these jeans since like, middle school, so it’s honestly a miracle that I could even get them over my hips still. Think it’s time to give them to Goodwill.

I’m beginning to break out some of my spring clothes now, even though it still doesn’t really look or feel like spring in Kentucky or Indiana yet. Maybe my white jeans, bright colors, and polka dots can convince the sun to come out a little more?

Pretty please?

I’m also considering dyeing my hair a different color for the new season. The purple’s fading at this point and I’m presently with a kind of strange, lavender-tan mixture, so now’s as good a time as ever to do another semi-permanent color.

Leave me a comment below if you’ve got any suggestions for new hair colors! I’m not looking to use any more bleach, so I can’t do blonde (at least for now) but I’m open to other ideas for color to go on top of the bleached ends I presently have.

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

Jacket: Banana Republic

Top: PacSun

Jeans: Abercrombie

March 7, 2018 – Like A Lion (OOTD #240)

March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, right?

Welp, it’s definitely still leaning more on the lion side right now here in South Bend.

About a week before spring break, we got a few inches of snow, which I was not at all feeling given it was midterms week and I was already miserable. It was just the time when I could have used some sun, but of course, we got more snow.

South Bend has not yet squashed my love of snow, but I’m regardless very ready to be down with it now this season. The winter has overstayed its welcome, and the spring can come anytime now.

Come to think of it, I don’t usually have any complaints to make about springtime. Summer is too hot, winter is too cold, and fall is too short (or too long if you’re hoping for snow come Christmastime), but I generally like the spring. It’s not my favorite season — that honor ironically enough goes to winter — but I do rather appreciate it.

With spring typically comes horse racing season, but I don’t know if I’m going to at all be able to experience that this year since I’m no longer in Kentucky, Both the Keeneland spring meet in Lexington and Derby season in Louisville occur while I’m at school and end before I get back.

Not that I’ve ever been rich enough to really go out to the race track and do anything but look at the horses — but it was always nice to go and pretend you were cultured. Here, the most cultured thing I do is spend the extra quarter for the super cycle in the laundry room, haha.

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

Sweater: Hollister (thrifted)

Turtleneck: Forever21

Pants: Abercrombie (thrifted)

March 5, 2018 – No Capes (OOTD #238)

This outfit/background combo makes me feel way classier than I actually am.

The residence hall behind me, Dillon (or maybe it’s Duncan?), has this wonderful little Harry Potter-esque courtyard that makes for a really dramatic, castle-like background. I don’t use it as much as I should.

The whole aesthetic reminds me of something out of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” video — something about the theatrical outfit paired with the rich manor behind me. Or, alternatively, as one of my friends passing me in the dining hall said, “it looks like something Rowena Ravenclaw would wear.”

With an already dramatic outfit and dramatic background, it just makes sense that we would also get a dramatic and well-timed gust of wind to get my cape to blow out behind me as well!

I wasn’t counting on the breeze, but I’m glad I got it! Why wear a cape if it doesn’t catch in the wind, am I right?

Actually, the cape-in-the-wind thing was mostly just a nuisance all day trying to walk around to class. I finally ended up tucking it into my backpack — which probably wasn’t a very fashionable look. There’s a reason it’s not pictured here.

As Edna Mode from The Incredibles would say: 9Ybgz.gif

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

Cape: H&M

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Abercrombie

March 3, 2018 – Farmers’ Market Fashion (OOTD #237)

Oops…so it’s been a while.

Ironically, in my last blog post (well…not the last — but the second-to-last) , I said something along the lines of, “don’t worry, I’ll have a nice long blog post for you tomorrow!” And then, not only did I not have a long blog post, but I didn’t post a blog at all!

For three days.

I don’t typically have long periods of time between blog posts, so I guess three days isn’t the worst. I’m usually pretty good at posting consistently here, so here’s to hoping that I’m able to keep up my schedule for the rest of the year?

The other day, about a week before I left for spring break (so, a week before this blog was posted) some people in my section from my dorm all went on an outing to the South Bend Farmers’ Market. I don’t believe I’ve ever gone to a farmers’ market, but after what I saw on Saturday, I would 100% go again.

Maybe I was just really excited to see things that were for sale for money other than Flex Points or Domer Dollars, but it seemed like a nice little market they had set up. If I were rich enough to buy my produce locally every week, I could definitely see myself going with some friends on a Saturday morning, picking up our groceries, and then stopping somewhere for brunch.

Like I said, if I were rich. As it is, I bought one pound of grapes and that about wiped out my bank account, so I’m going to have to stick to every once in a while for now.

It was fun to get off campus, though. I think I’d been stuck at Notre Dame for about eight straight weeks when I finally got out for this little field trip, and I was definitely craving it.

We came across this little tea and spices shop, and the colors were just so delightful I couldn’t help but ask to get some pictures with it. I love a good background, so even on days where I don’t usually do OOTDs, like Saturdays, I’ll make an exception if I see a colorful, well-lit environnement. Lord knows I don’t always get those at school.

Top: Zara

Jeans: Abercrombie

Scarf: American Eagle