September 26, 2018 – Oktoberfest (OOTD #382)

I know close to nothing about Oktoberfest — I’ve never been to one in Germany, I’ve never been to one in the US, and I’ve never even done a basic Google search to figure out what it is.

But with all of the things I don’t know about Oktoberfest, I do know that women’s traditional dresses kinda look like this for it. Or at least, that’s what my roommate compared my outfit to when I came out that morning.

I was actually going for more of a vintage 60s look, but I guess traditional German villager works too.

I’m so far behind with these blogs, I’m afraid I don’t have any Halloween content to give you today, even though it’s Halloween the day I’m posting this. I hope a September Oktoberfest outfit will suffice. Don’t worry — the Halloween content is coming. It just might not being coming until like…Christmas.

If anyone has advice on how to make sure that festive content is posted at the appropriate time, I would love to hear it. I don’t like to force myself to write blogs the day I take pictures for them, so I couldn’t probably get the Halloween outfit blog out on Halloween day, but it does feel silly if it comes a month late. Should I post the Halloween content on Halloween even if it messes with the chronological order of the other blogs?

I mean, ideally I guess I’d just keep up with my daily blogs and not wind up a month behind…but…life happens, you know? Sometimes it’s Halloween and you’re writing about an unintentional Oktoberfest outfit you wore in September.

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 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!

White blouse: The LOFT

Red top: Express (thrifted)

Skirt: Abercrombie

September 11, 2018 – Power Stances Only (OOTD #372)

You’re welcome to disagree with me, but I personally really feel like my posing has gotten better over the last year or so on this blog.

I can’t pretend I’m a fashion model or anything, or that any of the producers at Marvel are going to want me on their next superhero film poster, but I have certainly gotten more comfortable in front of a camera. While I definitely have my preferred stances that I come back to repeatedly (see: playing with my hair in some way or twirling), I do those stances pretty well. At least, I think I do.

It’s going to sound silly, but I’ve found the best way for me to improve how I look in photos is to experiment by myself by taking pictures on my own. When I have someone else take my picture, I’m always hesitant so as not to waste their time, so unless it’s a friend whom I’m already very close with, I tend not to ask much of them in terms of retaking things that don’t look quite right. When I’m on my own, just using the remote timer feature of my Apple Watch to snap shots with my iPhone, I don’t have to worry about wasting anyone’e time.

Well, my own, I guess. I can say that I have definitely done that before.

Honestly, the best “posing practice” I’ve ever gotten has probably been last semester, when I would hang out in Notre Dame’s art building late at night studying or working on projects. I’d wait until the building cleared out, or at least mostly cleared out, and then I’d prop my phone up on a chair and start practicing. No one was there to judge me, and I could try out any number of dumb poses to see what worked.

Essentially, it was the adult version of making funny faces at yourself in the mirror.

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power stances only

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I’ve also found that just keeping up with other fashion bloggers and Instagrammers to see what kinds of poses they tend to use, and then replicating those, works too. Obviously, not every pose or angle will work for everyone or for every outfit/background combination, but it’s good to experiment. I’ve taken to posing with one leg crossed in front of the other while I lean back a little on the back leg (which, obviously, because I’m writing about it here, I wouldn’t have any examples to show you in this blog — check this one though if you want to see what I’m talking about) because I learned from other petite bloggers that it makes your legs look longer.

I actually keep a Pinterest board for Instagram inspiration — backgrounds, poses, ideas for photoshoots, anything I think could make for a nice addition to my feed. It’s also great to have around if you and a friend are in the mood to get cute pictures together, but you can’t think of what would make for a good post.

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 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

Top: Abercrombie

Jeans: American Eagle

(Lots of A brands today, no?)

September 1, 2018 – Fall Football (OOTD #363)

Here we are, the first home game of the year!

It’s hard to believe that’s been a year since my very first home game at Notre Dame. I remember when I first wrote about that — how I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it, and how I thought that the fanfare surrounding a football game was a little hard to comprehend.

And you know what? I still find it hard to comprehend. I wholeheartedly participate in the fanfare, but admittedly, I don’t truly understand it anymore than I did this time last year. No matter how many games I go to, how many iterations of “The Shirt” I buy, how many times I watch Rudy on the field — it’s still just a game of football to me.

They’re fun games of football, though. I sometimes resent how they take up literally an entire day, with the tailgating, band concerts, and parties on top of the already four-plus hour long game, but I go each time without fail. Except that one time I missed the USC game because I lost my ticket after a harrowing Greyhound bus ride, which apparently ended up being the best game of the year.

I’ll actually be missing another game this year too, but this time, intentionally. I’m going to see Fall Out Boy in Chicago with my friend Amanda, and I consider that more way important than going to see Notre Dame inevitably beat Ball State on a rainy day.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though — I’m supposed to be talking about the first home game.

It’s always a challenge to find an interesting way to wear “The Shirt,” which all students (and a good portion of fans) wear to the first home game of the year. The thing is, it’s just a generic shirt. Sometimes the print on it is cool (this year it wasn’t really), but in terms of the actual cut and fit of the Shirt itself…it’s a t-shirt. And if it’s hot out, like it was in early September, you don’t really want to do anything but wear it on its own with a pair of shorts.

I’m a fashion blogger, though, and I’m not about to just wear it with a pair of shorts. No, I had to add a scarf, a skirt, and thigh-high socks. I then of course proceeded to sweat all day and regret my commitment to fashion.

Notre Dame beat Michigan though, so maybe it was worth it. #MuckFichigan, amirite?

(No offense to the Michigan fans out there. I didn’t actually know we had a rivalry with Michigan until this game so…there’s no bad blood 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 at home 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: Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore

Skirt: Abercrombie

August 26, 2018 – Just Right (OOTD #356)

I never know when I buy clothes which pieces will get the most wear.

Apart from obvious staples, like leggings and jeans and plain tops that are worn on a weekly basis, a lot of my other clothes I buy without knowing how frequently I’ll be able to wear them. Obviously, I don’t buy things unless I know I will wear them for some reason eventually — no reason to go about acquiring clothes without purpose. But if I come to the conclusion that I like a piece, and that I will have the occasion to wear it, there’s no way for me to tell easily if I’ll feel inspired to wear it often or not. So I buy it knowing it will get use, but not knowing if that use will be frequent.

Some of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe, that I love for their artistic design, I actually don’t wear much. Take this jacket and this top for example — I haven’t worn an outfit with either one for months. Still, I love them and consider them among my favorites, so why don’t I wear them?

I guess it comes from the fear that if I wear something too much, I’ll come to be bored with it. Consequently, there ends up being a set of clothing that neither love nor hate that I nonetheless wear with great frequency — and that includes this plaid jacket.

I like this jacket, I really do. But I don’t love it — it’s kind of itchy, and it tends to get wrinkly  easily. Regardless, I find that I often end up wearing it a lot (relative to other things in my wardrobe) because it falls perfectly into that “indifferent” category. I’m not afraid I’ll get tired of it by wearing it a lot, and I’m not put off from wearing it because I don’t actually like it much.

To reference the classic piece of literature, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it’s “just right.”

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 at Potre Lame. 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: Thrift

Top: Express (thrift)

Jeans: Abercrombie

Boots: Ralph Lauren

August 4, 2018 – NuLu Life (OOTD #341)

NuLu = New Louisville, and that’s your daily dose of Kentucky trivia.

I actually lived in Louisville as a kid, but I don’t remember the city itself very well. My family was in a suburban area, so we didn’t go downtown a lot, especially since I was pretty young. We would always go to Waterfront Park for the Thunder over Louisville fireworks show during Derby season, which was a highlight of my childhood, but otherwise, I don’t remember going into the city often.

So I can’t say if Louisville itself has changed, or if I simply don’t remember it well — but it seemed way cooler than it was back when I lived there. I  remember Louisville as a city with a lot of buildings and a lot of restaurants, but not much in terms of actual things to do. I’ve even gone back and visited Louisville a few times since moving to Lexington, but I guess I’d never really figured out the best neighborhoods to visit.

Anyway, the NuLu neighborhood was pretty sweet. I’d gone past it a few times, but this was my first time really walking around and exploring — going into shops, restaurants, etc. We went with the intent of visiting a particular outdoor flea market (my family’s very into markets, it seems), and we were not disappointed.

The highlight was probably a particular shop we went into that, surprisingly, made for some great photography. I often feel a little weird about taking pictures in a store (it seems unfair to take advantage of a cute store layout if I don’t really buy anything), but I couldn’t stop myself with this gorgeous garden setup. I did tag the store in my Instagram post, so I guess I was kind of justified?

What an influencer I am.

I don’t know if any of you other fashion bloggers out there have experienced the same thing, but I’ve started to judge my enjoyment of an event based on how much good photography I get. Is that shallow? And there’s nothing worse than going out to a cute location and not having a cute outfit — or the converse, having a cute outfit and not being able to find a good background. By these new standards, though, I’d say I had a particularly good day!

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 in Kentucky. 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: Zara

Bralette: Aerie

Skirt: Abercrombie

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