May 19, 2018 – Rooftop Adventures (OOTD #286)

And I’m back at it again with the parking garage photos.

If you’ll remember, a few months back over my spring break, a friend and I attempted to find a particular building in downtown Lexington that had a pretty view of the city. We’d seen it several times in other people’s Instagram photos, so we knew the relative location, but try as we might, we never found it. Now that summer break’s begun, we thought we would have another shot at finding a nice rooftop for fashion photography.

And we were successful! Sort of.

This still isn’t the elusive parking garage rooftop that we saw in so many Instagram posts, but this is a different one that I believe still makes for some good photography. The big building behind us is the University of Kentucky’s library (much nicer than Notre Dame’s in my opinion, even though it doesn’t have a gigantic mural of Jesus on the side of it). It’s not quite the downtown scene we were looking for, but I still thought it was fun.

Once we were up there, I whipped out my handy dandy remote camera feature on my Apple Watch, and we were in business to take some photos of ourselves, even though there was no one there to take them for us. Amanda drove her Prius up to about two feet away from the ledge we stood on, I balanced my phone against my purse atop the roof, and we got these fun shots!

Don’t play on rooftops though, kids. It’s dangerous. Do as I say, not as I do.

In actuality, though, this was a much safer set up than the previous parking garage we tried. It was less a ledge and more of an entire platform, so as long as we were careful, we were perfectly fine. I wouldn’t do cartwheels, still, but I felt pretty comfortable.

Plus, there was grass below us instead of concrete, so if we tripped and fell, at least our blood would splatter across the soft grass instead of the hard concrete.

As cool as these shots are, I’m still not quite satisfied. I mean, it’s just a library behind us — not the downtown city scene that I saw in so many people’s photos. I guess we shall have to keep searching.

It’s alright though. We do have the whole rest of the summer.

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: Tobi

Bralette: Aerie

Pants: American Eagle

October 13, 2017 – Friday the 13th (OOTD #135)

**spOoKy vibes**

It’s not even a spooky outfit here – I left my glittery spider tights and my ghost socks at home – but it was a spooky day.

What made it spooky, you ask? I took a Greyhound from South Bend to Dayton, Ohio, and that was quite creepy. Not necessarily the worst experience of my life, but um…far from great.

I’m no stranger to public transport, but I’m no connoisseur either – I am, you’ll remember, from Kentucky, and we don’t exactly have any subways or trains here. Plenty of horses, but sadly, you can’t just hop onto one of those and ride off to the mall.

Thus, pretty much all of the transport you do in KY is by car, which, for me, a car-less individual who is a pretty lousy driver at any rate, is far from ideal. I do believe Lexington has a public bus system, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s actually used it.

The entirety of my experience riding public buses comes from the school bus, which I suffered on regularly from age 11 to age 17, a bus or two from North Jersey into NYC, and a tour bus in Beijing. A Greyhound was an entirely new experience for me – all I’d heard about them came from Billy Joel’s lyric “taking a Greyhound / on the Hudson River Line” in “New York State of Mind,” and the La La Land lyric “I left him at a Greyhound station / west of Santa Fe” from “Another Day of Sun.”

And how was the experience? Ehhhh…it might have been better if the driver weren’t the rudest person I’d met in my life (though I can’t blame him, a job as a Greyhound driver must suck), and if I’d not sat next to an extremely obese woman for the first leg of the journey (though I can’t blame her either, it’s not her fault I chose to sit next her), but all in all – it was alright. I napped. I watched Treehouse of Horror episodes. I looked at memes on Twitter. It was pretty dull and the only sketchy thing that happened was that one time that the bus driver threatened to kick this one guy off the bus for…reasons? I don’t really know actually; I was pretty engrossed in Treehouse of Horror VI.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here 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 shrug thing: Forever21

Top: H&M

Bralette: Aerie

Jeans; Abercrombie

October 9, 2017 – The Dress Dilemma (OOTD #131)

This blog title sounds like the name of a book in a bad YA series about being a preteen girl.

You know those books, right? They’re about middle and high schoolers, but they’re aimed more towards elementary school kids. They’re usually pretty short, follow a similar formula in which a trivial problem is presented and then solved within 200 pages, and glamorize the lives of teenagers. Think Katie Kazoo, Dork Diaries, or How I Survived Middle School – if you were a little girl in the early 2000s like me, you probably ate those books up.

So what is the dress dilemma that I, the glamorous teenager, am going to solve in under 200 pages of text (far under 200 pages, as a matter of fact)?

It’s one that I have actually come across before on this blog. If you’ve been following me for a few months, you might remember that, back in mid-June, I wrote an extensive blog post about not knowing how to wear this dress. I believe I rather creatively called it “Tim-Gunning it,” as it was something of a “make it work moment.”

Here, we see another instance of me “Tim-Gunning it” – how was I supposed to wear this dress that was different from the way I wore it before? It’s oversized and drape-y, making it difficult to layer anything under it.

My solution? Layer underneath it!

Okay, so there admittedly isn’t anything super brilliant going on with this layering work – it’s just a bralette and some chokers (which, by the way, I haven’t been able to find since I wore those outfit on Monday) – in fact, I wore this bralette-choker combo a few months ago in the summer too.

But some attempt at creativity is better than nothing, and I’m pretty happy with this outfit regardless of if it’s nothing wildly transformative. The dress by itself it beautiful – I love the mixing of the complimentary colors of blue and orange as well as the mixing of the shimmery and soft textures. It’s just a nice design.

Anyway, that looks like it’s going to be it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Anthropologie

Bralette: Aerie

September 25, 2017 – I Have Pants On, I Promise (OOTD #119)

When will I ever stop posting my Friday OOTDs late on account of taking too long of an afternoon nap?

This time, at least, I woke up early enough to still be able to go to the dining hall for dinner. Last time, I made the mistake of sleeping until 8pm…and the dining hall closes on 7 on weekends. There was a very sad, very hungry Meilin that night.

Actually, I had ramen that night for dinner, so it was pretty chill. I’m never sad when there’s ramen around. The whole “starving college student who can only afford ramen” stereotype doesn’t bother me in the least.

Upon waking about 15 minutes ago, I immediately got to work on this blog – only to realize about three paragraphs in that I was missing the photos I needed for this date. Why? On Saturday, September 23, I went out apple picking with from some people in my residence hall, and I did my photos while out there. That shouldn’t be a problem, of course – except that my photos were taken from someone else’s camera, and I haven’t been sent them yet.

So rather than miss out on a blogging day,  I figured I’d switch the dates, so that September 25 will come before September 23 in the order of release. I believe this happened some other time in the history of this blog (I can’t remember quite for what reason, though), so it’s a bit annoying, but not the end of the world.

Anyway, the outfit for September 25 – I swear I have pants on. See, you can tell if I lift up my arms so my jacket raises above the hemline of my shorts. I admittedly got a couple of second-glances today, likely on account of my pseudo pants-less outfit.

It wasn’t even my intent to look pants-less! I’ve actually done that look before, so I have no problem with it, but I found I was self-consciously pulling down at my shorts all day trying to make them look more in existence under my jacket. Eventually, I decided to just unbutton my coat so that my shorts were clearly visible, but of course,  I didn’t think to do that until after I’d done my photos.

This post has been a mess…kind-of like my life lately. Wish I could stay and organize it a little more, but I’m scooting out to a pep rally in a few minutes. and I’m already late. Whoops.

Guess I shouldn’t be taking Friday afternoon naps.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here 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: Forever21

Top: Aerie

Shorts: They’re from H&M…but why bother mentioning it? They’re barely featured in this post 😂<<<
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September 4, 2017 – All Beige Everything (OOTD #103)

I’m not even wearing all beige in this outfit, lol.

Look, I love the buildings here at Notre Dame – they’re beautiful, architectural, and outright works of art – but my goodness, why are they all the same color?

I’m pretty sure everything here is this same golden beige tone. And it’s very pretty, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, a girl just wants to pose next to something that looks like a unicorn vomited on it, you know? Something like what you’d find in Shoreditch or even in the Louisville Highlands – something that’s bright, vibrant, and not beige.

(Don’t think I’m ever going to stop comparing places to Shoreditch – that place was freaking amazing and unforgettable).

For real, I’m trying to think of any buildings that aren’t either golden beige, white, or brick-colored here, and I’m drawing a blank. I guess there’s the Golden Dome, which is at the very least shiny (though gold is still a neutral), but I have no idea how to get up there. Can you even get up there?

There are a lot of buildings that I don’t know how to access here, actually. I don’t even now how to get onto the roof of my own residence hall. I feel like that ought to be my goal for my four years here – figure out how on earth to navigate all of the buildings. In particular, I want to make it to the upper floors of the basilica (are there upper floors to the basilica? There have to be – look at how tall those spires are), the inside of the main building (though I’m going to have to find a way in other than the front stairs – otherwise, I won’t graduate in four years), and the fourth floor of LaFun (I know there is one because I’ve seen the staircase…but the directories all say that there are only three floors…)

Anyway, I’ve definitely still got plenty to learn. I haven’t even made it off campus into the “city” of South Bend. “City” in quotation marks because let’s be honest…South Bend isn’t a city. I used to complain about Lexington being small and boring. Lexington is New York City compared to South Bend.

But honestly, I’ll take anything that South Bend has to offer, especially if it’s not beige.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here 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: Forever21

Bralette: Aerie

Jeans: Abercrombie

August 31, 2017 – It’s Casual (OOTD #100)

I can’t believe I’ve never used that as a blog title before.

For real – blog titles are hard, and I’m not very good about being creative with them. Thus, my titles are usually some sort of dumb reference to pop culture that’ll probably be irrelevant within a few months, but mean that I don’t have to come up with anything intelligent on my own.

I spend most of my waking existence as a college student trying to fake being intelligent in class, so I figure this blog is a place where I can be myself, yeah? And  “myself” really just means being lazy and un-creative most of the time, lol.

Case in point – Thursday’s outfit. It was pretty much as simple as it gets – a white t-shirt and jeans. Granted, I like to think there was a little creativity in there, as layering the green barrette underneath and matching the suede choker to the suede shoes took some thought, but I’d be lying if I said I thought it was a masterpiece.

It’s not, and that’s okay! Not every outfit is a winner, and I’m happy so long as none of them are absolute losers. I’ve even already had some girls from my dorm start telling me that I “look nice everyday,” which is usually my goal when I move to a new place and have to establish myself as a fashion-conscious person. Gaining a reputation for being stylish is all about wearing consistently thoughtful outfits, while every once in a while throwing in a truly artistic one to remind people that you take fashion seriously, and every once in a while, having a dud because nobody’s perfect.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here 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!

Top: Target

Bralette: Aerie

Choker: Madewell

Jeans: J. Crew (thrifted)

 

August 18, 2017- First Day at ND (OOTD #88)

Today I did what was, just a few days ago, practically unthinkable to me – moved into my college dorm room.

This was probably the bit I was most excited for in the whole beginning college ordeal. I’ve (or should I say, my parents) been buying things in preparation for this day for weeks. Granted, I’ve got some friends who have been preparing for months, and good for them, but I’m more of a “fly by the seat of your pants”  and “live in a state of denial whenever a big change is approaching” type of girl, so my excitement didn’t have that much time to fester.

But it did anyway, and every time I looked at my handprinted Indian bedding it festered (there’s your Scrabble word of the day) a little more. That’s really what got me through the ugly packing process followed by the 6 hour car drive up to South Bend on Thursday.

I’m not sure how I feel about this whole living situation at Notre Dame – I’m in a two-room quad, meaning there’s a little tiny back bedroom, where our four beds and four wardrobes sit, and then a much larger social space, with our desks and not much else. I actually don’t mind the space part, since I’ve managed to fit pretty much all the clothes I’d been wanting to bring (it’s still only about half of my full wardrobe), I’m just a little apprehensive about living with 3 other girls.

People exhaust me, and I need time by myself every day in order to restore my energy. How is that going to happen in this quad? I’m sure there will be plenty of secluded places for going off and studying in peace, but I really need a quiet, safe place where I can rest. I’m sure it’ll all turn out okay, the question is just when.

Another key issue: who’s going to take my OOTD photos now that I’m here? Fingers crossed that one of my roommates will be chill with it. Otherwise….maybe it’s time to invest in a tripod? Or make friends with an actual photographer? 😂

We’ll see. Hopefully it’s not long before I can connect with the artsy kids and we can mull over our own pretentious, artistic endeavors together.

On another note, it was perhaps a bad decision to wear a long white coat on an 80 degree day when you and your parents are hauling boxes across campus and up three flights of stairs, but I can’t help it – I just really want to look nice while I’m here. It’s not even so much the fact that it’s my first day on campus and I want to impress people; on the contrary, I feel like the first week of school is a terrible time to bust out your nicest outfits, since everyone’s distracted by the first day of school stuff. Plus, they’re probably a little nicer dressed than usual too. so it’s more difficult to stand out.

#PrayforMei – Lord knows I need it.

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

Jacket: Vintage

Skirt: H&M

Bralette: Aerie

July 12, 2017 – Cambridge, CANbridge, CAN’Tbridge (OOTD #66)

That was a dumb title, I know.

But hey, those are just a staple at this point at L’ensemble du jour. What is a blog post without a stupid, kind-of-but-mostly-not clever title?

By day 7, Amanda and I were growing tired of London. Its newness had worn off, and we were running out of neighborhoods and boroughs we wanted to see. Sue offered to take us out to see Windsor, but the admission prices were sort-of steep, and we are poor college kids who are only here in London by some rather lucky circumstances. Thus, we decided to take our Oyster cards and take a little day trip out to Cambridge.

You’ll notice I said “take our Oyster cards out to Cambridge,” and if you’re a London local, you’ll know that doesn’t work – Oyster cards only work on zones 1-9 throughout the Greater London area. But we are not London locals, and we did not know that wouldn’t work, so we wound up an hour and a half later at a platform in Cambridge with no way to swipe out to get into the actual town.


We had two options at that point – take the train out to the closest station where our Oyster card would allow us to swipe out, so we could buy tickets (which happened to be Broxbourne, the station we began at – and the station that I just mentioned was an hour and a half away) or find a railway worker, admit our mistake, and pay the penalty fee.

We opted for the former.

We hopped back on the Liverpool St train and prepared ourselves for a very long, very sad journey all the way back to Broxbourne. Thankfully, as luck, or perhaps God, would have it, we didn’t have to go all the way back to Broxbourne – the first stop the Liverpool train made was this little town called Shelford, which had a ticket dispenser machine right there on the platform.

In the end, it was probably only a 30 minute detour, but it felt much, much longer. It some ways, it was a happy mistake though – by using our Oyster cards to swipe out at Broxbourne, riding the train to Shelford, and then buying tickets for a ride from Shelford to Cambridge, we only had to pay about three pounds for the whole journey rather than the twenty-something it would have cost to ride from Broxbourne to Cambridge.

Finally in Cambridge, we were in desperate need of some refreshment, so we stopped in a Caffè Nero, the English equivalent of Starbucks. We got some well-deserved coffee, charged our phones, and rested up a bit before embarking on the 30 minute trek all the way out to central Cambridge.

Cambridge was a really beautiful town. It wasn’t exactly a small countryside village, but it almost felt like it; it was so different from the bustle of London. People were riding their bikes everywhere, the roads were uneven cobblestone, and I kept getting weird glances from the much more conservatively dressed locals because I was wearing a crop top.

We had wanted to go punting tour on the river in Cambridge, but unfortunately, we missed out on the final tour of the day due to some big group that was coming in later in the day. It was a bit disappointing, not being able to take this one actual guided tour we’d scheduled, but we still got to see the town and the school, so it was okay. We walked around some more, stopped in a pub where I got bangers and mash (very, very good by the way – but very, very heavy), and then got a rather overpriced Uber back to the station.

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

Top: Aerie

Skirt: Street vendor in New York

Choker: Madewell

July 8, 2017 – Unconventional Pride Outfit (OOTD #62)

London: Day 4


We told ourselves we were going to give ourselves a “relaxed” day today – it wasn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t still fun – but relaxing? You could probably cross that off the list of descriptive words.


We began by heading over to Waltham Abbey, a small, historic town just about 15 minutes away from Broxbourne. Amanda and I agreed, it was one neat little area. The oldest towns in America are only a couple hundred years old because, of course, our country is also only a couple hundred years old, but this, this just made Jamestown and Plymouth look like children. The church has been around since 1030 (or so the Wikipedia article says), and every building in town oozes with antiquity.


After walking around a bit there, we were dropped off at the station to catch a train into London….only to find out after Sue drove away that the Waltham Abbey station was closed. It was whatever, we were able to walk over to another one that was open, but it was 20 minutes of stress in my life I didn’t need.


We had originally wanted to go back to Oxford Street today, but, as we found out, the Pride Festival was going on in that area, so it was closed. That didn’t phase us though – we decided to go to Pride then, instead.

Since we didn’t know we’d be going, we didn’t have any rainbow attire, so we might’ve looked kind of out of place, but it was so packed and crowded, I doubt anyone was paying attention since the number one priority for most people was just to stay standing. I’m used to crowds, and I don’t mind them, but this was bad. There were moments I couldn’t move, I was so smushed up against other people. I’m sure they had really tight security, given everything that’s gone on in London in the least year, but it was an excellent place for a terrorist attack.


We got a few photos and decided to get out of there quickly.


After that, we hit up Buckingham Palace. We didn’t get to see the inside or anything, but the outside was enough. It was stately – beautiful, grand, and kind-of cold. I’m glad we saw it – it’s arguably one of the most British things in all of England, and as a tourist, it was fun to see – but it’s not like a museum you got to walk around. We got our photos, and within 20 minutes, we were done.


In my opinion – the best kind of tourist site!


Last on the agenda was to get some food and drink at a pub. We opted for this old one called The Camel, which, let me tell you, had the most delicious chicken pie I’ve ever tasted. I also bought a pint of ale, which I managed to get through maybe 3/4 of. The more I drank, the more I liked it – or, rather, tolerated it. I’m not an ale person, apparently.


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

Shirt: Forever21

Bralette: Aerie

Pants: the LOFT

June 27, 2017 – Reggae and Calypso (OOTD #53)

…won’t you save me, San Francisco?

Had a great night last night with my friend Amanda at a Train concert in Cincinnati.

Admittedly, Train isn’t my favorite band on the planet. I like them well enough, and a couple of their songs – I’m thinking “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” and “Save Me San Francisco” – have been in rotation on my iTunes and Spotify playlists for years, but mostly, I wasn’t too familiar with their work. I actually had to create a playlist of their setlist the day before the concert so I could study up on their library more, since I wanted to be able to sing along at least to the courses of the songs I didn’t know.

But I love concerts, and I will happily drop all of my spending money to go see them, regardless of how much I know about the band. There’s something really spectacular about being in a room full of people connected by music, and whether I love the music or not, I love the vibe.

My first concert, Demi Lovato, was back when I was in fourth grade, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I even remember the outfit I wore to see Demi Lovato – black boots, denim skirt, green henley, denim vest, white jacket, green scarf, straw fedora-like hat. Tacky and awkward as it sounds, I remember feeling really fashionable for 2008, and I actually remember getting a lot of compliments.

Not wanting to be passed up by my fourth grade self, I had to put together an outfit worthy of a summer concert. I feel like Train has an almost country vibe to their music, and I wanted to reference that in my look. But I don’t really have any country-looking clothes, and regardless, I’m not really a country person, so I went for a boho summer festival look instead. Close enough…ish?

But for real, I do like my outfit today. I spent forever trying to find a bralette that layered nicely under the high neck of my tank top (as it turned out, a high neck bralette was perfect for the job), and I layered a sheer kimono on top for “warmth.” Or maybe just fashion. I don’t know, practicality and aesthetic run together in my head sometimes.

I topped it all off with a layered choker and a gold headband, and I felt like I was almost cool enough to stand in the parking lot of Coachella and direct traffic. Almost. Hey 

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

Shirt and shorts: H&M

Kimono: Hollister

Bralette: Aerie

Headband: Altar’d State