March 24, 2019 – Transition Fashion (OOTD #480)

Late-March in South Bend is weird.

You know how the saying is “in like a lion, out like a lamb?” Well, South Bend March can’t decide which one it wants to be — so it comes in and out like both a lion and a lamb multiple times. Sometimes in the same day.

Such was the case with this outfit. It was cold enough that I wanted to wear my big yellow blanket scarf, but warm enough that I could go in bare legs under my skirt. It rained, but didn’t snow, and then once you had gotten wet, the chilly winter wind would come and rip through you.

I was also breaking in a new pair of ballet pink penny loafers, which were painful to wear and left my feet bleeding at the end of the day. Just like real pointe shoes, I guess.

The point of all of this is to say that I don’t necessarily know what to do with my outfits in late-March. Do you keep up like it’s winter, keeping your hopes down in case another frost comes in April? Do you dress for spring, hoping for a warm day and the sunshine to melt away the last piles of dirty ice lingering in the parking lot?

Hence, the title of this blog “Transition Fashion.” In recognition all of the awkward moments we’ve all had when we can’t decide what to wear because the weather is crazy during the transition between seasons.

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


Dress: American Eagle

Jacket: Forever21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jacket: Levi’s (thrifted)

Sweater: Abercrombie

Jeans: American Eagle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Hat and Scarf: Harry Potter store

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted, Foxhouse Vintage)

Sweater: American Eagle

Jeans: Abercrombie (thrifted)

 

March 1, 2019 – Getcha Head in the Game (OOTD #462)

Up next in Meilin Uses Sports for an Aesthetic Rather Than their Actual Purpose: basketball!

I had a basketball phase very briefly as a kid. I never played it on an actual team, and so I never learned the actual rules (beyond, you know, get the ball in the hoop) but i would play it a lot on the playground with my friends. I think it was just because of the games you could play with the balls that my school had — basically, basketball or soccer (and maybe football?) — basketball was easier for seven year-old-me with literally zero athletic ability to pick up.

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he did what ???

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I could dribble a ball, I could throw it in the general direction of other people. What else is there to basketball?

Apparently, as I found out later in life, there’s a lot more to basketball. The few times I’ve actually had to play basketball according to the proper rules during gym class, I’ve been terrible at it. I didn’t like the people getting in my personal space and waving their smelly arms, and I didn’t like how physically aggressive you had to be in order to actually take the ball from someone. I like my sports without physical aggression.

Basketball is third behind maybe volleyball and kickball in the List of Sports I Have Found That I Am Bad At. This list doesn’t include sports that I’m pretty certain I would be bad at without even trying them — like lacrosse or ice hockey.

Anyway, though I lack any natural affinity for physical activity, I’ve found I like the aesthetic of sports. There’s something edgy about an empty tennis or basketball court.

Is it offensive to people who actually play these sports to reduce them to just their aesthetic for a cute picture? Am I appropriating athlete culture? If so, I apologize. I’m sorry I can’t actually play basketball and I don’t really care to learn how at this point in my life. If it makes me inauthentic to stand in a basketball court and use it for fashion photography, then I guess I’m fake.

I am also wearing a beret and I’m not French. I seem to be doing poorly at the whole authenticity 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 Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Blouse: Forever21

Trousers: American Eagle

Beret: A tree on North Quad (I’m not kidding — I found this hat frozen to a tree branch on campus. It looked like it needed a home, so pried it off the tree, washed it, and it’s mine now)

 

 

 

February 14, 2019 – Valentine Times (OOTD #455)

This is my twentieth Valentine’s Day as a human being on this planet, and allow me to say: it’s a rather overrated holiday.

For adults, at least. As a kid, Valentine’s Day is great: you get to decorate your shoebox for all of your friends to place their cards into, you get candy, and if you’re lucky, maybe your dad takes you out to eat somewhere or your mom makes heart-shaped cookies. As classroom parties go, Valentine’s Day is up there with Christmas and Halloween.

But as an adult, what do you even do? Go out to dinner? You can do that any day of the year — and in fact, it’s almost worse going out on Valentine’s Day due to how busy it is. Regardless of if you have a significant other or not, I feel like Valentine’s Day as an adult is just an excuse to spend more money — not that all holidays aren’t like that in some shape or form, but I think Valentine’s Day is worse.

People generally want to buy Christmas decorations or Easter Bunny chocolates. Does anyone really want to buy candy hearts or overpriced Hallmark cards?

What’s the most strange to me is that adults do not exchange Valentines on Valentine’s Day — something I think they should do. It’s cute, and fun, and cheap. You don’t even have to buy them if you don’t want to; they’re easy to make and probably even nicer when they’re homemade. If exchanging Valentines became a custom for adults like it is for children, I think people would enjoy Valentines Day a lot more.

I don’t hate Valentine’s Day, though, I’d like to make that clear. I don’t like the “I hate Valentine’s Day” mentality, especially when it comes from bitter single people. I’m a single person too. But I like to support my friends who are in healthy and committed relationships and those who aren’t but are currently looking for one. It’s cute and harmless.

Since I generally don’t do anything on Valentine’s Day, one of the things I do like to do is get dressed up. I mean, I get dressed up a lot — but I like to use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to get dressed up a little extra.

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thanks for the stuff @trueandco

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Today’s outfit features a lace bodysuit from True&Co. They were kind enough to send me one complimentary to style for my blog, and I’m really surprised with how much I like it!  At first, I wasn’t really sure how I could make a collaboration with a lingerie company work, as LEDJ is more about outerwear than underwear, but I think this makes for a really fun, layered outfit.

They also sent me a bra and panties — which I will not be styling for this blog, unfortunately — but I did still very much like them.

To top it all off, I found some roses in the trashcan of my dorm (I’m sure there’s a really fascinating story there) that I decided to take back with me and set up in a vase in my room. I’ve never gotten flowers for Valentine’s Day before, so it was a pretty exciting find — even if they weren’t met for me. Trashcan roses are still roses.

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: Forever21

Shirt: Banana Republic

Lace Bodysuit: True&Co. Lingerie Stripe and Lace Bodysuit

Jeans: American Eagle

January 22, 2019 – Primary Construction (OOTD #442)

You know that big iconic building on Notre Dame’s campus with the golden dome on top? Here’s the inside of it.

You’d think that, being such a prominent feature of Notre Dame culture, that Main Building would be somewhere the students go all the time. It’s even got a (boring) name like Main Building that implies its prominence. But nope — in actuality, I almost never venture inside here.

There are no classrooms, no restaurants, and no study spaces, and so there’s no reason to go. About all of the space in Main Building is devoted to offices, and whatever’s left is for Father Jenkins’s living quarters (probably?), storage space for the Christmas tree, and some questionable murals of Christopher Columbus. In fact, if you have to go to Main Building for a meeting, it implies that something out of the ordinary is going on.

And for me, visiting Main Building on January 22, something out of the ordinary absolutely was going on! I had just received my acceptances to study abroad programs, and I had a few questions to ask of my advisor. As it turned out, her office was in Main Building.

Long story short — this coming fall, I’ll be studying in Washington DC, and in the spring, I’ll be studying in Paris at Sciences-Po. There’s a lot more that went into that meeting with my advisor and my decision-making process, but I’ll spare you the details for now. I know it’s a subject that’s going to come up a lot in the coming months as I start getting ready to go.

Anyway, on my way out from my meeting, I decided to stop by window and get some pictures of my outfit. Going into Main Building is a momentous occasion — I had to get some photographic evidence to preserve for future generations.


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!

Turtleneck: Free People

Sweater: Forever21

Pants: American Eagle

December 28, 2018 – Group Tours (OOTD #430)

Traveling in a large group is hard.img_1340

Over my last several experiences traveling, I’ve come to the conclusion that the more people you’re with, the more complicated it gets. Trying to coordinate schedules, preferences, budgets: it’s all so much, and in the end, passive aggressive arguments and frustrations always break out.

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Being alone is also not ideal either, though — who are you going to get to take your photos? The best travel situation has to be just one other partner.And so for today’s Doha adventures, I gave up on trying to hang out with the group if it didn’t suit me. The previous few days, I had been trying so hard to hang out with as many people as possible, to give everyone my attention who wanted it. But that was exhausting, and in the end, I wasn’t having as much fun as I think I could have been. So I decided to go off and do what I wanted, and if people decided to join me, then I wasn’t going to stop them.

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small person, large city

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Our first stop was the Corniche, which I had seen lit up at night the previous day. I was expecting to be uninterested, as I had already seen it before, but seeing it in the day time really made a difference. Nighttime, with the bright colorful lights, was a little cooler, but I have to say that daytime was a spectacular sight as well — it looked like something out of a futuristic sci-fi film. Plus, I got some cool photos, which is usually my measure for if I  had a good time at a tourist site.

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State Grand Mosque was next. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get to go in. We, the American students, were supposed to have been allowed in — but, without hair coverings, the woman at security wouldn’t allow us in as non-Muslims. Instead, we sat outside with a few other Muslim women who decided to keep us company, either in solidarity or disinterest in going in to pray.

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let’s talk mosques

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After that slight disappointment, we moved on to a collection of museums. I don’t really have any photos from here, since in my opinion, there wasn’t much to photograph. One of the museums we saw, the slavery museum, was actually quite fascinating and very well done, but it wasn’t a place for fashion pics, you know?

Then, we went back to the Souq Waqif marketplace for shopping and dinner, making it my third time in three days that I had been there. By now, the Souq’s uniqueness had worn off, and its twisting alleyways and street vendors were no longer novel to me. I devoted myself to a single task — finding a scarf to buy — and avoided distractions as much as possible. With only an hour before we had to meet for dinner, I had to stay focused, or else risk leaving Qatar having withdrawn $40 in Qatari Riyals and having spent none.

The last stop for the night was the Corniche once again, so that those who hadn’t seen it lit up at night before could see it for the first time. For me, having seen the Corniche three times now (once in the day and now twice at night), I was basically a seasoned Dohan (Dohian? Doher?) local. The skyscrapers, with their bright pink and orange and  purple lights, still left me in awe.

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: Forever21

Dress: American Eagle

December 15, 2018 – Rerouted (OOTD #423)

Welp, that didn’t’t go as planned.

My semester had ended, I’d finished up all of my finals, and I thought I knew for certain what all of my grades were going to be.There shouldn’t have been anything else left to worry about — everything was supposed to be set for me to make it home by 7PM on Saturday night.

So why then did I not make it back until 10AM the following morning?

That’s an excellent question, and one I’m still asking myself. See, I was supposed to have two flights — one from Chicago Midway at 10AM to Atlanta, and another from Atlanta to Lexington at 5PM that would have gotten me home by early evening. Why not just one direct flight from Chicago to Lexington? Because money, that’s why — I basically always fly as cheaply as possible.

Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea this time, however, because after I made it to Atlanta, all of my troubles began. I shouldn’t have been surprised because I hate the Atlanta airport — the last time I was there, I got trapped for two days after a bad storm in the Southwest trapped the entire airport full of people, meaning that Amanda and I, as two sorry idiots who flew standby, were stuck there until two spots finally opened up for a flight to Lexington. This time, I made it out of Atlanta alive and on time, but my flight didn’t reach my destination. Instead, it got rerouted to Indianapolis 15 miles away from our destination.

Apparently, the runway lights were out or something. I don’t manage airports, so I can’t claim to know how everything works, but it strikes me that that’s not an issue that you should allow to happen. Anyway, my flight couldn’t land, and so they flew us all to Indianapolis at 10PM at night, three hours after we were supposed to have landed in Kentucky.

In Indianapolis, they made us sit there for an hour before they finally decided to cancel the flight, at which point, they shoved us all into the airport with some hotel vouchers. Unfortunately, the troubles didn’t end there.

They put us in a (crappy) hotel about 10 miles away from the airport. I felt so badly for the hotel staff — they clearly were not prepared for an airplane-load of people to show up at 10PM at night. They only had one shuttle, and the shuttle could only take 10 people at a time, which sucked for the airplane full of people who were stuck waiting out in the cold as the shuttle made the 30 minute trip back and forth from the airport to the hotel. Then, of course, when I finally made it to the hotel at about 11PM at night, the poor lone person standing there at the desk was still struggling to make it through the line of people waiting to get rooms.

I don’t think I made it up to my room until about midnight — and at that point, I only had five hours until it was time to get up again and catch the shuttle to get back to the airport for my 7:30AM flight. Resigned to my sad fate, I took some pictures of my outfit (because I figured this was too good of a story to not give it a proper blog post treatment — and also because I liked this outfit), and got a few hours of shut-eye before dragging myself back to the airport.

Thankfully, though, our flight departed on time, and I finally made it back home. It was over 12 hours later than I was supposed to be — and basically 24 hours after I departed from school on Saturday morning. Can you believe that? It took me 24 hours to make it from Chicago to Lexington, which, by plane, should have taken two hours — four if you count the bus ride from campus to Midway.

I don’t think it was my worst travel debacle, but it’s up there. Maybe #2, after the other Atlanta tragedy that I mentioned earlier. I do love to fly, don’t get me wrong — but I don’t love it when I get stranded at airports and bus stops and creepy hotels for 12 hours at a time.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life as a world traveler. 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: Thrifted

Shirt: J.Crew

DressAmerican Eagle

October 15, 2018 – The Continuing Adventures of Fall Break (OOTD #393)

Fun fact: these photos happen to have been taken at the same Mexican restaurant as the photos from this post. 

Fun fact #2: these photos were also taken right after I got a haircut, which is the same as what happened after that same post.

Haircuts for me take a ridiculously long time. For one, I’m not just getting my hair cut — I’m also getting it bleached and colored. Even when I’m just having my roots done, it can take a long time to apply, then a long time to sit as I wait for it to have an effect, and then another long time to wash out. And then, an even longer time as I wait for the whole process to start over for a second time, since my hair is so dark that it requires two rounds of bleach in order to lighten it to blonde.

Haircuts are basically a whole-day affair. It’s worth it, and it’s so much better having it done than trying to do it on my own, but I can basically count on doing nothing else all day but sitting in the stylist’s chair and watching afternoon television.

So after my exhausting day of sitting in the stylist’s chair and watching afternoon television, it makes sense that I should reward myself for a job well done — hence the Mexican restaurant afterwards. I have to rejuvenate myself with nachos after working so hard all day.

Everyone criticizes my generation of being lazy, but I disagree — it’s hard work being a full-time student for three months straight. You never get to escape school. You live there, so it dominates every moment of your time on campus. Getting to go home, away from school, and indulge in sitting in a hair salon for an entire day without anything to do — that’s what break is made for.

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

Jacket: Forever12

Sweater: American Eagle

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?)