July 31, 2019 – Off to the Races (OOTD #537)

Disclaimer: This post contains products that were received complimentary from DiscountGlasses.com. All opinions are my own.


Sometimes, I happen upon clothing in the strangest places.

Case in point: I came across these racing silks (the jacket jockeys wear when racing horses) in a bargain bin of a leather goods store’s going-out-of-business sale.

Apparently, they’d been used as a part of store decorations and promotional material during spring meets (aka, around the time of the Kentucky Derby). They also had various Christmas and Halloween decorations in the pile. With the store going out of business, there was no reason for them to keep their horse season decorations, and so they threw them in the bin to get rid of.

I of course wasn’t really in the hunt for racing silks when I entered the leather goods shop — I was looking for leather goods (specifically, for a wallet to replace the one I lost whilst in Rome). I found the wallet first, and as I was waiting for my dad to finish looking around, I came across their bargain bin holiday decorations.

I couldn’t resist the jacket, even though I admit I don’t really need more jackets. It’s just such a fun yet unobtrusive was to represent my Kentucky heritage in fashion. Who needs one of those t-shirts that says “y’all” inside the silhouette of Kentucky when you can have racing silks?

Side note: these are the exact same brand and model of glasses that I lost in France after a Tinder date gone-awry! Long story short, I had just gotten this new pair of glasses from DiscountGlasses.com as a part of a sponsorship, and so I brought them with me on my trip to Vichy, France right after Christmas. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to bring them back from my trip to Vichy, France, as I somehow lost them while I was on a walk in a park with a guy named Axel whom I’d met through Tinder.

I liked them so much that I decided to order a replacement pair. They’re the Westend Argyle Park design, and you can check them out here on DiscountGlasses.com’s website. Maybe you’d also like to bring them with you on your next trip to France.

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


Jacket: Thrifted (a local leather goods store)

Top: H&M

Shorts: American Eagle

Glasses: DiscountGlasses.com (Westend Argyle Park)

July 14, 2019 – Castle on the Hill (OOTD #532)

Blog title courtesy of this Ed Sheeran song. 

With the exception of the fact that this castle in these photos was on more of a mountain than a castle, that is a rather fitting song to go with this blog. For full effect, have it playing in the background while you read this.

I’m kidding — don’t do that, that’s corny. Or maybe do, if you like sappy songs and sappy blogs about nostalgia.

Why reference an Ed Sheeran song that I only kind-of sort-of like? Because this is the second-to-last blog covering my two-month summer 2019 adventure in Europe that, thus far in the chronology of this blog, has spanned four countries and nine cities (soon to be five countries — but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s blog for that story), and I’m feeling nostalgic. It was a fun summer. I didn’t want it to end. Now I don’t want to finish writing about, because that means it’s done for good.

On my final day in Croatia, my friend, her cousin and I all hiked up the side of a mountain to where the ruins of Samobor Old Town castle were located. This was somewhere that my friend’s cousin had been trying to get us to go to for the entire week, but for one reason or another — exhaustion, illness, weather — we hadn’t yet made it.

I was actually afraid we might not get to go at all. I like to think of myself as pretty receptive and flexible when it comes to travel experiences, but I don’t know if everyone else is the same way. Someone had mentioned that there might be snakes in the area, and I think my friend was a little nervous to go. I kept mentioning that I was interested in going though, and eventually, she relented.

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hvala, sljedeći.

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And I’m sure glad I pushed for it. Maybe castle ruins aren’t a big deal if you’re from Europe and there are ancient castles everywhere you turn, but as an American from Kentucky who hadn’t seen a castle up until this summer, it’s still very cool.

Croatia is one of the filming locations of Game of Thones, and Samobor Old Town made it obvious why. Where else in the world can you find castle ruins that are just ruined enough to be whimsical but not so ruined to be unattractive? And in the picturesque mountains of a small countryside town?

On the last night in Croatia, we went to dinner with my friend’s family. I was happy to have been invited along, but I’ll admit I felt a little out of place. The whole week, I was afraid I was somehow overstepping my boundaries as a guest and the only non-family person there, even though there was no indication from my friend’s family that they felt that way. If anything, they were too friendly and accommodating — I know I’ll never be able to return the favor in full, so there’s nothing I can do but be grateful that they allowed me to stay with them in Samobor for a week

That night, when I went to bed, I was full of conflicted feelings. In one sense, I was sad to be leaving Europe after I’d had so much fun and become thoroughly enchanted with their public transportation infrastructure; in another, I was glad to finally be heading home after two months away (which had almost immediately followed another two months away at school). In a third sense, I was nervous to have to fly out again the following day for a three flight, 42 hour travel sequence back to the US.

Yes, you read that right — three flights and 42 hours. Tune in next time for the rest of that story.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. 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: Vintage (thrift, Budapest Ecseri Bazaar)

Jacket: Thrift (ClothesMentor)

Jeans: American Eagle

July 8, 2019 – Bok! (OOTD #528)

Unfortunately, I was not gifted the ability to learn languages quickly.

I have a friend who picks them up so quickly, and really loves doing it, but I can barely stumble through a conversation in French despite having studied it on-and-off for seven years (wow, that’s embarrassing to have to admit). I feel guilty about that — I have this great privilege of having English as basically my first language, and so there’s less of a need for me to learn other languages, unlike other people in other parts of the world, for whom learning English is essentially a requirement if they want to get ahead at all.

I tried to learn some Italian before I went to Rome — and to be fair, I did learn a little — but I didn’t learn much more than to say grazie and ciao and scusi. In Budapest, I learned szia, which is hello, and that’s about all. In Copenhagen, I literally didn’t learn anything.

In Croatia, however, compared to the other places I visited, I had more of an opportunity to learn the language because I actually stayed with a Croatian family. I still probably didn’t take as great of an advantage of that opportunity as I should have, but you can’t say I didn’t take advantage of it at all.

Off the top of my head, I can tell you a few phrases that I remember in Croatian — bok, which is “hello;” hvala, which is “thanks;”

If only I could put that level of effort into my French, then maybe I’d be somewhere with it by now.

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m o o d

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That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. 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

Jeans: American Eagle

May 17, 2019 – Roman Holiday (OOTD #502)

I’ve actually never seen Roman Holiday.

I’ve actually never seen a lot of classic films, as I’m not a big movie-goer. I don’t like sitting in place for so long focused on a single thing; I guess it’s the Gez Z kid in me. Movie theaters are the worst. Siting in a dark room for three hours without your room and nothing to do but watch a screen? No thanks.

I do wish I’d studied up a little more on Italian cinema (or Hollywood cinema that depicts Italy) before I came here, because now I’m realizing that I don’t know all of the cultural references that I should. Everything I know about Italy in movies comes from The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Paolo and Lizzie driving around the Colosseum on a Vespa? An iconic moment in cinematic history. “This Is What Dreams Are Made Of?” Anthem of a generation.

Prepare for more interesting Roman backgrounds for my OOTD blogs in later posts, but this was just a single day after I’d arrived. I hadn’t even unpacked all of my clothes yet, let alone wandered around the city looking for good photography locations. These shots were just from the garden at the student center where I stayed. A judgmental nun might have watched me set up and balance my iPhone on a bench and pose for the camera, but I’m pretty shameless about it at this point.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this summer. 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: Free People

Jeans: American Eagle

April 1, 2019 – I A-Door You (OOTD #485)

You get it? Because I’m standing in front of a door?

Okay, so it’s an obvious pun, and not even a funny one at that. We can’t all be comedic geniuses all of the time — or even some of the time. There are only so many door-related jokes in the world, and only so many brain cells in my head that can be devoted to thinking about them.

Well, there are only so many brain cells in my head to begin with (I’m thinking maybe five total), so I gotta conserve energy.

Speaking of conservation (check out that transition), it’s important to conserve heat in the awkward space between winter and spring in South Bend. Spring doesn’t really begin until late-April, meaning that late-March to mid-April can range in temperature from 5 degrees to 70 degrees, depending on the time of day and how the lake effect is feeling.

It’s hard to know how to dress during this period — will it be warm and sunny? Cold and miserable? Will it snow three feet or will the tulip shoots start poking out from the frozen soil for the first time?

My solution is to dress in layers — this outfit, for example, consists of a heavy turtleneck sweater layered over a spaghetti-strap sundress, with thigh high tights and thigh high boots. In the morning, I paired it with my wool winter coat. By afternoon, when the sun finally peeked out from behind the clouds for a whole 20 minutes, I was down to just the dress with the boots and tights. By evening, when these photos were taken, I had the turtleneck back on.

Aren’t I a-door-able?

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: Forever21

Sweater: Thrifted (Goodwill)

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