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 30, 2017 – Overslept and Overdressed (OOTD #99)

I experienced yet another college “first” on Wednesday – oversleeping an alarm.

Thankfully, it didn’t end up having any bearing on my actual day – I still made it to class on time, got to work out for a little in the morning, and had enough time to get dressed and make myself look presentable. Still, I was definitely in a more rushed mode than usual, if the fact that I wore leggings is any indication.

Wednesdays are one of my more busy days – I have two classes back-to-back that begin at 9:30 and end at 11:30, followed by few hours break, followed up a lecture at 2:00 that ends at 3:15. It’s not bad – certainly less strenuous than high school – but it’s still a far cry from my Friday schedule, which begins at 9:30 and ends at 11:30, meaning my weekend begins before noon even hits.

This particular Wednesday though, I didn’t have as much of an opportunity to rest as usual, as I ended up working on a paper in the library with a friend from the time my second class ended to when my third began (allowing for a little break for lunch), meaning I didn’t get back to my dorm until late in the afternoon. Then, I had a little time to work on some reading and homework before I had to head back out again at 7:00, taking dinner by myself before heading out for a club meeting that lasted basically until 10:00.

But so far, I’m liking college more than high school. There’s more homework but fewer classes, which (right now) is something I appreciate. Granted, I’ve also fallen asleep while doing homework several times now, which has been super fun, but at least it’s been while sitting in a bean bag. Honestly, the bean bag may be more comfortable than my bunk bed.

As for today’s outfit, you might notice it’s not entirely different from one I posted rather early on in my blog-writing career (you know, which began a whopping four months ago). I wasn’t a huge fan with how it turned out, though, in terms of pictures, as that was from a time when I was still taking my own pictures by setting up my iPhone with a timer. Thus, I decided to remix it, taking what I did rather enjoy about the outfit – the combination of a simple black pair of leggings with the bright, colorful top – adding some new elements – the navy blazer – and then photographing it with an actual camera.

Was that my actual thought process? Or maybe I was just lazy this morning and unconsciously chose an outfit that resembled one I had worn before because I was lacking in creativity…you decide. 😉

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: Chaps

Top: Pitaya

August 29, 2017 – Sketchy Night Photos (OOTD #98)

Good lighting is key to good photography.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get. Sometimes, it’s 9:00 at night, you’ve just gotten back from an overwhelming activity fair, which followed after an overwhelming day of classes, and you’re just now getting back to your dorm for the first time all day.

In such situations, you might find that the sun has already gone down by the time you finally get a chance to take your pictures, and that you just have to make do with the street lamps on the sidewalk. You might also find that you have to ask one of the girls in your dorm to take time out of her studying to come outside and take pictures of you, which is just a touch awkward to say the least.

Mais c’est la vie d’un blogeur. Sometimes you have the time and the resources to take really beautiful pictures and write a long, inspired blog post – and sometimes you don’t.

The nice part about being here at Notre Dame is that regardless of how good or bad the lighting is, I can always be assured that my background will be beautiful. It’s amazing how much detail is put into each building – take, for example, the dining hall behind me in this photo.

It looks like something out of Harry Potter, and it’s even more beautiful on the inside. If it weren’t so busy all the time, honestly, I’d do my pictures inside sometime.

Sometime, perhaps, when I manage to make it home sometime before 9:00 at night.

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!

Skirt: Zara

Top: The LOFT

 

August 28, 2017 – The First Pants Outfit (OOTD #97)

The day I finally wear pants to school usually denotes the day I finally give up on dressing up.

I lasted a whopping five days here at Notre Dame before I reached that point.

Now, I don’t mean to say you can’t have a perfectly nice outfit and still wear pants, because you can – some of the best put-together and most intelligently designed outfits I’ve ever worn have been pants outfits. But there’s something to be said about the effort it takes to shave you legs for a skirt, dress, or even pair of shorts – and no pants outfit will ever be able to compete with the level of dedication a bare legs outfit requires.

But at any rate, I totally lacked that level of dedication today. In fact, I had a whole 30 second mental dialogue with myself this morning in front of my wardrobe, debating whether or not to go for the skirt outfit or the pants outfit. It went a little like this:

Put-together, organized, motivated Meilin: You’ll look much nicer in the skirt ensemble. Those pants don’t even fit you properly.

Perpetually stressed, disorganized, lazy Meilin: But…shaving…

Put-together, organized, motivated Meilin: …only takes a few minutes.

Perpetually stressed, disorganized, lazy Meilin: But…it’s cold…

Put-together, organized, motivated Meilin: Not all day, it won’t be.

Perpetually stressed, disorganized, lazy Meilin: I don’t wanna…

We went back and worth like that for a while, but eventually, I had to get off to my 9:30 class, and the debate had to end. The winner was, of course, the pants outfit – perhaps only because by the time I had established the opening arguments of both sides, there wasn’t enough time to shave, whether I wanted to or not.

But it was okay in the end, because wearing the pants outfit meant I got to wear this asymmetric tunic I got from Psylo, a steampunk fashion shop in Camden Lock Market in London. Camden was probably second only to Shoreditch in terms of my favorite shopping locations in London (sorry Oxford St., but you’ve got nothing on this), and it was largely due to the presence of alternative fashion boutiques like Psylo.

There’s nothing in Lexington (and definitely nothing in South Bend) like this place. I want to think that even if you’re not into steampunk fashion (which I’m not really  – not in the way some people are…I mean, I like the aesthetic, but I hardly dress in it everyday), you’d still be able to appreciate the artistry of the fashion that this store sold. The silhouettes, the designs – they very clearly demonstrated the effort and creativity that their creator put into their work. These pieces had heart, and that’s something you rarely find in a chain store like Forever21 or J. Crew.

So was the shirt probably overpriced for the materials that it was made of? Well, yeah. But originality is expensive, and I’m willing to drop more money on a piece if it’s something unique.

Whoops, didn’t mean to wax poetic about the artistry of fashion for so long. Guess I’ve been watching too much Project Runway, huh?

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!

Shirt: Psylo

Pants: Altar’d State

August 26, 2017 – Waking Up To A Choir Of Angels (OOTD #96)

The chaos never quiets at Notre Dame.

Saturday, which began my first weekend alone here, saw me waking up late after having been out at party (that I lasted a whopping 30 minutes at before calling it quits) the night prior. I actually awoke to the sound of the choir practicing practically outside my window on South Quad – prompting me to wonder if perhaps I hadn’t made it home Friday night, and that maybe angels were welcoming me into heaven.

Nope, I’m just at Catholic school, and the full choir practicing out on South Quad at 9 AM in the morning is a perfectly normal occurrence.

Maybe it’s not perfectly normal – actually, it was part of a celebration for Notre Dame’s 175th anniversary, which happened to fall on my freshman year. They did a 3 mile walk in the morning, followed by a mass (which was what the choir was practicing for), and then a picnic for everyone to enjoy.

Needless to say, I hit up that picnic in the afternoon – there’s no way that I, a broke college kid, am going to ever refuse free food.

It’s very pleasing to be able to finally consider myself amongst the proverbial “broke college kids.” I even made a post dedicated to that aesthetic for yesterday’s OOTD – check it out here.  “Broke high school kid” just doesn’t the same weight, doesn’t conjure up the same image. It’s like up until college, no one takes your complaints and general teenage angst about life seriously – then, in college, you finally gain the ability to be pessimistic and grumpy with the adults.

Other than the picnic, my day was pretty much empty to do whatever I wanted. I can’t imagine I’ll continue to have this much free time as the weeks go on in the semester – can I? I don’t even know. I feel like I’m doing something wrong, not having work or homework or some kind of task that needs to be done looming over my head, but I guess that’s just the way it is for this first week of school.

I even had time to go out with some girls from my dorm, pictured below:

I’m sure the stress will set in eventually and I’ll have plenty of time to wallow in my own misery then! And no one can tell me I can’t because I’m an adult now with responsibilities and problems with the best of them!

I kid, of course. I can wallow in misery without any stress to trigger the reaction!

Kidding, again.

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!

Top: H&M

Shorts: PacSun

Jacket: Forever21

Boots: Ralph Lauren

 

 

August 25, 2017 – Lazy College Student Aesthetic (OOTD #95)

I’ve been in college for a whole four days and I’m already getting lazy with my clothes.

For real, today I woke up, gazed into my tiny closet, and came to the conclusion that none of the nice outfits I had come up with before I came to Notre Dame were right. I don’t know, it was Friday, I was feeling lazy, and I just wasn’t the mood to wear a skirt (and for some reason, it seemed like all the outfits I had come up with prior to starting school involved skirts).

So instead, I came up with a lazy day outfit with shorts, a baseball tee, and an Adidas windbreaker. I don’t know if it really counts as full “lazy college student style” – I think that requires sweatpants and a greasy topknot at the very least – but I definitely looked less put-together than I had for the past few days.

My hair was definitely pulling off that lazy college student aesthetic though. It’s been a while since it’s been washed, and it’s seen better days.

So far, I’ve had enough motivation to get myself out of bed at 7:30 every morning to go running, giving me about an hour to get dressed and get ready before classes begin at 9:30. It’s been pretty nice. We’ll see how much longer I manage to keep up this motivation – I know that in my senior year of high school, I slacked off on the running quite a bit by spring semester – but for now, I’m liking my routine.

At the end of the day, I headed over to the football field for a showing of Rudy. I’ve actually never seen that film before, so it was pretty cool to see it for the first time on the actual Notre Dame football field. It was particularly weird seeing all of these campus locations that I pass everyday as backgrounds and settings in the movie, though, haha.

Also, did you know that the dude who plays the titular character in Rudy also plays Sam in the LOTR films? I didn’t realize it until after the film was over, when I was looking it up on IMDb (because that’s what I do), and I saw the cast list.

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!

Top: Zumiez

Jacket: Adidas (thrifted)

Shorts: H&M

August 24, 2017 – In Which Meilin Looks Like a Southerner For Once (OOTD #94)

How Southern am I?

Well, for starters, this dress is Lilly Pulitzer.

It’s funny – for the longest time, I’ve detested the title of “Southerner.” I hate sweet tea, country music, and I don’t have the accent (actually, ask some of my friends, and they think I sound vaguely British – but I don’t).

For context, my father is from Philadelphia and my mother is from Chicago, so neither of them are really “Southerners,” and they made no attempt to raise me as one. Even in my elementary school (which I visited recently – check out the blog I wrote about it) , most people were not really Southern into culture, despite the fact that we were in a rural part of Kentucky. I might have had one friend growing up who had the stereotypical accent.

But when I moved to Lexington in seventh grade, everything changed – suddenly, everyone had that “Southern belle” quality about them. All the girls wore Vineyard Vines and carried Lilly Pulitzer planners and got excited about going to University of Kentucky football games in the fall.

Now, I have an appreciation for Southern culture, don’t get me wrong – I love Lilly Pulitzer (in moderation), I think fried chicken is delicious, and I love how the people all smile at you when you pass them on the street. But that was never me, and I think that was mostly because it was never my parents either. They were city people, and even though I’ve never lived in a real city, I think I am too – or at the very least, will be someday.

So it was weird when I came here to Notre Dame and there were actual city people here, actual people who could claim to be from cool places like New York and Chicago and LA. Southerners are actually a minority here – maybe because the snow that South Bend gets scares them off – and I find that I’m actually missing them quite a bit. It’s odd because for so long, I couldn’t wait to get out of the South (for the record, Kentucky’s not even that Southern – it’s not like the Deep South), and now, I want to go back. I still don’t call it “home” – the closest thing to that would be New York, and I’ve never lived there – but I felt myself craving a little Southern charm here in South Bend.

So today, I wore my Lilly Pulitzer dress in honor of being a pseudo-Southerner and kind-of-sort-of-missing it. It’s bright and colorful and feminine, everything a typical Southern belle girl at my high school was. I don’t know if any of the South Bend people were impressed with it (one girl told me I looked like a stylish kindergarten teacher…I think that was a compliment?), but it reminded me of Kentucky and that’s all I needed.

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!

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (thrifted)

Jacket: vintage

 

August 23, 2017 – Bringing Shoreditch to South Bend (OOTD #93)

Can you believe it’s already been basically two months since I was in London?

Yep – on this day, two months ago, I was preparing myself for my trip and beginning to plan out what I wanted to do with Amanda. That all already feels so far away, though – like another lifetime.

In a way, it feels like I’ve passed through at least two separate lifetimes since I was in London. My time working at the hardware store over the summer was definitely a unique experience, and of course, Welcome Weekend at Notre Dame was another thing entirely. London, my summer job, Welcome Weekend – they literally only happened within about two months of each other, but I’m pretty sure I was a different person entirely during each era.

Now classes have begun, which feels like another existence in and of itself, completely separate from Welcome Weekend. I remember complaining a lot during Welcome Weekend about all the activities we had to do and all the forced socialization. Now I realize I should have been grateful for the time when it was just freshmen on campus whose only job was to mingle and get acclimated to life.

Because, of course, now I still have the job of mingling and getting acclimated to campus life, but with the added responsibility of being a semi-adult who attends six stress-indcucing classes.

So today, my second day of class, I decided to bring back a little bit of the London Meilin, the one who had a mean fake British accent and could use the Underground like a local. I bought this denim dress in a thrift shop in Shoreditch, which was probably one of my favorite days of the entire trip. And that’s saying something, given how London was perhaps some of my favorite days of my life.

For real though, just wearing my Shoreditch dress made me feel a little more relaxed and at home here at Notre Dame. I wasn’t quite able to transport myself back to London and the mentality I had there, but it helped.

One of these days, I’ll really have to make a point of taking a day trip into Chicago. South Bend is, if I’m honest, pretty lame as a city (even more so than Lexington), and I’m craving the urban vibe. I think there’s a way I can grab a shuttle into a train station, and then catch a train into the city. At some point when I’m not laden with homework (Will there ever be a point when I’m not laden with homework? Hopefully lol), I need to figure that out.

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!

Dress: Blitz (vintage)

Top: Free People

 

August 22, 2017 – Class Act (OOTD #92)

Welp, I started classes today.

Here’s the good news – I made it to all of my classes! I didn’t trip over my feet! I got to talk to new people and made a new friend who was willing to take photos of my outfits! I went to bed at a decent time!

But here’s the bad news – my Chinese history class is intimidating! I have 70 pages of reading to do in my textbook within two days! I spent almost all of my spare time today doing homework and had no time to do anything else!

Here’s more good news though – I overall feel okay. I finished the 70 pages of reading, even though it took forever, and I think it’s manageable if I adjust my note-taking strategies a bit.

In the end, it was a positive day. I’m exhausted, and I’m trying my best not to think about how I have three more classes to get to tomorrow with even more work and likely more intense reading sessions, but that’s fine. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.

On another note, I really liked my outfit today! I’ve known for months that I wanted to do a sheer top with embroidered flower appliqués as my “first day of school” outfit, and I’m happy with how the concept turned out.

I actually saw this top for the first time in London in an Oxford St. Zara – and I didn’t buy it. Not for myself, at least; it went to my best friend, Jane. It just looked so much like her, and I couldn’t keep it for myself when it was clearly meant for her.

Luckily, there’s this amazing little app called Poshmark for buying secondhand clothes, and I was able to pick up a black version for myself even after I went back to the States. I paired it with another Zara skirt from Poshmark, this one which I bought a year ago for my first day of senior year. In the end, it made for an edgy, but still feminine, Zara-centric outfit that focused on my favorite color – black.

I love first day of school outfits, and I hate them at the same time. Everyone gets dressed a little nicer for the first day of school, so it’s a little harder to stand out, but at the same time, everyone is paying a little closer attention to appearances, so you want to look nice. Hopefully, I was able to make a good impression with my outfit today of a stylish, confident young woman, or, at the very least, someone who makes a conscious effort to look different.

Or maybe I just looked weird. Honestly, I’d be okay with that too.

Anyway, I really ought to be getting to bed – want to get a decent amount of sleep for classes and all. 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!

Top: Zara

Skirt: Zara

Bralette: Aerie

August 20, 2017 – The Blog Post Of Posing With My Hand On My Sunglasses (OOTD #90)

Look, posing for photos is hard.

The best poses are dynamic, but dynamic poses draw attention, which is not always what I want, especially when I’m doing my best to fly under the radar at my new school and not make too much a fool of myself. That’s why I wound up with a ton of photos with my hand on my sunglasses today – it’s a simple pose isn’t embarrassing. I’m already a freshman, which is just about the dorkiest thing to be; I don’t also want to be a dorky freshman posing dramatically for photos in front of my class buildings.

But I can’t help it – the buildings here at Notre Dame are so pretty. I want to pose with all of them and take photos, strange though that may be. Maybe things will change once I’ve gone inside some of these buildings and begin to associate them with the stresses of school, but for now, I’m still in awe of the beauty of this place.

Today was the day my parents – all the parents, really – left. I love those guys, and I’m unspeakably appreciative of all they’ve done for me, so it was far from easy to say goodbye. I did though, and so did they, with very minimal fanfare involved. That was the best way, I think – prolonging things would have served no purpose.

On another note, with my parents went their photography skills and non-judgmental nature, so for a few hours there, I had absolutely no means of doing my pictures for my blog post. Thankfully, one of my three roommates has been cool enough to agree to do my OOTD photos for now, at least until I can hunt down someone else who’s willing to do it consistently and long-term.

Also thankfully, this awesome roommate has some pretty  sweet camera skills – and an iPhone 7 that takes those cool portraits with the blurry backgrounds. I’ve always wanted to do those things!

But for real, I can’t keep bothering my roommate to take pictures of me everyday – she’s busy and I’m sure she doesn’t want to be bothered to do work for my blog when I’m not paying her. I’m considering now buying a tripod and a remote and trying to do photos on my own? I’ve heard of some fashion bloggers who do that.

Do you have any suggestions for what I should do about taking my pictures? Are any of you fashion bloggers who take their own photos – and if so, what’s your technique? I’ll take any advice you can give me!

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!

Blouse: ASOS

Sweater: Unknown (thrifted)

Skirt: Forever21