March 6, 2019 – By The Lockers (OOTD #466)

Oh look, I’m two months behind now.

Will my blog ever get caught back up again? Maybe not, as long as I’m a stressed college student trying to balance her multitude of assignments that for some reason, all seem to be due at the same time. I’m normally pretty good for a few weeks at a time, and then school life hits me like a truck and I find that that’s all I can focus on for a period.

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everyone needs a turquoise blazer

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But it’s finally Easter break, and so I have a little time to relax. A little. Easter falls late in the academic year this year, and so once school is back in session on Tuesday, we have only two weeks left of class before finals. The school year’s almost over. I’m almost a junior; I can’t believe it.

These pictures go so far back that they were taken before spring break, which fell in mid-March. Funnily, I think I was in basically the same headspace back in early March as I am now in late-April. The time right before spring break and right before Easter break tends to be super busy, and so I’m not uncomfortable saying that the Meilin of March 5 isn’t really all that different from the one of April 21 — which is to say, they’re both kind of tired and in need of a break.

Not to jinx things (knock on wood), but I’m hoping I won’t have an awful finals week this year. Last spring finals week was pretty painful (I spent nine hours in a basement one day, it was awful). This time, though, it looks like the weeks leading up to finals will be awful, but then actual finals week itself will be okay. I only have one final to sit for and a short reflection paper due during that actual week; here’s to hoping that that means my suffering will be over relatively soon.

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: Banana Republic

Blouse: Anthropologie

Skirt: Abercrombie

February 20, 2019 – Complementary Colors (OOTD #459)

I can’t remember if I’ve said this before, but blue and orange is my favorite complementary color combination.

I mean, it’s not that hard of a decision to make, if you ask me — red and green look too much like Christmas, and purple and yellow look too much like a jester. That leaves you with blue and orange — the color of a sunset. What’s there not to like?

I’ve taken to wearing this turquoise jacket a lot recently (though I think this may be its appearance on my blog). It’s bright, spring-like, and looks professional without being boring.

After spending a decent portion of my high school years wearing only neutrals (thanks emo phase), I’ve been trying to incorporate more color into my wardrobe, especially as spring comes. I don’t think you’ll ever catch me making a full preppy Lilly Pulitzer transition (though I have gone for that look many times before — including in my very first blog post here!), but I would like to be a little more adventurous with my color palette.

Spring still hasn’t come in South Bend yet, despite the fact that it’s come to other parts of the United States. I’m just a little bit bitter. I just want the flowers to come out so that I can take cute pictures with them and stop haunting the hallways of the math building. I would also like the giant pile of brown snow that’s leftover from January in the parking lot at work to finally melt. Is that too much to ask?

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: Banana Republic

Top: Forever21

Trousers: Banana Republic

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

February 5, 2019 – Year of the Pig (OOTD #450)

It’s a month late, but Happy Lunar New Year!

One of the unfortunate consequences of being about a month behind on my blog posts is that when holidays come around, they almost never get a blog post devoted to them until weeks after they’ve passed. I may take the holiday photos on the date of the actual holiday, but then if I have two weeks of blogs in the queue to be posted, that holiday blog doesn’t get put out until later.

I’m better on my Instagram. Since I don’t make any effort to organize my Instagram chronologically by the date the photos were taken (but rather, by aesthetic) I’m normally pretty decent at keeping up with important dates than I am on my blog. But since I have 9500 followers on my Instagram compared to about 800 here…it makes sense that I’d be more consistent on Instagram.

Anyway, if you couldn’t tell, this was the outfit I wore on Lunar New Year 2019. I didn’t really do much to celebrate, to be honest. Notre Dame doesn’t really do much in the way of multicultural celebrations. They had some nice Chinese food in the dining hall on Friday, including pork bao buns (which I absolutely love ever since I first tried them in Chicago Chinatown last spring), but unfortunately, because of the internship and volunteer work I do on Fridays, I didn’t make it back to campus on time before the dining halls closed.

Actually, I had an interview that day. Two chemistry professors were organizing a fully-funded trip to the Galápagos Islands, and after I submitted my essay, I was contacted for an interview.

Long story short: I got into the program! That was definitely not something I was expecting, especially without an extensive background studying the natural sciences. But I suppose they were looking for students from a variety of backgrounds — and in this case, I fit the bill.

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: Kohl’s

Blouse: ASOS

Skirt: Banana Republic Sloan Skinny-Fit Pant

February 1, 2019 – Back to Work (OOTD #447)

After a half-week break from classes, it was back to work for me.

But by back to work, I don’t mean back to classes — I’m now back to work work. Like, adult work, at an office.

I’m interning at the St. Joseph County Prosecuting Attorney’s office with their Special Victims Unit this semester. The downside: so far, it’s been a lot of paperwork. the upside: the paperwork has been of a more interesting nature than the paperwork I was saddled with while I was interning at the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office (surprise: annual business reviews are not that fun to scan for hours at a time).

One of these days, I hope to get an internship (or you know, an actual paid job or whatever) where I get to do something other than somebody else’s paperwork for hours at a time. I’ll be interning in Washington DC next semester in the fall, and I’ll have to work 20 hours a week. I’m really hoping to avoid the paperwork intern scene, which I imagine is the role of a good chunk of interns in DC. And if I’m going to be stuck as a paperwork intern, at least make me a paid paperwork intern, you know?

I’ve found that my “office work” outfits often tend to look pretty similar — Banana Republic Sloan trousers,  blouse, and a blazer. Since I only have to go to the office twice a week, that’s not a huge problem, but I do hope not to get into too much of a repetitive rut. With the restrictions of what constitutes appropriate office clothes, it’s a little more difficult to be creative.

It’s also super cold right now, which makes wearing skirts or dresses impractical. I also have to walk ten minutes to the bus stop and another ten minutes to the office, often through unsalted sidewalks coated with slush and ice, which also limits my choices.

I’m going to try to get better though. I recognize that I’m slipping into a rut, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to change that. By announcing that on this website (to all…2 of its regular readers? Hi Mom and Dad), I’m hoping that I’ll feel as if I’m being held accountable.

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: thrifted (Salvation Army)

Top: Abercrombie

Pants: Banana Republic Sloan Skinny-Pant

January 19, 2019 – A Sign of the Times (OOTD #440)

And in that moment, I remembered why I wasn’t meant to be a design major.

Sometimes, I like to pretend to myself that in some alternate universe out there, there’s a Meilin who decided to go a more unconventional route and went to art school instead of a research university. I’m good at art. I could have gone to art school — I mean, I have friends who weren’t good at art who still went to art school, so it’s completely feasible that I could have gotten in somewhere. I ultimately chose not to go (or even to apply) because I like the idea of job security, and because I figured art would be something I could incorporate into my life without making it into my career.

While I’m happy with my choice to become a corporate sellout or whatever, I do wish Notre Dame had a better visual arts program, and I do sometimes regret not even applying for a design program.

Then things like this sign happen.

Okay, some background: the Friday after the start of classes, I went with a cohort of other Notre Dame students on a trip to Washington DC to attend the 2019 Women’s March. It was the first year that they’d gotten enough interest and enough money to organize a bus to go, and so, 4 AM Friday morning, I hauled myself and my suitcase to the bookstore to board a bus for the 12 hour journey from Chicago to DC. For those of you keeping track at home, that was the sixth weekend in a row of significant traveling — though thankfully, it wasn’t a flight. I didn’t need six weekends in a row of flying.

Anyway, when you go to a march, the fun part is making a cool sign to carry, and so I was determined to use my artistic skills to make something worthy of posting pictures on Instagram. I’d been thinking of this design for weeks leading up to the march, and I thought for sure it’d be brilliant.

So the idea was the make something that said “A Sign of the Times,” but with the G in “sign” turned into a female anatomical sign. It’d be clever on multiple levels — it’s a play on the fact that it’s literally a physical sign, that the Venus sign is a symbol for the female sex, and that the phrase “a sign of the times” implies change. It was going to be the next great feminist quip, people were going to print it on t-shirts at Forever21 — Susan B. Anthony can step aside.

Unfortunately, I misjudged the distance I needed to put in between “A “and “Sign,” and it ended up reading more like ASIgN. You know what “ASIgN” looks like? Asian. My sign ended up reading “Asian of the Times.”

That’s not what I was going for.

Thankfully though, I am Asian, so it didn’t look that strange when I was carrying it around. Can you imagine if I weren’t Asian, though? Like, if I were white and I was carrying a sign that read “Asian of the times?”

So why am I ranting about my failed sign-making endeavors in this blog, when I could be talking about the Women’s March itself, my time spent in DC, or my experience sleeping in a church basement with 50 other people? The truth is, the march itself wasn’t that interesting — I don’t know what I expected, but it was about three hours of just…walking slowly in the cold. I’m all for nonviolent social change, but apparently, it can be rather boring.

The other unfortunate bit was that Washington DC itself was pretty much dead when we were there due to the government shutdown. All of the museums and buildings were closed, so all you could do was walk around and see the monuments from a distance. I did get to see the White House and the Capitol Building from afar, but you couldn’t do much other than take pictures. And even then, I saw them at night, so my pictures weren’t that great.

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tag yourself i’m feminist dad

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I still really appreciate the time I spent on the trip. It was an opportunity to get off campus, and selfish as it may sound, that was probably what I liked the most.

I guess it didn’t take that long for me to get restless staying on campus after all. 


Coat: The North Face

Jacket: Ralph Lauren (thrifted, Goodwill)

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Abercrombie

Hat: Target

January 1, 2019 – Dear Axel (OOTD #433)

I hope Axel doesn’t read this.

Alright, so after my exhausting New Year’s Eve party experience, I slept in until about noon on January 1. Classes were canceled, and so there was nothing in particular that I had to do that day. I took lunch with my host family and their daughter, and we chatted about what Kentucky was famous for. Turns out, they were familiar with KFC and bluegrass music — which I guess, while not my favorite, aren’t the absolute worst things for Europeans to know you state by.

After our two hour meal, I excused myself (for some reason, they wouldn’t leave the table until I said something about needing to go — which was a little annoying, because I was afraid I was somehow forcing them to clean up before they really wanted to). I told them I was going to go for a walk, which was absolutely true.

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bonjour 👋

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What I left out was that I was going for a walk to meet up with some guy from around town whom I matched with on Tinder.

Alright, so here’s the point where I hope Axel doesn’t read this — I wasn’t necessarily looking for anything romantically in him, and I don’t know if he was hoping that I was. I just wanted someone to show me around town, and in his bio, he mentioned that he was really good at English. I’d been speaking French almost nonstop for three days, and the opportunity to hold a conversation in my native tongue seemed relaxing.

So I met up with Axel, who was a bit awkward, but an overall harmless dude. I asked him to show me around, which was a little hard since it seemed like everything was closed for the holiday. But overall, he was a pretty easy guy to talk to — I definitely dominated the conversation, perhaps because I was better at English and perhaps because I was just overall the less awkward of the two of us.

Of the two or three Tinder dates I’ve ever been on, I don’t think I’d rank it much higher or lower than any of the others. I mean, the fact that it was in France made it pretty cool — that was definitely a much more interesting location than the time I got coffee with someone in the Subway of the Student Center.

What was unfortunate, however, was that after Axel and I parted ways, I somehow lost my glasses. Somehow, in between taking those first pictures at the school at this last picture in the park, my glasses disappeared. My first guess is that they just fell out of my pocket at some point was we were walking along, meaning that there’s no chance that I’m going to get them back.

My second guess, though, is that Axel stole them. Why would my Tinder date steal my glasses? I don’t know. But Axel, if you happen to read this — which I kind of hope you don’t — I’d really like my glasses back s’il te plaît. Je dois voir, et il n’est pas probable que nous nous reverrons déja. Tu peux rendre mes lunettes maintenant. 

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!


Jacket: Hollister

Top: Thrifted (flea market)

Turtleneck: Free People

Pants: Banana Republic

December 19, 2018 – Mall Rat (OOTD #425)

Okay, this is basically the last of my late Christmas posts — I promise. It’s back to regular posts after this.

I’m not a very productive person during school breaks, especially at the beginning. I owe it to needing to recuperate after I spend four months not taking caring of myself and spending the majority of my time running on caffeine. School breaks are for sleeping in late, staying in my pajamas, and barely moving.

Then of course, that wears off — I can’t be a sleepy coach potato all day every day, as much as I wish I could. After a few days, it gets old, and I need to start getting up and doing something.

The Wednesday after the start of break, I had an interview for a summer internship. While I was a little resentful that I’d been forced to crawl out of bed before noon and put on real clothes for the first time since finals week, and I was even more reluctant to go talk to people I’d never met before for a stressful job interview, I did appreciate that I was finally given something to do. It’s good to have a little motivation.

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merry christmas eve eve

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And it’s even better to have some momentum to start the day. I don’t like anxiety, but I must say, having an anxiety-inducing interview at 10 in the morning is a great way to shake the lethargy and wake yourself up in the morning.

After I recovered emotionally from my interview, I was ready for a full day of being a functional adult.  I got lunch with my parents, went shopping with my dad, and got pictures for my blog — like I said, it was my most productive day since finals had ended.

What can I say? It’s hard being a college student on winter break with absolutely nothing to do. But it’s admittedly harder being a college student during the school semester with way too many things to do — someday, I like to think I’ll find the perfect balance between being an unproductive blob and an stressed workaholic.

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. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket, shirt, and pants: Banana Republic

 

 

November 28, 2019 – Bowties Are Cool (OOTD #415)

A long, long time ago, back in the Stone Age that was 2013, I tried to get into the Superwholock fandom.

I was really into Tumblr at the time, like many young teenage girls, and there was nothing hotter to me than Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. And back then, you couldn’t look at anything Sherlock-related without also coming across content for Supernatural and Doctor Who; for some reason, the fandoms often overlapped.

And so, for a person who’s never really been interested in Supernatural or Doctor Who, I know a lot about their fandoms by extension/ And by “know a lot about their fandoms,” I mean I know some of the major catchphrases and references — notably the 11th Doctor’s quip, “Bowties are cool.”

2013 was the age of hipsters: hipsters with horn-rimmed glasses, oversized sweaters, and bow ties. I’m not yet sure if I’m proud to admit that I bought into the trend. Somewhere out there on the Internet are probably images of me with fake hipster glasses, an infinity scarf, and a Starbucks coffee. In five more years, it’ll be horribly dated, and in another ten, it’ll look classy and vintage.

Anyway, this outfit was my tribute to my brief Doctor Who phase and the “bowties are cool” meme. Should outfits be based around  years-old memes? Maybe not. The last thing this blog needs is a Grumpy Cat or Rage Face outfit.

But Karamo Brown himself complimented my outfit, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad inspiration. He was here at Notre Dame giving a talk (a talk that I helped organize, I’ll mention), and afterwards, a few of us from student government got a brief meet-and-greet. Little did he know, my outfit was based on 2013 Matt Smith. I’m not sure if he would have been so complimentary had he know that.

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!

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: River Island

October 4, 2018 – Oldie Goldies (OOTD #387)

Here’s an outfit made of clothing I’ve owned for four years or more.

And no, it wasn’t on purpose — this wasn’t some kind of self-imposed challenge to make an outfit out of older clothing. In fact, I didn’t notice that this outfit was made of exclusively older clothing until I started writing this blog.

Let’s see, I think pretty much all of these pieces — with the exception of the leggings — were purchased sometime in my freshman or sophomore year of high school. The leggings might actually be older: perhaps from eighth grade. One of the few perks of having not grown an inch since middle school — I never throw away clothes because I outgrew them.

The downside of not growing since middle school is, of course, I still look sort of like a middle schooler.

It’s interesting though, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have put these pieces together in this way back in middle school/early high school when I first got them. For one, leggings were against dress code at my middle school, so that never would have happened unless I wanted to get yelled at by my 8th grade history teacher.

But more importantly, four-five years ago, my style was just different. I wore a lot of skater skirts, infinity scarves, and utility jackets. That’s not to say I don’t still wear those things, but not really together any more. Together, they make me look like I stepped right out of 2014 — this outfit is a pretty good example of that. I think I even recognized in the blog I wrote that I looked like a (short) Hot Topic model from 2014.

I’ve never really had this problem before, but I’m finding I have to be more and more careful that my outfits don’t look like something from 2014. The differences between 2014 and 2018 fashion are subtle — and many 2014 pieces can still be worn in 2018 — but I have be cognizant of what looks contemporary, and what looks ever-so-slightly dated.

Honestly, I think being slightly dated is even worse than being completely out of style. When you’re out of style, you’ve at least committed to a look. When you’re dated, you’re clearly trying to be contemporary, but you’ve missed the mark.

I’m excited for when 2014 fashion is old enough to look vintage. The day my child goes to decade day at school wearing an infinity scarf, leggings, and riding boots, I’ll know I’ve made it.

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: Banana Republic

Turtleneck: Forever21

Leggings: The LOFT