October 4, 2019 – Work in Progress (OOTD #560)

I thought for certain I would have used that blog title before, but I guess not.

I think I’m finally getting into a groove with creating interesting but work-appropriate outfits. It took me a while to figure it out, but I believe I’ve got it down pat at this point. I’m finding that the key to success is good accessories, like this bolo tie-style necklace that I got for Christmas from Forever21 years and years ago.

I find it interesting to think about the pieces in my wardrobe that have wound up being enduringly stylish, especially when I didn’t expect them to do so. Like, I knew when I bought this maroon blazer that I would probably have it for a while — blazers take a long time before their design starts looking dated. Same goes for the black button-down. The bolo tie necklace, on the other hand, could have very easily been something that I ended up giving away a year later.

But it didn’t, and I still have it and like it. Sometimes, you never know.

And sometimes, things you thought would be in style for years become unwearable. I may or may not have three pairs of Uggs hidden in my closet that I purchased as a middle schooler and I now feel too guilty to give away (I spent a lot of money on them! At least in my sixth grader mindset). I thought for certain that they would be a worthwhile investment for years and years to come — guess not.

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 semester in Washington, DC. 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!


Blazer: Forever21

Trousers: Zara

Shirt: Banana Republic

October 2, 2019 – Meilin v. Mosquitoes (OOTD #559)

The worst part of DC has been the mosquitoes, hands-down.

They love me, which means by extension, I absolutely hate them. They attack me whenever I stand still for more than two minutes at a time; I’m never safe. It’s the worst city I’ve ever been to for bug bites in the US. It’s in the same category in Kathmandu, and that was near the Himalayan Mountains.

For example, taking these pictures — it was maybe 7pm at night, so not too late, and in a busy part of town. It was not the place or time where I thought mosquitoes would be on the prowl. I was wrong.

Within about two minutes of setting up my phone to take some pictures, I noticed the first bite on my leg. It’s like a barely noticeable prick, almost like brushing up against an evergreen with needles.

One bug bite isn’t a problem. When I go outside for a walk in the neighborhood and I come back with ten new bites, then I have a complaint.

I guess that’s what happens when you build a city in a literal swamp. Thanks a lot for that, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. We could’ve had our capital in New York or Philadelphia, but no, we had to go to the swamp.

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 semester in Washington, DC. 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

Top: ASOS

Skirt: Banana Republic

August 29, 2019 – Capitalizing on the Capitol (OOTD #556)

Naturally, the first tourist destination for my semester in DC was Capitol Hill.

I mean, I’ve visited Congress before, on account of having been a middle schooler before and going on the trip that every American middle schooler (at least on the Eastern half of the country) seems to go on to DC. It’s like a rite of passage for young American teens — if your parents don’t take you, your school probably will.

Honestly, in terms of cool government buildings, DC probably isn’t the best. The Capitol is definitely worth seeing, but the Supreme Court and the White House aren’t all that. Otherwise, DC has a lot of brutalist designs (think the FBI building or the State Department, which I think were designed to be as ugly as physically possible). Budapest’s Parliament or London’s Westminster Palace are personally more my taste in terms of impressive architecture.

Some of the monuments and memorials are really cool, though, but I’ll get into those another day.

I can’t speak to the basement offices or the mysterious Capitol subway that runs between the two chambers, but the stuff you get to see on a generic tour is neat. We went with someone from the office of Jackie Walorski, the Indiana representative from the district where Notre Dame was. It was just some poor intern who looked more excited to get to something interesting for once, but she did a good job.

In fact, I’m a little jealous she got to give us a tour — that’s not something I can do in my internship. As much as I don’t think a Capitol Hill internship is really for me, I do think some of the benefits to working on the Hill are enviable.

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 semester in Washington, DC. 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: a boutique in Kathmandu

Blazer: Banana Republic

Skirt: Banana Republic

May 20, 2019 – Up On the House Top (OOTD #504)

I’m sorry, I don’t know why I used that title, it’s not even remotely close to Christmas and this post is going to have nothing to do with reindeers. I just happen to be standing on a roof because it was empty, and I didn’t know where else to go to get a picture of my outfit.

This was my first day of work outfit, and I personally feel like it was a success. It can be tough dressing professionally and stylishly at the same time, so my work-around is usually to incorporate color and pattern when I can. This outfit gets both.

What it didn’t get, however, was points for being appropriate for the weather.

May in Rome was cooler than June and July, but not by enough to justify wearing long trousers, a long-sleeve blouse, and a blazer. My daily commute was also an hour each way through a combination of walking and the metro. Either I could walk longer and take one metro line, or walk a shorter distance and take two metro lines. In the beginning, when it was cooler, I chose to walk, but by July, when it was reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit every day, you can bet I was walking as little as possible.

But at least I looked cute while I sweltered and died in the heat. I wouldn’t want the policeman or woman who has to write me up when I die of heatstroke to judge 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 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!


Jacket: Banana Republic

Blouse: Zara

Trousers: Banana Republic Sloan

April 25, 2019 – Closing Walls and Ticking Clocks (OOTD #497)

Blog title courtesy of Coldplay’s classic 2003 piano bop, “Clocks.”

My new favorite late-night building seems to be Jenkins-Nanovic, the location of several of the social science departments, including one of my personal favorites — the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

After my 24-hour card access got revoked from Riley, the art building, on account of not being in an art class anymore, I went on the hunt for a new late-night haunt. I wanted somewhere that I could hang out and feel relatively confident that I had privacy, which is not really the case in the more popular buildings like Hesburgh Library or LaFun. Sometimes it’s nice to have other people around suffering late at night — but sometimes it’s better to be alone to wallow in self-pity.

I’ve always liked J-N during the daytime because of this beautiful foyer room (featured here more prominently), but until spring semester sophomore year, I never spent time in the building after 5pm. As it turns out, it empties out rather early, leaving me alone to study and do work in peace.

And, of course, to wander around and take pictures for my fashion blog when I get distracted.

I also love that this foyer room features those lightbulbs that mimic natural sunlight. When it’s 2AM and you’re struggling to finish a paper that’s due the next day, you use whatever tricks you can in order to stay up. Circadian rhythms be damned — if I can fool my body with some caffeine and fake lightbulbs, I’ll do it.

(That’s horrible life advice, by the way. Please take care of yourselves).


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.

Blazer: Banana Republic

Blouse: ASOS

Trousers: Banana Republic

Earrings: A street vendor in Kathmandu, Nepal

March 22, 2019 – Missed Busses and Long Walks (OOTD #478)

So this semester, I thought it’d be a good idea to give myself off of classes on Fridays.

I figured with how hard I work in school, it’d be nice to give myself a treat and build my schedule around three-day weekends. When it came time to select classes for this semester, I purposefully avoided classes that met on Fridays — and lo and behold, it worked! I got off from class every week by Thursday afternoon.

The idea was that even though I’d have a heavier course load Monday-Thursday, I’d make up for it with my built-in long weekends.

Naturally, of course, that’s not what ended up happening.

What ended up happening was that I was so excited about my whole day off from class each week, that I decided to pick up a weekly shift again at the tutoring center of the homeless shelter on my day off. It’s only a two hour commitment, and I legitimately enjoyed going all fall semester, so I figured it’d be nice to be able to continue it into the spring. Besides, I’m able to sit and do homework whenever no one needs my attention (which is often), so it’s a productive way to spend time off-campus.

Then, on top of that, I heard about the internships that the Political Science Department offers, and I thought that might also be a good way to spend my Fridays off. Through that program, I started working at the Special Victims Unit of the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office: six hours a week, split between Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.

So in the end, my Fridays were never really off days at all — they were very busy days. I had to leave campus at 12:15 to catch the bus to get to my internship by 1, then I worked there until 4 in the afternoon. I then walked to catch a different bus to get to the homeless shelter by 4:30, where I stayed until 7:30 at night. In the end, I was away from campus for a total of about eight hours every Friday.

Like I said, normally, I took the bus in between the SVU and the homeless shelter, but on this particular day, I missed it. I got caught up finishing a project at my internship, and I lost track of time, forgetting that the Friday afternoon bus comes a lot earlier than the Wednesday morning one.

Thankfully, the SVU and the homeless shelter are in walking distance of each other — if barely. It ended up being about a 45 minute walk, making me 15 minutes late still for my shift at the shelter.

It was a nice, pretty day though, and I got to walk along the St. Joseph river and see downtown South Bend (the nice part, not the run-down part where the SVU and homeless shelter are), which is a rare occurrence. And I got some OOTD photos from somewhere other than on-campus — so it was a win in my books.

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


Jacket: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: Zara

Skirt: Banana Republic

March 20, 2019 – LinkedIn Headshots (OOTD #476)

These didn’t actually turning my LinkedIn profile pictures, but they really could, couldn’t they?

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coming soon to a linkedin profile near you

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My only concern is that my dark, grown-out roots would look too unprofessional. I actually rather like them like this, but I’m still not sure they’re the image I want for myself on a website like LinkedIn.

Not that I use LinkedIn that much or that I’m some kind of expert in how to appear employable. Notre Dame has a Career Development Center, which I’ve visited a few times for help with my resume and cover letter, but I’m very much still a rookie at the whole thing. Less so than some of my peers, though, who’ve never even had a lousy service industry job in high school — so I do pride myself on that.

I love this part of the math building for pictures. I’ve used it before (many, many, times) as a background in my fashion pics because it’s such a lovely hallway with excellent lighting, especially in the afternoon. I just swing by around 4 or 5pm after the bulk of classes have let out (so it’s not too busy while I’m trying to get pictures) and I’m always satisfied with the results.

Who would have that that the math building would become one of my most-frequented buildings on campus this semester? For a person who has no math classes — and hasn’t had one since high school —  I tend to hang out there a lot. It’s practically become my new Riley art building — which I have barely visited at all this semester, sadly. They took away my 24 hour card access, and so now I have no easy way to get in if I want to study late at night (the only time I ever study).

No worries, though — I’m not going to become a math major anytime soon. Hanging out in the art building couldn’t turn me into a studio art major, and I actually like art.

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!


Jacket: Ann Taylor (thrifted)

Blouse: Unknown (some boutique in London)

Trousers: Banana Republic Sloan

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