September 12, 2018 – Spoiled by Goodwill (OOTD #373)

I present: another outfit that’s almost entirely thrifted.

I’ve been wearing more and more of those lately on account of buying more and more stuff from secondhand stores. I just feel like I can’t justify buying clothes full-price from the mall anymore; I’ve gotten spoiled by shopping at Goodwill.

Yeah, spoiled by shopping at Goodwill. I’m sure that’s not something you hear everyday.

I have good luck at thrift shops though. This top, while a little too long, was only like $3 compared to the $25 I easily could have paid at a place like Urban Outfitters that specializes in vintage-looking hipster basics anyway. And this skirt, while is from a local speciality secondhand boutique, was still a lot cheaper than whatever retail price I would have paid for it new at J. Crew.

I know some people don’t like having to hunt through the junk to find the good stuff, or don’t like the idea of wearing something that’s already been worn by somebody else, but I actually like both of those things. I enjoy the hunt, and I like the idea of making use of something that otherwise would have been thrown away. I can’t pretend like I’m always the most environmentally-conscientious person, but I’d like to try getting better. Buying used clothes makes me feel like I’m doing something useful.

The cost bit is huge too, of course. Dressing well and having enough clothes as to maintain a lot of variety in my outfits is important to me, but so is making my college tuition payments.

Anyone else here big on thrifting? I’d love to hear your perspectives! What’s been the best piece you’ve ever bought secondhand?

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!

Top: Thrifted

Skirt: J. Crew (Thrifted)

September 11, 2018 – Power Stances Only (OOTD #372)

You’re welcome to disagree with me, but I personally really feel like my posing has gotten better over the last year or so on this blog.

I can’t pretend I’m a fashion model or anything, or that any of the producers at Marvel are going to want me on their next superhero film poster, but I have certainly gotten more comfortable in front of a camera. While I definitely have my preferred stances that I come back to repeatedly (see: playing with my hair in some way or twirling), I do those stances pretty well. At least, I think I do.

It’s going to sound silly, but I’ve found the best way for me to improve how I look in photos is to experiment by myself by taking pictures on my own. When I have someone else take my picture, I’m always hesitant so as not to waste their time, so unless it’s a friend whom I’m already very close with, I tend not to ask much of them in terms of retaking things that don’t look quite right. When I’m on my own, just using the remote timer feature of my Apple Watch to snap shots with my iPhone, I don’t have to worry about wasting anyone’e time.

Well, my own, I guess. I can say that I have definitely done that before.

Honestly, the best “posing practice” I’ve ever gotten has probably been last semester, when I would hang out in Notre Dame’s art building late at night studying or working on projects. I’d wait until the building cleared out, or at least mostly cleared out, and then I’d prop my phone up on a chair and start practicing. No one was there to judge me, and I could try out any number of dumb poses to see what worked.

Essentially, it was the adult version of making funny faces at yourself in the mirror.

I’ve also found that just keeping up with other fashion bloggers and Instagrammers to see what kinds of poses they tend to use, and then replicating those, works too. Obviously, not every pose or angle will work for everyone or for every outfit/background combination, but it’s good to experiment. I’ve taken to posing with one leg crossed in front of the other while I lean back a little on the back leg (which, obviously, because I’m writing about it here, I wouldn’t have any examples to show you in this blog — check this one though if you want to see what I’m talking about) because I learned from other petite bloggers that it makes your legs look longer.

I actually keep a Pinterest board for Instagram inspiration — backgrounds, poses, ideas for photoshoots, anything I think could make for a nice addition to my feed. It’s also great to have around if you and a friend are in the mood to get cute pictures together, but you can’t think of what would make for a good post.

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

Jacket: Anthropologie

Top: Abercrombie

Jeans: American Eagle

(Lots of A brands today, no?)

Monday Musings + Coffee – Rebranding

This is it — Saturday Musings + Coffee is no more!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I just can’t be trusted to keep up with consistent slice-of-life flatlay posts. Believe it or not, I find flatlay photography much more difficult than fashion photography. For me, at least, it takes a lot more effort to hunt down enough cutesy “little things,” and then a good clean background (there are surprisingly few white tables at Notre Dame) for a flatlay post than the effort to put on a cute outfit and get someone to take a picture of it. I’m going to put on clothes anyway, so it doesn’t take much more to take some photos of the outfit, but I have to go out of my way to do flatlay pictures. Believe me, my life is never as well-organized or simplistic as these photos portray.

But don’t worry — I’m not getting rid of the Musings + Coffee lifestyle posts. I don’t think I can keep up with weekly Saturday posts, but I do want to continue the spirit of them. That’s why today’s post is called “Monday Musings” — because it’s Monday, and I’ve decided I don’t want to be restricted to an arbitrary weekly blog post system that revolves around one day. From now on, I’ll do Musings + Coffee posts when I feel like it, regardless of the day of the week.

What a novel concept.

Speaking of novel concepts, happy September! I can’t believe August is already over — this time last month, I was still living in Kentucky with my parents and going to work in Frankfort. Now I’m back in school, and life moves at a completely different pace and rhythm.

As for September’s bullet journal spread, I decided to focus it around Notre Dame fall football (with some Charlie Brown characters thrown in for added flavor), since we’ve got three home games this month. Honestly, the constant football is kind-of exhausting. Love thee Notre Dame and stuff, but I’ll be pretty relieved when I can finally have a Saturday to rest and just do homework.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. 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!

November 29, 2017 – Have A Look At This (OOTD #171)

I adore glasses.

I think it has something to do with how, when I was a kid, I didn’t need them – and of course, since I didn’t need them, I wanted them. There was just something so cool and stately about how my parents and other adults looked when they had their glasses on – even the most basic pair could make a person look intelligent and cultured.

Sadly (or perhaps gladly…) I had perfect vision up until a few years ago, when I started having issues reading for long periods of time and seeing street signs at a distance. A trip to the optometrist, and I got my very first pair of glasses at age 16 – a feat that I was fairly proud of. I don’t need to wear them all the time, and occasionally, I do wear contacts, but I’ll often wear my glasses even when I don’t ned them just for the sake of fashion. So, given my love of eyewear, I was more than happy to to help Warby Parker announce their new Resort ‘17 collection of frames. I was drawn to the rich acetates paired with hints of glimmering metal, supported by temples so lean they practically float. A glinting and elegant metal inlay is visible to onlookers only from certain angles— like a coat with a luxurious for-your-eyes-only lining.

I was so inspired, I came up with an outfit to go along with it – something I thought would complement the vintage but luxurious feel of the new Warby Parker collection. I did my best to replicate the aesthetic and tone of the glasses with this skirt and top set I got over Thanksgiving Break in a local vintage shop. It’s admittedly not the comfiest outfit I’ve ever worn –  the scratchy 70s polyester wasn’t exactly breathable – but I loved the look of it so much I couldn’t help it. It was one of those things where I saw it in the store and I just had to have it – you know? I’m a pretty picky person. That doesn’t often happen.

If you’re interested in giving the new Warby Parker collection a look, you can try it out for free with their free Home Try-On program! Select any five frames that you like, and they’ll ship them to you for free to test for five days. If you find one you like, you can purchase it when you’re ready, but if not, you can ship them back for free after you trial is up. No commitments, and no trips to the eyeglasses store necessary.

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 and skirt: Vintage (thrifted)

November 28, 2017 – A Tourist at My Own School (OOTD #170)

Real talk: why is there a missing bush to the left of me?

You know, I’ve been here for nearly four months now, and I still feel a bit like a tourist at my own school. In particular, if I’m walking through God Quad (which is the main bit of campus, where the Golden Dome and the Basilica are) in the evening, and there’s a pretty sunset and a cool breeze, I’ll stop and just take in how pretty it all is.

It’s not uncommon actually to see Notre Dame students posting on their Snapchats pictures of the Golden Dome, even though we all literally walk past it every day and can see it from just about everywhere on promotional materials.

To be honest though, the Main Building with the Dome isn’t my favorite building on campus in terms of looks. I do still love it, as evidenced by my tourist-y poses here, but it’s just not for me. I don’t know, I get that the Dome is iconic and stuff, but it’s a little tacky – I mean…it’s literally a giant shiny gold sphere with Mary on top of it. It gives me ever-so-slight cheap jewelry vibes.

Don’t tell anyone I said that though, or else the ND Secret Police might come for me in my sleep. I can’t die now, I have to pass my finals first!

The honor of my favorite architectural design on campus has to go to the Basilica. I don’t often go because I don’t often go to mass, but I’m always struck with how huge and and gorgeous it is, no gold paint required.

The point being – I like my school, and I’m really glad to be here. Sure, I’m still pretty bitter that it’s in the middle of Cornland, Indiana, but it’s pretty cool on the whole. Our football season was less than ideal (though it was going really well early on), the weather is windier than ideal, and my upcoming finals have me wanting to hurl myself off the eighth floor of Hesburgh Library, but the fact that I can still get struck with a sense of awe when I think “Hey, I go here” makes me think it’s pretty good place to be. G’Irish!

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Sweater: The LOFT (thrifted)

Shirt: Forever21

November 27, 2017 – A Literal Glow Up (OOTD #169)

You know what’s spectacular about being a little old university student?

I’m finally beginning to feel distant from teen culture. Saying something like “glow up” feels awkward to me, like I’m not the right age to be saying it and I’m just an old lady trying to keep with the times. And furthermore, is it a Glo Up? Or a GloUp? A GlowUp?

Literally, I had to Google it to figure out how to use the phrase, which I’m pretty sure 16-year old me didn’t have to do with words and phrases like “or nah” and “bae.” What even are the kids doing these days? I don’t know; for the first time in eight years, I’m not really a part of that culture anymore.

Back to this “glow up” concept – I didn’t even use it in my title in reference to its actual meaning. My physical beauty has not increased in any significant quantity recently – though I did get more sleep than usual over Thanksgiving, so I guess that might make me look a little less battered than usual.

No, I’m just referring to the fact that in half of these pictures, my shirt is glowing like something out of a fantasy novel.

When will I learn to stop standing in direct sun when I’m wearing a white shirt? My poor 2010-era point and shoot camera cannot handle it.

Thankfully, though, I don’t think it made things look too bad – a little shiny, sure, but the rest of the photos are intact. Changing lighting conditions are just one of the many joys of outdoor photography, and one that I’m still learning how to work with. Onward and upward.

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!

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Zara

November 26, 2017 – Greyhound Adventures Part 3 (OOTD #168)

Why, oh why, can’t I avoid the travesty that is the Greyhound bus system?

I fully understand that the bus drivers and workers for Greyhound are likely underpaid and have to deal with grumpy, frustrated people all day, so it’s very difficult for them to maintain the will to be friendly…but, my goodness, it certainly makes it difficult for me to enjoy bus trips.

On Sunday, it was time for me to head back to Notre Dame, so I grabbed breakfast with some friends, and then hitched a ride with my friend, Amanda, back up to Indianapolis, where she goes to school. From there, I took a Greyhound back to South Bend. Seems pretty simple, right?

Well…it was. Objectively, nothing went wrong. With the exception of my bus being about 30 minutes late dropping me off at South Bend, everything went as planned, and I made it back to school at a decent time.

That’s objectively speaking though – subjectively, it was a harrowing and stress ulcer-inducing experience.

I love Amanda, don’t get me wrong. We got trapped at the Atlanta airport for two days together; how could we not be friends? But her driving…I don’t know if she obeyed the speed limit once.

In one sense, who does? I’m probably consistently going five or ten over, depending on the road, which is pretty normal. Amanda, however, drives her Prius like she’s racing in the Indianapolis 5000. Her average speed while we were on the interstate might have been 100; I don’t actually know, I had to force myself to not look at the speedometer out of fear of what the number was.

But she got me to the Greyhound station, and no one died, and for that, I’m grateful. I mean, I‘ve totaled a car before myself, so in a sense, she’s a safer driver than me.

The Greyhound station was also one of the sketchiest places I’ve been in my entire life, which didn’t do much for my unhealthily high anxiety levels.

Like I said though, everything turned out alright in the end, so perhaps I was worried for nothing. I mean, if a lion suddenly jumped out from one of the overfilled trashcans at the Greyhound station and attacked me, my sympathetic nervous system would have been prepared, but there were no lions, as far as I know.

Unless the Detroit Lions were perhaps playing the Colts that day? I was right next to the football stadium; it’s possible.

Sweater: Forever21

Boots: Doc Marten

November 24, 2017 – A Shopping Day (OOTD #167)

Once upon a time, my dad and I used to go out on Black Friday at 2 or 3 am in the morning to get to big stores like Target or Best Buy and stand in hour-long lines in the late November cold.

It doesn’t sound like much fun, but believe me: it was!

I used to love Black Friday, and truth be told, I still kind of do. I don’t know, I just really like crowds, (strange thing to like, I know), so even though the nature of Black Friday has changed drastically in the last few years, I can still enjoy it.

I may not be lining up at 5pm on Thursday evening to get to the stores right when they open (because honestly, what’s the fun of going to Target at 5pm? I could do that literally any other day of the year), but I still do like to go out with my family at some point in the day. My mother hates crowds, so we tend to avoid places like the malls, but we get to get out of the house and spend time together, and that’s what matters.

This year’s Black Friday shopping had the super-glamorous goals of finding a pair of winter gloves and boots for me, and a comb for my dad! As you might have guessed, we didn’t expect to find such rare items anywhere in the stores we looked in, but to our surprise, we stumbled upon what we were looking for. A Christmas miracle.

Speaking of Christmas, the day after Thanksgiving is officially the day I begin listening my Christmas playlists on Apple Music. Back when I used to do early morning Black Friday shopping with my dad, this meant listening to my iPod while I stood in line to check out or in line to get into the store, but now that tradition is gone and I don’t really have one in its place. I still enjoy that first Christmas song I play at some point during the day on Black Friday, but it’s not quite as magical.

I like the traditional Christmas classics – you know, your Perry Como and Frank Sinatra – and I like the traditional carols and hymns, but in particular, I’m a fan of bitter pop punk Christmas rants. Give “Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass” by All Time Low or “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out” by Fall Out Boy a listen – they’re a nice way to shake things up from your typical “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”

Anyway, it’s basically 1 AM here as I write this blog, and I’ve still got some homework I’d like to get done before I go to bed. What a concept.

November 23, 2017 – Thanksgiving Thriving (OOTD #166)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh wait, you mean to tell me that Thanksgiving’s passed?

Yes, as I’ve discussed before, my blogs are on a few days’ delay (the delay varies quite a bit depending on if I’ve kept up with posting and if I’ve photographed my outfit every day or if I’ve skipped a few), which is all fine and dandy until a holiday rolls around and I don’t have an appropriate holiday-themed outfit to post on said holiday.

So here’s my Thanksgiving outfit, even though Thanksgiving was nearly a week ago and I have not relevant Thanksgiving-related things to say since I discussed my Thanksgiving thoughts on actual Thanksgiving.

It’s funny – the day before Thanksgiving, I stayed up fairly late hanging out with some friends, so on the morning of Thanksgiving, I slept in pretty late, like, until noon. I missed both the parade and the dog show, which was a little bit unfortunate, but I don’t usually watch those closely anyway so it wasn’t a big deal. Anyway, I woke up at noon to my dad telling that I needed to get downstairs because my grandmother was already in and everyone was getting ready for dinner, so I had very little time to pick out an appropriate festive outfit.

But despite these tremendous obstacles, I think I still managed to put together a pretty decent Thanksgiving-ready outfit. The skirt is reminiscent of both fall and Christmas, with a nondescript pattern of what might be fall leaves or Christmas poinsettia petals, and the sweater is just loose enough that I could eat basically whatever I wanted without feeling uncomfortable.

I think I’ll use this anecdote the next time an interviewer asks me about overcoming adversity.

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!

Sweater: Unknown (thrifted)

Skirt: Vintage: (thrifted)

(Huh…my entire outfit was thrifted here. I didn’t even realize that until just now when I wrote where they were from. Interesting)

November 21, 2017 – Southern Soccer Mom Style (OOTD #165)

Christmas in July? More like…July in Christmas.

Yesterday’s outfit was the sendoff to fall, so logically, it follows that today’s outfit should be a sendoff to summer. Since, obviously, summer comes after fall, and summer didn’t end like, three months ago.

No, the real reason behind why this outfit is so summery (and also kind of like a rich Southern PTA-attending mother) is because on this day, I was heading home for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I knew I wasn’t going to have much use of a neon Lilly Pulitzer jacket and a when it’s 20 below in South Bend, Indiana. So, to save space in my suitcase, I just wore them home, and then I left them there.

And in their place, I brought all 8000 of my Christmas sweaters.

Sure, it looked a little weird dressing so out of season, and sure, I looked more like I was going Memorial Day shopping than getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, but I don’t mind. It also looked a little weird to have my short grey hair and black Hot Topic earrings that I forgot to take out (and which you can’t see here – probably for the best) paired with such a preppy outfit, but when has that ever stopped me?

It’s uh…eclectic, not erratic, yeah?

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!

Jacket: Lilly Pulitzer

Dress: Vintage (thrifted)