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

November 27, 2018 – Pacing (OOTD #414)

I wore this sweater in a post from just a few days ago.

I normally try to avoid repeating pieces so soon like this — not that I think many people would notice, unless I said something, but it’s just not as fun to wear the same things over and over. Plus, I like to actually wear the clothes I buy. It’s wasteful just to let things sit in the closet.

In fairness, the actual amount of time between wears for this sweater was longer than this blog makes it seem. In truth, it was ten days in between wears — and Thanksgiving beak was a part of that time —  though it was only four blogs.

If you’ll notice, I’m also getting caught up on blogs again. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing — good in that now my blogs should line up a little more with the actual calendar dates, but bad in that that puts more pressure on me to get content for my blogs  more often.

It’s a little frustrating, because I get more views on LEDJ when I publish new content every day. But publishing new content every day is hard — I don’t wear cute clothes every day, and even if I do, I don’t always have an easy way to photograph them. Publishing blogs every day while also taking photos every day leads to blogs of lower quality — something I’ve definitely been guilty of before —  and I don’t want to do that again if I can help it.

I guess that’s a reality that every Internet content creator deals with — of course you’ll get more views when you’re churning out new content. But since I’m still such a small Internet presence that I don’t really get much readership at all if I’m not posting, so I try to post every day.

I think that’s just something I’ll have to learn to deal with though. As I’ve learned, forcing myself to post and photograph my outfits literally every day is bad not just for the quality fo content I put on this blog, but also for my enjoyment of the writing process. This is still just a hobby after all.

Any other bloggers out there with how to pace oneself with how often to upload content? I’ve been doing the daily blog thing for so long, it would feel unnatural to stray from that — but I think maybe it’s getting to be time to find a regular upload schedule that’s not quite so chaque jour, as it were. I want to still post often, but avoid the burnout of a daily schedule. Thoughts?

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!

Matching bra and underwear set: TomboyX

Sweater: Forever21

Jeans: Abercrombie

November 23, 2018 – Beginning To Look A Lot Like… (OOTD #413)

…Christmas! This blog will start like fall and end like Christmas.

The day after Christmas — Black Friday — is officially the day I start listening to Christmas music. It’s been a tradition of mine since back in middle school, when Black Friday actually meant something, and my dad and I would go out shopping late at night/early in the morning. Once the clock struck midnight, I’d get out my iPod (or iPhone, depending on what year it was) and start listening to Christmas music.

Anyway, Black Friday doesn’t really mean much anymore, since it seems the sales aren’t even that great anymore, and — the worse offense — stores don’t even hold weird late night hours. That was the fun of the whole experience! It was so cool getting to wake up at 2AM to go shopping at 3, and then get breakfast on the way home when it was all over.

That era of Black Friday shopping seems to be over, sadly. I still like to go out, but usually just in the afternoon. I still like seeing the crowds. For as much of an introvert as I am, I like navigating crowds, assuming I don’t have to wait in long lines.

This set of photos was taken by my father while we were at the mall, and they’ll likely be the last set of fall-themed pics I post this year on this blog. From this point on, I’ll be making an effort to do Christmas- and winter-themed outfits.

View this post on Instagram

hey thanks for the pic @zdhall2699

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

Like these Christmas- and winter-themed pics here! Yep, these are all from the same day, just later at night. Some friends and I went out driving to check out the neighborhood’s Christmas decorations, and this house always goes all out. They went so all out that some photography seemed to be in order.

Shout out to my buddy Zach for getting these. He did a pretty good job, admittedly. Art students, am I right?

Jacket: Forever21

Sweater/skirt set: Vintage (Thrifted — Street Scene Vintage)

Shoes: Doc Marten

November 22, 2018 – Christmas on Thanksgiving (OOTD #412)

I like holidays where I get to dress up.

I almost always have — I remember distinctly the excitement when I was a kid of getting to pick out the dress I would wear for the  Christmas or Easter at church. I’d also often change all of the clothes on my dolls to be similarly festive.

No offense to the holidays that don’t involve getting dressed up — like 4th of July or Labor Day — but a holiday to me is only as fun as the outfits I get to wear.

Christmas takes the cake thanks to Christmas sweaters and red-and-green motifs, but I think Halloween might be a close second. I don’t typically do weeks-worth of holiday-themed outfits for Halloween like I do for Christmas (though I will make an effort to go for fall-themed outfits, at least in October)

View this post on Instagram

merry christmas? more like merry crisis

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

Thanksgiving, the day these photos were taken, can also be fun. Since Thanksgiving involves a big meal with family, I like to get dressed up, even if we don’t go out anywhere and do anything that exciting. Thanksgiving is always fun too, because it marks the division in my mind between fall and winter — between pre-Christmas and Christmas.

In fact, I even make Thanksgiving my marker for when I’ll allow myself to start listening to my Christmas playlists on Apple Music. Midnight on Black Friday, I bust them out and start jamming to my personal favorites, like Fall Out Boy’s “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out.” 

Thanksgiving also makes a great opportunity to mix pieces that could lean Christmas-y or fall-ish. This outfit would look at home on a Christmas tree farm or an apple orchard, no?

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!

Top: ASOS

Skirt: J. Crew

November 21, 2018 – Short Girl, Tall Grass (OOTD #411)

I love to get pictures in this spot at the park by my home.

If you’ve been keeping track, I’ve used this location for photos many times — here and here, for example. Perhaps you’ve also noticed that the photos from the two linked blogs are definitively summer- and winter-themed. It makes sense then that this one is so fall-themed, right?

There’s something about standing in the tall grass that makes a photo look adventurous and whimsical. Throw a dramatic filter on top of that, and you’ve got a background worth a Lord of the Rings elf cosplay.

Realistically, though, I suppose I’m more of a hobbit than an elf. I’m short, lazy, and like to eat. Just call me a Baggins.

I suppose I also like the tall grass because there is no tall grass on Notre Dame’s campus. Why would there be? It’s a university campus, where everything, including the landscaping, is always neat and manicured. You hardly even see leaves on the ground in the fall.

So when I go to a park that has more “natural”-looking landscaping, even if it is only a little patch of unmowed grass around a small wetland, it’s a welcome sight. It’s little things like that that I hardly notice that I miss when I’m at school, but that I realize I really appreciate when I go home.

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!

Dress: Target

Sweater: Vintage (thrifted: Street Scene Vintage)

Shoes: Target

November 17, 2018 – Très Froide (OOTD #410)

The upside of winter fashion photography: lots of layers.

The downside: you often have to go coatless, and it’s damn cold out.

View this post on Instagram

it’s too cold for poses like this

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

This is particularly unfortunate when you’ve decided to go with a cropped sweater. I mean, I guess I’m at fault here for choosing the cropped sweater even though I knew how cold it would be, but…it just worked really well with the carpetbag skirt.

I’m still a little bitter — I’d dressed like this today because I was supposed to be meeting someone for coffee, but they weren’t able to make it at the last second. I wasn’t so disappointed about not getting out for coffee, because I just ended up going alone, but I looked all cute for nothing.

That’s not true — I looked cute for myself, and that’s what’s important. I would be lying a little though if I tried to say that I only dress for myself. I dress primarily for myself, but the fact of the matter is that your fashion choices affect how others perceive you, and that perception is often something worth manipulating if you can.

Whatever though — today I dressed for myself. And for this blog, which, as much as I hope someone out there gets enjoyment out of writing, is also for me. I like writing here. At the end of the day, if I didn’t like writing, I wouldn’t still be at this a year and a half later.

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!

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Forever21

November 15, 2018 – Neckwear (OOTD #409)

Hey look. I have a scarf on. Am I French yet?

My first exposure to the world of scarves for fashion and not just warmth was Hannah Montana. I remember she used to wear these sequin-covered, long, skinny scarves that she’d wrap around her neck or tie like a necktie. Honestly, they looked more like long stingy pieces of yarn tied around her neck than an actual scarf.

But I thought they were the coolest things ever — I even bought a green sequin-covered one to match the one she wore on the cover of her debut album.

Hannah Montana was quite possibly my first fashion icon, not including my mother, whose taste I’ve always admired. My mother, however, never dressed quite as sparkly as Hannah Montana did — and I wound up being quite a fan of sparkles, though not quite so much now as I was when I was in third grade.

View this post on Instagram

greetings from the north pole

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

(Actually, as I write this, I am wearing a Christmas sweater with rhinestones on it, so clearly, the sparkles interest has not died down.)

My usernames for a lot of accounts when I was younger actually used to be sparkles-related: for example, pinkglitter or crystalchic. Who knows, maybe you happened upon me in a Webkinz or Howrse chatroom back in 2008. I was there quite a lot.

But for real, I’d be open to an early-2000s fashion resurgence. I always liked the flared jeans and Abercrombie cardigans. I probably even still have some of the ones I had in middle school, and they probably still fit. They’re authentic vintage at this point.

I think I may even still have my old sparkly green Hannah Montana scarf somewhere. Maybe I’ll put together a Hannah Montana-inspired outfit one day for this blog — everything comes back in style eventually. Maybe it’s 2006’s time.

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!

Sweater: Forever21

Pants: Thrifted (Salvation Army)

Scarf: My Uncle Tim, who gave it to my grandmother for Christmas, who then gave it to me

November 14, 2018 – Darker Days (OOTD #408)

Really not a fan of this whole time change thing.

I know I’m not the only one to say this, but really — what’s the point of daylight savings anymore? Contrary to Thomas Jefferson’s vision, we are not a nation of independent farmers, and we haven’t been for well over a hundred years. I’m open to the idea that there are many professions out there still that rely upon the sun to determine their hours, but their numbers are comparatively few to what they used to be. I feel like we could scrap daylight savings and still function pretty well as a society.

I like the extra hour of sleep that I get in November, but I don’t like how dark it gets and so early. I took a nap today at 5pm, and when I woke up at 7:30pm, it was pitch black. It made me wonder if I’d accidentally slept for too long and it was now like, midnight.

Additionally, I volunteer at the homeless shelter in the evenings, and I take the bus to get there. Before the time change, I had no problem walking to the stop after my shift ended at 6pm, but now that it’s dark so early, I feel a little less safe walking through that part of town at night.

Perhaps the worst offense to me, though, is how the time difference affects my ability to get OOTD pics in the evening. I used to rely upon getting dinner with friends at 6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays as my opportunity to ask someone to get pictures for me. Up until daylight savings, this worked perfectly for me. Now though, I wind up with dark pics like this — not bad, per se, especially with editing, but not really what I’m going for either. I’m a fashion blog, I want people to see my clothes. It’s difficult to do that when the only light in a photo is a street lamp and my iPhone flash.

Is #firstworldproblems still a thing? If it’s not, it should be. It’s consistently relevant to my life.

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!

Top: Forever21

Skirt: The LOFT

Hat: Target

November 13, 2018 – Christmasy (OOTD #407)

You can tell it’s nearly Christmas because the bookstore has been decorated.

It’s admittedly kind of hard to get into any sort of Christmas spirit while school and finals are going on. I don’t know if that ever changes, or, if like Halloween, Christmas is never as exciting as an adult as it was as a kid. I hope it gets to be exciting again eventually.

In truth, it is exciting for me still — the excitement has to wait until after finals are over now, though. For me, that day will be December 14, 2018 — 11 days from the time of writing this blog and a month from the time these photos were taken.

I’m actually not going to be home for Christmas this year, and while I’m very grateful to be going on the trips I’m going on to Qatar and to France, I’m sad I won’t be around to be with my family during the holidays. When Notre Dame offers me funding, though to travel, I can’t turn it down. Travel is expensive — there’s now way I could do it on my own so when I have the opportunity to go on my school’s money….

I’ll still have fun, but my winter break won’t be as relaxing as normal. That’s okay, though. Last winter break ended up getting boring, so hopefully, this time I’ll have a good balance.

I’ll actually end up spending Christmas Eve in an airport, and my Christmas Day in a classroom in Qatar. It’s far from traditional, and it’ll be my first time away from my family for the holidays, but it should still be a fun experience.

Will I be able to keep up with blogging? I sure hope so. I don’t consider myself a travel blogger because of how infrequently I travel, but when I do get to go somewhere exotic like London or Kathmandu, I like to get as much content as possible for LEDJ. Consider it my Christmas gift to you guys.

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!

Pants: The LOFT

Top: Amazon (of all places!)

November 12, 2018 – Layers Upon Layers (OOTD #406)

As Shrek once wisely said, “I’ve got layers like an onion.”

Shrek was referring to his identity as an ogre in that scene, but I’m referring to my clothes. I don’t think I’m an ogre…or ogreish?

Those of you who have been around for a long time might remember that I’ve used the “like an onion” quote before to describe an outfit with layers. I was back on OOTD #55 at the time, and Shrek memes were still relatively fresh. Now, I’m significantly less original, not to mention less culturally relevant or funny.

View this post on Instagram

wearing more layers than an onion

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

I really like this outfit, though. It wasn’t my idea, however. A friend forwarded me something on Pinterest with a turtleneck layered under a striped button-down to ask what I thought of the style. I was a big fan — so much so that I decided to copy it.

To add to the look, I paired the turtleneck/button-down combo with my ripped black skinny jeans with fishnets layered underneath. Hence, the title — layers upon layers.

The lighting is darker here than I would like, so you can’t really see the fishnet texture in every photo, unfortunately. I just really didn’t have any time to get pictures before after it got dark on this day.

It was a Monday, and on Mondays, I’m usually busy until 6:30pm. With daylight savings, it’s now solidly dark by 6:30pm, which is unfortunate for me trying to get pictures of my outfit in decent lighting. I tried to make up for it by going inside of a building and getting pictures with the artificial lighting, but it just doesn’t compare to natural.

Oh, well. It’s a cute outfit anyway, and it shines on its own, no light required.

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!

Turtleneck: The LOFT (thrifted)

Button-down: Abercrombie

Jeans: Hot Topic

Belt: Not Gucci, unfortunately