February 28, 2018 – Greetings from Sunny South Bend (OOTD #234)

You know how yesterday’s post was all about dressing for the weather you want, not the weather you have? 

I think it actually worked! I’m pretty sure yesterday’s Hawaiian shirt brought today’s (well, er…February 28’s), warmer temperatures. I think it made it all the way up to the 50s — which, by South Bend standards, is worth of a short sleeve-shirt and bare legs.

Seeing as it was so beautiful and sunny out, my friends and I decided to go out by the St. Mary’s lake and take some pictures all together. And here’s the best part — I didn’t have to propose the idea!

I don’t know about you guys who are also fashion bloggers, but I can start feeling a little guilty about constantly asking people to do my pictures for me. I know it’s probably a little irrational, since it’s not like it’s really a huge inconvenience to anyone, but I’m always afraid someone will get fed up of me constantly asking them to support my narcissistic hobby.

It reminds me of having to for rides after school in high school and always feeling guilty that I had to ask for help when I should’ve been able to drive on my own. Similarly, having a fashion blog is a pretty self-interested hobby, so I feel like I should be able to maintain it by myself, and to ask for help is being a nuisance to other people.

Anyway, my point is, I love it when someone asks me to take pictures of them or with them — really, just as long as someone else proposes the idea, I love it. It’s nice to be behind the camera every once in a while, so I feel like I can pay back the people who have helped me so many times.

Actually, I have thought about doing something at the end of this school year for the people who have consistently taken photos for this blog. I don’t have a ton of money, so I don’t think I could pay for dinner or anything like that, but I may bake cookies or something small like that. It’s the gesture that counts, right?

It was definitely nice to take a break from all of my studying to go outside by the lake and enjoy the weather, though. At the time of writing this, I have three papers and one project still to go (down one paper and one exam from yesterday!), so wish me luck! Spring break is just around the corner, and then, I can bother my parents for pictures and feel slightly less guilty because me being a nuisance to them is nothing new!

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

Shirt: Pitaya

Skirt: Forever21

February 27, 2018 – Dress For the Weather You Want (OOTD #233)

Sweaters in the summer, short sleeves in the winter — count on me to completely disregard the weather and then halfway regret it when I realize how uncomfortable I am but not enough to make me change my habits!

In fairness, last Tuesday was very nice for a day in late February, especially in South Bend — the sun was shining, the temperatures had made it beyond the 30s, and the last remains of the snow piles (including the 10 ft tall snowman who stood on South Quad for at least two weeks) had finally melted.

In celebration, I broke out this thin short sleeve Hawaiian shirt and even thinner trousers, and then immediately regretted it when I took a step outside and realized that just because the sun was out, did not mean it was summertime. Or even springtime, for that matter. It was still cold, and I’m still in Northern Indiana, and it’s still February.

But as I said repeatedly in the summer, when I wore sweaters and jackets in 80 degree heat, you should dress for whatever look you want and tolerate the (minor) discomfort of the elements. Nothing too extreme, of course, but you should take advantage of the fact that humanity has come so far and you live in a part of the world where the elements probably won’t kill you.

So I pretended I was a Hawaiian tourist for the day, even though nothing about the climate in February in South Bend suggests a Hawaiian vacation. I wish I were on a Hawaiian vacation. Actually, I wish I were just on vacation in general, regardless of where it was — anything so that I didn’t have to deal with my midterms.

That’s what spring break’s for though, right? Five more days.

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

Shirt: Thrifted

Pants: Forever21

February 26, 2018 – Snow More Snow Please (OOTD #232)

Look! It’s finally sunny enough for me to have my sunglasses on again in these pictures!

Ever since I transitioned to doing some of my pictures in the evening rather than the afternoon (owing to needing to accommodate to the schedules of my friends who do my pictures), I’ve been trying to avoid wearing sunglasses in my photos so much, since it looks silly to have sunglasses on when the sun’s nearly down.

But now that winter’s nearly over (thank goodness), it’s staying lighter for longer, and I can feel less weird about slipping on my shades at 6pm.

As much as I love winter, I’m very much glad for it to be nearly over. It’s rather overstayed its welcome for me, even though it was more mild than usual here in Chicago-area. Or so I’ve heard – I’ve never lived in this part of the country before, so it was definitely colder than I had ever experienced in my Kentucky experience, but from what I’ve heard from Chicago locals, it was actually quite a fair winter.

A few weeks ago, we had several feet of snow accumulate over the course of several days, melting and freezing over several times before it finally all melted away, and that was pretty much the end of my tolerance for this season. I’m usually a big fan of snow in any form, but by the time it finally all melted away, it had pretty much all turned to grey slush and wasn’t really much to look at any more.

Spring break is in under a week for me, though, so I’m excited to head back to Kentucky and experience some of that lovely sunny weather my parents have told me they’ve been getting.

Assuming I can make it through the rest of these midterms though – one exam, three papers, and one project still to go! Wish me luck!

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

Jacket: Thrifted

Skirt: Zara

Sweater: Kohl’s

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Let’s Gogh

Shoutout to Google for always being there for me when I need some kind of dumb pun to title one of these blogs with.

Getting back into art again after having pretty much done none at all during the entirety of last semester hasn’t been quite as easy as I had hoped. I wouldn’t really say it’s been difficult, by any means, but there is a little bit of extra thinking I’ve had to do when I draw. How would I accurately portray that? How do I get these two lines to be symmetrical? That sort of thing.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m considering a minor in studio art, and I think I’m going to keep with that intention for now, assuming I do alright grades-wise in this drawing class I’m in now.

I guess my biggest complaint about the class I’m in now is that there’s very little creativity in the work we’re doing. It’s an introductory course, so we’re starting with the basics – still lives, color wheels, gesture sketches, the like. The thing is, I was doing still lives and color wheels and gesture sketches way back in early high school and middle school – which isn’t to say I don’t still have a lot to learn about how to draw accurately, but I feel like I’m in a place where I can do that without having to draw the same apple again five times.

In one of our most recent sketchbook assignments, we were tasked with using colored pencils to portray simple objects in unnatural colors, which I found to be a lot of fun in that it offered a chance for more creativity than usual. Hopefully, as the class goes on, we’ll have more opportunities like this.

In the mean time, I’m just going to do my best to stop working in the art building so late into the night that I fall asleep there and have to be woken up by the cleaning lady who comes in at 7AM. That happened once, and it was quite awkward.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

February 25, 2018 – Styled By Riley (OOTD #233)

A colorful door? At my Notre Dame? Most unorthodox!

Slowly but surely, the Riley art building is becoming my favorite building on campus.

No, it’s not the most beautiful building, or the most architecturally interesting, or the cleanest, or the comfiest, or the best lit – it’s not even really what I’d call charmingly dilapidated.

It’s a very strange building, I guess, is how I’d describe it. Because it needs a lot of large studio spaces for the various art classes, I suppose they had to get creative with the configuration of rooms to make space for the spaces they needed. There are hallways that lead you in circles, doors marked “Emergency Exit Only – Alarm Will Sound” that you’re required to use to get to certain parts of the building, and a mysterious locked door that prevents you from getting to the fourth floor. I think one of the strangest things is that there are certain classrooms that you have to walk through to access other parts of the floor. So sometimes, you’ll be sitting in class, working away at your piece or listening to your professor talk, and someone will just walk through because they’re trying to get to another section of the building.

I’m not sure if it’s artistic, or just really really bad design.

Since I’ve been spending so many late nights in the art building as a) a means of actually trying to get my art homework done and b) a way to get some time to myself, since it’s usually pretty empty at night, I’ve been able to go wandering around to find out what all there is. And the other night, I discovered a new studio in the basement for the installation art classes.

And get this – there’s a painted red door!

You might ask, what’s so off about that? Painted doors are hardly anything to get excited about. But the thing is, it is at this school. For as pretty as Notre Dame is, there are very few rooms, or buildings, or really just any indoor spaces at all that incorporate colors other than neutrals. If I had to describe Notre Dame in a single color, I’d have to go with beige, because I’m pretty sure that’s the color of a solid 3/4 of the buildings here, inside and out.

So yeah, I got excited for the photography possibilities that come with the discovery of this red door. Expect to see it again on this blog.

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

Dress: Kohl’s

Jacket: Thrifted

February 23, 2018 – Change of Plans (OOTD #232)

Alright, so story time: I had a sponsored post to do for this outfit, and while (spoiler alert) it worked out, I wasn’t initially sure if it would.

So I’m a part of this app called Popular Pays, which helps connect bloggers with brands for paid collaborations (side note – Pop Pays is probably one of my favorite apps for finding collaborations, maybe I’ll write a blog on that one day). Through Pop Pays, I came across an opportunity to promote a contest Journey’s shoes is currently running by posting a picture of me and a friend in Converse.

Simple enough, right?

Not so much – first, I had to find a friend who owned Converse who’d be willing to appear in this set of pictures with me, and then I had to find another friend willing to take the actual pictures. Then, I had to coordinate a time for us to meet, all while trying to not sound demanding and remaining completely gracious to them for helping me in such a way.

It took me three tries to finally make it to the friend who actually appears next to me in these pictures, Emma. I first tried my roommate, Mariana, but she didn’t own Converse that she considered “nice” enough – which would not have at all bothered me, but I didn’t want to push. The next person I tried, Anna, actually initially agreed, but out schedules didn’t match up for a time to meet.

By this time, it was late afternoon/early evening, and I began to fear that I had gotten all cute and dressed up for nothing (well, not nothing – but not for the purpose I had originally intended). Finally, in desperation and with the light fading, I texted in the group message of my friends in my residence hall to see if anyone had a pair of Converse and could meet me in five minutes.

I didn’t expect it to work – but then it did! Emma just so happened to see the text, and was happy to help me out. I felt a little badly for how suddenly it all happened, but if she minded the short notice or the strange request. she didn’t let on.

That’s a good friend for you though. I guess that’s what Journey’s was trying to get at with their contest!

If you’re interesting in checking out more details on that contest, check out my Instagram post here and follow the directions listed in the caption! 

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

Jacket: Forever21

Shirt: Anthropologie

Jeans: Hollister

February 22, 2018 – Midterm Misery (OOTD #231)

Up next on Meilin Explores the Art Building at Night: an art history seminar classroom!

The evening I did these photos, I was at work on a paper of application, so I popped in this empty classroom for some peace and quiet. To my delight, the room had this fun print hung on the wall, making it the perfect place for my OOTD photos.

If anyone actually knows what this piece is or what’s supposed to be going on, please tell me in the comments below. I feel like it’s probably something super metaphorical, but I can’t really even make out what’s supposed to be happening in the scene, let alone what everyone is supposed to represent.

Anyway, despite not having any idea what this piece is, it’s art, and that’s enough to satisfy me. It’s also a fairly colorless background, which I appreciate for the sake of the aesthetics of my Instagram – I like to have some more plain photos to intersperse with more colorful ones to maintain a sense of balance.

Midterms are in full-swing here at school, which is admittedly not making my existence very enjoyable. I’m pretty sure after I finished my photos and the homework I was doing for this post last Wednesday, I laid my coat out on the floor and took a nap. I say “pretty sure” because I’ve been falling asleep in strange places with increasing frequency these last few days, and it’s getting difficult to distinguish between one late night and another.

It goes without saying that I’m excited for spring break to just chill and relax and catch up on my sleep. I’m just going home, which sounds unexciting, but that’s what I’m grateful for. How do the college kids who go out partying at Panama Beach or Tijuana or wherever do it? At the risk of sounding dorky, I can barely manage to occasionally drag myself out of my room to go out one night over the weekend. I can’t imagine going somewhere and partying for an entire week, and then immediately returning to schoolwork. When do you rest?

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

Jacket: thrifted

Undershirt: ASOS

Pants: J. Crew (thrifted)

February 20, 2018 – Low Light (OOTD #229)

I made this a caption for one of my posts on Instagram recently, but I’ll say it again – I think stairwells may just bit the new doorways.

A little context – I’ve said, many, many times on this blog that doorways are pretty much the only structures I get in the backgrounds of my fashion photography. For one, the shape of a door usually just makes for a very nice way to frame the subject in general (that subject being me). Additionally, Notre Dame just has a lot of really pretty doors throughout campus (there are some exceptions – I think Riley’s doorway and LaFun’s doorway are pretty average), and I like to show them off. Maybe one of these days I’lll to a list of the top 10 best doorways at Notre Dame.

Anyway, I’ve been getting tired of constantly standing in front of doors, so I’ve been trying to shake it up a little by exploring the various buildings of ND when they empty out at night for good photography locations. Thankfully, now that I’ve discovered the remote camera feature that allows me to balance my phone somewhere but then actually take the photo on my watch, it’s been easier for me to get pictures done since I don’t have to rely on having someone to be my photographer.

As you’ll see here, when I posed in a stairwell in the campus ministry building, stairwells can make for good substitutes for doors, especially if that stairwell has a window that will let some natural light in.

Unfortunately, when tried to replicate that here in these photos in a different set of stairs in a different building, I didn’t have quite as much luck, as it was too dark out to get much natural light. Instead, I got a (kind of dingy) overhead light.

While I wouldn’t say these shots are particularly glamorous, they are moody, and there are a few in here that, when I put them on the B/W filter, give off some film noir detective vibes.

Will I be returning to this set of stairs for anymore photos? Probably not, especially if it’s dark out. Like I said, I do like some of the things I got here though, so it was still worth it to me.

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

Jacket: Ralph Lauren

Top: Free People

February 19, 2018 – Green Thumb (OOTD #228)

So I thought I would give you guys a little tour of my studio apartment today, beginning with my collection of hanging plants!

Ha, just kidding. I wish this were a part of my studio apartment, with its high ceilings, spacious painting space, and hanging plant collection. Alas, it’s just the painting studio within the art building (which is getting more and more features in this blog). If you really wanna see my dorm room (or like…one wall of it), you can check out this blog post here.

At this point though, I’m practically living in the art building, perhaps even spending more time in there than my residence hall. It’s big, and quiet, and it doesn’t smell like mold like my residence hall – so if you exclude the fact that it’s probably haunted, it’s the perfect place to stay.

I particularly love these plants in the painting studio. My roommate, Mariana, featured occasionally in photos on here, is a huge plant nerd, and I think it’s rubbing off on me. She keeps a lot of plants around, and as a result, I’ve begun wanting more.

I have this cactus here, which I’m very proud of myself for having managed to keep alive all this time. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a plant go so long without dying before. I mean, it is just a cactus – not exactly the most difficult thing to care for – but it’s a mark of progress. I hope that by springtime, I can go out to a plant shop one day and maybe buy some more cacti and succulents to decorate my space with.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll just hang out at in the painting studio (which I really have no particular business being in otherwise – I have no painting class) and take dramatic pictures with their plants. It beats taking pictures with whatever random still lives and installations that are up in the drawing studio.

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

Pants: The LOFT

Shirt: Abercrombie

Necklace: Forever21 (fun fact: I’ve had this super cheap necklace since about 8th grade, so over 5 years. Surprisingly, it hasn’t yet broken, and has even survived falling off my neck on the way to class and being returned hours later by a kind stranger who picked it up)

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Saturday Musings + Coffee – Generally Lacking In Musings and Coffee

I’ve barely had the time to muse on anything or drink coffee today.

Midterms are slowly but surely making its way towards me, and with them, all of the work that they entail.

With my liberal arts concentration, I, luckily, don’t have many actual exams to sit for – just one in my required science course. Instead, I’m saddled with a ton of papers and projects, which, for better or worse, means I have to begin working on them well before actual midterms week when they’re due.

Thus, instead of a “midterms week” I have something more like “midterms weeks” or even “midterms month.” It’s particularly lousy because, unlike finals week, we’re required to continue attending classes while the exams are all going on. With finals week, classes end a few days before exams even begin, meaning it’s actually a significantly less stressful experience.

Anyway, as you might notice from my planner, I’ve got a lot of things to do, which I like to distract myself from doing by writing blog posts and making my planner look pretty.

I’ve been hanging out in the library for a good portion of the day today, which I really only do when I have legitimate work to do. In terms of study spaces on campus, the library is one of my least favorite because it’s cold and quite ugly on some of the upper floors (though there is an excellent view if you can snatch a window seat) , but it has white tables, which makes it excellent for flatlay photography like this.

I should probably get back to work, so I’m going to cut this short here. Pray for me that I’ll get everything done, would you?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!