March 28, 2019 – Welcome to the Sixties (OOTD #484)

Hey, remember when these blogs actually somewhat aligned with the real calendar date? Me neither.

So I’ve sort-of fallen behind. I hope you (and by you, I mean all three regular readers I suppose I have) don’t mind. I do actually really like to have a little bit of space in between the actual day the blog is supposed to be about and the date of that blog’s publication, but  three months is a little ridiculous; even I can admit that.

Regarding March 28’s outfit, though — it’s one of my favorites from March. I mean, I like the majority of my outfits — hence bothering to keep a fashion blog at all — but I’m particularly proud of this one.

Ever since I bought this retro disco dress at a vintage shop in Chicago, I’ve struggled to figure out how to wear it in new and interesting ways. It’s a great dress, don’t get me wrong — I love how blatantly 60s it is, it’s practically something I could have purchased at a Halloween shop with a Brigitte Bardot wig. However, that also poses problems — how do I wear it without looking like I purchased it at a Halloween shop?

It’s not exactly a dress I can throw a denim jacket over. It’s a deceptively simple dress; there’s very little to its design, but because of its bold pattern that immediately dates it to the 1960s, I have to be careful with how I accessorize it. Anything that seems more modern than the 60s, such as a denim jacket, would look silly when paired with it.

I thought this sweater was a good compromise. It’s got something of a vintage vibe to it as well, no?

I love this sweater — I honestly probably wear it way too much. For a cheap Forever21 purchase, it’s certainly lasted me a long time. It also happens to be my new favorite color to wear — yellow. Seems like a double-win for 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 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


Dress: A vintage shop in Chicago

Sweater: Forever21

 

 

March 26, 2019 – Work (OOTD #482)

I like this outfit a lot.

Granted, I like most of the outfits I wear — hence having this silly little blog and posting about the outfits I wear on a semi-regular basis (emphasis on the semi). There are outfits that I wear that I don’t particularly like, that I either don’t post about or do post about and regret it later (hint: basically anything from spring semester freshman year).

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instagram vs reality

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Sometimes, though, I put together an outfit and it just really clicks. Some times, it might not be anything I’d really put a lot of thought into; other times, it might be an idea that I’d been tossing around in my head for weeks. At any rate, I put it on in the morning, and it just works. 

I don’t like to use the word “work” in the America’s Next Top Model, RuPaul’s Drag Race sense — like, oh, I’m really working this outfit. It just sounds silly and narcissistic to me. But if there were an outfit that I thought I worked — and not just that the outfit worked on me, but that I worked the outfit — I guess this would be one of them.

I think maybe this had to do with the fact that this was one of the warmest days we’d been graced with in South Bend for quite some time — even though we were in the post-spring break stretch, it had still been pretty chilly.  The actual sun came out for a few hours in the afternoon and honored us with her presence. I don’t think she’d visited our cornfield patch of the Midwest in weeks.

And by warm, I mean, I still had to wear a hat, coat, and long socks. It wasn’t warm as in “spring’s here;” it was warm as in “winter’s still here and isn’t leaving for another month but at least it’s not -40 windchill anymore.” We really don’t even get to experience real spring but for a week or two at the very end of the semester (and so honestly, why do we even call it “spring semester?” Spring in South Bend is fake), so this is about as “spring” as it gets.

Happy spring, everyone!

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


Coat: Forever21

Dress: Vintage (some boutique in Chicago)

Hat: Amazon.com |NYFASHION101 French Style Lightweight Casual Classic Solid Color Wool Beret

March 24, 2019 – Transition Fashion (OOTD #480)

Late-March in South Bend is weird.

You know how the saying is “in like a lion, out like a lamb?” Well, South Bend March can’t decide which one it wants to be — so it comes in and out like both a lion and a lamb multiple times. Sometimes in the same day.

Such was the case with this outfit. It was cold enough that I wanted to wear my big yellow blanket scarf, but warm enough that I could go in bare legs under my skirt. It rained, but didn’t snow, and then once you had gotten wet, the chilly winter wind would come and rip through you.

I was also breaking in a new pair of ballet pink penny loafers, which were painful to wear and left my feet bleeding at the end of the day. Just like real pointe shoes, I guess.

The point of all of this is to say that I don’t necessarily know what to do with my outfits in late-March. Do you keep up like it’s winter, keeping your hopes down in case another frost comes in April? Do you dress for spring, hoping for a warm day and the sunshine to melt away the last piles of dirty ice lingering in the parking lot?

Hence, the title of this blog “Transition Fashion.” In recognition all of the awkward moments we’ve all had when we can’t decide what to wear because the weather is crazy during the transition between seasons.

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


Dress: American Eagle

Jacket: Forever21

March 17, 2019 – Pinch Me (OOTD #474)

It was St. Patrick’s Day, and somehow, I didn’t wear green.

Now, to be fair, I had to spend a significant portion of my day traveling, and when I travel, I tend to concern myself more with comfort and practicality than fashion. It completely slipped my mind that it was St. Patty’s Day, and that I was supposed to wear green.

In fact, not only did I not wear green, but I wore the opposite of green — red. Red’s opposite green on the color wheel (and hence, they’re complementary colors), and so I guess you could say I committed a particularly offensive faux pas.

To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I took the time to make sure I wore green on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not a holiday that’s a huge deal in Kentucky, as we don’t necessarily have a ton of people with Irish heritage. And at Notre Dame, where we do have a ton of people with Irish heritage (the consequence of being a Catholic school, I suppose), we still don’t do much since St. Patrick’s Day usually falls during spring break, and no one’s around campus.

One of these days, I’d like to go into Chicago for St. Patrick’s and see the Chicago River turned green. There isn’t a lot in Chicago that I have’t seen yet and that I really want to see — but that’s probably on the bucket list.

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!


Coat: J. Crew

Sweater: Abercrombie

Blouse: Forever21

Trousers: J. Crew

March 13, 2019 – Pegasister (OOTD #470)

Pegasister (noun): Like a brony, but instead of a grown man who likes My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, it’s a grown woman.

Allow me to preface this post with this disclaimer — I do not consider myself a Pegasister. I watched the show a lot when I was younger, like middle school-high school age, but not so much anymore. I have never gone to a My Little Pony con, dressed up like a character, or written fan fiction.

That all said, it’s still a really cute show. They do a clever job of subverting a lot of tropes of stereotypically “feminine” shows, while still allowing the show to cater to a young female audience. As children’s programming goes, I think it’s really excellent. It’s the sort of thing I can put on in the background while I’m studying or exercising and just zone out.

Anyway, I bring it up because, of course, this outfit includes a My Little Pony shirt. It’s something cheap I found at Forever21 (or to be more specific, I found and then my parents purchased for me for Christmas). I like it because it plays into a cute 80s retro vibe, while still being a franchise that I genuinely like.

I’ll admit, I do own some clothes for franchises I’m not really that into, just because I like the aesthetic. I’ve got a Pink Floyd tank top despite only really only knowing a few songs, a Nintendo 64 sweater despite never played owned one (though I’ve played ports of N64 titles on other consoles, and Attack on Titan t-shirt despite having never finished the series. Call me a fake fan.

Like I said, though, while I’m not that into the series anymore, I do still like the franchise. It was a big part of my childhood, and to it I owe, in part, my continued interest in fashion. One of the main characters, Rarity, served as the stereotypical fashion-obsessed “girly-girl” of the group, but she was written in an empowering intelligent way. She was a small-business owner and designer, and her character arcs depicted some of the difficulties as a creator of trying to commodify creativity. It’s something that really stuck with 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 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: Adidas (thrifted, Goodwill)

Top: Forever21

Shorts: H&M

 

 

March 10, 2019 – Grocery Store Florist (OOTD #469)

A long, long time ago, I applied for a job at this grocery store florist. They didn’t hire me.

It amazes me sometimes how sixteen year-old kids go out and find jobs sometimes, and that’s coming from someone who was once a sixteen year-old kid who found a job.

My first job was actually at the same grocery store chain as this florist, though I worked at a different location. I was a bagger/cart-getter/bathroom-cleaner. It wasn’t a fun job.

I won’t mention the name of the grocery store chain in case one day I want to try to get a job in their corporate department (or alternatively, after I drop out of school and all that’s left for me is to go back and try to get a job as a bagger), so let’s call it something totally made-up — like Shmoger. 

I applied for a lot of jobs the summer I was 16 — none of which I got interviews for except this one at Shmoger. That’s the worst part about applying for jobs — the fact that no one seems to want to message you to let you know the status of your application. At least with university applications, you can get rejected from every school you apply to, but they properly reject you. They give you a date they’ll have their decision by, and then they tell you their decision on that date. With jobs, they just ghost you, like a bad Tinder match.

The Shmoger I worked at was going through some renovations when I began working there, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason they hired me. I had no real experience (not even babysitting) and no references besides my parents, so they must have been desperate.

The funny thing is, I didn’t really even want the job that badly. I just took it because I figured that’s what you’re supposed to do when you turn 16. Now that I’m at a wealthy university and have wealthy friends, I realize that that’s not the case for people with money and connections, but at the time, pretty much everyone I knew had a crappy job in retail or food or service.

Looking back, I do appreciate the perspective that my crappy barely-above-minimum wage job offered me about the world — how hard it is to get a job if you don’t have a lot of experience or connections or education, how entitled both customers and fellow employees can be, how exhausting it is to do (even slightly) labor-intensive work , how difficult it is to make any actual money working minimum wage and barely getting any hours because you’ve just stared. It helped me to recognize how privileged I am to not have to work jobs like that in order to get by, and how difficult it is to move past that situation if that’s where you’re presently stuck. I ultimately ended up quitting when my junior year began (one of the only things I’ve truly quit for the last several years) because it was too much to do on top of schoolwork. Ironically, I quit the weekend before the big reopening after the renovations were all finished — something for which my boss yelled at me when I sent in my resignation via text.

I can’t imagine trying to work a spiritually and financially thankless job like that while trying to get the education required to get a better job. Getting an education can be spiritually and financially thankless enough on its own sometimes.

I think my second-most important realization at my Shmoger job was how horrible people are who leave their grocery carts out in the middle of the parking lot, especially at night. Please bring them to the corral — or better yet, back up to the front of the store! Some poor kid on cart-duty will thank you.

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!


Sweater: Forever21

Jacket: Thrifted (Clothes Mentor)

Skirt: Hollister

Shoes: Target

March 3, 2019 – Il Fait Froid (OOTD #464)

I’m not going to sit here and complain about the cold — I know it’s annoying — but I will say once that it was snowing while I was taking these photos, and I was not happy about it.

For as cold and windy as winter can be in South Bend, the one good thing is that it makes the spring all the more pleasant. When the snow finally melts and the temperature peaks above 32 degrees, it feels like heaven on Earth. They’ve planted the tulip bulbs on God Quad now; the shoots are just beginning to come up through the soil. I can’t wait.

I think what I miss most during the winter is the plant life. Everything can be so grey and dull during the winter — it’s not really that I miss the sun so much, but that I miss the color. You can kind of see it in these pictures. The grass is visible, but it’s far from vibrant.

I never thought spring fever was real until I went to the Midwest. I used to feel sad when the winter ended; it meant no more snow days and that I’d have to go to school every day until the end of the year (that was, until my senior year, when I started leaving early). Now, I have to go to class every day regardless of the weather (except for that one time this year when windchill hit -45 degrees), so there’s no reason to hope for the winter to drag on. Spring means spring break, Easter, and plants. That’s all I want anymore.

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

Sweater: Forever21

Jeans: Hot Topic

 

March 1, 2019 – Getcha Head in the Game (OOTD #462)

Up next in Meilin Uses Sports for an Aesthetic Rather Than their Actual Purpose: basketball!

I had a basketball phase very briefly as a kid. I never played it on an actual team, and so I never learned the actual rules (beyond, you know, get the ball in the hoop) but i would play it a lot on the playground with my friends. I think it was just because of the games you could play with the balls that my school had — basically, basketball or soccer (and maybe football?) — basketball was easier for seven year-old-me with literally zero athletic ability to pick up.

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I could dribble a ball, I could throw it in the general direction of other people. What else is there to basketball?

Apparently, as I found out later in life, there’s a lot more to basketball. The few times I’ve actually had to play basketball according to the proper rules during gym class, I’ve been terrible at it. I didn’t like the people getting in my personal space and waving their smelly arms, and I didn’t like how physically aggressive you had to be in order to actually take the ball from someone. I like my sports without physical aggression.

Basketball is third behind maybe volleyball and kickball in the List of Sports I Have Found That I Am Bad At. This list doesn’t include sports that I’m pretty certain I would be bad at without even trying them — like lacrosse or ice hockey.

Anyway, though I lack any natural affinity for physical activity, I’ve found I like the aesthetic of sports. There’s something edgy about an empty tennis or basketball court.

Is it offensive to people who actually play these sports to reduce them to just their aesthetic for a cute picture? Am I appropriating athlete culture? If so, I apologize. I’m sorry I can’t actually play basketball and I don’t really care to learn how at this point in my life. If it makes me inauthentic to stand in a basketball court and use it for fashion photography, then I guess I’m fake.

I am also wearing a beret and I’m not French. I seem to be doing poorly at the whole authenticity thing.

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!


Blouse: Forever21

Trousers: American Eagle

Beret: A tree on North Quad (I’m not kidding — I found this hat frozen to a tree branch on campus. It looked like it needed a home, so pried it off the tree, washed it, and it’s mine now)

 

 

 

February 21, 2019 — Solid Ground (OOTD #460)

The snow is finally beginning to melt, which is actually a really big deal here.

The snow literally lasts months. It comes in December, which is great because it’s new and white and Christmas-y, but then it sticks around until April, which is not okay.

That’s not to say it snows every day from December to April. We’ll get a few inches every day for several days in a row, until it’s piled up and you can’t walk anywhere except where it’s been plowed. Then, it stays.

For weeks and weeks.

Since it doesn’t get warm enough (and the sun doesn’t come out from behind the clouds for weeks at a time) the snow never melts. It melts slightly, then it freezes, then it melts, then it freezes again, then new snow comes on top of it, then it melts, and the cycle repeats. The worst part is that because of how long the snow lasts, it normally gets brown and dirty. Then the dirt freezes too, and you learn to resent the snow.

Thankfully, though, I think it’s about to all be over. The snow has melted, revealing the brown, nearly-dead grass underneath. I’m sure we’ll get flurries for the next few weeks still (at least until mid-April), but my hope is that the real snow is done now.

I even got to wear a skirt with only sheer (sheer!) tights underneath for this outfit, if that gives you an indication of how warm it’s getting. By warm, of course, I mean thirty degrees instead of three — but after it’s been three degrees for three months straight, below freezing at thirty is a welcome temperature.

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!


Top: The LOFT (thrifted)

Skirt: Forever21 (thrifted)

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