June 30, 2018 – Calm Before The Storm (OOTD #317)

Here I am, my first full day in Nepal!

This was the day that most of the students attending the Madrasa Discourses conference were to be arriving, meaning I was finally not completely alone at the lodge! My two roommates arrived, one of whom is a Notre Dame student I was vaguely familiar with before Nepal, and one of whom is a Pakistani woman in a full niqab (who arrived at like, 1 AM in the morning, the poor thing).

In all, there are about 20ish Pakistani students, 20ish Indians, 7 South Africans, and 7 American students from Notre Dame. Since there was no programming today, those of us who arrived in the afternoon (or like me, the previous night), simply hung out, chatted, and took meals together to socialize and kill time.

An American student, a Pakistani-German student, and I were all feeling energetic enough to go for a short hike after lunch, so we decided to venture down the mountain of Dhulikel. We heard there was a village at the bottom, but little did we know, that village was probably a solid two miles away. Two miles isn’t bad when you’re jogging on flat terrain, but walking down a steep mountain is another thing. We didn’t even make it a quarter of the way before giving up and turning around, sweaty and exhausted. Meanwhile, several local Nepali people walked by, steady-footed and swift, to put us all to shame. At least we got a pretty view of the area as we went down.

I wanted to get some sleep after our walk, but I knew it would be best for me if I stayed up all day and didn’t sleep until the night. The jet lag was hitting me like a truck at that point, and even though I desperately wanted to take a nap, I resisted.

That night though, I of course had very little luck actually sleeping. I got about three hours before my Pakistani roommate showed up, and after that, I really wasn’t able to sleep anymore. My body kind of hates itself for the nine hours and forty-five minute time difference, so I guess I can’t blame it.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Nepal. 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: Abercrombie

Pants: Forever21

Scarf: My mother’s closet

June 29, 2018 – Welcome to Nepal (OOTD #316)

Here I am in Nepal, finally!

It took a little under 30 hours of total travel time, but I finally made it here to Dhulikel, Nepal, just outside of Kathmandu.

The majority of my travel story can be found here, in the Saturday Musings post published on that day, but allow me to fill you in on the rest of the journey.

So after running through the disgustingly poorly organized O’Hare airport in order to catch my flight to Abu Dhabi, I had 17 hours sitting in a tiny, cramped aisle seat thousands of feet above the ground. It was quite different from my experience flying first class all the way to London.  

On the way, I attempted to get some reading done for the conference I was to be attending, but I only made it about halfway through before I started nodding off, It’s not that the content wasn’t interesting — the articles were over feminism, theology, philosophy — but there was too much to try to get through in one sitting. 17 hours was definitely enough time to have gotten it done had I had the motivation but…I lacked the motivation.

After watching Moana and Beauty and the Beast (the mediocre live action version) on the entertainment system, slipping in and out of sleep for hours, and eating one of the most disgusting turkey sandwiches I’ve had in my entire life, I made it to Abu Dhabi.

I only had about two hours in Abu Dhabi before I had to fly the remaining five hours to Kathmandu, so sadly, I didn’t have the time to do anything but walk through the airport and wait for my plane. Had I had more time, perhaps I would have tried to see the city a little — it’s not like I expect to be in the UAE again any time soon.

Once I made it to Kathmandu, all that was left was to get my visa, make it through customs, exchange money, go through airport security for the 20th time, claim my baggage, and then find the taxi that was waiting for me to take me to the hotel. Simple, right?

Actually, I guess it was just about as simple as I could have asked for it to have been. The only hitch I really experienced before I made it to Dhulikel was way overtipping the cabbie, but if that’s the worst that happened to me, then I suppose I wasn’t in too bad a shape.

Driving though Kathmandu alone at night was perhaps the scariest thing of the entire trip — I’ve been bad traffic before in China, but it had been a long time and I was not at all prepared for Kathmandu driving. Are there lanes? Are there speed limits? Are there lights or laws or licenses?

When I finally arrived at the hotel, I didn’t have the energy for much more than eating a small meal and then crawling slowly to my room. 30 hours of travel I guess will do that to you.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Nepal. 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: Forever21

Pants: Abercrombie

June 26, 2018 – Sock Story (OOTD #313)

Check out these cool socks.

I actually got them against my mother’s wishes (what a rebel, I know) — she thought they were ugly and had no stylistic purpose, but I thoroughly disagreed. It was an impulse buy, one of those things that just sit in bins by the checkout counter in order to lure you into spending a few extra dollars. but as impulse buys go, I think it was a good one.

The couple of times I’ve worn these socks, they always manage to tie the outfit together in ways I would not expect. They’re really quite magical.

Imagine, if you can, this outfit without the red socks. Or don’t, and just take my word when I say that the outfit wasn’t really working without them.

So I was standing there in my room, skirt, top, and jacket already on, and I wasn’t feeling it. The proportions were off, the vibe wasn’t right, and I knew I needed to add something to tie everything together. After briefly considering a necklace, thigh-high socks, or tights, I thought I would try my red ankle socks.

And obviously, given the title of this blog and all of the photos you’ve seen thus far, it worked! The red socks turned an otherwise “off” outfit into something I believe is actually quite fashionable. Funny, sometimes, how something as small as some socks can really tie an entire outfit together.

There’s more to the story about this outfit, though — this was worn two days before I left for Nepal, and I really wanted to wear something distinctively fun, something that I couldn’t wear in the more conservative context of the Islamic theology conference I’ll be attending. There, I’ll be restricted to wearing loose-fitting and more professional clothes, which is fine and all, but I really wanted to wear something a little more exciting before I had to start wearing button-downs and culottes everyday.

I don’t know, but I feel like this carpetbag-pattered skirt, band tee, and velvet socks achieved that goal. Hopefully it’ll tide me over until I return to the US and I can be fun again.

Besides, these are my “rebel” socks, that I got despite what my mother advised. What could be more fun than 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 Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: Hot Topic

Jacket: thrifted

Skirt: Forever21

Socks: DSW

June 23, 2018 – Color Scheming (OOTD #310)

As those of you who follow my Instagram might know, I am very careful about maintaining a particular color order of my posts.

This is how it works — I post nine photos, usually three each day (or at least, the goal), that all have a very strong color story of a particular color. These nine photos form a square on my feed, allowing that entire block of pictures to be perceived as that color when someone scrolls through my profile. I go in rainbow order order, i.e, I post a block of nine bluish photos, followed by nine greenish photos, and so on.

Here’s what’s great: it makes my feed appear very colorful, and transitions from one color to another is fairly easy because I always know the order of what should come next. 

Here’s what’s not great:  certain colors are much harder than others to get nine photos that all work together. For example, green is a very easy color scheme — I just have to get photos that incorporate a lot of foliage or grass. On the other hand, pink or purple is very difficult, as there is not much in the natural world or the manmade that is predominantly pink and purple.

So when I do come across a pink wall or a big purple bush, I get excited because it means I have good content for my Instagram feed. That’s where today’s outfit comes in.

I had worn this outfit to my internship in Frankfort, not really putting any thought into it beyond the fact that I wanted something nice to wear because I had a naturalization ceremony to attend. Actually, I felt a little underdressed for the ceremony, like I should have worn something a little nicer than a cardigan and trousers — but that’s not important to the story.

The point is, the outfit I chose to wear had nothing to do really with my whole Instagram color scheme strategy. I hadn’t even been sure I would do outfit photography that day, since it’s not like it was a special outfit or a special occasion. 

My mind was changed though, when my parents and I decided to go to Red Robin for dinner that night, and i came across this pinkish-purple wall. My otherwise uninteresting outfit then became the perfect subject for the background, as the colors worked well together. 

But actually, I’m beginning now to question whether I ought to continue with this color scheme Instagram plan. It’s a lot of work to organize, and results in me doing things like I did with this outfit where I am forced to restrict myself to particular colors and backgrounds. I feel like there has to be a better way to create a coherent, visually appealing feed without limiting my creativity in this way, you know? 

If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I know a lot of my readers are bloggers themselves, so I’d love it if you could share your Instagram organization strategies with me in the comments. 

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: The LOFT

Top: Forever21

Pants: J Crew

June 19, 2018 — The Blues (OOTD #306)

Get ready, because you’re about to see about a week-worth of blue outfits.

I’m not really sure how it happened, but for some reason, I wound up wearing several predominantly blue outfits all in a row. I guess you could say I was feeling a little blue? 😉

Maybe it was a residual effect of Father’s Day — my dad’s favorite color is blue, to the point that the vast majority of his shirts are blue (though to be fair, he’s getting much better now that my mother and I have mentioned his blue fixation), so perhaps I was just following his example.

I don’t really have a proper explanation. The last time I wore this much blue was probably the 2014 March Madness when the University of Kentucky won the college basketball championship, though that was more of a royal blue shade. My point being, it’s not like blue’s my favorite color, or I have a greater number of blue clothes in my wardrobe than any other color.

Sometimes, things like that just happen in fashion — you wear several similar style shirts in a row, or you wear the same pair of shoes with every outfit (I know I definitely do this!) or you wear all one particular color. For me, what’s important is that I recognize that I’m getting stagnant and make an effort to switch things up.img_0770

Today’s outfit, though, was blue, if only because my shawl (Is that the best word for it? It’s not a jacket…it’s not a sweater…) was. Isn’t it interesting that a single colored piece of clothing in an otherwise neutral ensemble can make the entire outfit read as colored?

For real though, if someone has a proposal for what to call this blue sheer-top thing, I’m all ears. I’ve had it since my New York trip my senior year of high school, and it’s traveled with me all the way to London (in fact, it even made it to Buckingham Palace, the Pride Festival, and Platform 9 3/4), and I still don’t really know what I should refer to it as. I wasn’t even sure that I was going to buy it at first, since it’s not even my size and thus doesn’t fit the way it’s “supposed” to, at least in the designer’s mind. It was on sale though, so I went for it. Guess it was a good buy.

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!

Shawl thing: Forever21

Skirt: The LOFT

June 13, 2018 – Warm Colors on a Warm Day (OOTD #302)

Perhaps the most common criticism I hear about my fashion sense is that no matter the season, I always dress like it’s fall.

Take this outfit for example — I don’t remember exactly what the temperature was the day I wore this, but given the fact that it was mid-June in Kentucky, it’s safe to say it was hot and humid. Even if it wasn’t as hot and humid as usual, it was still hot and humid.

And yet there I was — wearing a knee-length jacket and a long-sleeve sweater. The skirt and the platform wedges give hint to the reality that it was probably 85 degrees out and sunny, but on the whole, the outfit reads more as 65 degrees and overcast.

Interestingly though, fall is not my favorite season — as mentioned many times here on this blog, that distinction goes to winter, no doubt about it. Fall is second-favorite for me, though. I like the changing leaves and the cooler temperatures, but I just like the snow and the cold even better. Plus, winter allows you to bust out the heavy coats and scarves — I love layering, which you can do in fall, but not to the same extent you can in winter.

That would make summer, with its stifling heat that prohibits anything but the most basic layering, my least favorite season. In fact, I am so deeply not a fan of summer, that I usually choose to ignore the weather, and dress however I want — and since wearing a winter coat in the summer would might give rise to enough suspicion to let a cop do a warrantless search, that usually ends up being a summer-winter hybrid. So, fall.

The thing is, though, that I’m always comfortable. I work indoors, I go to school indoors, and whenever I do something that involves being outdoors for more than a few minutes, I do dress appropriately for the weather. It’s all about dressing for the environment you’re in.

The rest is about suffering the heat without complaint too much and bringing lots of blotting papers.

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: Vintage (thrifted)

Top: thrifted

Skirt: Forever21

June 4, 2018 – Peak 2013 Fashion (OOTD #298)

Just a few days until OOTD #300 — that is, assuming that I’m actually disciplined enough to post blogs everyday for two days.

This outfit reminds me a lot of something that I would’ve worn in 2013, back when I was in middle school.

Pardon me if that makes me sound like I’m saying my outfit looks dated or childish (or worse — dated and childish). I mostly just mean to say that these pieces — the necktie blouse, the button-down cardigan, even down to the black leggings — are classic enough that they haven’t gone out of style since 2013. Unlike, for example, hi-low skirts, which look pretty dated now in 2018.

This outfit is a little less “cutting edge” than they were back in 2013, admittedly. Wearing this back then was probably a lot more of a head-turner than it is now, five years later, when flowy silky blouses and Victoria’s Secret PINK leggings have been around  for quite some time.

And since this was just an outfit for a normal day at work, I don’t see anything wrong with going for a less-than-head-turning outfit. As much as I’d like to stick to a “life is a runway” mentality, the reality is, just like this blog’s upload schedule, that’s a little difficult to maintain on the daily.

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: Ralph Lauren (thrifted)

Top: Forever21

May 29, 2018 – Playground Fashion (OOTD #294)

We’re getting awfully close to OOTD post #300, aren’t we?

My post upload schedule has been sketchy at best recently, but hey, at least it still exists! Just a few more days, and I think we’re due for OOTD #300. Amazing.

You know what’s not amazing? The 90+ degree weather we’ve been getting these last few days in Kentucky.

I know it’s summer, and I know it’s the South, and so I should really be used to this heat by now, but I’m just not.

I imagine the reason why I’m not used to the weather yet is because I insist upon dressing in turtlenecks in late May, even though it’s already oppressively hot and humid outside. Some little voice in my head tells me that that might be the reason why I can’t stand the heat, but I don’t pay attention to it. I mean, it can’t be my fault that I’m uncomfortable when I dress completely inappropriately for the weather, right?

In fairness, the office I work in during the day is pretty chilly, and I spent most of my time sitting or standing idly, so it doesn’t make sense to dress for summer weather in the way I might want to. I can freeze in my office or burn in the couple of moments when I have to go outside, so between the two, I’d rather brave the brief heat.

Besides, shaving every day is also a major hassle. But like…my unwillingness to do that every day definitely doesn’t have anything to do with dressing in long sleeves on hot days. Nope, no way.

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

May 26, 2018 – Complimentary Colors (OOTD #292)

Double complimentary colors! Look at that!

I love complimentary colors. I don’t know who doesn’t — they work so well together, and the fact that they work well together is a part of their name.

Here, I have both red and green going in my outfit, and then orange and blue in the background. That wasn’t really intentional, but now that I see how it turned out, I’m a fan.

I’m always on the lookout for new and colorful backdrops for my OOTD photography, and I thought this Mexican restaurant’s walls worked perfectly for that. Some of the most unconventional locations can make for good backgrounds, and you never know when they’re going to pop up — I once used a bathroom wall, which probably takes the cake for unusual backgrounds.

Fun fact — this is actually my second Mexican restaurant featured on this blog as a background.  The first was just as colorful, though pink rather than orange and blue. I find restaurants to make for good backgrounds because they’re often painted vibrant, eye-catching colors. They may not be glamorous, but a nice colorful wall always works well on my Instagram feed.

Running a fashion blog isn’t always as fabulous as it may seem, then. As much as I’d love to take my OOTD photos at an exotic Paris café every day, more often, they wind up being taken outside of Kentucky Mexican restaurants as random families pass by and wonder why some Asian chick is having a fashion shoot in public.

I’d say it’s a living, but I don’t get paid very much or very often, so it’s really not. It’s a…hobby?

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

Top & Shorts: PacSun

May 25, 2018 – Flower Clocks and Frankfort (OOTD #291)

You ever have one of those experiences where you think something exists, but you aren’t positive if it’s real or if you imagined it?

For me, that was this flower clock in Frankfort, Kentucky. I thought I remembered reading about it a long time ago while doing research into things to do in Kentucky (spoiler alert: there’s not a lot), but no one I ever mentioned it to knew what I was talking about.

It was never something I cared enough about to Google to confirm its existence, so for many years, I pretty much just forgot about it. I figured I’d made it up, or otherwise, it was somewhere other than Kentucky, and since I never had any reason to go to Frankfort, I never bothered to search for it.

That was until I began my internship in Frankfort — now, I’m there every week, so the mysterious elusive flower clock was on my mind again. I figured, maybe I’d come across it one day, or otherwise, go searching for it sometime after work — you know, not really something I would actively search for or think about, but if it happened to be convenient to check out sometime, I would.

Interestingly, it wasn’t even me who found it. It was my dad. He came to pick me up from work, and I asked him to take some OOTD pictures for me before we left for home. I suggested some potted flowers outside of the Capitol building to serve as the background, but my dad said he had something better in mind. We got out of the car, walked about two minutes away from the Capitol building, and…

There it was! The mystical flower clock of my dreams!

Truth be told, it wasn’t that great. It’s pretty, don’t get me wrong, but there were a lot less…flowers than I thought there would be. There were really only one kind of purple ones concentrated around the middle. It was cooler as a giant raised clock than as a floral arrangement.

Mostly, though, I was just excited to find out that the flower clock was real. Now, on to prove the existence of Sasquatch.

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 & skirt: Forever21

Top: H&M