June 15, 2019 – Not Florida (OOTD #518)

Wait, this isn’t Naples, Florida.

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wait, this isn’t florida

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I’ve actually never been to Naples, Florida. I haven’t actually traveled much around Florida, despite it being the go-to vacation destination for every family that lived south of the Mason-Dixon line from about 2006-2015. I’ve seen Orlando and Destin and Panama City Beach, but otherwise, that’s about it. Don’t tell anyone from Florida, but I don’t actually like Florida that much.

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mall rat

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So while I’ve never been to Naples, Florida to compare it to Naples, Italy, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Naples, Italy (also known as Napoli in Italian) is the better of the two. If you’ve been to both and have an opinion, feel free to fact check me.

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twisted my ankle twice on these streets

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As I discussed in my post about my trip to Florence, Northern and Southern Italy have extremely distinct cultures, a distinction that even I, an uncultured American, noticed in comparing Florence and Rome (both of which are actually more Central than Northern or Southern). Naples, the southernmost location I visited in Rome (and furthermore, considered by many to be emblematic of what makes the South of Italy unique compared to Central and Northern Italy) blew the Florence-Rome comparison out the water.

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i’m having a moment

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Naples was very different — both from Rome and Florence, but especially Florence. It’s like comparing a gated community with a private school that Felicity Huffman paid for her children to go to, to the neighborhood that Kelley Williams-Bolar falsified her address in order to prevent her children from having to school in. Can you guess if Naples is the Felicity Huffman or the Kelley Williams-Bolar?

In fact, when I returned to Rome from Naples, the first thing a friend said to me was “Oh, you didn’t get mugged! I guess you didn’t get an authentic tour.”

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not a bad view

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Actually, I don’t think Naples is as bad as its reputation. Sure, it was a little sketchy, especially that first night after I arrived after sundown and had to find the AirBnB. And the beach weren’t the cleanest. And one half of our friend group got kicked out of their hotel room after it turned out that they’d booked through a fraudulent website. At least the roads were better than Rome’s — no twisted ankles for me!

Plus, Naples had a beautiful castle — the Castel dell’Ovo, “the castle of the egg.” Don’t ask me why it’s called that. I don’t know (though I’m certain it was explained on one of the signs, I couldn’t read them as they were all in Italian). It was beautiful though, and I got some sweet photos on the way up.

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sea you around

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That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. 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!


Outfit 1:

Swimsuit top: Hollister

Swimsuit bottom: Target

Outfit 2:

Top: Zara

Shorts: H&M

May 27, 2019 – Meander (OOTD #509)

Wandering around Rome without a plan for what to do or where to go is a great idea, in theory.

Rome is full of cool sites — the Colosseum, the Vatican, Palatino, the Spanish Steps — which are easily accessible and easily visible from within the city itself. That’s what, if you ask me, is the best part about Rome: its main attractions are right there in the city, and they’re not too far from each other. You could, with a lot of stamina, take an entire day and simply walk from site to site.

Here’s the worst part about Rome — if you’re not in the cool section where all the ancient ruins and tourist attractions are, it’s not a very pretty city. If you’re in one of the less attractive neighborhoods, you can walk for quite some time without seeing anything other than trash, uneven pavement, and stray cats.

When I went out for a walk on the morning of May 27, however, I didn’t know this. I didn’t think I needed a game plan or direction for walking Rome; I just thought I could start walking and I would run into the Trevi Fountain. I of course, was wrong. I didn’t see the Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon or the Roman Forum. In fact, I basically walked in the opposite direction of all of those things.

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oh no, i’m ruined

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Here’s what I did find: a man on a motorcycle who honked at me as he went by. Muddy pavement. A homeless person yelling at an umbrella. Strips of the road where the sidewalk just…inexplicably decided to not exist anymore. And the Baths of Caracalla, which, admittedly, were cool to see from a distance, though not worth the entrance fee to get in.

So yeah, my Spidey Sense didn’t exactly lead me in the right direction. Sometimes your spontaneous, anyway-the-wind-blows type adventure goes well, and sometimes all it leads you to is a homeless man with an umbrella. You win some, and you lose some.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. 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: Pitaya

Jeans: Hollister

 

May 19, 2019 – Roaming Rome (OOTD #503)

Packing for Rome was so hard.

I’ve never had to pack for such a long period of time before with only suitcases to put my things into. Packing for Notre Dame is different; I have storage boxes and suitcases and a whole car trunk to load them into. For Rome, as I had to fly, all I could bring were my suitcases.

I brought two suitcases to check, plus my backpack. Naturally, I didn’t start packing until the night before my flight left, so I didn’t really have the time to put together intricate plans for outfits.

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And besides, I didn’t even know how to plan. I knew it would be hot since I was going to be there May-July, but I didn’t know how hot it would get. Do Romans wear shorts and t-shirts, or are they always stylishly conservative? What kind of dress would my supervisors at my internship require?

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wes anderson would approve

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As you probably could’ve guessed from the aforementioned fact that I didn’t start packing until the night before my flight, I never bothered to research the answers to these questions.

And so the packing strategy I ended up going with was something like this — clothes I knew I liked and that I knew would be versatile. For example, I packed this plaid Zara blouse, which I figured could be dressed down with ripped jeans (as you see here) or dressed up with a blazer for work.

And I think it worked! For the most part, I think my attire was appropriate for my European audience, who on the whole, dress a lot nicer than Americans (no offense). Does that make me feel like I fit in? Yes — but I’m not sure how I feel about that. One thing I like about the US is that dressing nicely helps you to stand out in a crowd of basketball shorts and hoodies — you can’t easily do that when everyone around you dresses up too.

The solution? I guess it’s time to start dressing more like the “lazy American.” The next OOTD on LEDJ — leggings, a Victoria’s Secret hoodie, and Birkenstocks.

Sponsored link: Check out these extreme distressing black denim skinny jeans on Dresshead.com!


That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. 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: Zara

Jeans: Hollister

April 15, 2019 – Catwoman (OOTD #494)

I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but as a kid, I loved the Halle Berry Catwoman movie.

It was one of the first PG-13 films my parents let me watch (after Sam Rami’s Spider-Man 2 — the superior Spider-Man movie, by the way), which might be part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much. I had the film on DVD, I had the Halle Berry Catwoman Barbie doll, and I even dressed up like her for Halloween that year. I thought she looked so cool. It didn’t matter to me that her leather pants would have been impractical for climbing or that her bra was so tight her boobs looked like they’d spill out any second; she was a female superhero (villain?), and that’s what counted.

I also didn’t know that there was a better version of Catwoman who existed in the comic books. I was never really into comic books, so I never knew that the character’s name was supposed to be Selina Kyle and not Patience Phillips, and that she was supposed to have learned her martial arts skills from her time as a prostitute rather than from a literal magic cat lady.

I’ve seen the Halle Berry Catwoman film since then, and I see why it was hated so much by critics and audiences. It’s pretty bad. There’s a scene where Halle Berry rubs catnip on her face. Like an actual cat. That’s how silly it is.

If anything good came of my Catwoman phase as a kid, it’s that I revisited Catwoman when I was older, and I learned that she’s actually a really fascinating character in the comic books and video games when she’s portrayed accurately. I even dressed up as her again junior year of high school — this time more in the vein of the Anne Hathaway version.

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Well…I tried to be Catwoman 🐱

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I’m jealous of kids who get to grow up with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. That was such a cool movie — and her costume wasn’t nearly as ridiculous-looking.

I’d be down for a new live-action Catwoman film, though. As I understand from what I’ve read online, DC’s been putting out some decent films lately, like Shazam and Aquaman. Maybe it’s time to give Selina Kyle a chance.

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.


Hoodie: Adidas (thrift)

Jacket: Hollister

Jeans: Hot Topic

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 2, 2019 – Markets and Mixups (#463)

It’s been nearly a year since I last went to the South Bend Farmers’ Market.

It’s honestly one of my favorite places to go in South Bend. I mean, farmers’ markets in general are cool, and though I don’t have a lot of other ones that I’ve been to to compare it to, but I think the South Bend Farmers’ Market is something special. For one, it has its own little building by the river, and so vendors are able to actually have permanent booths and displays year-round.

It also feels more like a flea market more than a farmers’ market — and that’s a good thing! I like flea markets. There are vendors who sell more than just produce — they have vintage books, houseplants, homemade jewelry, and eclectic goods of that nature. It’s my favorite kind of market (excepting, perhaps, a vintage market or an art fair).

Unfortunately, I don’t get to go often. It’s not really within walking or biking distance to campus (and let’s be honest — campus is basically the only thing in walking distance to campus), and so I only ever go when someone else drives me. It was Dads’ Weekend for my dorm, and so one of my friends’ dads offered to take anyone who wanted to go to the market one Saturday morning. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity. Any chance I get to leave campus (especially with an adult who will pay for my food), I take.

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Now, I don’t really feel any deep resentment for what I’m about to describe next — I’m sure my friend’s dad didn’t mean to do it. Granted, I don’t think people typically mean to do it, unless they’re purposefully trying to be assholes, but I haven’t really had to deal with that since my 9th grade Civics teacher, who was all kinds of problematic anyway. Nonetheless, it gets under my skin.

While we were loitering around, waiting for my friend to finish looking at a display of organic tea, he asked me how I liked Vietnam.

In case anyone here doesn’t know, I’m not from Vietnam. I’m from China, actually but my other Asian roommate, Lan Anh, is Vietnamese. He’d confused the two of us, something that seems to happen quite often. You can see Lan Anh in this batch of pictures, so you can decide if we really look a like or not, but I’m of the opinion that we don’t. Not enough to justify people constantly confusing us.

For one, she has dark hair and mine is bleach blonde. Like, you’d think that would make things easy for people. How many blonde Asians do you see a day?

What made the difference for me with my friend’s dad — why I’m perturbed but not really with him directly — was how apologetic he was afterwards. I could tell he felt badly, and that he recognized why his mistaking me for Lan Anh implied more than just that he was bad with names. I mind that he confused us, of course — I’m really tired of the all Asians look the same thing — but I appreciate that he was able to acknowledge his mistake. That’s all I want out of people . It’s okay if someone confuses Asian faces or names once or twice — we’re a minority, and people will be less attuned to facial differences if they don’t see us much — but I hope that they make an effort to do better afterwards. There are people I’ve known who have never bothered with that second step — with doing better after they make the initial mistake — and that’s what’s discouraging.

On a side note, I saw Pete Buttigieg and his husband at the breakfast café we went to. I didn’t go up and say hi because I didn’t want to bother him, but it’s cool to see a presidential candidate out and about living life like a normal person.

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: Forever21

Jacket: Hollister

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

January 30, 2019 – Frostbite Fashion (OOTD #446)

January 30, 2019 was the coldest day I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.

This was a part of the Polar Vortex that swept the Midwest, and it hit us pretty hard. Maybe not as hard as it hit Chicago, which is a bit further north, but it was still pretty cold — and by that I mean -40 Fwindchill levels of cold.

It was so cold that they even cancelled classes for us that day, which Notre Dame never does. Class stops for religious holidays only — not even national holidays, so Columbus Day and Labor Day and President’s Day doesn’t count. The fact that they cancelled classes because of the weather means that this was some serious business.

And I guess it was. You probably saw everyone on social media in the Midwest doing that experiment where you throw boiling water into the air and it turns to snow. I can confirm that all of those videos were real — I tried it myself outside of my dorm, and it worked.

Because of how cold it was, I only ventured out of my dorm once that day, and that was to get food. Everything but the dining halls were closed, so there was no reason to brave the cold.

And when I did go out that one time to brave the cold, oh boy was it cold. In Kentucky, the coldest I’ve probably ever experienced is maybe -10 F windchill. This was -40 F — the kind of windchill where you can get frostbite from being outside for more than 10 minutes. I could literally feel the ice crystals forming in my nose and throat each time I breathed in. For the people who live off campus, or who live in dorms that are on the outskirts, frostbite could actually become a concern.

And hence, I stayed inside for the majority of the day. It was actually really nice. It’s so rare that I ever get off from classes. I don’t expect that it will ever happen again while I’m at Notre Dame. This was likely my first and last snow

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

Jeans: Hollister

Boots: Doc Marten

January 17, 2019 – Bratz Dolls and Drama Teachers (OOTD #439)

Today’s outfit inspiration: my Bratz dolls and the drama teacher from High School Musical.

Alright, let me explain: The Bratz inspiration comes from the lipliner. I’m admittedly new to the whole lipliner game, since I didn’t join in back in 2015 or whatever when Kylie Jenner first came to prominence. I’ve been experimenting a little with my lipliner though for daily use, and in general, I like the look. I may have gone a little overboard with this look, though.

Oh well. It’s not a makeup blog.

Where does the drama teacher from High School Musical  have to do with it, then? That’s what the scarf and leather jacket combo reminds me of. I don’t honestly know if there’s a way to wear an untied scarf like this without looking a little pretentious — or like a priest — and in tandem, the overall look is definitely reminiscent of an underpaid music teacher in a public high school that’s trying to cut its arts programming.

But you know, like….the fashionable version?

Sometimes I forget that the point of this blog is to convince other people to like my fashion choices, because I’ll get caught up in weird descriptions like “underpaid music teacher in a public high school that’s trying to cut its arts programming. ” For me, fashion is all about creating an aesthetic, and an aesthetic needs an inspiration. That inspiration isn’t always inherently fashionable, because if it were, there would be no challenge and no enjoyment, for me at least.

Inspiration comes from anywhere, I guess, including children’s’ dolls and films from 2006.

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: Abercrombie

Jacket: Hollister

Jeans: Abercrombie (wow, I must be a model for middle school fashion circa 2012)

 

October 30, 2018 – Pre-Halloween (OOTD #400)

The day? Halloween. The socks? Spooky.

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the day? halloween. the socks? spooky.

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I know I’m really behind with these OOTD posts (it being late November and I’m just now posting a blog for Halloween) but I’m hoping to get a little more caught up soon. I haven’t been taking pictures necessarily every day recently in anticipation of catching up, so hopefully, if I keep on posting blogs everyday, I’ll eventually get a little less behind.

Anyway, I know this is late, but happy Halloween! I have two Halloween-themed outfits for you: this one and tomorrow’s. Like last year’s Halloween outfits, the October 30 outfit is colorful and features the ghost socks and the October 31 outfit is black and sparkly. The black sparkly one will be tomorrow’s post.

I’ve had these socks for ages, since maybe 6th grade. I think my mother got them for me from Target. I didn’t wear them much back then because I thought they looked too childish, but now that I’m older, I realize that I was being stupid. These are lovely socks.

It’s not like I have a lot of other Halloween pieces to wear, anyway. Everyone has Christmas sweaters but no one has Halloween sweaters. Since I don’t really go out and get dressed up anymore, I’ve got to celebrate Halloween with some kind of festive fashion, even if I can’t do a costume and trick or treating anymore.

I really do miss trick or treating. Now, all anyone my age does is go out and party. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I wish we could party and trick or treat. I don’t miss the candy, but I miss going out and walking around at night and seeing all the decorations.

Notre Dame doesn’t decorate for Halloween. I guess I shouldn’t expect them to, but with all that gothic architecture…it’s definitely a missed opportunity. Can you imagine a giant spiderweb draped across Touchdown Jesus? Seriously Father Jenkins…get on 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 home. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Hollister

Top: Hot Topic

Skirt: Forever21

Socks: Target

October 23, 2018 – Tree Hugger (OOTD #396)

I’m really liking this particular tree.

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make like a tree and go dormant

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It’s fall, and I gotta take advantage of all of the fall colors for my Instagram. Thankfully, Notre Dame is good for getting fall colors. I guess it’s that Midwestern air that makes things colder than it should be earlier than it should be.

Hence, all of the posts featuring trees lately.

It’s not like there’s a lot else to take pictures with, and these trees wouldn’t make a worthwhile background if not for their colors. No offense to trees.

I always wonder how those fashion bloggers who get beautiful, interestingly-composed shots every day do it. I mean, I’m sure living in a beautiful city like New York or Paris, where there’s a lot of interesting architecture to work with, helps. But it’s not like you can just go out every day to a new location to get your pictures. I don’t know, maybe when you have a million followers and being an Instagrammer is your whole life, you can afford to do that.

I guess all I need is an artistic photographer friend and a city with an unlimited supply of visually interesting backgrounds. And maybe a million followers on Instagram.

I’m on my way, though. I’m nearly to 10,000. Just got to multiply that number by 100. Seeing as it’s taken me nearly two years to make it to 10,000, I should have my million followers in 200 years!

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!

Jacket: Zara

Top: Anthropologie

Jeans: Hollister