October 3, 2018 – We All Fall Down (OOTD #386)

It doesn’t get much more fall than this.

Fall in the Midwest is actually quite lovely — it’s everything I always wanted fall to be when I lived in the South, when all we got were a few cool days usually followed by an intense heat wave that would turn all the leaves brown instead of orange. Meanwhile, winter in the South (or at least, the part of the South I’m from) is preferable to the winters we get here South Bend, but thankfully, I have winter break to go home and keep away from the perpetual snowstorm that is December-January in Northern Indiana.

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just some dead stuff on the ground

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Fall in South Bend usually means taking as many pictures with trees as possible. It’s not like there’re necessarily that many other interesting things to use as backgrounds — and we all know (or at least, I know) I use certain locations a little more than I probably should.

I live in a boring place, what can I say? I love my school, but it feels small at times — which is a pretty far cry from when I began here, and it felt massive. I suppose I’ve just gotten taller, or something.

Speaking of looking taller, I wrote a blog the other day about my preferred pose to make my legs look longer. There are some prime examples of that pose here in this post, especially the very first one at the top. I don’t pretend to be anything that my five foot tall-self (except for when I’m pretending to be a five foot one), but I do like to play with the perspective of different shots in order to find the most flattering angle. I may look like a 12 year-old boy in person, but I don’t need to in my pictures.

Just kidding. 12 year-old boys are probably taller than 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 home 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!

Checkered top: J. Crew

Sweater: Forever21

Shorts: Forever21

Glasses: Discountglasses.com

September 13, 2018 – The Secret Garden (OOTD #374)

It still counts as secret if most people knew it existed, but I didn’t know about it for a whole year, right?

This little spot (which I’ve actually included in a blog before!) is the courtyard garden in the Hayes-Healey building. It’s really cute — and it’s only accessible from within the building, which adds to the mysterious quality. Seriously, like I said, I didn’t even know it existed for 99% of my freshman year. I’d heard whispers of a garden in the mathematics building, but since I had no math classes (shout-out to my AP Calculus teachers in high school, who allowed me to get a 5 and not take any math in college), I never had a reason to go and look.

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the ivy leagues are overrated

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Finally, at the end of my freshman year, some friends and I were trying to get some cute group pictures before summer break, and someone suggested the Hayes-Healey garden. It was actually all locked up when we tried to go, but we ended up getting some pictures with the giant globe in the building — another feature I never knew Notre Dame had.

I like how Notre Dame — a school that is notably not a part of the Ivy Leagues — has a hidden ivy garden. As the guy from the Incredibles would say, “Coincidence? I think not!”

It’s actually probably a total coincidence. The Ivy Leagues are overrated anyway — it’s not like Columbia was my dream or anything…

I’m at a total loss for how to end this blog today, so I Googled a joke for you — “How many Harvard students does it take to change a lightbulb?”

“One. He holds the lightbulb still, and the whole world revolves around him.”

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 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: Free People

Jacket: Forever21

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

September 12, 2018 – Spoiled by Goodwill (OOTD #373)

I present: another outfit that’s almost entirely thrifted. I’ve been wearing more and more of those lately on account of buying more and more stuff from secondhand stores. I just feel like I can’t justify buying clothes full-price from the mall anymore; I’ve gotten spoiled by shopping at Goodwill.

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aw, it’s nothing

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Yeah, spoiled by shopping at Goodwill. I’m sure that’s not something you hear everyday.

I have good luck at thrift shops though. This top, while a little too long, was only like $3 compared to the $25 I easily could have paid at a place like Urban Outfitters that specializes in vintage-looking hipster basics anyway. And this skirt, while is from a local speciality secondhand boutique, was still a lot cheaper than whatever retail price I would have paid for it new at J. Crew.

I know some people don’t like having to hunt through the junk to find the good stuff, or don’t like the idea of wearing something that’s already been worn by somebody else, but I actually like both of those things. I enjoy the hunt, and I like the idea of making use of something that otherwise would have been thrown away. I can’t pretend like I’m always the most environmentally-conscientious person, but I’d like to try getting better. Buying used clothes makes me feel like I’m doing something useful.

The cost bit is huge too, of course. Dressing well and having enough clothes as to maintain a lot of variety in my outfits is important to me, but so is making my college tuition payments.

Anyone else here big on thrifting? I’d love to hear your perspectives! What’s been the best piece you’ve ever bought secondhand?

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 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: Thrifted

Skirt: J. Crew (Thrifted)

August 3, 2018 – To Market, To Market (OOTD #340)

I didn’t actually buy or really do anything at this market.

I do some blog writing for a local real estate company about local life (check it out here, if you’d like!), which means I often come across events that I hadn’t been aware of before that I then like to go check out.

Lexington’s not a big city, and not a particularly exciting one (unless you’re really into University of Kentucky athletics ), but it is nonetheless a city. There are parking garages and everything. Sometimes, cool stuff happens, but it’s usually in small doses, like this market my father and I went to.

It was in a cute part of town that I’m not often around —  one of those areas that was once kind of run-down, but has since become gentrified and chic.

Like I said, I didn’t buy anything, but it was good to walk around and get some exercise. I’d been sitting all day at a business expo for my internship, handing out pens and telling people to remember to register to vote. Seeing the hipsters with pink hair buying their craft beer was a welcome change from the boring people in suits.

Easily the most exciting bit of the market was this guy with a bright yellow car with a giant bubble machine. There were no bubbles at the business expo.

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 in Kentucky. 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: J. Crew (thrifted)

Pants: Banana Republic

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 21, 2018 – Second Chances (OOTD #308)

This was almost the last time I wore this dress.

I’ve had it for a few years, and I was just starting to feel tired of it. You know that feeling? When it’s like you’ve worn a certain piece in all the ways it can be worn, and even if it’s not horribly out of style or ill-fitting, you’re just not interested in keeping it around any more? 

Maybe you haven’t had that experience. I do have a lot an obscene amount of clothes, which means I’m privileged enough to be in a place where I am able to give away clothes simply when I don’t like them any more. I’m spoiled that way; I don’t have to keep clothes out of necessity. I have enough that I’m able to discard things without feeling any detrimental consequences — which I’m very grateful for.

Anyway, this dress is a few years old, and I’ve just never loved it. It comes from the children’s section of J. Crew (what? I’m petite and I can fit into some of the bigger kids’ clothes, and they’re so much cheaper than their adult counterparts!), so the fit is a little more “juvenile.” I thought the pattern and the style were appropriate for an adult woman like myself, though, so I went ahead and bought it.

Still, I just never really managed to get the dress to live up to my expectations of what it should be or how it should look, and even when I was getting dressed the morning of June 21, I just wasn’t feeling it. I resolved to make it the last time I wore the dress, and then I would give up and just get rid of it. 

But then, when I wore this outfit, the craziest thing happened — strangers started complimenting me on my dress! This dress, which I was literally about to give away to Goodwill, was a huge hit. 

Despite the nice things people said to me, I still don’t see what they saw. I don’t hate this dress at all, in fact, I think it’s perfectly fine, but I’m still not sure it’s something I want to keep  in my wardrobe, especially with all of the clothes I already own that I like better. The compliments I got were nice, to the point that I’ve been deterred, at least temporarily, from giving the dress away. 

I don’t know, what do you guys think? Do you like the dress? Should I keep it? Let me know in the comments below!

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!

Dress: J. Crew

Top: Altar’d State

 

 

April 19, 2018 – Happy One Year! (OOTD #268)

Can you believe it’s been one whole year since I started this blog?

I certainly can’t. I’ve come a long way since my very first post here. When I began LEDJ, I meant it as a hobby I would play around with every once in a while. I didn’t really mean to commit to it every day (not that I’m always perfect at the everyday posting schedule — I do try though), and at best, I figured I’d do it for a few months over the summer and give up once I made it to college and had more important things to worry about.

Surprisingly though, I’ve managed to keep it up! Like I said, I’ve gone several days — even a week or two — without posting, but otherwise, I usually manage to put something out there every day.

How do I stay motivated? Part of it is simply that I enjoy this — forget the fact that I get free stuff from sponsorships (rarely — but it’s nonetheless super exciting!), forget the kind and lovely comments I get on my Instagram posts and blogs — and still, I just like to write. I always have, and it’s nice to have an avenue for more casual writing since most of the stuff I do for school is very formal and academic.

Blogging is also a really great way for me to keep a record of my outfits and how I felt when I wore them — in a way, it’s basically like journaling. In fact, it’s kind of strange because it’s almost like having my diary out there on the Internet for anyone to read — including people who actually know me. It’s always a little weird to have my parents mention something I wrote about in a blog but that I didn’t tell them otherwise.

It would be wrong for me to talk about this blog without also mentioning my gratitude for anyone who’s ever give me a view, a like, a comment, a retweet, or a follow. You guys are part of what makes this blog worth it, which keeps me motivated even after I’ve had a long hard day of schoolwork.

One of these days when I’m not a poor college student, assuming I’m still going at this, I’ll do one of those nice giveaways that I see other bloggers do for anniversaries. I wish I had the resources to participate in those sorts of things, but I don’t right now.

I would however be happy to offer shout outs to anyone who leaves a comment here on an upcoming blog! I know it’s not much, and I’m not a huge blogger, but maybe it can help direct a little traffic to your corner of the Internet.

Again, happy first birthday for LEDJ, and here’s to many more to come!

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: Lilly Pulitzer (you might notice it’s the same one featured in the April 19 blog of last year, the very first post I dd for this blog!) 

Shirt: J Crew (thrifted)

Jeans: Hollister

March 29, 2018 – Orange You Glad… (OOTD #257)

…I didn’t say “orange?”

Was that knock-knock joke as much a part of everyone else’s childhood as it was mine? I’m pretty sure I laughed for hours the first time I heard it — and every time I told it to someone else. My poor parents, they probably heard it over and over again for years, but they still tolerate me.

I’ve been making an effort to wear more outfits with strong color palettes lately to complement my new Instagram posting schedule that forms a rainbow effect, and this orange outfit is a part of that effort.

The tricky part of these new color-themed photos is not so much forming outfits that follow a color scheme (though I have been struggling a bit with purple — for some reason I just don’t own much of it, but in finding a background that also follows that color scheme.  As you might know, I’m a bit limited in the colors I can find on Notre Dame’s campus, especially in the winter when all is grey and the ground’s covered in dirty snow half the time. That’s part of the reason why I’m so eager for spring to get here already — I want to take advantage of the colors of some of the beautiful flowers that bloom!

Sometimes though, I’ll find patches of color in unexpected places — like this collection of prints that are currently on display in the Riley art building. I don’t know what class they’re a part of, and I don’t know what they’re supposed to mean (though I think it may have to do with PSAs?), but they had a nice orange theme going on, so I jumped on the opportunity to get some shots when the building cleared out for the night.

I wonder if I’ll find any more hidden bits of color in Notre Dame’s various buildings while I’m here. Exploring empty classrooms at night has become like a new hobby for me, though it can be a bit isolating and creepy. One of these days I wonder if I might bump into the ghost of Father Sorin or something strange like that.

That’s 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, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Target

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

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)

January 30, 2018 – Art Student Aesthetic Squared (OOTD #214)

On Tuesday, I found myself in something of a pickle – I couldn’t find a good opportunity for someone to take pictures for me.

It’s not so much that there weren’t people I could ask – I’m always surrounded by people, so in theory, I could always just ask a random stranger – but I never found myself in a good situation to get a friend to do them for me. My typical Tuesday lunch friend was too busy to meet with me, the people I ate dinner with went too late to get good lighting, and I didn’t really feel comfortable asking someone to go out of their way to help me, so I found myself at 8pm with no outfit photos.

In that case, I decided to take my photos myself. I took my phone, my watch, and a pencil case to prop my phone against, and headed to Riley, the creepy haunted art building.

I actually had some work to do on my still life for my Drawing class, so hangout out at Riley wasn’t just for this blog. When I arrived in the drawing studio, there were still some people there, which forced me to actually focus on my art for a few hours until the people finally left.

At last, once everyone was gone and I was alone in the room – around 10pm – I was able to set up my camera on top of a drawing table, and, using my watch’s remote photo-taking feature (a true lifesaver here) to take what I consider are some decent photos, given the circumstances. I even managed to get a few shots with the depth perception on.

What I love best about these shots is the giant artwork in the background. I actually have no idea what it’s supposed to mean, or what class it was for, but it’s not a doorway or a brick wall, which means it’s totally unique in comparison to what I usually get for my photos at this school. I get some street art vibes here, actually, which, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know if my favorite kind of background.

If I ever find myself in this pickle again, I’ll definitely swing by Riley again late at night to do my pictures. Maybe I’ll even manage to get the Riley ghost in one of my shots one of these nights!

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!

Jacket: Evan Picone

Shirt: J. Crew

Sweater: Abercrombie (thrifted)

Pants: The LOFT