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 29, 2019 – Reiterations (OOTD #445)

Does this outfit look familiar to you?

It does to me. It looks very familiar. It looks like something I’ve already worn before.

Here’s a fun fact — as much as I can, I try not to repeat outfits, where “outfits” are loosely defined as ensembles that I put time and effort into constructing (in other words, not lazy days where I throw on a sweater and leggings and walk out the door). That means even if I really love an outfit (for example, this guy here or this guy here) I won’t wear it again — ever.

Or at least, I won’t wear it again and then blog about it. We’ll see if I ever end up going back on that self-imposed rule, but for now, I’m doing my best to stick to it.

So this outfit isn’t a total violation of the rule, since it’s not actually a repeat of an outfit I’d worn before. It is, however, very reminiscent of another outfit. I added a pair of tights, a scarf, and different shoes, but it’s fundamentally still very similar — my carpetbag skirt  and a form-fitting, tan-ish sweater.

I’m sure I’m just being overly-critical, just like I’m sure that no one out there but me actually remembered the similar outfit from October 23, 2017 that I referenced earlier. It’s okay — someone has to do the job of being overly-critical and remembering all of my outfits from the past two years. It’s a good thing I’m here to do the job.


Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Forever21

January 26, 2019 – Student in the Library (OOTD #445)

This doesn’t look like studying, does it.

As it turns out, the creepy upper floors of the library have some good lighting for photo-taking! There are only a few tiny windows per floor (bad design, I know — but they had to make room for the giant Jesus mural somehow) but each one is situated by a desk, which makes it easy for me to set up my phone for photos. Plus, since it’s, you know, the library and no one actually wants to be there, I don’t have to worry too much about people walking by and wondering what I’m doing.

I do wonder sometimes how often people see me setting up my phone and taking pictures in a strange public place and then just….keep going about their day. Like, what are they going to do? Ask me what I’m doing? That’d make things awkward for the both of us.

I have to think that some innocent stranger was going about their day at some point or another, came across a little Asian girl fiddling with her camera and her watch as she posed in between bookshelves on the 8th floor of the library, and then just decided to keep walking. They might have thought it was a little weird, but it would have been even weirder if I’d seen them and I had to explain what was going on — so might as well just carry on as if nothing was out of the ordinary.

I have yet to have a true nightmare situation where someone confronted me about what I was doing while I was taking pictures for my blog (or worse — asked me if I wanted them to take my picture), but I still fear that one day it will happen. I could get hit by a train tomorrow and I think I’d still fear the awkward situation of having to explain my fashion blog to a stranger more than death itself.

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: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: Thrifted

January 24, 2019 – I Like It (OOTD #444)

I really like this outfit.

I don’t know, I just felt like mentioning that. I like most of my outfits — or else I wouldn’t…you know, wear them — but I like this one in particular. I liked it when I wore it, I like it now looking back, and I really like how all of my photos turned out.

This pair of pants was a particularly good purchase. I got them at a Salvation Army near my campus while I was moving in at the beginning of the semester, and I’ve already worn them several times. I actually almost didn’t buy them — as you can see. they’re pretty big on me, and I was concerned about finding a way to wear them that was flattering. I was also concerned about whether I could even find a way to keep them up on my hips in the first place.

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let’s play a game of name that pose

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Thankfully, we’ve got a wonderful little invention called belts, and, by putting the buckle on the smallest setting, I was essentially able to hoist these pants up on my waist. Will I ever be able to buy pants that aren’t a children’s size and have them fit perfectly without modification? The jury’s still out on that one.

This is a fun place to take pictures. It’s right outside of one of the gyms, but ever since the new student center opened last semester, no one comes here anymore. It’s also way far off on the south edge of campus, which means it’s inconvenient for anyone other than people who already live on South Quad.

That inconvenient factor is perfect for me, though, trying to take pictures somewhere outside in a way that’s inconspicuous and won’t have random people staring at me was they go by. Every time I think I’ve completely gotten over my discomfort at taking pictures of myself in public, one puzzled look from some stranger walking by reminds me that no — I’m not really over it.

I’m more over it than I was this time last year, but there’s nothing more awkward than making eye contact with some confused

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!


Long-sleeve top: Zara

Pants: Thrifted (Salvation Army)

January 23, 2019 – A Sense of Direction (OOTD #443)

How come the math building has become my favorite place to take pictures?

This time last year, you couldn’t drag me away from the art building. I would stay there for hours at night in the empty classrooms to do work, steal plants, and take pictures next to whatever random works of art struck my fancy.

This year, however, my 24 hour card access to the art building was revoked since I’m not in a studio art class anymore, so I almost never find myself going over there. If I set up camp before about 5pm in the evening and I don’t leave, I can stay — but I can’t open the door to get in if I want to go there late at night anymore, which is sad.

Since I’ve been forced to find another place to haunt, I’ve been trying to branch out and spend more time in other ND buildings that I wouldn’t otherwise hang out much in — like, for example, the math building. I’ve never had a math class at Notre Dame (shoutout to Mrs. Brooks and Mr. Young for helping me get a 5 on AP Calculus), and so it was never a building where I ventured. My first time I visited was actually last spring, when I went to take some pictures with my friends.

I actually do have a class in the math building this year (it’s a history class, though, interestingly), and so I’ve found myself in here a little more often. As it’s turned out, there are some really great places to get pictures.

These maps are in the same room as the big globe, which I’ve featured as a background on this blog before. I thought they were colorful and pretty and would make for a nice backdrop to my outfit, and since I’d used the globe before, I wanted to try something different. As the maps (and globe) also situated in a rather central location in the building, I had to be careful about not getting caught posing for pictures by anyone walking by (not that it’s like, illegal to take pictures of yourself for your fashion blog — but it is a little weird) , but otherwise, it was an easy place to use for pictures. Maybe I’ll feature these maps again.

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: Anthropologie

Sweater: The LOFT

Pants: Abercrombie (thrifted, yard sale)

January 22, 2019 – Primary Construction (OOTD #442)

You know that big iconic building on Notre Dame’s campus with the golden dome on top? Here’s the inside of it.

You’d think that, being such a prominent feature of Notre Dame culture, that Main Building would be somewhere the students go all the time. It’s even got a (boring) name like Main Building that implies its prominence. But nope — in actuality, I almost never venture inside here.

There are no classrooms, no restaurants, and no study spaces, and so there’s no reason to go. About all of the space in Main Building is devoted to offices, and whatever’s left is for Father Jenkins’s living quarters (probably?), storage space for the Christmas tree, and some questionable murals of Christopher Columbus. In fact, if you have to go to Main Building for a meeting, it implies that something out of the ordinary is going on.

And for me, visiting Main Building on January 22, something out of the ordinary absolutely was going on! I had just received my acceptances to study abroad programs, and I had a few questions to ask of my advisor. As it turned out, her office was in Main Building.

Long story short — this coming fall, I’ll be studying in Washington DC, and in the spring, I’ll be studying in Paris at Sciences-Po. There’s a lot more that went into that meeting with my advisor and my decision-making process, but I’ll spare you the details for now. I know it’s a subject that’s going to come up a lot in the coming months as I start getting ready to go.

Anyway, on my way out from my meeting, I decided to stop by window and get some pictures of my outfit. Going into Main Building is a momentous occasion — I had to get some photographic evidence to preserve for future generations.


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!

Turtleneck: Free People

Sweater: Forever21

Pants: American Eagle

January 21, 2019 – Unintentional Minion (OOTD #441)

I’ll admit it — I thought the Minions from Despicable Me were cool when they first came out.

It’s a little hard to explain, but I’ve got this vague memory of being about 14 years old, scrolling through Pinterest at the height of the Minion craze, probably listening to Happy by Pharell Williams or whatever as cool back in 2013, and thinking that a Minion costume would be cute for Halloween. This was, of course, before I realized that I wasn’t cool enough for Halloween parties, and that I likely wouldn’t have the opportunity to wear a Halloween costume again until I was a junior in high school and actually had friends.

This was also, of course, before I realized how annoying Minions were.

Despicable Me was a good movie, and the Minions were cute side characters. Because that’s what they were meant to be — side characters — and not the obnoxious, Facebook meme-fueling evidence of how out-of-touch corporate America is with young people that the Minions have become. Illumination took something that was cute and funny and killed it by putting it everywhere. Minions were cute when you could buy little yellow Tic-Tacs shaped like them in 2013. They were not cute when they received their own feature-length movie in 2015.

So anyway, that’s all to say that I really didn’t mean to dress like a Minion here. In fact, I didn’t even realize how much like a Minion I looked until one of my friends pointed to me at lunch and said “you look like a Minion!”

To be honest, I was going more for an Arthur the Aardvark vibe with the blue and yellow, but as soon as my friend brought up the Minion comparison, I knew they were right. I looked just like the Minion costumes I saw all those years ago on Pinterest, from the denim dress to the yellow sweater down to the combat boots.

So what can you do when it’s 12 noon on a Monday, you have two more classes still to go, and you look like a Minion?

You own it, and then write a blog post about it later.

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 (thrifted)

Dress: Vintage (thrifted)

January 19, 2019 – A Sign of the Times (OOTD #440)

And in that moment, I remembered why I wasn’t meant to be a design major.

Sometimes, I like to pretend to myself that in some alternate universe out there, there’s a Meilin who decided to go a more unconventional route and went to art school instead of a research university. I’m good at art. I could have gone to art school — I mean, I have friends who weren’t good at art who still went to art school, so it’s completely feasible that I could have gotten in somewhere. I ultimately chose not to go (or even to apply) because I like the idea of job security, and because I figured art would be something I could incorporate into my life without making it into my career.

While I’m happy with my choice to become a corporate sellout or whatever, I do wish Notre Dame had a better visual arts program, and I do sometimes regret not even applying for a design program.

Then things like this sign happen.

Okay, some background: the Friday after the start of classes, I went with a cohort of other Notre Dame students on a trip to Washington DC to attend the 2019 Women’s March. It was the first year that they’d gotten enough interest and enough money to organize a bus to go, and so, 4 AM Friday morning, I hauled myself and my suitcase to the bookstore to board a bus for the 12 hour journey from Chicago to DC. For those of you keeping track at home, that was the sixth weekend in a row of significant traveling — though thankfully, it wasn’t a flight. I didn’t need six weekends in a row of flying.

Anyway, when you go to a march, the fun part is making a cool sign to carry, and so I was determined to use my artistic skills to make something worthy of posting pictures on Instagram. I’d been thinking of this design for weeks leading up to the march, and I thought for sure it’d be brilliant.

So the idea was the make something that said “A Sign of the Times,” but with the G in “sign” turned into a female anatomical sign. It’d be clever on multiple levels — it’s a play on the fact that it’s literally a physical sign, that the Venus sign is a symbol for the female sex, and that the phrase “a sign of the times” implies change. It was going to be the next great feminist quip, people were going to print it on t-shirts at Forever21 — Susan B. Anthony can step aside.

Unfortunately, I misjudged the distance I needed to put in between “A “and “Sign,” and it ended up reading more like ASIgN. You know what “ASIgN” looks like? Asian. My sign ended up reading “Asian of the Times.”

That’s not what I was going for.

Thankfully though, I am Asian, so it didn’t look that strange when I was carrying it around. Can you imagine if I weren’t Asian, though? Like, if I were white and I was carrying a sign that read “Asian of the times?”

So why am I ranting about my failed sign-making endeavors in this blog, when I could be talking about the Women’s March itself, my time spent in DC, or my experience sleeping in a church basement with 50 other people? The truth is, the march itself wasn’t that interesting — I don’t know what I expected, but it was about three hours of just…walking slowly in the cold. I’m all for nonviolent social change, but apparently, it can be rather boring.

The other unfortunate bit was that Washington DC itself was pretty much dead when we were there due to the government shutdown. All of the museums and buildings were closed, so all you could do was walk around and see the monuments from a distance. I did get to see the White House and the Capitol Building from afar, but you couldn’t do much other than take pictures. And even then, I saw them at night, so my pictures weren’t that great.

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tag yourself i’m feminist dad

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I still really appreciate the time I spent on the trip. It was an opportunity to get off campus, and selfish as it may sound, that was probably what I liked the most.

I guess it didn’t take that long for me to get restless staying on campus after all. 


Coat: The North Face

Jacket: Ralph Lauren (thrifted, Goodwill)

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Abercrombie

Hat: Target

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)

 

January 16, 2019 – New Year, Same Location (OOTD #438)

It’s back to the staircases, I guess.

So far, I’ve barely asked anyone to take pictures for me — I’ve been doing them all by myself. It’s a little more difficult, but I think the result comes out looking nicer, at least some of the times. Nothing against my friends who’ve done my pictures for me in the past, but often, I think I kind of like my own pictures better. Don’t at me.

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oh, i think i hear the dinner bell ringing

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The one kind of annoying thing with doing my own pictures is that I have to find a place where my phone will sit in order to use the remote camera feature on watch to actually snap the picture. Given that restriction, I often end up using the same locations over and over — not that I didn’t do that when my friends took my pictures, anyway.

I don’t know how many times I’ve complained about the limited locations on campus for outfit photography on this blog, and so I’ll try to resist making the same complaint again. Just know that I get tired of using the same staircases and doorways as backgrounds for my outfits, okay?

It does feel kind of good to be back somewhere and know that I’ll be here for months, especially after weeks of moving around constantly. I never thought I would appreciate how quiet and uninteresting northern Indiana is, and how you can hardly travel anywhere from here. But here I am — appreciating how quiet and uninteresting and isolated South Bend is.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I like to travel, and that I don’t mind moving around constantly. I do however, like to have a home base that I can return to. I don’t know if I could handle living out of a suitcase forever; I’d at least like to have a place to call my own with some friends and some plants and a cat that I can come back to after the travels are over.

We’ll see how long it takes for me to start complaining about how I’m bored of staying in one place at university. For now, like I said, I appreciate it after the traveling I did for winter break, but I suspect that I’m going to start craving travel again after a month.

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

Skirt: Vintage (flea market)