June 26, 2018 – Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? (OOTD #314)

Okay, but you feel me, right? I definitely look like I’m a muppet from Sesame Street in this outfit.

There’s something about the lime green and yellow combo that reminds me of Big Bird or Bernie or one of the various characters — I guess it’s something of a childlike color scheme, and that’s why it’s calling to mind thoughts of Sesame Street. The fact that I’m wearing basically a jumper with tights and loafers as well…should’ve just put my hair in pigtails and I would’ve had the preschooler look down, huh?

This was my last day before I departed for Nepal, which meant basically that I spent the entire time packing.

I have friends who are excellent at that — they make a list of everything they need, they start packing things weeks in advance, and by the night before they travel, they’re all set to go. Then there’s me.

I’m not the worst, I have to say. I do begin my packing like…a day or two before I leave. Still, I usually wind up frantically putting outfits together and filling travel bottles of shampoo very late at night before I have to go, trying to keep my eyes open and just generally regretting my life choices.

When I had to leave for college, I actually didn’t begin packing until about three days before I had to go — big mistake. Packing for college was probably one of the most stressful experiences of my last few years, and mostly because I left it to the absolute last second. It was also stressful because I was you know, packing for my freshman year of college and that conceptually was scary.

Leaving for Nepal on my own is also conceptually kind of scary. I’ve only traveled on my own domestically before; any international travel has always been with a friend or family. I’m going from Lexington to Chicago to Abu Dhabi to Kathmandu over the course of about 30 hours, and while Kathmandu is very exciting, going through security repeatedly and navigating terminals is not.

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: Vintage (thrift)

Top: H&M

Leggings: AMIClubwear

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 25, 2018 – Plants, Plants, Plants (OOTD #312)

Hey guys, have I told you I like plants?

You might have gotten a sense of it over time — the Saturday Musings + Plants posts, the frequent use of plants as a background, the incorporation of cut flowers into flatlays and even some OOTDs.

I’ll spare you the full story about how my plant obsession began, since I’ve already detailed it in blogs here before. The short version is that when I began college, I had one cactus. Now, I have probably 20 or 30 cacti, succulents, and leafy plants.

Anyway, now that I’m a plant person, I find that just seeing plants while I’m out is very exciting. I’ll look at plants in nurseries, plants in other people’s gardens. in florist shops, in malls — if there are plants, I’m probably checking them out and trying to figure out what kind it is and if it’s being cared for well.

If there are succulents, I’m also probably trying to see if there are any leaves that have fallen that I can try to propagate! Now, I never break leaves off of living plants — that would be like stealing — but if something has fallen already, I see no problem with taking them. They’d probably have just been thrown away anyway.

So pro tip: if you want some new succulents but don’t want to pay for them, take some leaves from a home and garden store and propagate them into baby plants!

That’s what I was doing here in these photos: checking to see if there were any leaves to steal. I have a little tray of propagating succulents sitting in my windowsill that I’ve gathered from Kroger and Home Depot, so I didn’t really need any more, but I love to look. It’s the same feeling I get as when I shop at Goodwill, like the joy of the hunt or whatever.

I also got some shots with the bright yellow door of the grocery store, simply because I liked the color. I’m afraid I don’t have an entire blog’s worth of a story for that though.

 

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: Thrifted

Pants: The LOFT

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 22, 2018 – Uncomfortable But Cute, I Guess (OOTD #309)

After wearing distinctively blue outfits for a week, it was time for a change.

I don’t often have a lot of time while I’m getting ready for work in the mornings, meaning that outfits are often picked out as I’m running out the door. Usually, they turn out fine.

And this one did too! Mostly…there is the part where my entire midriff is showing, which is pretty inappropriate for work.

See, because I was leaving in a hurry, I didn’t have time to check and see if the jeans were high-waisted enough to cover up stomach to where my top cut off. They weren’t. In fact, they were rather low rise, meaning a lot of my stomach was on display.

Mostly, I just left my jacket buttoned all day (thank goodness I had that) in order to show less skin, but I was still a little self conscious.

Ideally, a crop top should only reveal the top half of your ribs, above your belly button. That’s no concrete rule — wear whatever you want — but generally I believe that’s what’s most flattering. I mean, if you have rock solid abs, that’s a different story, but for me, I’m only comfortable with crop tops if I have high waisted bottoms on.

I made it all day though without getting fired and without dying of discomfort, though, so I guess that’s a win. You probably won’t catch me wearing this top and these pants together again, even though I don’t think they looked bad. Just too uncomfortable.

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: Zara

Top: Zara

Jeans: Hollister

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

 

 

June 20, 2018 – Blue and White, Sans Red (OOTD #307)

Happy Fourth of July! You’ll have to excuse my lack of an Americana themed outfit — you probably know already, but these blogs are on a delay, so the blog I’m publishing now on July 4 is actually the outfit I wore earlier in June. Rest assured, there will be some sort of patriotic festive outfit coming up, but it won’t be posted for a while still. 

I can’t believe it took me an entire year to think to pair this shirt and this skirt together.

Let me go back and contextualize a little — so I bought this skirt back in London last year at a Zara shop off of Oxford Street. There was some huge sale going on so the shop was super crowded, and in order to avoid standing around in queues forever, I decided not to try it on and just buy it. Slight mistake, I guess, because it turned out that the waist was too big, and now I have to keep it held in place with a pin. Because of the less than ideal fit, I don’t wear the skirt as often as I would like, even though I’m a huge fan of the design. 

The point being, I’ve had this skirt for a while and have worn it in a couple of different ways before (see example here). However, I’ve never really been satisfied with the styling — it’s such a fun skirt, and I really want to do it justice with an outfit that can properly highlight the unique layered structure. I just had not, until now, come up with a good way of wearing this skirt that was able to meet that goal. 

I was so concerned with finding the best way of wearing this skirt — and by extension, so afraid of messing it up and styling it poorly — that it took me until this point to think to pair my blue and white striped shirt with this blue and white skirt. It would seem obvious, since they match so well, that they would work well together, serving to highlight the architecture of the skirt.

I guess it was just how closely they matched that was what caused me to hesitate. I was afraid they would look too “matchy-matchy,” too similar, and that they would only make me look like one big blue and white-striped blob.

But now, at least, I don’t believe that that fear was warranted. In fact, I’m quite happy with how these two pieces look together, and rather than matching too closely, I believe the matching patterns rather serves to emphasize the uniqueness of the skirt. 

The moral of the story — try pairing new pieces together, even if you think they won’t work! I’ve worn a lot of stupid outfits in my time, some of which have been published on this blog (I didn’t think they were stupid at the time of wearing them, but looking back at them, I see they were kind of ugly). But I’ve also worn a lot of really cool outfits that I only managed to put together because I put things together that i didn’t think would work (see here and here).

Anyway, that was the preachy, educational segment at the end of our Saturday morning cartoon. You know, the moment at the end of a kids’ show when the main character addresses the viewer directly in order to communicate some educational lesson that should be taken from the episode, like “don’t do drugs” and “don’t talk to strangers.” Too bad I don’t have a cool catchphrase to end this with. Or better yet, merchandise I could try to convince you you need.  

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

Skirt: Zara

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 17, 2018 – Blonder Now (OOTD #304)

I did it guys! I’m blonde again!

If you’ve been following my hair color adventures, you’ll know that I very recently got a haircut. While I loved the new cut, the color needed a little work still in order to get it to the point that I wanted, so I had to go back to get it touched up.

It took a few days to get booked at the salon again, but I finally did, a little over a week after I first got it done, and let me say — I am very happy with the results!

I’ve been blonde before (see example A and example B), so I guess this isn’t the most radical change I’ve ever done, but I’m nonetheless very excited to be blonde again. It’ll take a little getting used to, especially with figuring out the best wash cycle so as not to dry it out badly, but now that I have nearly 2 years of blondness under my belt, I’m hoping it’ll turn out better this time (read: won’t wind up with my hair getting so damaged that I have to chop it all off)

If you’ve ever done a drastic hair change, you’ll know that sometimes, it can be a little off-putting to see your reflection for the first few times, especially if you’re not expecting it.

Nothing like a few fleeting moments of dissociation to go with a new hairdo, right?

You’ll notice that, once again, it is summer and I am clearly dressed for fall weather. I really tried to just let myself go with the white sundress, but I can’t help it — I love layering, and I love having my arms covered, even in warmer months. I don’t really get it, since I’m happy to leave my legs bare, but for some reason, I’m just a big fan of long sleeves.

Was a turtleneck and a jacket a little excessive? Maybe. But does layering those two pieces along with my sundress make the whole outfit a lot more interesting than if I had just done the plain white dress? You betcha.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: thrifted

Dress: American Eagle

June 15, 2018 – Let’s Go Down to the Tennis Court (OOTD #303)

…and talk it out like yeah?

IMG_0605.jpeg

I absolutely had to Google the lyrics to that (“Tennis Court” by Lorde, by the way) because I haven’t heard that song since like, 2014 when I was a freshman in high school. Freshman me probably would have been ashamed that I didn’t remember it, but what can I say? It’s been years since “Tennis Court” frequented pop radio, and it’s been even more years since I regularly listen to pop radio.IMG_0591.jpeg

I had a brief Lorde phase after “Royals” came out when I would listen to the whole of Pure Heroine almost everyday while I did my Algebra II homework; it was a good studying album. I still really like a few of the songs, like “Love Club” and “Buzzcut Season,” and leave them in my Apple Music’s shuffle rotation. Melodrama was also a solid album, and also made for good studying music.

I’ve always wanted to do a proper tennis court photoshoot, but this impromptu one that mom did for me as we walked the dog through the park will have to do for now, at least until I’m back in the US. You’ll have to excuse the slightly messy hair texture — like I said, I was out walking the dog with my mom, and it was pretty warm out.IMG_0604.jpegIMG_0609.jpeg

I keep a Pinterest board for Instagram ideas, where I’ve seen a lot of really cute tennis court fashion photography that really cleverly uses the vibrant colors of the court as a background. Maybe once I get back to the US, I’ll drag Amanda out and make her take pictures with me.IMG_0596.jpeg

In more exciting news, I arrived in Nepal a few hours ago! In else exciting news, I won’t go into much detail with the Nepal adventures now because I’m sure I’ll have a full blog dedicated to that later this month. Rest assured, after 27 hours of traveling, I made it!IMG_0587.jpeg

The jet lag is beginning to kick in though, so I think I ought to try to get some sleep. It’s about 5:30 AM here, and while I got a little sleep earlier in the night, it really wasn’t as much as I should have gotten. Whoops.

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: Target

Top: Pitaya

Jeans: American Eagle 9thr