November 23, 2018 – Beginning To Look A Lot Like… (OOTD #413)

…Christmas! This blog will start like fall and end like Christmas.

The day after Christmas — Black Friday — is officially the day I start listening to Christmas music. It’s been a tradition of mine since back in middle school, when Black Friday actually meant something, and my dad and I would go out shopping late at night/early in the morning. Once the clock struck midnight, I’d get out my iPod (or iPhone, depending on what year it was) and start listening to Christmas music.

Anyway, Black Friday doesn’t really mean much anymore, since it seems the sales aren’t even that great anymore, and — the worse offense — stores don’t even hold weird late night hours. That was the fun of the whole experience! It was so cool getting to wake up at 2AM to go shopping at 3, and then get breakfast on the way home when it was all over.

That era of Black Friday shopping seems to be over, sadly. I still like to go out, but usually just in the afternoon. I still like seeing the crowds. For as much of an introvert as I am, I like navigating crowds, assuming I don’t have to wait in long lines.

This set of photos was taken by my father while we were at the mall, and they’ll likely be the last set of fall-themed pics I post this year on this blog. From this point on, I’ll be making an effort to do Christmas- and winter-themed outfits.

View this post on Instagram

hey thanks for the pic @zdhall2699

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

Like these Christmas- and winter-themed pics here! Yep, these are all from the same day, just later at night. Some friends and I went out driving to check out the neighborhood’s Christmas decorations, and this house always goes all out. They went so all out that some photography seemed to be in order.

Shout out to my buddy Zach for getting these. He did a pretty good job, admittedly. Art students, am I right?

Jacket: Forever21

Sweater/skirt set: Vintage (Thrifted — Street Scene Vintage)

Shoes: Doc Marten

November 22, 2018 – Christmas on Thanksgiving (OOTD #412)

I like holidays where I get to dress up.

I almost always have — I remember distinctly the excitement when I was a kid of getting to pick out the dress I would wear for the  Christmas or Easter at church. I’d also often change all of the clothes on my dolls to be similarly festive.

No offense to the holidays that don’t involve getting dressed up — like 4th of July or Labor Day — but a holiday to me is only as fun as the outfits I get to wear.

Christmas takes the cake thanks to Christmas sweaters and red-and-green motifs, but I think Halloween might be a close second. I don’t typically do weeks-worth of holiday-themed outfits for Halloween like I do for Christmas (though I will make an effort to go for fall-themed outfits, at least in October)

View this post on Instagram

merry christmas? more like merry crisis

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

Thanksgiving, the day these photos were taken, can also be fun. Since Thanksgiving involves a big meal with family, I like to get dressed up, even if we don’t go out anywhere and do anything that exciting. Thanksgiving is always fun too, because it marks the division in my mind between fall and winter — between pre-Christmas and Christmas.

In fact, I even make Thanksgiving my marker for when I’ll allow myself to start listening to my Christmas playlists on Apple Music. Midnight on Black Friday, I bust them out and start jamming to my personal favorites, like Fall Out Boy’s “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out.” 

Thanksgiving also makes a great opportunity to mix pieces that could lean Christmas-y or fall-ish. This outfit would look at home on a Christmas tree farm or an apple orchard, no?

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!

Top: ASOS

Skirt: J. Crew

November 21, 2018 – Short Girl, Tall Grass (OOTD #411)

I love to get pictures in this spot at the park by my home.

If you’ve been keeping track, I’ve used this location for photos many times — here and here, for example. Perhaps you’ve also noticed that the photos from the two linked blogs are definitively summer- and winter-themed. It makes sense then that this one is so fall-themed, right?

There’s something about standing in the tall grass that makes a photo look adventurous and whimsical. Throw a dramatic filter on top of that, and you’ve got a background worth a Lord of the Rings elf cosplay.

Realistically, though, I suppose I’m more of a hobbit than an elf. I’m short, lazy, and like to eat. Just call me a Baggins.

I suppose I also like the tall grass because there is no tall grass on Notre Dame’s campus. Why would there be? It’s a university campus, where everything, including the landscaping, is always neat and manicured. You hardly even see leaves on the ground in the fall.

So when I go to a park that has more “natural”-looking landscaping, even if it is only a little patch of unmowed grass around a small wetland, it’s a welcome sight. It’s little things like that that I hardly notice that I miss when I’m at school, but that I realize I really appreciate when I go home.

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!

Dress: Target

Sweater: Vintage (thrifted: Street Scene Vintage)

Shoes: Target

October 18, 2018 – Autumnal (OOTD #394)

And here comes my annual Boyd Orchard trip blog.

Every year, my dad and I go out to this particular farm in Central KY to pick pumpkins and do stereotypical American fall things. It’s always a great opportunity for photos — in part, because the location lends itself well to a fall Instagram aesthetic, and in part, because my dad’s there, and he always takes great photos.

This year, we also got my mother and dog to come along! It was a true family outing. The only member of the gang missing was my cat, Mushu.

(That’s my mother’s hand in the photo)

These photos turned out even better than last year’s, in my opinion. Last year, I got some good pictures, but my hair was the worst looking that I think it’s ever been. It was right before I decided to cut it and dye it grey (for the first time), and it was in a truly sorry state. A year and a half of bleaching it blonde did not leave my ends very intact-looking.

View this post on Instagram

i’ve been spotted

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

This year, I was smart enough to get my fall break haircut in before I went out for my orchard adventure. Check out those intact hair strands.

We didn’t end up picking any pumpkins this time because we didn’t think we’d get the time to carve them, but we did get plenty of apples. We also did the hayride, got apple cider, caramel apples, took photos in the pumpkin patch (even if there were none left to pick) — all of the fall things.

View this post on Instagram

you’re the 🍎 of my 👁

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

It’s little outings like this that I really miss when I’m stuck at school. I miss the outside world, even if it’s just a farm with some produce. Notre Dame is a great little compact world, but campus feels small without pumpkins or apple trees. All we’ve got are sycamores and oaks and the occasional ginkgo. Shoutout to my botany class for teaching me that.

View this post on Instagram

some quality fall moodboard content

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

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: Forever21

Sweater:thrifted

Pants: The LOFT

October 15, 2018 – The Continuing Adventures of Fall Break (OOTD #393)

Fun fact: these photos happen to have been taken at the same Mexican restaurant as the photos from this post. 

Fun fact #2: these photos were also taken right after I got a haircut, which is the same as what happened after that same post.

Haircuts for me take a ridiculously long time. For one, I’m not just getting my hair cut — I’m also getting it bleached and colored. Even when I’m just having my roots done, it can take a long time to apply, then a long time to sit as I wait for it to have an effect, and then another long time to wash out. And then, an even longer time as I wait for the whole process to start over for a second time, since my hair is so dark that it requires two rounds of bleach in order to lighten it to blonde.

Haircuts are basically a whole-day affair. It’s worth it, and it’s so much better having it done than trying to do it on my own, but I can basically count on doing nothing else all day but sitting in the stylist’s chair and watching afternoon television.

So after my exhausting day of sitting in the stylist’s chair and watching afternoon television, it makes sense that I should reward myself for a job well done — hence the Mexican restaurant afterwards. I have to rejuvenate myself with nachos after working so hard all day.

Everyone criticizes my generation of being lazy, but I disagree — it’s hard work being a full-time student for three months straight. You never get to escape school. You live there, so it dominates every moment of your time on campus. Getting to go home, away from school, and indulge in sitting in a hair salon for an entire day without anything to do — that’s what break is made for.

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Forever12

Sweater: American Eagle

October 14, 2018 – The Marvelous Ms. Meilin (OOTD #392)

I’ve been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime, and let me say — it’s got a great visual style.

Actually, by “I’ve been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” I mean, I’ve seen the first episode. I’m not very good at actually watching television shows. I usually tend to begin them and then never find the time to continue them, even if I enjoy the first episode. 

With The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel though, I think I may actually continue  watching. Not only was the plot interesting, but like I said, the 1950s aesthetic was really gorgeous. 

I’m a sucker for historical fashion (being a history major, and all), and I’m always happy to incorporate some vintage pieces into my wardrobe. Case in point: this outfit.

I don’t know what era this dress actually comes from, but I could imagine it as something from the 50s. I know it’s not — it’s Don von Furstenburg, who didn’t come to popularity until the mid-70s — but with my coat, I feel like it evokes a late-50s vibe anyway. 

IMG_7758.jpg

Speaking of vintage, this coat is also practically vintage, at least in terms of my ownership of it. It’s probably the piece in my wardrobe that’s been in my possession the longest. If I remember correctly, I’ve had it since third grade — and even then, I bought it used off of a friend’s older sister. Who knows how old it really is.

View this post on Instagram

just some colorFALL leaves

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

It was too big for me for several years, and by the time I grew into it, I’d stopped growing altogether. Hence, I still keep it in my wardrobe for days like these when it just really ties together an outfit. It doesn’t happen often, but when I do need it, I’m grateful that I have it. 

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg (vintage)

Coat: Rothschild (thrifted) 

August 12, 2018 – Urban Exploration (OOTD #344)

Alternative title: A work in progress.

This is absolutely one of my favorite parts of Lexington.

It’s, once again, one of those old run-down industrial parts of town that’s since become a chic, gentrified district. That’s not to say that gentrification is always a good thing — but sometimes, it’s just nice to see a dilapidated area get an update.

In the case of distillery district, it was once, well, a distillery. Apparently, it had been abandoned for some time, but within the last few years, the whole complex has been updated to include a bunch of different local restaurants (with accordingly gentrified menus and prices, of course).

Not the entire area has been updated yet though, so, after popping by an ice cream shop in the area for a Notre Dame back-to-school event, I got to explore bit.

It’s still not quite the urban exploration experience that makes for popular abandoned buildings tours, but it’s something. I do like a little bit of adventure and the occasional abandoned building, but this is about as close as I’m going to get anytime soon to breaking into a real abandoned building. This was more the small concrete framework of a little house (shack? hut?) about 10 feet away from a popular bar, and an actual abandoned building that I just walked the perimeter of.

The other cool part about walking around an active construction site was that I got to get some pictures with the equipment in the background. There’s nothing like big machinery in the background to make you look like an edgy, urban, hip teen.

And nothing screams “edgy” quite like my purple penny loafers and lacy t-shirt, right? I’m practically Tumblr famous already.

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: Thrifted

Shorts: Francesca’s

August 11, 2018 – Danville Days (OOTD #343)

Actually, I guess it was more of a Danville night — I was only around town for dinner.

For those of you who don’t know, Danville’s a small-ish town in Central Kentucky, about an hour south from Lexington, my home. I’ve been a few times, and every time I go, I’m thoroughly impressed by how quiet it is. Take “quiet” with whatever connotation you’d personally like to assign to it: for me though, I find it a bit boring.

In fairness, I went on a Saturday night, and Danville’s not really a Saturday night kind of a place — maybe more of a Sunday morning place, after everyone’s gone to church. We walked around around 7pm, and it was pretty much dead downtown. Perhaps if I’d been there at 11am the next morning, I would have actually gotten to see the little bakeries and coffee shops in operation.

I did get to go into a Goodwill, though, which was a good idea in that I found a cute jacket and a sweater. It’s not really jacket/sweater season but…that never stopped me.

I had dinner with my friend, Amanda’s family, and after that, we drove back to Lexington. On the way back though, we made a brief stop at a little church we saw on the roadside.

There really wasn’t a good reason why we decided to stop at the church: we just thought it looked cute. I know, a little one-room white church in an empty field is hardly a rare sight in Kentucky, but I feel like I never actually stop and look at them, for as many as I pass on the road. It was locked up (and possibly abandoned? Looked pretty dusty in there), but I still got a nice photo or two of it with the sunset in the background. Just feature my work on my own inspirational “Old Kentucky Home” poster, already.

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: Free People

Jeans: American Eagle (thrifted)

August 5, 2018 – That Was Rewarding (OOTD #342)

After a long hard day of cleaning the house, my family decided to go out and reward ourselves with a bit of ice cream!

You know, I’m admittedly not even a huge ice cream person, but I just love the concept of it. I think it has something to do with this Arthur book I had as a kid where Arthur goes out and treats DW to ice cream after she proves to him how good she is at spelling. Isn’t it funny how dumb little things like that can permanently change your worldviews?

For example, I don’t really enjoy ice cream in cones. I find them messy, unnecessary, and just generally add on calories that I don’t need when I could enjoy the ice cream just as much out of a bowl. But I’m a sucker for the aesthetic of ice cream in a cone — an aesthetic that I first came to know thanks to that Arthur book.

I’m also a sucker for the cute photos I can get with ice cream in a cone that I just can’t get with ice cream in a bowl. I’m one hundred percent one of those people who will research the most Instagrammable restaurants in a city I’m visiting just so I can get something cute for my feed. Call me shallow.

If you’re wondering, the flavor of the ice cream here is Kentucky Blackberry Buttermilk, and it’s one of my favorite flavors of all time. I don’t get tired of it; I order it every time I come to this particular local ice cream shop. Rather than being super sweet like a lot of ice creams, its flavor comes from its creaminess. 10/10 would recommend.

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: boutique at a flea market

Shorts: PacSun

August 4, 2018 – NuLu Life (OOTD #341)

NuLu = New Louisville, and that’s your daily dose of Kentucky trivia.

I actually lived in Louisville as a kid, but I don’t remember the city itself very well. My family was in a suburban area, so we didn’t go downtown a lot, especially since I was pretty young. We would always go to Waterfront Park for the Thunder over Louisville fireworks show during Derby season, which was a highlight of my childhood, but otherwise, I don’t remember going into the city often.

So I can’t say if Louisville itself has changed, or if I simply don’t remember it well — but it seemed way cooler than it was back when I lived there. I  remember Louisville as a city with a lot of buildings and a lot of restaurants, but not much in terms of actual things to do. I’ve even gone back and visited Louisville a few times since moving to Lexington, but I guess I’d never really figured out the best neighborhoods to visit.

Anyway, the NuLu neighborhood was pretty sweet. I’d gone past it a few times, but this was my first time really walking around and exploring — going into shops, restaurants, etc. We went with the intent of visiting a particular outdoor flea market (my family’s very into markets, it seems), and we were not disappointed.

The highlight was probably a particular shop we went into that, surprisingly, made for some great photography. I often feel a little weird about taking pictures in a store (it seems unfair to take advantage of a cute store layout if I don’t really buy anything), but I couldn’t stop myself with this gorgeous garden setup. I did tag the store in my Instagram post, so I guess I was kind of justified?

What an influencer I am.

I don’t know if any of you other fashion bloggers out there have experienced the same thing, but I’ve started to judge my enjoyment of an event based on how much good photography I get. Is that shallow? And there’s nothing worse than going out to a cute location and not having a cute outfit — or the converse, having a cute outfit and not being able to find a good background. By these new standards, though, I’d say I had a particularly good day!

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: Zara

Bralette: Aerie

Skirt: Abercrombie