April 7, 2019 – The Dark Side (OOTD #489)

Today’s look brought to you: The Galactic Empire.

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Alternatively, it might have been brought to you by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Or the Catholic Church. Or really, anywhere where people wear long black robes.

The last time I wore this jacket was actually a whole year ago. It’s a difficult one to wear without seeming too Darth Vader-y — I love how long and flowy it is, but that can also make it a little over-the-top. In fact, I think the last time I wore it (the time a year ago) was actually a little too over-the-top.

This outfit is over-the-top too, but I think it’s an okay kind of over-the-top. I think the key was finding something really simple to pair with it — the jacket is so voluminous that it can’t handle having much going on underneath it. This simple black dress ended up being the perfect choice.

I guess it’s still possible that in a year, I’ll think this outfit was ridiculous too, and that I’ll be writing an all new blog about a new way that I’ve decided to wear this jacket that’s even better. For now though, I like this outfit — and all of its Galactic Empire vibes.

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

Jacket: AMIClubwear

Dress: Kohl’s

February 5, 2019 – Year of the Pig (OOTD #450)

It’s a month late, but Happy Lunar New Year!

One of the unfortunate consequences of being about a month behind on my blog posts is that when holidays come around, they almost never get a blog post devoted to them until weeks after they’ve passed. I may take the holiday photos on the date of the actual holiday, but then if I have two weeks of blogs in the queue to be posted, that holiday blog doesn’t get put out until later.

I’m better on my Instagram. Since I don’t make any effort to organize my Instagram chronologically by the date the photos were taken (but rather, by aesthetic) I’m normally pretty decent at keeping up with important dates than I am on my blog. But since I have 9500 followers on my Instagram compared to about 800 here…it makes sense that I’d be more consistent on Instagram.

Anyway, if you couldn’t tell, this was the outfit I wore on Lunar New Year 2019. I didn’t really do much to celebrate, to be honest. Notre Dame doesn’t really do much in the way of multicultural celebrations. They had some nice Chinese food in the dining hall on Friday, including pork bao buns (which I absolutely love ever since I first tried them in Chicago Chinatown last spring), but unfortunately, because of the internship and volunteer work I do on Fridays, I didn’t make it back to campus on time before the dining halls closed.

Actually, I had an interview that day. Two chemistry professors were organizing a fully-funded trip to the Galápagos Islands, and after I submitted my essay, I was contacted for an interview.

Long story short: I got into the program! That was definitely not something I was expecting, especially without an extensive background studying the natural sciences. But I suppose they were looking for students from a variety of backgrounds — and in this case, I fit the bill.

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: Kohl’s

Blouse: ASOS

Skirt: Banana Republic Sloan Skinny-Fit Pant

August 29, 2018 – Back To Bond (OOTD #360)

Back to Bond, and back to the best building on campus for photos.

Even though I’m not an architecture major and thus don’t have any classes in Bond Hall, I’ve got to appreciate it for being one of the most unique-looking buildings on campus. In the midst of dozens of golden-tan brick gothic buildings, it stands alone as the singular neoclassical-inspired structure.

Plus, it’s white, which makes it excellent for fashion photography. It’s a nice blank slate — not too showy as to detract from the subject, but not boring either. I’m a fan.

You know what I’m not a fan of? The pre-midterms exam boom. It seems that, for some ridiculous reason, professors feel the need to schedule a ton of exams and papers just a few weeks before midterms, when they schedule a ton more exams and papers. I’m pretty resigned to the idea of being stressed out during midterms and finals, but I’m a little more opposed to the concept of a “hell week” that’s separate from the designated midterms/finals sequence. I didn’t sign up for this, you know?

But yeah, if you can’t tell, it’s currently my pre-midterms “hell week.” It doesn’t help that we’ve literally had three football game weekends in a row (be on the lookout for those posts soon, plus a special post from a Chicago trip), which means that I haven’t been able to use my weekends to catch up on the work I was unable to get to during the week as usual.

I’ve also got study abroad and summer internship applications to do, which complicates matters. Not to be cliché, but it’d be nice if life could slow down a little, you know? Or, rather, if it could speed up and I could get to the part where I’m an old retired lady with a lot of cats who goes to farmers’ markets in the mornings and plays bridge with her old retired lady friends in the afternoons.

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: The LOFT

Dress: Kohl’s (remember when people still shopped there?)

Boots: Ralph Lauren

March 30, 2018 – This Isn’t Chicago (OOTD #258)

As much as I’ve complained about Catholic school’s somewhat restrictive practices, especially during gLent, I must say I do appreciate things like getting off for Easter Break.

I’ve always gone to public school, so Easter weekend or Good Friday have never warranted a break from school. Actually, I do have this vague memory of, back when I lived in Louisville, there being a vote in the school board about whether we should have off for Oaks Day (a big horse race at Churchill Downs right before the Derby) or Good Friday, and they chose Oaks.

So it was a treat to get off a few days for Easter. A lot of my friends went home, but it didn’t really seem like it was going to be worth the time and money for me to fly back to Kentucky, so I just hung out on campus.

My original plan was to try to go into Chicago — there’s a train that goes in every two hours from the South Bend Airport for only $12, and the trip is only about two hours (one hour if you account for the time difference!). I thought it would be a fun little weekend getaway to a real city and a way to get away from the Notre Dame bubble.

I didn’t want to go alone though, and I didn’t have any friends who were willing or able to join me. Sadly, it looks like I am not going to make it into Chicago until perhaps after the semester is over — so I’m looking at maybe trying to go for a day when my parents come in to help me move out. Parents: if you’re reading this, which I know you are, you should take note of that 😜

Instead of getting out of town for Easter Break, I had a friend suggest a trip to the Mishawaka Mall, only about 20 minutes by bus away from campus. It wasn’t Chicago like I’d hoped, but it was off campus — and that’s really what I was craving.

It turned into a little bit of an adventure when we wound up taking the wrong bus and going to downtown South Bend instead of Mishawka and getting stranded at the bus station for 30 minutes until another bus could take us the other direction. It was fun though because it was something other than Notre Dame.

I got my pictures done at the mall nearby the Easter Bunny setup. Why is there no Easter Bunny in these shots then? Because this is actually the opposite side of the setup — the Easter Bunny is sitting in a chair directly opposite where I’m standing here. I didn’t have the time to wait in line or the money to pay to get my picture done with a guy in a fur suit, so I figured I’d cheat a little and still use the same background.

Anyway, I’ve got an exam to study for for tomorrow, so it’s time for me to wrap this up. 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!

Dress: Vintage (thrift)

Top: Target

Hat: Kohl’s (I think? I’ve had this guy for ages — since I was maybe 10. One of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe anyway!)

February 26, 2018 – Snow More Snow Please (OOTD #232)

Look! It’s finally sunny enough for me to have my sunglasses on again in these pictures!

Ever since I transitioned to doing some of my pictures in the evening rather than the afternoon (owing to needing to accommodate to the schedules of my friends who do my pictures), I’ve been trying to avoid wearing sunglasses in my photos so much, since it looks silly to have sunglasses on when the sun’s nearly down.

But now that winter’s nearly over (thank goodness), it’s staying lighter for longer, and I can feel less weird about slipping on my shades at 6pm.

As much as I love winter, I’m very much glad for it to be nearly over. It’s rather overstayed its welcome for me, even though it was more mild than usual here in Chicago-area. Or so I’ve heard – I’ve never lived in this part of the country before, so it was definitely colder than I had ever experienced in my Kentucky experience, but from what I’ve heard from Chicago locals, it was actually quite a fair winter.

A few weeks ago, we had several feet of snow accumulate over the course of several days, melting and freezing over several times before it finally all melted away, and that was pretty much the end of my tolerance for this season. I’m usually a big fan of snow in any form, but by the time it finally all melted away, it had pretty much all turned to grey slush and wasn’t really much to look at any more.

Spring break is in under a week for me, though, so I’m excited to head back to Kentucky and experience some of that lovely sunny weather my parents have told me they’ve been getting.

Assuming I can make it through the rest of these midterms though – one exam, three papers, and one project still to go! Wish me luck!

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

Skirt: Zara

Sweater: Kohl’s

February 25, 2018 – Styled By Riley (OOTD #233)

A colorful door? At my Notre Dame? Most unorthodox!

Slowly but surely, the Riley art building is becoming my favorite building on campus.

No, it’s not the most beautiful building, or the most architecturally interesting, or the cleanest, or the comfiest, or the best lit – it’s not even really what I’d call charmingly dilapidated.

It’s a very strange building, I guess, is how I’d describe it. Because it needs a lot of large studio spaces for the various art classes, I suppose they had to get creative with the configuration of rooms to make space for the spaces they needed. There are hallways that lead you in circles, doors marked “Emergency Exit Only – Alarm Will Sound” that you’re required to use to get to certain parts of the building, and a mysterious locked door that prevents you from getting to the fourth floor. I think one of the strangest things is that there are certain classrooms that you have to walk through to access other parts of the floor. So sometimes, you’ll be sitting in class, working away at your piece or listening to your professor talk, and someone will just walk through because they’re trying to get to another section of the building.

I’m not sure if it’s artistic, or just really really bad design.

Since I’ve been spending so many late nights in the art building as a) a means of actually trying to get my art homework done and b) a way to get some time to myself, since it’s usually pretty empty at night, I’ve been able to go wandering around to find out what all there is. And the other night, I discovered a new studio in the basement for the installation art classes.

And get this – there’s a painted red door!

You might ask, what’s so off about that? Painted doors are hardly anything to get excited about. But the thing is, it is at this school. For as pretty as Notre Dame is, there are very few rooms, or buildings, or really just any indoor spaces at all that incorporate colors other than neutrals. If I had to describe Notre Dame in a single color, I’d have to go with beige, because I’m pretty sure that’s the color of a solid 3/4 of the buildings here, inside and out.

So yeah, I got excited for the photography possibilities that come with the discovery of this red door. Expect to see it again on this blog.

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!

Dress: Kohl’s

Jacket: Thrifted

January 26, 2018 – Sweaters Forever (OOTD #211)

You know, I think two of my all-time favorite sweaters are Karen Scott ones that I bought at a Goodwill.

This purple one, if it weren’t obvious enough by that lead-in sentence, is one of them. The other one is this oversized navy turtleneck. Neither sweater fits me in the way they were designed to – in fact, I think they’re both mediums, when I am definitely an extra-small – but it’s their oversized-ness that makes me love them so much.

I really don’t know much about the brand, and I’ve never bought anything from this designer new or full-priced, but for used and significantly-discounted, I’m a big fan. They’re just the right kind of oversized-but-not-frumpy, well-made-but-not-overpriced, vintage-but-not-dated that I’m into.

I haven’t been thrifting for a while (read: I haven’t been thrifting since like, two weeks ago when I left home for school) because there’s not really anything close enough to campus to warrant bundling myself up and walking for forty-five minutes to. Granted, we have had some really beautiful weather these last few days in South Bend, and I haven’t had quite as much homework as usual, but it’s not been a huge priority for me. It’s not exactly like I need any more clothing – I mostly just love the hunt for a good bargain.

I’ve always been so amused by the cliché of a rich girl you might see in some preteen drama who turns her nose up at discounted or secondhand items – it seems to me that even if you can afford to buy everything brand new and full price, you’d want to take advantage of a sale if you see one. Maybe that’s my “broke college student” status talking, but I’m pretty sure saving money is in vogue regardless of your economic status.

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!

Sweater: thrift

Dress: Kohl’s

January 11, 2018 – Looks like Kentucky (OOTD #199)

When you think of Kentucky, what do you think of?

Probably some mix of horse farms, hillbillies, bourbon, coal mines, and bluegrass bands. Maybe throw in some University of Kentucky/Louisville sports for good measure?

I wouldn’t disagree with any of those descriptions, but for me, Kentucky is best represented by its small towns, which are usually less exciting than the stereotypical image- coal-mining hillbillies riding horses and drinking bourbon while bluegrass music plays in the background – would suggest.

Admittedly, I’ve never lived in a small Kentucky town, so I can’t really speak to their character, but I do like to visit them sometimes for little day trips to get out of the city. There’s usually not a lot to do, maybe some antique shops, a café, and if you’re lucky, historical site of some famous settlement or battleground or birthplace.

A few days before I went back to school, my parents and I went out to Harrodsburg and Danville KY to pass an afternoon. Like most small towns, there wasn’t a lot to do in either place, but that was sort of the point.

In Harrodsburg, there was an old pioneer settlement that had been converted into a park that we visited for an hour or two and where I did my photos. Being winter, it was pretty empty. The most exciting bit was honestly a cat that was roaming around and some friendly sheep that let us pet them.

Second most exciting was probably this cool old tree just outside the park. If I’d been wearing something other than a mini pencil skirt (which, interestingly, was ruined in the wash immediately after this trip) I would’ve climbed it more extensively because it was honestly one of the most perfect climbing-type trees I’d ever seen – knotty, twisty, and with thick branches in all the right places.

In Danville, about 20 minutes drive from Harrodsburg, we saw an old dollhouse museum, an antique shop, and got dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I don’t have any pictures from that part of the trip because the sun had started going down and the lighting made it so it wasn’t worth the effort, but it was more of the same: old buildings and old trees and old back roads.

I am not and will likely never be a country girl, but every once in a while, it’s nice.

November 15, 2017 – Notre Rain (OOTD #160)

You know, my photographer made a very valid point as she was taking these photos – this is a very discordant outfit.

I’ve got the rainbow raincoat and yellow rain boots, but also a plaid scarf, and sunglasses. What am I dressed for? The rain, the cold, or the sun?

The rain and the cold are actually completely accurate answers – it was very rainy and drizzly that day. But in late November in South Bend, IN, what day isn’t rainy and drizzly? Who can escape the permacloud of the Northern Midwest?

In fairness, the sunglasses are only there to conceal the fact that I’m not wearing any eye makeup here. Let’s just say it’s quite obvious without sunglasses how much of a sleep-deprived college student I am.

Not to mention, I’ve got my short grey hair, which I’ve already discussed looks kind of strange with preppier pieces, like rainbow raincoats and plaid blanket scarf. I also wore my black gauge-like earrings, just to confuse people even more.

I like to keep people guessing with my outfit, but I don’t necessarily want them to be scratching their heads either. I personally feel like this outfit’s a little closer to that “head-scratching” territory than I would’ve liked, but you know – you win some, and you lose some. I do really like the colors going on here, regardless.

Just because the sky and the weather is going to be dreary and grey, that doesn’t mean my outfit has to be as well. I mean, part of it, sure – my hair, my earrings, and my personality will always be there to bring the melancholy – but some part of me gets to be cheery. Or at the very least, look that way.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here 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!

Coat: Target

Pants: The LOFT

Scarf: Chinatown

Sweater: Kohl’s

June 21, 2017 – It’s the Summer Solstice, and I’m Dressed For Fall (OOTD #49)

I’d be lying if I told you I liked summer. 

Granted, I like certain aspects of summer – being off school, wearing shorts, eating ice cream – summer’s not a terrible season at all. Like any season, it has its merits and its faults. But for me, living in the hot and humid state of Kentucky, the faults outweigh the merits. 

I can stand heat. I don’t mind when it gets into the upper 80s (don’t mind, I say, as in can tolerate – not like),  but when it’s in the upper 80s and has a humidity of over about 40%, that’s when I draw the line. When the humidity hits in Kentucky, all those pleasant aspects of summer – the sunny skies, the warm air, the bright colors – melt into a hot, unpleasant, sticky mess that no one wants to out be in, especially me.

So naturally, today, being the summer solstice and the first day of summer, I decided to break out my fall jacket, scarf, turtleneck, jeans, and boots. Sensible, right?

Actually, my reasoning for dressing this way wasn’t purely vanity (though I’m sure that does play a part – as I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t like to let the weather determine how I’m going to dress…mostly); I had work today, and it’s just easier to wear pants than a dress or skirt. Plus there’s the shaving…there are plenty of reasons where pants can be a good choice in summer.

And the turtleneck? It’s actually very lightweight and thin – if I’m not careful, you might even see my bra through it. So for modesty (and yes, fashion) I threw a light blazer on top. And what outfit could be complete without a scarf to tie it together – literally and figuratively?

So at first glance, this may seem like a fall outfit, totally impractical for summer heat, but it was actually quite comfortable. I stayed modest, stylish, and best of all, kept the blazing sun off my skin.

…or maybe I’m lying to myself and every time I stepped outside today, I felt like I was cooking in an oven, but I’m too stubborn to change. You can take your pick of explanations 😉

That’s it for today! 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

Pants: J. Crew

Shirt: Forever21

Jacket: Kohl’s

Shoes: Steve Madden