October 1, 2018 – Recipe for Style (OOTD #385)

Shhh…I know it’s a corny title. Just hear me out.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a formula for fashion on days when I don’t want to be creative with my outfits. The days where I roll out of bed 10 minutes before class starts, the days where I feel sick, or the days I’m just too lazy to come up with anything better — I come back to this outfit formula.

Here’s what it is: pair one (1) pair of fitted pants or leggings with one (1) loose-fitting top, such as a sweater. Top with one (1) jacket and two (2) simple black booties.

The silhouette is flattering, I don’t have to worry about shaving my legs, and I always know I’ll look fashionable — even if not innovative. It’s basic, but classic, and it works.

With this particular outfit, I even added a belt. That’s the thing with the formula — it also lends itself well to accessorizing. Jewelry, scarves, belts all look good because the silhouette of the outfit itself is so simple.

I’d recommend come up with their own outfit formula for days when they don’t feel like getting dressed up. It doesn’t have to be my formula, but it’s got to be something you’re comfortable with throwing together on those days when you can’t be bothered to stand in front of your closet contemplating what to wear. The worst is when you’re on a time crunch, and none of the pieces you’re combing seem to look good together. That’s where a formula comes in.

When back when I was a middle schooler, I had a formula. Back then, it was a floral skirt, a lacy camisole, and a cardigan, preferably from Hollister or Abercrombie. Sometimes I’d also wear Uggs and put my hair in a Snooki bump. It was a look.

The point? Being formulaic isn’t always bad, as long as you do it in moderation.

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!

Jacket: Thrifted

Top: Forever21

Pants: Banana Republic

September 11, 2018 – Power Stances Only (OOTD #372)

You’re welcome to disagree with me, but I personally really feel like my posing has gotten better over the last year or so on this blog.

I can’t pretend I’m a fashion model or anything, or that any of the producers at Marvel are going to want me on their next superhero film poster, but I have certainly gotten more comfortable in front of a camera. While I definitely have my preferred stances that I come back to repeatedly (see: playing with my hair in some way or twirling), I do those stances pretty well. At least, I think I do.

It’s going to sound silly, but I’ve found the best way for me to improve how I look in photos is to experiment by myself by taking pictures on my own. When I have someone else take my picture, I’m always hesitant so as not to waste their time, so unless it’s a friend whom I’m already very close with, I tend not to ask much of them in terms of retaking things that don’t look quite right. When I’m on my own, just using the remote timer feature of my Apple Watch to snap shots with my iPhone, I don’t have to worry about wasting anyone’e time.

Well, my own, I guess. I can say that I have definitely done that before.

Honestly, the best “posing practice” I’ve ever gotten has probably been last semester, when I would hang out in Notre Dame’s art building late at night studying or working on projects. I’d wait until the building cleared out, or at least mostly cleared out, and then I’d prop my phone up on a chair and start practicing. No one was there to judge me, and I could try out any number of dumb poses to see what worked.

Essentially, it was the adult version of making funny faces at yourself in the mirror.

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power stances only

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I’ve also found that just keeping up with other fashion bloggers and Instagrammers to see what kinds of poses they tend to use, and then replicating those, works too. Obviously, not every pose or angle will work for everyone or for every outfit/background combination, but it’s good to experiment. I’ve taken to posing with one leg crossed in front of the other while I lean back a little on the back leg (which, obviously, because I’m writing about it here, I wouldn’t have any examples to show you in this blog — check this one though if you want to see what I’m talking about) because I learned from other petite bloggers that it makes your legs look longer.

I actually keep a Pinterest board for Instagram inspiration — backgrounds, poses, ideas for photoshoots, anything I think could make for a nice addition to my feed. It’s also great to have around if you and a friend are in the mood to get cute pictures together, but you can’t think of what would make for a good post.

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!

Jacket: Anthropologie

Top: Abercrombie

Jeans: American Eagle

(Lots of A brands today, no?)

April 5, 2018 – Spider Plant, Spider Plant, Does Whatever a Spider Plant Does (OOTD #259)

Look familiar?

Yes, you might remember, I’ve used this setup before as a background for my photos . It’s the painting  studio in Riley, and I’m a fan of it in particular because of the spider plants that hang from the ceiling.

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you might know I’m very into plants now. In fact, I’m so into plants that I even decided to take a little clipping of one of the spider plantlet growths hanging from the tips of this (very overgrown) spider plant and take it home to try to propagate. I mentioned this in my last Saturday Musings post, so go check it out if you wanna see the progress of that project.

I realized the other day that I only have two and a half weeks left of classes — can you believe that? I definitely can’t. There’s no way my freshman year is almost over.

Furthermore, there’s no way finals are coming up soon because there’s no way I’m prepared for them!

I sat down and did some calculations and came to the conclusion that I have a little under 60 pages worth of writing due before the last day of school, May 11. So far, I have about 5 of those written — so I’m maybe 1/12 of the way done with my work. 75% of the way through the semester and 8% of the way done with the work — those aren’t concerning numbers at all!

I’m a little worried, but I figure it’ll all turn out in the end. With some of my classes, I think my grade is already pretty set, and some, I’m going to have to work pretty hard still if I want to get a grade that I’m happy with. I also have class scheduling still to worry about coming up in about a week — which will be fun, considering I am in the very last time slot for the whole sophomore class. Basically, I’m probably not going to be getting my ideal schedule for next year.

College is a nice little pressure cooker. Summer break should (hopefully) be a nice vacation from that.

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

Sweater: thrifted

March 22, 2018 – Untitled (OOTD #252)

I allllllllmost didn’t post this outfit as a blog.

I only have four photos, and one isn’t even very good, so it almost didn’t really feel worth it to post it as a full blog, you know?

I decided to go for it anyway though, because I really like this jacket. It reminds me of the most expensive item in my wardrobe, a similarly architectural jacket, except that I doubt this one is worth hundreds of dollars. Interestingly, though, I bought it at the same thrift shop from back home as I bought the super expensive one — coincidence?

I wore this jacket specifically for an interview I had at 9AM, and, considering I was accepted into the program I was interviewing for, I guess it worked out! While it’s not a paid job (that I’m still searching for), it is a almost-entirely grant-funded trip to Nepal to observe and aid in a research project, so I’m super excited.

You can bet that I’ll be posting a lot about my adventures in Nepal (assuming I have time), so stay tuned for that. Maybe I’ll actually be able to keep up with a regular schedule, unlike what happened to me in London, where one week in, I stopped posting at all.

Speaking of London, can you believe it’s been almost one whole year since I started L’ensemble du jour? I need to check my stats for the exact date, but I’m pretty sure I began this whole project sometime in mid-to-late April of 2017. I should do something special for the one year-anniversary. Any ideas? Leave me a comment below!

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!

Jacket: thrifted

Shirt: Free People

Pants: The LOFT

February 8, 2018 – Dad Plaid (OOTD #222)

This is some rad plaid.

I got this plaid, dad-like jacket from a local vintage shop back home in Lexington, and it’s been in fairly heavy rotation ever since. Or, at least, heavier ratio than I would have expected when I first purchased it – I figured I’d wear it every once in a while, but it’s really grown on me. It’s super easy to style because its pattern makes it look fancy without the need for me to layer a ton of stuff on top of it.

This particular outfit was borne out of another one of my “oh-no-I-just-woke-up-and-it’s-ten-minutes-before-my-exam-begins-and-the-building-is-a-fifteen-minute-walk-away” moments.

Those moments occur much more than I would like.

Anyway, in moments like this, pieces like the plaid dad jacket come in handy.

Like I said, its bombastic pattern makes it super easy to style, so I’m able to throw an outfit together around it really quickly in order to make it out the door on time. Since the plaid pattern is so loud, everything else has to be very simple and plain, and I don’t have to think too hard about what to pair with it. A plain sweater, plain pants, and plain shoes, and I can go.

You’ll also notice that this outfit, like yesterday’s, follows my basic everyday outfit formula – jacket, sweater/shirt, skinny pants (in this case leggings), and an accessory. It’s formulaic, but the formula works.

And when you’re faced with the decision to either be late to your exam or opt for a formulaic outfit (and very little makeup, you might also notice), you take the formula.

Also, can we just talk about this background? I’m in the art room again (my typical Thursday photographer friend was out of town), and I have no idea what this installation is. It was brand new when I got in there, so I assume some class is using it, but for what? I don’t know, but I figured it’d make for an interesting composition.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: vintage (thrifted)

Sweater: Aeropostale

February 7, 2018 – Formula One (OOTD # 221)

Here’s something I just noticed – when in doubt, I just throw a jacket on.

Recently, it seems like hardly a day goes by when I don’t wear some kind of jacket with my outfit. I mean, just look at the most recent blog posts here and here  – jackets everywhere.

I’ve discussed this a little before on this website, way back in the summer, but this is my go-to outfit formula. A jacket, skinny pants, some kind of blouse or sweater, and ankle boots – when I don’t have any clever ideas about what to wear, this is what I tend to go with. It’s safe, but it works, and it looks good.

This outfit is a little more unique with the yellow rain boots and the My Chemical Romance shirt. I like to have something unexpected to pair with even my formulaic outfits, you know? And a pop punk band t-shirt is practically the definition of “unexpected” here at the very very Catholic Notre Dame.

That’s another thing I’ve discussed on this blog – the fact that everyone at Notre Dame dresses in the same kind of rich, preppy way. There’s not much variety in the kinds of style you see people wearing around campus, not like my high school had. For one, I never see anyone trying to come in wearing gang signs, which happened a few times at my high school.

On a more serious note, there is a striking lack of diversity in fashion tastes here. Everyone looks nice, but pretty uninteresting, you know? There’s a lot of skinny jeans, crewcut sweaters, boots – you know, basic style. There’s also a ridiculous amount of bookstore-bought (overpriced) Notre Dame regalia.

I feel almost self-conscious wearing something like a My Chemical Romance t-shirt here because “emo” fashion – or any kind of goth-leaning, hipster-leaning, boho-leaning, or other more niche fashions –  seems to be such a foreign concept. I can’t imagine what people thought of me earlier this year when I dressed like a high-fashion dementor. Probably that I was a dementor.

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!

Jeans: Hollister

T-shirt: Hot Topic

Jacket: Banana Republic

February 2, 2018 – Ducking Around (OOTD #217)

I call this my duck sweater because it’s fluffy and yellow like a duckling.

It also sheds all over the place like a baby bird, which is a bit of a downside.

I have a lot of nicknames for certain articles of clothing in my wardrobe – there’s my Sherlock Holmes jacket, my dragon slayer shirt, my Southern soccer mom jacket, just to name a few. I have a pretty sentimental connection to my clothes (I’m just waiting for the day when I make it onto one of those hoarding television shows), so I guess it makes sense that I would start nicknaming them like stuffed animals.

Anyway, in this outfit, I paired my duck sweater with my yellow rainbows, which made for particularly duck-like results. I don’t know, maybe it’s something in the way there’s a high contrast between the dark of my jacket and pants and the brightness of the yellow tones.

I suppose the duck-centric thinking I’m doing might also be due to the fact that the dorm I’m standing near, Howard Hall, has the mascot of a duck. It’s admittedly pretty lame in comparison to some of the other hall mascots, like the Keenan Knights, but it’s also not as bad as the PDubb Purple Weasels (seriously – purple weasels.)

I’ll leave you with this – a super cute photo of me looking behind myself to try to see if anyone’s walking by who would ruin my pictures.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one!

Jacket: thrifted

Leggings: The LOFT

Sweater: Forever21

January 23, 2018 – Boyfriend Jeans Instead Of A Boyfriend (OOTD #208)

If you had asked me this time last year if there’s anyway I could’ve seen myself with short brown hair, wearing a motorcycle jacket and boyfriend jeans, I’m not sure I would have believed you.

I guess a large part of my disbelief would have come from the hair – I think the Meilin of January 2017 would have liked to believe she could be long-haired and blonde forever.  It was such a major part of how I defined myself that I even wrote one of my college application essays on it.

I’m not actually blonde though – I’m a brunette – and eventually, the bleach got to be too much for my poor hair follicles. We’ll see how long until I start assaulting my scalp with chemicals again, but for now, the plan is to let my hair rest and grow out for a while.

Just as surprising to my 2017 self would have been the outfit though. Boyfriend jeans and  a motorcycle jacket? Not that I would have had anything against something edgier like that – my little high school emo self was definitely into anything that made me look like a scary teenager – but it was always still within a very feminine vein.

This outfit is much more tomboyish than I ever would have seen myself in before – and I think that’s actually a pretty great thing! I guess this is still more an observation than a passage of judgment, but regardless, I think trying out new styles and expanding on one’s fashion repertoire is always a healthy thing to do.

It’s definitely been for me getting to explore and investigate into this new boyish kind of style that I hadn’t really considered myself open to before. More options the better, right?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Hollister

Top: H&M

Jeans: American Eagle

December 31, 2017 – To Grandmother’s House We Go (OOTD #190)

Grandmothers are the best.

If you’ll remember, I mentioned that over Christmas, my parents were too sick to visit my grandmother like we usually do. Instead, we hung around home and opened presents by ourselves – which was totally valid, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t quite Christmas without my grandmother.

On Sunday, we made up for that by driving over to Louisville to see my grandmother and doing something of a “Christmas part 2.” We exchanged the last of our presents, ate the cheesecake we were supposed to eat the weekend prior, and watched the Eagles lose to the Dallas Cowboys (at home, of all places). That last bit was a little depressing, but otherwise, it was a fun day.

Seeing as it was New Year’s Eve, when I made it back to Lexington, I went party-hopping with all of my 500 friends and had a crazy fun time until the dawn of 2018.

What? Does that really sound so terribly unlikely to you?

Yeah, so in actuality, I had no real New Year’s Eve plans – so instead, I went over to Amanda’s house and cooked dinner before playing some old video games and watching Eclipse with our other friend, Zach. I’m not sure it was what the kids would call, “lit,” but that’s about what happens when you put three introverts in a room together and tell them to have fun on the last day of the year.

We did venture outside once to pick up some ice cream, which was such a terrifying and harrowing experience that I think I’m going to hide myself in my room indoors for the entirety of 2018.

While it was no exciting party, it was still a perfectly fun night with friends. Also, I fell asleep shortly after midnight, meaning I spent the first moments of the new year unconscious – which is arguably the best way to spend any year.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: thrifted

Sweater: Forever21

December 6, 2017 – The Final Countdown (OOTD #176)

Christmas Outfits Challenge 2017: Day 5

Finals haven’t even started yet, and I’m completely done with them.

Done in the sense of “emotionally done” – not literally done. I wish they were literally done. I can’t wait for them to be over, and for me to be back home preparing for Christmas instead of exams.

I have to be honest though – I don’t really have much to complain about. Three of my classes just had papers instead of exams, so I’m done with those, and in the remaining three classes, my grades are fine – I’m not going to fail anything, and even if I do bomb an exam, I’ll still pass the class. Objectively, I’ve got nothing to be worried about.

Of course, though, I’m still worried. I remember, back in 9th grade, for my first round of high school finals, I was so concerned about my grades that I stayed up all night one weekend trying to prepare for my exams. I had no reason to – I had over 100 in several of those classes due to extra credit (in fact, in Biology, I would’ve had to have made a negative grade on the exam just to dip below an A), but because everyone around me was worried, I was too.

I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happening here again, though my grades aren’t quite as obnoxiously high as they were when I was 14. I’m going to pass my classes, and even if I pass them with something less than an A, that’s still fine, that’s still passing. There are people around me, though, who are actually freaking out, and have legitimate reasons to be doing so, so that vibe is feeding into my anxiety.

It’ll be fine, though, and in four days, I’ll be done, and I can go home and celebrate Christmas in full.

Notre Dame’s done a really nice job of trying to alleviate finals stress though with various events around campus; I must give them that. There’s been free food pretty much every day, plenty of Christmas-themed events (like the Christmas sweater sale I mentioned the other day), and lots of encouragement from everyone I’ve come across about how it’ll all be fine.

And with that, I should probably go back to studying. Bonus points if you count how many times I said “fine” in this blog. It’s pretty much my mantra at this point.

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!

Jacket: Forever21

Top: The LOFT

Scarf: The LOFT