March 23, 2019 – Branding (OOTD #479)

I’ve discussed this before, but color can be rather hard to come by at Notre Dame.

Our buildings are pretty much all the same tan-gold brick — which is still very pretty and really gives the campus a sense of cohesion, however, it makes for rather dull backgrounds in fashion photography. Most of the year, the scenery is pretty colorless too — especially in the winter, when campus is covered in snow 65% of the time.

And naturally, the majority of classroom buildings are on the plain side as well. That’s not a huge complaint of mine — I don’t need a rainbow mural adorning every single wall — but when it comes to trying to find interesting and diverse backgrounds for my blog pictures, it can sometimes be a challenge. I’ve used everything from bathroom walls to stairwells to

And now, a new background enters the scene — this large colored poster from the student government office.

The student government office has turned into one of my favorite places to study on campus because I can usually guarantee that it’ll be empty. When there are no meetings in session, the space normally sits vacant — making it a great place to set up shop and get work done. There’s even free coffee from the Keurig.

There’s also this poster, which I’ve been eyeing for quite some time to use as a background for an OOTD post. My only hesitation has been just how student government-centric it is — my blog isn’t an advertising space for other organizations (unless they’re paying me, and even so, that’s usually reserved for Instagram posts), and I don’t really like to feature logos prominently unless it’s something specific to fashion.

But it was cute and colorful, and I thought — why not? I’m not against Notre Dame’s student government, and I am technically a part of it (albeit a very small one). It’s a small price to pay in order to get a colorful background in early spring at Notre Dame on my Instagram feed for once.

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


Sweater: Vintage (thrifted)

Dress: Thrifted

March 22, 2019 – Missed Busses and Long Walks (OOTD #478)

So this semester, I thought it’d be a good idea to give myself off of classes on Fridays.

I figured with how hard I work in school, it’d be nice to give myself a treat and build my schedule around three-day weekends. When it came time to select classes for this semester, I purposefully avoided classes that met on Fridays — and lo and behold, it worked! I got off from class every week by Thursday afternoon.

The idea was that even though I’d have a heavier course load Monday-Thursday, I’d make up for it with my built-in long weekends.

Naturally, of course, that’s not what ended up happening.

What ended up happening was that I was so excited about my whole day off from class each week, that I decided to pick up a weekly shift again at the tutoring center of the homeless shelter on my day off. It’s only a two hour commitment, and I legitimately enjoyed going all fall semester, so I figured it’d be nice to be able to continue it into the spring. Besides, I’m able to sit and do homework whenever no one needs my attention (which is often), so it’s a productive way to spend time off-campus.

Then, on top of that, I heard about the internships that the Political Science Department offers, and I thought that might also be a good way to spend my Fridays off. Through that program, I started working at the Special Victims Unit of the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office: six hours a week, split between Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.

So in the end, my Fridays were never really off days at all — they were very busy days. I had to leave campus at 12:15 to catch the bus to get to my internship by 1, then I worked there until 4 in the afternoon. I then walked to catch a different bus to get to the homeless shelter by 4:30, where I stayed until 7:30 at night. In the end, I was away from campus for a total of about eight hours every Friday.

Like I said, normally, I took the bus in between the SVU and the homeless shelter, but on this particular day, I missed it. I got caught up finishing a project at my internship, and I lost track of time, forgetting that the Friday afternoon bus comes a lot earlier than the Wednesday morning one.

Thankfully, the SVU and the homeless shelter are in walking distance of each other — if barely. It ended up being about a 45 minute walk, making me 15 minutes late still for my shift at the shelter.

It was a nice, pretty day though, and I got to walk along the St. Joseph river and see downtown South Bend (the nice part, not the run-down part where the SVU and homeless shelter are), which is a rare occurrence. And I got some OOTD photos from somewhere other than on-campus — so it was a win in my books.

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: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: Zara

Skirt: Banana Republic

March 21, 2019 – Empty Buildings (OOTD #477)

I’ve got a fascination with abandoned buildings.

As many people do — I’m not trying to claim that that’s a unique feature of mine. I love following urban exploration photographers on Instagram and subreddits like r/AbandonedPorn.

In reality, though, I’ve visited very few abandoned places in my life, mostly out of the concern for the legality of trespassing and the potential of meeting unfriendly junkies. I went to my old elementary school once with a friend, but that’s it. I’d like to actually visit some of these cool places I see online, but I also don’t want to die/get arrested, you know?

As it turns out, though, Notre Dame has (at least for now) an abandoned building of its own. Or rather, it’s not really very abandoned — it’s in a pretty central location on campus and it’ll likely be repurposed and functioning again by the start of the next academic year. I suppose empty is the better word.

It’s the old architecture building, which, since the beginning of the spring term 2019, has been out of commission. They recently opened up a brand new architecture building (which I literally visited for the first time just a few days prior), and so the old one has been sitting empty for a month or two. I think they’re in the process of moving some office buildings in, but at the time of me taking these pictures, it was pretty much vacant.

Honestly, I’d love to see it turned into a new building for the art and design students. I’ve discussed the dilapidated art building extensively here, and while I do believe the state of dilapidation adds to the charm, Notre Dame could really use to offer its studio art students a nicer space. The design building, West Lake Hall, is honestly worse. It’s way off at the edge of campus, and most people believe it’s a maintenance building for storing lawn mowers. Not really a good image for the design department.

You’d think that the old architecture building, which is already set up with studio spaces, would be an excellent place to move the A/AH/D (art, art history, and design) department, but I guess Notre Dame has other plans.

Anyway, Father Jenkins — or anyone in ND administration — if you happen to be reading this, you know what my ideas are.

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!


Dress: Vintage (thrifted, Brick Lane Market)

Jacket: Thrifted (Goodwill)

March 20, 2019 – LinkedIn Headshots (OOTD #476)

These didn’t actually turning my LinkedIn profile pictures, but they really could, couldn’t they?

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My only concern is that my dark, grown-out roots would look too unprofessional. I actually rather like them like this, but I’m still not sure they’re the image I want for myself on a website like LinkedIn.

Not that I use LinkedIn that much or that I’m some kind of expert in how to appear employable. Notre Dame has a Career Development Center, which I’ve visited a few times for help with my resume and cover letter, but I’m very much still a rookie at the whole thing. Less so than some of my peers, though, who’ve never even had a lousy service industry job in high school — so I do pride myself on that.

I love this part of the math building for pictures. I’ve used it before (many, many, times) as a background in my fashion pics because it’s such a lovely hallway with excellent lighting, especially in the afternoon. I just swing by around 4 or 5pm after the bulk of classes have let out (so it’s not too busy while I’m trying to get pictures) and I’m always satisfied with the results.

Who would have that that the math building would become one of my most-frequented buildings on campus this semester? For a person who has no math classes — and hasn’t had one since high school —  I tend to hang out there a lot. It’s practically become my new Riley art building — which I have barely visited at all this semester, sadly. They took away my 24 hour card access, and so now I have no easy way to get in if I want to study late at night (the only time I ever study).

No worries, though — I’m not going to become a math major anytime soon. Hanging out in the art building couldn’t turn me into a studio art major, and I actually like art.

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: Ann Taylor (thrifted)

Blouse: Unknown (some boutique in London)

Trousers: Banana Republic Sloan

March 18, 2019 – Archie (OOTD #475)

“Archie” (pronounced Ark-KEE)  is the Notre Dame nickname for architecture students.

Notre Dame’s got four major colleges for its undergraduates — Arts and Letters (the best college, hands-down), Science, Engineering, and Architecture. Architecture is by far the smallest program, and as a consequence, they’re also a very closely-knit community. Their degree actually takes five years instead of the normal four, and one of their five years is spent abroad in Rome. Because of how close the architecture students are and because of how few of them there are, they’ve got their own name — the archies.

The reason I’ve named this blog post after the archies is because these pictures were taken in the new architecture building. Bond Hall, the old architecture building, is being repurposed for offices, and the architecture students now have this new one for their classes and studio space.

The new building has gotten mixed reviews, at least as I’ve heard from the architecture students. It’s kind of got a weird shape that doesn’t really fit in with the rest of ND’s gothic style. It’s also way off on a somewhat distant part of campus, which I imagine is pretty annoying since they have to take all of their classes there. For reference, it took me a solid 15 minutes (and probably more like 20 if it were icy or I had a lot of books to carry) to walk there from my dorm, which is fairly centrally-located.

I see why there are complaints, but I do rather like the inside. There’s a lot of natural light, which not every building has (I’m looking at you, O’Shag), and I think they did a good job of mixing the austerity of an academic building a warm, homey color palette.

That’s coming from me, though, a person who knows nothing about architecture or interior design. To my untrained eye, it’s a nice building to be in. And good for pictures, which is what’s important to me.


Jacket: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: Free People

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

March 16, 2019 – Hobby Lobby Challenge (OOTD #473)

Do you remember back a few years ago when the Hobby Lobby Challenge was a thing?

No, it didn’t involve trying to eat something super spicy or otherwise inedible. As Internet “challenges” go, it was actually pretty tame — the point was just to go to a Hobby Lobby and take artsy photos in the floral department. No habanero peppers or Tide Pods required.

I’m not sure my photos quite turned out as professional-looking as the ones that inspired the original hashtag, but I’m happy with how they turned out anyway. They were very spur-of-the-moment pictures — just the sort of thing where I was passing the artificial flowers with my dad while we happened to be in Hobby Lobby, and I asked him to snap some pictures. Thanks Dad.

(This jacket was actually originally his too. So double-thanks, Dad)

One day, I need to go back with a portable circle light and take some really artsy Hobby Lobby floral department photos. I really like how these turned out, and they only took about five minutes to take. Imagine how they’d turn out if we’d had a chance to really get the arrangement and lighting right.

I didn’t even get any funny looks from the Hobby Lobby employees! Maybe they were already pretty used to young Instagrammers trying the Hobby Lobby Challenge. Or maybe they weren’t paid enough to care what was going on in their store — back in my Kroger days, that definitely would have been the case for me.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. 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: Levi’s (thrifted)

Sweater: Abercrombie

Jeans: American Eagle

March 13, 2019 – Pegasister (OOTD #470)

Pegasister (noun): Like a brony, but instead of a grown man who likes My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, it’s a grown woman.

Allow me to preface this post with this disclaimer — I do not consider myself a Pegasister. I watched the show a lot when I was younger, like middle school-high school age, but not so much anymore. I have never gone to a My Little Pony con, dressed up like a character, or written fan fiction.

That all said, it’s still a really cute show. They do a clever job of subverting a lot of tropes of stereotypically “feminine” shows, while still allowing the show to cater to a young female audience. As children’s programming goes, I think it’s really excellent. It’s the sort of thing I can put on in the background while I’m studying or exercising and just zone out.

Anyway, I bring it up because, of course, this outfit includes a My Little Pony shirt. It’s something cheap I found at Forever21 (or to be more specific, I found and then my parents purchased for me for Christmas). I like it because it plays into a cute 80s retro vibe, while still being a franchise that I genuinely like.

I’ll admit, I do own some clothes for franchises I’m not really that into, just because I like the aesthetic. I’ve got a Pink Floyd tank top despite only really only knowing a few songs, a Nintendo 64 sweater despite never played owned one (though I’ve played ports of N64 titles on other consoles, and Attack on Titan t-shirt despite having never finished the series. Call me a fake fan.

Like I said, though, while I’m not that into the series anymore, I do still like the franchise. It was a big part of my childhood, and to it I owe, in part, my continued interest in fashion. One of the main characters, Rarity, served as the stereotypical fashion-obsessed “girly-girl” of the group, but she was written in an empowering intelligent way. She was a small-business owner and designer, and her character arcs depicted some of the difficulties as a creator of trying to commodify creativity. It’s something that really stuck with me.

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: Adidas (thrifted, Goodwill)

Top: Forever21

Shorts: H&M

 

 

March 10, 2019 – Grocery Store Florist (OOTD #469)

A long, long time ago, I applied for a job at this grocery store florist. They didn’t hire me.

It amazes me sometimes how sixteen year-old kids go out and find jobs sometimes, and that’s coming from someone who was once a sixteen year-old kid who found a job.

My first job was actually at the same grocery store chain as this florist, though I worked at a different location. I was a bagger/cart-getter/bathroom-cleaner. It wasn’t a fun job.

I won’t mention the name of the grocery store chain in case one day I want to try to get a job in their corporate department (or alternatively, after I drop out of school and all that’s left for me is to go back and try to get a job as a bagger), so let’s call it something totally made-up — like Shmoger. 

I applied for a lot of jobs the summer I was 16 — none of which I got interviews for except this one at Shmoger. That’s the worst part about applying for jobs — the fact that no one seems to want to message you to let you know the status of your application. At least with university applications, you can get rejected from every school you apply to, but they properly reject you. They give you a date they’ll have their decision by, and then they tell you their decision on that date. With jobs, they just ghost you, like a bad Tinder match.

The Shmoger I worked at was going through some renovations when I began working there, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason they hired me. I had no real experience (not even babysitting) and no references besides my parents, so they must have been desperate.

The funny thing is, I didn’t really even want the job that badly. I just took it because I figured that’s what you’re supposed to do when you turn 16. Now that I’m at a wealthy university and have wealthy friends, I realize that that’s not the case for people with money and connections, but at the time, pretty much everyone I knew had a crappy job in retail or food or service.

Looking back, I do appreciate the perspective that my crappy barely-above-minimum wage job offered me about the world — how hard it is to get a job if you don’t have a lot of experience or connections or education, how entitled both customers and fellow employees can be, how exhausting it is to do (even slightly) labor-intensive work , how difficult it is to make any actual money working minimum wage and barely getting any hours because you’ve just stared. It helped me to recognize how privileged I am to not have to work jobs like that in order to get by, and how difficult it is to move past that situation if that’s where you’re presently stuck. I ultimately ended up quitting when my junior year began (one of the only things I’ve truly quit for the last several years) because it was too much to do on top of schoolwork. Ironically, I quit the weekend before the big reopening after the renovations were all finished — something for which my boss yelled at me when I sent in my resignation via text.

I can’t imagine trying to work a spiritually and financially thankless job like that while trying to get the education required to get a better job. Getting an education can be spiritually and financially thankless enough on its own sometimes.

I think my second-most important realization at my Shmoger job was how horrible people are who leave their grocery carts out in the middle of the parking lot, especially at night. Please bring them to the corral — or better yet, back up to the front of the store! Some poor kid on cart-duty will thank you.

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

Jacket: Thrifted (Clothes Mentor)

Skirt: Hollister

Shoes: Target

March 9, 2019 – A Slytherin in Cincinnati (OOTD #468)

A big shout out to Cincinnati for being grey and rainy the day I wanted to take pictures of its skyline.

I don’t go into Cincinnati much, despite the fact that it’s the closest (major?) city to me in Lexington, beside Louisville. I actually go into Louisville way more, as my grandmother lives there and it’s where I grew up. Cincinnati is just a place that sort-of exists on the edge of my consciousness, one of those places I recognize exists but I hardly ever think about it.

One of my best friends, Jane, actually lives in Cincinnati, though, so it’s slowly becoming more relevant to me. I stopped by her apartment to visit last winter after I came home from Qatar/France, though unfortunately, I was too sick to really do anything. All I really felt well enough to do when I visited her last was lay in bed and sleep, so I wanted to make it up to her with another short visit.

As it turned out, on my way back to Lexington from Notre Dame, my flight went through Cincinnati. Instead of just driving home after I got in, my parents and I decided to meet my friend for lunch.

I still want to go back and visit Jane properly again sometime so we can actually spend more than an hour together while I’m not spaced out on cold medicine. Maybe I’ll visit her this summer, if I’m able to make space between my various travel experiences — and if I’m not too exhausted in the space between my various travel experiences.

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!


Hat and Scarf: Harry Potter store

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted, Foxhouse Vintage)

Sweater: American Eagle

Jeans: Abercrombie (thrifted)

 

March 7, 2019 – Out of My League (OOTD #467)

I’m not really a baseball hat person, but I’m willing to reconsider.

For one, I’ve never played baseball in my entire life. No, I’m not kidding — I’ve just literally never played it, not even in gym class.

Softball, sure — once or twice in high school P.E. Kickball, absolutely — all through elementary, middle, and high school. I actually twisted my ankle once playing kickball, and I hate it now for it. But baseball, with an actual baseball and a baseball bat and a full team — nope.

I imagine though that a lot of women are in the same place as me. Girls typically play on softball teams, and it’s softball that’s taught in gym class. Baseball is a sport you really have to seek out. Given how much specific equipment is needed for a game, at least in comparison to other games that kids like to play, like basketball or soccer, for me growing up, baseball was a rare game to see played outside of actual Little League teams.

And you know what? I really don’t regret it. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything in my childhood or my experience of American culture by having not played baseball. I played softball once or twice, and I hated that (nothing ever happens! You spend the majority of your time either sitting in the dugout or standing in the outfield!), so I can’t imagine that baseball would truly be any different.

So I feel kind of fake whenever I wear a baseball hat, which is funny, because I don’t have the same experience when I wear a football jersey or a military jacket. Baseball hats feel somehow different though, and I’m not sure why.

This isn’t even my own baseball hat. It’s my friend, Lan Anh’s. Ironically, she never wears baseball hats either, despite owning many. Perhaps she shares my baseball hat complex.

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: Lan Anh’s closet

Hat: Also Lan Anh’s closet (thanks Lan Anh)

Jeans: J. Crew (thrifted, Clothes Mentor)