May 10, 2019 – Baby’s Got The Bends (OOTD #499)

Blog title courtesy of: “The Bends,” by Radiohead, a song that I haven’t listened to in months and that I had to Google to ensure that it actually existed and I wasn’t remembering the lyrics wrong.

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I told myself that I would make an effort to go out and see South Bend more. I’ve talked about the so-called “Notre Dame bubble” on this blog countless times before, so I won’t go into it deeply, but Notre Dame is a whole world apart from South Bend, the city where it’s located. Most students hardly leave campus at all, except for parties.

It’s my least-favorite part of ND life, and so I made an effort all this year to get off campus more — a feat that’s rather difficult without a car. I started volunteering at the South Bend Center for the Homeless once a week with a class on nonviolence, and in the spring semester, I interned at the Special Victims Unit of the St. Joseph County Prosecutor. 

Having a set schedule and people who relied on me to show up for work at a designated time each week was perfect for actually forcing me to haul myself out to the bus stop at the far end of campus and ride it out to the terminal downtown. I would have never convinced myself to go off campus nearly as much had I just wanted to go for fun; I needed something concrete to do. If I were just going for fun — say, to get coffee — I would never do it because I’d convince myself that I could just do that on-campus.

So as you could probably tell, I didn’t often go out into South Bend for fun. I went to the farmer’s market once or twice and went out to brunch with my friends on Valentine’s Day, but otherwise, I mostly stuck to the areas where I worked. So when, at the very end of the year, my parents came to move me out from my dorm, it was still exciting to get to go out to eat in Downtown South Bend.

And it was still exciting to take pictures in the city, even though I’ve done it several times before. I know Notre Dame’s photo locations inside and out, so it’s always exciting to see something new, even if it’s just some artwork outside of a pottery shop in South Bend.

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)

Jeans: Hollister

April 18, 2019 – Sprung (OOTD #496)

“Spring is sprung” is one of my least-favorite spring-related sayings.

Not that I’m an expert on all of them, or anything like that. There’s “April showers bring may flowers” and “In like a lion and out like a lamb” and “spring in your step.” But I find that “spring is sprung” is the most overused of the vernal quips.

Which is all just my way of saying I couldn’t think of a better title for this blog — and so I resorted to using a portion of an expression that I don’t even like. Creativity is hard. One might say it doesn’t always spring on me easily.

Can you believe that this gorgeous spring jacket was a thrifted find?

Actually, I can believe it. You can’t tell in these photos (or at least, I hope you can’t), but it’s actually not that nice of a quality. It’s made from thin polyester, and the stitching, especially at the buttons, is clearly not very well-done. I’m pretty sure whoever donated it to the thrift shop just bought it online on some Chinese website.

But that’s okay, since I only bought it thrifted. That’s the remarkable fun about thrifted clothing — since you’re buying so cheap, you can afford to take risks on crazy patterned spring coats that are more about the statement than the substance. If it falls apart after a few washes, it’s no skin off my back.

It’s the perfect kind of purchase to just spring into without deliberation.

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.


Coat: Thrifted (Clothes Mentor)

Top: Forever21

Skirt: J. Crew

April 16, 2019 – Not My Library (OOTD #495)

I’ve always been a library person.

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kresge beats hesburgh any day of the week

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I have fond memories of visiting both the local public library and my school library as a kid. I loved reading, and so any opportunity I got to get more books, I took eagerly.

The library near my house was tiny — literally two rooms and then an upstairs floor. I’m not certain of its history, but I think it may have originally been an old house that was converted into a library. If you go and visit today, you can still see a picture of three year-old me in the brochures for their children’s nature club programming.

Now that I’m older, libraries have a completely different meaning. I rarely ever check out books for fun anymore; I just don’t read like I did as a kid. Even so, I think I’ve spent more time in libraries since beginning university than I ever did when I was younger.

Now, the library is my go-to place for studying. Notre Dame has several, but one of my favorites is the law library. It’s easily the most beautiful of the libraries (Hesburgh, though the most famous and iconic, is actually kind-of ugly on the inside), and there’s plenty of light and space to spread out.

It’s not common for ND undergrads to spend time in the law school though, so I try not to draw much attention to myself when I go. It’s not like I’d get thrown out if anyone knew I’m not a law student, but I like for people to think I’m supposed to be there.

Because one day, I’d like to be someone who’s supposed to be there. Maybe not at Notre Dame’s law school building, but someone’s. It seems fitting to try to get some experience acting like a law student.

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.

 


 

Turtleneck: The LOFT (thrifted, Goodwill)

Skirt: Target

April 15, 2019 – Catwoman (OOTD #494)

I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but as a kid, I loved the Halle Berry Catwoman movie.

It was one of the first PG-13 films my parents let me watch (after Sam Rami’s Spider-Man 2 — the superior Spider-Man movie, by the way), which might be part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much. I had the film on DVD, I had the Halle Berry Catwoman Barbie doll, and I even dressed up like her for Halloween that year. I thought she looked so cool. It didn’t matter to me that her leather pants would have been impractical for climbing or that her bra was so tight her boobs looked like they’d spill out any second; she was a female superhero (villain?), and that’s what counted.

I also didn’t know that there was a better version of Catwoman who existed in the comic books. I was never really into comic books, so I never knew that the character’s name was supposed to be Selina Kyle and not Patience Phillips, and that she was supposed to have learned her martial arts skills from her time as a prostitute rather than from a literal magic cat lady.

I’ve seen the Halle Berry Catwoman film since then, and I see why it was hated so much by critics and audiences. It’s pretty bad. There’s a scene where Halle Berry rubs catnip on her face. Like an actual cat. That’s how silly it is.

If anything good came of my Catwoman phase as a kid, it’s that I revisited Catwoman when I was older, and I learned that she’s actually a really fascinating character in the comic books and video games when she’s portrayed accurately. I even dressed up as her again junior year of high school — this time more in the vein of the Anne Hathaway version.

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Well…I tried to be Catwoman 🐱

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I’m jealous of kids who get to grow up with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. That was such a cool movie — and her costume wasn’t nearly as ridiculous-looking.

I’d be down for a new live-action Catwoman film, though. As I understand from what I’ve read online, DC’s been putting out some decent films lately, like Shazam and Aquaman. Maybe it’s time to give Selina Kyle a chance.

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.


Hoodie: Adidas (thrift)

Jacket: Hollister

Jeans: Hot Topic

April 9, 2019 – Architectural (OOTD #491)

In other news, we’re back to straight hair after four days of having it curly. I guess nothing lasts forever.

I don’t know how I feel about this blouse. I love the design — it’s architectural (which is funny because I also happen to be standing in front of the old architecture building here) and unique, and very much unlike your typical H&M find. What gets me though is the weird line drawing face. Like…why?

In one sense, I actually really like how weird it is. Nothing about the blouse’s design calls for half of a lady’s face to cover my left boob, and yet there she is. You’d think the blouse already has enough going on with the off-the-shoulder, structured-yet-billowy thing it has going on. There’s no reason to add a print; prints are for simpler designs.

But like I said. I actually kind-of enjoy how cheeky and bizarre it is from a design standpoint. I actually got it at H&M for super cheap, maybe $6, thinking that it probably wouldn’t get much wear but that I was okay with that for the price. In reality, though, it’s gotten way more weartime (get it? like airtime) than I ever thought it would — in fact, I can think of at least three outfits (here and here and here) from the last year that featured this top.

I think this blog’s interpretation of the blouse is my favorite of the four, though. I’d never thought to pair a jacket with it before because I thought it would detract from the blouse’s design, but as it turns out, it’s quite friendly to layering. I’m thinking I’ll try a bralette under it next. Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions!

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: Forever21

Blouse: H&M

Skirt: Express (thrifted, Goodwill)

April 6, 2019 – A 50s Dinner Party (OOTD #488)

Sometimes, it’s the little things that motivate you to get dressed up.

In this case, it was the fact that my hair was still curly following a school dance the previous night. Because my hair is bleached, I don’t have to wash it every day — in fact it gets dried out if I wash it every day. So when I curl it, the curls can actually last a few days.

So when I woke upon April 6, hair still curly from the night before, I felt a little fancier than usual. Rather than just throw on a sweater and leggings like I normally might on a weekend where I have a lot of homework to do, I decided to put on a dress and pearls. Very 1950s Southern dinner party.

I don’t often dip into my Southern heritage for fashion inspiration when I’m at school in the Midwest. Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines aren’t exactly crowd-pleasers here the same way they are at home in Kentucky. That’s not even to say that I’m really into the Southern prep look when I’m home in Kentucky — I just like to have a diversity of aesthetics to work with.

And in fact, one of the things I like best is to switch up the aesthetic in unexpected and unusual ways. Sometimes, that means dressing like a 1950s housewife. Sometimes, that means dressing like a Catholic bishop.

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: Lilly Pulitzer (Thrifted, Clothes Mentor)

Coat: Thrifted (Goodwill)

April 5, 2019 – The Coat (OOTD #486)

Should I just start titling my blogs as though they’re Seinfeld episodes?

You know, in the format of “The [noun].” It would make my life so much easier. You’ve read how much I like formulas for creating outfits on the fly — maybe a formula for blog titles would help too.

This coat has slowly become one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe. I’ve actually had it for several years — I can’t necessarily pinpoint when I purchased it at Forever21, but I was definitely still in high school. When I first bought it, I assumed it would only be worn for fashion and not really for warmth, but in the frozen cornfields of Northern Indiana, suddenly everything has to be worn for warmth.

What I’ve found I love most about it is how versatile it is — just like my normal camel-colored winter coat which you’ve probably seen featured in a lot of recent OOTD posts, it goes with a lot. For something that I throw on top of whatever I’m wearing in order to protect against the chilly South Bend winds, it’s crucial that it go with whatever I’m already wearing. I can’t choose my outfit based on what coat I’m going to wear that day (with some exceptions); I choose my coat based on what outfit I’ve already put together.

Camel, as it turns out, is a very versatile color and one that I like to wear a lot. Like I said, my go-to warm winter coat is camel-colored, and black/navy and camel is one of my favorite color combinations. It’s a neutral, but one that stands out in a crowd full of black and grey and navy. It’s the perfect color for a coat that you have to wear a lot — it stands out without upstaging the outfit itself.

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.


Coat: Forever21

Turtleneck: Amazon

Dress: Fossil (thrifted, Clothes Mentor)

Scarf: A street vendor in Kathmandu, Nepal

April 1, 2019 – I A-Door You (OOTD #485)

You get it? Because I’m standing in front of a door?

Okay, so it’s an obvious pun, and not even a funny one at that. We can’t all be comedic geniuses all of the time — or even some of the time. There are only so many door-related jokes in the world, and only so many brain cells in my head that can be devoted to thinking about them.

Well, there are only so many brain cells in my head to begin with (I’m thinking maybe five total), so I gotta conserve energy.

Speaking of conservation (check out that transition), it’s important to conserve heat in the awkward space between winter and spring in South Bend. Spring doesn’t really begin until late-April, meaning that late-March to mid-April can range in temperature from 5 degrees to 70 degrees, depending on the time of day and how the lake effect is feeling.

It’s hard to know how to dress during this period — will it be warm and sunny? Cold and miserable? Will it snow three feet or will the tulip shoots start poking out from the frozen soil for the first time?

My solution is to dress in layers — this outfit, for example, consists of a heavy turtleneck sweater layered over a spaghetti-strap sundress, with thigh high tights and thigh high boots. In the morning, I paired it with my wool winter coat. By afternoon, when the sun finally peeked out from behind the clouds for a whole 20 minutes, I was down to just the dress with the boots and tights. By evening, when these photos were taken, I had the turtleneck back on.

Aren’t I a-door-able?

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: Forever21

Sweater: Thrifted (Goodwill)

March 28, 2019 – Welcome to the Sixties (OOTD #484)

Hey, remember when these blogs actually somewhat aligned with the real calendar date? Me neither.

So I’ve sort-of fallen behind. I hope you (and by you, I mean all three regular readers I suppose I have) don’t mind. I do actually really like to have a little bit of space in between the actual day the blog is supposed to be about and the date of that blog’s publication, but  three months is a little ridiculous; even I can admit that.

Regarding March 28’s outfit, though — it’s one of my favorites from March. I mean, I like the majority of my outfits — hence bothering to keep a fashion blog at all — but I’m particularly proud of this one.

Ever since I bought this retro disco dress at a vintage shop in Chicago, I’ve struggled to figure out how to wear it in new and interesting ways. It’s a great dress, don’t get me wrong — I love how blatantly 60s it is, it’s practically something I could have purchased at a Halloween shop with a Brigitte Bardot wig. However, that also poses problems — how do I wear it without looking like I purchased it at a Halloween shop?

It’s not exactly a dress I can throw a denim jacket over. It’s a deceptively simple dress; there’s very little to its design, but because of its bold pattern that immediately dates it to the 1960s, I have to be careful with how I accessorize it. Anything that seems more modern than the 60s, such as a denim jacket, would look silly when paired with it.

I thought this sweater was a good compromise. It’s got something of a vintage vibe to it as well, no?

I love this sweater — I honestly probably wear it way too much. For a cheap Forever21 purchase, it’s certainly lasted me a long time. It also happens to be my new favorite color to wear — yellow. Seems like a double-win 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 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: A vintage shop in Chicago

Sweater: Forever21

 

 

March 27, 2019 – Pink and Red (OOTD #483)

A few years ago, I never would have tried to mix pink and red.

It’s one of those color combinations that can go really horribly wrong if you don’t do it well — think a bad homemade Valentine’s card crafted by a seven year-old. It has a tendency to look overly-girly and juvenile.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the last two years of keeping a fashion blog and trying to come up with new and creative outfits each day, it’s that rules are ridiculous and meant to be broken. Or rather, they’re decent guidelines, but they shouldn’t be held to all of the time.

Just like my recent realization that I can wear yellow despite being Asian and believing for years that yellow would never work with my skin tone, I’ve also realized that I can do whatever I want with what I wear. You shouldn’t wear black and brown together? Watch me. You can’t have a round face and get a pixie cut? Sounds fake. 

It doesn’t always work though — there’s been a handful of fashion choices that I’ve made and then published blogs on that I realize now were mistakes. So um…don’t always follow the rules kids, but sometimes do.

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: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: FreePeople

Trousers: J. Crew