September 12, 2018 – Spoiled by Goodwill (OOTD #373)

I present: another outfit that’s almost entirely thrifted.

I’ve been wearing more and more of those lately on account of buying more and more stuff from secondhand stores. I just feel like I can’t justify buying clothes full-price from the mall anymore; I’ve gotten spoiled by shopping at Goodwill.

Yeah, spoiled by shopping at Goodwill. I’m sure that’s not something you hear everyday.

I have good luck at thrift shops though. This top, while a little too long, was only like $3 compared to the $25 I easily could have paid at a place like Urban Outfitters that specializes in vintage-looking hipster basics anyway. And this skirt, while is from a local speciality secondhand boutique, was still a lot cheaper than whatever retail price I would have paid for it new at J. Crew.

I know some people don’t like having to hunt through the junk to find the good stuff, or don’t like the idea of wearing something that’s already been worn by somebody else, but I actually like both of those things. I enjoy the hunt, and I like the idea of making use of something that otherwise would have been thrown away. I can’t pretend like I’m always the most environmentally-conscientious person, but I’d like to try getting better. Buying used clothes makes me feel like I’m doing something useful.

The cost bit is huge too, of course. Dressing well and having enough clothes as to maintain a lot of variety in my outfits is important to me, but so is making my college tuition payments.

Anyone else here big on thrifting? I’d love to hear your perspectives! What’s been the best piece you’ve ever bought secondhand?

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: Thrifted

Skirt: J. Crew (Thrifted)

September 9, 2018 – Travel Travesty (OOTD #370)

For part one of my September Chicago adventures, click here.

Previously, on L’ensemble du jour: Amanda and I went into Chicago to see a Fall Out Boy concert, and it was a pretty good day. We didn’t get lost, didn’t encounter any horrific traffic, and we got to see all tourist-y spots we wanted to. As travels go, it was about as struggle-free as an adventure could be.

So the next day, we woke up at our AirBnB and prepared to depart. We were on a slight time crunch, as I had a mandatory attendance class (plant class, actually, which I discuss here) that met at 1:00PM, and I needed to be back for it. So by 9:30AM, we were all set to go. We left the keys on the coffee table, and walked out to the car.

This, of course, is where everything fell apart.

First, the car door wouldn’t open. Upon examining the key fob, we came to the conclusion that it must be out of battery, and thus, it wouldn’t open the electronic lock. Okay, whatever, we’d just take out the physical key and start the car that way, right? Engineers plan for these sorts of emergencies; there’s no way a dead car key battery should stop a person from starting a car.

Well, apparently, the engineers of the Toyota Prius did not plan for this sort of emergency. The physical key let us open the door and get inside, but it would not allow us to start the car. After frantically consulting Google, the manual, and Amanda’s parents (multiple times), we realized that the only solution would be to get a new battery for the key.

Fine. So we walk down to the nearest convenience store, buy the battery and some screwdrivers, and scuttle back to the Prius. By now, we’ve wasted over an hour, and I’m wondering whether I could actually make my plant class. But optimistically, I figured the new car key battery would work, and that we’d be fine. It’d be a little tight, and we wouldn’t be able to get breakfast on our way home like we’d hoped, but at least I’d make it back on time.

Except, of course, the new battery did not solve our problems. The only new development after we replaced the battery was that now, instead of dead silence when we tried to start the car, the dreaded “check engine” light dinged on.

With few options left, Amanda decided to try calling a mechanic to jump the car. We had to wait an hour for him to come (during which time I took these photos in the neighborhood), but finally, like the Messiah, he came to deliver us from our suffering. For whatever reason, jumping the car worked, and while neither Amanda nor I could think of a reason why the car battery had died, or what that had to do with the dead key fob, neither of us really cared. Crossing our fingers that the car wouldn’t decide to die again while we were on the highway, we sped off back to Notre Dame.

By the time I got back to campus, I had never before been so glad to see the stupid Golden Dome and the Jesus statue on God Quad. I missed my botany class, but after frantically emailing my professor, she agreed to let me make up the class. In celebration, I took these photos on God Quad, just to prove that I made it back.

In conclusion, if you have uncharacteristically good luck for part of your travels, don’t expect to have the same good luck for the rest of it. In fact, expect to have bad luck — life likes to balance itself out that way. Like the time I got first class on my flight to London and then got trapped in Atlanta for two days on my flight home, no adventure is complete without a mild disaster. That’s what makes it an adventure.

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

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Forever21

September 5, 2018 – Business Casual (OOTD #366)

Guess what college student isn’t going to wind up scrambling for a summer job at the last second this year?

This girl! Hopefully!

Rather than getting caught in a late-April panic with the sudden realization that I have no prospects for summer employment again, I figured I’d be proactive and head to the Fall career fair at Notre Dame.

Granted, most companies there had no use for me, a history and peace studies major — they wanted engineers, or businesspeople, or even researchers — but like, it was good to walk around anyway.  I spoke to a few organizations that seemed interesting, and there are now a few internships that I’m definitely looking at applying for.

It was also useful in that it cemented for me the reality that if I don’t go into law, politics, or government, my major isn’t really that desirable to anyone. Which I already knew, but like, going to the career fair definitely made it clear if it wasn’t already.

In other news, this outfit is made up of two of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe: this jacket, the so-called Most Expensive Item in My Wardrobe, and this dress, my favorite purchase from my Shoreditch, London trip. 

So even if no one will ever hire me and I wind up going into consulting like every other humanities major who can’t find a job with their degree, I’ll look nice doing 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 Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Lela Rose (thrifted)

Dress: Vintage, Brick Lane Market in Shoreditch (thrifted)

September 3, 2018 – Panic! at the University (OOTD #364)

Midterms, midterms, midterms!

It’s been about a month since I’ve been in school, and the exams and papers are piling up, as they always do. I suppose there’s no way around it, but every time it happens, I’m surprised with how seemingly quickly it sneaks up on me. How dare they, am I right? If I’m going to be stressed out and dying in school, then at least I should get a notice.

And by notice, I don’t mean a syllabus. I mean like, a sign from God or something to let me know when I have a particularly bad week coming up in my life. I know weeks like this happen and I’m cool with that — no resentment here — but I wish there was a way of knowing when they were coming, so I can make sure to stock up on instant coffee and bags of potato chips to take my stress out on.

I don’t remember the beginning of the school year being quite this busy for me last year. I think that I must have made an effort to keep things chill for myself my first semester as a freshman; and now I’ve decided to make things extra busy for myself now that I’m a super experienced and wise sophomore.

If school concerns me more this year than it did last year, at least I don’t have the stress of trying to figure out how to navigate campus or make friends or live on my own.

I’ve mentioned this a little before, but without fail, September ends up being one of my least favorite months of the year. It always correlates with a stressful time in the school year, when the novelty of a new semester has worn off and I come to the slow realization that I’ve got three more months of this kind of pressure. It’s not until October when I finally start getting used to the school year and learn how to properly manage my time.

Or do I ever do that? Maybe ideally, I do. But in reality, I think part of the college experience is basically just always functioning in some kind of baseline stress existence, at least until I hand in the last exam or essay for finals week.

On the positive side, Halloween and Fall Break are approaching! I’ll spare you details since I know I’ll probably be talking about how excited I am for the next month or so. In the midst of midterms, it’s always nice to have a light at the end of the tunnel.

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: Vintage (thrifted)

Top: Hot Topic

Skirt: Aeropostale

August 28, 2018 – It’s A-Me (OOTD #359)

It’s a-me, Mario!

Get it? I’m standing on top of a manhole cover and wearing overalls, which means that the only possible explanation must be that I’ve suddenly transformed into Mario.

Hey, I wouldn’t be opposed to living Mario’s life. It would seem to me that he’s probably got one of the cushiest jobs of all of the video game characters — I mean, he spends most of his time hosting parties or driving go karts or playing golf. It’s probably only 10% of his time that’s spent actually traversing the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Peach; the rest of his life is pretty chill.

Plus, Mario doesn’t have a ton of exams and papers coming up within the next week or two. I guess it must get kind of tiresome to hear me always complaining about the homework I have to do, but…well, I guess it’s time to get used to it.

The semester’s a quarter of the way done, which means if any of my professors were kind of enough to go easy for the beginning of the year, they’re toughening up now, sadly. I don’t know why they thought it was a good idea to give me so much to do in such a concentrated period of time, but they did.

On the positive side, the semester’s a quarter of the way done! I know it’s not good to think of life in terms of when something will finally be over, but that’s how it is for me in school at least. I could never become a teacher or a professor — not only do I lack the patience to teach people, but I’m just not a fan of school as an institution. I’m glad there are teachers and professors out there who like school enough to stay after they’ve graduated; it’s not the life for me, though.

Mushroom Kingdom, here I come!

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!

Dress: Vintage (thrifted)

Top: ASOS

August 27, 2018 – Neutral Staples (OOTD #358)

A few blog posts ago, I mentioned a jacket that’s one of my most frequently worn pieces in my wardrobe.

Well, now I’m back with two more frequently worn pieces — this turtleneck and this skirt. But how could they not be frequently worn? They’re both basic staples for just about anyone’s wardrobe, and they go with just about anything.

Including each other! Believe it or not, but I’ve discovered that miraculously, two neutrals — camel and black — go together. I know, it’s hard to believe, but these two non-color colors surprisingly manage to not clash. I think I’m really on to something here.

You want to know what was not on to something though? Wearing a turtleneck in the late August heat. I thought I would be okay since I was wearing a skirt and so at least my legs would be cool, but I was wrong. It was very hot.

Things should be cooling off soon, though, and then it will be fall! Once the leaves begin to turn properly, I’ll start tagging my blogs with #fall again. Because if there’s anyone who’s going to tell you when it’s fall, it’s not a meteorologist, or an astronomer, but me and my fashion blog ,of course.

I mean, am I wrong? A solid 50% of what makes it fall is the commercial aspect — the pumpkin spice lattes, the Halloween decorations, the tailgates. The cooler temperatures and changing leaves are wonderful, but they’re even more wonderful if you can experience them in a cozy sweater. I guess our capitalist overlords have got us beat there — even the changing of the seasons marks an occasion to make us spend more money.

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!

Turtleneck: Forever21

Skirt: Zara

August 26, 2018 – Just Right (OOTD #356)

I never know when I buy clothes which pieces will get the most wear.

Apart from obvious staples, like leggings and jeans and plain tops that are worn on a weekly basis, a lot of my other clothes I buy without knowing how frequently I’ll be able to wear them. Obviously, I don’t buy things unless I know I will wear them for some reason eventually — no reason to go about acquiring clothes without purpose. But if I come to the conclusion that I like a piece, and that I will have the occasion to wear it, there’s no way for me to tell easily if I’ll feel inspired to wear it often or not. So I buy it knowing it will get use, but not knowing if that use will be frequent.

Some of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe, that I love for their artistic design, I actually don’t wear much. Take this jacket and this top for example — I haven’t worn an outfit with either one for months. Still, I love them and consider them among my favorites, so why don’t I wear them?

I guess it comes from the fear that if I wear something too much, I’ll come to be bored with it. Consequently, there ends up being a set of clothing that neither love nor hate that I nonetheless wear with great frequency — and that includes this plaid jacket.

I like this jacket, I really do. But I don’t love it — it’s kind of itchy, and it tends to get wrinkly  easily. Regardless, I find that I often end up wearing it a lot (relative to other things in my wardrobe) because it falls perfectly into that “indifferent” category. I’m not afraid I’ll get tired of it by wearing it a lot, and I’m not put off from wearing it because I don’t actually like it much.

To reference the classic piece of literature, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it’s “just right.”

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 Potre Lame. 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: Thrift

Top: Express (thrift)

Jeans: Abercrombie

Boots: Ralph Lauren

August 23, 2018 – The Bend of the South (OOTD #355)

Look at me, a proper Southern Bender!

Yeah, not really. I don’t even know what the proper term is for the people of South Bend; I think the Notre Dame students call them “townies” but I don’t know what the actual South Bend residents think of that. I interact with few South Bend residents on campus, so I’m really not sure of their take on the “townie” rhetoric.

Regardless, you’ll be proud to hear — I made it back off campus again! A friend and I took an Uber to go to a Vietnamese market downtown. She specifically wanted some groceries, and I thought I’d go along just to walk around and see something other than the golden-tan brick of campus for a while.

It was a welcome breath of fresh air. Being on campus all the time, I live in the same space as I work, which means that I feel compelled, no matter what time of day it is, to keep working. There’s no physical divide between “home” and “school” — they’re the same. In other words, I’m basically at school, doing school things, 24/7. The brief moments when I can escape school and do something that’s not only distinct from school in practice, but also spatially separate from school, are my favorite.

Since we were downtown, my friend and I decided to walk around a little and take some pictures. She’s also pretty into maintaining an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed, so we work well together when we take pictures. It helps as well that we’re similar in height and body type, so I don’t have to worry about her looming over me and taking a dreaded high-angle shot that makes me look even shorter than I already am.

As it turns out, South Bend has some cool locations for photos. It’s not as well-kept as Notre Dame’s buildings (excluding a few older ones, like Riley, that are just falling apart), but it’s a lot more diverse and interesting. I guess with economic depression, comes a lot of dilapidated buildings that fit an urban aesthetic well. Hooray for 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!

Top: Vintage (thrifted)

Skirt: Somewhere in Nepal

August 22, 2018 – Lake Pics Part Deux (OOTD #354)

Sophomore day two, and I’m already busy doing stereotypical Notre Dame kid things like taking pictures with my friends by the lakes.

Notre Dame has several locations that lend themselves beautifully to great pictures — the Golden Dome, the basilica, and the lakes, just to name a few. That’s great and all, but these locations are so pretty that no one really takes pictures anywhere else. Last year, around graduation time, my Instagram feed was full of seniors in their caps and gowns taking pictures with the Dome.

Like, I like the Dome, but I wish people were a little more creative with where they took their group pics, you know? Notre Dame’s got some really pretty photo locations apart from the ones everyone always uses — Lord knows I spent a massive amount of last year trying to scout them out. Stairwells, empty classrooms, and Riley Hall were my best friends.

Naturally, since I was just criticizing the Notre Dame student body’s lack of creativity when it comes to taking pictures, here I am with some stereotypical Notre Dame lake pics.

I mean, the lakes are a very nice photo location, and they tend to have some really beautiful light come late afternoon-early evening. I mean, just look at these. The golden hour lighting really shines through.

I did say that it was my goal to get some more interesting photo locations for my OOTD pics this year so that I don’t just keep reusing the exact same areas around South Quad, but I guess I have to make exception occasionally for the occasional Dome/lakes/Touchdown Jesus pic. Can’t have people forgetting what school I go to, right?

(Hint: it rhymes with Potre Lame)

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 Potre Lame. 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

Pants: The LOFT

August 21, 2018 – Not My First Rodeo (OOTD #353)

Nope, it’s my second!

I present to you, my outfit from the first day of school this year. The dress is one of my current favorites in my wardrobe. Something about it gives me mailman vibes, I don’t know. I actually almost wore a newsboy with it, but then I think the mailman aesthetic would have been a little too strong — best to keep it subtle, yeah?

As the years go on, first day of school outfits are becoming less and less of an affair. I remember back in middle school how many hours I would obsess over getting the perfect outfit for the first day — likely just to never wear it again (I would still wear the pieces, but never in the same combination).

Not that no effort or thought went into this outfit, because they certainly did, but it’s just not the painstaking research project that a first day of school outfit used to be for me. And you know what? It’s probably for the best.

Everyone gets dressed up on the first day of school; it’s actually quite hard to stand out as nicely dressed when literally every other girl on campus is also nicely dressed. The real testament of a devotion to fashion is if you can keep dressing nicely halfway through the semester. When all the other students are rolling in with sweatshirts and yoga pants, it’s much easier to make a statement.

Not to be elitist though — I have definitely done the sweatshirt and yoga pants look. I once had to run bare-faced in just leggings and a pullover sweater to my 10:30 drawing class. It was so bad that I had to bring my cosmetics bag so that I could sneak to the bathroom during a break and put on makeup.

Here’s to hoping I’m able to maintain a track record of cute outfits and good makeup this year! Oh, and not fail my classes. That might be important too.

Dress: Vintage

Scarf: My mother’s closet