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)

March 5, 2019 – Sporty (OOTD #465)

What’s up with the recent sports-themed posts on this blog?

I swear, I’m not going through a sports phase, or anything of the sort. This isn’t going to transform into a health blog all of a sudden. I think it’s just been a coincidence.

Ironically, for how sporty this outfit looks, it would actually be horrible to work out in. The shirt I think it like a boys’ medium, so it’s a little tight around my neck and and my chest. And the skirt is…well, a skirt. You can’t really do much in those.

I mean, that’s how athleisure works, though, right? It’s supposedly able to be worn either to the gym or in casual life — but I’m pretty sure that’s not what happens 90% of the time. I have leggings that look sporty, but that I definitely wouldn’t actually work out in.

You’ll also notice that I’m bringing the yellow motif back again! I’m serious about trying to get more yellow into my wardrobe. After my realization that I can actually wear yellow — after years of thinking I couldn’t — I’ve been making an effort to wear it more now. I think this outfit accomplishes that goal, no?

Though the astute observer will notice that something’s off — the three yellows I’m wearing are all different shades! I think they’re far enough apart that they don’t clash, so I let it slide. Ideally, however I probably would not have worn three different versions of yellow.

This is also an example of The Formula 2.0 — the basic skirt-blouse combination that I seem to be favoring a lot recently. I guess this shirt doesn’t really qualify as a blouse, but I think it fits the pattern anyway. I’m getting really predictable now, aren’t I? I have a signature color and a go-to outfit configuration. Next, you’ll be able to predict where I take my photos or what my hair will look like.

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 (Goodwill)

Skirt: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Boots: Ralph Lauren

March 3, 2019 – Il Fait Froid (OOTD #464)

I’m not going to sit here and complain about the cold — I know it’s annoying — but I will say once that it was snowing while I was taking these photos, and I was not happy about it.

For as cold and windy as winter can be in South Bend, the one good thing is that it makes the spring all the more pleasant. When the snow finally melts and the temperature peaks above 32 degrees, it feels like heaven on Earth. They’ve planted the tulip bulbs on God Quad now; the shoots are just beginning to come up through the soil. I can’t wait.

I think what I miss most during the winter is the plant life. Everything can be so grey and dull during the winter — it’s not really that I miss the sun so much, but that I miss the color. You can kind of see it in these pictures. The grass is visible, but it’s far from vibrant.

I never thought spring fever was real until I went to the Midwest. I used to feel sad when the winter ended; it meant no more snow days and that I’d have to go to school every day until the end of the year (that was, until my senior year, when I started leaving early). Now, I have to go to class every day regardless of the weather (except for that one time this year when windchill hit -45 degrees), so there’s no reason to hope for the winter to drag on. Spring means spring break, Easter, and plants. That’s all I want anymore.

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: Thrifted

Sweater: Forever21

Jeans: Hot Topic

 

March 2, 2019 – Markets and Mixups (#463)

It’s been nearly a year since I last went to the South Bend Farmers’ Market.

It’s honestly one of my favorite places to go in South Bend. I mean, farmers’ markets in general are cool, and though I don’t have a lot of other ones that I’ve been to to compare it to, but I think the South Bend Farmers’ Market is something special. For one, it has its own little building by the river, and so vendors are able to actually have permanent booths and displays year-round.

It also feels more like a flea market more than a farmers’ market — and that’s a good thing! I like flea markets. There are vendors who sell more than just produce — they have vintage books, houseplants, homemade jewelry, and eclectic goods of that nature. It’s my favorite kind of market (excepting, perhaps, a vintage market or an art fair).

Unfortunately, I don’t get to go often. It’s not really within walking or biking distance to campus (and let’s be honest — campus is basically the only thing in walking distance to campus), and so I only ever go when someone else drives me. It was Dads’ Weekend for my dorm, and so one of my friends’ dads offered to take anyone who wanted to go to the market one Saturday morning. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity. Any chance I get to leave campus (especially with an adult who will pay for my food), I take.

img_3651

Now, I don’t really feel any deep resentment for what I’m about to describe next — I’m sure my friend’s dad didn’t mean to do it. Granted, I don’t think people typically mean to do it, unless they’re purposefully trying to be assholes, but I haven’t really had to deal with that since my 9th grade Civics teacher, who was all kinds of problematic anyway. Nonetheless, it gets under my skin.

While we were loitering around, waiting for my friend to finish looking at a display of organic tea, he asked me how I liked Vietnam.

In case anyone here doesn’t know, I’m not from Vietnam. I’m from China, actually but my other Asian roommate, Lan Anh, is Vietnamese. He’d confused the two of us, something that seems to happen quite often. You can see Lan Anh in this batch of pictures, so you can decide if we really look a like or not, but I’m of the opinion that we don’t. Not enough to justify people constantly confusing us.

For one, she has dark hair and mine is bleach blonde. Like, you’d think that would make things easy for people. How many blonde Asians do you see a day?

What made the difference for me with my friend’s dad — why I’m perturbed but not really with him directly — was how apologetic he was afterwards. I could tell he felt badly, and that he recognized why his mistaking me for Lan Anh implied more than just that he was bad with names. I mind that he confused us, of course — I’m really tired of the all Asians look the same thing — but I appreciate that he was able to acknowledge his mistake. That’s all I want out of people . It’s okay if someone confuses Asian faces or names once or twice — we’re a minority, and people will be less attuned to facial differences if they don’t see us much — but I hope that they make an effort to do better afterwards. There are people I’ve known who have never bothered with that second step — with doing better after they make the initial mistake — and that’s what’s discouraging.

On a side note, I saw Pete Buttigieg and his husband at the breakfast café we went to. I didn’t go up and say hi because I didn’t want to bother him, but it’s cool to see a presidential candidate out and about living life like a normal person.

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: Forever21

Jacket: Hollister

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

February 21, 2019 — Solid Ground (OOTD #460)

The snow is finally beginning to melt, which is actually a really big deal here.

The snow literally lasts months. It comes in December, which is great because it’s new and white and Christmas-y, but then it sticks around until April, which is not okay.

That’s not to say it snows every day from December to April. We’ll get a few inches every day for several days in a row, until it’s piled up and you can’t walk anywhere except where it’s been plowed. Then, it stays.

For weeks and weeks.

Since it doesn’t get warm enough (and the sun doesn’t come out from behind the clouds for weeks at a time) the snow never melts. It melts slightly, then it freezes, then it melts, then it freezes again, then new snow comes on top of it, then it melts, and the cycle repeats. The worst part is that because of how long the snow lasts, it normally gets brown and dirty. Then the dirt freezes too, and you learn to resent the snow.

Thankfully, though, I think it’s about to all be over. The snow has melted, revealing the brown, nearly-dead grass underneath. I’m sure we’ll get flurries for the next few weeks still (at least until mid-April), but my hope is that the real snow is done now.

I even got to wear a skirt with only sheer (sheer!) tights underneath for this outfit, if that gives you an indication of how warm it’s getting. By warm, of course, I mean thirty degrees instead of three — but after it’s been three degrees for three months straight, below freezing at thirty is a welcome temperature.

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: The LOFT (thrifted)

Skirt: Forever21 (thrifted)

February 19, 2019 – Take Me to Church (OOTD #458)

Is it a sin to take fashion blog pictures in a chapel?

I’m going to give myself a pass this time because these photos were taken in a space in the engineering building that was not, at the time, actively being used for worship. It was just me, chilling alone in the chapel, and so I wasn’t getting in the way or distracting from  anyone’s prayer.

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take me to church

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That’s actually one of the reasons why I’ve never taken pictures inside the basilica, even though the basilica is ostensibly one of the most beautiful locations on campus. I don’t want to bother the people who are actually using it for worship, you know?  It seems disrespectful. Maybe if I can go during sometime when I know it’ll be empty…

Churches in general also tend to have pretty low lighting, with all of the stained glass and stuff. I had to edit these pictures quite a bit so that they didn’t look washed out and orange.

You’d think a place of worship should have some better natural lighting, no? I’m pretty sure God himself was a big fan of light — I heard it was the first thing he made on the first day. Pretty sure he even said it was “good.”

Anyway, all I’m saying is that whoever designs chapels and churches should really get on the lighting issue. So that I can not take pictures in chapels and churches except for when they’re empty, because otherwise that would be rude.

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: Aeropostale

Trousers: Thrifted (Salvation Army)

February 16, 2019 – Galentine’s Day (OOTD #456)

I’m glad Galentine’s Day has become a thing.

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come to me, children

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In case you’re unaware, Galentine’s Day is the trend where instead of (or in addition to!) a traditional date with a significant other, you go out with your friends. The cynic in me sees is as just another way for restaurants to get us to spend money on Valentine’s Day. The optimist in me appreciates that Valentine’s Day is now becoming more inclusive for people who aren’t in relationships.

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🍳 🥞 ☕️

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So the weekend after Valentine’s Day, my friends and I all piled into a car and headed out to a brunch place. Going out to eat when you’re a poor college student is always such an event, at least for those us who live in the middle of nowhere and don’t have a car. I imagine it’s rather different if you go to school in a city, where there are restaurants everywhere. When you go to school in South Bend, Indiana and there are restaurants nowhere, it’s a different thing.

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wax on, wax off

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I feel like I should mention that our Galentine’s Day actually included two guys as well — Dylan and Jackson, the boyfriends of two of my friends. Galentine’s Day should be for everyone, not just women. It’s like Friendsgiving, but the Valentine’s Day version.

Turns out, the brunch place we went to had some spectacular lighting, which made for some great photos, as you can see here.

And nothing says “Valentine’s Day” quite like an outfit that makes you look like a priest (bishop? cardinal? Sorry, I don’t know my Catholic hierarchy well) from the Spanish Inquisition!

I got this cape from a vintage shop near my home called Street Scene, and to be honest, I’m not convinced it wasn’t actually once owned by a member of the clergy. It looks eerily similar to some of the capes that bishops wear.

I’m not sure if there are rules about wearing old clergy clothes. Are they like American flags, which are supposed to be burned after they’re decommissioned? Do I need to wash it in holy water along with my Tide Pods? Leave me a comment below if you have advice.

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!


Cape: Vintage (thrifted — Street Scene Vintage)

Top: ASOS

 

February 10, 2019 – Excuse Me, Professor (OOTD #454)

These are new glasses, in case you didn’t notice.

You probably didn’t notice because they look almost exactly like the pair of old glasses in my last post. I personally think these new glasses are way more flattering than the old glasses (hence buying new glasses), but I know, it’s hard to tell.

On the top half of this outfit, with the green blazer and glasses, I look like a professor. Not like, a real professor — like, a person who has a PhD and gets paid to do research and corrupt students or whatever — but a professor from a mystery novel. Basically, I look like Professor Plum from CLUE if he wore green. Professor Granny Smith?

On the bottom half, however, with the jeans and the hiking boots, I look more like a mountain man or a lumberjack. I wasn’t really aiming to mix the two aesthetics, but it happened, mainly because it had snowed and I needed to wear the boots in order to not break my ankle as I walked around campus. It’s like people who mix pastel and grunge  and wear tutus with leather jackets.

Will professor/lumberjack be the next big mixed aesthetic fashion trend in 2019? Stay tuned to find out.

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: Thrifted (Goodwill I think? Or maybe Salvation Army)

Jeans: Abercrombie

Boots: LL Bean

February 9, 2019 – Next Best Thing (OOTD #453)

I think every kid who grew up in the early 2000s reading Harry Potter was a little disappointed when they didn’t receive their Hogwarts acceptance letter when they turned 11.

I mean, I knew Harry Potter and Hogwarts and magic weren’t real — but I still kind-of held onto an irrational hope that I was wrong. Harry didn’t know magic was a thing when he received his letter to Hogwarts. I figured the same could happen to me.

I read the books for the first time when I was 8 or 9, and so I had a few years to believe that Hogwarts was potentially in my foreseeable future. My best friend, Erin, and I used to play pretend a lot, and we would pretend we went to Hogwarts. Back then, I used to think I’d be a Ravenclaw (which, to be fair, I still think is a decent fit) because I liked blue, and Erin would be a Slytherin because she liked green.

Now, of course, I know Slytherin is a better place for me — in case you couldn’t tell from the Slytherin scarf, hat, and sweater I now own.

Erin and I would find sticks in the woods behind my house  to use as wands and get dressed up in grey sweaters and pretend to cast spells at each other. I ended up memorizing quite a few spells — beyond your typical Expelliarmus and Expecto Patronum — because of our game. We would also make up a lot of spells, which, given the way most spells sound like nonsense, was pretty easy. Making potions out of random rocks and mud from the creek was also a common pastime.

I turned 11 in November, so I wasn’t sure if I’d get my letter on my actual birthday, midway through my fifth grade year, or if would come the summer before I entered sixth grade, but I figured that was something for Hogwarts administration to deal with. The day I turned 11, I kept an eye out of owls that might have been hidden in the trees or flying above the clouds.

Unfortunately, none came.

Flash forward seven years, and I did however, get my acceptance letter to Notre Dame — and I guess that’s not a bad substitute. There is, after all, a magic in the sound of her name…

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: Hot Topic

Hat: Harry Potter shop

Trousers: Thrifted (Salvation Army)