November 22, 2019 – Drunken Noodles (OOTD #584)

At about T-minus two weeks before the end of the semester, my friends and I made a pact to try to sample as many DC restaurants as possible.

We’d been making money from our internships all semester and saving up our stipends, and we realized that we had enough leftover to splurge on some nice meals. None of us were from big cities; we weren’t used to living around a huge variety of food in walking  distance, and so we wanted to take advantage of it before we had to leave.

I’ve described this a bit before, but it seems that when you live in a city (as opposed to just visiting it as a tourist), it’s harder to convince yourself to go out and see things or eat out. When you live there, you’re focused on just living — going to work or school or whatever. Most nights, I’d just come home and eat some ramen that I boiled in a pot with some chopped green onion. I had the ability to go out to eat all semester, but I almost never did.

Hence the pact to try as many restaurants as possible before I left. Obviously, I couldn’t go out every night (I had class from 6:30-9:30 every Tuesday and Thursday, which complicated things), but on the nights that I could, I’d do a quick Google search for restaurants and pick the first one that interested me.

I imagine that’s what being rich is like — just finding some recommendations on TripAdvisor and then going for it. How much longer until I get to do that every day?

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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: Ann Taylor (thrift, Clothes Mentor)

Blouse: Abercrombie

Skirt: J. Crew (thrift, Clothes Mentor)

 

November 19, 2019 – Coffee Breaks (OOTD #582)

Starting around early November, I became a coffee break person.

I think it stemmed from the way that starting around early November, I became a fun person again. Once I became more comfortable in the city and with my internship at Brookings, I became more willing to explore the city on my own, and so I started spending more time checking out different coffee shops.

I actually became friends with two of the girls I met in DC through coffee shop outings — I think every weekend starting in early November, we’d choose a random new coffee shop to visit for the afternoon to study. Since I was getting paid, I didn’t mind the expense of buying coffee so much, and it felt really good to get away from my stuffy windowless apartment and my cubicle at work.

I think my favorite coffee shop in DC was Tryst, in the Adams Morgan area. I’ll admit, I didn’t go terribly often because it was about a 30 minute walk away and there were no metro lines that ran in that direction, but the two times I did go, I loved it. And the thing was, the coffee and the food weren’t even necessarily all that spectacular. What I loved was the atmosphere. It was open late (1AM on weekends) and located in an area with a lot of bars, so you’d get all sorts of colorful people coming in that you could watch while you worked. They didn’t have Wifi on the weekends (boo), but if I used my mobile hotspot, I was fine.

The other two places I really liked were The Coffee Bar, which was in walking distance of my workplace, and Pitango Gelato, also in Adams Morgan. The Coffee Bar had one of the best iced lattés I’ve ever had (seriously — it was life-changing), and Pitango Gelato had an amazing leek soup (didn’t end up trying the gelato though, so I can’t speak to that).

I think trying different coffee shops ended up being my favorite part about living in DC for the semester. I don’t know, I don’t tend to do a lot of restaurant exploration when I’m traveling otherwise — especially if I don’t speak the language of the country I’m in — and so it was nice being in a city in the US were I was completely comfortable just walking into any random café or restaurant by myself. It was also nice because I didn’t have to go by myself since my friends and I made it into a weekly thing. It made me feel more like someone who actually lived there rather than just a visitor.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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: The LOFT (thrift, Clothes Mentor)

Dress: The LOFT (thrift, Clothes Mentor)

November 18, 2019 – Can’t Somebody Open Up A Window? (OOTD #581)

The best part of the Brookings Library was that I could open the windows.

I didn’t realize until after I’d lived in an apartment with limited natural light and un-openable windows for three months that I really value the ability to get fresh air indoors.   In my entire apartment building, which I don’t believe had been updated since 1990 when it was built by the University of California, I don’t think there was one openable window.

At first, I hardly noticed — it’s not like I open every window I come across. And for weeks, it was too hot in DC to want to let any hot air in at all.

But think about it — when you do want to open a window, however rarely that may be, you really want to open it. Maybe you burned something in the kitchen and you want to let the smoke out before it sets the alarm off. Maybe your neighbor’s plumbing overflowed and you currently have sewage seeping into your living room carpet (that actually happened to me and my roommate twice). Or maybe you’re just feeling bothered and anxious and you know that some fresh air would make you feel better. Not being able to open a window in any of those situations ends up being quite a nuisance.

So I couldn’t open the windows in my apartment, and I couldn’t open the windows in any of the student lounges or study spaces (not that most of them even had windows), and there were no windows to be found in the cubicle where I worked. Thus, when I found that I could open the windows of the Brookings Library, I knew I had found my favorite study space.

I say that, but funnily enough, this is actually my last blog post from the Brookings Library — or Brookings itself. I still had about three more weeks of my internship to go, but I sort-of ran out of locations to use for backgrounds, and so I saw no need to continue taking pictures there. Besides, I started going out more and doing things outside of work and school. Who needs to open up a window to let fresh air in when you can walk out the door and into the fresh air 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 this semester in Washington, DC. 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 (Goodwill)

Sweater: Thrift (Goodwill)

Trousers: Banana Republic Sloan

November 15, 2019 – Black Out (OOTD #580)

A few years ago, I would have considered an all-black outfit to be so edgy.

I don’t think it was until my freshman year of high school that I started wearing all-black clothes. In middle school, that was too “alternative” for me — black was for funerals or business suits. Besides, the stores I mostly shopped at — Abercrombie and Hollister — didn’t sell black. Black wasn’t a cool color for teenage girls back in 2012; you were supposed to wear navy and grey and burgundy and maybe a little bit of off-white or army green. If you weren’t dressing like a) a rich kid at a prep school or b) a California beach bum, you were doing something wrong.

And then, when I entered high school, black suddenly became a cool color. Maybe it had to do with how those Victoria’s Secret PINK leggings had became widely accepted for wear as pants. Remember when that was a whole debate — whether leggings should be considered pants? Now, no one really thinks twice about it. My mother, who used to complain when I wore leggings as pants, now wears leggings herself when she walks the dog or goes to the grocery store.

By my freshman year of high school in 2013, every girl in school was wearing black Victoria’s Secret leggings, and once those had fully replaced blue jeans as go-to bottoms for everyday wear, it was only a matter of time before black became acceptable for tops too.

I know that sounds silly — how can a basic neutral color like black have ever been out-of-style? The thing was, it wasn’t really. I don’t think Seventeen or Teen Vogue were running articles in 2010-2013 about how black was a socially unacceptable color to wear. But it just wasn’t anywhere to be found in the shops that middle school girls like me frequented. Unless you were shopping at Hot Topic (and only emo weirdos shopped there), you wouldn’t find much black. Your Abercrombie cardigan with a big embroidered moose on your left shoulder wouldn’t come in black. Your Hollister floral skirt with an elastic waistband wouldn’t come in black. It just wasn’t a thing.

We’ve come a long way since 2013. Wearing all black is no longer an indication that you’re an edgy teenager — or at least, it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, it’s just a stylistic choice with no particular meaning.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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: Express

Skirt: Zara (thrifted, Poshmark)

November 7, 2019 – Still Emo (OOTD #576)

Now that My Chemical Romance is back, you know what that means: time to break out my old Hot Topic band tees and smear black eyeliner down my cheeks.

I was a teenaged closet emo; I’ve discussed that before on this blog. My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco, and Fall Out Boy were once my favorite bands (and I still like them — even though it’s now more like Brendon! At the Disco and Sell Out Boy). I never went full emo, at least, not in appearance because I went to high school in the mid-late 2010’s and if I tried to come to school wearing an MCR sweatshirt and knee-high Converse I’d be laughed out of the building.

I went to high school in the age where hipsters had replaced the emos as the “cool” counterculture alternative crowd. Emo culture was for the cynical post-9/11 early 2000’s kids; hipster culture was for the cynical anticapitalist Occupy Wall Street 2010’s kids.

I was never a proper hipster: I never knitted my own scarves, brewed my own coffee, or grew my own weed. I bought into the hipster look after it had been appropriated by all of the mall chain boutiques (ironic given how counterculture the original hipster subculture was trying to be) by wearing skater skirts and wide-rimmed glasses.

Like I said, in high school, I was a closeted emo. I wasn’t able to actually go full emo — the closest I came was dyeing my (already black) hair black when I was 17. I wish I had just gone for it though — pierced my eyebrow, gotten a tattoo, blasted my My Chemical Romance albums through the hallways, and beat some people on the head with a croquet mallet à la the “I’m Not Okay” music video.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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: Banana Republic

Shirt: Banana Republic

Trousers: Banana Republic (apparently, I was dressed by Banana Republic)

October 29, 2019 – Thrown Together (OOTD #572)

Living a fifteen minute walk away from where I work is not a good move for me.

And it’s not necessarily for the reasons you might think. It’s not necessarily because I’m too tempted to stay late at work or come early. It’s not because I want to go to the office on the weekend.

Apparently, it’s because I struggle not to wake up ten minutes before I’m supposed to be at my desk, realize that I’m running late, and then have to throw together an outfit (like this one) and get ready in five minutes so that I’m not more than ten minutes late. The amount of times I got to work at 9:10 instead of 9:00 was rather unfortunate.

See, I think if I lived farther away — you know, like a metro stop or two away — I’d be better at not being late. I say that, and then I think about how often I was 5-10 minutes late to my internship in Rome, when I had to ride the metro for an hour every morning, and then I realize that that’s not at all true.

I’m bad at being on time, I admit it. I’ve been bad at being on time for 20 years, and I’ve not really done much to improve my timelines over the years because I’m not usually more than 5-10 minutes late — that is, in real life.

In my blog posts, I’m a lot later. This outfit was worn in October 2019 and here I am publishing it in January 2020. Oops.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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

Trousers: Donated by a friend

October 28, 2019 – 70s Hollywood Producer (OOTD #571)

Today’s outfit inspiration is 1970s Hollywood — not the glamorous red carpet stars, though, but the behind-the-scenes executive producers.

For goodness’s sake, I’m wearing an ascot. An ascot. I don’t think it gets any more 70s than that.

I’ve become a little bit enamored with the 70s lately. For a while there, I was all about 60s style — the retro patterns, suede skirts, the layered jumpers. I had what was basically a Hairspray phase, but 10 years after the Zac Efron movie (and even more years after the original Broadway musical) came out.

But then, all the 60s stuff became mainstream, and you couldn’t go to Forever21 without seeing fourteen different suede skirts and twelve different denim jumpers in their storefront. The 60s were new and cool in 2017. They had become a little old and tired again by 2019.

The 70s, on the other hand, are on their way up — at least, in my opinion. I like the 70s. They’re like the 60s, but worse — less optimism, more drugs, worse pop music (though better rock), more polyester. If I don’t look like I walked out of an early Scorsese film, what’s the point?

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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 (Goodwill)

Blouse: Banana Republic

Trousers: Thrift (Salvation Army)

October 25, 2019 – To the Library Again (OOTD #570)

I never thought I’d miss Notre Dame’s library.

With its ugly brown cardboard box walls and perpetual scent of moldy paper, I thought I’d never want or need to go back. Sure, I spent most of my waking hours while on campus in the building — but time doesn’t always equal emotional affinity. In fact, I thought given all the time I forced myself to spend in there, the more prepared I would be to leave it for a whole year.

I don’t miss the building itself; I should preface what I’m about to say with that. I do not miss the cardboard box design (Touchdown Jesus literally looks like a cereal mascot on the front of a box, try and convince me I’m wrong), and I don’t miss the uncomfortable wooden chairs and 1970’s elevators.

You know what I do miss, though? The convenience.

Hesburgh Library was about a ten minute walk away from my dorm, and that ten minute walk was just close enough to make it convenient and just distant enough to give me some mental separation from home. When I went there, I could try to convince myself to be productive. I didn’t always succeed, but at least I tried.

In DC, though, I didn’t really have a good go-to library. I went to one of the DC public libraries on my first days in the city, but it was a little too far away to make it into a regular study space. I ended up spending a lot of time at Brookings’s library, but it was too close to home and much too close to work. It was in the exact same building as my cubicle, and that’s never a good thing.

What Brookings Library did have over Hesburgh, though, was windows. And you could open them to get some fresh air! I know Notre Dame is concerned about kids trying to throw themselves off the 13th floor of the library during finals week, but I sure would have appreciated the ability to get some cool night air on the evenings I got stuck there late. I would have also appreciated the ability to throw myself out a 13th floor window during finals week.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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: Target

Jacket: Ann Taylor

October 23, 2019 – La Maison-Blanche (OOTD #569)

If I were ever elected President, I’d turn the White House into a haunted house for Halloween.

I mean, they decorate it for Christmas and Easter. They’ve got the turkey pardoning at Thanksgiving and the the Easter egg hunt at Easter, so you can’t pretend that the White House doesn’t do trivial holiday festivities.

Think about it: you could have the ghosts of all of the old presidents and their wives. It’d be like those in-character history museum presentations, but cooler because they’re dressed as the undead.

What, you mean to tell me that having the zombie of Abraham Lincoln with a gunshot wound on his head reciting the Gettysburg Address would be “in poor taste?”

Unfortunately, during my class field trip of the White House, it wasn’t decorated for any occasion in particular. It was just a normal day, it seems, at the Trump Manor. Still, it was very beautiful to walk around and see some of the old furniture and decorations. I even got my picture taken with the portrait of George Washington from the 2014 George Washington meme era. It was worth the wait for that.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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: White House | Black Market

Blouse: ASOS

Skirt: Zara (thrifted, Poshmark)

October 21, 2019 – Cultured (OOTD #568)

Do you remember that trend back in like, 2011 where people would wear fake nerd glasses in an attempt to look “nerdy” and “smart?”

Yeah, I definitely did that.

For a long time, before I actually needed glasses, I wanted them. I thought they looked so intelligent. My friend, Emma, once gave me an old pair of her glasses in a little pink plastic Barbie case with a pink plastic handle, and I’d take them out when I was alone in my room and just stare at myself in the mirror. I could barely see out of them, since they weren’t, you know, my prescription, but I was pretty sure I looked great.

Flash forward 15 years, and nothing has changed. I still get dressed without seriously considering whether or not what I’m wearing actually looks good, but I feel pretty confident that it does anyway. Except, now I do need glasses.

Naturally, though, I’m not wearing them in this set of photos, which makes this transition rather awkward. Oh well. Where would we be without awkward transitions in this blog?

The point of me bringing up the story about fake glasses is because I thought this outfit/background combination was reminiscent of my fake glasses days. I may not be wearing fake glasses here, but I am in spirit. I’m also wearing a fake handlebar mustache in spirit, perfect for twirling like a silent movie villain.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. 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!


Coat: Vintage (thrifted, Ecseri Bazaar in Budapest)

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Vintage (thrifted, Street Scene Vintage)