August 31, 2018 – Living on a Prayer (OOTD #362)

What, is this the third day in a row I’ve taken photos at Bond Hall?

I’m not really sure what’s up with that; it hasn’t exactly been intentional. Believe it or not, I actually do my best to get a variety of locations for this blog. It’s a little hard when I live on a college campus and never leave though, y’know? There are only so many gothic-style tan brick buildings here.

If it makes you feel better, I didn’t exclusively take photos at Bond, though — I also went out to the basilica! There’s some variety for you.

One of these days, I almost want to go inside the basilica and take pictures. I think that toes the line of disrespectful though…which is too bad, because it’s really lovely inside of there. It’s a beautiful, quiet space, and I wouldn’t want to disturb it with a photo shoot but…well, it would make for some lovely photos. Maybe the next time my parents come to visit campus, if we can find a time when no one else is inside, I can sneak a few pictures. I think God will forgive me.

Also contrary to the norm here at L’ensemble du jour, I didn’t take photos exclusively by myself. I’ve got friends today! Or maybe they’re just people I paid to model with me…

Just kidding, I don’t have the money to pay people to model for me. I hardly have the money to afford the photo storage on WordPress. Or like, my tuition.

All the more reason to go to the basilica, right? I’ll just pray for more money — as an educated intellectual who attends the most prestigious Catholic university in the world, I can say with certainty that that is how prayer works.

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: Zara

Bralette: Aerie

Jeans: Hollister

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 15, 2018 – A Bit Chilli (OOTD #347)

My South Bend adventures continue.

My stuff is pretty much all moved in now, which is a relief. Several of my roommates have yet to finish moving in though, which means there’s still stuff strewn about everywhere. Something tells me that that shall be the perpetual state of the room. I guess that’s what happens when you force six college-aged students to live together in a small space.

I’ve been doing really well with making my bed in the morning, though, so I consider myself well-accomplished.

To salute my final dinner with my parents until they visit in September, we ate at the fine establishment, Chili’s. Maybe it’s something about its romanticization in The Office, or something about how I ate at one in the Detroit airport before being bumped to first class on my flight to London, but Chili’s is my favorite of the sit-down restaurant chains. In a battle of Chili’s, Olive Garden, TGI Friday’s, and Applebee’s, Chili’s will always have my business. #notsponsored.

As it turns out, Chili’s also had a decent color scheme that goes along with my outfit. My hope, of course, is that you didn’t recognize the red and green brick as related to Chili’s until I said something, but I guess a lot of my readers are pretty used to me using restaurants as backgrounds for fashion photography. And empty classrooms, and libraries, and bathrooms

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 in Kentucky. 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: a boutique in Nepal

Skirt: Zara

August 4, 2018 – NuLu Life (OOTD #341)

NuLu = New Louisville, and that’s your daily dose of Kentucky trivia.

I actually lived in Louisville as a kid, but I don’t remember the city itself very well. My family was in a suburban area, so we didn’t go downtown a lot, especially since I was pretty young. We would always go to Waterfront Park for the Thunder over Louisville fireworks show during Derby season, which was a highlight of my childhood, but otherwise, I don’t remember going into the city often.

So I can’t say if Louisville itself has changed, or if I simply don’t remember it well — but it seemed way cooler than it was back when I lived there. I  remember Louisville as a city with a lot of buildings and a lot of restaurants, but not much in terms of actual things to do. I’ve even gone back and visited Louisville a few times since moving to Lexington, but I guess I’d never really figured out the best neighborhoods to visit.

Anyway, the NuLu neighborhood was pretty sweet. I’d gone past it a few times, but this was my first time really walking around and exploring — going into shops, restaurants, etc. We went with the intent of visiting a particular outdoor flea market (my family’s very into markets, it seems), and we were not disappointed.

The highlight was probably a particular shop we went into that, surprisingly, made for some great photography. I often feel a little weird about taking pictures in a store (it seems unfair to take advantage of a cute store layout if I don’t really buy anything), but I couldn’t stop myself with this gorgeous garden setup. I did tag the store in my Instagram post, so I guess I was kind of justified?

What an influencer I am.

I don’t know if any of you other fashion bloggers out there have experienced the same thing, but I’ve started to judge my enjoyment of an event based on how much good photography I get. Is that shallow? And there’s nothing worse than going out to a cute location and not having a cute outfit — or the converse, having a cute outfit and not being able to find a good background. By these new standards, though, I’d say I had a particularly good 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 at home in Kentucky. 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: Zara

Bralette: Aerie

Skirt: Abercrombie

August 2, 2018 – Steak n’ Shake Aesthetic (OOTD #339)

I don’t remember this episode of Riverdale.

Believe it or not, the way my outfit perfectly matched with the aesthetic of this Steak n’ Shake in Louisville was totally unintentional — in fact, I put this outfit together for a show Amanda and I went to that night.

This will likely be irrelevant information to solid 99% of my readers, but for anyone who was curious, the show I went to was Interactive Introverts, the live stage show by the popular British Youtube comedians Dan and Phil. The stage set up and aesthetic of the show very much matched the red, black, and white of my outfit, which was why I coordinated it that way.

Regardless, I didn’t take any photos of myself at the show, so I guess it wasn’t very important that I matched so well.

Interestingly, though, I matched perfectly with the Steak n’ Shake we stopped at on our way back home after the show was over! To be honest, I’m still in awe of the fact that I didn’t end up clashing horrifically or something with the red of the walls — that’s serendipity if I’ve ever seen it.

You know what else was serendipity? This was my last day of work! It kind of came as a surprise though — see, my last day wasn’t supposed to be for another week, August 9th. My boss came in as I was working though, and told me that due to a scheduling conflict with another employee, they were letting me off early while still paying me for the final week.

That leaves me with the rest of the summer free, save for two more days with the Secretary of State in Frankfort. We’ll see if I make good use of those days, preparing for school, packing up, and being productive, or if I spend most of my time sleeping and procrastinating. My money’s on the latter.

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 in Kentucky. 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)

Top: River Island

Skirt: Zara

June 22, 2018 – Uncomfortable But Cute, I Guess (OOTD #309)

After wearing distinctively blue outfits for a week, it was time for a change.

I don’t often have a lot of time while I’m getting ready for work in the mornings, meaning that outfits are often picked out as I’m running out the door. Usually, they turn out fine.

And this one did too! Mostly…there is the part where my entire midriff is showing, which is pretty inappropriate for work.

See, because I was leaving in a hurry, I didn’t have time to check and see if the jeans were high-waisted enough to cover up stomach to where my top cut off. They weren’t. In fact, they were rather low rise, meaning a lot of my stomach was on display.

Mostly, I just left my jacket buttoned all day (thank goodness I had that) in order to show less skin, but I was still a little self conscious.

Ideally, a crop top should only reveal the top half of your ribs, above your belly button. That’s no concrete rule — wear whatever you want — but generally I believe that’s what’s most flattering. I mean, if you have rock solid abs, that’s a different story, but for me, I’m only comfortable with crop tops if I have high waisted bottoms on.

I made it all day though without getting fired and without dying of discomfort, though, so I guess that’s a win. You probably won’t catch me wearing this top and these pants together again, even though I don’t think they looked bad. Just too uncomfortable.

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: Zara

Top: Zara

Jeans: Hollister

June 20, 2018 – Blue and White, Sans Red (OOTD #307)

Happy Fourth of July! You’ll have to excuse my lack of an Americana themed outfit — you probably know already, but these blogs are on a delay, so the blog I’m publishing now on July 4 is actually the outfit I wore earlier in June. Rest assured, there will be some sort of patriotic festive outfit coming up, but it won’t be posted for a while still. 

I can’t believe it took me an entire year to think to pair this shirt and this skirt together.

Let me go back and contextualize a little — so I bought this skirt back in London last year at a Zara shop off of Oxford Street. There was some huge sale going on so the shop was super crowded, and in order to avoid standing around in queues forever, I decided not to try it on and just buy it. Slight mistake, I guess, because it turned out that the waist was too big, and now I have to keep it held in place with a pin. Because of the less than ideal fit, I don’t wear the skirt as often as I would like, even though I’m a huge fan of the design. 

The point being, I’ve had this skirt for a while and have worn it in a couple of different ways before (see example here). However, I’ve never really been satisfied with the styling — it’s such a fun skirt, and I really want to do it justice with an outfit that can properly highlight the unique layered structure. I just had not, until now, come up with a good way of wearing this skirt that was able to meet that goal. 

I was so concerned with finding the best way of wearing this skirt — and by extension, so afraid of messing it up and styling it poorly — that it took me until this point to think to pair my blue and white striped shirt with this blue and white skirt. It would seem obvious, since they match so well, that they would work well together, serving to highlight the architecture of the skirt.

I guess it was just how closely they matched that was what caused me to hesitate. I was afraid they would look too “matchy-matchy,” too similar, and that they would only make me look like one big blue and white-striped blob.

But now, at least, I don’t believe that that fear was warranted. In fact, I’m quite happy with how these two pieces look together, and rather than matching too closely, I believe the matching patterns rather serves to emphasize the uniqueness of the skirt. 

The moral of the story — try pairing new pieces together, even if you think they won’t work! I’ve worn a lot of stupid outfits in my time, some of which have been published on this blog (I didn’t think they were stupid at the time of wearing them, but looking back at them, I see they were kind of ugly). But I’ve also worn a lot of really cool outfits that I only managed to put together because I put things together that i didn’t think would work (see here and here).

Anyway, that was the preachy, educational segment at the end of our Saturday morning cartoon. You know, the moment at the end of a kids’ show when the main character addresses the viewer directly in order to communicate some educational lesson that should be taken from the episode, like “don’t do drugs” and “don’t talk to strangers.” Too bad I don’t have a cool catchphrase to end this with. Or better yet, merchandise I could try to convince you you need.  

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: Abercrombie

Skirt: Zara

June 8, 2018 – Haircuts and Habaneros (OOTD #300)

For those of you folks at home keeping score — this is Mexican restaurant #3 that’s serving as a background for OOTD photography. For the first two, check them out here and here.

You might remember that I’ve been considering changing up my hair for a while now, and I’ve finally gone off and done it! I’m back to blonde!

…ish. Actually, my hair isn’t quite finished its transition yet, but I liked this outfit so much, I wanted to photograph it anyway, even with my hair left in an incomplete state. Plus, I was outside a Mexican restaurant, and it seems like I have to take pictures every time I go to one of those anymore (hence the habaneros part of the title — okay, a bit of a stretch, I know).

Besides, it won’t be another week until I can get into the salon again, and I didn’t want to lay off from blogs for a whole week just because my hair wasn’t quite the color I wanted. I’ll just have to tolerate being a redhead for a little.

As you might have caught a few paragraphs back, I’m aiming for blonde here. I’ve been blonde before (for two years actually), which was the hair color I began this blog with,  though I’ve transitioned through a couple of different hair colors over the last year, ranging from grey to brunette to purple to pink. Through all of those colors, though, I felt a longing to go back to blonde — I don’t know, I just feel like it’s the best hair color for me.

The annoying thing about blonde, though, is that my natural hair color — jet black — is about as far away from blonde as any color can be. Thus, it takes a ton of bleach and 40-vol developer to lift it to even a honey color, which, as anyone who’s dabbled in chemical coloring will tell you, is super damaging. That’s actually the original reason why I had to chop my hair off and lay off the bleach for a few months — as you can see here, after two years of bleaching it blonde, it was stringy and terrible-looking. Let’s just say it was so bad, that when I went to a cornfield at a farm with my dad, I had a hard time distinguishing between my hair and the broken, dead corn stalks.

This time, though, my plan is to have my roots blended into the lightened areas in such a way that I’m able to go longer spans of time without bleaching it, and thus avoid the terrible damage I wound up with last time.

We’ll see how it turns out though. Like I said, it’ll be another week until I can get in and have it bleached a second time, hopefully in order to lighten it up to an actual blonde. Fingers crossed it doesn’t fall off and I don’t have to shave my head! Though that probably wound’t be so bad — I’d be willing to try shaving my head at some point in my life for the hell of 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 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: H&M

Jacket: H&M

Skirt: Zara

May 23, 2018 – Sweet Southern Heat (OOTD #289)

iPhone X photos are weird.

Sometimes, the image quality and lighting is gorgeous — all those ads that show amateur photographers taking beautiful portrait-mode works of art are perfectly accurate to how it actually works. And sometimes, the images are grainy and barely any better than what I got on my old iPhone 4.

I’m exaggerating a little, of course — the worst iPhone X photos are still much better than my iPhone 4 photos. It is interesting though, how much variation there is in the photos I get. Sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’re so-so.

Anyway, I feel like these are a little more so-so, which is too bad, given how much I like the outfit. It’s bright and colorful and cheery, just like a good summer (spring, technically, I guess — though it doesn’t much feel like it with how hot it is) outfit should be.

Speaking of which, this weather is not making me cheery. I complain about this every summer I spend in Kentucky, but it’s horrifically humid here, and I am not a fan. It makes me miss the Notre Dame snow, which I probably also complained about.

I’ll be interested to see how I handle the heat of Nepal later this summer when I go with my school. Apparently it’s monsoon season, which sounds to me like even more hot and even more humid.  It’s amazing that I’m from southern China and grew up in the southern United States, because I cannot handle the humidity at all.

I’m a wimp, what can I say.

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: Zara

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer

May 6, 2018 – Notre Dome (OOTD #279)

More Dome pics!

What’s Notre Dame without the Dome, anyway? Are you even a Notre Dame student if you don’t take an obscene amount of photos in front of Main Building?

I think just about every ND student gets these same shots of their friends and them in front of the Golden Dome at some point. It’s a pretty standard shot; I’m pretty sure a month (maybe even a week) doesn’t go by where I don’t come across some Dome pictures on my feed from some friend or some friend of a friend.

For as many pretty buildings as there are on Notre Dame’s campus, you’d think people would get a little more creative with their cute friend Instagram pics — but they don’t. It’s the Dome or nothing.

I guess my friends and I are no different then — so here are my Dome pics (well, the second set). Call me generic.

I did get some fun shots inside of the math building though in front of this globe, which I
never knew existed because I never went into the math building once because I never had to take a math class (hooray for getting a 5 on AP Calculus!).

Apparently I should have gone into the math building though, because it has this super cool globe room (I have no idea what the architectural term would be for this room — like, a big open foyer with a tall ceiling but in the middle of the building? Is there a word for that?). Apparently all of my friends had seen it already (because they had classes in the math building and so they passed a lot), but like I said, I’d never seen it before.

I got excited to see something new, at any rate, which made me think — how many other cool rooms are there throughout campus that I just haven’t seen because I haven’t had a reason to go into them? I guess that’s a mystery to solve over my next three years.

In the meantime, though, it’s good to be at the end of the school year. Those unseen buildings and rooms shall have to be explored another time.

Anyway, 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!

Shirt: Zara

Dress: American Eagle