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

April 23, 2018 – Life Detected (OOTD #269)

This just in: evidence of life on the Notre Dame campus!

And no, I’m not referring to the students — we’re definitely pretty dead. Thankfully, there are only a few weeks of school left.

While it still gets pretty in the evenings, it’s not freezing anymore, which means the plants are finally coming to life — which if you’ve been following my recent fascination with plants, I am very excited about.

With this outfit, I also got to break out my bare legs for the first time in forever. It was like, sunny with a high of 75 — perfect skirt weather.

I think you can tell how happy I was about the weather just based on how my outfit was put together — the happier I am, it seems, the the more likely I am to put together a cool outfit.

And not to brag on myself, but I think this was a cool outfit. It’s a composition of some really cool pieces — architectural jacket, asymmetrical shirt, and structural skirt — so maybe I can’t take as much credit for the cool factor, but I still put them all together, which counts for something.

I’m a little disappointed the asymmetrical-ness of the shirt isn’t really evident in these shots, as it seems the jacket kind of covers up the hemline, which is shorter on one side than the other. Oh well. Here’s what the shirt looks like by itself — I guess you can use your imagination?

Speaking of this jacket, I got it from Yellowcake Shop, the boutique of Project Runway designer Valerie Mayen. I actually watched her season a long time ago, so getting to do this collaboration with her was really cool! For the promotion, I’m going to be doing a social media post soon featuring this jacket, so keep an eye out for that! There’s no giveaway attached, but there will be a promo code for Yellowcake Shop.

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!

Jacket: Yellowcake Shop

Top: Psylo

Skirt: Zara

March 17, 2018 – Living On The Edge (OOTD #248)

Never thought “living on the edge” would take me to the edge of a building, but here we are.

#yolo, am I right?

I’m just kidding. Don’t put yourself in danger just for good pictures, kiddos. Safety first — don’t do it for the Gram.

On Saturday, the last day of my spring break, my friend Amanda and I went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant as our last hurrah before we both went back to school for another month.

Before we ate, though, we decided to hunt down a particular parking garage downtown that offers some really beautiful views of the city. We thought we’d just drive up, snap some photos, and be off to dinner within 20 minutes.

Not so much. Part of the issue was that it was St. Patrick’s Day (I know, I’m not wearing green — pinch me), and a lot of the streets were blocked off for the parade. Neither of us having any sense of direction, we ended up driving around in circles for quite some time just trying to orient ourselves.

And you know what? We never find the parking garage.

We glimpsed it from a distance a few times, but we never managed to actually figure out where in the city it was. I think the street it was on was closed, and we couldn’t figure out how to make it there there via other roads.

After driving to the top of several other parking garages and not finding the view we were looking for, we decided to stop by an opening “window” in one of them near an upper floor and take some photos anyway. It wasn’t quite the big, open view of the city we were hoping for, but it sufficed.

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!

Sweater: Hollister (thrifted)

Top: Zara

Jeans: Hollister

March 3, 2018 – Farmers’ Market Fashion (OOTD #237)

Oops…so it’s been a while.

Ironically, in my last blog post (well…not the last — but the second-to-last) , I said something along the lines of, “don’t worry, I’ll have a nice long blog post for you tomorrow!” And then, not only did I not have a long blog post, but I didn’t post a blog at all!

For three days.

I don’t typically have long periods of time between blog posts, so I guess three days isn’t the worst. I’m usually pretty good at posting consistently here, so here’s to hoping that I’m able to keep up my schedule for the rest of the year?

The other day, about a week before I left for spring break (so, a week before this blog was posted) some people in my section from my dorm all went on an outing to the South Bend Farmers’ Market. I don’t believe I’ve ever gone to a farmers’ market, but after what I saw on Saturday, I would 100% go again.

Maybe I was just really excited to see things that were for sale for money other than Flex Points or Domer Dollars, but it seemed like a nice little market they had set up. If I were rich enough to buy my produce locally every week, I could definitely see myself going with some friends on a Saturday morning, picking up our groceries, and then stopping somewhere for brunch.

Like I said, if I were rich. As it is, I bought one pound of grapes and that about wiped out my bank account, so I’m going to have to stick to every once in a while for now.

It was fun to get off campus, though. I think I’d been stuck at Notre Dame for about eight straight weeks when I finally got out for this little field trip, and I was definitely craving it.

We came across this little tea and spices shop, and the colors were just so delightful I couldn’t help but ask to get some pictures with it. I love a good background, so even on days where I don’t usually do OOTDs, like Saturdays, I’ll make an exception if I see a colorful, well-lit environnement. Lord knows I don’t always get those at school.

Top: Zara

Jeans: Abercrombie

Scarf: American Eagle

February 26, 2018 – Snow More Snow Please (OOTD #232)

Look! It’s finally sunny enough for me to have my sunglasses on again in these pictures!

Ever since I transitioned to doing some of my pictures in the evening rather than the afternoon (owing to needing to accommodate to the schedules of my friends who do my pictures), I’ve been trying to avoid wearing sunglasses in my photos so much, since it looks silly to have sunglasses on when the sun’s nearly down.

But now that winter’s nearly over (thank goodness), it’s staying lighter for longer, and I can feel less weird about slipping on my shades at 6pm.

As much as I love winter, I’m very much glad for it to be nearly over. It’s rather overstayed its welcome for me, even though it was more mild than usual here in Chicago-area. Or so I’ve heard – I’ve never lived in this part of the country before, so it was definitely colder than I had ever experienced in my Kentucky experience, but from what I’ve heard from Chicago locals, it was actually quite a fair winter.

A few weeks ago, we had several feet of snow accumulate over the course of several days, melting and freezing over several times before it finally all melted away, and that was pretty much the end of my tolerance for this season. I’m usually a big fan of snow in any form, but by the time it finally all melted away, it had pretty much all turned to grey slush and wasn’t really much to look at any more.

Spring break is in under a week for me, though, so I’m excited to head back to Kentucky and experience some of that lovely sunny weather my parents have told me they’ve been getting.

Assuming I can make it through the rest of these midterms though – one exam, three papers, and one project still to go! Wish me luck!

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!

Jacket: Thrifted

Skirt: Zara

Sweater: Kohl’s

February 13, 2018 – Fat Tuesday (OOTD #226)

I have never once lived somewhere where Mardi Gras was a big deal.

I wish I could say I have though — it seems like such a cool holiday, at least from what I see on television and in movies like The Princess and the Frog. I have a friend who’s at LSU who went into New Orleans for the parade, and from what I saw on her Snap stories from that holiday weekend, it looked like a ton of fun.

I did go into New Orleans once a long time ago, when I was a little kid. I think my family and I were ultimately going into Florida, but we decided to stop in New Orleans for a few days to look around. I don’t remember much of what we did on that trip, as I was still on the younger side, but a few things sick out in my memory.

I think the most memorable things were the voodoo shops peppered around the city because they absolutely terrified me. I couldn’t even look at their window displays. I think it was more the visuals, like little shrunken head trinkets, that scared me more so than the actual concept of voodoo magic.

Unfortunately, as fear is such a strong emotion, that’s mainly what I remember about New Orleans. Voodoo shops, of course, were not the only things we saw there – I remember a pretty cool Mardi Gras museum with a lot of pretty dresses from the various Mardi Gras queens, I remember getting alligator jerky somewhere in a park near water, and I remember eating some really bomb cajun food on our first night there.

Like I said, one of the days, I would really love to go into New Orleans for Mardi Gras and experience it again now that I’m adult. If anything, I’m sure the voodoo shops will fascinate me even more than ever now that I’ve developed a greater appreciation for the macabre. In the meantime, I can at least sport my purple hair with a green shirt on Mardi Gras and pretend I’m festive while stuck here in South Bend.

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!

Jacket: The LOFT

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Zara