Skirting the issue

by thedemuremuse on April 27, 2015

I’ve been trying really hard to pair down my closet all year and be super cognizant of what’s in there and how it all works together. I feel like I’ve been doing pretty well with the purging, cleaning, and rethinking of outfits, but there was definitely a slip-up recently where my planned trip to only drop off clothes to sell at Crossroads turned into a shopping day. I just couldn’t say no to this skirt. I had been looking for a midi skirt in a neutral palette forever and I am such a sucker for these scalloped edges.

croptop-blazerpairing-full
outfit details:
crop top: Nasty Gal (similar)
blazer: Target
midi skirt: H&M via Crossroads Trading
black & nude heels: c/o Shoes of Prey
statement necklace: c/o Tryst Jewellery

croptop-blazerpairing-closeup
nastygal-wrapcroptop2
trystjewellery-statementnecklace

Also, crop tops. I still don’t know how I feel about them yet. This one has been one of my favourites that I usually wear under sheer blouses but rarely ever alone. This was my first time trying to wear one confidently without a top over it, but this blazer pretty much stayed zipped up majority of the weekend that this outfit was worn on. My body has been changing quite a bit since starting to cycle seriously and sometimes I feel confident, while other times it makes me extremely self conscious. I was definitely in the confident camp when I put this outfit on, but felt a little less so as the day went on.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with these hilarious outtakes of what it’s like to shoot outfit photos with a giant dork:

nastygal-outtakes

Happy Monday!

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Cherry blossoms galore

by thedemuremuse on April 24, 2015

Spring in Seattle is pretty much one of my favourite things of all time. Even though it’s usually rainy, the sunny days are worth the wait. A couple weeks ago, Kim took us to see the cherry blossoms on the University of Washington campus. This was my second visit (first time was in 2013 with Kimmy) to the beautiful quad covered with pink petals at this time of year.

UWcherryblossoms-forever21-jumpsuit
UWcherryblossoms

Living in Seattle has given me an entirely new appreciation for being outdoors. It makes such a big difference whenever the trees, flowers, mountains, and oodles of sunshine, all bloom at the same time! Nothing makes me happier than waking up to beautiful sights and sounds outside.

Sadly, this week has been pretty rain-filled. There has been zero bike riding so far and playing kickball in the rain last night was a bit of a bummer. Looking back at these photos makes me excited for the upcoming summer weather!

UWcherryblossoms-withkimmy
outfit details:
organza jumpsuit: Forever 21
geometric necklace: DIY
caged booties: Hinge via Nordstrom
glasses: SEE Eyewear

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A couple months ago, I did a post on what to do to prep for a wardrobe rebuild and I wanted to go more into detail on what to do with some of the items being purged from a closet. My lovely friend, Kim, opened up her closet to me to help with some Spring cleaning and to use her items as a “sanity check” for some of the tips & trips I’m going to share in this post.

tipsandtricks-closetcleaning-sellingclothes

So now that you’ve pulled all the unwanted items from your closet, how do you decide what to sell, donate, or discard?

Start by making 3 piles/areas for sorting
Each pile should correspond to either selling, donating, or discarding. I’m a super visual person, so it helps for me to have everything laid out on the ground to start before forming each of the areas and piles.

IMG_5114

How to decide what to sell
Crossroads Trading is one of my favourite places to sell to, mainly because their customer base (at least in Seattle) casts a wide spectrum of styles of clothing that they’ll choose to buy. At the tail end of every season, they’ll put out a set of flyers at each store to give customers an idea of what they’re looking to buy for the upcoming season. The card below was put out around the end of February, since their Spring buying started in mid-March. Having a good idea of the direction of items they’re looking for helped to determine which pieces of Kim’s should be added to the “Sell” pile.

crossroads-buying-spring2015

Since closet purges usually aren’t season-specific, Kim had a bunch of pieces that weren’t appropriate to try to sell for the Spring. For all of her Fall/Winter pieces, we made a separate sell pile for her to bring to Crossroads in September. One of the best tricks I learned about selling to Crossroads is to always stay on trend and be season appropriate with the items you bring in. The stores don’t like to have to store inventory for future seasons, so it saves everyone (you, the buyer, etc) time if your haul only has items specific to the season they’re buying for.

Keep reading for tips on the best time to take your haul to sell

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MAKE IT FOR LESS: Tassel necklace

by thedemuremuse on April 17, 2015

Instead of the usual Weekend DIY (which I realize I’ve been avoiding for over 6 months), I wanted to start sharing some of my DIY projects that have been inspired by things that I’ve been seeing online during my insomnia “window shopping” hours. Tassels are making huge strides in the accessories department lately and Baublebar has a great collection of tassel pieces. I came across one particular necklace which I thought was cute, but wanted it in a different colour palette. Since it only came in a single colour, a DIY was clearly in order!

the demure muse blog // How to make your own tassel necklace inspired by Baublebar

The original piece on the left is this necklace. For $44, I really could not justify the price tag for a piece I wasn’t 100% in love with, so I set out on a mission to make an ombre version of my own in a colour palette that would match more of my wardrobe and personal aesthetic. Surprise– it’s black, white, and grey!

tassel-charms

Luckily for me, I had a bunch of these tassel charms kicking around from a previous project. They have been sitting around in my art supply box for about 4 months now and I’m super glad that they’ve finally been put to good use. I found them at a shop in the Garment District in Toronto back in December of 2014, but there are a lot of great colour options on Etsy for around the same price. The tassels will be the most expensive supplies for this project, ranging from $1.20 – $1.50 for a pair, after a quick search on Etsy and finding this listing. A lot cheaper than you’d expect, right?

Other supplies you’ll need:
– Eight (8) 5mm jump rings in a silver finish
– 32″ of 3mm silver finished chain
– jewelry making pliers

All of the supplies above are usually sold in bigger quantities, so you’re looking at ~$5 in overall additional materials from the tassels themselves.

Instructions for assembly:
1. Measure out 32″ of the chain (or desired length) and cut with the jewelry pliers.

2. Find the center of the piece you just cut from step #1 and attach your first tassel with a jump ring.

3. Count out 7-9 links (depending on how far apart you’d like the tassels to be), and attach the next tassel. Continue to do this while alternating from the left and right of the center tassel in step #2 to until all 7 tassels have been attached.

4. With the last jump ring, attach the two ends of the chain to complete the necklace. No clasp is required for this piece, as the 32″ opera length should make for an easy on/off.

TA-DA! Super simple, right? And you can take the extra $30 you just saved to treat yourself to some Chipotle this weekend haha! ;)

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Business as usual

by thedemuremuse on April 15, 2015

It’s been a bit of a challenge trying to balance work attire and biking attire this week. As awesome as it would be to bring a change of clothes every time I ride home from work, I learned my lesson the hard way last week when I had to schlep a pair of jeans, sweater, and boots – on top of my laptop – in a backpack on a 30 mile ride home. Can’t say my lower back was very happy with me by the time I got home from the ride, which was a giant bummer.

One thing I’ve started getting into is wearing fun socks. Since I usually have to roll up a pant leg (when not wearing biking shorts) on rides, I’ve started to try to make the sneak peeks of socks a bit more fun.

betabrand-workitpants
kitoflex-cherrybombsocks
outfit details:
mustard cardigan: Urban Outfitters
white tanktop: H&M
necklace: DIY by yours truly
Work It dress pants: Betabrand (exact)
Bolo booties: Freebird (c/o Zappos, exact)
Bomb socks: c/o Kito Flex (exact)
spike ear jacket: c/o Bling Jewelry (exact)

These bomb socks from Kito Flex are one of my fav pairs right now. I know it sounds silly, but I like having a silly, hidden secret during the day at work that no one knows about until I bust them out for riding at the end of the day. I’ve had these socks since January and absolutely love the elasticity and breathability on them. Not only are they super comfy to bike in, but they have staying power for keeping my ankles covered. If there’s one thing I hate the most about socks, it’s when they have zero gripping power and slip off into my shoes.

Bling Jewelry ear jacket

I’ve also ventured into the world of ear jackets. Not going to lie– when these first came out my initial thoughts were, “I don’t know how I feel about having an extra piece between my ear and the backing… looks soooo ridiculous.” And here I am, now wearing these almost daily. I absolutely love the versatility of these earrings. During the day, I’ll wear the full jacket around and then at the end of the day I’ll just wear the front studs. What’s your take on ear jackets? Yay/Nay?

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