Holiday party outfit

Unlike previous holiday parties in the past, my party outfit prep took a bit of a difference approach this year. As a refresher, my outfit last year was the show stopper piece. It was light, frilly, and nothing short of festive! While I felt awesome wearing this to holiday parties and on NYE, I didn’t feel so awesome all the times I saw it hanging in my closet unworn this year. Without a fancy occasion to re-wear the Chi Chi London dress to, I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake this year.

This year, my approach was to find pieces that I could easily re-wear to other events throughout the year, both for casual or formal events. After all, my goal is to build a versatile closet with the least amount of items. The more I thought about buying a single dress to fit these purposes (this gorgeous crushed velvet maxi dress was a top contender), the more I realized I would end up in the same situation I was in with the Chi Chi London dress from last year. In the end, having separates to work with felt like the route that would provide the most versatility and re-wearing of either pieces in the future.

holiday party outfit idea: blush maxi wrap skirt
outfit details:
cropped moto jacket: MISSGUIDED (similar)
twist front crop top: Topshop c/o Octer.com (exact)
blush satin maxi skirt: Lulu’s (exact)
Gentle Souls wedges: c/o J.Jill (exact)
14k gold filled line earrings: Fresh Tangerine (exact)
glamorous over-the-top statement necklace: c/o Happiness Boutique (exact)
glasses: Warby Parker (exact)

This satin blush maxi skirt was the first piece that was purchased. I absolutely love the weight and the sheen from the material. What I don’t particular like is how easily the fabric pulls. I’m usually expectant of satin material to pull (a little bit, when something pointy rubs it), but this skirt fabric pulled from a car seat belt, the corner of a gift bag, my jacket zipper lightly rubbing on it. If you can name an object, I can probably point to a pull on my skirt from it!

everyday wear transformed to holiday party outfits ft Happiness Boutique statement necklace
The top was a bit of a challenge to find. I originally thought I was going to get a flowy, cold shoulder top to pair with the skirt, but ended up finding this crop top using Octer.com (more on this in the next post), when shopping across stores to find the most complementary top.

Being able to re-wear my beloved cropped moto jacket (purchased earlier this year), along with the wedges from September, as part of my holiday outfit, felt really great! Also knowing that an accessory like a statement necklace helped to jazz up the outfit while keeping the base pieces basic enough for everyday wear, I’m excited to reintegrate the crop top and maxi skirt into my daily rotation.

Holiday statements

T’is the season for all the holiday parties to kick off! I was lucky enough to attend two back-to-back over the weekend, which meant scrambling to find an outfit that would be family appropriate (for the day time party), and glam enough for an evening out.

As I’ve been hard at work to keep my wardrobe size to a minimum, I opted for less of a statement dress this year. Instead, I went for statement accessories to compliment the otherwise everyday pieces that were paired together. A huge thank you to Happiness Boutique, who partnered with me on bringing to life my holiday outfit dreams!

holiday party outfit ideas - statement necklace
accessories details:
glasses: Warby Parker (exact)
cropped moto jacket: MISSGUIDED (similar)
glamorous over-the-top statement necklace: c/o Happiness Boutique (exact)

This was my exact outfit for Saturday night’s festivities. I’ll be sharing the full outfit details this week, but wanted to highlight the accessory that made it all possible today. This statement necklace is beautifully intricate with shimmery gems all over! What I loved the most about this necklace is its weight. Having owned statement necklaces in the past that looked beautiful but felt light and flimsy, this Happiness Boutique piece is on the total opposite end of the spectrum. When worn, it feels like there’s a purpose to its weight, and the quality of the production is so obvious on closer inspection.

holiday statement necklace
Aside from holiday parties, I also like to wear bold necklaces in my everyday life. Since a lot of my closet now consists of basics, like pocketed tees, I like to pair these necklaces with the “basic” outfits for work. I think the bit of sparkle definitely helps to amp up the rather subtle plain tees. If you’ve been following along my IG stories, you may have recognized the Love Story Statement Necklace making an appearance a few times last week.

Although I selected statement necklaces from Happiness Boutique, they offer a huge variety of pieces, ranging from dainty minimalist layering necklace to earring cuffs, to rings, and more. The best part is the free shipping as well as the customer reward program, where you can earn free jewelry using points redeemed from purchases, reviews, or sharing photos of your styled purchases. They also host bi-monthly giveaways, hosted on their website that do not require purchases for entry.

By the way, Happiness Boutique is offering a 10% discount with code thedemuremuse. By inserting the “thedemuremuse” code at checkout, you will get a 10% discount for orders over 19 euros, valid until December 24th, 2016. Happy shopping!

Saying yes to the next chapter

Today’s post was a lot harder to write than most. Deciding whether to share such a personal story is something I waffled on for the last couple months. Even though I’ve been publicly writing this blog for over half a decade, there are still a lot of aspects of my personal life that stay private. It wasn’t until after reading the story behind Fran’s engagement and feeling that personal connection of similarities that I felt compelled to do the same. So here we are, almost two months after the event, recapping the engagement story.

the demure muse engagement story

If you read the glamping post back in October, that was the first time the engagement ring made an appearance on the blog. Glamping had been something that T and I talked about wanting to do since the early Summer. With our schedules being hard to coordinate thanks to work, we started looking into yurts within Washington state for a local, long weekend glamping trip.

By early August, we booked a weekend getaway to Doe Bay for late September. At the time, I didn’t think much of the trip since we had been on a handful of weekend adventures together (with friends) earlier in the year.

doe bay yurt

On the day of our trip, T picked me up bright and early and we drove to the ferry terminal together. With Doe Bay being on the San Juan islands, our commute took up the majority of the morning and afternoon. We checked into camping grounds, dropped our bags off in the yurt, and explored the island a bit before dinner time. We walked by the other cabins and yurts at the “resort”, stopping only to ooh and ahh at the beautiful scenery. For me, the daily grind of living the city life and feeling the need to constantly stay up to date on social media makes being off-grid and unplugging very re-energizing.

After a couple hours of exploring Doe Bay, we headed back to our yurt to rest before our dinner reservations. I was in half PJs, tucked into the blankets when the big question happened. I remember being half awake when I heard T rustling through his backpack looking for something. As he walked over to the bedside, I could tell something was off because he looked so nervous! That’s when he knelt down on one knee, said a bunch of really sweet things (that I would probably butcher trying to recall because I was having an omg-omg-is-this-really-happening-right-now moment) and he asked me to be his partner in life.


Right after it all happened, we couldn’t stop smiling and laughing together, constantly asking, “Is this real life? Did this just happen?!?!” Looking back, I love how very low key and true to “us” the moment felt. Having never fantasized about this day, I had no expectations to benchmark against. Except for maybe the fact I wish I wasn’t in PJs and looking like a haggard granny at the exact moment! ;) haha! And I guess it wouldn’t have hurt to have freshly painted nails for a ring pic… but we were glamping, after all.

With the engagement happening on the first day of our weekend of off-grid glamping, we weren’t able to share the news with our family and friends until a few days later. In hindsight, I’m really glad it happened this way. Having time to let it all soak in gave us time to bask in the excitement together before making the rounds of phone calls. Calling my parents and sharing the news with them will be a phone call I never forget! My mom was so cute and spilled the beans on being in on the plan the whole time. As my siblings were next in line for the news, they revealed they knew it was coming too! (How was he so sneaky?? I’ll never know.)

Even though it’s been over two months since the engagement, no plans have been made for a wedding. Since all of our family and friends are scattered across the US and Canada, the first step would be picking a city for the big day. With having to schedule Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday plans immediately following the engagement, we’re holding off on making any more big plans or decisions until the new year.

Until then, I’m excited to start planning all the peripherals of a wedding! While I am super excited about wedding-related decisions being made next year, this blog will probably only get a sprinkling of behind-the-scenes to avoid turning into a full-on wedding blog.

Stocking up on must-have essentials

With most Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales targeting holiday gift-giving shoppers, I like to optimize for an extra purpose. Getting access to such great sales makes stocking up for next year’s (and the year after, if I’m being honest for my current shopping habits), wardrobe a lot more wallet-friendly.

Here are some must-haves for essentials to look out for this shopping season.

Comfy travel gear

Being on the road about 25% of the year means having to think about comfort of not only clothes, but the comfort and ease of mind for how items are packed. My current travel outfits from plane-to-office consist of dress pant yoga pants, layered tops, and casual – but office appropriate – shoes.

Comfy travel items

One big thing I learned while being on the road this year is the importance of organization of how items are packed. From travel bags to keeping items like charging cables, eye masks, and headphones handy, here are some picks of travel-friendly gear:

Cropped moto jacket

This cropped moto jacket, by far, has garnered the most attention of any piece added to my closet all year. Faux and not, leather jackets have been part of my wardrobe for almost 6 years. Of all of them, the MISSGUIDED one purchased earlier this year always gets stopped for compliments. The reason I love cropped moto jackets is for their ability to transition between seasons. I took this jacket from Spring to Summer to Fall with ease, and will try to make the most of it for Winter by layering it over chunky knit, tunic-length sweaters.

cropped moto jacket

Since this exact has been sold out since the Spring, sharing some other options in a range of colours:


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His & Hers: Matching without being obvious

Happy (American) Thanksgiving, y’all! T’is the season for spending time with your loved ones and fretting over what to buy for them for the holidays, am I right? This year, I vouched to start my holiday shopping extra early. I’m pretty much done shopping for my family and close friends, with just a couple people left on the list. One of the hardest people to shop for is my significant other.

I haven’t been very open on this blog about my personal life, but I’ve had a small goal for 2016 to start being a bit less of a closed book. If you’ve ever been curious about who has been shooting the outfits on this blog for the last couple years, it would be my fiance! He likes to stay behind the scenes, but I thought we’d put him in the spotlight in today’s post about his & hers outfits.

Brooks Heritage Women's Vanguard
outfit details:
wool & leather jacket: Calvin Klein (similar)
mock-turtleneck: Banana Republic (exact)
jeans: AG Jeans (exact, on sale at Shopbop this week!)
Vanguard sneakers: c/o Brooks (exact)
oversized pom pom beanie: Uniqlo (old)

Brooks Heritage Women's Vanguard, black & white palette
Brooks Heritage Men's Chariot
outfit details:
knitted cardigan: Banana Republic (similar)
v-neck tee: H&M (exact)
484 chinos: J.Crew (exact)
Chariot sneakers: c/o Brooks (exact)

As you might be able to tell from the photos above, we’re quite similar in the way we dress. We both have neutral colour palettes, favouring layering of basics to bold statement pieces. I often laugh whenever we meet up for date nights and realize that we’re wearing almost-identical-but-not-exactly-the-same outfits.

Don’t get me wrong– I love it when we’re matching! (I might even encourage him to do it, at times ;) haha!) But I also don’t think we need to be head-to-toe in the exact same pieces; #twinningstatus, if you will. This is why I love the Brooks Heritage line so much. The sneakers we’ve both styled in this post are from the most current F/W 2016 line, but I’m wearing the Vanguard style, and he in the Chariot style. While they’re similar, we definitely do not looking like the twinning emoji!

The mix of materials to modernize the classic styles make these shoes perfect for everyday wear. This ultimately means there are more chances of us matching than not… at least in the shoe department! If you’re stumped for gift ideas for a significant other this year, check out the other Brooks Heritage options linked below!

More Brooks Heritage Vanguard & Chariot palette options:

P.S. If you’re not following me on Instagram, you might want to start today! There’s a special giveaway going live this weekend that may or may not have something to do with the gorgeous shoes in today’s post. *hint hint, wink wink*

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