Clogs for the Fall

Fall is officially here and I could not be more excited to start layering again! What I struggle with most about the Summertime is not knowing how to layer for such warm weather. This faux leather jacket has been on high rotation ever since adding it to my closet in the Summer, and I’m so jazzed to transition it into the cooler days, mixing it with the existing neutral tops and bottoms in my closet.

Minimalist, monochrome outfit with Dansko booties
outfit details:
moto jacket: MISSGUIDED (similar in suede)
blush blouse: Naked Zebra (similar)
skinny jeans: AG Jeans (exact)
milled leather clogs: c/o Dansko (exact)
gold bar necklace: c/o Moorea Seal (similar)
glasses: Derek Cardigan (old)

One very hard lesson I learned in the first year of moving to Seattle was around owning and wearing suede in the Fall and Winter months. Turns out these are the rainiest months of the year, which meant my suede shoes started to smell pretty gross after walking through months of puddles. Today, my shoe collection is almost entirely free of suede, save for one pair of running shoes that I love in the Summer.

Minimalist outfit ft Dansko clogs
Dansko clogs - Maria booties
I was really excited when Dansko reached out with an opportunity to try a pair of their clogs for the Fall. What I absolutely love about the Maria black milled Nubuck leather booties is the fact that they have such a minimalist, classic design and are extremely comfortable.

I spend majority of my weekdays and weekends walking or standing, and these shoes are a dream to take on the strolls! The footbed is cushioned for optimal support, and the rounded toe gives lots of room for wiggling of toes during those short moments of sitting. If you’re looking for a great, minimalist bootie that’ll transition well from the Fall to the Winter, I highly recommend considering Dansko clogs for some great picks!

REVIEW: GlassesUSA frames under $150

As a four-eyes with no option to wear contacts (yay for horrible astigmatism!), glasses are my go-to accessory. If these are going to be stuck on my face for all hours of the day, I want them to be an extension of my style! The glasses industry is definitely not what it used to be, where I used to only be able to update my frames once every other year because of the expensive pricing. Nowadays, we can get prescription glasses for $150 and under, which makes it easier to justify multiple pairs to keep our looks feeling fresh (sound familiar?)!

When the team got in touch for a review, of course I had to say yes! Today’s review is for a pair of frames that are a bit outside of my colour comfort zone. As someone who loves black frames coloured, these brown pair of Barbara frames somehow swayed me to try something new.

glassesUSA review

Frame selection
There were so many amazing frames to choose from on! From Chloe to Ray-Ban to Adidas, it was great to see so many options for less than what most in-person optical shops sell frames for. I decided to select these Barbara frames because of the intriguing blended colour and price tag of $125, including prescription lenses!

Shipping and delivery packaging
Shipping time was one of the most impressive parts of submitting my order! I put my order in at the beginning of the week, and within a week my glasses arrived. The packaging of the glasses surprised me from a minimal waste perspective. The glasses arrived in a hard case, wrapped in a corrugated box (the “Nice to See You!” box in these photos), and placed in a FedEx mailer. No bubble wrap or extra waste!

glassesUSA review barbara glasses

Glasses wear and tear
On one of the first days of receiving these frames, I took them apple picking in torrential downpour. Not only was water dripping down for 2 hours straight, but the frames were also put to the test from the cold temperatures. They held up really nicely and the cleaning cloth that came with the frames came in handy!

If you’re in the market for new glasses, it offering an amazing 50% discount on non-premium frames (the brown Barbara frames qualify!) with free shipping when you sign up for their newsletter!

Disclosure: This review was made possible thanks to the kind folks at the company. The glasses were provided courtesy of GlassesUSA, but all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.

Tazo Tea: Maintaining zen throughout the day

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tazo® Tea for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Growing up in a family that loves green tea blends, tea has played an important role in our morning and evening routines. I have so many fond memories of my parents steeping a pot of green tea at the end of dinner, giving us time as a family to sit and chat about our days while sipping joyfully. There are so many ways to enjoy tea throughout a day, not just at the beginning or end of one. I’m excited to partner with Tazo® Tea to highlight the Zen™ hot filterbag and how I like to prep and enjoy it! I selected Zen, a harmonious blend of green tea with lemongrass and spearmint, because of my love for green teas and mint flavour. Not to mention, I’ve enjoyed this blend numerous times outside of this blog post and love how easy it is to pair with other fruits for all day long tea sipping.
Tazo tea blend, Zen

At Tazo, tea is a celebration of flavour and aroma that adds a little excitement to the day. They focus their teas around taste, crafting them with exhilarating, unexpected flavor blends that delight the senses. The Zen is no exception. I like to pair the Zen blend with other citrus fruits to compliment the lemongrass and further amplify the spearmint. Lemon or lime is my favourite, especially for a mid-day refreshment.

Tazo Zen tea with lime

One of my faovurite times to enjoy a cup of tea is in the early afternoon. With the Seattle weather being in an intermediate Summer to Fall transition, the weather often shifts from brisk morning winds to warmer afternoons. I like to steep the tea, add a slice of lime during the steeping, and then take the tea on the go. Tea is the perfect afternoon drink, especially one like Zen where the caffeine level is not extremely high, so that my bed time isn’t affected.

Tazo Zen tea blend infused with lime

Having a fruit infuser water bottle is amazing for taking tea on the go! After getting splashed in the face a few too many times by fruit slices, I invested in a double walled fruit infuser water bottle. This makes transporting and enjoying the lime-infused tea a lot more pleasant. I’m excited to try and get even more creative with Tazo® Tea in the future! With other blends like Passion® and Awake™ English Breakfast, the infusion combos are endless. If you’re a big fan of tea like I am, head to to find Tazo tea near you!

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Keeping a minimalist wardrobe feeling fresh

Building a minimalist working wardrobe is not an overnight task. It’s something that I actively started working on over a year ago and continue to build on today. This whole process was sparked by a combination of reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and becoming a more conscious consumer after reading the effects of fast fashion on the environment.

Although I only have a rough idea of what mission complete is supposed to look or feel like, I sometimes feel like I’m still a ways away from being done. Not surprisingly, 90% of my wardrobe’s palette is now black, white, grey, or denim. The remaining 10% is the handful of “special occasion” or sentimental keepsake pieces. To avoid my everyday outfits from looking like a boring uniform, I have started to play with bold accessories to pair and elevate the neutral basics. Here are some tips and tricks for building a minimalist wardrobe and keeping it feeling fresh.

Minimalist wardrobe building: How to incorporate accent accessories
outfit details:
cold shoulder top: ASOS (exact)
skinny jeans: AG Jeans (exact)
Brooks vintage logo hat: c/o Brooks (Heritage collection)
quilted Vanguard sneakers: c/o Brooks (launching Oct 1!)

1. Pick a limited colour palette and stick with it!

To be honest, the current palette of black, white, grey, and denim, is nothing new to my wardrobe. My previous closet was heavily in favour of this palette. The only difference now is that instead of these colours making up 55% of my wardrobe, they make up close to 90%. Of course, the base palette colours can vary from person to person. Learning what colours you gravitate to most and have an abundance of in your current wardrobe will help identify which colours are best for your minimalist wardrobe. Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer! Whatever works best is the closest “right answer” for you!

2. Look for basics that help shape select silhouettes

Know what silhouettes you like best and build your wardrobe around those. Having multiple pieces that help build the same silhouette over and over again with different outfits will make pairing pieces easier. For example, if you like easy, loose-fitting tops, stock your wardrobe with boyfriend tees in all colours that make up the neutral palette. This will make interchanging of the tees a breeze because all of them will support the same overall outfit silhouette!

vintage brooks baseball hat

3. Rotate accessories to keep it feeling fresh

It’s been a while since I purchased any new staples for my main base wardrobe. To keep these simple outfits feeling fresh and new with each season, I’ve been mixing bold accessories to strike a fun contrast with the neutral base palette. Surprisingly, red is the colour that I gravitate to most for accessories. It’s so bold and attention-grabbing, completely in the opposite direction of the rest of my closet. Mix and match shoes, hats, necklaces, etc, to help bring a new perspective to base outfits on high rotation.

If you’re also building a minimalist wardrobe, I’m curious to know if you have any additional tips and tricks to help keep it feeling fresh from season to season!

Falling for monochrome

Forever a fan of a monochrome palette, today’s outfit is most likely going to turn into my Fall uniform. This duster-length cardigan has been in my closet for all of 2 weeks and has already been worn 5 times! It’s the perfect layering piece for Seattle’s current fickle morning-to-afternoon, Summer-to-Fall, temperature transitions. The cardigan is playing double duty as a jacket right now, but isn’t too thick to fit under a jacket once the temperature drops again.

the demure muse // monochrome with J.Jill
J.Jill cardigan duster
outfit details:
long knit cardigan: c/o J.Jill (exact)
draped front-wrap top: c/o J.Jill (exact)
ultra skinny jeans: Citizens of Humanity (similar)
Noa wedges: Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole c/o J.Jill (exact)
vintage Coach Legacy purse: thrifted via Goodwill (exact via Etsy)
glasses: Derek Cardigan (old)

the demure muse // monochrome outfits
the demure muse // vintage Coach Legacy purse

I know I don’t talk much about work on the blog, but I’m really excited for the upcoming season. Not only is Fall my favourite season to dress for (yay layers!), but I’m also learning that Fall is the busy season in the office. Since I now work on projects that are tangentially related to e-commerce, and Fall is the season for gearing up to Holiday shopping, things are about to get crazy!

Hearing anecdotes from coworkers about past Holiday season preparation is getting me excited!! Having never worked on this side of retail before, it’s been fascinating to learn about what happens behind the scenes. Everything from the prep work required to roll out a sale, to ensuring that there are enough boxes to support shipping out goods, to lead times on graphics that pop up online for advertisement, is incredible to see!

Needless to say, there will be less shopping outside of Holiday gift buying for this lady. I’ve been working really hard to downsize my closet for the last year and I’m finally getting to my happy place. All of the pieces are finally coming together where they can be worn both for work or play. The hardest part was finding silhouettes that would mix and watch well, and this long knit cardigan ties a lot of them together.

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