Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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50s Summer Party Dresses

Does a stack of wedding and party invites leave you with a ‘what to wear’ headache this summer? Why not look to the era of gin cocktails and elegant summer soirees for your party vibe this year? The 50’s is providing us with some serious party wear inspiration right now and what’s more there is a 50’s look for every occasion. From the infamous wiggle dress to flattering circle shapes and cotton summer dresses Mela Mela have you covered. Swoon over some of our favourite 50’s pieces now in store to get your summer party look nailed.1950s-vintage-dress-cotton-striped-orange-yellow-black-gold-detail-front2_1Sunshine Prints

50’s designers weren’t afraid of some seriously bold prints and this sunshine coloured dress is no exception. The striped cotton design with classic flared skirt reminds us of holiday sunsets. We think it is just crying out for some Hollywood sized sunglasses and a glass of Pimms!1950s-vintage-dress-cotton-blue-green-abstract-design-frontClub Tropicana

Hot summer nights call for acid brights and wild prints. The 50’s love for the colourful and for exotic Hawaiian inspired prints has left us with some amazing items. This strapless cotton dress combines an abstract pattern with a tropical colour palette for a fun and fresh finish. Perfect for cocktails and dancing at a summer beach party.1950s-vintage-dress-california-cottons-blue-pink-floral-nylon-frontFlower Power

A garden party is just the thing for a fabulous floral. The 50’s showcases everything from delicate pastel floral designs to bold graphic designs. We love this delicate pink and blue example with its gorgeous velvet waist belt. The scooped neck gives it real impact combined with the classic 50’s circle shape. Pair with sandals for an easy, breezy finish.

1950s-vintage-wiggle-dress-jacket-blue-trimmed-with-spots-front

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How a new dress can help you stay cool this summer

So I went away last weekend. I didn’t go far, just on our yearly jaunt to the Essex coast, but boy was it nice to be beside the seaside. The cool sea breeze was really needed after that heatwave the week before. Even stepping off the promenade and making my way inland caused instant overheating. Blimey it was hot! It was lovely to be on a UK break that actually felt like a trip abroad, and it meant that we could spend more time on the beach together as a family rather than sheltering from the rain in an arcade!hotsquash summer dress cool fabric ss16 outfitI think I’ve mentioned it before but I’m not great with the heat. My pale, freckly skin just doesn’t get on with the sun. On hot days you’ll find me slinking off into the beach hut to shelter from the sun and I’ll always choose to walk on the shadowy side of the street. SPF 50 is definitely my must-have beauty product at this time of year!hotsquash summer dress cool fabric polka dot outfit

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Tuesday Shoesday – Summer Holiday Fashion Essentials

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting rather excited about my summer holiday starting soon. For many of us our summer break means some much-needed time off and a chance to recharge our batteries with a spot of sunshine. Today I’m sharing some of my top thrifty fashion picks for summer 2016, I’m showing you where to find an amazing voucher code that’ll get you £20 off your new holiday wardrobe AND I’m giving you the chance to win 1 of 3 spa experience vouchers to really kick-start your holiday in style! Read on to find out more and how to enter this fabulous giveaway…tuesday shoesday shoes sandals flip flops espadrilles fashion summer 2016 holiday inspirationWhether you’re going to some luxurious far-flung destination or are enjoying a relaxing staycation here in the UK, it’s simply the chance to check-out and rest that makes summer holidays so appealing. And, of course, there’s no better time to treat yourself to a spot of holiday shopping too! Glancing through my wardrobe earlier this week I realised that, apart from a couple of floral t-shirts, I’m seriously lacking in any holiday attire. I have no flip flops, no beach cover-up and not one single pair of shorts. It was time to shop!fashion trend summer 2016 espadrilles denim white blue

I wrote about espadrilles as the ultimate summer shoe on Tuesday Shoesday last month

But, as you may have gathered, it’s rather unusual for me to go shopping for anything new. I’m a thrifty gal, and those money-saving habits die hard. I decided that shopping online for my holiday wardrobe was the way to go, as I could browse plenty of shops all at once and could do my favourite type of filtering: “order by lowest price”! I also knew that I wasn’t going to get sucked into paying all kinds of delivery costs, so my first stop (before I even began shopping for clothes!) was searching for money-saving vouchers and discount codes.tuesday shoesday shoes sandals flip flops espadrilles

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I’m Cut Out + Keep’s Crafty Superstar!

Did you spot this news on my Twitter feed earlier this week? I’ve been tweeting and instagraming all week long because I’m just SO excited to be featured on one of my favourite sites. When Cut Out + Keep got in touch to invite me to be their Crafty Superstar, I was literally bouncing around at my desk!crafty superstarI sent over my signed photo as soon as I could and I loved every minute of the interview process – I felt like such a star! I couldn’t wait for ‘my’ week as Crafty Superstar and for my DIY projects to be shared with all their readers. You can check out my interview and see 4 of my crafts on the site right now.diy-pink-tulle-pompom-decorations-party-tutorial-cassiefairy - crafty superstar cut out and keep

Cut Out + Keep are sharing my thrifty projects every day this week. My pom-pom DIY has already gone live on Monday, as has my no-sew t-shirt on Tuesday. My distressed chair upcycling project was featured on Wednesday and I’m yet to see what’s going live today – I find it really exciting when I get a notification ping through that another of my projects has been published!diy-fashion-no-sew-floral-pocket-tshirt-for-summer cut out and keep crafty superstarI love visiting Cut Out + Keep for plenty of inspiration for recipes, sewing ideas, craft projects and furniture DIYs. I’ve even been inspired to try to learn to knit (you know, something more technical than just straight rows!) thanks to their knitting and crochet section. It’s like Pinterest but with real crafters. No everyone on the site has a blog or is a pro, it’s just a very welcoming community of enthusiastic makers who want to share their latest projects. Amazing stuff.distresses furniture diy projectI’m SO thrilled to join so many other fantastic crafters in the Crafty Superstars hall of fame and I still can’t really believe that Cut Out + Keep picked me to feature! Please check out my Crafty Superstar page if you get a chance and follow along with all 7 days of my projects as they are published. And do let me know what you think!


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Tuesday Shoesday – Those “other” accessories…

It may be Tuesday Shoesday but today I’m doing things a bit differently. Instead of focusing on beautiful shoes and fabulous bargains, I’ve decided to check out that ‘other’ all-important accessory instead: the handbag. It’s equally as important as shoes – you probably don’t ever leave the house without it – and it can have so many uses that it’s hard to know where to start when you’re shopping for a new one. That’s where I come in. Today’s blog post is a wishlist of handbags for every occasion and all purposes. Plus one of these bags is an absolute steal and I am definitely buying it! Can you guess which? Let’s get started…handbag satchel clutch bag school work wedding spring summer 2016 shoppingFirst up is satchels. I carry a satchel myself most days. They’re small enough to carry without putting too much of a strain on my arm or back (yes, I love a cross-body strap) and they’re big enough to hold everything I need day-to-day. They can look rather cool in a back-to-school kind of way too, and remind me of my college years. I posted a photo of my own satchel on Instagram recently for a ‘what’s in my bag’ tag, so you can have a nosy at my tiny little everyday satchel if you like. It’s embossed leather and deep blue so goes perfectly with most of my autumn/winter wardrobe. I’d quite like to have a brighter, summer version of my satchel to migrate over to during the warmer months.handbag satchel school work yellow spring summer 2016

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Career inspiration – Top tips to become a fashion stylist

If you have a passion for fashion and love to shop, then becoming a fashion stylist is the perfect career choice for you. The position involves everything you love about the fashion world, and not only affords a hands-on experience in all the aspects of the fashion industry but gives you the opportunity to make your own ideas a reality. You’ll get to design and create your very own store displays, dress mannequins, manage the interior/outside decor, and arrange floor and store space. Sounds exciting, huh?the-devil-wears-pradaAll the while, you’ll be keeping up with changing fashion trends (yes, reading magazines and looking at blogs will be part of your job!), checking out branding updates, keeping track of new visual and marketing techniques (paid to play around on social media? Yes please!). If this sounds good so far, your training will probably cover coordinating outfits to fit individual customers, experience in diverse fashion styles to fit different consumer demographics, engaging in photoshoots for visual ads, and becoming an expert in customer relations in general. And that’s just for starters! Want to know how to get the job of your dreams? Read on… Continue reading “Career inspiration – Top tips to become a fashion stylist” »


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Decluttering my wardrobe by Swopping with Oxfam

A new campaign by Oxfam has just launched today and I’ve already been rummaging around in my wardrobe this morning in order to help raise money for Oxfam. The ask is so simple and I hope you can join me in supporting such a great cause. From 6th June Oxfam is asking the nation to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Marie Kondo by decluttering their wardrobes and donating any clothes not worn in a year to the charity’s Shwopping campaign.

Oxfam will then resell your unwanted clothes and the money raised will make a real difference to those who need it the most and help to end extreme poverty for good. I’m actually really pleased with efforts this morning – I was clearing out my wardrobe at 7am (enthusiastic, eh?!) and had taken some snaps of the process by 8am (see below!). And by 9am I was tapping away at my computer, writing this blog post! I really wanted to share the campaign with you today – the day it launched – because I’m hoping my photos will inspire you to do the same when you get home from work or college later today. At the very least I’ve got a tidy wardrobe now, thanks to Oxfam!

We all have clothes laying in the back of our wardrobes that we never wear and whilst we aren’t wearing them, someone else could be loving them again and, in turn, help Oxfam’s Water, Women and Work campaign for the most vulnerable people across the globe. Donated clothes will be resold in Oxfam shops on the high street, or on the Oxfam fashion website or in Oxfam festival shops. Clothes that can’t be resold will be reused in Frip Ethique, Oxfam’s social enterprise scheme in Senegal or in other countries around the world. And any clothes they can’t resell or reuse are sold in bulk to reprocessing companies to be reborn as mattress filling or carpet underlay. Whatever you donate will be used in the best possible way to raise much-needed funds for the charity.

You can donate clothes to Oxfam shops or take them into M&S stores and pop your unwanted clothes into their Shwopping boxes before you buy something new! You can actually collect ‘Sparks’ points when you Shwop at M&S if you show your donations at the till before you put them in the box, and if you donate a M&S item at an Oxfam shop, they will give you a discount vouncher for your next purchase at M&S – bonus! There are still approximately 114,000 garments thrown away in the UK every hour (can you believe it?!) so taking them to M&S or Oxfam is a much better use of these unwanted clothes than putting them into landfill. Both options are extremely convenient ways to donate to a great cause and will help Oxfam’s “ultimate goal” of recycling as many clothes as M&S sells – that’s hundreds of millions of clothes each year! Just imagine how much money could be raised for the charity even if you only dropped off one thing before buying something new. I really like the idea of a ‘one in, one out’ policy for my wardrobe in order to keep it tidy from now on.

Please do let me know if you do get involved in this campaign and ‘Shwop’ something of your own by leaving me a comment below. And if you’d like to join in the campaign on Twitter, please use the hashtag #WardrobeShwop in your tweets – why not share a photo of your newly decluttered wardrobe too?! Thanks for supporting this great campaign and if you get a chance please check out my author profile on the Oxfam fashion website where I share lots of thrifty DIY projects as a voluntary blog writer!


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Wear your support with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

Can you believe that Fashion Targets Breast Cancer has already been running for 20 years?! I remember being a teenager when this ground-breaking campaign first launched – where have those years gone? Nonetheless the 2016 campaign has launched and is celebrating 20 years as the nation’s most powerful fashion movement.fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-2Running until the end of May, the campaign calls on British shoppers to buy something stylish from their 2016 fashion collection. Your support raises important funds for Breast Cancer Now’s vital research into breast cancer so what better excuse do you need to do a spot of shopping this month? fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-3The exclusive fashion collection is available at some of the high-street’s best loved retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, River Island, Topshop, Laura Ashley, Simply Be, Hush, The Fold, SVP and Blow Ltd. Over the past two decades shoppers have raised over £14 million to fund pioneering breast cancer research simply by shopping! Whether you’re investing in a whole new wardrobe or buying a piece of jewellery to show your support (such as my gorgeous bracelets from River Island), you can make your money really count by choosing items from the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer collection. Just check out fashiontargetsbreastcancer.org.uk/lookbook where you can browse through the collection. Here are just a few of my favourites:

image001The collection celebrates the best fashion moments from the past decades and includes some ‘throwback’ styles (I thought this was worth a mention, seeing as it’s Thowback Thursday today!) such as spaghetti strap tops, bodies and cropped tees, which remind me of the 90s when the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign first launched. But it’s not all ‘gimmicky’ fashion – there are plenty of casual staples, glamourous knock-out pieces and plenty of inspiration for Spring/Summer outfits. Most importantly, every single item guarantees a minimum 30% donation to Breast Cancer Now. Prices start at a thrifty £2 (again, my bracelets are a good example of this) so it’s easy to ‘Wear Your Support’ no matter what your shopping budget is. fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-4fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-6Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity. They have already made incredible advances to combat the disease, and today more women beat breast cancer than ever before. Every penny donated to the Breast Cancer Now goes towards reaching the target that, by 2050, no woman will die from breast cancer. I am delighted to be working with them to tell you all about this thoroughly worthwhile campaign. I’d love you all to head out to the shops this weekend and treat yourself to something new from the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer collection – just one purchase could make all the difference. Thanks for reading guys, and let me know if you buy something from the range by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @cassiefairy. fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-5


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5 ways to style up denim

We all wear denim, and all have at least one pair of jeans, a denim jacket, skirt, dress or dungarees. Denim will never go out of fashion and it’s even more loved than ever. Denim is comfortable, it looks great (even after you’ve worn it for years!) and it can be styled up in so many different ways. It can be worked into most fashion trends – add a khaki shirt and you’ve got the ‘global explorer’ look, while a striped top turns the same jeans into a ‘nautical’ outfit. Never has one piece of clothing been SO in line with my thrifty ideals – what else can you wear practically every day?

The cost-per-wear of a great pair of jeans is phenomenal, I can tell you! Denim can turn any business and office look into a casual weekend option, and can even be dressed up for glamorous parties if you style it properly. I think we can all agree that denim will be forever here so today I’m looking at five ways to style up your existing denim clothes (no matter how old or new!) to boost your outfit choices with only a few simple tricks and accessories.

Beautiful young woman walking in the city. Fashion.Love this combo of summer hat and comfy pumps

  1. Add a hat

You are probably already wearing the timeless jeans-and-shirt combo for relaxed weekend days but, if you are a fan of the casual chic look, why not add a cute boyfriend hat? You can pick a straw fedora for summer days or a real-deal Marlon Brando hat in the autumn. This timeless look can be completed with a cute clutch to dress up even the most casual jeans-shirt-and-pumps outfit, or add strappy summer sandals to achieve the perfect ‘day out with the girls’ outfit.

fashion studio photo of gorgeous young woman with blond curly hair wears elegant blouse and jeans,holding a big bag in hands

White and denim always look great

2. Statement accessories

Jeans will forever be in fashion and will get you out of a ‘what to wear’ dilemma every single time. It’s easy to style them up to incorporate seasonal trends so you can work many new colours, patterns, designs and fabrics into your existing wardrobe. Just adding a few accessories saves you time and money instead of shopping for a whole new wardrobe every season. White tops and shirts look amazing with your jeans in spring and summer and a chunky statement necklace and a large tote can be enough to dress up jeans for smarter occasion and gives you a whole new look without costing too much.ootd fashion styling denim and flower dress

One of my favourite ways to wear denim

3. Pretty florals Continue reading “5 ways to style up denim” »


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Tuesday Shoesday – Bloggers’ shoes from the UK Blog Awards 2016

If you can cast your mind back to the last few times that I’ve been to a blog awards event, you might remember that I have a bit of a post-ceremony tradition. I love to share photos of the bloggers’ shoes in a Tuesday Shoesday post. Not only do I love chatting with all the fabulous writers and photographers that I meet at the event, but I’m also really interested in their outfit for the event and, in particular, their choice of shoes. Here are a few of my previous ‘Your Shoes’ blog posts after the Cosmopolitan blog awards and the very first UK Blog Awards back in 2014. Anyway, this year is no exception and no sooner had I arrived home from the event, I was tweeting my new pals to see if they wanted to get involved in my next Tuesday Shoesday post. Thankfully, all the bloggers I chatted to replied to my request and sent through photos of their own (rather fabulous!) shoes for me to share with you today. Oh and I’m thinking about compiling another ‘Your Shoes’ blog post for everyone to join in with so please email me cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or tweet me @Cassiefairy if you’d like to show off your shoes in my next post!

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The first bloggers to send me a snap of their shoes were the couple behind award-winning blog Hey! Dip Your Toes In. This inspirational website is packed full of glorious photography, appetising recipes and I-want-to-be-there-now travel posts, so it comes as no surprise that Eulanda and Omo won the award for Best Food & Drink Blog in the UK. They totally deserve this accolade – you can tell just how passionate they are about their blog and the experiential lifestyle they live. And it didn’t stop there; this fabulous duo made it a double-whammy by winning Highly Commended in the Travel category too!

I asked them to talk me through their footwear choices for the event and I’m pleased to report that they (like me!) cited comfort on the dancefloor as one of the main reasons that they chose these particular shoes; “We typically like to coordinate when we go to big fancy events, however, we’d just gotten back the day prior to the event from a 15 day press trip. With his in mind, we really couldn’t be bothered with making a fuss at coordination attempts. We knew there would be dancing, and rather than risk a night of tender toes and tears of regret, we opted for the old faithful shoes. Omo wore his wedding shoes, and I wore my graduation shoes. Both pairs are super comfortable, and have seen hours of fire on the dance floor! Our shoes happened to be the same shade of caramel, which is really our version of ‘nude.’ Honestly, there were no other options. Comfort rained supreme on this day, and we were able to dance for hours on end after the ceremony was over. A night well done for us!” And trust me, they sure did tear up that dancefloor – I’ve seen the photos! Congratulations again to Hey! Dip Your Toes In – you deserve to dance the night away after scooping two awards!laura devine bride shoesNext up are Laura from Devine Bride and Maggie from Planes & Champagne, the lovely ladies who sat with me during the awards ceremony and actually had to persuade me out of my seat when my name was called. Thank goodness they were there! Laura told me all about her plans for her gorgeous wedding blog while we chatted at the event and I can’t wait to work with Devine Bride in the future on guest posts and more. While Maggie was already off on another plane straight after the ceremony, Laura stuck around in London and was able to zip a photo of her classy black shoes over to me straight away. She told me that she decided to wear her bargain shoes over and above some much more expensive shoes in her collection because they’re super-comfy.

“I wore these shoes to the UK Blog awards last Friday as I was nervous about going and meeting new people, and these shoes never let me down! They are one of the cheapest pairs I own (£14.99 from New Look via ASOS last summer), but one of the best.  I have lots of more expensive shoes that I have blagged through various jobs in the past (Russell & Bromley and Louboutin, no less), but I always revert back to these. I love the heel height and the comfortable suede.  They are a simple classic court shoe and go with just about anything – I’ve even worn them with jeans.  I actually planned on wearing sparkly sandals to the UK Blog Awards, as I was a little intimidated by the attendee information stating that the dress code was formal/cocktail dress, but I had already ruined my wedding pedicure from the week before and was coming to the event straight from work.  I had a brilliant night and have put it down to putting my best foot forward, in my favourite (comfortable) courts.”

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