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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Top Winter Hat Tips – We’ve Got You Covered

It’s time to bundle up for winter but first use your head about what’s covering your head. All winter gear isn’t created equally. Here is what you need to know to help you stay snug and warm this winter. Whether you want to keep warm during casual trips to shops, while exercising outdoors, or are addressing a special need like hats for thinning hair, here is what you need to know to keep warm and cosy this winter.pom-pom-hat-beanie-knitting-pattern-mollie-makes

Knit your own with this bobble hat pattern by Mollie Makes

Fit for winter

Headwear can make a huge difference in keeping warm during the winter. Even if you are simply dashing between your car and the store or from one heating building to another, staying warm is important. Even indoors drafts and irregular heating can make it important to keep your head warm. A large portion of your body heat can be lost through your head.

If you’ll be outside in the cold for more than a few minutes, it’s important that your headwear covers your ears. Ears are thin but have a relatively large surface area. This increases the risk of heat loss and even frostbite.

If you’ll be enjoying outdoor sports this winter, it is important to get the appropriate headwear. Hats for running, hiking, and skiing and other outdoor sports need to combine comfort, fit, warmth, and an ability to handle sweat. Choose a longer style hat that will cover your forehead and ears without riding up as you run. You want to make sure the headwear is snug enough to stay in place while you exercise without being too tight or creeping out of place. If you’ll be out in extreme conditions, consider wearing a balaclava. This style of knit cap covers most of the face and neck as well as the head. It can even be worn under a hat or beanie for added warmth. crochet-bobble-hat-pattern-mollie-makes-45

Here’s a Mollie Makes crochet pattern to make your own slouchy hat

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My top 5 winter wardrobe essentials

As I’m sat at my computer writing this blog post there is actually frost on the ground, I needed to defrost my car this morning, and I’ve got the fire blazing in the living room. It’s definitely feeling wintery out there and that can only mean one thing; time for some new winter essentials.

I try not to splash out too much on new clothing during the year. My thrifty nature ensures that I always ask myself ‘do I really need it?’ before buying something new and often the answer is no. I can go for months without buying myself something new and my jeans usually get holes in them before I consider upgrading! Even so, there are some essentials that I can’t live without each year, and it’s usually around autumn/winter that I start thinking about adding a few cosy items to my wardrobe.

Firstly, I picked up a couple of jumpers from House of Fraser. Every year, when the temperature drops, I look in my wardrobe and say to myself ‘I have no jumpers’. I don’t know where they disappear to during the year, but all I can find is 3/4 length sleeved cardigans and they just won’t cut it on chilly winter mornings. So I decided on two fail-safe cosy jumpers to add to my winter wardrobe.

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5 style taboos your man should ignore

One of the constant things about fashion is that it changes all the time. One season we hate baggy jeans and the next season slouchy ‘boyfriend’ jeans are a must-have item. Naturally, men fashion changes as well and over the years we’ve witnessed many men’s style taboos being broken by designers who don’t care about outdated ‘rules’. Here are the top five fashion ‘sins’ that men no longer have to avoid and, in fact, should be actively encouraged to wear to help them look gorgeous this autumn/winter.menswear mens fashion styling a tweed jacket layered warm outdoor forest autumn winter-61. Double denim
Remember the days when denim-on-denim was considered a sin? Well, times have changed and now those that can pull denim-on-denim off are considered the bravest fashionistas out there. The trick is usually to mix different shades and colours in order to get the best effect. For example, get your man black denim jeans and combine them with a grey denim jacket or blue denim shirt. The result is usually amazing and you won’t be able to take your eyes off your fashionable fella.fashion for men - double denim2. Blue and green should never be seen
Oh come on, this is such an outdated taboo, that it shouldn’t even exist anymore. In any case, many designers have included navy blue and green combinations in their latest collections, so this is the right time to see how these two colours suit your other half. If you don’t want to push it too far, you can simply motivate him to put on blue trousers in combination with a green sweater or jacket. The bravest can try adding shirt in a different shade of green or even mix another colour in the combination such as brown or grey.fashion for men - blue and green3. Forget florals
There were times when pants weren’t considered feminine and that didn’t stop us from wearing them. So it’s time to be fair to your guy and let him enjoy some florals. These are extremely popular and plus they really suit guys when worn with a smart jacket or cool jeans. If you want your man to have his own unique style, which would make him stand out from the mass of men in white or black shirts, then you should make him buy something with floral design. I am a bigger fan of floral shirts than floral trousers and jackets; nevertheless, you can see what suits your partner the best and go for it. Believe me, you won’t regret it and he’ll love it.fashion for men - floral patterns
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My handbag quest

The other day I was sorting through my wardrobe with the aim of getting rid of some of the things I no longer use. I did that and found quite a lot of things I no longer needed, but surprisingly I also realised that I was short on something and that was handbags. Cassiefairy blog Nica Estelle vintage school bag satchelI’ve used the same couple of handbags in rotation for the past few years and since putting away my ‘winter’ bag last year, it’s become rather tatty – or, more likely, I’ve just started to notice the cracked leather and ink-marks. Yes, some of my favourite bags really need replacing! A shopping trip, with the aim of buying a handbag for every occasion, was in order. Whats in blogger Cassiefairys handbag-2

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Menswear sale bargain – A new Army & Navy coat

Even though I only picked up a handful of goodies in the sales this year, I think you’ll agree that my husband has got a great deal with his bargain purchase: a new coat from House of Fraser. It’s been literally years since he got a new coat and even though he already has a few in his wardrobe, they are all sale, second-hand, or charity shop finds, so after a few years of wear they are looking a little tired. So I was delighted when he liked the look of this clearance coat and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive by mail order.army and navy coat menswear sale bargain

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What to wear to a winter wedding 2014

We all know I’m a fan of a good dress. Any time that I’m shopping online or in the stores, I always head straight to the dress section and simply cannot resist a well-fitting, figure-flattering dress. There are so many different lovely styles you can choose from and they work well in a variety of situations, from nights out clubbing to formal work socials, the dress is the perfect opinion for any situation. Now when it comes to weddings it normally pretty set in stone what the bride and her bridesmaids are going to be wearing, but this begs the more difficult question of what should you wear as a guest? The answer is simple really, a dress of course! There are a number of different options to go for and numerous other things you can add to your outfit to make it look even better, just don’t out-do the bride, haha!

Keep it simple

Everyone knows that the little black dress has been a staple in many people’s wardrobes for a great number of years and for good reason. The versatility of the dress makes it a must-have fashion item, it’s easy to dress up for a formal work event or business attire and is just as easy to dress down for a casual night out with friends. When it comes to weddings the little black dress is a safe choice that will always look good, just add some ornate jewellery and a clutch bag to complete the outfit. The contrast of the between your black dress and the brides’ white dress will make you look even better, and help make the bride stand out even more, which is definitely important at their wedding. I really love my midi wrap-dress below for weddings because it’s more than just a little black dress – the floral pattern really makes it a dress for all seasons and it’s a very demure, classy style. Just remember to not wear a dress that is too short or low-cut and make sure you look presentable as you don’t want to ruin the wedding photographs!

A LBD & my favourite wedding dress from House of Fraser

Jewellery

The bride has numerous tools like the budget trackers, seating planners and guest managers, all of which are available at Wedding Site, that help her add the finishing touches to her wedding. Similarly, jewellery is one of the many extra tools you have available to you to add those ever so important finishing touches to your own outfit. The use of jewellery can add so much to an outfit if used correctly and with a wedding it is normal to go all out with necklaces, ear rings, bracelets and rings. Remember to compliment your clothes with your jewellery, choose a small necklace and a more ornate bracelet if you’re wearing a medium or high-neck dress with no sleeves, or go for a bigger necklace and some dangly ear-rings if you opt for a more low-cut, thin and long dress.

Complete your outfit with a big coat

One of the most important parts of any winter wedding outfit is some form of jacket or coat to accompany your evening wear. The winter period is a favourite for weddings due to the tranquil scenery and seasonal festivities but, of course, the weather much colder, so it is important to wrap up warm to be ready whatever the weather. A nude tailored coat is ideal choice for any smart occasion and neutral colours will work well with any outfit, giving you the freedom to experiment with your choice of dress and shoes. Pastel colours are also ideal for weddings and a classy coat will keep you warm and comfortable during the day while letting the rest of your outfit shine later in the evening.

Turn heads with a midi dress

Obviously it is important to not steal the show from the bride on the biggest day of her life but surely you can you can turn a few heads? Midi dresses are becoming increasingly popular as guest attire for a winter wedding, granting the perfect combination of boldness and sophistication, with the added warmth that the extra length gives you. During the day accompany the dress with a chic jacket or cardigan. A bright colour really suits the long, flowing style of the dress and will make your dancing look even better (and let’s be honest, some of us need all the help we can get!).

A fabulous midi dress & I can dance all night in these peep-toe wedges!

Wear some hard working heels

A part of your outfit that is just as important as the dress are the shoes that will be keeping you up for the entire day and night. A classic style of shoe and comfort are the most important things to consider as you will be standing during the ceremony, mingling during the reception and dancing the night away. Open-toe heels are always a good choice at weddings, looking chic yet smart and sophisticated if paired with a nice dress, also giving your feet room to breathe with dancing. Obviously whatever feels comfortable for you is the best thing to go for, just remember as the ideal wedding guest you will have to dance no matter how much your feet are hurting!


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ London Fashion Week, Sept 2014

It’s London Fashion Week and I for one can’t get enough of all the live video streams, Instagram photos and live catwalk updates via Twitter. Yes, I’ve been absolutely glued to the coverage and as it’s Tuesday Shoesday I thought I’d post an update on my favourite footwear trends that have been shared during the course of LFW. One of the most interesting updates has come from ASOS and I’ve been keeping an eye on their daily edits since the start of fashion week.ASOS daily edit for LFWOne of the uber-fashionable in-house stylists at ASOS, Megan Ellaby has been guest editing the “Daily Edit” platform throughout London Fashion Week and I’ve really enjoyed reading her advice and getting ideas for looking stylish at LFW. I can see why she chose these fabulous shoes as part of today’s Daily Edit – they sum up the colours and shapes for Autumn/Winter perfectly: 

LFW daily edit - footwear trends from ASOS

As you can probably tell from my other Tuesday Shoesday blog posts, I’m a big fan of the ox-blood colour trend for this season and these chunky loafers with gold chain detail are my idea of the perfect autumn shoe. Of course, mixing textures and fabrics is a key trend for Autumn/Winter 2014 and these ASOS boots and DKNY Active trainers combine different finishes in the same colourway in order to tap into the texture trend. I’m definitely on the look out for a pair of ankle boots for this winter and I’d love a low-heel just like these, so Megan’s fashion week tip just might end up in my wardrobe later on in the season!

More glamorous looks for A/W14 that I just can’t get enough of are these outfits chosen by Megan. The colours are ideal for the season and most importantly each of these looks would be the ideal accompaniment to my burgundy leather shoes! I love subtle checked patterns and the shape of this playsuit is on the more vintage side of the fashion spectrum, so I am definitely putting this on my wish list – I’m imagining it with a chunky belt and thick thermal tights for winter. The claret jumper will work with almost everything in my existing wardrobe and will help bring last years’ shirts and skirts bang up to date. My favourite of these looks is the midi skirt. Even though I’m not yet sure that I can pull off this length being only 5ft 2 I certainly want to try a midi skirt with tucked in slogan jumper to recreate this fabulous casual-glam look. I know that ASOS have a great petite section so I think I’ll browse around for a midi skirt and take the plunge!ASOS LFW 14

The shopping edits by the enviably on-trend personal stylists at ASOS will continue beyond LFW so be sure to check back on the Daily Edit page for up-to-the minute updates on what’s hot this season. Now that I’ve found it, I know I won’t be able to tear myself away – I like to think of it as ‘research’ for work rather than shopping  – haha, any excuse, eh?!

 

 


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ At the school gates…

Autumn term. It’s finally here. I wait and wait for September to arrive for two reasons; firstly, as a perpetual student I’ve always loved starting a new course each September and relishing the potential new learning experiences it can bring, and secondly, because I see it as the start of the run-up to Christmas! I’ve always found that the autumn term flies by in  flurry of fireworks, Halloween and festive events and in no time at all we’re singing Alde Lang Syne.  And I really can’t get in trouble for saying the ‘C-word’ too early because from today it’s actually only 100 sleeps til Christmas, woop!back to school shoes trend for autumn winter

The start of September sees countless children all around the country heading back through their school gates to carry on learning and I always feel slightly jealous of the teenagers who get to spend another year at high school, surrounded by their friends, learning something new every day. They might not see it quite that way at the moment (as my little sister can testify!), but I know I’d love to relive my school days and I’m sure I would get more out of it the second time round; I think I’d appreciate it more – especially compared to the ‘real world’ of work!

Not only are the little ones heading back to school, but it’s the same in colleges and sixth forms around the country, and soon university students will be moving back into their halls of residence in time for Freshers’ week. And according to the National Student Survey we’re all loving it; This year’s results showed that student satisfaction is at a 10 year high! Are all the students around the country as keen on education and as easily excitable as me? I’m not sure, but one thing’s for certain; whether we’re going to primary school, high school, sixth form, college, university, leisure learning, work or even doing the school-run… we deserve ‘back to school’ shoes!back to school shoes ideas for autumn winter 2014It’s one of the perks of going to school – that day at start of September that your parents take you to the shoe shop to have your young feet measured and to choose a new pair of school shoes. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a say in which pair you wear and I remember always choosing a Wizard of Oz style sparkly shoe, although each year I seemed to end up going to school in black leather lace-ups. Well now that I’m a grown up, I’m actually glad that my mum made these decisions for me, as it has definitely influenced my style over the years – just look at the ‘back-to-school’ shoes that I’ve chosen for myself this year – a gorgeous patent pair of lace-up shoes from Clarks.back to school shoes for autumn winter 2014

This style of shoe is called the Busby Fizz and I mainly chose them because of the deep ox-blood burgundy leather, which is sums up this season’s footwear trend perfectly. They are great all-purpose shoes so I know that I’ll be able to wear them for most occasions during the autumn term. Thankfully, I AM starting a new course this September so I get to treat myself to all the essential back-to-school kit, including a new pencil case (okay, it’s mostly full of make-up!) and I’d love to get a new satchel, but that’s another shopping trip! Okay, the course I’m studying is an online Journalism course, but that doesn’t mean that I have to go without new term shoes!

The casual lace-ups that I’ve invested in look classy with dresses, will pair up nicely with trousers or jeans, and I love wearing them with cosy coloured tights. It’s my nod to the Autumn/Winter 14 footwear trends of rich colours and interesting textures, although I’m sure that I’ll be wearing these all through the following year too. It’s a style that doesn’t date and the colour is subtle enough to remain on-trend for years to come. I’m certain that I’ll be wearing these when I start another course next year and lets hope my sister doesn’t try to pinch them when she goes off to college too!

busby fizz shoes for autumn term


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My favourite fashion trend at the GQ Men of the Year Awards

The GQ Men of the Year Awards 2014 took place on Tuesday the 2nd September and looking through all the fabulous photos of the evening my favourite fashion look from the red carpet was this traffic-stopping dress that singer/actress Rita Ora wore to the event.

image source

In fact, it was pretty difficult not to admire Rita’s look – The singer totally stole the show in a glittering couture gown with daring thigh-high side split. I wish I was brave enough to wear something like this, but you definitely need to have Rita’s ballsy attitude to pull off such an ‘all-eyes-on-me’ look! Her one sleeve asymmetrically-cut gown had a romantic feel – old school Hollywood Glamour meets elegant bride. The dress tapped into this season’s iridescent metallic trend perfectly and classic diamond jewellery topped off her stunning look.

The outfit was complemented by Rita’s strong make-up style – nude lips and heavy, smoky eyes. With her hair artfully scraped back into a side plait to reveal her undercut, the eye-catching 15 carat diamond drop earrings were a must!

 image source

Rita was later papped with jeweller to the stars and founder of Vashi.com, Vashi Dominguez who had helped Rita choose her mesmerising jewels for the evening. Proving that diamonds really are a girl’s best friend, the star wore a stunning bracelet of emerald-cut 50 carat diamonds and a statement 10 carat diamond cocktail ring to finish off her glimmering super-star look. In fact, her jewellery was reported to be worth over half a million pounds alone and she need to be escorted by security at all times!

Winners at the GQ awards included Colin Firth as Leading Man of the Year, John Bishop as Comedian of the Year, Lewis Hamilton as Sportsman of the Year and Paolo Nutini was presented his Special Achievement award by Rita herself.

image source

Other superstars, Nicole Sherzinger, Ellie Goulding, Sherridan Smith and Caroline Issa all opted to wear white gowns to the GQ event and models Jourdan and Cara Delevigne wore black, so against these classic monochrome looks it was no surprise that Rita’s sparkling outfit stole the headlines!

 


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Back to school fashion ~ the satchel

The school holidays are due to start next week and that means an abundance of ‘back to school’ goodies in the shops. Is it just me that gets excited about the idea of new pencil cases (I got mine last week!) and plimsolls? I really rather enjoy the fact that multi-packs of polo shirts are now hanging where BBQs and sun-loungers were being sold in the shops only last week. The holidays haven’t even started and already we’re preparing for them to end! In fact, that’s how it always felt as a child – here it comes… and there it goes! – the summer holidays went by in a flash. 6 weeks stretched out ahead of me, but in no time at all I would be browsing ‘back-to-school’ catalogues for new school shoes. Anyway, the impending summer holidays had got me thinking about school-uniform-esque fashion (I really like those pleated skirts!) and a trend that I feel I’ve missed out on so far: satchels.

This trend has popped up over the past 18 months. It began as a rather high-end high-street fashion item with the Cambridge Satchel Company and all the stars were carrying them. I loved the neon range and drooled over Fearne Cotton’s luminous yellow hold-all.

high street satchels fashion trend

Alexa, Fearne and Elle Fanning rocking the satchel trend in The Telegraph

Ever since, there have been more and more satchels of all different colours and sizes hitting the high-street stores and everywhere I look there’s a cheapy look-a-like on sale for pocket-money prices. I’m not saying that I won’t by cheap bags – I am the queen of thrift after all! – but there were just so many of them and everyone was carrying one, that I was rather put off buying one. Was it too on trend for me? Was I “so over” satchels before I’d even bought one? Perhaps you feel the same? Please let me know that I’m not the only one!

Well, now that the new school year is approaching and my thoughts have turned back to all things school, I’ve taken a look at satchels with a fresh eye and I’ve been surprised by what I’ve seen. In fact, it was this collection of satchels in interesting colours and prints that caught my attention on the Nigel O’Hara website and I found myself yearning for a satchel once again.

on trend yoshi satchel handbags from nigel o hara

My absolute favourite is this house print satchel because it looks like a picture you might have doodled onto your school bag yourself during a dull maths lesson, plus the layers of streets reminds me of living on a hill in Brighton seeing all the rows of terraces in the distance. I also can’t help loving the New York skyline bag by Yoshi which looks like a traditional satchel, but the printed photo on the pocket brings it right up to date. What do you think of these new designs? Does it make you want to go back to school yourself?? Let me know what you think and tweet me @Cassiefairy photos of your own back-to-school goodies 🙂

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