Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??

vintage mens fashion


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1940s fashion for men

If you’ve been reading my blog over the past few months (and even earlier this week, because I mentioned it again in my dancing shoes blog post!) I’ve been getting very ‘into’ the 1940s scene and swing dancing. It started when I went to the Mid-Suffolk Vintage Festival back in June for the D-Day celebrations and I couldn’t keep the crazy grin off my face all day. We met a few members of the local lindy dance group there and they invited us along to a dance class the following Friday. Thankfully we decided to go and we’ve barely missed a lesson since!Vintage Festival and D Day Remembrance 2014-9 Vintage Festival and D Day Remembrance 2014-20 Vintage Festival and D Day Remembrance 2014-10

Luckily, there is a thriving 40s culture in East Anglia and I am never short of events to attend – in fact, there are sometimes too many and only next week I have three dances to choose from! I can’t keep up with getting different 40s outfits for each event and I find myself desperately coveting my friends’ circle dresses and tweed jackets.  I’ve shared a few of my photos from recent events and I’ve been particularly interested in what the men are wearing…

I think that finding period outfits for men is more difficult than it is for women – there are plenty of 40s and 50s replica dress companies out there for us and a thriving vintage online market. But there are less specialist retailers out there for men’s vintage clothing, especially as my husband doesn’t fancy going for the whole military get-up. So far he’s been looking rather swish in brogues and braces but I’d like to invest in something a little more ‘dressy’ for the evenings. And that’s where scarves come in!vintage mens fashionI really like the idea of buying my husband a silk aviator scarf from classy menswear brand Knightsbridge Gentleman’s Neckwear and I’ve nabbed a couple of photos from their website in order to show you the type of classic men’s fashion I’m talking about. I’m sure you will agree that it would fit in perfectly with the 40s style we are trying to incorporate into our dancing wardrobe. I also love the combination of braces with a bow-tie so there might even be a bow-tie in hubby’s Christmas stocking this year! I think he wears the look really well and he’s even started wearing braces in ‘everyday life’ so I’m hoping that this smart look might be here to stay ;)


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The Funny Bones family – our Halloween costumes

In my opinion it’s never too early to be talking about Christmas, bonfire night or Halloween, so when my brother asked me if I could sort out a costume for my niece and nephew for their first ever trick-or-treating session at the end of the month, I set to work. I found the best possible deal for costumes and was surprised at how low the prices are. I’m not talking about auction sites or facebay; these are brand new costumes from a real shop – a supermarket in fact. Yes, I managed to find costumes for the whole family from George at Asda.

Skeleton all-in-one costume in age 2-3 years from George at Asda

My nephew has just turned 2 and he really wanted to be a skeleton for Halloween so I was thrilled when I found not one but two skeleton jumpsuit costumes on the George website. One had bright colours and cartoon spiders on it and the other had glow-in-the-dark headphones around the skeleton’s neck. In the end I plumped for the DJ skeleton because it was in exactly the right size for him 2-3 years and this might last him til next Halloween as well, whereas the colourful skeleton was available in age 1-2 which would only fit this year, or 3-4 which would be too big at the moment. I was very pleased to find out that the age 2-3 costume fit him just right and the elasticated ankle and wrist cuffs meant that the little extra length could be pushed up and wouldn’t trip him up. It’s actually a very good quality onesie with soft fleecy lining and a nice thick jersey fabric, so I’m sure it will keep him warm when he goes trick-or-treating this month. Plus, he loves the glow-in-the-dark headphones which glow SO brightly and he keeps going into the bathroom with the light off to look at his glowing costume! Of course, we wanted to give him a ghoulish makeover so I got a ‘Monstrous’ face-painting kit too and he actually enjoyed having scary dark eyes and ghostly white skin painted on.

Once I’d settled on this jumpsuit skeleton for my nephew, I went looking in the baby section and found lots of super-cute costumes for little baby girls. But I knew that my niece would look fantastic matching her bother in a skeleton baby-grow and hat so I ordered this set, along with a tiny skeleton cape for my cat. Yes, I’m even buying Halloween costumes for my cats!

Skeleton baby grow aged 6-9 months from George at Asda

What’s more surprising is the fact that the cats seemed to be rather comfortable in their little costumes which fastened with just two Velcro pads around their neck and tummy. I’d imagined that they’d be trying to back-out of their little costumes or even yowl to let me know how disappointed they were at being dressed-up but no – they didn’t mind it at all and Cookie even slept on top of her costume after I took it off her!

Looking at all this family of skeleton outfits in my basket made me realise that something was missing – of course! – a skeleton outfit for ME! I looked in the ladies costumes section and the cute black and pink skeleton outfit was in fact one of the cheapest. This printed dress has a little stretch in it and is about knee-length, so it’s very comfortable to wear. Plus it comes with bone-print arm covers so I decided to wear a black long-sleeved top underneath the costume (for added warmth) and put the sleeves over the top of this. I think it looks rather cool and I’m very happy to be part of my little skeleton family! Funny Bones eat your heart out!

Womens value skeleton dress from George at Asda


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DIY easy nail art designs for Halloween

Can you believe that it’s nearly Halloween? Have you got your costume sorted out and your treats ready for visitors? I recently wrote about decorating your home for autumn and how you can easily turn your decorations into a spooky Halloween decor with just a few changes – carve up those pumpkins and spread a few cobwebs around – et Voila! Now that you’ve got your home and your costume organised, maybe you’d like to try a scary Halloween manicure makeover?

This method is possibly the simplest way to create nail-art that looks professional but doesn’t require special brushes or tools. Simply grab a permanent pen and set to work. This is certainly a technique that takes some practice, and rather than struggle with drawing designs on your own nails, why not gather together your friends, sisters, mothers and daughters and give each other a special spooky manicure?

halloween nail art manicure tutorial using permanent pens white and black

Paint your nails in a base colour – such as white or orange as I’ve done here – and wait for them to dry. If you start drawing on your nails too soon, the polish will pucker and you might well damage the tips of your permanent pens. Then take it in turns to draw cute designs on each others’ nails. Maybe you’d like to draw cobwebs all over your nails with a spider dangling on the ring finger? Or create a reverse image by using the pen to colour around the nail, leaving the design in the middle, as I have done with my scary ghost design. Orange nails lend themselves to having pumpkin faces on them – so any image design that you would carve into your pumpkin would look equally great drawn on your nails!

halloween manicure diy nail art tutorial orange and black pumpkin faces

For extra variation on your manicures, you can use different base polishes – maybe blood-red or vampire grey – and can even use other colours of permanent pens, such as green or red (which work best over a white base) to really vamp up your designs for Halloween. I hope you have a fun time sharing a spooky pampering session with your pals and enjoy getting ready for your Halloween night out!

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Scary shoes

With Halloween only a couple of days away I’ve been getting carried away while looking for costume accessories and the result is this Tuesday Shoeday blog post about spooky shoes. Now these aren’t really the kind of shoes you’d want to wear all year round (or maybe they are, who am I to tell you otherwise?) but they are good fun and look really cool so I’m coveting these items of freaky footwear as much as any pair of shoes that’ve been featured on my blog. So here are my favourite Halloween-inspired shoes that I’ve found on Pinterest and check out  my Tuesday Shoesday board for all the links to the image sources:

Tuesday Shoesday spooky heels scary shoes for halloween costume 2013

I also found this tutorial for creating your own witches-cat shoes to accompany your Halloween costume so if you’re stuck for a last-minute outfit, why not have a go at this DIY by Scathingly Brilliant blog?

cat diy shoes from scathingly brilliant blog

Image & DIY c/o Scathingly Brilliant 


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DIY scary skeleton Halloween costume

It’s Halloween this week and as usual I don’t have any budget for a costume for all those parties I’ll be going to. But I’m not worried about that because I personally think that Halloween is about making-do and creating some crazy costume yourself that no one else will be wearing – the tattier the better in some instances! I have therefore made my own last-minute skeleton costume using an old (and I mean ooolllddd) stretchy top and I’ll show you how to make one for yourself below:

diy skeleton header image

You will need: old black top, white top to wear underneath, scissors, white pen or chalk

Step by step

  1. Fold your top in half along the centre point.
  2. Use the chalk or white pen to mark out where you will be cutting out the ribs
  3. Cut out the ribs, making sure you’re cutting all the way through both layers of fabric. This will give you a symmetrical set of ribs on each side when you have finished cutting.

diy skeleton step by step

4. Cut out small triangles along the centre to create the spine bones

5. I even cut some bone shapes from the arms, which aren’t clear in the photo, but when I’m wearing it, you can really see them.

6. Wear over the top of a white t-shirt to show off the shape of the bones!

diy skeleton before and after

It’s a great way to get a last-minute outfit sorted out, and I hope you’ll have a go at making this simple Halloween costume. I wrote this blog post for Oxfam Fashion so check out their blog here and have a read of all the other fabulous fashion bloggers’ articles. Enjoy your spooky celebrations, whatever you get up to!

More Halloween articles from Cassiefairy: