Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


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Rent it, love it, return it!

No, I’m not suggesting some dodgy take-your-dress-back-to-the-shop-after-wearing-it scheme! I’m taking about dress hire. Remember in the Sex and The City Movie when Carrie’s PA Louise has the best designer handbags on her arm and an assistant’s wage in her purse, baffling Carrie into asking how she has got hold of her waiting-list-only arm candy? Louise proudly tells Carrie that it’s rented and we all wondered how long it would be until a service like this arrives in the UK too. Well, it’s here right now! Yes, I’ve found out that you really can hire designer dresses, coats and accessories from Wish Want Wear.

Like Louise from the SATC film, I found an array of gorgeous handbags but immediately worried about creating pen-leaks and lipstick stains inside and being charged for the damage, so it’s definitely a service for special occasions rather than everyday use. But if I ever feel the urge to wear a £1650 Hervé Legér bandage dress, this is the place to come! When I discovered this website, I began thinking about all the events I need to go to this year; weddings, christenings and parties and started doing the mental arithmetic on how much a new outfit for each special occasion would cost me to buy. Now, I’d never be able to buy afford designer dresses but even so, the cost of an outfit soon adds up. I imagine that someone who attends a lot of work functions would get a lot of use out of this service, but would be right for me? As you know, I’m a thrifty kind of girl, so I looked at the lower-priced rental outfits and found a few at bargain rates.

wish want wear designer dresses

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ wet weather wellies

Okay, I can’t deny it any longer. Winter is here. Or at very least, the wet, cold weather is here. And with it comes the need for sturdy winter footwear and waterproof clothing. That’s where today’s Tuesday Shoesday topic comes in.

I’ve decided to share some ideas for looking fabulous while wearing wellies because, let’s face it, they aren’t the most flattering, comfortable or stylish footwear options around. But they are bloomin’ good at keeping your feet dry and with the addition of a chunky wellie sock and legwarmers, they can also be warm and toasty.

wellies glasto

You may remember that last week I quoted from Luella Bartley’s Guide to English Style about the super-cool-ness of brogues for both men and women, so I thought I’d check out what this British designer has to say about wellies:

“Gone are the days when the Green Welly brigade wore green wellies. These days equestrians and land-owning types wear brands such as Muck Boots with nylon uppers and padded lining… What you won’t see them in is Nu Rave yellow or scarlet. Hunter, the manufacturer of classic tapered wellies with the much-copied side buckle, has bowed to the tyranny of fashion. First there was the Festival range featuring silver and dolphin grey. It would be foolhardy to overemphasise the Kate Moss effect – she famously wore a pair of black Hunter’s with hot pants to Glastonbury in 2005 – but the company posted a massive sales increase in the wake of Kate’s endorsement. I once harboured a desire to create Luellies… A welly is, after all, an integral part of the Englander’s existence.”

Luella Bartley, 2010, Luella’s Guide to English Style, Fourth Estate

Tuesday Shoesday designer luella bartley guide to english style welly boots wellies

I would certainly buy a pair of Luellies – how cool does that sound?! I have had disappointing experiences with wellies in recent years, buying a really pretty floral pair from Office that turned out to be too tight and therefore limited the amount of time I could wear them without getting a massive blister on my heel. In this instance, these boots were made for walking does certainly not apply! I think that the solution to painful wellies is buying a pair one size bigger and then filling the extra space with padding in the form of chunky knitted socks, thermal tights and welly-liners like this pair my pal bought for me a couple of Christmases ago:

hunter-welly-socks image from my hunting news com

Image c/o My Hunting News

So pop out to your local Primark, Peacocks, New Look or even George at Asda or Tesco to buy some cheap fluffy socks – even a pair of those non-slip bed socks from Poundland will do – and get layering up! Your feet will be padded and snuggly inside your wellies and you’ll be fine and dandy for the whole of the wet weather period. And don’t forget the snow is coming too – and if you’ve got wellies in a size bigger, there’s nothing to stop you slipping a hand-warmer down the side to keep extra toasty!


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Get the look – How to learn about fashion and style

     

It’s easy to assume that all those fashionistas you see on the street were born with an eye for style and an innate understanding of what looks good. In most cases though, they just know the right places to look to check out new styles, and what it takes to change a style from something they’ve seen into reality.

If you have even a small creative bone in your body, it’s likely that you too can learn about style if you know the places to look. Here are some tried and true methods to go from staring envyingly at an awesome outfit to decoding the style elements and incorporating them into your own look.

Look at your favorite celebs & style icons

If your goal is to learn about fashion so you can become more fashionable yourself, then the celebs whose outfits you most admire can be a great place to start. The trick is to not be overwhelmed or intimidated when you first being paging through Vogue and Hello or browsing Heatworld.com. These celebrities and models have stylists who are paid a great deal to come up with outfits for them, plus most have a bottomless wardrobe (not to mention designer freebies!) to choose from.

The good thing about stars having paid stylists is that you can steal their hard work for free, just by checking out their pictures. Pick out a few favorite celebrities’ looks and grab a notepad. Now you’re going to break down the major elements of the outfits you’ve chosen. Really look at what they’re wearing and what makes the style. Is it a tailored jacket with a flirty skirt (tutu even)? Coloured tights? Eye-catching accessories? If you’re like me, the same sorts of staple items will come up in many of your favourite looks. By the time you finish, you’ll have a list of different items you can begin incorporating into your own wardrobe.

Check out fashion blogs

Fashion blogs are excellent to have in your style arsenal, because in many cases they do this fashion decoding for you. Many pick out different style elements and highlight new looks; whether you’ already an avid blog-reader or not, they’ll help you understand the current trends. Refinery 29 is an excellent blog which breaks down current looks and makes suggestions for style combinations. Other blogs, such as Street Peeper and the Sartorialist, post pics of enviable street fashion from around the world. When you find styles you like, perform the same “style analysis” that you did on the celebs, breaking down the actual elements of the outfit in writing. In this way, you’ll be able to keep track of established and emerging trends.           

Keep an eye on street fashion

While street fashion blogs are certainly excellent at cataloguing worldwide trends, it’s likely that there are at least a few fashionable lads and lasses in your town; if you live in a city, then there are hundreds. In your daily comings and goings about town, look at people who immediately strike you as “put together.” Make a mental note of the major elements of their look—is she wearing stacked wedges, cutoff shorts, tribal prints? Be a style thief and look to others for inspiration. You’ll probably find that after a short while you’ll be able to improvise these put together looks on your own.

Read books & magazines

While books might seem like the opposite of fashion (old and dusty versus new and trendy), they can actually be great tools for learning about style. Look books and fashion books chronicle everything from vintage fashion to the latest trends, and can help you gain a little perspective on fashion’s evolution. The library will usually have the latest issues of Vogue and Elle, and these are always worth a look too. I personally love leafing through old issues in the journals archive to see how fashions have changed over the years (and sometimes have a giggle too – did anyone really wear that?!).

How do you go about re-creating celeb outfits? What influences your own personal style? Do you already read fashion blogs and what do you think about them? Leave me a comment! x


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Tuesday Shoesday – Louboutin Exhibition at the Design Museum

This week saw the launch of the Louboutin exhibition at the Design Museum in London. This is Christian Louboutin‘s first ever retrospective in the UK and the press, including Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, The Guardian, Grazia & Telegraph, have been salivating over the exhibition – here’s a preview in pictures from The Telegraph Fashion pages.

Not only does the exhibition feature exhibits of his design classics and celebrities stepping out in his ultra-high heels, but according to the Design Museum it is also educational; “At the core of the exhibition is a unique exploration of Louboutin’s design process, taking the visitor through every stage of the design journey, revealing how a shoe is constructed, from the initial drawing and first prototype through to production in the factory”.

The highlight of the exhibition is this amazing hologram of Dita Von Teese performing a 3 minute burlesque show in her Louboutin heels. I especially love all the sparkly glitter that follows her movements in this hologram and how she emerges from a Louboutin shoe. This sort YouTube clip was filmed at the launch of the exhibition to please excuse the background noise! 

The exhibition runs from 1st May until the 9th July – more info from The Design Museum website


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Metallic Trend at the British Soap Awards

Soapstars sparkled extra brightly at last night’s British Soap Awards – with many of the serial dramas’ leading ladies stepping out in glitzy metallics for their big night.

Michelle Keegan looks gorgeous as ever at the 2011 Soap Awards

Michelle Keegan scooped the Sexiest Soap Female award again, and you can see why as she dazzles the paparazzi in her glamourous gold gown. Many designers, such as Cynthia Rowley and Rebecca Taylor, featured silver, gold and sparkly beadwork in their Spring/Summer 2012 catwalk shows and Chado Ralph Rucci’s collection saw dazzling silver jackets paired with stark white trousers, while Giles paired short-sleeved white blouses with metallic pencil skirts proving that the best way to wear metallics is with a neutral item and minimal accessories.

Not only is metallic a massive fashion trend this season, but Vogue and Harpers Bazaar have included smokey metallic eyes and sparkly metallic nails as their key beauty looks for Spring/Summer.

       

Sparkling Soapstars, from left to right: Jessie Wallace, Danielle Harold, Lisa Gormley, Jacquleine Jossa and Claire Cooper

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