Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


Top 3 dress trends for spring/summer 2017 and how to wear them

The sun is out – hip hip hooray! For me this means the start of the spring/summer season and that means a slight shift in my wardrobe. It’s no longer the weather for woolly jumpers and thick jeans – which can only mean one thing; dresses are back! Today I’m sharing my picks of the spring/summer collections on the high street and tackling some of the more difficult styles to wear. Plus, there’s a giveaway to win TWO go-with-everything Kissbobo invisible bras – read on to enter the competition today!

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If you’re going to any kind of event this year, you’ll probably want to invest in a new dress. I’m not necessarily giving you permission to buy a new outfit for every occasion but do think that one fabulous new dress could see you through all the hen parties, work events, weddings, christenings, days at the races and dinner parties you’ve got planned this season. But which one dress will cover all eventualities? And what kind of underwear will you need to wear with these off-the-shoulder styles styles? Here’s my top 3 dresses for S/S17 and how to wear them… 

The cold shoulder midi

This classy cold shoulder dress is the perfect spring/summer outfit for special occasions. It’s just landed on the New Look website and already I’m a fan. With a floaty floral fabric it’ll keep you cool in the warm weather. And when there’s a breeze in the air it’s long enough to cover your knees, and the sleeves will give your arms a little protection from the cold. It can be dressed up with heels or kept casual with a pair of trainers so it’s a wear-all-weekend piece. LOVE the yolk yellow colour! It’s got a slinky low back and thin shoulder straps so finding the right underwear might prove tricky; the Kissbobo invisible bra would do the job perfectly. It’s an adhesive gel bra so there’s no straps to worry about – no chance of your underwear peeking out from below your pretty dress in any of those wedding photos!

Two prizes to be won in my giveaway – enter competition below…

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Money-saving tips for your autumn wardrobe

Finding the perfect style to suit your everyday life can be difficult, especially when you need to save money. Whether you work in an office, as a shop assistant or are a student most people like to put a little effort into their daily outfits, with an increasing amount of cash being handed over to get the latest trends. However, it is likely that a new £50 sweater is made in the same factory that produces a £10 version. This does make you wonder if it is truly worth it to splash the cash on an item with a label. So, just what are the thrifty tricks to create the ultimate look without breaking the bank?

Accentuating accessories

Let us start with the basics. You only need a few items in your wardrobe to be able to create a variety of gorgeous looks. A white shirt, for example, can be styled from something plain to a head-turning top. The clue is to be creative with your accessories as they are a lot cheaper than clothes, so are ideal for being a thrifty fashionista. A leather belt and a chunky necklace go a long way with a white shirt to create a great multi-purpose look. It’s great as a working daytime look suit or could be made more casual with jeans and boots for a girls’ night out.styling-a-white-shirt-with-accessories

Styling a white shirt  with accessories (image by Idhren)

Selective shopping

Another factor to be considered on the journey to crafting a thrifty look is choosing where to shop. Charity shops and supermarket clothing isles can be a treasure trove of fashion goodness. You never know when you will find a bargain buy so keep on the lookout for when you’re getting your food shopping! I found a fantastic vintage section in my local charity shop and all of the items were priced at less-than high street prices. Plus the money goes to a good cause so that’s a great place to start when you’re looking for a few unique items to funk up your basics. Plenty of thrifty resale sites (such as Depop, Gumtree and Shpock) keep popping up on the web so browse these sites to find bargain fashion buys. cassiefairy article charity shop vintage and retro rail

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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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My outfit for the UK blog awards

Okay, it’s my last ‘preparing for the UK Blog Awards’ post of the week and I’m sharing a snap of the outfit I’ve finally decided on for the big event. I’ve also shared photos of my shoes on Tuesday Shoesday and my make-up choices yesterday so now it’s time to show off the pretty dress I picked up from Boden.outfit for awards ceremony boden dress clutch bag hotter shoes-3Just how lovely is this swingy dress in classy monochromatic hues? I chose it for two reasons: Firstly, it fits me really well and the skirt is exactly the right knee-length for my height. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s the kind of dress you want to twirl around in! The swishy skirt flares out beautifully thanks to the woven fabric and the tripes really accentuate the shape of the dress. It’s really comfortable to wear too, the knitted material is soft and drapes perfectly. I was also chuffed to bits that my dress is half the usual price because the Beatrice Knitted dress has been reduced now – so if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the main collection, a thrifty tip is to browse the clearance section too! I’m so happy with it and can’t wait to wear the on the big night.outfit for awards ceremony boden dress clutch bag hotter shoesI already showed you some snaps of my Hotter shoes earlier this week so you won’t be surprised by my decision to pair this monochrome dress with bright pink shoes. What may surprise you is my choice of red clutch bag, also from Boden. Okay, I know that matching your shoes and handbag is the kind of thing my nan would do, but I still feel a bit odd wearing pink shoes with a red bag. But I needn’t have worried because, when the bag was delivered, I discovered that it has a pink lining inside the flap of the clutch. The tomato red and cerise pink look gorgeous together – and really rather opulent. This slightly-oversize clutch is plenty big enough for everything I need to take with me to the UK Blog Awards (the blogger’s essentials: phone, camera, tickets and business cards!) and the pockets inside will keep everything organised. I’m ready for the event now – bring it on!outfit for awards ceremony boden dress clutch bag hotter shoes-4


UK Blog Awards 2016 – What to wear??

The news has finally sunk in. I’ve registered for my ticket and I AM going to the UK Blog Awards woo! The ceremony is on 29th April and is being held in a glitzy location in the capital. And to top it all off, I’m a finalist in the Most Innovative Blog category. Pretty cool, huh? When the news was first announced I really couldn’t believe it. After years of blogging, my thrifty little lifestyle blog was being recognised by the industry and I was chuffed to bits! It was amazing to think that family, friends, readers and colleagues had all voted me through to the final stages of the blog awards and now I was invited to attend THE event of the year. Unbelievable stuff!dress inspiration for national blog awards debenhams

I really like the neckline of this Quiz Navy & Cream Textured Crochet Neck Dress and the lace on this Dorothy Perkins Navy Scallop Midi Dress is subtle enough for me!

But then, panic! What on earth do I wear? Continue reading “UK Blog Awards 2016 – What to wear??” »


Girl Power on International Women’s Day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. If you missed it, you must have stayed away from all forms of social media for the day because it was alllll over my Facebook timeline, Instagram and Twitter feed. Coincidentally, I found myself browsing Netflix yesterday evening and discovered the Spice World movie. What better way to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay than with some old skool Girl Power entertainment? I’ve literally never chosen a film on Netflix so quickly!spice girls 90s

image credit: Ray Burmiston – Photoshot/Getty Images

As I tweeted about ‘skiving’ with the Spice Girls, lots of lovely ladies got in touch to tell me how much they enjoyed the movie back in the 90s and lots of #girlpower hashtags followed. It was a fortunate coincidence that I popped on the TV yesterday and found that film on International Women’s Day. I know that there are a great many inspirational women in world, but these 5 girls were definitely a big influence on me as I was growing up. As a youngster I looked up to the Spice Girls and I remember that I even had the ‘Geri’ hair colour with blonde streaks at the front. Yes, I was cool in the 90s.spice girls now

The Spice Girls all grown up

I found myself knowing all the songs (and dance moves, I am that cool) as I watched the film and remembered how great it was to be a girl at the end of the last century. There was definitely a shift in feminism the 90s and I’m sure that ‘girl power’ was part of that. Okay, perhaps the Spice Girls didn’t make much of a difference to adults but for little girls like me it certainly influenced the way we thought and partly shaped us into the women we were to become in the next century.

Image credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Anyway, whether or not the Spice Girls are the ideal role models for International Women’s Day doesn’t matter, all that matters is that I enjoyed growing up in the 90s and totally wish I could be back there again! Thankfully, I’ve seen a LOT of 90s hair styles and outfits on YouTube and many influential fashion blogs have been promoting the trend. Does that mean I can start wearing my DMs and velvet jackets again? I certainly intend to!spice girls 90s fashionSo, I’ve picked out 5 looks that I found on that I think are great 90s-esque outfits. Can you guess that these choices have been inspired by my recent Netflix session? As my inspirations for International Women’s Day, I wanted to pick out some outfits that the Spice Girls would have chosen if they’d been shopping online with me now.spice girls boohoo fashion 90s trend

Baby Spice – Lace High Neck Dress £25 / Scary Spice – Tonal Leopard Print Midi Skirt £6 / Ginger Spice – Mesh Panelled Bandeau Bodycon Dress £20 / Posh Spice – High Neck Asymmetric Wrap Bodycon Dress £20 / Sporty Spice – Sports Zip Through Hoodie £12

What do you think of these outfit choices? Which shall I invest in to get that ultimate 90s look? Even though I always wanted to be Geri in the 90s I think I’m more Emma now, so that lace dress is calling me! Have you too been inspired to embrace Girl Power once again following International Women’s Day? Did you never really leave the 90s at all? Are still wearing your hair in space buns?! Let me know by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @Cassiefairy. Girl Power!


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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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Choosing the right party dress for your body shape

Okay I’m know I’m kind of skipping over Halloween and Bonfire Night, but I’m already so excited about the upcoming festive season. I think it started last week when I opened my first presents of the year as part of a Secret Santa gift exchange. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about all the fun things I’ll be getting up to this Winter and my party plans have inspired this blog post about special occasion outfits and dressing for your shape.fitted party dress for hour glass body shape

Hour-glass or busty body shapes should accentuate the waist

With lots of festive parties to attend and end-of-term Christmas balls to dress-up for, there’s plenty of “little things” to worry about when choosing a dress for a special occasion; like what colours and fabrics to wear, what flatters and, on the flip-side, what does not look good on your body shape. This is equally true for wedding outfits, bridesmaids and prom dresses so hopefully this guide will be helpful all year round – not just for Christmas!

Body Type 1: Petite If you stand about 5 feet and 3 inches above the ground (or less, like me!) dresses made specifically for a petite body type are the best way to go. The pattern will be cut to smaller proportions and won’t swamp your frame. Other tips for small or petite body types include showing a little leg because it makes you look a little taller, adding heels, and an asymmetrical hemline will help to further illusion too.fitted party dress for petite body shape

Fitted dresses are great for petite figures

Body Type 2: Hour Glass Continue reading “Choosing the right party dress for your body shape” »


Shopping research & my new dress!

It may not seem like it from reading my blog but I rarely treat myself to new clothing. Honestly, almost everything I buy I end up writing about so you can probably tell from my blog that I’ve only got about three new dresses this year (though I make up for this with shoes). I’m almost proud of this fact and I’ll tell you why; I’ve been trying to give up and white stripe dress blue vanilla-4Okay, not all shopping. Make-up, hair products, toiletries and underwear are everyday essentials that need to be replenished. But when it comes to shopping for clothing and things I’ve been trying to cut back on how much I buy, and I think I’ve been doing quite well. I’ve been trying to keep my shopping to a minimum for two reasons; firstly, I want to save some cash for summer adventures, and secondly, I already have too much stuff and it’s spilling out of my wardrobe!

That said, I really did need a dress to wear for my friend’s wedding next week (above, which I wrote about last month – I didn’t buy new shoes though, I’m reusing my old faves) and I couldn’t resist this striped dress from Blue Vanilla when I spotted it online last month. I decided that, if I was only going to invest in one dress this summer, this gorgeous shift dress would be my best bet as it will be great for promenade strolls with a denim jacket in the summer and would be cosy with tights and a cardi in the autumn and winter. A sound investment, I’m sure you’ll agree!

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Swapping & sharing with a little help from my friends

Us women know only too well how difficult it can be to keep up with the latest fashion trends without forking out an obscene amount of money each month, just to look good without wearing the same go-to outfit multiple times. For many ladies, there is even an unwritten rule which says that when it comes to special occasion dresses, it is poor form to be seen in the same outfit clothing swap share

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Whilst I can’t say I agree with this declaration by any means, I do find that wearing a new dress for a significant event does make the whole thing seem more special. But what happens when your bank balance just won’t stretch that far that month? My friends and I have a couple of trusted techniques that keeps us looking and feeling fabulous without the need to splash the cash on the latest to wear pantone colour of the year marsala spring summer autumn winter fashion trend-5

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