Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

ideas for creating thrifty fashion looks with clothes you already own - denim shirt


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Thrifty Fashion – 4 looks from one denim shirt

I’m one of those people who wear only a few items in their wardrobe over and over again. The statistic that’s always quoted is that most of us only wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time and I am certainly guilty of this. However I want to get the most use out of my clothes - I’ve already paid for them after all, and we all know that the value of an item comes down to cost-per-wear. So over the course of a few blog posts I’m going to take items from my wardrobe and rework them into different looks. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for wearing your own leather jacket (in my previous post here) or denim shirt and will inspire you to do the same.

thrifty fashion - 4 ways to wear one denim shirt inspired by mirana kerr and cat deeley

 Miranda Kerr / Denim shirt from Matalan / Cat Deeley

So today it’s the denim shirt. This item of clothing was everywhere last year and the high street is still full of them. I remember being desperate to buy a denim shirt last summer but couldn’t find the right one. I even stole my husband’s denim shirt for a couple of wears but it really was to big for me so I carried on looking for the perfect one. I eventually made the purchase at Matalan in the January sale and spent only a few pounds on my soft denim shirt. It was the right colour, a great fit and I knew I’d get loads of wear out of it. However, after a handful of wears with my navy trousers I ran out of inspiration and the shirt was relegated to the back of the wardrobe. Seeing as spring is the ideal time for wearing pale blues and layers, I thought I should investigate different ways of wearing the shirt and here’s what I’ve come up with:

ideas for creating thrifty fashion looks with clothes you already own

Leather Jacket from Bon Prix, belt from Apricot & handbag from Next

Jumper from New Look, Wonderfit jeans from George at Asda & scarf from 99p Stores (can you believe it?!)

You may have already spotted this leather jacket look from my last post and it just goes to show that these items of clothing can be mixed-and-matched to create new looks for different occasions. I really like how the denim shirt looks with my New Look jumper. This is one of many jumpers I’ve bought recently because they are a nice thin knit and good colours for this time of year. These two looks will keep me warm on more chilly Spring days, especially when layered up with a chunky cardi or coat.

ideas for creating thrifty fashion looks with clothes you already own - denim shirt

Cat print scarf from New Look, belt from Claires and satchel I picked up at the car boot sale

Pink dress from Internacionale (only £2 in the sale!), belt from ASOS and floral weekend bag from Primark

I think the pink dress is my favourite look as it’s much more summery than all the others and very ‘me’! Of course, my cat scarf has made an appearance again – it seems to go with everything so it’s been a good purchase from New Look. Please let me know what you think of my outfit ideas and let me know how you would style a denim shirt for spring or summer – tweet me @Cassiefairy or leave me a comment below :)


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The only tights you’ll need this year

Quite a bold promise I know, but honestly you really won’t need any more pairs of tights that these two! I spend my life in one or the other of these tights (depending on the weather!) so I know how useful they are for all weathers and all seasons. If you buy these tights (I don’t mean just one pair, you can have more than one of each!) you will never need to go looking for a suitable pair again. Here’s why they are my favourites:

1. Silky Textures 140 Denier Thermal Fleece Tights - these are the best ever winter tights. And I mean EVER. That’s because they are thick opaque tights (as we all know black tights go with any outfit to turn a summer outfit into a winter look!) that don’t run and don’t get holes in them, thanks to the double layer of fabric – they are silky soft tights on the outside but are fleece lined on the inside. You can imagine how toasty you’ll be in these tights – they are practically a fleece jumper for your legs! I’ve been wearing and washing a few pairs for the past 6 months and they still are showing no signs of holes, runs or pulls. The only downside was that the silky side got a little bobbly after lots of machine washing but I could pull off the bobbles without making runs in the tights (same as pulling bobbles off a jumper) and when I needed a quick solution, I simply turned the tights inside out so that the fleece was on the outside. The fleece has no bobbles (and they don’t really look like fleece at all) so the tights still looked great in spite of months of wear. I’ve just got some of the Pretty Polly chocolate brown fleece tights (below) so I’ll let you know how I get on with these too! Please be careful not to confuse these tights with the Silky Textures Acrylic tights which were much more woolly and less long-lasting.

winter thermal tights and toeless summer pantyhose review

2. Charnos Simply Bare No Toe Tights - the ultimate spring and summer tights. When it’s a little too cool for bare legs but you don’t want to wear black tights I’d definitely recommend these. I am a lifelong hater of getting my legs out in the summer but these tights allowed me to bare my legs with pride because they provide a natural tan colour to your legs that is so sheer that even up-close my friends and family couldn’t tell that I was wearing tights. Not only is it the sheerness of the 7 denier tights (with the strength of 15 denier) that tricked them, but it was the fact that they are no-toe tights so I could wear flip-flops and sandals without anyone suspecting that I had a pair of tights tucked between my toes! Unlike other no-toe tights that I’ve tried (which tended to roll up under my foot) these have a toe loop which keeps the tights in the right place by anchoring them to your big toes. As long as you have a thin strap on your sandals across the toes, no one will ever see the join and will be sure that you’re rocking bare tanned legs with confidence. If you’re worried about being too hot in tights during the summer these have “climate control technology” which let your legs breathe – I never once felt too warm wearing them throughout the whole of last summer. As you can see I have stocked up for this summer already even though I have 2 pairs in my underwear drawer that are still going strong from last year!

You can buy both of these brands (along with loads more bargain pairs of tights in different styles and thicknesses) at UK Tights and now I never buy anything else. Sure there might be cheaper options available but in this case you really do get what you pay for – and that’s hard for me to say because I’m such a spendthrift! I know that I’m actually saving money when I spend out on these tights because I can wash and wear them time and again and that I can get a whole season’s use out of them rather than struggling with laddered tights after one use. Plus I usually keep an eye out for special deals from this website because they always have a couple of brands on offer so I make my purchases while there is a discount on ;)

One final thing – and probably the most important factor of all – these tights don’t slip down while you’re wearing them. For me there’s nothing worse than penguin-waddling after your tights have come down a little and having put up with the discomfort until you get the chance to hoist them back up when no one is looking! Let me know what you think of my choices and tell me what you usually wear on your legs throughout the year – can you recommend anything for me? Leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy :)

thrifty fashion styling - how to get more looks from one leather jacket


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Thrifty fashion – 4 looks from one leather jacket

I’m one of those people who wear only a few items in their wardrobe over and over again. The statistic that’s always quoted is that most of us only wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time and I am certainly guilty of this. I often seem to choose one or two ‘favourite’ items and wear them so much that I end up being sick of the sight of them or I find something that fits so well that I go out and buy 3 of the same skirt in different colours. I’ve had to the urge to do that with my New Look jumpers but so far only bought two… and that’s very restrained for me! But I don’t want to limit myself any longer and I want to get the most use out of my clothes - I’ve already paid for them, and we all know that the value of an item comes down to cost-per-wear. So over the course of a few blog posts I’m going to take items from my wardrobe and rework them into different looks that I hope will inspire you to do the same.

thrifty fashion looks - styling a black leather jacket four ways

This week I’m starting with a leather jacket. I’d coveted leather jackets for a while back in the autumn and I’d been Pinning images of fashion looks with leather jackets like crazy. I finally caved in and got this black jacket from Bon Prix because it was such a bargain price compared to all the others that I’d seen and I wore it a lot in the first week after it arrived and even bought some grey skinny jeans thinking that I was channelling a biker chick look. But then I stopped putting it on. I felt like it didn’t really go with anything else in my wardrobe and I didn’t know how to style it. Ultimately, I felt it added bulk and I didn’t want that extra puffiness on top of all the woolly jumpers and thick layers I was wearing during the winter. So it got put at the back of the wardrobe (and I mean literally) and I haven’t looked at it again since.

thrifty fashion looks Miley Cyrus leather jacket

Rock Chick / Classy Casual / Girly Glamour

Someone who does look good in a leather jacket is Miley Cyrus. She’s performing her ‘Bangers’ world tour at the O2 arena in May and even though she might be ‘controversial’ these days, all I really want to talk about when discussing Miley is her clothing. If you want an example of how to wear a leather jacket in a very casual way, look no further. Miley has grown up wearing her favourite leather jacket to create lots of different looks but nowadays is just as likely to be teaming a leather jacket with nothing else as she is a long glamourous gown.

I’ve tried styling my leather jacket in a few different ways and here’s what I’ve come up with – a girly dressy look that would be fine for a date, two casual looks using denim and chiffon and my very own attempt at a rock chick look using my favourite Tina Turner concert t-shirt and a bit of animal print!

fashion looks - styling a leather jacket for a girly lunch date

Floral dress from ASOS  & pink belt from ASOS

thrifty fashion styling - how to get more looks from one leather jacket

Cat print scarf from New Look & specs print chiffon shirt from George at Asda

Denim shirt from Matalan, belt from Apricot & handbag from Next

fashion looks - styling a leather jacket four ways

Tina Turner tour merchandise t-shirt, scarf from Accessorize & necklaces from Primark

At least I’ve found that there are few more ways of wearing my leather jacket and I think it will probably come out of hibernation now that we’re in Spring and I can finally shed all of those chunky layers. I especially like how cool the jacket looks with dresses and it’s nice to have a fitted item of clothing underneath it because it doesn’t feel so bulky like that. Please let me know what you think of my outfit ideas and let me know how you would style a leather jacket for spring – tweet me @Cassiefairy or leave me a comment below :)

stretch fabric sewing project using bias binding


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Thrifty fashion ~ My finished stretch fabric sewing project

So after many requests to see a photo of my finished sewing project I’ve finally pinned my husband down long enough for him to take a snap of me wearing it. So here is the finished item and me posing in front of my retro caravan (don’t go thinking I’ve forgotten about sharing my caravan makeover project with you – more updates coming soon!). What do you think of the fabric and colour combinations? Rather summery, I think!

         DIY summer top sewing project

I still find the fit a little bit big for me, despite taking it in by two sizes during the making process. I actually measured myself and followed the guidelines on the pattern but when I’d constructed it (read last week’s blog post about the making process here) the top still needed taking down by two sizes before it would even hang right on my shoulders. I don’t think it’s anything that I’ve done wrong, I just think it is a generously sized pattern! Plus the stretch in the jersey probably would have allowed it to be even smaller and more figure-hugging, so perhaps next time I’ll make the pattern smaller and use an equally stretchy fabric.

stretch fabric sewing project using bias binding

I was very happy using the stretch bias binding around the neckline which saved me a lot of time and give me a more professional finish – I also like how it picks out the colours of the flowers within the pattern. Using the stretch thread from Minerva Crafts made it all the more easy to construct this garment from stretch fabric – the seams won’t rip, no matter how much pulling and stretching I do! Let me know what you think of my new floral top? I’m planning to wear it with a light grey blazer for a little extra warmth during this changeable Spring weather (see my blog post on dressing for Spring here) and it is already brightening up my wardrobe with a lovely burst of yellow and pink!

One more thing - I have a fabulous fashion giveaway running on Twitter to win this gorgeous Bon Prix dress in navy chiffon (worth £29.99) to add to your Spring wardrobe! Click here to see the competition tweet and enter by simply RTing & following me :)

frebie friday navy dress giveaay pic

tuesday shoesday shoes from Oxfam fashion online shop summer sale black dr martin doc marten boots


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Shopping for a good cause ~ the Oxfam fashion sale starts at midday today!

Today I’ve found out some great news that I simply must share with you all – the Oxfam Online Shop Spring Sale starts today! More specifically it starts at 12 noon and you really have to ‘be there’ at midday to get the bargains because each item is unique – they have been donated after all - so it’s unlikely that you’ll find a duplicate item and once it’s gone, IT’S GONE!

I got an amazing bargain in the Oxfam Fashion sale last year – my favourite pair of lace-up Doc Marten boots. They were practically new and were a fraction of the price of new DM boots. I’d been searching for a pair for weeks and had found that they were out of my price range – even second-hand boots on Ebay were too spendy for me.  So I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this lovely pair in the Oxfam Online sale. Luckily they were in my size (so jammy!) so I snapped them up and was pretty chuffed that I was giving my hard-earned cash to charity rather than a store. They were delivered quickly and I was so pleased with them when they arrived; what a bargain!

tuesday shoesday shoes from Oxfam fashion online shop summer sale black dr martin doc marten boots

I don’t want to disappoint you by saying that you too will find a perfect pair of Doc Martens in your size during this sale, but what I want to share is the fact that this is charity shopping at it best: in front of a computer, during your lunchbreak, getting a unique bargain and donating to a great cause. So make sure you’ve clicked onto the Oxfam Online Shop at midday and prepare yourself for a thorough rummage through the fashion archives to get yourself a deal. There will be 50% off Oxfam’s already very reasonable prices and they have divided their stock into size, type and even vintage fashion, so if you’re into genuine retro gear you’ll be able to track it down easily and snap up your bargain quickly!

I know I’ll be sat here at my computer waiting for the sale to open at midday today and I’ll be trying to find a pretty dress to wear for a friend’s wedding! Let me know how you get on and please share your sale bargains with me – leave me a comment below or send me a tweet @Cassiefairy.