Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

My outfit for the UK National Blog Awards 2014


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What to wear to the ‘Oscars of the blogging world’?!

If you’ve not heard me shouting about it already, I’m a FINALIST in the National Blog Awards 2014! I’m going to the awards ceremony on Friday night and it’s been described as the ‘Oscars of the blogging world’ so I’m expecting a fabulous night out in London and looking forward to meeting lots of glamourous bloggers. My best friend Jenna from Glitter Daze blog will be among them, as she has been shortlisted in the Wedding Blogs category, so it will be amazing to catch up with my Northern buddy after a few months apart! After my initial excitement, my thoughts obviously turned to what I should wear (I am a retail and FASHION finalist after all!) and of course I had no idea. Jenna always looks super-fabulous with just the right amount of glitz and glam in her outfit choices so I’ve been discussing my dress plans with her and have finally settled on this…

ladies joules tweet jacket with pink detailing and bird lining

My first choice was this blazer from Joules. I’d had my eye on it for while because the cut is beautiful, the tweet is such great quality with pretty rainbow colours subtly sprinkled throughout and I wanted to wear something smart as a nod to the importance of the event. Plus, when I tried on the jacket I needed a SIZE 8 (there is no way that’s right!) and that made me feel good ;) I think it’s because it’s such a fine piece of tailoring that it fits me so well in the smaller sizes and it looks great left open (although it does button up too, honest!) so my dress will still show beneath it. Which leads me on to my next choice:

ladies fashion look for spring 2014 with pink new look dress and joules tweed blazer

I am in love with this New Look dress. I have honestly looked at every single dress online and visited the store 4 times this month to try on dresses before I took the plunge and went for this ‘online exclusive’ pink lace dress. The A-line cut is really flattering and I think I’ll be able to fit in quite a few desserts before the dress starts to bulge! I also love the cute sweetheart neckline which doesn’t feel too revealing because of the layer of lace over the chest. I also like that the dress covers up my arms because I’m more likely to take off my blazer if I have a little arm protection beneath! I love the fit and style so much that I’ve since ordered it in black as well and got a bargain because it was reduced online, yikes! As you can see from the photos, the dress picks out the pink elements of the Joules blazer (the collar even has pink velvet underneath) and when I turned back the cuffs, the lining was also pink so I think I’ll wear it like this – Wham! style ;)

My outfit for the UK National Blog Awards 2014

I’ve instagrammed my accessories choices last week and here they are – a pair of black suede wedges and a gorgeous envelope clutch bag, both from New Look. I’m not sure if I’ll be in black tights or nude (I guess it depends on the weather and how brave I am feeling) but I think that the bag and shoes will go well with either, and they look great with the black & gold belt that came with the dress. Plus there’s plenty of room for business cards in my clutch for all the networking I’ll be doing ;)

So now I just have to get my face and hair sorted and I’ll be ready for the big day! What do you think of my outfit choice? Any ideas for how I should wear my hair? Are you going to the National Blog Awards too? I’d love to hear from you so please tweet me @Cassiefairy

 


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Some amazing news & special occasion dresses

This week I got some amazing news: my best friends announced that they would be getting married this year! It will be a summer wedding and I can’t wait. Another of my best friends is also getting married this year in April (you may remember I talked about her hen party here) so this Spring and Summer will be a whirlwind of travel, ceremonies and good ol’ knees-ups! I love weddings and seeing as these are of two of the most important people in my life, it makes the occasion even more special – and it makes me even more emotional – bring on the waterproof mascara, that’s all I can say! I like to think that my husband and I are good wedding guests – in fact, we’re great at any party; anniversaries, proms, engagement parties, fundraisers etc – we arrive early, help out with anything that needs doing, we chat to parents and grandparents, we are always first on the dance floor and, most importantly, know when to leave! Plus, hubby looks great in a suit and it’s pretty exciting for me when I get to wear something a bit special and out-of-the-ordinary. We’ve all got special occasion dresses in our wardrobe, but a wedding or prom is definitely a good enough reason to go shopping for something new!

So of course I’ve already been scouring the online fashion retailers’ special occasion departments and have come up with an amazing selection from the prom department of New Look. They have gorgeous glitzy dresses that are perfect for prom parties, and therefore weddings! There’s something for every shape and size so I thought I would turn this blog post into a bit of a ‘dressing for your body shape’ article and hopefully this will help me to choose something suitable to wear for these special occasions.

new look long maxi prom dresses for weddings

If you’re tall, a prom or wedding is the perfect excuse to wear a long, glamourous maxi dress and get really dressed up. I’d suggest checking what colours your friends will be wearing to the prom so that you don’t end up looking like a girl-band and if it’s a wedding, make sure you know what colours the bridesmaids will be wearing – you don’t want to look like you’re trying to join in with the bridal party! Also, always stay away from white, ivory or cream if you’re wearing a long dress to a wedding, otherwise a short-sighted aunt might mistake you for the bride!

new look short structured prom dresses for weddings

I’m more vertically challenged in terms of height, so I’m going to stick to a shorter dress for these special occasions – but not too short! I want to be able to dance and be comfortable all day, so a mini-dress might not be suitable for a special occasion. Also, if you’d like to look a little thinner and more petite than usual (and who doesn’t want to look their best when they’re going to be popping up in photographs?!) opt for a dress with a little structure which will help to put your curves where you’d like them to be!

new look short curve prom dresses for weddings

And finally, if you want to add curves, pick a dress with gathers, ruffles and embellishments such as these above, which will add bulk in a good way and enhance your shape – plus they will look great when you’re dancing! One final tip is to not go too glitzy, because you don’t want to look like you’re trying to up-stage the bride, so perhaps all-over sequins are off the menu! But if it’s a prom you’re dressing up for – you can go all out with glitter, feathers and diamante – this is your big day after all! Here are some of the best super-star prom dresses from New Look that I really want to buy, just to sit around the house in!

new look long and short glitzy dresses for weddings

I really love the purple lace dress and the monochrome dress above, so maybe one of these will be the dress for me! All the prom dresses on the New Look website are on sale at the moment so I’m going to research the colour themes of the weddings I’m going to and will make my final choices soon. I’ll let you know how I get on :)


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Silver shoes

This week J Crew launched a sneak peek at their November lookbook for their new collection of clothing. But what interested me more was the number of models wearing silver shoes on their feet. Despite understated feel of their clothing collection, with sturdy fabrics such as tweed, and a colour palette of greys and black, their shoes were blingy and dainty, in a bright 5-pence-piece silver. Check out the images from their November look book below:

tuesday shoesday j crew autumn winter 2013 look book silver shoes

Not settling for simply following the metallic trend, J Crew are going all-out with 90s-esque polished silver on court shoes, pumps and even brogues. It’s a very cool look, which brings these outfits bang up-to-date – I can achieve the same look using my own wardrobe staples (tweed coat from last year, Primark straight-leg and my jumper from the car-boot sale) by simply investing in one pair of shoes. Boom! That sounds like a bargain way to follow a fashion trend if you ask me.

So I’ve looked around the for the cheapest silver shoes – I mean, who knows how long they’ll be cool for? There’s no point buying pricey shoes that may end up being a fashion faux pas by next Spring, is there? But then again, they might stay on trend all year because everyone likes a bit of sparkle over the festive season and why wouldn’t they look cool with your summer dresses too? Either way, I don’t want to spend a lot to follow fashion, so I’ve chosen these from as my favourite silver shoes at a bargain price: Heels under £20 from New Look, Dune brogues in the Asos sale and Asos Lullaby ballet flats.

tuesday shoesday silver shoes autumn winter 2013 footwear trend from asos new look dune

Let me know what you think about this trend. I personally never thought I’d look at a pair of silver shoes the same way after experiencing them ‘last time round’ in the 90s (particularly patent silver Dr Martens, wow!), but I think I like these shoes. Especially the brogues mmm! What’s your opinion?


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Back to school

I’ve always been one of those people who love ‘back to school’ time. I’ve not been at school for many years now, but I still remember getting excited about choosing my new pencil-case and buying stationery supplies ready for the new term. In fact, I think that’s the reason that I stayed at uni for so many years – I just loved to excitement of a new semester, with new notepads and folders, and the chance to be a new you! I am certain the ritual of going to the stationery shop to choose my academic diary and highlighters made me a better student each year - more organised and more committed than the previous year. It’s about starting off determined to improve myself and getting the essential items to do so is equally as important (in my eyes) as actually doing it.

This year however I am not a student, for possibly one of the first times in my life. What will I do with all this free time? (free time, ha whats that?). So what am I to do about not starting “school” in September for the first time in years? Yes, I will go out and buy schools shoes, that’s what!

tuesday shoesday back to school shoes from new look

Just as important as a new pencil-case, the new shoes for a new term are essential for all children, teenagers and adults alike. I love a new pair of sensible shoes and luckily for me these little beauties are bang on trend for autumn/winter. I accidentally bought these shoes yesterday when I popped into New Look to try on a leather jacket just to see if it suited me. Then out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed a SALE sign. One of my favourite signs ever in New Look. So I casually wandered over, being careful not to up  my pace and look too wild-eyed. I was determined that I wasn’t going to buy anything today. However…

These little leather New Look shoes jumped out at me. Cute, ankle-skimming black school shoes. They instantly reminded me of the shoes I used to wear as a teenager: they have a small heel (2 inches was allowed at my high school, 3 inches meant detention), pretty pattern in the leather and lace-ups. I accidentally tried them on. They felt familiar. And so comfortable. What’s wrong with a 2 inch heel these days anyway? I looked in the mirror and my teenage legs were reflected back at me, albeit a few years older. And these shoes were on sale. Sold.

tuesday shoesday back to school black leather ankle shoes from new look

Remember I blogged about the cheapest way to buy shoes recently? Well this is another example of where shopping in the children’s department is a money-saving option. These shoes were eight quid and the teenage shoes go up to a size 6 so who can resist a bargain from the kids section? During the autumn/winter little pumps will replace my suede ankle-shoes that I bought from the children’s range earlier this year so I won’t ruin the suede in the wet weather – yet another reason that popped into my head to justify the purchase yesterday lunchtime. Plus I thought it’d be retro-cool or ironic-chic to wear school shoes as an adult. As long as I don’t start eyeing up tartan pinafores, I think I’ll be okay.

Let me know what you think about back-to-school and getting new shoes for the new academic year - what do you remember getting at the start of a new school term? Please leave me a comment below or tweet me @cassiefairy


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Summer footwear

Last week I spent ages searching online for the perfect pair of summer shoes – something that would go with bare legs and pretty dresses - in a colour that would be neutral enough to look good with a whole range of prints and colours and could be used later on in the year too.

summer shoes new look matalan asos wedge heels laura robson jennifer aniston cheryl cole kelly brooke kate middleton summer footwear

I decided on second pair of bargain wedges above from New Look so I took myself off to the high street at the weekend to buy these pretty little shoes in time to enjoy them for the rest of the summer. However, I couldn’t find them in-store anywhere! The New Look in my local town is a pretty big store with a massive footwear department and I must have looked at over 100 styles of shoes but they simply weren’t there! Were they so popular that everyone else had snapped them up for summer too?! Were they an “online exclusive” and not available in-store? Were they limited edition? I hope not!

I decided to shop ‘in person’ rather than online so that I could try them on for comfort (I will be walking in them a lot this summer) and to make sure the height is okay before making my purchase, but my plans were scuppered! Oh well – I’ll have to order them online and hope that the wedge isn’t too high for me to walk in!

Tuesday Shoesday Turquoise and tan summer wedge shoes from Next

In the meantime, I found these pretty turquoise wedges from Next at the car boot sale – hardly worn and in my size – fantastic good luck! So I’ve been wearing these over the weekend and they are super-comfortable. Although the turquoise is a bit brighter than the nudes that I’d originally planned to buy, it goes well with a couple of floral print dresses I like to wear. Plus the tan ankle strap coordinates with a plaited belt I already have so I can wear the two together and make almost any dress work with the shoes!