Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


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50s Summer Party Dresses

Does a stack of wedding and party invites leave you with a ‘what to wear’ headache this summer? Why not look to the era of gin cocktails and elegant summer soirees for your party vibe this year? The 50’s is providing us with some serious party wear inspiration right now and what’s more there is a 50’s look for every occasion. From the infamous wiggle dress to flattering circle shapes and cotton summer dresses Mela Mela have you covered. Swoon over some of our favourite 50’s pieces now in store to get your summer party look nailed.1950s-vintage-dress-cotton-striped-orange-yellow-black-gold-detail-front2_1Sunshine Prints

50’s designers weren’t afraid of some seriously bold prints and this sunshine coloured dress is no exception. The striped cotton design with classic flared skirt reminds us of holiday sunsets. We think it is just crying out for some Hollywood sized sunglasses and a glass of Pimms!1950s-vintage-dress-cotton-blue-green-abstract-design-frontClub Tropicana

Hot summer nights call for acid brights and wild prints. The 50’s love for the colourful and for exotic Hawaiian inspired prints has left us with some amazing items. This strapless cotton dress combines an abstract pattern with a tropical colour palette for a fun and fresh finish. Perfect for cocktails and dancing at a summer beach party.1950s-vintage-dress-california-cottons-blue-pink-floral-nylon-frontFlower Power

A garden party is just the thing for a fabulous floral. The 50’s showcases everything from delicate pastel floral designs to bold graphic designs. We love this delicate pink and blue example with its gorgeous velvet waist belt. The scooped neck gives it real impact combined with the classic 50’s circle shape. Pair with sandals for an easy, breezy finish.

1950s-vintage-wiggle-dress-jacket-blue-trimmed-with-spots-front

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5 ways to style up denim

We all wear denim, and all have at least one pair of jeans, a denim jacket, skirt, dress or dungarees. Denim will never go out of fashion and it’s even more loved than ever. Denim is comfortable, it looks great (even after you’ve worn it for years!) and it can be styled up in so many different ways. It can be worked into most fashion trends – add a khaki shirt and you’ve got the ‘global explorer’ look, while a striped top turns the same jeans into a ‘nautical’ outfit. Never has one piece of clothing been SO in line with my thrifty ideals – what else can you wear practically every day?

The cost-per-wear of a great pair of jeans is phenomenal, I can tell you! Denim can turn any business and office look into a casual weekend option, and can even be dressed up for glamorous parties if you style it properly. I think we can all agree that denim will be forever here so today I’m looking at five ways to style up your existing denim clothes (no matter how old or new!) to boost your outfit choices with only a few simple tricks and accessories.

Beautiful young woman walking in the city. Fashion.Love this combo of summer hat and comfy pumps

  1. Add a hat

You are probably already wearing the timeless jeans-and-shirt combo for relaxed weekend days but, if you are a fan of the casual chic look, why not add a cute boyfriend hat? You can pick a straw fedora for summer days or a real-deal Marlon Brando hat in the autumn. This timeless look can be completed with a cute clutch to dress up even the most casual jeans-shirt-and-pumps outfit, or add strappy summer sandals to achieve the perfect ‘day out with the girls’ outfit.

fashion studio photo of gorgeous young woman with blond curly hair wears elegant blouse and jeans,holding a big bag in hands

White and denim always look great

2. Statement accessories

Jeans will forever be in fashion and will get you out of a ‘what to wear’ dilemma every single time. It’s easy to style them up to incorporate seasonal trends so you can work many new colours, patterns, designs and fabrics into your existing wardrobe. Just adding a few accessories saves you time and money instead of shopping for a whole new wardrobe every season. White tops and shirts look amazing with your jeans in spring and summer and a chunky statement necklace and a large tote can be enough to dress up jeans for smarter occasion and gives you a whole new look without costing too much.ootd fashion styling denim and flower dress

One of my favourite ways to wear denim

3. Pretty florals Continue reading “5 ways to style up denim” »


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Tuesday Shoesday – Bloggers’ shoes from the UK Blog Awards 2016

If you can cast your mind back to the last few times that I’ve been to a blog awards event, you might remember that I have a bit of a post-ceremony tradition. I love to share photos of the bloggers’ shoes in a Tuesday Shoesday post. Not only do I love chatting with all the fabulous writers and photographers that I meet at the event, but I’m also really interested in their outfit for the event and, in particular, their choice of shoes. Here are a few of my previous ‘Your Shoes’ blog posts after the Cosmopolitan blog awards and the very first UK Blog Awards back in 2014. Anyway, this year is no exception and no sooner had I arrived home from the event, I was tweeting my new pals to see if they wanted to get involved in my next Tuesday Shoesday post. Thankfully, all the bloggers I chatted to replied to my request and sent through photos of their own (rather fabulous!) shoes for me to share with you today. Oh and I’m thinking about compiling another ‘Your Shoes’ blog post for everyone to join in with so please email me cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or tweet me @Cassiefairy if you’d like to show off your shoes in my next post!

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The first bloggers to send me a snap of their shoes were the couple behind award-winning blog Hey! Dip Your Toes In. This inspirational website is packed full of glorious photography, appetising recipes and I-want-to-be-there-now travel posts, so it comes as no surprise that Eulanda and Omo won the award for Best Food & Drink Blog in the UK. They totally deserve this accolade – you can tell just how passionate they are about their blog and the experiential lifestyle they live. And it didn’t stop there; this fabulous duo made it a double-whammy by winning Highly Commended in the Travel category too!

I asked them to talk me through their footwear choices for the event and I’m pleased to report that they (like me!) cited comfort on the dancefloor as one of the main reasons that they chose these particular shoes; “We typically like to coordinate when we go to big fancy events, however, we’d just gotten back the day prior to the event from a 15 day press trip. With his in mind, we really couldn’t be bothered with making a fuss at coordination attempts. We knew there would be dancing, and rather than risk a night of tender toes and tears of regret, we opted for the old faithful shoes. Omo wore his wedding shoes, and I wore my graduation shoes. Both pairs are super comfortable, and have seen hours of fire on the dance floor! Our shoes happened to be the same shade of caramel, which is really our version of ‘nude.’ Honestly, there were no other options. Comfort rained supreme on this day, and we were able to dance for hours on end after the ceremony was over. A night well done for us!” And trust me, they sure did tear up that dancefloor – I’ve seen the photos! Congratulations again to Hey! Dip Your Toes In – you deserve to dance the night away after scooping two awards!laura devine bride shoesNext up are Laura from Devine Bride and Maggie from Planes & Champagne, the lovely ladies who sat with me during the awards ceremony and actually had to persuade me out of my seat when my name was called. Thank goodness they were there! Laura told me all about her plans for her gorgeous wedding blog while we chatted at the event and I can’t wait to work with Devine Bride in the future on guest posts and more. While Maggie was already off on another plane straight after the ceremony, Laura stuck around in London and was able to zip a photo of her classy black shoes over to me straight away. She told me that she decided to wear her bargain shoes over and above some much more expensive shoes in her collection because they’re super-comfy.

“I wore these shoes to the UK Blog awards last Friday as I was nervous about going and meeting new people, and these shoes never let me down! They are one of the cheapest pairs I own (£14.99 from New Look via ASOS last summer), but one of the best.  I have lots of more expensive shoes that I have blagged through various jobs in the past (Russell & Bromley and Louboutin, no less), but I always revert back to these. I love the heel height and the comfortable suede.  They are a simple classic court shoe and go with just about anything – I’ve even worn them with jeans.  I actually planned on wearing sparkly sandals to the UK Blog Awards, as I was a little intimidated by the attendee information stating that the dress code was formal/cocktail dress, but I had already ruined my wedding pedicure from the week before and was coming to the event straight from work.  I had a brilliant night and have put it down to putting my best foot forward, in my favourite (comfortable) courts.”

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What to wear to a creative job interview

You’ve done it. You bagged an interview for that job that everyone in your industry has been buzzing about for weeks. They all tried out for it, but YOU got it. You were on cloud 9 when you got the call, but now beads of perspiration are starting to form on your brow as you realise that you now actually have to go to the interview. You’re not worried about your experience, you’ve got oodles of it. You can’t be faulted on your people skills and your professional knowledge is second-to-none. BUT you have no idea what to wear. No, don’t start to panic and reach for the nearest glass of ‘something strong’ – I’m here to help!job interview tips inspiration outfit clothing

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We all know that making a good first impression is important – well, you only get to make it once, don’t you? – so it’s a pretty sure bet that what you wear plays a big part in this. In days gone by you would’ve had one interview suit hanging in your wardrobe for occasions like this. Teamed with a pair of sensible shoes and a white shirt you were ready for any interview, anytime, anywhere. But it’s not that simple these days; interviewers what to know what you clothes say about you. Annoying, isn’t it? This is especially the case when you’re going for a creative career and, let’s face it, most jobs do involved some element of creativity nowadays. Here are a few essential tips that you should consider before you head out to that important interview:

1. Make a great impression before you’ve even met. Yes, your interviewers have probably already Googled you so you’ve already made the first impression without even knowing it. We blame social media for this one – they already know your style because you’ve posted hundreds of photos of it. Similarly they know if you’re trying ‘too hard’ just for the interview. The key here is to always stick to your signature style and keep it cool at all times if you want that job – no posting photos of comedy onesies for a while. Continue reading “What to wear to a creative job interview” »


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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


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One week, no jeans challenge

We all have a style uniform, don’t we? A particular style of outfit that you pull on day-in-day-out without really thinking about it. For me, it’s comfy jeans combined with a jumper in winter and the same jeans rolled up with a t-shirt in the summer. I reach for my skinny jeans instinctively every morning because I know they work with whatever top I want to wear and whatever footwear is needed to tackle the weather outside. Perhaps you have favourite pair of jeans too, or a coat you can’t be without, or a piece of clothing you love so much you buy it in bulk and you have it in every colour?one week no jeans outfit challenge holiday travel packing outfit inspiration fashion ideas spring summer 2016We’re all guilty of sticking to what’s comfortable, but the team at George want to challenge us to mix up your #styleYOUniform by setting you a challenge: one week, no jeans. “It can’t be done!” I hear you cry. We’ll I took up the challenge last week and I wanted to share how I got on with my little ‘experiment’. After wearing blue jeans practically every day for a year (except special occasions) I wanted to at least try to shed my style uniform and mix it up with some new outfit choices. Plus, I wanted to do it with just four items of clothing – being thrifty and making the most of my wardrobe is my kinda thing..! george clothing one week no jeans challenge holiday outfits

These are the items I’ve chosen for my one week, no jeans challenge from George, with a few extra accessories from my own wardrobe thrown in for good measure.

Considering that the weather is warming up I wanted to try uncovering my legs and slipping into some dresses and skirts for the week. There was a time, only a couple of years ago, when I would wear dresses all the time. A dress was my #styleYOUniform because it was so easy to wear – you only needed to make on choice in the morning: with or without tights. So feels a little strange to me to be ‘going back in time’ to my uni days by wearing a dress all week. Even so, the ease of getting ready with a dress was still there and I just added a couple of other items to make sure I had enough to rework my outfits to get me through a whole week. I think this would be great if you were going on holiday – just imagine how much room you’d have in your suitcase if you only packed these few items! one week no jeans outfit challenge holiday travel packing_The first outfit is a Monday ‘back to work’ outfit. A day of meetings calls for a smart tailored blazer and fitted skirt. I wore my white cardigan buttoned up beneath the blazer, but a crisp white shirt would look equally neat for a day in the office. My tasselled shoes in a neutral colour have a mid-height chunky heel so they are comfortable enough for a full day’s work. I removed the long strap from my shoulder bag to use it as a handbag, and turned it so that the non-tasselled side was showing for a smarter look. It’s big enough to hold notebooks, my laptop and all the business essentials I need to carry with me. All in all, a very successful, smart look for a hard day’s work.one week no jeans outfit challenge holiday travel packing_-4The second outfit is a ‘daytime date’ look. I wore the dress as a skirt, with the cardigan buttoned up over the top as a jumper. I dressed up this more casual look with a pretty necklace that my bestie gave me for my birthday and my tasselled heels. Again, I took off the long strap from my handbag and carried it tassel-side-out to add a touch of playfulness. Love the ditsy print of this dress and it’s definitely a cute look for a date.one week no jeans outfit challenge holiday travel packing_-6 Continue reading “One week, no jeans challenge” »


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Rust & butterflies ~ the perfect combination for an exhibition

art and photography exhibition at ipswich town hall-8

This week I went to the opening of a fabulous new exhibition at the Ipswich town hall art gallery, featuring the work of artist Mandy Christmas. The exhibition featured a stunning display of photographic works featuring countryside and coastal views along with some simply astonishing up-close shots of wildlife. Even the artist’s exhibition sign was a work of art; using a slice of a rusting old beach hut door as the backdrop for the Hunter – Gatherer exhibition title.

The beach hut door certainly set the tone for the exhibition – large-scale images focused on texture and moody colours, taking an abstract look at natural forms, shadows and decaying materials. These images contrasted rather pleasingly with a series of bright, lush, lively wildlife photography. Mandy Christmas explained how she photographed her surroundings on a series of walks – hence the Hunter-Gatherer title – and often found nature and decay living side-by-side. It was also really interesting to see a photo of the artist at work, taking a photo of a seagull – it showed that she wasn’t using a zoom lens to capture the gull’s cheeky face, but was actually crawling on the beach with the camera inches away from the bird! The artist’s patience in photographing birds, bugs and animals has clearly paid off as an entire wall of the exhibition is dedicated to her close-up wildlife images.

My dress is from House of Fraser, thermal tights from UK Tights, shoes from New Look

I was completely mesmerised by one of the artworks in particular; an image of a smouldering forest fire. This photograph stopped me in my tracks and transported me straight to the location of the fire. I worried about being in a forest that could potentially ignite and I imagined how it would feel to be surrounded by fire and cut-off in the woods. I admired the artist even more so for putting herself in possible danger in order to take the photo whereas I would have definitely been running in the opposite direction! Despite feeling uneasy while looking at the piece, I was drawn back to it time and again, and really enjoyed looking at the dusky colours and charred shapes.

art and photography exhibition at ipswich town hall-3

After a thorough look around the exhibition, hubby and I sat down with a cup of tea to take in the surroundings of the magnificent town hall building and I took some snaps. Please forgive the quality of my images; I forgot to take my camera with me and snapped these photos on my phone but I hope you get can an idea of the exhibition and the building as a whole.

I will definitely be visiting the gallery again and will be sure to report back on any other exhibitions I see over the coming months. Please get in touch if you’ve seen any fantastic artwork recently and please do recommend any galleries you think I’d be interested in – it’s always great to have new places to explore!


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My new fashion skirts featured on The Wardrobe Challenge blog!

I am so pleased to say that one of my new range of fashion tulle skirts has been included on The Wardrobe Challenge blog

the wardrobe challenge hanna photo of tulle skirt for punky princess fashion look

I love fashion writer Hanna’s blog because I enjoy seeing how she styles her outfits and it’s great to see someone doing it for all the curvy girls! She got in touch with me last month to discuss what kind of skirt she wanted and sent me lots of photos of other similar skirts so that I could get an idea of the kind of outfit she was after. This was a new experience for me because, although I’ve made 100s of tutus, skirts and fancy dress costumes, this is the first time I’ve made a ‘fashion’ skirt and I didn’t know how it would turn out.

After a lot of discussions about the type of fabric, colours and style, between us we came up with a sheer grey layered design with contrasting black underskirt and waistband. Hanna  is new to über-girliness and didn’t want anything too OTT straight away; “I was always a tomboy as a kid, and a teen, and a young adult, and a not so young adult.. haha. Basically I’ve only started to embrace all things girly during the past few years, and lately I have been dying to get my hands on a tulle skirt – which is the last thing that the young me would have worn”. Thankfully, she emailed me straight away to tell me that she loved the skirt and would be blogging about it, fantastic news! I’ve since made a few more of these skirts and will be adding the new range to my website soon at www.TutusWingsandPrettyThings.com in a whole range of sizes, lengths and colours.

the wardrobe challenge hanna photo of tulle skirt for punky princess fashion look cassiefairy tutu

 Here’s the link to The Wardrobe Challenge’s Outfit Of The Day blog post and more photos of Hanna styling-up her tulle skirt as a ‘Punky Princess’. I think she looks fantastic, and while you’re on her blog, click around to see her other OOTD posts for inspiration for your own outfits.

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