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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Thrifty winter wedding outfit ideas

Being invited to a wedding always lifts my spirits. It means that one, often two, of my friends have found happiness, and are ready to settle down to a life together. It also means a party, a chance to meet up with old friends and family, dress up, and generally have a good time. Weddings really are wonderful, regardless of what time of the year they are held, but there is something extra special about a winter wedding.Wedding outfit in winterThe fact that few people get married in the colder months makes them occasions that are even more memorable. Winter weddings are a bright spot in what is often a grey and bland time of the year. As a result, I really look forward to them, but there is one issue, and that is finding something suitable to wear. For some reason, buying dresses for weddings in the winter months is nowhere near as easy as it is during the summer. I am not exactly sure why that is. Perhaps retailers are responding to the fact that demand for wedding outfits is not as strong as it is during the hotter months. However, if you know where to look, and think outside the box it is possible to find something suitable, and do so even if you are on a tight budget.

A long dress allows you to wear thick tights or even thermal leggings underneath for warmth!

A long dress allows you to wear thick tights or even thermal leggings underneath for warmth!

Rework what you have

If you have recently attended a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party, there is a good chance that you will already own something that is suitable. Often you can adapt a party dress and make it work for a wedding. This is especially the case if you will be attending an evening reception. The chances are during the ceremony you will be wearing a wrap, or coat to stay warm so a party style dress will not necessarily look out of place. Making the wrap yourself from a length of coordinating fabric is an easy way of keeping the cost of your outfit down, and ensuring that you end up with something that fits in properly with your dress.

A slip and tights make it possible to wear even the prettiest summer dress to a winter wedding

A slip and tights make it possible to wear even the prettiest summer dress to a winter wedding

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Create a lookbook to get the most out of your wardrobe this winter

Winter is the time for festivities and celebrations and is a great excuse to get dressed up in your sparkliest clothes. It’s also the time of the year when you’ve just splashed your pay cheque on presents for your nearest and dearest so are unlikely to want to spend much more on a new winter wardrobe. Read on to find out how you can save money on new clothing this season, as well as creating your own lookbook to make the most of your existing wardrobe.thrifty wardrobe makeover tip money saving inspiration hack-3Create your own lookbook
It’s easy to forget what clothes you already have in your wardrobe, especially if it’s been stuffed to bursting point for the past couple of years. So to avoid leaving pieces unworn for seasons why not create your own personal lookbook? It can be quite fun to make up outfits, and it’s got a certain Cher-from-Clueless-ness about it! For this, you’ll need to take snaps of each item in your wardrobe and categorize them into different types. You can even style up your summer dresses or a short sleeved shirt with a jacket, cardigan, blazer or tights for winter and get maximum use out of your favourite pieces. Unlike in the Clueless era, nowadays it’s possible to download apps which can help you create and organize your lookbook. Keeping photos of your clothes on your phone will also help you when you’re out shopping because you can double check whether or not you’ve already got a monochrome patterned shirt in your wardrobe at home and save on duplicates.crazy for christmas jumpers

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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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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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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??” »


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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 Boohoo.com 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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Thrifty special occasion outfits for your child

I love winter weddings. The festive atmosphere puts everyone in a party mood and the cold weather can sometimes even deliver snow – how amazing would that be on your wedding day?! Had I not held my wedding in august, my second choice would have been December, as it’s my favourite month. The only problem with winter weddings is that the wedding industry kind of has a ‘season’, so it’s more difficult to find pretty formal outfits in the shops at this time of year. There’s less choice, and the things that are available tend to be more expensive. winter wedding stationary

Gorgeous winter invitations from Etsy

Are you planning on attending a wedding with your family, but are on a shoestring budget that’s causing you concern, especially when it comes to being able to dress your child for your big event? First off, rest assured that there are ways around the seasonal nature of wedding shopping in winter, and you can work with your budget in order to make everyone in your family look fabulous for the big day. Continue reading to learn more!

Visit charity shops There are plenty of great reasons to visit charity shops. In addition to staying within your budget, you can find a variety of styles, especially when it comes to formal attire. Therefore, there’s no reason to be ashamed of shopping at a thrift store, especially if you like to style your kids a little bit outside the box and maybe even go for a bit of a vintage vibe.

Borrow an outfit In addition to second-hand shops, you can also stick to your budget by borrowing a children’s outfit from friends or other family members. You may even be able to find something that will not only fit your child but will also match the colour scheme of the wedding that you’ll be attending. winter wedding inspiration

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