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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Interior design inspiration: Hollister

I’ve never been into a Hollister shop before. I know some of you will be regular shoppers and this whole blog post will be old news to you but for me, my visit to the Cambridge store was an adventure in terms of marketing and retail display. I’d never even seen the exterior of a Hollister store so it was the Californian beach hut façade that first lured me into the cavernous store.

I was intrigued by how dark it was inside. I fought my way through the palm tree foliage and into the interior of a tropical beach hideaway. The darkly painted wooden shelves and rails displayed the clothes under spotlights, but the product seemed to take a backseat compared to the decor – richly patterned wallpaper, leather armchairs and old industrial light fittings made the interior feel warm and exotic. The darkness and the plantlife combined with the beach sounds and music made me feel relaxed and just like I was in a spa on some tropical island.

The ‘windows’ (projector screens) showed views of a warm blue sea and beach scenes along with the sounds of crashing waves and birdsong. It was possible to believe that you really were surrounded by the ocean because looking out of the ‘window’ ahead was the sea and to the left and right you saw the corresponding coastline – a very well thought-out design to trick the imagination. Perhaps it was to make customers feel like they are on holiday because we all know we’re more likely to shop and spend more on holiday than we are at home. Kind of sneaky but it worked – because I’d only gone into the shop to investigate the intriguing décor yet I soon found myself looking at the products and feeling like I wanted to stay in the shop all day.

There were so many elements of the shop design that I wanted to take with me for my own home décor, such as the old industrial lighting illuminating the denim section, the mini metal clipboards displaying product information and definitely the cosy armchairs with snuggly rugs. In terms of decorating, I am quickly becoming obsessed by dark patterned wallpaper and I’d love to have a false sea-view window in the bathroom – or even go the whole hog with coastal landscape wallpaper covering an entire wall.

If you’ve visited a Hollister store before you’ll know all about it but if you’ve never stepped inside one, please do check it out – not necessarily for the products (though I can’t stop you shopping while you’re there!) – but for the design inspiration and for the relaxing, holiday-esque feeling it evokes.


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A watch for all time

A watch should be an investment piece. This is especially true if you don’t have the cash to go around buying a new one every time you see a pretty one – which is certainly true for me! Making sure that your watch lasts a long time will save you money (on buying a new watches that is!) in the long run. You also need to bear in mind the style of the watch – you’re less likely to wear if it doesn’t really go with your outfits, so you want it to me timeless (excuse the pun!), simple and elegant. Here are some helpful tips to make sure that your watch stands the test of time!

Your Style

A watch isn’t just a way to tell the time, it’s a style statement, too. So when you go looking for a new one, you need to make sure it complements you and your style. If you feel like you don’t really have a style per se, think about how you dress on a regular basis: is it casual, glamorous, sporty? This will help narrow down the type of watch that will go with your natural style.

fashion ideas for wearing watches this summer 2014

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Your Lifestyle

You should also take in to consideration your lifestyle. If you’re often riding a bike or you’re always running for the bus, then you’ll probably need something a little bit more robust than a regular fashion watch. If you want something that will help you time stuff if you’re particularly sporty, then you could go for a digital sports watch.

Continue reading “A watch for all time” »


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My year of thrifty retail & DIY fashion

I have amazing news and I’ve already been yelling it all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+ so if you haven’t already heard my screeches from where you are here it is again: I’VE BEEN SHORTLISTED IN THE NATIONAL UK BLOG AWARDS 2014! When I saw all the other amazing nominees in the Retail and Fashion category I could never have dared to believe that I might be shortlisted, but results are in and the announcement has been made – and my little blog has made it into the top 10 in the country! The finalists will be judged by industry professionals Carli Palmer from House of Fraser and Melanie Killilnea from Hotter Shoes – and I’m so excited to think that they could be looking at my blog right now. This has got me thinking about the past year on my blog and all of the thrifty shopping, fashion and DIY posts I’ve done now that I’m approaching my 1000th blog post and I wanted to take a nostalgic look back over the year with you – so here goes:

A recent early morning walk in the frost resulted in a mini fashion-shoot using blogger & stylist Sasha Bowman’s La Mere layering technique and gave me the chance to show off my new Brag Vintage find!

Again, snow was the inspiration behind my winter outfit post in which I proudly wore my new size 10 H&M coat that I never would have fitted into the year before and a cute Apricot dress. There’s really nothing better than being out in the cold while snuggled up with a hot drink.

At Christmas I let you all know what I’d be wearing with some snaps of my birthday/Christmas dress from La Redoute, my homemade snood infinity scarf and the festive jumper I made myself with just a bag of pom-poms and a needle – just two of the many of DIY outfit posts that I’ve written for Oxfam Fashion.

You’ll probably remember how terrified I was about attending the Company Style Blog Awards last year – what on earth would I wear to go into a room full of über-stylish fashionistas? And after a lot of deliberation here on the blog, I decided on an Apricot and New Look outfit combined with some car-boot sale bargains and borrowed accessories.

And then came my nemesis – the emerald green dress that I made myself – remember how long it took me to get going on the project, how scary it was to cut into the fabric, how many adjustments I needed to make to the pattern? Thankfully it turned out great in the end and sparked an interesting discussion about Sew-It-Yourself. Plus I now have a custom-made dress hanging in my wardrobe!

To date there have been 128 weeks of Tuesday Shoesday posts discussing footwear trends and weekly DIY posts on making your own accessories for yourself (and for the home too!) and adjusting your thrifted clothing to fit. I’ve also enjoyed sharing the new season trends and focussing on fashion week favourites – including how to get the look for less – the most important thing is saving money for us all through sensible shopping! Of course, there are tons more posts than I can mention here – we’d be here all day! – but please have browse through my categories on my sidebar to check out more shopping, fashion, sewing, trend and bargain-hunting articles for yourself.

I hope that you’ve all been enjoying reading my blog and have got some ideas that you’ve used yourself. But most importantly I want to say a massive THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for voting for my little blog to be shortlisted in the National UK Blog Awards, you can’t imagine what it means to me but you can be sure that the smile on my face is gigantic right now! 😀

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