Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


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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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Weekend photos ~ a tasty afternoon treat

I thought I’d share a few photos of what I got up to last weekend because I was lucky enough to be treated to a day out at the seaside. After our lovely walk along the beach, hubby surprised me with a very special afternoon tea at an old vintage teashop - and when I say vintage, I mean the Cragg Sisters tea room has been there for years! 

cassiefairy lifestyle blog afternoon tea bon prix dress

Somehow, I’d never been there before so it was a lovely idea and I couldn’t believe the size of the cakes – all I wanted that day was a great big victoria sponge… and that’s exactly what they had! I loved the vintage decor and couldn’t help snapping away with my camera while we were enjoying our pots of tea (3 and a half cups in each pot!) – I had the delicious house blend and hubby chose the Turkish apple tea with actual chunks of apple and sultanas. I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos and I’m sure I’ll be pestering my friends and family to go there for every birthday and special occasion in the future!


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Thrifty fashion ~ Making denim look girly for summer

I don’t know about you, but I love denim for creating a cool, casual look – everyone has their favourite pair of jeans or denim jacket, but summer is a hard time of year to wear denim. Although it’s always comfy and practical (not forgetting always on trend!) it’s sometimes a little too thick or bulky to wear in this lovely hot weather. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a stylish summer outfit using your favourite denim wardrobe staples. When my family and I took a trip to the seaside last week, I decided that this would be my first outing in my new bonprix floral dress (yes, I know… I’ve been shopping at bonprix again!) and I dressed it down with my favourite denim jacket (also from bonprix!), my satchel (full of sunblock!) and a pair of my 1 pound pumps! My new dress was the perfect choice for such a hot day because the cotton fabric kept me cool and it was loose-fitting enough to let a breeze through! And when the wind picked up a bit, as it always does at the coast, I popped on my denim jacket and warmed up – whilst still looking suitably girly! Check out my photos:

cassiefairy lifestyle blog seaside fashion denim bon prix dress

In fact, I think I’ll be buying this same dress in one of the different colours (purple or black & red, which do you think would be best?) because it’s such a versatile dress – with the denim jacket, it looked girly and casual, but it can also be easily dressed up for a special occasion or posh afternoon tea with only a pair of cute heels. Let me know what you think about making denim work for summer – how do you wear yours??