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

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Six ways to create a 1950s-inspired look

It’s Tuesday Shoesday but today I’m not only focusing on 50s-inspired shoes, but also the accessories that combine to create the ultimate 50s look for Summer 2013. Timeless and subtly sexy, fashion styles from 1950s combine classic elegance with a touch of glamour. Taking inspiration from style icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, designers today are still finding ways to incorporate these classic styles into modern wardrobes. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate 1950s style without breaking out the poodle skirt, consider wearing accessories from the decade – which may be a cheaper way to get the vintage look without breaking the bank. Here are six ways to create a unique, 21st century, 1950s-inspired look (not only with shoes!):

Images courtesy of

Images courtesy of

Layered bracelets –Multi-stringed necklaces with large beads or pearls were one of the most popular jewellery trends of the 50s. They were often colourful and many women had a set of jewellery to match every outfit. For a 21st century spin on this classic look, wrap a layered necklace around the wrist and wear it as a chunky bracelet. Don’t worry about your bracelet matching perfectly – contrast helps to create the modern look.

Hats – In the 1950s, a woman’s outfit wasn’t complete without a hat, and pillbox hats were one of the most popular styles during this time. Plus it’s always a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat like Audrey Hepburn above during the summer to keep the sun off your face and stop your scalp from being sunburnt! For a contemporary twist, pair a polka-dot patterned pencil skirt (also a 50s fashion staple) with an oversized belt at the waist and a collared shirt. Then, top it off with a coordinating pillbox hat pinned at the side of the head. For extra flair, choose a hat in a bright colour or one that has added detail like buttons, flowers, or a patterned print like gingham.

Shoes – Obviously, this Tuesday Shoesday blog post is primarily focusing on the shoes of the decade. Shoes in the 1950s came in a wide variety of styles, from flats to stilettos. Among many of these options, however, there was one common factor – embellishment. Many styles of shoe in the 50s had a small bow on the top or side, a floral design on the outside or back, or were brightly coloured. Again, many women had shoes for each outfit, so colour or pattern often coordinated with the rest of the ensemble. Find a pair of peep toe pumps or stilettos with an interesting design and, rather than pair them with a formal look as women in the 50s would do, wear them with a casual outfit. Jean shorts with a 50s-inspired slouchy sweatshirt and a pair of colourful, unique heels will create a modern, trendy look with a classic shoe. Very high heels can be uncomfortable so, to maintain the comfortable feel and make this look practical, consider adding gel inserts created specifically for stilettos, found at retailers like Footwear Etc. (and Bed, Bath & Beyond for US readers!). If you find yourself wobbly when donning heels, wearing bowling shoes is a fun and fashionable alternative. Today, this retro footwear can turn a normal outfit into a funky, 21st century outfit in no time. Wear black and white saddle shoes (or whatever colour combo you choose) with a pair of skinny jeans and a loose blouse with a Peter Pan collar (another 50s trend) to create a stylish retro look.

Amazing shoes that I can't help drooling over - all from PinUp Couture

Amazing shoes that I can’t help drooling over – all from PinUp Couture

Gloves – Just like their hats, women in the 50s loved their gloves. Gloves also came in many colours and designs, and although you might not want to wear gloves at the height of summer, on a formal occasion or even for a night out, you can add a pair of gloves to a dress to give a nod to the 50s. Choose a style that matches your shoes or jewelry if you want to go for a more cohesive look, or choose an unexpected colour or style to add interest.

Scarves – Lightweight scarves of bold or patterned material were often tied around the neck or in the hair in the 1950s. While usually a casual look, a small scarf wrapped under the head with the ends tied in a knot at the top of the head will create a mid-century fashion look for any occasion. For a casual or beach-like look, use a scarf in a bold pattern or fabric. For a more conservative look, use a sleek black or white scarf and tuck in the ends of the scarf after it has been knotted to create a headband look.

Sunglasses – Last but not least, the sunglasses of the 1950s are one of the most recognizable accessory trends from that time. Cat eye sunglasses range from severe, pointed frames to more curvy styles that are generally more flattering to most face shapes. Cat eye sunglasses can still be found in nearly every color, and bold or embellished cat eye sunglasses add a hip look to any modern outfit. Retro City Sunglasses offers a wide variety of cat-eye frames for those who need prescription lenses so both your vision and style can stay sharp. 

Sure to complement your wardrobe, these accessories turn any normal outfit into a creative, unique, 21st century, 1950s-inspired look in an instant. This decade’s styles are great for accentuating the curves of your body and, because of the moderate lines, can be appropriately worn both at the office and for a girls’ night out. So pull on your stockings, put on a dash of red lipstick, and bring a little touch of 1950s’ glamour to your everyday style!

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Hen party series ~ Dreamboats & Petticoats

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been running a series of blog posts focussing on hen parties – very useful at this time of year, with the summer wedding season fast approaching! I’ve invited other lovely bloggers to share their ideas for creating the perfect hen do, with writer Ellen Avants previously sharing her article on personalising a hen party  and last week we had a guest blog on hen party activities. Over the coming weeks there’ll be craft tutorials, ideas for games and budget planning from Lacey in Places and costume sewing tips from Kat, but this week I’m discussing themed hen parties – particularly the 50s!

If I were having a hen party today, I’d definitely choose a 50s theme. I have all kinds of ideas about the glitz and glamour of the era and I think it’s a fantastic starting point to plan a girly party. For a start, you can take inspiration from films set in the 50s – and maybe even kick off the hen party celebrations with a screening of classic teen-musical Grease, complete with popcorn and milkshakes! 


I love the classic 50s fashion look that is everywhere at the moment – circle skirts, swing dresses and wiggle halternecks are very popular amongst many of my fashionista friends – and these retro shapes can’t fail to flatter any body shape, so you need not be afraid of suggesting a 50s costume theme, because all of the hens will be able to find something to wear that looks great on them. Also, everyone looks a little more glamourous and the photos from your hen party will look amazing – you’ll definitely want to be posting them all over Instagram! 

Another idea for the 50s hen party is having a vintage pampering session. All the hens can take time to do each others make-up with eyeliner flicks and bright red lips, and even try out vintage hair-dos, such as the victory roll or finger-wave, using curlers, crimpers and  backcombing. Pop on some rock ‘n’ roll classic CDs and enjoy a good session of grooming and getting to know each other! In the evening, you could eat kitsch burgers and fries in an American-themed diner or go to the theatre to see Dreamboats & Petticoats or Hairspray the musical!

Cassiefairy petticoats and custom made tutus

Most importantly (in my opinion) are the pretty petticoats that you’ll need to make your dresses swing about nicely and above are some of the gorgeous pettiskirts that I get to make for myself and others at – some are on the website and some are custom-made with fun combinations of funky colours to match the hen’s dresses perfectly! Self-promotion over! ;)

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Interior Design Inspirations for my retro living room – Christmas touches

I’ve chosen a fairly garish 60s & 70s retro theme in orange for my living room and, after 6 months of rummaging through car-boot sales, second-hand shops and auctions, it’s finally complete. I’ve buffed up a few pieces of furniture and given a new lease of life to items that would have previously been overlooked, or even thrown away (yes, I have picked up things being given away at the side of the road – my budget was uber tight!). And now its time to jazz up my living room for Christmas!

So I’m taking inspiration from these retro homes decorated for Christmas and will be keeping an eye out for vintage decorations, retro-inspired fairy lights, and gaudy tinsel!

retro lighting orange glass lampshade 60s 50s 70s interior design

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Interior Design Inspirations for a Retro Home: Lighting

Now that I am at the stage of adding the finishing touches to my retro living room, my attention has turned to lighting and I wanted to get a couple of lamps and shades that would compliment the 50s and 60s style that I’ve used throughout the room so far. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a while now and I managed to pick up this glass lampshade from a carboot sale. The orange and yellow glass is great around the ceiling light, casting a slightly warmer glow from the bulb than normal, and the circles look a little like honeycomb to me, so it goes nicely with my bumble bee curtains!

I was delighted when my husband and I inherited a lampstand and shade that grandma no longer needed but it was such a huge ‘over-size’ lamp, at nearly 6ft tall and 2 ft wide, that it was difficult to find anywhere to put it! I love how crazy it looks (like a mad hatter’s lamp!) and its a very chintzy style but its on a teak G-Plan-style chunky base, so now I’ve finally been able to use it in my living room and give it a new lease of life!

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My retro-inspired living room – Lego accessories

As you probably know by now, I am slowly but surely funking up my living room to create a kitsch 50s/60s/70s look and, as Lego was invented in 1958 and was the must-have toy of the time, I’ve looked into getting some bright & plastic-y Lego accessories.

This Lego-brick CD player was a gift for my hubby and fits in perfectly on our new vintage teak sideboard. Plus there are extra add-on Lego bricks available including a radio and alarm clock, so that’s a christmas present for hubby already sorted!


My retro-inspired living room – an old armchair rescued!

I am pleased to say that I’ve got another freebie for my retro living room design project – an armchair that was on its way from a vintage furniture shop to the dump. It didn’t exactly look like this when my hubby brought it home to me; it had a cream damask patterned cover over it which went all the way down to the floor and hid the chair’s legs. When I first saw it, it would be an understatement to say that I was disappointed, in fact I may have even used “urgghhh”. But my husband had already looked beneath the cover and knew that underneath was this lovely original brown and orange patterned fabric.

Okay, I say lovely, and I know that to some people it’s probably even less desirable in this state, but to me it was absolutely perfect for our 60s/70s living room, especially with the orange line running through it. And best of all, it was completely free and I’d previously been looking for a small retro armchair for the living room and all had been out of any kind of price-range that I could afford!

So that’s another item of furniture kept out of the landfill site, recycled and reused in my living room – and that make’s it even more special for me!


A gorgeous piece of artwork for my retro living room – by artist Mable Tan

I saw this funky retro-inspired photograph when I was recently browsing on artist Mable Tan’s website Happee Monkee and instantly knew it would be perfect for my 50s, 60s & 70s interior design project (here’s my mood board). You may remember that I shared an interview with Mable Tan on my blog recently and this is the piece of artwork that I chose to include in my orange retro themed room:

I love the vintage wooden scrabble tiles and the pattern and colour is perfect. When it arrived it was exquisitely wrapped and was an even more beautiful piece of art than I’d expected when looking at it on the computer screen! I’m so glad I chose this piece, although now I’m hooked and I think that any of these pieces below would go perfectly with it! Now I just need to get myself the perfect teak frame before adding it to my retro decor. Check out Mable’s other artwork, including beautiful landscape & travel photography in her Etsy Shop.

You Are My Sunshine. Fine Art Photography. Retro Scrabble. Vintage Wood Dice. Home Décor. Nurser Art. Yellow. Polka Dots. Size 8x10"

 Happy Days. Wedding Décor. Geometric. Vintage Word Dice. Scrabble. Rainbow Triangles. Neon Colors. Fine Art Photography. Size 5x7" 


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