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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Tuesday Shoesday – 100 years of Converse All-Stars

Did you know that 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the famous Converse All-Star high-top trainers? I didn’t either until I started Googling “Converse” when I was looking for a gift for my husband. A quick search not only brought up a whole host of classic designs to choose from but also a whole lot of history about the brand itself. I’m such a geek when it comes to gaining knowledge about the things I buy so I delved deeper to find out more. Read on to find out what I discovered about Converse…Let’s take it back to the very beginning; The Converse Rubber Shoe Company (to give the brand it’s full, original title) opened its doors back in 1908 in the US, making all kinds of athletic shoes before specialising in tennis shoes in 1915. This early success led the company to develop new styles of sports shoes with rubber soles… I think you know where I’m going with this! It was in 1917 that the Converse All-Star Basketball shoes were introduced. And when basketball player Chuck Taylor put his name behind the brand in 1920, the high-top style really started to take off. It was no longer just a shoe for playing sports in. Oh no.
Over the years the iconic design has become the footwear of choice for off-duty fashionistas and is the ultimate in casual cool. Fans started customising their All-Stars to make them their own and the style was reproduced in countless new fabrics, patterns and colours. Nowadays you can even have your own design made just for you by Converse using the customizer tool on their website.

Enter my £50 giveaway below…

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Tuesday Shoesday – Comfort shoes for a more active life

Whenever September rolls around I get that ‘new-term’ feeling. Even though I’m no longer a student, when you add up all the years that I have been studying in one way or another (yes, I’m even counting primary school), we’re looking at upwards of 20 years in education. So it’s no wonder that I still see September as the start of a new chapter – and still use an academic diary! I see it as a time to kick off some resolutions. In fact, it’s probably a better time of year to make resolutions than January, as you’ve got the end of the year as a marker for quantifying your goals. Whether it’s learning a new language (yes, I’m trying to learn Spanish this year), getting fitter, changing your working habits or improving your savings, I think that September is a great time to start.health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-5So, why am I talking about new goals on a Tuesday Shoesday? Surely this blog post is about shoes, right? Right! But my new shoes are linked to my new-term resolutions, and here are the reasons why: I took a bit of time off over the summer and it was only when I got back into the swing of full-time work that I realised just how bad my back and neck is. I went for physiotherapy earlier this year to correct a neck problem (caused by a historical whiplash injury over 10 years ago) and I thought everything was getting better. Over the summer, I barely noticed anything wrong with my neck and all those headaches were gone. However, as soon as I got back to my desk it became obvious what the problem was – my working environment. All the aches and pains came rushing back and it was difficult to get through a full day of work. So here’s my solution, and how it links to the shoes:health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-7I’m now a standing worker. I realised that sitting down all day was causing a lot of problems; heavy legs, pins and needles, bad back and strained neck. No matter how ergonomic my desk set-up was, I needed to get up off my bum and work standing up. So I gave it a go by moving my computer onto a higher work surface for a couple of days to see how I got on. It worked miracles. No problems at all. Apart from one small thing; my feet ached. My cheap flat pumps were clearly NOT made for standing all day! It reminded me of working in hospitality jobs when I was running around all day and really needed a foot massage at the end of the day. So one problem solved ended up causing another problem, but there was something I could do about that…health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-12

If you need new sports clothing I think that Fabletics (designed by Kate Hudson) can’t be beaten for style and performance.

I’ve reviewed comfort shoes on my blog in the past and I discovered that, for heels, Hotter cannot be beaten. However, I’ve always struggled to find a decent pair of comfort shoes that are also a little more on the sporty side. Most flat comfort shoes are a little bit too ‘old lady’ for me (no offence) and I’ve shied away from them, preferring basic low-cost pumps when I want to wear flat shoes. I read some reviews about sports shoes and zumba shoes online (read the article at NicerShoes.com) and now I’ve finally found a pair of comfort shoes that I want to show off – they’re sporty, available in great colours and are SO comfortable it’s unreal.health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-10health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-2 health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers

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Tuesday Shoesday: How to dye your shoes – step by step video tutorial

When you really love a pair of shoes, you find yourself wearing them at every opportunity. Perhaps they are the comfiest shoes you’ve ever worn, maybe they are the coolest colour or are an on-trend shape, or it can be as simple as ‘they go with everything’. Whatever the reason, it’s really sad when they come to their end of their wearable life. Fabric fades and scuffs appear, and they get relegated to the back of the wardrobe.blue suede shoes shoe fabric dying makeover before afterThis is especially true for suede shoes, which need a lot of looking after to stop them from looking worn. So if (like me) you’ve been a little too lazy to waterproof your suede, or haven’t given them a daily brushing, and you didn’t not wear them on rainy days, then you might have a pair of rather poorly-looking suede shoes under your bed. When hubby’s favourite suede trainers ended up faded, mucky, scuffed and stained, I knew it was either time to throw them out… or do something about it.renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-9I hopped online and googled “shoe dye”. It turns out that it IS possible to give his old shoes a new lease of life with dye, and I picked up this Dylon navy blue shoe dye for less than £4 on Ebay. The bottle of dye comes with instructions and a small brush and can be painted onto onto any shoes that need a makeover. The colours of shoe dye tend to be quite dark, so you can easily go from blue to navy, or something like green to black. If you want to dye your shoes to refresh them year-on-year just go one step darker each time, so red shoes could be dyed brown and next time they could be painted black. Okay, you’ll end up with much darker shoes than before, but they’ll look good as new and you already know they’re comfy!renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-3 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-4 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-5 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-7 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-8 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-10Check out my step-by-step video below (it’s only 3 mins long) to find out how to bring your shoes back to their ‘box-fresh’ best with fabric dye (or view it on my YouTube channel here):

 

I hope this helps you refresh your own favourite shoes so that you can keep wearing them for years to come – and save cash on replacing them! My husband was really chuffed when he found out that I’d dyed his shoes and that he could carry on wearing his favourite comfy trainers. And when he ruins them again (on more off-road walks!) this year, I’ll simply dye them again. Good plan, eh? Let me know if you have a go at dying your own footwear, and any tips you have for looking after suede in general – it’s pretty obvious that we need some advice on this (!) so please leave me a comment below.


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Tuesday Shoesday – ‘Soled’ out, vintage style

You know the story – you are looking for that perfect pair of shoes for that perfect outfit, but the high street stores just keep coming up short. Heels are too high, too chunky, and actually in general, colours are a little muted. So what’s the next step (pardon the pun) to finding that idyllic pair of shoes that combine both incredible individual style along with supreme comfort? Well the answer could very well lie in choosing vintage. Made in an era of assured quality with longevity of use in mind, the vintage shoe is far from being a cheaper option, but is more of a wise move for those who want incredible style with that unique touch.retro vintage 80s 1980s court shoes footwear heels tuesday shoesdayColour Pop wow!

The 1980’s were famous for bright colours that had no respect for matching, a look that has returned to the fashion world recently, making these shoes ahead of their time. The advantage of a vintage pair of shoes can often be the condition. Bought in an era where you often bought shoes with the sole purpose of matching a certain outfit, this means they can have minimal signs of wear, just as with these suede shoes in red and purple. With a lower heel that makes longer wearing a breeze, a coloured sole that screams designer and an overall look that is sure to make a positive style statement, they are pretty much shoe perfection. Yet, by buying vintage, these shoes come at a fraction of the cost you would expect from buying a new pair.colour block retro vintage 80s 1980s court shoes footwear tuesday shoesdayQuality wins out

There is no denying that leather shoes, as with many leather products, can improve with age. Not only does it provide a look that develops over time but in terms of comfort the shoe will start to adapt to your foot shape. With vintage, the advantage is that often you have cut out the middle-man as it were, meaning that the shoes are already supremely comfortable from day one. These iconic courts are a modern day office dream, exuding the professional working look. Dated to the 1960’s, the buckled look has not aged and reflects current trends perfectly. The burgundy/brown colour means they will match almost any outfit whilst still creating a bit of a shoe buzz.work heels buckle burgundy retro vintage 80s 1980s court shoes footwear tuesday shoesday

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Tuesday Shoesday – My 2016 Essentials (at the lowest possible price!)

When you’re a thrifty kinda gal who doesn’t really want to splash out her hard-earned cash on pricey pumps where do you shop for shoes? I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to spend less this year, (so that I’ve got more to save for the house of my dreams!) so now that I need some new shoes for the new year, I don’t want to blow the budget. Low-cost loafers are definitely ‘my bag’, people!

The trouble is, I’m also trying to clear out all the clutter from my tiny over-stuffed home. I want to streamline my wardrobe and clear out the 80% of things that hide at the back, never being worn (I wrote about my thrifty tips for making the most of your wardrobe last week). So that means that I don’t really want to be re-cluttering with a selection of shoes that I won’t get round to wearing either. No matter how much of a bargain a pair of pumps are, I won’t buy them unless they fulfil a need. I’ve got too many ‘pretty’ shoes sitting around that I’ve never worn but am completely lacking in terms of practical boots, trainers or wellies!countryside field muddy photograph tuesday shoesday welliesSo, that’s what I’ve been shopping for online this week. When you spot a gap in your shoe-wardrobe like that, you’ve got to fill it, right?! Living in a particularly muddy part of the countryside, I need wellies. If I want to go on any kind of countryside walks this year (and believe me, I do) I’m destined to come home with clods of mud stuck to the bottom of my pumps. Yes, this did happen to me at the weekend and the photo above is a footpath near my house. So wellies are clearly needed. They don’t need to be anything fancy, but they do need to be waterproof. I found the lowest prices for the wellies above at Brantano and I think I’m going to invest in these classic green Dunlop wellington boots. A timeless style and traditional colour won’t date so I can use them for years to come, and I especially love the £14 price-tag!tuesday shoesday coastal walks trainers pumps casual shoesI also managed to ruin my last pair of canvas trainers by wandering onto a muddy footpath. It looked fine at the start of the track, but ended up taking me across a very moist field. No amount of cleaning could remove the muddy tidemarks from my trainers. I don’t want to get put off walking completely, so now that I’ve got the wellies sorted, I’m sure I’ll be fine. But in the meantime, I need one pair of comfortable pumps for day-to-day wear; wandering around town and coastal promenades, that sort of thing. Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – My 2016 Essentials (at the lowest possible price!)” »


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Tuesday Shoesday – Payday party style on a budget

It can be hard to find the right pair of party shoes to suit your overall style. You want them to be on-trend yet timeless, match your party outfit but go with everything, and ultimately, be comfortable enough to dance the night away. But where can you find all of that on a thrifty budget? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – I’m here to help! I’ve come up with some fail-safe tips to make your money go further while shopping for footwear this payday so read on to find out how to buy your dream footwear at bargain prices. Just call me your fairy godmother! 😉

First up are the bargains. The absolute steals. The very last of the January sales. Yes, it may seem like there’s not much left on the sale shelves by payday, but the deals are still out there. You just need to know where to look. The ethos of the #WomanKind campaign I’ve signed up for is to care for yourself, and I’m not just talking about healthy eating and getting exercise (although I’m certainly enjoying this aspect too), I’m talking about simply being kind to yourself. So treating yourself to something that will make you feel great is definitely part of it! As they say, Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your life, so I think that getting the right footwear is a great start to feeling confident, looking fabulous and being kinder to yourself. Luckily, at lot of fashion sales are still going strong online so you don’t need to wander up and down the high street hoping to find a bargain in order to give yourself a payday treat. Try Mr-Shoes, ASOS and Clarks, all of whom are still offering big discounts in their clearance sections.his and hers shoes mustard and rust from clarks summer sale 2015-2One problem with searching online is that the style you love might already be out of stock in your size. So try not to fall head-over-heels in love with anything you find in the sales just yet. Dig deeper and check out what sizes are available before deciding whether they are your ideal pair. Some fashion sites allow you to filter your search by size, so that’ll save you time by pulling up all the footwear in the right size for you so you can concentrate your efforts into choosing the right style. Speaking of which…tuesday shoesday nude peep toe wedge heel summer shoes 2013 from nextMy second thrifty tip is to only buy something if you know you’ll wear it more than once; the ‘go-with-anything’ factor. If you choose a glittery pair of ruby red shoes (okay, who doesn’t want those?!) they might look fabulous for one night out, but what about the rest of the month? Or the rest of the year, for that matter? Something that matches your outfit perfectly today probably won‘t be the right pairing tomorrow, so they’ll end up stuffed under the bed or at the back of the wardrobe, not being worn. Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Payday party style on a budget” »


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Tuesday Shoesday – My summer sale wishlist

Can you believe the summer sales this year? Every shop I’ve been in this month has been pushing a 50% off discount with big red sale signs everywhere and it’s proving hard to resist! Even though I haven’t yet made any new purchases from the high street sales, (apart from, ahem, last month’s his ‘n’ hers Clarks bargains!) I have come up a list of my top 3 favourite styles to keep me focussed when I go shopping on payday.his and hers shoes mustard and rust from clarks summer sale 2015-2I prefer to shop this way because I’ve discovered that just the sight of a discount sign can whip me into a frenzy and I’ll buy just about anything if it’s on sale. Seriously, my wardrobe is full of things I’ve bought just because they were pretty and on sale, yet I’ve never worn them because I didn’t actually need them. Stepping away from the bargain bucket and taking the time to really think about what I need rather than what’s right in front of me is always a wise option. So instead of shopping the high street, I’ve come online to compile my ultimate summer same wish list. I may not even invest in these options but at least I’ve done my research and found out the best deals before spending my hard-earned cash.truffle collection jelly shoes summer sale at asos Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – My summer sale wishlist” »


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ The shoe shop that time forgot

Wow, just look at these photos. This amazing old shoe store has recently been discovered after being locked up for over 50 years. A family in the US inherited an old building from their grandparents and were surprised to find it was a perfectly preserved shoe shop, which had remained untouched since the 1960s. vintage shoe store in usa
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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Menswear sale bargains

Last week I treated the man in my life to a few goodies from the ASOS sale. I was planning to buy a dress and jumper from Sugarhill Boutique, which were both reduced in the ASOS 70% off sale, so I decided to browse the menswear section to see if there were any sale bargains that my husband would like for Autumn/Winter. I spotted a few goodies and after a little bit of persuading, he sat down at the computer with me and we added some bits to my basket together.

menswear sale shopping at asos-7

Jumper and jeans from the ASOS sale

A new pair of jeans was essential, and he also spotted a couple of garish patterned jumpers that he couldn’t leave behind, and soon the basket was filling up nicely with a selection of sale bargains. I hate to say it, but I think he was actually enjoying shopping online, and I’m pretty sure this is one of the only times that he has ever bought clothes online – with the possible exception of tacky Christmas jumpers on EBay!

menswear sale shopping at asos-4 menswear sale shopping at asos-5

Sturdy canvas pumps ~ only £6 in the ASOS sale

What I was most impressed with was the selection of super-cheap shoes in the menswear sale and I ordered a couple of pairs of trainers for him too. We narrowly missed out on some £15 leather brogues which were sold out in his size, but many of the pumps and trainers were still available in the right size so I snapped up these navy blue canvas shoes (above) for only £6 because I knew they would be good for everyday wear, even in the spring and with shorts in summer.

menswear sale shopping at asos menswear sale shopping at asos-2

My husband’s favourite retro trainers ~ £10 in the ASOS sale

These retro “green flash” style trainers caught my husband’s eye and he’d added them to the basket before I could protest. At only £10 I agreed they were a bargain (especially after we’d recently been shopping for trainers on the high street and had come home with nothing due to the crazy prices) and when they arrived they looked even better than I’d imagined. Maybe it’s because my husband is such a clothes-horse, but he made them look school-boy cool – and even the crazy jumpers looked great on him.

Unfortunately, the dress was too short for my preference (which is unusual because dresses are usually knee-length as standard for me because of my short legs!) so that had to be returned and I’ve sent hubby to the post office with the parcel today. The cloud pattern jumper was way too big for me despite being the same size as the dress, which fit perfectly other than the length, so I’ve exchanged it for two sizes smaller and am hoping that it will be just right when it arrives.

All in all it was a very successful shopping experience for my husband and I think he’ll be keen to buy clothes and shoes online again in the future. Do you like to shop in the sales too? Did you get any bargains? Please leave me a comment below or tweet me photos of your mid-season sale bargains!


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Summer iridescents

A really rather fabulous fashion trend for Summer shoes is iridescent uppers. Trend forecasters WGSN have highlighted (excuse the pun) this look as one of the key trends in footwear and accessories for summer. I think that one of the main reasons for this is that the reflective surface looks great at this time of year in full sunlight; the light bounces off shoes and produces pretty rainbow colours and swirly patterns. As a big fan of all things sparkly and rainbowy I’m certainly interested in this trend but I’m not sure how wearable this finish would be for everyday wear.

iridescent footwear trend for summer 2014

image source

We are used to seeing mirrored surfaces on accessories during the summer – just take a look at your sunglasses. Chances are they have a subtle mirroring or iridescent effect on the lenses that you may not have even spotted before. Check you out – you’re already following the trend! I found that two pairs of my sunglasses collection have rainbow reflections on them and I’m already thinking about wearing them more often now that I know how on-trend they are!

summer 2014 fashion trend - iridescent shoes and sunglasses

image source

Iridescent shoes are the kind of footwear that you can definitely pull off while you’re away on holiday and the neon reflections will look great with your tropical print dresses. If you want to pick up a pair, try these metallic pumps or flatform sandals (already in the half price sale!) from New Look or chunky heels from ASOS.

summer 2014 footwear trend - iridescent shoes

 

 

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