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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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 – Winter sale shoes

Today  I wanted to share a quick round-up all of the sales and deals on footwear that I’ve spotted online and on the high street this week. There are plenty of seasonal discounts available at this time of year and you can even snap up some sandals ready for next summer at bargain. As a thrifty blogger I couldn’t not write about these super-savings so here’s the best bargains I’ve found so far…his and hers shoes mustard and rust from clarks summer sale 2015-2Select have heavily discounted their summer shoes. With sandals starting at just £3 a pair for colourful footwear, this is a sale that can’t be ignored. Plus (you won’t believe this..!) they are offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal which applies to sale items too! Any pair with this pink badge is part of the deal so you could actually get two pairs of sandals for £3! The shoes below are £8, £19.99 (from the non-sale winter collection ) and £9 respectively. Use discount code GET1FREE at shoes sale winter 2015I’ve also had a look at the current deals at Clarks, who are offering up to £30 off selected adult boots for winter. With a gorgeous collection that I’ve been dribbling over for a while, I think I might take advantage of this discount myself. There’s no code – just shop the range of boots and keep an eye out for the discount badges for reductions of up to 50% until the offer ends on 15th November. Plus there’s free delivery and returns.clarks sheos and boots sale autumn 2015

Finally, I took a look at the New Look autumn sale. Here I found lots of pretty heels, perfect for parties and night out over the festive period. These nude shoes are just £7 and are also available in black. These bright turquoise heels will add a splash of colour for only £8 and these very festive red shoes are just £9. What a bargain! New look offer a click and collect service, so if you can’t find these styles in store, take a look online. new look sale shoes for winter christmas 2015I hope these footwear deals will help you save a bit of cash in the run-up to Christmas and please do let me know if you find any other bargains yourself, I’d love to hear about them! Leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy.



Tuesday Shoesday – His ‘n’ Hers – Mustard and Rust

Do we need a heatwave to know that summer is here? Did I suddenly feel more summery when I flipped the calendar over to June? No, the thing that makes me sure that summer has arrived is a good old-fashioned summer sale! his and hers shoes mustard and rust from clarks summer sale 2015-6Yes, the butterflies, blue skies and sunburn set the scene but I’m never 100% sure when summer starts. I thought summer was traditionally June, July and August – but if so, why is Springwatch is still on the telly? Sometimes May is more mild than August and other years September has been a scorcher. Over the past few years I’ve been conducting my own ‘weather watch’ and I conclude that the seasons are out of sync. With April showers in May and snow almost guaranteed in February, I think that the world should just shift itself back by a month so that the weather corresponds with the calendar. What do you think?his and hers shoes mustard and rust from clarks summer sale 2015-2 his and hers shoes mustard and rust from clarks summer sale 2015-3Today’s blog post isn’t about the weather, in spite of my opening rambles. It’s about the Summer sales and my trip to Clarks yesterday. I heard that the sale was starting soon at Clarks and made arrangements to take some time off this Monday so that I could get down to my nearest store early yesterday morning to snaffle some bargains.his and hers shoes mustard and rust from clarks summer sale 2015-9 his and hers shoes mustard and rust from clarks summer sale 2015-15 Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – His ‘n’ Hers – Mustard and Rust” »

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Menswear sale bargain – A new Army & Navy coat

Even though I only picked up a handful of goodies in the sales this year, I think you’ll agree that my husband has got a great deal with his bargain purchase: a new coat from House of Fraser. It’s been literally years since he got a new coat and even though he already has a few in his wardrobe, they are all sale, second-hand, or charity shop finds, so after a few years of wear they are looking a little tired. So I was delighted when he liked the look of this clearance coat and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive by mail and navy coat menswear sale bargain

Continue reading “Menswear sale bargain – A new Army & Navy coat” »

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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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Shopping for a good cause ~ the Oxfam fashion sale starts at midday today!

Today I’ve found out some great news that I simply must share with you all – the Oxfam Online Shop Spring Sale starts today! More specifically it starts at 12 noon and you really have to ‘be there’ at midday to get the bargains because each item is unique – they have been donated after all – so it’s unlikely that you’ll find a duplicate item and once it’s gone, IT’S GONE!

I got an amazing bargain in the Oxfam Fashion sale last year – my favourite pair of lace-up Doc Marten boots. They were practically new and were a fraction of the price of new DM boots. I’d been searching for a pair for weeks and had found that they were out of my price range – even second-hand boots on Ebay were too spendy for me.  So I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this lovely pair in the Oxfam Online sale. Luckily they were in my size (so jammy!) so I snapped them up and was pretty chuffed that I was giving my hard-earned cash to charity rather than a store. They were delivered quickly and I was so pleased with them when they arrived; what a bargain!

tuesday shoesday shoes from Oxfam fashion online shop summer sale black dr martin doc marten boots

I don’t want to disappoint you by saying that you too will find a perfect pair of Doc Martens in your size during this sale, but what I want to share is the fact that this is charity shopping at it best: in front of a computer, during your lunchbreak, getting a unique bargain and donating to a great cause. So make sure you’ve clicked onto the Oxfam Online Shop at midday and prepare yourself for a thorough rummage through the fashion archives to get yourself a deal. There will be 50% off Oxfam’s already very reasonable prices and they have divided their stock into size, type and even vintage fashion, so if you’re into genuine retro gear you’ll be able to track it down easily and snap up your bargain quickly!

I know I’ll be sat here at my computer waiting for the sale to open at midday today and I’ll be trying to find a pretty dress to wear for a friend’s wedding! Let me know how you get on and please share your sale bargains with me – leave me a comment below or send me a tweet @Cassiefairy.


Tuesday Shoesday ~ Summer 2013 Trends

This summer it’s all about bright colours, bold prints and lots of texture. Your feet should be stealing the show, with every summer dress and tailored pair of shorts playing second fiddle to your footwear.

Every fashion retailer worth their salt is filling their stores with the bold and the beautiful, so that you can choose a selection of statement shoes that will see you through this season. So don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to your footwear; go wild! 

The first shoe choice comes from Schuh, with this towering platform heel below named the Night Wish High Heel. It ticks all the boxes this season, with a bold and quirky print of woven glittery fabric, and enough height to tower over everyone you know. At £60, this is a choice investment in the season’s trend.

tuesday shoesday summer 2013 shoe trends brantano schuh

This leopard print lovely above is from Brantano, offering a great flat shoe to see you through casual outings. Named the Aintree Ballerina Animal Pump, it has slipper detailing at the front and a thin patent leather strip on the heel. Available for just £20, this is a great footwear staple that is sure to become your go-to item of the summer.

Not for those on a budget, this vampy wedge below from Kurt Geiger is available for £220 and follows the rubber trend of SS13 to a T. With an impressive (and slightly frightening) 14.5cm heel height, it is the godsend of the vertically challenged or for those who wish to be 6ft tall catwalk models. The peep toe and elasticated sling back on the Grace shoe provides great comfort, so it’s just up to your sense of balance to keep you upright.

tuesday shoesday summer 2013 shoe trends kurt geiger brantano zara

With burnt orange, royal blue, black, pink and white, this is an explosion of colour sculpted into a platform heel sandal. Zara have nailed this season’s look with a shoe that will turn heads wherever its wearer goes. The ankle strap comes with a navy themed stripe with a delicate little royal blue buckle and is on sale for £25.99.

As you can see from this selection, a daring look is the way forward. Subtlety will just not do when it comes to your footwear, so put back the beige heels and the white sandals, as this season’s must-have is a mixture of bold colours, unusual prints and designs that are texture heavy.


Tuesday Shoesday ~ Pin-up-girl summer shoes

Can you believe that all fashion stores, both on the high street and online, are hosting their summer sales already?! We’ve only had a couple of weeks of sunshine and already they’re eager to get their autumn ranges into the shops! Well, I don’t mind, because it means I can snap up a bargain and I know that I’ve still got another 3 months of summer to enjoy before I have to worry about the cold, damp winter.

tuesday shoesday inlovewithfashion sale bargain shoes summer 2013 png

So this week I’m sharing some of the under-ten-pound bargains that I’ve found online so that you can grab a bargain too! I’ve focused on cute pin-up-girl-esque heels and wedges because I’m loving all things vintage-inspired this summer and have finally started wearing heels more regularly too! So I’m pretty desperate to snap up a pair of these heels, but which ones? I love the leopard print, but you can’t really go wrong with a pair of black stilettos, can you? Oh, decisions, decisions – please leave me a comment to help me decide which to buy!

tuesday shoesday mrshoes sale bargain shoes summer 2013 png

Incidentally, I got this pair of shoe-boots (below) from the New Look sale last week for only 8 quid! They were in the teen department and it’s well worth shopping in the kids section if you have size 5 feet or under because they have some real bargains and aren’t all Hello Kitty shoes (although, if they were, I’d be buying them!). I wore these to the Company Style Blogger Awards event last week and they were so comfortable – I was able to dance the night away and still walk home in them!

sale shoes teen department from new look

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