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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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Put on your dancing shoes

This Tuesday Shoesday, I wanted to share my new hobby with you: swing dancing. I started going to a weekly class in June and after a rather wobbly left-footed start, I’ve really gotten into the swing of things (argh, bad pun alert!) and I look forward to going dancing every week – we always have a great laugh learning new moves. It’s not just about learning a dance; it’s a great form of exercise (I’m always out of breath by the end of a session!), it makes me happy (exercise endorphins will do that for you, I guess!) and it’s a fab social event. It’s been fun getting to know new people, dancing with different partners and going for a cheeky pint after class! A great by-product of taking up dancing is the effect it’s had on my wardrobe.

Now when I’m shopping for clothing I look at how the fabric moves, I consider whether it will keep me cool while I’m boogieing and I wonder how a dress will look when I do an American spin! I’ve been trying on skirts for the first time in 10 years and I want to tie my hair up in a bouncy ponytail. More importantly I’ve been lusting after dancing shoes and I’ve finally bought a pair that I love.

40s 50s dancing shoes

I spotted these little beauties in the Clarks sale  last weekend my heart started racing. I added them to my online basket, but my heart sank when I discovered that they were sold out in my size. Undeterred, and certain that these shoes were ‘the ones’, I made it my mission to head into the high-street shop and have a proper rummage on their sale shelves. There was an audible gasp, following by lots of whooping, when I found my dream dance shoes in my size at half the RRP. I’ve never bought a pair of shoes so quickly before: just a quick try-on and a couple of twirls and kicks was all it took to persuade me to part with my cash. I hugged the shoe-box close to me as I carried my precious dancing shoes home.

40s 50s dancing shoes-2

Surely you can see why I love these shoes so much? Not only are they a classic brogue design (and I love Clarks’ brogues in particular) but they have glitter on them. Ideal for me! The low heel height is perfect for dancing and I know that the leather will become even softer and more supple the more that I wear them. I can’t wait to slip them on for my next dance class and see whether they will improve my technique haha!


Tuesday Shoesday ~ Show some support

I like shoe supports, there’s something lovely about them. I think it’s the way that they keep your shoes looking great, how they ensure your shoe wardrobe stays neat and the fact that it’s a slightly old-fashioned thing to use. Don’t you think that shoe supports just are fantastic? Or is it just me? I also like the fact that the title of this blog post could relate to any of the sporting events that are going on around the world at the moment; world cup, formula 1, Wimbledon and soon the Commonweath Games. But it’s not just our sporting stars who need support – it’s our shoes too.

It seems like the kind of subject that would have appeared in a Tuesday Shoesday blog post in my grandmother’s day. Okay maybe not a blog post – perhaps an article in Good Housekeeping magazine: “Looking after your shoes”. I’ve written about taking care your shoes in the past - polishing new boots, reheeling my favourite shoes and homemade boot stretchers - but so far I’ve missed out shoe supports because I’ve never owned any.  I really like the idea of looking after your shoes and making them last because a pair of shoes can be a big investment and once you’ve found a comfortable pair, you’ll want to keep them going for years to come. My favourite dolly shoes from New Look are still going strong and I’ve been wearing them for at least 7 years, with only one repair in the middle. In terms of cost-per-wear these shoes are probably my best ever buy and I think it’s a thrifty investment to repair them rather than replace them because they are just so comfortable. Plus, looking after my shoes rather than chucking them out keeps more rubbish out of landfill and that’s always a good idea.

Look after your shoe with supports and stretchers

So even though I didn’t own any shoe supports in the past and haven’t always followed my own advice of buying well, looking after shoes and repairing as I go, I’m very interested in prolonging the life of my footwear now. I picked up this pair of green shoe supports at a charity shop recently and have started to use them to prolong the life of more of my favourite footwear. I know they don’t look particularly pretty, but I really like how the paint has flaked off the metal and they look really vintagey when popped into my shoes. I want to keep an eye out for more similar shoe-trees so I’ll keep hunting at carboot sales and in charity shops in the future.

Take care of your shoe with supports and stretchers

When hubby recently got some new shoes from Clarks, I asked to keep the cardboard inserts so that we could put them back into the shoes after wearing to keep their shape while they are being stored away. I’ve saved the box too, to keep them looking as good as new for as long as possible. I know that they would just get shoved in the wardrobe and be ruined by squashing otherwise so I’d like to prolong the life of these shoes, because they are a good investment and should last for many many years to come.

Look after your shoe with supports and stretchers-1

Do you already look after your shoes sensibly? Let me know how you store your shoes and whether vintage shoe-supports are old news to you :) Tweet me @Cassiefairy


Tuesday Shoesday – Easy makeover for your shoes with High Pheels

I’ve come across a new product and I can’t any longer wait to share it with you. As a thrifty blogger who is very keen to renew, reuse and recycle rather than subscribing to the idea of ‘throw-away’ fashion, this is the ideal product for me. It’s a makeover for your shoes that requires very little effort and takes no time at all. It will give your heels a new lease of life for nights out and special events and save you money on splashing out on a new pair of shoes for each outfit. The product I’m talking about is High Pheels, which is a fabric ‘skin’ that can be rolled onto the existing shoes in your wardrobe to completely change the look of them.

Tuesday Shoesday Shoe makeover with High Pheels-3

This is how my High Pheels arrived – taking up hardly any room in my shoe box! – and they were easy to fit onto my favourite pair of ‘comfortable heels’. I tried out two new looks; hot pink (because, as unbelievable as it sounds, I have NO pink shoes in my collection) and peacock feather print. The High Pheels were really easy to fit onto my shoes and I had a ‘new’ pair of heels on my feet in a matter of minutes! The feather pattern is perfect for the current tropical footwear trend (that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago here) and it really made a difference to my outfit, bringing it up to date for Summer 2014.

I’m so pleased to have stumbled upon this shoe-makeover product and am delighted that I’ll be able to get the latest looks for a fraction of the price of investing in new shoes. Remember when I discussed the trend for neon shoes last week? Now I’ve already got my neon pink heels ready for Summer! Plus – and this is a big plus for me – this product fits in perfectly with my ethos of recycling what I already have and saves me valuable storage space in my home. I just don’t have room for another pair of shoes! (ahem…) What do you think of this revolutionary new idea? Will you be investing in some High Pheels yourself? Let me know – tweet me @Cassiefairy or leave me a comment below :)


Tuesday Shoesday ~ Tropical palm prints

This week I watched a video on You Tube about the Aloha Summer collection from Dorothy Perkins and have been inspired to write a Tuesday Shoesday blog post all about this tropical trend. It’s a very ‘holiday’ look with bright colours – lots of summery yellow and blues – and plenty of floral prints. But it’s not the dainty ditsy flowery patterns from summers past: this year’s florals are tropical, with palm prints and big blousy flowers and this has inspired me to look around for some shoes and sandals that would compliment this collection. Have a watch of the video and let me know what trends you spot:

When you’re wearing a big bold tropical pattern, it might be best to pair this with some neutral shoes rather than over-do the trend from head to toe. I’ve looked for some neutral shoes that won’t take attention away from the print you’re wearing and some brighter coloured pumps to pick out the colours from the patterns:

how to wear summer tropical prints and patterns

All pretty prints & shoes from Dorothy Perkins

I also wanted to find a few floral patterned shoes in order to tap into the trend even if you don’t want to wear a bright print on your body. Not to mention the fact that I love patterned heels! I’ve found some pretty pairs online so let me know what you think of this trend and whether you’ll be wearing it yourself this summer :)

tropical floral summer print shoes sandals and pumps

Mr Shoes wedges / Dorothy Perkins sandals / Office pumps / Missguided heels

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Shoes for Hotter weather

Excuse the bad pun in the title but I wanted to find a way of telling you that today I’m taking about summer shoes and, in particular, a pair of Hotter shoes that are perfect for this season! It’s also a bit of an excuse to share some feedback that I received from one of the judges at the National Blog Awards.

Mel Killilea from Hotter Shoes was one of the judges for the Retail and Fashion category and she generously spent lots of time and effort looking through my blog, reading the content and writing up her assessment for the UK Blog Awards. It must have been a glowing report as won the ‘Highly Commended’ award and I was thrilled! I got in touch with Mel after the event in order to thank her for recommending my little blog and she was kind enough to send me some of her feedback from the judging process – and has permitted me to  share this with you all:

“Cassiefairy draws you in … deceptively simple at first glance,
it’s easy to get carried away discovering layers of content and lots
of lovely things to look at.  A real gem of a blog and worth spending
time getting to know.” 

Wow! What amazing feedback and I feel incredibly grateful that Mel was willing to share her kind words with me, and now you too. It would have been rude of me to not look at the Hotter website after getting such a lovely quote from Mel and boy was I pleased that I did. Who would have thought that Hotter Shoes were so on trend?! Alongside all the fabulous flats, patterned pumps and sensible brogues were a surprising amount of high-fashion designs so I started looking at the heels section and soon found my perfect pair.


I loved all of the wedges and ended up putting about 10 pairs in my basket before whittling it down to this gorgeous pair of summer wedges. I know that Hotter shoes are traditionally very comfortable but with a pair of wedges I expected the normal amount of heel-height pain. HOWEVER, these hessian ‘Hannah’ wedges are comfortable thanks to the famous Hotter cushioning on the sole and a little stretch band around the sling back which ensures that the shoe moves with you rather than rubbing against your heel. As you can see, the pattern is a gorgeous vintage rose design and the neutral shades will look great with most of my summer dresses. It’s also a great way to get some summer florals into your wardrobe even if you don’t want to wear head-to-toe pattern like I do!

Now that I’ve tried these shoes (and tested them off-road at the beach too!) I fear that there will be no going back to uncomfortable heels and I’ll start demanding only the best for my feet. And I know that these wedges come in a navy floral as well as bright pink, tan and black suede variations. Thankfully they are already in the seasonal reductions section of the website so are within my reach when payday comes! I think it would be a good investment (always a great justification for shopping!) because I know I’ll wear these shoes day-in and day-out during the hotter weather. Check out the website or pop into one of their high street stores to try on the latest trends and feel the comfort for yourself!