Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


Some amazing news & special occasion dresses

This week I got some amazing news: my best friends announced that they would be getting married this year! It will be a summer wedding and I can’t wait. Another of my best friends is also getting married this year in April (you may remember I talked about her hen party here) so this Spring and Summer will be a whirlwind of travel, ceremonies and good ol’ knees-ups! I love weddings and seeing as these are of two of the most important people in my life, it makes the occasion even more special – and it makes me even more emotional – bring on the waterproof mascara, that’s all I can say! I like to think that my husband and I are good wedding guests – in fact, we’re great at any party; anniversaries, proms, engagement parties, fundraisers etc – we arrive early, help out with anything that needs doing, we chat to parents and grandparents, we are always first on the dance floor and, most importantly, know when to leave! Plus, hubby looks great in a suit and it’s pretty exciting for me when I get to wear something a bit special and out-of-the-ordinary. We’ve all got special occasion dresses in our wardrobe, but a wedding or prom is definitely a good enough reason to go shopping for something new!

So of course I’ve already been scouring the online fashion retailers’ special occasion departments and have come up with an amazing selection from the prom department of New Look. They have gorgeous glitzy dresses that are perfect for prom parties, and therefore weddings! There’s something for every shape and size so I thought I would turn this blog post into a bit of a ‘dressing for your body shape’ article and hopefully this will help me to choose something suitable to wear for these special occasions.

new look long maxi prom dresses for weddings

If you’re tall, a prom or wedding is the perfect excuse to wear a long, glamourous maxi dress and get really dressed up. I’d suggest checking what colours your friends will be wearing to the prom so that you don’t end up looking like a girl-band and if it’s a wedding, make sure you know what colours the bridesmaids will be wearing – you don’t want to look like you’re trying to join in with the bridal party! Also, always stay away from white, ivory or cream if you’re wearing a long dress to a wedding, otherwise a short-sighted aunt might mistake you for the bride!

new look short structured prom dresses for weddings

I’m more vertically challenged in terms of height, so I’m going to stick to a shorter dress for these special occasions – but not too short! I want to be able to dance and be comfortable all day, so a mini-dress might not be suitable for a special occasion. Also, if you’d like to look a little thinner and more petite than usual (and who doesn’t want to look their best when they’re going to be popping up in photographs?!) opt for a dress with a little structure which will help to put your curves where you’d like them to be!

new look short curve prom dresses for weddings

And finally, if you want to add curves, pick a dress with gathers, ruffles and embellishments such as these above, which will add bulk in a good way and enhance your shape – plus they will look great when you’re dancing! One final tip is to not go too glitzy, because you don’t want to look like you’re trying to up-stage the bride, so perhaps all-over sequins are off the menu! But if it’s a prom you’re dressing up for – you can go all out with glitter, feathers and diamante – this is your big day after all! Here are some of the best super-star prom dresses from New Look that I really want to buy, just to sit around the house in!

new look long and short glitzy dresses for weddings

I really love the purple lace dress and the monochrome dress above, so maybe one of these will be the dress for me! All the prom dresses on the New Look website are on sale at the moment so I’m going to research the colour themes of the weddings I’m going to and will make my final choices soon. I’ll let you know how I get on :)

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Silver shoes

This week J Crew launched a sneak peek at their November lookbook for their new collection of clothing. But what interested me more was the number of models wearing silver shoes on their feet. Despite understated feel of their clothing collection, with sturdy fabrics such as tweed, and a colour palette of greys and black, their shoes were blingy and dainty, in a bright 5-pence-piece silver. Check out the images from their November look book below:

tuesday shoesday j crew autumn winter 2013 look book silver shoes

Not settling for simply following the metallic trend, J Crew are going all-out with 90s-esque polished silver on court shoes, pumps and even brogues. It’s a very cool look, which brings these outfits bang up-to-date – I can achieve the same look using my own wardrobe staples (tweed coat from last year, Primark straight-leg and my jumper from the car-boot sale) by simply investing in one pair of shoes. Boom! That sounds like a bargain way to follow a fashion trend if you ask me.

So I’ve looked around the for the cheapest silver shoes – I mean, who knows how long they’ll be cool for? There’s no point buying pricey shoes that may end up being a fashion faux pas by next Spring, is there? But then again, they might stay on trend all year because everyone likes a bit of sparkle over the festive season and why wouldn’t they look cool with your summer dresses too? Either way, I don’t want to spend a lot to follow fashion, so I’ve chosen these from as my favourite silver shoes at a bargain price: Heels under £20 from New Look, Dune brogues in the Asos sale and Asos Lullaby ballet flats.

tuesday shoesday silver shoes autumn winter 2013 footwear trend from asos new look dune

Let me know what you think about this trend. I personally never thought I’d look at a pair of silver shoes the same way after experiencing them ‘last time round’ in the 90s (particularly patent silver Dr Martens, wow!), but I think I like these shoes. Especially the brogues mmm! What’s your opinion?


Tuesday Shoesday ~ Back to school

I’ve always been one of those people who love ‘back to school’ time. I’ve not been at school for many years now, but I still remember getting excited about choosing my new pencil-case and buying stationery supplies ready for the new term. In fact, I think that’s the reason that I stayed at uni for so many years – I just loved to excitement of a new semester, with new notepads and folders, and the chance to be a new you! I am certain the ritual of going to the stationery shop to choose my academic diary and highlighters made me a better student each year – more organised and more committed than the previous year. It’s about starting off determined to improve myself and getting the essential items to do so is equally as important (in my eyes) as actually doing it.

This year however I am not a student, for possibly one of the first times in my life. What will I do with all this free time? (free time, ha whats that?). So what am I to do about not starting “school” in September for the first time in years? Yes, I will go out and buy schools shoes, that’s what!

tuesday shoesday back to school shoes from new look

Just as important as a new pencil-case, the new shoes for a new term are essential for all children, teenagers and adults alike. I love a new pair of sensible shoes and luckily for me these little beauties are bang on trend for autumn/winter. I accidentally bought these shoes yesterday when I popped into New Look to try on a leather jacket just to see if it suited me. Then out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed a SALE sign. One of my favourite signs ever in New Look. So I casually wandered over, being careful not to up  my pace and look too wild-eyed. I was determined that I wasn’t going to buy anything today. However…

These little leather New Look shoes jumped out at me. Cute, ankle-skimming black school shoes. They instantly reminded me of the shoes I used to wear as a teenager: they have a small heel (2 inches was allowed at my high school, 3 inches meant detention), pretty pattern in the leather and lace-ups. I accidentally tried them on. They felt familiar. And so comfortable. What’s wrong with a 2 inch heel these days anyway? I looked in the mirror and my teenage legs were reflected back at me, albeit a few years older. And these shoes were on sale. Sold.

tuesday shoesday back to school black leather ankle shoes from new look

Remember I blogged about the cheapest way to buy shoes recently? Well this is another example of where shopping in the children’s department is a money-saving option. These shoes were eight quid and the teenage shoes go up to a size 6 so who can resist a bargain from the kids section? During the autumn/winter little pumps will replace my suede ankle-shoes that I bought from the children’s range earlier this year so I won’t ruin the suede in the wet weather – yet another reason that popped into my head to justify the purchase yesterday lunchtime. Plus I thought it’d be retro-cool or ironic-chic to wear school shoes as an adult. As long as I don’t start eyeing up tartan pinafores, I think I’ll be okay.

Let me know what you think about back-to-school and getting new shoes for the new academic year – what do you remember getting at the start of a new school term? Please leave me a comment below or tweet me @cassiefairy

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Summer footwear

Last week I spent ages searching online for the perfect pair of summer shoes – something that would go with bare legs and pretty dresses – in a colour that would be neutral enough to look good with a whole range of prints and colours and could be used later on in the year too.

summer shoes new look matalan asos wedge heels laura robson jennifer aniston cheryl cole kelly brooke kate middleton summer footwear

I decided on second pair of bargain wedges above from New Look so I took myself off to the high street at the weekend to buy these pretty little shoes in time to enjoy them for the rest of the summer. However, I couldn’t find them in-store anywhere! The New Look in my local town is a pretty big store with a massive footwear department and I must have looked at over 100 styles of shoes but they simply weren’t there! Were they so popular that everyone else had snapped them up for summer too?! Were they an “online exclusive” and not available in-store? Were they limited edition? I hope not!

I decided to shop ‘in person’ rather than online so that I could try them on for comfort (I will be walking in them a lot this summer) and to make sure the height is okay before making my purchase, but my plans were scuppered! Oh well – I’ll have to order them online and hope that the wedge isn’t too high for me to walk in!

Tuesday Shoesday Turquoise and tan summer wedge shoes from Next

In the meantime, I found these pretty turquoise wedges from Next at the car boot sale – hardly worn and in my size – fantastic good luck! So I’ve been wearing these over the weekend and they are super-comfortable. Although the turquoise is a bit brighter than the nudes that I’d originally planned to buy, it goes well with a couple of floral print dresses I like to wear. Plus the tan ankle strap coordinates with a plaited belt I already have so I can wear the two together and make almost any dress work with the shoes!

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ my bargain silver shoes

I had a very lucky week this week and I found these pretty little shoes at the carboot sale for a very cheap price. I liked the look of them and as I picked them up I spotted that they are George shoes. My most favourite and most comfortable shoes (the ones I wear when I want to dance all night long!) are from George and are a very similar style to these ones, so to say that I was very pleased when I saw that they were the right size for me would be an understatement! I bought them without even trying them on and luckily they did fit when I got them home, phew! And when I inspected them properly later on that day, I realised that these shoes had hardly been worn – if ever – and the soles were like new.

tuesday shoesday shoes from the car boot sale cassiefairys silver heels

Like I said, I’m a very lucky girl but sometimes I miss out when a bargain is snapped up just ahead of me, so I’m grateful that I got the chance to give these little beauties a new home. I know it might seem a bit rank to buy used shoes from the carboot sale, but I’d but vintage ones from a fair or second-hand shoes from a charity shop, so what’s the difference? And, really, I can’t afford to be fussy and am just delighted when something I like is being sold at the right price and is my size – I’m going to take it as fate ;) I won’t even say how little they cost, because it would be unfair of me to rub it in and I’m not  trying to brag – I just want to encourage you all to go to visit your local carboot sale, take a second look at something you might not have otherwise considered buying and snap up a bargain for yourself!


Tuesday Shoesday ~ The cheapest way to buy shoes

I’m pretty lucky when it comes to footwear because I have small feet. I don’t mean tiiiiny feet but I have normal adult size 4 feet and although I sometimes think that my feet are a bit small for the rest of me (I sometimes buy chunky shoes and bulky boots in order to make my feet look more in proportion) it does at least mean that I can get away with choosing footwear from both adult and child ranges.

If you too have size 5 feet or below, you can also shop in the kiddies department like me and get away with saving quite a bit of cash on footwear. I know I’ve said it before, but it really is one of the cheapest ways to buy shoes, because children’s clothes don’t have VAT on them, so they are just that little 20% cheaper than adult shoes. I’m not saying that you have to buy pink trainers with My Little Pony all over them (although, I would buy these!), just check out the options in the teen section because you will probably find shoes that are similar to the adult ranges and you can save a bit of cash on them. I bought these suede shoe-boots from the teen department in New Look last week – I was shopping for a similar pair in the adult range and these were on the shelf just to the side of the adult shoe section, and were considerably better priced.

sale shoes teen department from new look

Plus they were a lot more comfortable. I suppose the manufacturers consider the heel high when creating a shoe for teens that might still have growing feet – there’s obviously a reason why little children don’t wear stilettos! I prefer a shorter heel and loved how comfortable I felt in these shoes – none of this wearing them in – they were ideal straight away. And it’s not just these shoes that I’ve enjoyed from the children’s department; I love kiddies flip-flops and sandals, which are often a little big for me even in the correct adult sizes, and they are usually very pretty and colourful with cute embellishments. I even bought my shoes for my wedding from a children’s range and they were so comfortable all day and you can just imagine how much money I saved on the price of normal wedding shoes!

So if you can get away with it (some of the children’s ranges online even go up to an adult size 6) you’ll save some money and probably have a more comfortable ride in the process. Plus no-one else will be wearing the same shoes as you!


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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