Top Ten Christmas Fashion Essentials

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I can’t believe I completely forgot to publish my last article with the College Tribune before the Christmas break. Here is my take on fashion must-haves this Christmas; just in case you’re feeling in need of a little treat ūüėČ

  1. Glitzy Dresses

From the 1st of November each year, every shop window is festooned with sequins, rich jewel tones, feathers and sparkles. Christmas glitz has become a massive annual trend, and who can resist the sumptuous, shimmery offerings from the likes of River Island and Miss Selfridge? Boohoo.com is going all out this year with its #Dressmas collection; replete with sequins, velvet, leather and lace, their dresses and separates just scream Christmas glamour.

http://media.missselfridge.com/wcsstore/MissSelfridge/images/catalog/18E22MBLK_normal.jpg

 

2. Leather

Leather has been a huge trend this Autumn/Winter. Lending a masculine edge to daywear, it is equally suited to evening wear. The easiest way to do leather (real or fake, depending on your budget) is a pair of leather leggings teamed with a glitzy top ‚Äď peplum being a flattering option ‚Äď and knock-out heels. Topshop have a range of leather leggings, from wet-look to matte. This glamorous look is an interesting alternative to the aforementioned g√ļna.

http://media.topshop.com/wcsstore/TopShop/images/catalog/16U20EBLK_normal.jpg

3. Killer Heels

No party look is complete without a pair of statement heels. Your best friend at 10pm and your worst enemy by 3am, the killer heel is non-negotiable. The platform still reigns supreme, with New Look stocking sky-highs in an array of colours and materials. The elegant stiletto, a recently revived trend, will lend a touch of class to your outfit; Miss Selfridge has a variety drool over. Meanwhile, the pricey-but-oh-so-amazing Jeffrey Campbell boots are to be admired in Office.

http://cdnc.lystit.com/photos/2012/08/02/jeffrey-campbell-black-lita-platform-ankle-boot-black-gold-spikes-product-1-4369765-097016669_large_flex.jpeg

 

4. Opulent Jewellery

A/W 2013 featured opulent jewellery, courtesy of design houses like Dolce & Gabbana, whose beautiful gold jewelled crowns epitomised winter accessorising. What better time than Christmas to deck oneself out in jewels? Get thee to Asos, where necklaces and earrings are adorned with sumptuous gemstones set in luxurious gold and silver, or you can embrace your inner eastern princess with a delicate hair crown. These show-stopping pieces are most befitting of the festive season.

http://images.asos-media.com/inv/media/8/3/6/4/3334638/multi/image1xl.jpg

5. Sophisticated Coat

There‚Äôs nothing like rocking up to Christmas Eve Mass in a toasty but stylish winter coat. This winter has seen two main coat trends; the masculine boyfriend coat and, once again, the parka. River Island scores fashion-points with its boxy oversized wool blazers, and its fur‚Äďtrimmed parkas are a wardrobe staple for laid-back chic.

http://riverisland.scene7.com/is/image/RiverIsland/646111_main?$hero$

6. Handbag

Who doesn’t love unwrapping a piece of arm-candy on Christmas morning? The ubiquitous clutch is another Christmas essential. Following jewellery trends, the key to clutches is embellishment and metallic. Asos’ jaw-droppingly gorgeous clutches are definitely the way to go this Christmas.

http://images.asos-media.com/inv/media/9/6/0/9/3389069/gold/image1xl.jpg

7. Christmas Jumper

Without a Christmas jumper, you might as well forget about the Twelve Pubs and stay at home. Although there are some garish sights each year (Penneys, raise your hand), it is entirely possible to find a jumper that balances festivity and fashion perfectly. Dunnes Stores has raised the bar this year, with this undeniably cute Paul Costello jumper.

http://www.dunnesstores.com/pws/client/images/catalogue/products/8663428/large/8663428_khaki.jpg

 

8. Cosy Boots

A winter must-have; comfortable boots are essential when the temperature drops. Office’s winter boot collection shows how easy it is to blend comfort and style, no matter what you pair them with. Sturdy leather boots with a low heel are exactly what any fashion-forward woman needs.

 http://media.office.co.uk/medias/sys_master/8900636278814.jpg?version=3826

 

9. Snuggly pyjamas

Pyjamas aren’t strictly fashionable, but you’ll wear them more than anything else, so why not have some cosy yet pretty nightwear? The onesie is your only man for those cold winter nights, and Boohoo.com has onesies a-plenty this Christmas (with 20% off to boot). Perfect for relaxing, eating Roses and watching Titanic.

 http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e7/70/55/e77055f0b15e32be18735b3fecd70785.jpg

10. Lingerie

Nice underwear is the best stocking-filler, even if it is from your mum. With a little bit of searching, some lovely lingerie sets can be found in beautiful winter colours and textures. Debenhams currently have lingerie on offer; grab some before it’s gone!

http://www.debenhams.ie/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10052_10001_161010127803_-1

So that’s it! I’m really hoping to get to grips with some new articles in the New Year. I’ve really been enjoying writing for the fashion column because it ties into two big loves of mine; fashion and writing! I’d love any feedback on the articles so feel free to give me some constructive criticism in the comments!

Twenty Questions Friday

I shamefully lifted this from beautyinbeta.co.uk’s blog. Study avoidance at its finest!

1. Thing you cannot leave the house without
Phone, purse, keys, umbrella, book, Vaseline, pens, painkillers and more. There are these nifty things called handbags which make carrying all that stuff easier though.
 
2. Favourite brand of makeup
Hmm… I’m not especially loyal to one brand, but I’ve really liked products from Smashbox, Benefit, Mac, Rimmel, Catrice, Essence, Lanc√īme, Bobbi Brown, Kiko and a few others. Variety is the spice of life, after all ūüėȬ†
 
3. Favourite flower
I’m not mad for flowers really. Rose is my middle name though, and white roses are pretty. Purple tulips and orchids too.
 
4. Favourite clothing store
Again, I’m a bit of a whore in this regard. River Island, Penneys, Miss Selfridge, Vero Moda, and Warehouse would probably feature most in my wardrobe though.¬†
 
5. Favourite perfume
Eau d’Issey Miyake and Ralph by Ralph Lauren for day and Thierry Mugler’s Angel or Armani Code for night.
 
6. Heels or flats
Flat boots for day, although I do wish I was one of those sophisticated women who wore heels all day everyday. For now though, I’ll reserve heels for night, when I’m too tipsy to realise how silly I look walking in them.
 
7. Did you get good grades
I actually did! I got six As and a B in my Leaving Certificate, but things have started to crumble somewhat since I started college. I’m on-course to graduate with a 2:1 though, which is fine by me.
 
8. Favourite colours
Burgundy, purple, navy, charcoal, mustard, pine green, fuschia and black.
 
9. Do you drink energy drinks
I find Red Bull etc. vile unless they’re mixed with some Jaegermeister. But I do find the morning-after palpitations quite uncomfortable so I try to stay away from energy drinks. I don’t sleep so well if I have any caffeine after 6pm anyway.
 
10. Do you drink juice
A glass of orange juice every morning. And the odd vodka and cranberry if I’m feeling ladylike!
 
11. Do you like swimming
I actually do, for someone so unfit it’s one of my favourite exercises. Probably because I can’t feel myself sweat! Taking a dip in the Med everyday on my summer holidays this year was just divine.
 
12. Do you eat fries with a fork
Mostly, I find eating with my hands distressingly messy!
 
13. Favourite moisturiser
I don’t have a favourite moisturiser as such, I tend to buy budget ones which-will-make-my-face-not-dry. But I do love La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, especially during the summer as it’s so light on my skin.
 
14. Do you want to get married later on in life
Yes I think so. A pretty, intimate civil ceremony would be lovely. But it’s not on the cards for quite some time…which means I have loooaaads of time to plan it!
 
15. Do you get mad easily
Rarely. I can get wound up over small things if I’m tired. But generally I’m very laid-back so it would take something very serious to infuriate me.
 
16. Are you into ghost hunting
It’s not something I’ve ever thought about actually. I’d like to say I’d try it but I’m probably too much of a wuss.
 
17. Any phobias
Tiny spaces, violence, breaking a bone. I will never, ever watch a Quentin Tarantino movie. Seeing violence genuinely makes me panicky and distressed.
 
18. Do you bite your nails
No actually, it was never a vice of mine. Just don’t ask me if I pick my spots…
 
19. Have you ever had a near death experience
 
Nope *touches wood*. I had a minor car accident but luckily nobody was hurt. Well, except Mum’s car, Renny, which suffered a bad case of having a completely mangled axle.
 
20. Do you drink coffee
I do, not too much though, rarely more than two cups a day or I get the shakes. Don’t come near me with tea though, vile stuff altogether.
 
So there’s my twenty questions! Feel free to copy and paste yourselves, I’d love to read them! Now, back to studying Mareva Injunctions…

How I plan on buying people’s love this Christmas.

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Yes, it’s December, and I am totally allowed to write a post about Christmas, my favourite time of year. I always try to be organised for Christmas when it comes to presents; I usually have university exams in December so I need to sort my shit out in advance, especially if I need to take time off work. Christmas shopping can instill fear in the hearts of many, conjuring images of stuffy shops filled with other fretting shoppers, mile-long queues and a rather forlorn empty wallet after only two hours spent in town. Christmas shopping used to be exciting when I was a child, until I got older and realised the actual stress involved in the whole thing. Dublin city centre should come with a health hazard warning on December the 8th; the droves descending on the capital, the jam-packed trains and buses, the shops blaring Jingle Bells at every entrance, the inability to find parking or a lunch that wasn’t purchased in McDonalds. There are far easier ways to get your loved ones sorted out for Christmas, and the likelihood of your blood pressure rising should lessen dramatically if you just chill the fuck out, and get started a little earlier.

¬† ¬† ¬† This year I started first with my boyfriend. I decided I really wanted to get him a special present as I’d never been able to afford to buy him anything fantastic before, and he is brilliant at present-buying so I needed to up my game. My first obstacle, however, was the fact that his birthday was in November, so I was tapped out of ideas. It would have been a little silly to buy him more Select Reserve Jameson and another jumper. So I started dabbling around different websites looking for ideas; he’s a bit of a nerd so I confined my search to those kind of sites. Then I had a sniff around Amazon.co.uk and found that their Black Friday sales had kicked in a week early. Soon enough, I had a reduced 2012 Nexus 7 in my basket and, after some hassle with a supplier and my being broke, it’s now on its way to my house. A tablet is pretty much the only piece of technology he doesn’t own, so I thought, hey, why not? I also spotted some kickass Anchorman scotch glasses on iwantoneofthose.com and knew they were perfect. So far, I think I’m doing pretty well in the boyfriend present stakes, and if I happen to have any spare cash closer to Christmas I might try to pick up something else for him.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†The next person on the list is my younger sister. Her main present is money for a class trip to Berlin in January (how I wish I was going back!) so in addition, we’re trying to fill her life with more girly acco√Ľtrements than she can possibly wear at once. Mum has bought her some leather leggings and tops from http://www.missselfridge.com and http://www.veromoda.com, and I will be giving Mum money for a pair of black skinny jeans she also ordered from Miss Selfridge. And my dearest sister will also be receiving some statement jewellery, including gold midi rings and a necklace, probably from Miss Selfridge also, or maybe Penneys if my funds do not recover sufficiently when I get paid on Thursday. My sister is easily pleased in terms of presents, which is rather convenient considering that anything we buy her tends to be become lost, stolen or broken within six months anyway.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†My Mum is a different story. Surprises are not something which my mother understands, so we usually end up buying from a prescribed list, compiled by means of heavy hint-dropping. Useful if one isn’t so good with present ideas, but it does tend to make things a little predictable on Christmas morning. This Christmas she is looking for an UGG dressing gown and slippers, no simple request, let me assure you. Not only are they expensive, the dressing gowns in particular are rather hard to come by. But hopefully Dad and I will manage to inflict some damage on his credit card tomorrow while she’s at work. I’ve also drawn up a little list of skincare products she loves but can’t afford to buy for herself; this includes Clarins Pure Melt Cleanser, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and a Molton Brown stress-relieving bath soak. Mum tends to favour quality over quantity so if we manage even some of those things I think she’ll be happy. And it will all be ordered online, to avoid the aforementioned clusterfuck of stress that is Christmas shopping in Dublin.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Then there’s Dad. My Mum has supernatural Christmas organisational abilities, which I’m desperately trying to emulate, so Dad is nearly sorted already. We have organised four tickets to Ireland v Wales in the Six Nations next year; Dad is quite the rugby fan and has been talking about taking us to an international match for years. Well now we’ve forced his hand! Mum has also bought him some black Tommy Hilfiger cords and my sister and I have been instructed to find him a jumper and shirt. Standard Dad presents, but he’ll be happy. If I can, I’d like to buy a book on the First World War that I spied three months ago in Hodges & Figges in Dublin. Hopefully the fact that I can’t remember the title or author won’t be too much of a stumbling block.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†And while we’re at it, I might as well tell you what I’m hoping to find under the tree this Christmas. I did ask for a Nexus 7 from my parents, on an ‘only if it’s actually viable’ basis. I am hopeful but if it can’t be done, I won’t be too disappointed. I’m super excited about the fact that I’m getting a Babyliss Big Hair styler; bouncy sleek hair shall be mine! I found this in my parents’ room by accident so it’s one thing I know for certain that I’m getting. I’ve been told by my Mum not to peek into any Miss Selfridge parcels that arrive at the house, so that’s a bit exciting too. And my boyfriend refused to take any suggestions for a present for me, and similarly he wouldn’t give me any hints for himself either. So that’s going to be a complete surprise!

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Affording nice presents for people is always difficult. I was somewhat sensible this year; I saved¬†‚ā¨5 a month since August for my boyfriend’s birthday present so I didn’t end up out of pocket in the middle of November and I had roughly¬†‚ā¨50 worth of tips saved for his Christmas present too. I also have holiday hours I can get in cash from work, which will cover the bulk of my family’s gifts. Without those extra savings they would all have been looking at socks and bars of chocolate for Christmas.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†So that’s my Santa list for 2013. I love giving presents; the research, the buying, the wrapping, and then finally seeing them enjoy it. And of course, everyone loves receiving them too! After Christmas I might treat myself to some Lanc√īme Teint Idole Ultra 24h foundation and an Urban Decay Naked Palette, if finances allow. After all, I think I deserve a treat after all that organisation and generosity!

So are you organised for Christmas, or will you be tearing your hair out come Christmas Eve?