Monday, 13 December 2010

Festive Fashion: Turn Heads This Party Season

Never is there a more apt time for socializing and merriment with friends and family than over the festive period, yet somehow there is never a time when you feel more like snuggling up in some old pyjamas in front of the TV with a mug of hot chocolate. Although getting dressed is an integral part of the ‘going out’ process, it can often feel like a chore, especially on a student budget. Thankfully our high street is the best in the world, making it easy to achieve a high-end look at a fraction of the catwalk cost. To save you from any pre-party meltdowns, I have scoured it in search of the best festive outfit ideas that the shops have to offer.

If your social calendar takes you somewhere presentable, dresses tend to be the failsafe option. Lace and baroque opulence are the biggest evening trends this season, seen on the catwalks at Giles, Balmain and Paul Costelloe to name a few. Think gold, silver, and shades of red in luxuriously textured fabrics. Go to Asos for lace shifts and River Island for scarlet cocktail dresses, but best for the student budget is H&M’s shimmering brocade strapless dress, which at £19.99 captures the decadence trend perfectly. If you’re bold enough, make a statement by going for H&M’s lace midi. Longer lengths are so on trend and give the wearer a mixture of sophistication and insouciance.

 Strapless dress, £19.99, H&M

They’ve been around for a while but statement tights are a simple way to create different looks with one dress. Patterned with polka dots, suspenders and even tattoos, for around £8 a pop they’re an easy outfit lifter. Sheer tights look particularly glamorous peaking out from under a faux fur coat, perfect for dashing out in the bitter frost between parties, but try to avoid the high street and go for something vintage - it's usually around the same price or cheaper and a lot more authentic.

Sheer tights, £8, Topshop

If you don’t want to buy a new dress it's easy to create the same textured look with accessories. Leopard print accessories are all over the high street; you can’t walk anywhere without seeing someone wearing a now ubiquitous scarf. Translate this into belts, clutch bags and shoes for evening to liven up any old LBD. Towering heels are always a must but towering leopard print heels can take an outfit to a whole new level of chic. Top of every fashion editor’s wish list are the amazing leopard print stilettos from Lanvin for H&M. At £79.99 they aren’t pocket money cheap but if you can afford it, I highly advise investing. In fact, the whole collection is a master class in colourful cocktail party dressing, and you’re not going to get Lanvin for the price of Topshop again anytime soon. If your budget can’t quite make the stretch however, New Look usually tend to have a good selection of party shoes at student friendly prices.

Leopard stilettos, £79.99, Lanvin for H&M

If dresses aren’t your thing definitely try shorts in an interesting fabric, leather or sequins for example. Wear with aforementioned statement tights for a variety of outfits from one pair. Confident party go-ers might consider sequin hotpants – so wrong, yet somehow so right. Paired with a sheer silk shirt and cropped tuxedo jacket they are less Truffle Shuffle and more Sienna Miller in her Factory Girl days, or Kate Moss out on the town in all her glory. Cheeky bowtie optional.  You can usually pick up a pair for under £15 from Primark or H&M around Christmas, but I’m also loving this fantastic gold pair with pink chiffon overlay from Topshop, £55. For the jacket, Primark are doing a great version for £19.99, but you’ll have to be quick.

Skirt with hotpant, £55, Topshop
Tuxedo jacket, £19.99, Primark

As always the most important rule for stylish winter dressing is don’t take yourself too seriously and be comfortable in what you’re wearing, but particularly in a season of minimalistic daywear one must look to night time as a chance to escape from camel and chunky knits and throw on something with a bit of interest and sparkle.

By Rachel Cragg

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

How To Look Good This Winter

With snow encroaching upon our doorsteps there is a tendency to get those studded hiker boots, thermal triple layered socks and balaclava out alongside a hot water bottle strapped to your body, but there is a way to keep just as warm whilst still looking impeccable with a few lovely gems that the high street has to offer. After all you never know when the next love of your life will run into you on Waterloo Bridge, so as the boy scouts say ‘always be prepared’ to ensure that you look fantastic for any eventualities.

So let’s starts with the hair. On those windy days when it takes a shield to protect you from the ice cold winds, keeping your hair in place can seem like an impossible task but it is possible to do more than scrunch it uninspiringly back. One product that works really well is James Brown’s London Hairspray: not only does it smell incredible, but due to the ultrafine mist it keeps your hair in place and also allows movement. So whilst the wind is blowing your hair, not only will it retain hold but it will also create volume and movement unlike heavy duty hairsprays that keep your hair static. Also good news, James Brown products have been reintroduced into both Boots and Superdrug! And if you do meet that certain someone you can be assured that your hair will smell delicious.

However if you have a long walk in and your hair doesn’t take well to the dampness that the winter weather air is prone to, and serums or hairspray aren’t great in your hair, then the high streets offerings of hats are brilliant this season. If you have a fringe or shorter hair then Topshop’s faux fur pompom beanies (£16) are perfect to keep you warm this winter, and available in four colours there is range enough for all hair colours.

However if your hair is a bit longer then a faux fur headband is great for keeping your ears warm whilst keeping up with this winter’s style! Try ASOS’s pieces headband for only £10.

Right, now a good foundation is every girl’s lifesaver and in order for that extra coverage in the winter months it can be useful to go for a slightly heavier one. One that fits that all important student budget is Rimmel’s Lasting Finish 16h foundation which is a tad thicker than most which, alongside its lasting quality, assures you some peace of mind for enduring coverage if any last minute cocktail invitations turn up. In winter to balance out red complexion why not opt for a brown blush on the cheek with a bronzer on top to give a glow. Try Mac’s Bronzing powder in Bronze for a subtle finish...

Now to keep those toes as toasty as a marshmallow the key is insulation; however, insulation does not mean granny style thermals. Oh no, style does not have to be sacrificed and with shearling key on trend, and cropping up in any high street shop on top of this season's style, it means that your feet can be as fashionable as possible without relinquishing toes to frostbite. The perfect boot out there at the moment is one that can be worn with casual jeans and a jumper and transformed into a perfect night-time shoe when paired with a leather jacket and a chiffon dress. One which is incredible value is River Island’s black leather multi strap buckle boots. Although £75 this price tag will repay itself with the endless styling opportunities that these boots present. And trust me they are incredibly comfortable.

Finally a staple every winter is that all important coat. Whilst there is a seduction in buying a classic trench coat this season to keep you warm, something a bit more adventurous can make more a statement whilst being classic and keeping you toasty. One coat that is perfect for this is ASOS’s exaggerated ruffle coat in black and now with £30 off there’s no better time to get purchasing. This coat is perfect as it retains a classic silhouette but with its detailing around the collar it makes it more interesting and is perfect for any outfit. Pair it with some skinny jeans, a pair of heeled ankle boots and thick ribbed cream tights to keep you snug and looking great.

So there are the essential accessories and make up to completing your winter wardrobe. As the snow has hit London and threatens to send the city into chaos, with these hidden gems, all affordable, appropriate and fashionable you can be assured that you will look and feel confident in the battle against the winter roughs and ensure that you stay warm and snug whilst looking fabulous.

By Coryn Brisbane

Monday, 29 November 2010

Bejazzled Beauty!

If you’re gonna be splashing out on a fancy new outfit for those festive parties why not indulge in some sparkly beauty treats too? At this time of the year the cosmetics counters are packed with tons of gorgeous glistening lip glosses, shimmery eye shadows, luscious liquid liners as well as an endless airy of glossy nail polishes. So let your face glow and glisten this party season with the return of party proof gorgeous make-up. Here are a few of our fav products to try out:

Eyes were once described in the film ‘House Bunny’ as “the nipples of the face”. Now that may be a bit of an odd description but there’s no denying that it is all in the eyes. To ensure your peepers are looking their most gorgeous try out some of these fantastic and surprising cheap shadows by 17 available at Boots.

17 Eye Dazzle, £3.99, Boots

17 Solo Glitter Eyeshadow, £1.71, Boots

Or if you’re feeling flush we recommend MAC’s Paint pot.  At £13.00 it’s rather pricey but it’s a perfect treat for smooth on - stay on beauty! Comes in a variety of colours but we love this one:

Paint Pot, £13, MAC

Also try out Barry M’s glittertastic mascaras and eye-crayons. Perfect to accompany those shimmery shadows.

Glitter Lashes, £4.99, Barry M

Eye Crayon, £4.59, Barry M 

And we’ve all been there when disaster strikes as our beautifully big falsies fall off half-way through the evening. But try these; they claim to last from “dusk til dawn”. For a fiver they must be worth a go!

Eyelashes, £5, Boots

To create the most kissable pout this season slap on one of these from Avon. There are so many colours too choose from in each range with prices starting from just £5.00.

Lipstick, £6, Avon

Lip Shimmer, £6.50, Avon 
Lipgloss, £7, Avon 
But it’s not all about the face, nails too are a key part of the party look and these glittery nail paints from Barry M are perfect and a great bargain at £2.99!

Nail Paint, £2.99, Barry M

And finally for that little extra special something why not puff your body in Barry M’s shimmer powder? The twinkling lights will be beaming off you all night!

Face and Body Shimmer Powder, £7.99, Barry M

By Kelly Hollidge

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

How To Look Good On A Cold Night In Your Skates

Yes, it’s that time of year again. You know - when the nights are getting even colder and even more Christmassy and you think how much fun ice-skating will be with all your mates. And you’re not wrong. It is great. But if you’re like us, you always regret trying to look too stylish and end up absolutely freezing or you try too hard to keep warm and end up looking like your Aunty Pat on the Christmas day walk! So what with most of London’s ice rinks opening up pretty soon (see list below) we thought we’d put together some ideal ice-skating outfits comprised of our pick of this season’s finest outer wear. Aren’t we nice? You’d better get your skates on (sorry we had pun overload and had to fit one in!) and head to the high street to snap up these bargains and ensure you look snuggly but sexy rather than cold or old this winter!

First up is this camel duffle which is the perfect blend of cosy and stylish. The fluffy fleece-lined hood is bang on trend and will keep you warm and dry and the cute heart detail adds a little something extra. It’s on sale too so hurry hurry hurry! Team with H&M dusty pink snood; there’s nothing like a snood to keep you warm on a crisp winter’s evening.


Snood, £4.99 H&M

Also from is this super sexy military trench. The shape and cut is uber flattering and will look even better with leather look leggings and these fantastic stud detailed gloves from Matalan.

Military coat,

Stud gloves, Matalan

This shearing waterfall jacket from New Look looks so warm and snuggly you won’t want to take it off. It comes in 4 gorgeous colours. This deep red hat and scarf set from H & M would go great with the chestnut one.

£29.99, New Look

£7.99, H&M

Capes are in (as featured in Roar’s Oct issue of course!) and we have fallen in love with this designer looking camel military cape. We really couldn’t believe it’s available on the high street! Team with these chocolate arm warmers, also Dotty P’s.

£65, Dorothy Perkins

£10, Dorothy Perkins

A leather bomber is a must for those biker chic fashionistas and this one from New Look is a complete bargain at £39.99. Team with possibly the cutest thing we have ever seen – this panda hooded scarf-  for cute meets racy and voila you’re the hottest thing at the rink (including the hot mulled wine)! 

New Look

£32.99, River Island

Oh and these are simply the most amazing things we have seen in a long time, or quite possibly ever! Add some high glamour to the ice rink with these beauties. Team with virtually any jacket or coat, they are far too fabulous to miss out on for only £3.50! 


And here’s our pick of THE places to go skating in your new outfits. Check out these dates, prices and special events:

Monday, 15 November 2010

'Copy Cat' XFactor Outfits

You may not be as addicted to the show as some of us (our Saturday evenings now involve XFactor parties and nothing else!) but even if you don’t know the names of every single contestant then you are sure to have at least seen some of the outfits hitting the headlines. Judges, contestants and celebrity performers alike have been showcasing the newest styles, creating the latest crazes and wearing the most gorgeous couture evening wear - oh, and some of them have been sporting more unusual looks (ahem, Katie!). So it’s no surprise that the high-street hasn’t been far behind those Xfactor fashionistas and now we can get their looks for less! Here’s a few that caught our eye:

Ms Cole’s simply stunning floor length pastel pink dress can be found here on for just £35.00. Ok it may not be the exact one she wore but we really can’t tell the difference.

Danni’s shimmery one shoulder number has not only been modelled by the ProjectD designer on XFactor but has also been seen on a host of other celebs across the country. You too can look red carpet worthy with this beauty from Lipsy coming in at £50.00

Kylie wore a super mini scarlet number when she performed on the show and as a result made the headlines - so will you when you rock those festive parties in these similar styles!

£40 from

£50 from Topshop (Editor's Note: Phwoar! WANT IT)

 Simon may have likened Cheryl to a sweet wrapper when she stepped out in this colour block mini but we absolutely love it. Lipsy offer a similar version (see here) so we can too look like a very chic Quality Street! £60.00.

Ms Minogue oozes glamour and sophistication in this figure hugging corsage detailed dress. You won’t quite believe your eyes when you see this almost identical design for just £20.00.

Rebecca Ferguson looked drop dead gorgeous in this sensational Maxi. The good news is it’s available in Topshop, the earth shatteringly bad news is that it costs a whopping £400! And there are only 50 available. Boo Hoo!

Oh and Cheryl’s now world famous Wolford bondage tights have completely sold out (sad face) but keep checking here for information on more stock, they seem to know when new stock is arriving! They won’t break the bank either at £35.00.

By Kelly Hollidge

Monday, 8 November 2010

Street Style 1

It's getting colder, wetter, darker and generally more gloomy, which mostly makes us want to reach for the remote and stay firmly attached to our duvets. But every cloud has a silver lining: this bitter weather is the perfect excuse to showcase a beautiful winter coat.

Amy Marks, King's College London Chaplaincy Assistant, wears a River Island coat.
Photo by Angharad Mead

Monday, 1 November 2010

Newsflash: Festive Jumpers Are In!

It’s November already and we can’t help but be more than excited by the influx of
festive themed jumpers appearing across our high street stores. It looks like finally
the days where Christmas knitwear was considered completely lame (poor Bridget
Jones!) are a thing of the past and here are the days when those woolly delights are
not only cool but they have become the must have winter warmer! So it may be a bit
early (although really it isn’t as we’ve been all Christmassy since September!) but
here are our pick of the best fairisle knits. Team these jumpers and cardies with dark
skinnies or really thick tights under dresses with chunky scarfs and fluffy Uggs for
a fabulous festive look!

The pretty lace detail adds a little extra something to this festive reindeer sweater, £38.00, Topshop

Soon to be hitting Primark stores is this gorgeous monochrome jumper dress. We
cannot wait to get our fluffy mitts on this one! Coming soon, Primark

A jumper with a Christmas tree and reindeers, what more could a girl ask for in her
winter cosy?! £30.00, Next

Everyone needs a cardie and this fairilse themed red knit is a must have for the
festive season. Also comes in white and in blue. £24.99, New Look

At £18 this festive knit is a bargain! We love Love Label!
 (Love Label at Littlewoods)

This uber kitsch baby blue jumper dress is as cute as a button and would look fab
with a pair of snuggly gloves and chunky cream scarf. £24.99, New Look

By Kelly Hollidge