& opinion


Blocked red noses, itchy chilblains, dry skin, purple ears - braving it outside in the cold is rarely a pleasant experience. One can be so busy focusing on the ground to prevent wind chill on the face that you donít realise youíre walking past a best mate. Itís also difficult recognising people with their increase in weight due to the addition of a larger-than-life puffa coat. It may feel like thereís no other way - the main aim is to be warm, but this doesnít mean you have to sacrifice your style.

Remember: One has the right to be warm and cosy, BUT one also has the right to look gorgeous. So toss aside that boring jumper and those baggy jeans. Itís time to glam up your winter wardrobe. So, youíve made it out of the duvet and donned on a chunky knit sweater. Fair enough, but rather than looking like a clone, (CKSís are a common phenomenon) - how about giving it a bit of colour?

The sky may permanently be grey, but it doesnít mean your clothes have to be. Go for something bright. Obviously this can be quite hard, since the shops donít tend to stock an awful lot of summery shades, but you donít have to stick to navy and beige. Orange is a great cross-over colour between seasons. Add a shirt beneath that jumper and let the collar out, or accessorise with an orange bag or hair ribbon.

Better still, if your jumper is giving you grief because itís so heavy, why not trade it in for a turtleneck? Hmmm, theyíre snug, easily available, great to stroke AND keep your neck as warm as toast so you can ditch your scarf too. Hooray! Again, try not to fall into the trap of wearing a conventional shade. Hunt out a vivid tone, or jazz it up with a funky badge.

Invest in a hat. A simple woolly one will do. It will give your ears the attention they deserve, and preserves your hairdo. Customise your gloves. These are a winter essential and can easily be turned into a work of art. Stick/stitch on anything you like, furry trims, tassels, iron on patches, plastic butterflies...go funky - gloves were made to be personalised.

Itís not just about clothes, your appearance should also be kept in check. Carry a cute handkerchief at all times. Not only may it prove useful if youíre required to lend it to a sneezing sexy specimen; it will also prevent you looking like a dribbling pooch. Noses run a lot in winter and you donít want to be the one whoís dripping. Further more, used tissues reduced to ripped holey snot-rags are not attractive. Make sure thereís a pot of Vaseline in your pocket too. Boys especially are guilty of having peely, cracked lips, which will not aid a decent snog. Keep your pout looking lush at all times and apply regularly. Itís also good for elbows, hands, cheeks and practically everywhere else that gets exposed to the blizzards. Brush on a tinge of blusher. It brings colour to your face instantly, and in my case has been a talking point. ĎHave you just auditioned for Zippoís?í (Donít overdo it, the clown look has never, and will never be in).

A few tips for preventing fashion blunders when it comes to socks. It may be tempting, but donít ever wear two pairs. Your feet will suffer, as will the person next to you. Itís likely theyíll get sweaty and send out a suffocating whiff. Added to this, your tootsies will get squashed and you may develop blisters (nice). Invest in a pair of thick thermal socks instead. Finally, never wear legwarmers. The Eighties were a period of major fashion error, so why do so many people insist on celebrating them? Let them rest in peace.