The only possible way to remedy the shortened days and Tupperware skies of winter is to imagine yourself as a sexy, mysterious, no-time-for-your-bullshit, French woman striding around snowy Paris. I propose that it is, of course, the humble beret that provides the fool-proof means to achieve this persona. Not only are they the height of practicality — the crown of your head snuggling under its toasty woollen duvet; one, or two, smothered ears warding off the bitter air and interminable conversation of your family members  — but berets, in their inherent flexibility, are also immensely creative. Being a beret-wearer is a substantial responsibility, the first burden being that of colour. I long for the day that Buzzfeed releases a quiz to distinguish between people whose ‘soul beret’ would be classic black, trendy red, jolly technicolour, or completely bejewelled. Next comes the importance of silhouette; only a Francophobe would consider beret-shaping trivial. A multitude of existential questions arise: does today beckon an exposed beret rim and a pouchy, free-standing beret body, or will you flatten the beret to your head, rolling the edge under itself? Will your beret defy gravity, balancing asymmetrically over one ear, or will you blasphemously centralise this almost divinely circular hat across your forehead? The world of berets offers endless opportunity, making it a winter essential in every sophisticate’s wardrobe.

Written by Isabella Reynolds

My winter wardrobe essential for this year has to be stash. Now, I know what you’re thinking ‘stash comes in many forms, and so calling stash an essential is just as specific as saying “clothes”’, and I was once like you, but, in these uNCeRtAin tiMeS, I’ve found stash to be pretty important. Not only does it remind me that I’m part of many different communities despite the fact that it’s been difficult to do anything in person for most of the year, but it allows me to irritate my family who already think I have my head up my arse about going to Oxford. For the two weeks prior to going into tier 4, I was able to use college stash to maintain meaningless college rivalries with total strangers that I saw on the tube. Despite being far too self conscious to actually speak to anyone wearing an Oxford puffer, I’m sure the frustrated eye contact did the perfect job, truly in the spirit of Christmas.

Written by Lily Kershaw

Undoubtedly the essential that must grace any wannabe fashionista’s winter wardrobe is the timeless long line coat. No other item can quite compare to the power such a necessity places upon the fortunate shoulders of the lucky coat bearer. Such a versatile piece can be styled up or down, paired with chunky trainers and baggy jeans to create an everyday look, or complimented by thigh high boots and a mini skirt to ooze a more sophisticated vibe. The possibilities are endless. Of course the varieties of patterns which can adorn such a coat are also endless. A personal favourite is the pastel block colour, with my own baby blue calf length coat being one of my favourite possessions. However, one thing is for certain, no matter what colour long line coat you wear or what you choose to wear it with, the feeling it gives you when strutting down cornmarket is unmatched.

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Written by Rochelle Moss

It is cold outside. The harsh wind billows. The hairs that blanket your unforgivingly protruding ears are whipped into submission. You are alerted that it is indeed cold outside. 

In the past, to overcome such circumstances, one would reach for a marginally hideous hat their grandmother had knitted for the festive season (I truly love it nan thanks!). Not this year. Hell has descended on earth in the shape of two cotton balls and some wire. The Ear Muff.

Conceived with good intentions, the protective ear muffs have been thrust aside by their pointless, effortlessly fluffy counterparts, adorned by those desperate to make a statement. Not only are they far inferior to the trusted wooly hat appearance-wise, thermal ear muffs leave your eyesight fending for itself, as your hearing has all but disappeared. 

I end this incoherent ramble with a pledge to not succumb to society’s potential future craze. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

Written by Agata Gwincinska