Hosting family and friends over the festive season can be intimidating and exhausting, but good planning can make the process smoother. There are a few steps you can follow to make the party planning process easier. We break down everything you’ll need to do in order to plan your perfect party this festive season, whether it’s a family Christmas function or a New Year’s Eve extravaganza.
For little kids, there are several popular fun and interactive toys to choose from this Christmas. You can’t go wrong with Paw Patrol and this Christmas the Paw Patrol Sea Patroller Vehicle is one of this year’s must-have toys, so put it on your list along with the Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower.
No matter the event you are hosting, planning is the key to ensuring everything goes off without a hitch. These are the basic points to keep in mind:
While everything you have to achieve could be overwhelming, creating a check list is a great way to keep on top of it all, and you will also enjoy a sense of accomplishment when you check things off the list.
The colour of the season is gold, adding elegance and sparkle to your Christmas. There are great offers on Christmas décor, from baubles for the Christmas tree and garlands to adorn the house, to tableware and napkins. Pick a theme and let it run through all your décor to create maximum impact and wow your guests.
Home 100 piece Christmas decorations pack in gold £8.99 at Argos
12 pack of shaped baubles £2.00 at Poundworld
36 pack of mixed gold baubles £5.00 at Adsa
Rustic glow Christmas beadchain in gold (4m) £0.80 at Wilko
Gold glitter sparkly star Christmas tree topper £8.00 at Tesco
And don’t just keep the decorations for the tree. There are gorgeous lights and garlands on offer that will add extra pizazz to your festive decorating so your party will sparkle with style.
3D light up static reindeer £59.99 at Argos
Jute sack £3.00 at Poundworld
4 pack of glitter Christmas tree tealights £4.00 at Asda
Pre-lit snowy garland with cones and berries £16.99 at B&M
Nordic Country Christmas musical wooden village (battery operated) £12.00 at Wilko
When it comes to decorating your table, you don’t want to go overboard so people can’t see each other, and your food gets lost in the decorations. Keep it simple and elegant, with small decorations that will add festive spirit to your table without overshadowing the food, which should be the real star of your Christmas table.
Reindeer table decoration £4.00 at Poundworld
Glitter Noel table decoration £8.00 at Asda
Christmas metallic jacquard table runner – gold snowflakes on cream £4.99 at B&M
Cut out charger plates (4 pack) in gold £4.99 at B&M
And when dressing your table, don’t forget the Christmas crackers. There is a broad selection on offer in a range of stores, so you’ll certainly find beautiful festive Christmas crackers to match your colour scheme and your budget.
Christmas gold family crackers (12 pack) £4.00 at Sainsbury’s
Luxury gift crackers in gold (10 pack) £4.99 at B&M
Gold confetti spot dinner party Christmas crackers (12 pack) £10.00 at Tesco
George Home gold luxury crackers (6 pack) £8.00 at Asda
Another item not to forget when layout out your table and the food is napkins. There are different festive designs on offer, or go for something simple in plain colour to match your décor.
Christmas tree napkins (25 pack) £1.49 at Poundstretcher
Joyful snowman napkins (16 pack) £1.29 at Card Factory
Holly Christmas scalloped 33cm napkin (20 pack) £1.75 at Tesco
And what Christmas or New Year’s Eve party would be complete without enduring seasonal favourites like mince pies, or toasting in the New Year with a glass of Prosecco?
Asda Extra Special 6 luxury all-butter mince pies £1.85 at Asda
Tesco Finest mince pies (6 pack) £2.00 at Tesco
Sainsbury’s deep filled mince pies (6 pack) £1.00 at Sainsbury’s
Prosecco Extra Dry £6.00 at Asda
Plaza Centro Prosecco £7.00 at Tesco
Sainsbury’s Conegliano Prosecco, Taste the Difference £7.50 at Sainsbury’s
It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas… so get your Christmas shopping sorted! To help ease the burden of sifting through all the new toys on the market and the abundance of choice available to you, we have found the toys tipped to be the most popular this Christmas.
For little kids, there are several popular fun and interactive toys to choose from this Christmas. You can’t go wrong with Paw Patrol and this Christmas the Paw Patrol Sea Patroller Vehicle is one of this year’s must-have toys, so put it on your list along with the Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower.
Paw Patrol Sea Patroller available at Argos, Asda, Wilko, and Tesco
Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower available at Argos, Asda, and Tesco
If your kids aren’t into Paw Patrol, there are other playsets that are predicted to be popular this year and may prove more enticing to your children. There is the Enchantimals Playhouse Panda Set, where your children’s imagines can run wild in the magical and enchanted world of Enchantimals. For those looking for more action and adventure fighting bad guys, look out for the PJ Masks Headquarters Playset.
Enchantimals Playhouse Panda Set available at Tesco and Argos
PJ Masks Headquarters Playset available at Tesco, Argos, Asda and Wilko
For active children, this year the Laser X and Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash are sure to be on the top of their Christmas wish list. Why not treat a little one to one of these? You’ll be encouraging excursions outdoors and away from the television, and help them release some of their energy too.
For the Star Wars lovers out there, the Star Wars: BB-8 for LEGO will not only be a firm favourite among their gifts, but will also encourage creativity and imagination as they build BB-8 with their own two hands. And it might tempt some of the adults to get involved in the fun too.
Laser X – 2 Player Pack available at Argos, Tesco, Asda and Wilko
Star Wars: BB-8 LEGO available at Argos, Tesco and Asda
Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash available at Argos and Tesco
Make this year’s gifts double surprises with the Hatchimals Surprise and LOL Surprise Series 2. Unwrap the gift, and enjoy the further surprise of hatching your own Hatchimal or discovering the surprise inside the LOL Surprise series 2 ball.
The fingerlings are another toy craze that kids are currently itching to get their hands on. There are several characters to choose from, as well as add-ons like playsets to hang them on.
Fingerlings available at Argos and Tesco
Hatchimals Surprise available at Argos, Tesco, Asda and Wilko
L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 available at Argos and Tesco
If your kids have been asking for a pet, but your budget or home situation won’t allow it, the FurReal Roarin’ Tyler could be their animal companion. An animated toy, it moves and makes animal noises, just make sure you have the batteries to power it on Christmas Day, or you may face some disappointed kids when their tiger won’t roar.
And for fun that the whole family can get involved in, Toilet Trouble and The Original Stretch Armstrong are tipped to be popular buys this festive season.
FurReal Roarin’ Tyler available at Argos and Asda
Toilet Trouble available at Argos and Tesco
The Original Stretch Armstrong available at Argos and Tesco
You have the gifts, but don’t forget the wrapping! Give your presents a little extra flair with ribbons and bows. Card Factory, Ryman, The Works and WH Smith have wide selections of Christmas wrapping to choose from, and there are some great deals on offer on Christmas wrapping paper and giftbags.
Traditional Kraft Christmas gift wrap 5 metres £2.99 at Ryman
Luxury Christmas gift wrap assorted £2.00 at The Works
White Character Trail Christmas wrapping paper 3 metres (pack of 2 rolls) £3.99 at WHSmith
Gingerbread House Christmas gift bag large £1.99 at Ryman
Repeat Santa Giant Square Christmas gift bag £1.99 at Card Factory
Handmade Christmas gift bag £1.00 at The Works
Festive Ribbon gift set pack of four assorted £1.99 at Ryman
Red Christmas Gift Wrap accessory set £1.99 at Card Factory
Handcrafted Holly gift tags (pack of 8) £1.00 at The Works
Festive 30 piece Luxury Christmas accessories pack £4.49 at WHSmith
When it comes to festive season parties, it’s not only your outfit that takes centre stage, but your whole look. Your appearance will be judged, and while the saying goes ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, unfortunately we do. To help you sparkle this festive season, we have put together the top looks you need to take note of.
No matter how many parties you’re attending this festive season, you need to decide on the focal point of each of your party looks. There’s no need to buy a new outfit for each party, but mix it up with different accessories, and makeup and hair looks. If you want the focus to be on a stunning pair or shoes you just bought, go for a more understated dress, or play up the dress by wearing minimal jewellery.
And when it comes to your makeup, there are many trends at the moment, from crazy glitter looks to coloured eyeshadow. Or tone down your makeup completely and go with the nude makeup trend.
For many women, an important aspect of any night out is their outfit. This season you’re in for a treat, as lace, sequins and velvet are hot trends that will add luxury and glamour to any look. But don’t limit your choice to dresses, there are gorgeous tops, trousers and jumpsuits that will look elegant and sophisticated at any Christmas or New Year’s Eve party.
Lace fit and flare dress in red £28.00 at Bonmarché
Teal velvet wrap front mini dress £9.99 at New Look
Women’s blue sequin frill sleeve dress £28.00 at Peacocks
Silver foil one shoulder bodycon dress £55.00 at Dorothy Perkins
Black glitter tie front jumpsuit £44.99 at Quiz
Wine D-Ring belted wrap jumpsuit £42.00 at Dorothy Perkins
Bardot skinny jumpsuit in black £19.99 at Select
Women’s black velvet jumpsuit £20.00 at Peacocks
Velour wide leg trousers in wine £20.00 at Bonmarché
Black tapered tie trousers £25.00 at Dorothy Perkins
Jersey pleat peg leg trouser in wine £12.99 at Select
Black glitter wide leg trousers £35.00 at Evans
Glitter long sleeve blouse in pale pink £22.00 at Bonmarché
Rose gold sequin T-shirt £19.99 at New Look
Grey velvet camisole top £25.00 at Evans
Curve bottle green velvet Bardot 3/4 sleeve top £24.99 at Quiz
Good shoes are an important part of any night out. You can’t dance the night away in shoes you can hardly walk in. You might have a favourite pair of shoes already in mind, but if you’re looking for a new pair of dazzling heels for this party season, you are spoilt for choice with colour, style and accents this year. Fur detailing on your shoes is one of the trends of the moment, as well as glitter and suede and velvet finishes.
Lilley women’s silver platform diamante court shoe £17.99 at Shoe Zone
Catwalk grey platform heels £24.99 at Deichmann
Curtain shine black suede sandal £60.00 at Clarks
Gold glitter fluffy heel £16.00 at Primark
Glitter has also made its way into make-up this season, with a big trend being glitter eye make-up, together with bright and bold colours. As the saying goes, ‘Go big or go home’. This season don’t be afraid to experiment with your make-up looks and go crazy with your glitter. There are numerous eye palettes on the market that can give you the perfect festive season party sparkle without breaking the bank.
NYX Professional Makeup Pigments (available in multiple colours) £5.50 at Boots
Barry M Fine Glitter Bust (available in multiple colours) £4.59 at Boots
Freedom HD Pro Refills Eyeshadow Shimmer 10 £2.00 at Superdrug
Rimmel Mono Eyeshadow Gold Record £3.99 at Bodycare
And to bring a glow and shimmer to your complexion, there are Silver and Bronze Glow Drops from New Look for £6.99. You can use this alone or mix it with your foundation and apply them together. Use a little to highlight your cheek bones, or build it up to create an intense shimmery finish.
Silver and Bronze Glow Drops £6.99 each at New Look
Mark the date in your diary, Friday 24 November 2017 and don’t miss out on bagging yourself some brilliant Black Friday bargains on all sorts of products, and just in time for Christmas. But while it is easy to just snatch and grab, especially when fighting the hordes of people who will also be shopping for bargains, it might be wise to take a step back and plan for your Black Friday shopping spree, so you can breeze through Black Friday with ease.
Whilst bargains and discounts might not have been released yet, many retailers have already confirmed that they will be participating in Black Friday sales, including Argos, Boots, GAME, Maplin, Debenhams and New Look.
Whether you’re after this year’s hottest toys, latest tech, this season’s must-have fashions or homeware, the most important thing is to be prepared.
It pays to be prepared on Black Friday and if you want to get the best deals then you have to be organised. Retailers last year started their Black Friday deals much earlier, and this year you will be lured by substantial discounts in a bid to persuade you to start your Christmas shopping early, so if you start to plan your spend a week in advance of the big day you are less likely to miss out.
You may be overwhelmed by the discounts and items on offer, so don’t lose sight of the items you actually want. Our hot tips for this year’s Black Friday are toys and tech, and these are the hot ticket items to look out for.
Black Friday is probably the best time to get your toy shopping for Christmas out of the way, and save money too. For the kiddies ‘My Little Pony’ merchandise is huge this year as the new movie is released in time for Christmas, but there are many other toys inspired by movies and TV shows that are tipped to be as popular with kids of all ages this year.
PAW Patrol Sea Patroller Vehicle available at Argos, Wilko and Tesco
Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator available at Argos, Asda and Tesco
Hatchimals Surprise Giraven available at Argos
My Little Pony Cutie Mark Pack available at Argos
My Little Pony Magic of Everypony 10 Pony figure set available at Tesco
My Little Pony Fashion Runway Playset available at Wilko
Lego is also a firm favourite with new Lego building kits and themed LEGO kits entering the market regularly. Why not help develop your children’s creativity with the gift of Lego and see their imaginations grow as they build new and existing things from these well-loved little bricks?
LEGO Ninjago Movie Flying Jelly Sub available at Argos
LEGO Ninjago Movie Garma Mecha Man available at Tesco and Asda
LEGO Star Wars Resistance X-Wing Fighter available at Asda, Argos and Tesco
Some of the latest tech and devices can be found in the Black Friday sales at bargain basement prices, including the highly anticipated iPhone X, as well as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note8.
When it comes to finding your smartphone on Black Friday, it is a good idea to go in with an idea of not only the phone that you want, but the data package you require as well. If you are someone who spends a lot of time on social media and messaging apps, you will want a contract that comes with a lot of data, so keep your eyes peeled for good data deals too.
iPhone X available at Three, Carphone Warehouse, O2, Vodafone and EE
iPhone 8 available at O2, Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone, EE, Sky and Three
Samsung Galaxy Note8 available at Three, Carphone Warehouse, Sky, EE, Vodafone and O2
Samsung Galaxy S8 available at Three, EE, Carphone Warehouse, Sky, Vodafone and O2
If you’re into gaming, the Nintendo Switch is a hot item this year, and you may find some great deals on this console once Black Friday comes around. The Xbox One X which launches in November is another game console that Xbox fans will have their eye on in the hopes of bagging a bargain.
Nintendo Switch Console available at Argos and GAME
Xbox One X available at GAME
When winter rolls around, nothing beats cuddling and snuggling into a warm coat to keep out the cold. But as much as a coat needs to keep you warm, it is also the focal point of your wardrobe, as it is the last piece you’ll put on and the first piece you’ll take off. As such, while your coat should be practical allowing you to do everything you need to, it should also be a fashion statement, saying something about your style. While the saying goes ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, the truth is that people do.
To make sure you are not only warm and cosy this winter, but fashionable too, consider these major trends of the season when choosing the right coat for you. Look out for heritage checks, vibrant reds and faux fur accents.
Whatever form your check takes, be it houndstooth or windowpane, Prince of Wales or tartan, this season heritage checks are everywhere, and a statement coat in a heritage check is the perfect way to incorporate this trend with elegance. For a classic chic style that won’t date, we promise that this is one style that will continue to be a wardrobe staple for winters to come.
If some combinations of check and multiple colours in the design may be too bold for you, there are plenty of muted checks in the shops, perfect for bringing your outfit on trend, but not being too overbearing for your style.
Checked Funnel Neck £50.00 Bonmarché
Black and Red Check Blazer £34.99 New Look
Check Double Breasted Coat £69.00 Dorothy Perkins
Lee Cooper Check Wool Coat £14.99 Sports Direct
Nothing draws the eye like a bright, stand-out colour, and this season that colour is red. Whether you incorporate this bright and bold hue in your accessories or are more daring, why not take this trend head-on with a statement coat in pillar box red, scarlet, crimson or burgundy?
Have fun and experiment with your red coat and team it with jeans and knitwear on the weekends, throw over your everyday workwear to brighten up your day and add a splash of colour to your little black dress on a night out. Match your coat with a luscious red lipstick and you’ll have a winning combination.
Red Single-Breasted Coat £45.00 Bonmarché
Red Double-Breasted Coat £65.00 Dorothy Perkins
Red Hooded Longline Puffer Jacket £58.00 New Look
Wine Dolly Coat £55.00 Evans
A faux fur coat will always make a statement and is on trend again this season. Whether you opt for a bold print such as leopard spots or zebra stripes, a shag pile in pink or cream, or a classic grey, brown or black faux fur coat or jacket, be prepared to be stroked by all those you meet.
Grey Faux Fur Jacket £60.00 Bonmarché
Pink Short Faux Fur Coat £44.99 New Look
Petite Leopard Faux Fur Coat £69.00 Dorothy Perkins
Textured Faux Fur Coat £44.99 Select
However, if you’re too timid to take on this fashion trend, there are other ways to incorporate faux fur in a way that isn’t overpowering. Look out for details such as a faux fur collar or cuffs and you can style out this trend without being too overbearing.
Jacquard Coatigan with Faux Fur Collar £50.00 Bonmarché
Khaki Faux Fur Hooded Parka Coat £45.00 Peacocks
Pale Grey Faux Fur Trim Belted Midi Coat £54.99 New Look
Firetrap Blackseal Polly Parka £84.99 Sports Direct
October is the month of fear, fun, fantastic costumes and junk food, and with Halloween on 31 October looming, one of the biggest challenges can be to find the perfect outfit for your Halloween party, and indeed for the whole family. Choosing an outfit doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and you can find a good selection of costume ideas at a number of major fashion retailers, supermarkets, department stores and budget shops with prices to suit every pocket.
Whilst having an idea about what you want to dress up in is a helpful starting point, don’t let this limit you from trying other costumes or characters. And it’s not just the kids who can dress up; there are numerous costume options available for the adults too.
Here are some steps you can follow to help make choosing your costume easier:
With so many costumes on offer, there really is no limit as to what your kids can dress up as this Halloween. Whether your little one is a baby, a toddler a tween or a teen, the shops are full of fun and frightening gear that will make this Halloween one to remember. From witches and wizards to ghosts and ghouls that will bring the fear factor, and princesses and pirates for something a little less scary, kit them out from head to toe, invest in some face paint and don’t forget to arm them with a festive bucket for all their treats.
Halloween Frankenstein Suit, Silver Witch Costume and Mummy Costume from £6.99 at Home Bargains.
Glow in the Dark Skeleton All-in-One with Mask, Skeleton Dress with Mask, and Skeleton Tuxedo with hat and Mask, all from £12 at Sainsburys
Halloween Cauldron, Printed Loot Bucket and Witches’ Broom all £1 at Poundland
The right accessories can make or break any Halloween outfit. Claire’s has a range of Halloween accessories in stock that can take any outfit from drab to fab. Whether it’s a wig to finish off a look, or you’re looking for masks, make up and jewellery, the perfect accents to your outfit will make people notice you this Halloween.
Glow In The Dark Cat Costume Kit £10, Turquoise Tinsel Mermaid Wig £25 and Gore Galore Zombie Cosmetic Set £8 all at Claire’s
Why not make this Halloween a family affair? With costumes and accessories for the adults too, there is no excuse for the dressing up to be left to the children.
Ladies Goddess Costume, Men’s Darth Vader Costume and Wonder Woman Costume from £22.99 at Argos
When it comes to Halloween make-up, there’s no need to go out of your way to purchase a bundle of products you won’t use again. Use your basics, and only buy the few special products you will need, like coloured eye shadows and flash lashes that you may not ordinarily wear.
Makeup Revolution Salvation Bright Eyeshadow Palette Chaos £4, NYX Professional Make Up Ultimate Shadow Palette in Brights £16, Superdrug LASH False Lashes Double Volume Edition #40 £3.43, Paperself Paper False Eyelashes – Deer and Butterfly £12.50 and True Volume Lashes by KISS – Spicy £5.99 at Boots & Superdrug
Halloween isn’t just about the costumes. There’s décor and snacks and treats to consider too. From pumpkin lanterns to plastic spiders and cobwebs, creating the right atmosphere is everything. And don’t forget the treats, after all, that is what most of the kids will be after (and a few adults too).
At the end of the day, a little bit of planning, and knowing where to shop for bargains on décor and sweet treats can save you time and remove the stress when it comes to getting ready for Halloween.
Casper Marshmallows and Casper Candy Sticks £1 each at Poundland, Chocolate Pumpkins and Gummy Spiders £1 each at Poundworld
Black Pirate Party Paper Cups £1.29 at Card Factory, Giant Spider and Grim Reaper Hanging Ghoul £1 each at Poundland and Hanging Decorations £1 at Poundworld
With the approach of winter it’s important to take stock of your beauty routine, as you will need to change or enhance it for the colder, harsher months, as the elements will take their toll not only on your skin, but on your hair too. But there are steps you can take to ensure that you continue to have glossy, healthy hair even as the thermostat drops.
Nothing keeps hair in good condition like a regular trim. Daily styling with hairdryers, curling tongs and straightening irons can damage hair, as can hair colouring products. To keep your hair in good shape, it is recommended to have it trimmed every six weeks, or every nine weeks for longer hair. For an affordable hair cut look out for model nights in local salons or head into budget chains such as Regis and Supercuts where a basic cut starts at £14.95 and a cut and blow dry will set you back £22.45. Also look out for promotions on conditioning treatments; it’s amazing what a little bit of salon TLC can offer.
You can’t leave all your haircare to the professionals; you need to take control at home too. Proper maintenance continues with your at home beauty regime, from using the right products, to how regularly you wash and style your hair. Look out for brilliant beauty buys in department stores, drugstores and budget stores, get hold of 3 for 2 offers and claim a ton of beauty gifts with purchase.
A good conditioner is essential to restore and maintain your hair’s natural moisture, glossiness and texture. If you’re unsure what products to use, speak to your stylist. But one of the popular ingredients that great for healthy hair is Argan oil. With shampoos, conditioners, hair oils and treatments containing this moisture rich ingredient, every step of your haircare regime can help boost your hair’s health.
Herbal Essences Bio: Renew Conditioner 400ml Argan Oil £6, Lee Stafford ARGANOIL from Morocco Nourishing Conditioner 250ml £10.99 at Boots, OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner 385ml £6.99 and OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Extra Conditioner 385ml £7.99, Garnier Ultimate Blends Argan Oil Shine Conditioner 400ml £2.50 and Hask Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner 355ml £6.99 from Superdrug, Boots and Savers
If a good shampoo and conditioner doesn’t seem to be meeting your winter hair needs, a good treatment or deep nourishing conditioner may be required.
John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioner Mask 150ml £6.99, Shea Moisture Shea Masque 326ml £10.99, TRESemmé Oleo Radiance Creamy Moisturiser Mask 300ml £6.99 and Vatika Naturals Egg Protein Conditioning Hair Mask 500g £5.99 at Superdrug, Boots and Savers
On top of deep conditioning, there are plenty of options of oils and serums you can apply and leave on wet or dry hair that will help add and lock in moisture.
TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Colour Serum 125ml £6.05, Argan Oil Hair Treatment 100ml £12.99, Grow Gorgeous Shine Serum 60ml £22.00, Hask Argan Oil from Morocco Repairing Hair Shine Oil 18ml £2.49 and OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Weightless Dry Oil 118m £6.99 at Superdrug, Boots and Savers
When it comes to styling your hair in winter, it is important to thoroughly dry your hair before going outside to protect your hair from becoming brittle. If you are using heated styling tools like hairdryers, straightening irons or curling tongs, invest in a good heat protection spray to help minimise any damage to your hair and make sure that you use a wide tooth comb and not a brush if your hair is wet to avoid stretching and damaging your hair.
Boots Style Works Heat Protect Spray 185ml £2.59, TRESemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Spray £6.05 Mark Hill Styling Heat Protection 200ml and Style Expertise Straight Spray 100ml £2.99 at Superdrug & Boots
Aside from using the right products to wash, dry and style your hair, it is still important to take steps to protect it from the elements. Hats are super fashion forward, look fabulous, will protect your hair from the wind, rain and snow, and will also help cut down on how often you need to wash your hair as it won’t get dirty from the elements.
Grey Brushed Knit Beanie Hat £4.99, Burgundy Double Faux Fur Pom Pom Beanie £9.99, Black Baker Boy Hat £9.99 and Mink Cable Knit Faux Fur Bobble Beani £7.99 all at New Look
Firetrap Army Hat £8 at Sports Direct, Penguin Beanie £7 and Grey Baker Boy Hat £10 both at Peacocks
Waking up and dressing for work every single day can be overwhelming. To manage any morning mayhem you’ll need to acquire the basic pieces every working woman should have hanging in her closet—blazers, shirts, flats, heels, tailored trousers and a skirt. Just add a few key season trends such as monochrome, Prince of Wales check and berry hues, and you can go back to work this autumn in style.
Make an effortless transition with easy tailoring and effortlessly elegant 2-pieces and dresses that work from morning meetings to evening dos. From classic shades of grey and black to tweeds and Prince of Wales checks, look out for chic A-line minis, pencil skirts, midi skirts, manlike trousers, fitted jackets and ladylike dresses that will take you into autumn and beyond.
Flute sleeves, wrap styles are everywhere this season. Think of deep reds and purples, checks and stripes and you’ll be bang on trend. And don’t forget the LBD. A wardrobe staple, a chic little black dress will always be a 9 to 5 hero. Whether you are channelling Chanel, inspired by Hepburn or just a fan of the deepest shade there is, this is the one item that can be dressed up and down effortlessly.
Nothing screams girl boss like a crisp blazer and right now the blazer is having a massive moment. This time round, you can embrace colour and print. Look out for styles in statement red, Prince of Wales check and bold stripes that will take you from desk-to-dinner in no time at all.
In addition to the perfect white button-down shirt, shirting has also been reimagined for AW17, with asymmetric cuts, reworked silhouettes, and statement sleeves breathing new life into the work wear classic. For extra impact, look fro detailing in the form of peplum hems, pussy bow necklines and metal hardware. From frill front blouses in ditsy prints to shirts in bold block colours, stripe blouses with fluted sleeves, and wrap tops, if your shirt or blouse is full of detail then it’s a winner.
Trousers or skirts, whatever you choose you’ll be on trend as long as go for bold styles, bold prints and bold colour. Menswear-inspired trousers always look polished, especially in checks. Wide-legged and fluid cuts are the mood du jour and totally work wear appropriate.
A-line skirts of all lengths are holding it down in the skirt department, where zips and texture have been employed for a hit of newness. Skirts have been given a new season refresh with the new mini, maxi and midi hem lengths, while a pencil skirt will create a sexy silhouette. Go barelegged for now, while it’s still warm enough, and sport sock boots when it’s chilly out. On top, everything and anything goes from bodysuits to crisp white shirts and fluted sleeve tops. For extra points try for a co-ord two-pieces and the berrier the better.
Every working wardrobe needs a classic pair of black suede or patent heels, commuter flats and essential knee-high boots. These are all working girl essentials. This season reboot your foot locker with kitten heels or block heels on courts if you don’t like skyscraper stillettos, look for flat brogues, ballet pumps and loafers with tassel detailing and opt for luxurious boots in luscious berry colour leathers.
With the new academic year upon us, now is the time to get all the gadgets you may need. The right computer or tablet can help make your studies and assignments so much easier. But new tech for Uni students can be expensive, especially for a student who doesn’t earn a lot, if anything at all. Starting your tech hunt early can help you find what you need, without blowing your budget.
The first step to saving money is knowing what your requirements are. If you’re not a graphic designer, a gamer or programmer you may not need the most expensive graphics card or the fastest processor which can hike up the price tag. When starting out, a basic laptop with internet connectivity, and basic word processing, like Microsoft Word, is all you will need.
Speak to an in-store expert who can help you find the best laptop, tablet and programmes to meet your needs. Many department stores, supermarkets, electronic specialists and phone shops sell an array of products from laptops to tablets, with offers to help reduce the price. Shopping specials and offers is a great way to make your money go further.
For many students, an entry-level laptop should meet your needs, and allow you the flexibility to work from home or on campus. A basic entry-level laptops can be bought for under £200. However, you may be required to purchase programmes such as Microsoft Word or any others that you will need. You can get an ASUS Vivobook E203NA with Office 365 for around £199.99 from most electronic stores.
If you are looking for something with more memory and faster speeds, there is the Acer Aspire ES 15.6 Inch laptop from around £249.99.
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A laptop can be pricey, so hunt around for on-going offers. You might get lucky and find a laptop bundled with another gadget or software that you need. Also look out for sales, where you can save and maybe get a better computer or tablet at a lower price.
If you don’t need a laptop, you can also save money by getting a tablet. You can get an entry-level tablet starting at less than £50, with note capabilities. If you are looking for something with more features, you can spend anywhere up of £500. There really is something for everyone.
Many phone provider stores have a range of tablets on a pay monthly basis starting at £39 a month, with an upfront cost £49.99, for those with a monthly budget and looking for higher end tect, such as an iPad. If you are looking for a pay as you go option, look out for the Alcatel Pixi 3 (8) for an upfront cost of around £119.99.
If you are looking for something without a data plan, entry-level tablets can be purchased from around £48.99, such as the Acer Iconia One B1 770, 7 inch 16 GB tablet.
A reliable anti-virus and firewall is a must in today’s tech savvy world. Computers held to ransom, or viruses that wipe your data, are something you want to avoid. At university, you are likely plug USB drives into your computer and copy or download content, putting your device at risk.
Norton and Kaspersky Lab are two of the largest antivirus providers. But full protection can be costly. Both companies offer basic products at a more affordable price, and the best thing is, you pay once and you are covered for the whole year.
Ryman offers Kaspersky Total Security for three devices for a normal price of £49.99, and Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 for three devices at a normal price of £44.99.
As the new school year approaches at a slightly alarming rate, uniform and backpack-buying duty looms. If your kids’ lunchboxes have seen better days, or you’re giving into their demands for new kit, read on to discover our new-term favourites. These boxes and bags are suitable for pre-school, primary and secondary school students, combine clever, leak-free compartments, wipe-clean interiors and some serious insulation.
Sistema Triple Split Lunchbox £10.95 Tesco
This multi compartmental BPA-free plastic lunch box is simple, durable and comes in a range of bold and bright colours. Split into three compartments, a large section for a sandwich or roll and two smaller compartments for snack or fruit and a 150ml screw top yoghurt pot that fits neatly into one of the smaller compartment, it is sealed tight with sturdy clips.
Polar Gear Lunch Bag and Bottle £11.99 Argos
The Polar Gear lunch set comes complete with a spacious 2 compartment cool bag and 650ml tritan bottle. It is great for everyday use at work, school or just out for the day and can be wiped clean easily.
My Little Lunch Urban Camouflage Lunch Bag and Bottle £17.99 Argos
This urban style rucksack lunchbag comes complete with a water bottle. The My Little Lunch fun camouflage style lunch bag is fully insulated with an easy wipe, food safe lining, keeping food fresh and cool and has a matching sports bottle. Well worth the price tag!
Playpiece Lunch Bag £6.99 (reduced from £11.99) Trespass
The Playpiece kid’s lunch bag keeps food cool and safe. It’s also ideal for picnics at the park or a day out exploring. Designed with a clip on carry strap that can be easily removed and a carry handle on top, the Playpiece bag has a full zip and comes in a cool helicopter design or funky flower pattern to suit your kid’s tastes.
Smash Heart Bag & Bottle £7.00 George at Asda
Bring fashion and design to lunchtime with this bright and colourful heart bag from Smash! Smash Insulated Cases are made from durable Polyester with an extra thick foam insulation to keep contents colder longer. Food Safe and BPA, PVC with a lead free lining, the leak proof bottle is also included.
Polar Gear Bento Lunchbox £6 Wilko
Available in pink or black this versatile bento style lunch chiller helps keep your lunch cool and fresh. It comes with a fill at home ice pack and a fork and spoon included, and boasts 3 separate food compartments ideal for storing salads, sandwiches, sushi as well as snacks.
Bergner Black Cube Lunch Bag £22.99 Argos
The stylish and most compact of all lunchbags, this set includes two lunch boxes of different sizes, one all-purpose tray, two cotton napkins and one cooler bag. It has a wide padded shoulder strap and carrying handle and the case features an aluminium and foam layer for heat insulation.
Polar Gear Kids Insulated Lunch Bag 9.99 Shoe Zone
The fabulous Polar Gear Kids 3D Insulated Lunch Bags pack a healthy lunch. The 3D is insulated which will keep their food cool and fresh for longer and food safe, plus it also has a wipe clean PVC free lining, Choose from a colourful Owl, Cupcake or a Football design.
Disney Frozen Elsa Lunch Bag £12.00 Claire’s
We love this pretty Disney Frozen lunch bag. With glitter detailing, a zip fastening all the way around and 2 grab handles, your little girl’s friends could mistake it for a super trendy handbag. Currently when you buy one item at Claire’s you’ll get a second free.
Paw Patrol ‘Chase’ 3D Lunch Bag £9.99 Deichmann
Entice your active little boy to sit still long enough to eat lunch with this 3D insulated lunch bag that feature’s Paw Patrol’s Chase. It’s a must-have for Paw Patrol fans.
Sistema 1.5L Slimline Quaddie Pink £4.00 Asda
The Slimline Quaddie is part of the Sistema Lunch range and has been specifically designed for packed lunches – ideal for school, picnics and days out. There is a large lower section for sandwiches and other lunch items. In addition there are two smaller sections in the top for snacks and smaller items of fruit. A further top section contains a small water bottle.