The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Monochrome wardrobe: The non-committal approach to adding excitement to your outfit

Holly James reveals how to stay warm while still looking fabulous this winter

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As the festive season draws ever closer, the yearly challenge that faces the monochrome wardrobe does too: how do you bring festive fun to your outfit when your wardrobe has managed to look like it is Halloween for the last 5 years running? With the days drawing in and getting colder, the task seems even more difficult when just getting out of bed feels like a challenge. We all know that our favourite pair of black skinny jeans are not going anywhere, so how do you bring some effortless sparkle to your wardrobe without compromising your all-black aesthetic?

Footwear is key to staying warm and looking chic through the winter, but splashing out on a new pair of shoes is an expensive luxury that many students just cannot afford. The next best answer? Socks. Bold statement socks are big news this season, from high end to high street fashion, the old rules have gone out the window. Pair up your sparkly socks with open toe strappy heels for a party look, or wear your trainers with some statement ankle socks to bridge the gap when wearing ankle grazing or cropped trousers. Not only will your outfit look on trend, adding socks will help you fight the cold and stay warm. The top pick: use Topshop’s 3 for £8 deal to grab a variety to get you through the season, with choices from nude pink sparkles to mustard stripe welt socks.

It is not just socks you can layer this season; countless bloggers have been layering tights under their jeans for a stylish answer to keeping the cold out.  Kylie Jenner’s Instagram post last week showed us that fishnets are definitely the best way to work this trend as the iconic tights are sure to draw attention to your outfit. This is best worn with the waistband of the tights visible above the jeans if you’re wearing something cropped, or showing through ripped or frayed denim on the leg. Go for oversized fishnets paired with heels or chunky platforms for a night out or statement look (try ASOS oversized fishnets, £6 in a variety of colours). For a more practical daytime solution to sporting this trend, layer oversized fishnets with low denier tights or opt for a standard fishnet to keep the heat in. If fishnets just are not your thing, the next best solution is a pair of woolly tights under boyfriend jeans, or layering plain tights with statement socks for really cold days.

From knees and toes to head and shoulders, hats and scarves are your best bet to really keep the cold out and create a bold look this winter. Beanie hats and oversized scarves are bang on trend and perfect for those days where leaving your duvet and venturing out for your 9am lecture seems like it is just never going to happen. Both Zara and Primark have a great range of oversized scarves this year, and check out ASOS for a good variety of beanie hats to choose from. For tips on how to style them, seek inspiration from bloggers who live in particularly cold countries, they know best.