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The Fashionable Student: What You Need to Know About Winter Clothes Shopping

24/10/2014 14:16 BST | Updated 23/12/2014 10:59 GMT

As the days get colder, we certainly don't need Game of Thrones to tell us winter is coming. So, add the start of winter and wind tunnel like treks across campus and you'll undoubtedly get that mini mum inside your head saying 'you need to buy some warmer clothes.' Because let's face it those thin polyester t-shirts won't keep you warm for much longer. So, get down to the high street or get online and start picking out your winter wardrobe.

Not sure where to start?

Well, let's go with how to go about shopping for your winter looks. When it comes to shopping there's always this preconceived idea with students that 'cheaper is better' which isn't always true. What you buy for winter needs to be heavy duty and high quality, as you'll be living in these clothes day in day out over the next several months.

But, before you argue that higher quality clothing is more expensive and totally unaffordable on a student budget - hear me out. Higher quality doesn't always mean expensive. What you want is something high quality but reasonably priced, which may take longer to find, but will be completely worth it in the end, as you'll be saving a lot of money in the long run.

So, how do you know what's a good buy?

Let's start with the boots, a winter wardrobe must. The real trick with boot shopping is to pick a style that is always in fashion. So, Chelsea boots or military boots are always a great choice. If you can afford to splurge I would recommend buying leather boots, because they will easily last you a couple of years, especially if you polish them. If you can't afford leather, go for the patent but also buy some polish to apply when they start to look scruffy - again, because this will help them to last longer.

Next, let's do the coat, another winter essential. Whether it's a duffle, trench or blanket - whatever style coat you prefer - check the label. You should always check the label when buying clothes because it tells you exactly what you need to know i.e. fabric consistently, which is a massive deal breaker, especially when shopping for winter coats.

What you'll find is that majority of coats are made up of a mixture of fabric such as 95% polyester and 5% wool. When shopping, the fabrics you need to look out for are wool (mainly in duffle coats), cotton (think trench) and fleece. This is because these fabrics are thick and durable so as a result they will naturally last longer and be a lot more insulating, making you feel as though you're snuggling up into your bed sheets.

But don't think you'll get a coat made up of 100% of any of these lust worthy fabrics on the high street, instead you're most likely looking at around 35% maximum. If you can find a coat that's above 20% and a really good price (around £35) then you've got yourself a good buy. You can find coats like this in various high street shops as well as some of the super market clothing lines, which may be a shock to you, but once you start looking at labels you'll be surprised at where the best buys actually are. Trust me.

The same can be said for jumpers, scarves and gloves. The higher the wool content the better. Although, if you're quite sensitive try and find ones that have a little bit less, because you'll end up just getting irritated. A good wooly jumper should last you at least two years, which is a lot better than having to replace ones that get bitty after only being washed once.

But, what if you love an item that happens to be 100% polyester?

Well, 100% polyester isn't always a bad thing. Most of the statement pieces you'll see for winter will be 100% polyester, but as long as you take care of the item and don't over wear it, it should last you the season.

When buying your winter wardrobe the best thing you can do is to invest in your essentials first -so a coat, boots and a couple of jumpers/scarves - then use your remaining budget to buy your statement pieces. Your statement pieces are the ones that you instantly fall in love with when you see them in the shop and you know that your winter look will never be right without them. The best part of shopping this way is that the essentials you buy this year you can reuse next year and the year after because they'll still be wearable and fashionable. If you style the essentials with your statement items, you'll have a solid winter wardrobe - ready to get you to campus through the rain, wind and snow in complete style.