Start Trinity Ball dress shopping now: Over eager as it may seem, the best bargains are to be had now. Keep an eagle eye on the end of summer sale racks for classic, simple formal dresses that can be dressed up with on-trend accessories for summer 2009. Not only will you save a packet but you’ll avoid seeing your dress on somebody else on the night.
In the Bag: Finally, you can throw away that awful Jansport backpack with your friends’ names written all over it in Tipp-Ex, and get yourself something stylish and functional. A good bag will be your most important investment this year. The trick is to combine style with practicality, so look out for A4-sized totes and shoppers with zip tops to keep your notes dry (Orla Kiely does some great patent printed versions). Try splashing out on a classic leather bag in brown or black, which will only look better when a little worn-in and will last for years; or pick up a few snazzy, patterned or bright bargains on the high street – matching bag with outfit is so Victoria Beckham, and will make those who lug the same bag around every day blend into the background.
Best foot forward: Spring-time brings some seriously slippery cobbles, so keep heels low and with plenty of grip. Ballet pumps would seem like the obvious choice but from my experience, by the end of the day they are like Newcastlewest on a bad day – flooded. Invoke the current folk trend and pair cute fringed boots with some trusty Wolfords.
Wrap up warm: Following your mother’s advice to wrap up warm may keep you snug in the dungeon-like libraries but will inevitably leave you doing a sweaty strip-tease in front of the whole lecture theatre each morning after your dash from the Luas. So to keep cool and comfortable, avoid cheap synthetic knits and layer natural fibres like cotton or cashmere (if you’re feeling flush) instead. A combo of vest-top, t-shirt, cardigan and scarf will have you mastering the layered look – plus adding and taking away can give you a whole new morning-to-afternoon-to-evening-at-the-Pav look. Fingerless gloves are a must too; they may not be the most toasty of garments but they make finding change in your purse a considerably less stressful experience.
Get your study on: With exams looming, have your library threads at the ready. However, this does not mean borrowing your boyfriend’s grey Canterbury sweat pants. If you want a first in the fashion stakes, stick to boyfriend-style jeans and some layered tank tops for this term.
Have a Ball: The Trinity Ball is the biggest event of the term and the year. Unfortunately, it requires a certain amount of thought to combine formal dressing with being in what is effectively a music festival. There’s a lot of walking and dancing involved, so whatever shoes you wear, make sure that they’re comfortable. If you’re a guy, it’s probably best to hire a tuxedo, it’s works out a lot cheaper than buying an expensive tux and with the amount of people waving lit cigarettes and pints of beer about, the chances of it surviving the evening unscathed are slim. The most important thing to remember is this: it’s the Trinity Ball, Europe’s biggest private party. No-one else can go, so make the most of it. Dress up, look stylish, but don’t break the bank over your outfit.