After painstaking research, here follows the After Dark clubbing survival guide for Christmas and the New Year. Don't leave home without it!

Biolight Vent Pant pounds 149

The season comes but once a year so make sure that you stand out from the rank and file. Burton snowboarding equipment cuts an impressive dash, whether on the slopes or in the urban playground. The price reflects the technology and quality and also makes them desirable for aspirational trendies with lots of cash. They'll easily keep you warm while queuing and the breathable material will let you chill once inside.

Tickets

The best Christmas and New Year events will be all-ticket affairs. An authentic ticket is the first step to having a memorable night. Decide where you want to go as early as possible. Waiting for friends or holding out for guest-list places is very dodgy. If you're arguing with guest- list personnel at 11.30pm on New Year's Eve, then you've messed up big time.

Ray-Bans Daddy-O-Square Flat pounds 79 An exalted symbol of youthful exuberance - which other demographic group wears shades in rain, snow or moonlight?

Coloured lenses reduce the chance of bumping into hostile strangers but you can't fade a slick pair of Ray-Bans. Fresh design, classic colour and reassuringly expensive... a must when staggering out into 7am sunshine.

Nars Make-Up Lipsticks pounds 15.50

Standing for hours in long queues during the great British winter can play havoc with a lovingly applied face. On the stroke of midnight, maximise your popularity by carrying fresh supplies. If you still need convinicing, Madonna said of Francois Nars:

"He's a genius. He's Heaven. He's Divine."

The Chinese Instapump by Reebok pounds 100 You must have quality footwear that will still be on good terms with tired feet after endless hours of standing. Many clubs ban them, but everybody knows that a phat pair of kicks receive mad respect. This limited-edition shoe commemorates the recent handover of Hong Kong and features inflatable airchambers in the upper for extra support and comfort. Perfect for club- hopping, non-stop dancing, and particularly handy if you've any energy left for sporting endeavours.

Wrigley's Extra Sugarfree 25p

Chewing gum is as vital to modern clubbing as loud speakers, and both improve social interaction. Clubbing requires a lot of close-up shouting so take care not to offend.

As well as being the favourite choice of under-30s, it transpires that chewing the stuff is good for your teeth... so at least there's one tab you can take in clubs that's legal and healthy.

HUGO Woman pounds 25

How do you select a fragrance that the opposite sex will die for? With so many to choose from, the experts advise you to buy something that reflects your individual character. Fat chance! Best to plump for something you like the whiff of. Hugo Woman is top selling female scent at Boots this Xmas, so it must have something going for it.

Money

You've spent loads of loot on tickets but we can assure you that you'll need as much legal tender as you can lay your hands on.

Drinks will inevitably be at premium prices and don't forget that

taxi-drivers actually celebrate two Christmas days, the second of which arrives on NYE. Last NYE, taxis from the Ally Pally (if you could find one) cost pounds 50 to Victoria - ouch!

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