#OOTD: 16/04/15

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far in the UK!  Unfortunately I was stuck in Lincolnshire, miles inland, while my friends sunned themselves on Bournemouth beach.  That didn’t stop me channelling summer vibes when I chose my outfit though!

Last week I wrote about my summer 2015 haul.  A few days after I went into town, not expecting to spend any money, and left New Look with this beautiful dress.  So consider this post an update to my summer wardrobe!

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Dress, boots: New Look
Sunglasses: Become Antique
Necklace: Vintage Promise

I absolutely love combining light, feminine florals with darker, grungier pieces.  The dress comes with some light padding in the chest, which is good because the back is a little too low which makes wearing a bra awkward.

Bamboo sunglasses are super on-trend at the moment – combined with the tortoise-shell frames, my favourite sunnies are a winner.

If I was off to the beach I’d add a black kimono and black strappy sandals.  If I was wearing this outfit on a casual day out I’d add a cardigan and some boat shoes or lace-up trainers.  This dress could also be worn on a night out, and I’d pair it with some wedge sandals and boho gold bangles.

What do you think of this outfit? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Another YouOf Mice & Men

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altrocklife’s summer 2015 haul

As per usual, whenever I come home on a break from university my Mum, sister and myself go on at least one major shopping trip.  We are each others’ hype men and harshest critics: we build each other up when we pick out items that look fantastic, but ruthlessly tear each other down if we make a fashion faux pas.

On our latest shopping trip, we had one objective: start working on our summer wardrobes.  I grew out of all of my swimming costumes last summer so I was in desperate need of a new one.  Plus, rather than going on a spending spree a couple of weeks before we jet off to Spain in July, we figured that spreading the cost over multiple trips would be a little more merciful for our bank balances.

Don’t get me wrong: a number of items I purchased last summer will make do for this summer as well.  As much as I wish for it, my purse has yet to become an infinite source of money.  However, I was in desperate need of a summer wardrobe refresher.  I decided to focus on the essentials (my new swimming costume) plus a couple of key pieces which will help to refresh last year’s wardrobe and insert some key 2015 trends.

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Bikini: New Look, £17.99 for the top and £9.99 for the bottoms
Shorts: New Look, £14.99
Kimono: New Look, £14.99
Flip-flops: Primark, £3
Crop top: Primark, £3
Jim Beam t-shirt: Primark, £8
Of Mice & Men vest: Full Circle Tour merchandise, £25

As you can see, I colour coordinated many of my new purchases ready to wear on the beach this summer.  I’ll be using the kimono as a cover-up whilst sunbathing in my bikini, and the flip-flops will be perfect for walking on hot sand.

I chose a neutral pair of chino shorts so they can be part of my suitcase-friendly capsule summer wardrobe, matching pretty much every t-shirt, blouse and vest I own.  Plus, chinos are light and airy, perfect for humid summer days in Spain.

I don’t expect to tan this summer (that would be far too ambitious a goal), but I chose vests and short-sleeved t-shirts so I can start building up my usual covering of freckles on my arms and shoulders.  They’re all made of light material, and aside from the Of Mice & Men vest everything is fairly loose-fitting.  This should be more comfortable as the temperature rises.

What do you think of what I’ve bought?  What are your summer wardrobe essentials?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Heroes (We Could Be)Mallory Knox (Alesso cover for the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)

Review: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, March 29 2015

That’s right, it’s Vintage Fair time again!  Yesterday’s fair was by far the most productive of the lot for me in terms of the amount I spent.  Oh well, that’s what overdrafts are for, right?

Lou Lou's Vintage Fair
I couldn’t resist getting a photo of those gorgeous light fittings. They’re so cute!

If you saw my review of February’s Vintage fair, then you’ll remember that I was a little disappointed at the selection – or lack of selection – of stalls.  Thankfully, the selection of vendors at yesterday’s fair was much improved.  There was a good mixture of vendors I’ve seen at the past two fairs, and brand new vendors to mix things up a bit.  That’s definitely a good thing, as the fairs in October and February were very similar in terms of the items available.

Yesterday there were multiple stalls selling modern dresses in the 50s pin-up style, and I was extremely happy about this! I’ve been hoping to pick up a new dress at a vintage fair ever since I started going in October, so to finally buy the dress of my dreams was a great moment.

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Shirt: Mooch Vintage, £10
Necklace: £8
Dress: Clarence and Alabama, £34

As well as everything pictured above, I also picked up a birthday present for my little sister – never mind that her birthday isn’t until September, it was the perfect gift for her!

I can’t wait to find an excuse to wear this dress, as I absolutely love it!  It’s such high quality, and considering how difficult it is for me to find dresses that fit well, this one is perfect for me.

Have you been to one of Lou Lou’s Vintage Fairs recently?  What did you pick up? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Ghost In The MirrorMallory Knox

#OOTD: 26/03/15

Yesterday I wore an outfit I thought was an excellent transition outfit from my winter wardrobe to spring fashion, if I do say so myself.  At the moment here in Bournemouth, the bright sunshine can sometimes make the day seem warmer than it actually is.  As soon as I leave the warm toasty confines of my bedroom, it becomes apparent that we’re still closer to winter than summer.

This outfit turned out to be a good middle ground: I can stay cool in overheated lecture theaters, but I’ll still be protected from the chilly wind when I’m outside.

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Coat, boots: New Look
Jeans: Primark
Shirt: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair
Necklace: Become Antique

I wore this outfit to university, but if the jeans were replaced with a smart skirt or tailored trousers it could easily become office wear.

As Meryl Streep said in The Devil Wears Prada: “Florals?  For spring?  Groundbreaking.”  A patterned shirt like this one adds a bit of fun to an outfit without reverting back to a default floral shirt.

Plus, this coat will protect me from sudden showers and wind chill, but if the sun decides to show itself it can be worn open for a more casual feel.

What do you think of this outfit?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: CalifornicationRed Hot Chili Peppers

Review: Drop Dead’s Fangz Crop Shirt

As much as I love the brand Drop Dead, its clothes are usually out of my price range, and I’m sure many of my readers can relate to that!  Unfortunately as an unemployed student it’s extremely difficult for me to splash out on clothes from independent brands such as Drop Dead.  That’s why I always make the most of flash sales, such as the sale Drop Dead held the weekend before last.

I was super tempted to pick up a pair of their Peace Walker Boots, which I absolutely adore, but unfortunately there wasn’t quite enough knocked off the price for me to be able to consider them.  Instead, fuelled by my new love of crop tops, I picked up the Fangz Crop Shirt for the reasonable price of £24 (+ shipping).

I was surprised by how baggy the top was, actually; Drop Dead tends to run small, especially in women’s clothing, so I expected the size 12 Fangz top to fit a little more snugly.  It’s not too baggy to put me off wearing it, though!

altrocklife modelling the Fangz Crop Shirt
Apologies for the dirty mirror – I’ll get round to my spring cleaning eventually!

I really love this top: the detail of the embroidered fangs is a really nice feature.  The collar is reinforced, which means it won’t end up crumpled and misshapen in the wash.  I also like the sleeves being a little longer, almost elbow length – they help protect the world from seeing my flabby upper arms.

I wore this top out for my friend’s birthday on Friday night, and paired it with denim shorts and black heeled boots.  However, it could also easily be worn as part of a casual outfit.  If I was wearing the Fangz Crop Shirt to uni I’d pair it with high waisted jeans, a chunky cardigan and ankle boots.  It’s (gradually) starting to get warmer now, so when the sun does eventually decide to come out I can see myself wearing this shirt to the beach over a swimming costume with my favourite sunglasses.

Once again, Drop Dead hasn’t failed to impress me.  I’ll be keeping my eyes open for their next sale, and who knows, maybe some day I’ll be able to afford the Peace Walker Boots!

Currently listening to: Youngerletlive.

#OOTD: 12/3/15

Tonight I’m hitting the town with my best friend and housemate to celebrate his 20th birthday.  The club we’re going to plays a whole host of rock, metal, alternative and punk/punk-pop music.  With that in mind, I decided to dress like an extra from a 90s pop-punk music video.

Outfit of the day
If you squint at the crowd scenes next time you watch a punk-pop music video, I guarantee you’ll see at least three different girls wearing this outfit.

Shirt: Select
Crop top: New Look
Shorts: ASOS
Choker: The Vintage Room

Now I know this outfit is a little ambitious considering it’s only March, so if you’re not willing to brave the cold with bare legs then the shorts can easily be substituted for skinny jeans.  Bonus points if they’re acid wash and have ripped knees.

I also know that there will be plenty of my readers that don’t like wearing crop tops.  They’re still a work in progress for me – it took about 20 attempts until I took a picture where I was happy with how my tummy looked.  If you can’t stand the thought of wearing one, substitute it for a band t-shirt or a monochrome tee.

Any colour of plaid shirt will work well here: I went for a vibrant blue this time, but to get the full 90s effect more muted, earthy colours will work wonders.

When I head out I’ll be wearing my favourite black ankle boots, as pictured in my Christmas haul, and my faithful old leather jacket.

What do you think about this outfit?  What are some of your favourite 90s wardrobe essentials?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook!

Currently listening to: A Little RespectWheatus

#OOTD: 05/03/15

Just a notice before I get started: altrocklife is now on Facebook!  Make sure you head over and give the page a like here.

Now then, back to business. This outfit of the day post is a little outdated, as I wore this outfit out to a friend’s birthday bash last Saturday.  Hopefully it’ll give you some inspiration if you’re planning on hitting the town this weekend!

I’d also like the make a disclaimer before we start.  Even though the majority of my outfit was purchased in New Look, this post is not sponsored by them in any way.  It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realised just how New Look-centric this outfit is!

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Statement jacket, crop top, skort, boots, necklace: New Look
Bracelets: Primark
Ring: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair

I think skorts are perfect for nights out.  They’re short enough to show off a bit of leg, but still keep you safe from sudden gusts of wind.  Whilst that image of Marilyn Monroe is pretty iconic, it’s not something I want to replicate in the queue for a nightclub.

The crop top adds a bit of fun to the outfit.  I think I deserve bonus points as that was the first time I’ve EVER worn a crop top!  Cue other fashion blogs clutching their chests and gasping in shock.  I’m a bit insecure about my tummy, so the statement jacket on top helped me feel more comfortable.  It also meant my midriff was a little less exposed.

The flash of colour in the statement jacket makes what could have been a simple monochrome outfit a bit more fun.  There’s nothing wrong with monochrome (I’m wearing all black today) but a little bit of colour can make a big difference.

So there you have it!  Do you like my outfit?  How would you wear some of the pieces differently? Write a comment and let me know.

Currently listening to: OceansTwin Atlantic

How to wear a statement jacket

Today I decided that a wardrobe refresher was well overdue.  So, I went into town and realised that my student loan is far better spent on clothes.

While I was out I nipped into New Look and picked up a gorgeous statement jacket.

Trying on a jacket in the New Look changing rooms
Don’t you just love a good changing room selfie?

I spent a long time umm-ing and aah-ing in store, as I wasn’t sure how to style the jacket.  After a bit of thinking I realised that this kind of item is a capsule wardrobe essential.  You can work them in so many ways!

Here are my Top Three statement jacket looks: casual wear, office smart, and evening glam.

1 – C A S U A L W E A R

How to wear a statement jacket: Casual wear

Crop top
mistressrocks.com

Quiz blue jeans
houseoffraser.co.uk

Black boots
publicdesire.co.uk

Forever New choker necklace
£10 – forevernew.com.au

A patterned jacket can make even a plain top and jeans look like you’ve made an effort.  Paired with a low chunky heel, you’re ready to tackle the day.

2 – O F F I C E S M A R T

How to wear a statement jacket: Office smart

Blue skirt
newlook.com

Dorothy Perkins black shoes
£16 – dorothyperkins.com

There’s no need to stick to monochrome in the office.  Add a splash of colour and you’re sure to turn heads.

3 – E V E N I N G G L A M

How to wear a statement jacket: Evening glam

Topshop white top
£31 – topshop.com

Boohoo golf skirt
£3.23 – boohoo.com

Charlotte Russe strappy sandals
£16 – charlotterusse.com

Panacea chevron necklace
£13 – lordandtaylor.com

Unfortunately it’s still pretty chilly in the evenings, so an extra layer won’t hurt!  Plus, most statement jackets are light enough to wear in warm venues.  No need to pay for the cloakroom next time you go clubbing, bargain.

What do you think of my outfit ideas?  How would you style a statement jacket like mine?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Currently listening to: My HeroFoo Fighters

Review: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair Bournemouth, February 8 2015

Regular altrocklife readers will remember my excitement at attending Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, held in Bournemouth’s beautiful Pavilion in October last year.  If not, feel free to refresh your memory.

Inside the Bournemouth Pavilion during Lou Lou's Vintage Fair
This building is so beautiful. Gotta love a bit of art deco.

Well, Lou Lou returned to the south coast yesterday, and my bank balance is still recovering.  As much as I enjoyed the fair there were noticeably fewer traders set up this time around.  On the plus side, it meant there was more space for the flocking crowds to browse, but the downside was much less choice than the fair in October.

Fliers and business cards collected at the vintage fair.

Even with the reduced number of traders, I still visited a lot of stalls and made quite a few purchases.  Take a peek at my haul, and please excuse my pirate themed desk-topper.  Maturity is my middle name.

Shirt: £25
Ring: £3
Necklaces: (Can’t remember if these were from Vintage Promise or Vintagelady, oops!) 2 for £10

I also picked a little something up from Sarah’s Victoriously Vintage, but I haven’t included a picture as it’ll be my Mum’s Mother’s Day present this year and I don’t want her getting a sneak peek.

Overall, I’d argue that I had an extremely successful shopping day.  Now I’m waiting for an excuse to wear my snazzy new shirt out, and I’ll be wearing plenty of blue so I can coordinate and match my new necklaces.

Currently listening to: I Am ElectricHeaven’s Basement

Double denim: the trend built to last

Double denim was first popularised in the 90s.  How could anyone forget this iconic Britney and Justin look?  It’s so iconic, people have been dressing up as them for Halloween ever since.

Not surprisingly, the popularity of denim died down a little after this – that is, until the autumn/winter season of 2014 rolled around.  I have found that there are a couple of rules that have to be followed when attempting the double denim look.

First, make sure the different denim pieces are different colours.  It’s much easier to get away with double denim if you’re pairing a blue shirt with black jeans, as demonstrated by yours truly.

Outfit of the day: denim shirt, wave-pattered t-shirt, black skinny jeans and a black Drop Dead beanieSecondly, layering is key.  If you want to go full-on 90s, chuck a sleeveless denim jacket over the top of a plaid shirt and Nirvana t-shirt.  Or, if you’re wearing a denim shirt and jeans, break it up with a chunky belt, block-colour handbag or statement coat.

Third, don’t put more than one denim layer on top of each other.  A denim jacket over a denim shirt is a complete no-go.

Like I said, this trend first emerged last year, but I can still see it being popular right up until the summer months.  Spring is usually an opportunity to start wearing some of the less bulky items in your wardrobe which makes it the perfect time to start wearing denim shirts again.  Plus, let’s be honest, denim is timeless.  As long as you follow my three essential tips, you’ll never make a denim-related fashion faux pas again.

Currently listening to: Broken GenerationOf Mice & Men