#OOTD: New Look holiday sales haul

Happy New Year to all of my followers here on altrocklife! I trust you all had a relaxing holiday season. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that as soon as the Buck’s Fizz hangover had worn off, I was ready to hit the shops and start spending my Christmas cheques.  I was also lucky enough to be gifted a £50 New Look gift card, so that is where I spent most of my time during the sales.  Here’s an outfit I put together from my new purchases.

Shirt, £11: I think I’ll always be a sucker for collared shirts.  I bought this shirt a size too big, because oversized shirts work well as a smart/casual choice: you can either wear it as-is for a more casual feel, or tuck it into trousers or a skirt to smarten it up.  I also love the pattern: the bug design is simple but cute, and not too busy or overpowering.  There’s a slight blue colour to the bug design, which means it’ll be nice to match with some blue earrings or a necklace.  Plus, the shirt is a nice lightweight material which means it can be styled for all seasons.

Jeans, £24.99: Admittedly, the jeans I purchased weren’t on sale, but they fit me so well, I had to splash out on them.  I bought a black pair of these jeans about 18 months ago and they’re still going strong, so I knew that this pair would be a good investment.  They’re very comfortable, and I know from experience that this cut suits me well and the jeans themselves are durable.

Boots, £22.49: I’ve been after a nice pair of black boots with no heel for a while, and after buying a couple of cheap pairs from bargain outlets and being disappointed, I was very happy to come across these beauties.  They’re extremely comfortable to wear, and the sole means that walking across mud or ice is a breeze.  I like these boots because they have a similar look to Doc Martens, without the hefty price tag, and they haven’t taken me months to break in.

What do you think of this outfit? What were your best holiday sale bargains? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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altrocklife’s holiday suitcase 2015

Hey altrocklifers!  Tomorrow I’m lucky enough to be jetting off to the beautiful El Campello in Spain for a 10 day family holiday.  Try not to be too jealous of me while I’m sunbathing by the Mediterranean, reading books and drinking plenty of cocktails.  I’ve just about finished packing, so take a look at the clothes I’m taking on holiday with me.

gif of a suitcase being filled with clothes

P Y J A M A S, F O O T W E A R A N D B E A C H W E A R

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Pyjama set: Primark
Flipflops, spotty bikini: George at ASDA
Stripy bikini, kimono: New Look
(Not pictured – a pair of black and gold gladiator sandals)

T O P S A N D V E S T S

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Statement jacket, white crop top, blue vest: New Look
Grey crop top, burgundy lace top: Primark
Thousand Foot Krutch vest, Of Mice & Men vest: Official merch bought on the bands’ respective tours
Black vest top: George at ASDA

S H O R T S A N D S K I R T S

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Chino shorts, ankle length skirt: New Look
Blue skirt: Primark
Mermaid shorts: Drop Dead
Denim shorts: ASOS

D R E S S E S A N D P L A Y S U I T S

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Playsuit, dress: New Look

What do you think of the contents of my suitcase?  Are there any summer essentials that I’ve missed out? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: HangingNothing But Thieves

#OOTD: 22/06/15

Hello altrocklifers! First of all I’d like to apologise for the slightly misleading post title: today’s outfit of the day is not the outfit I wore today (shock horror!).  Instead it’s the outfit I wore out to my super early birthday bash last week, and it’s honestly my favourite outfit in my wardrobe right now.

Shirt, clutch bag, boots: New Look
Shorts: Drop Dead
Necklace: Become Antique

Unfortunately, due to the club’s logo being photoshopped over the bottom half of my outfit, you can’t really tell what I’m wearing, so let me break it down for you:

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I’m so glad I bought these shorts, as they’re now one of my favourite items of clothing.  Up until last week I struggled to find a top to match them with, but this outfit is a solid back-up.  I wouldn’t normally wear so much black in summer, but I think the Drop Dead shorts are best suited to monochrome, and they were the feature of the outfit after all!  The gold touches on the clutch, necklace and buttons of the shirt, as well as the glittery thread running through the shorts, helps to keep the outfit from blending into the background.

What do you think of this outfit?  How would you style these shorts?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Jet Pack BluesFall Out Boy

How to manage your transition wardrobe

If your weather is anything like mine is here in Bournemouth, planning your outfit each day is becoming more and more of a task.  The British weather is at that annoying in-between stage, where you don’t want to be that person wearing shorts and flip-flops on a rainy day, but equally you don’t want to be wearing a heavy coat on the warmest day of the week.  Oh Mother Nature, why must you be so fickle and cruel?

But have no fear, altrocklife is here to help!  Here are my top tips for managing the awkward spring weather.

Check the weather forecast the night before, as well as in the morning

Getting an idea of what the weather will be like before you go to bed will help to reduce stress in the morning.  In order to even further reduce stress, I tend to pick out the next day’s outfit in the evening and have it ready for when I wake up.  Make sure you double check the weather before you get dressed in the morning, in case the forecast takes a turn for the worst (or best!).  These bands of high and low pressure are extremely fickle.

Take humidity into account

Ah, humidity, the destroyer of hairstyles.  And potentially outfits, if you ignore it!  Maybe the temperature is only going to reach a high of thirteen or fourteen celsius, but if you pair that with 91% humidity it could end up being a sticky day.  On days with low(ish) temperatures and high humidity, I’d recommend a couple of lightweight layers paired with rolled-up jeans and ankle boots, to keep you from sweating everywhere or getting chilly as the evening rolls in.

Layering is your best friend

No longer do you have to put on a bra, vest, t-shirt, jumper, coat and scarf before leaving the house, hooray!  As soon as April comes around it’s officially time to work thick, bulky items out of your wardrobe.  Say goodbye to knitted scarves, thick jumpers, beanies and heavy coats until October.  Instead, if you’re still feeling the chill layer up a cami, shirt and statement jacket underneath a lightweight mac.  Plus, tights under shorts are definitely a thing.  Stay looking summery and chilled whilst protecting your pins from the spring chill.

(Also, by removing the bulky items from your wardrobe, you suddenly open up way more space for new summer clothes!  Perfect.)

Chuck a coat over a summery outfit 

This tip is a bit of a cop-out, but something I do on the regular.  If you’ve put together a lovely, lightweight warm-weather outfit only to realise it’s going to be cold all day, wear it anyway with a nice colour-coordinating coat over the top.  Wear the coat open to show off your outfit while you’re indoors, but as soon as you leave the office or uni button that bad boy up to keep the chill at bay.  Et voila!  You can still look on-trend and lovely in your nice warm office, and if you look a bit bundled up on the way home, who cares?  Secretly, everyone’s jealous that they’re not brave enough to wear such a summery outfit.

What are your transition wardrobe tips? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Out Of The BlackRoyal Blood

#OOTD: 27/04/15

Last week the weather was absolutely glorious, with the temperature reaching highs of 20 degrees here in beautiful Bournemouth.  Unfortunately I was at university every day so unable to enjoy the beach, but that didn’t stop me dressing for the weather!  Here are two of my favourite outfits from last week, that’s right, you get two outfits instead of just one!  You can’t say  I don’t treat my readers well.

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O U T F I T # 1

Sunglasses: Become Antique
Leather jacket:
Primark
Playsuit, boots: New Look
Necklace:
Gift shop (can’t remember the name, oops!)

The forecast on the day I wore this outfit didn’t look as promising as the rest of the week, so I took my leather jacket with me as protection from the occasional chilly sea breeze.  I did risk bare legs for the first time this year, though, and I think I got away with it! The pink detail around the hem of the playsuit and tortoiseshell sunglasses add a bit of colour to what otherwise would have been a pretty monochromatic outfit.  I get paranoid wearing short flippy skirts without any leggings or tights underneath, so playsuits are a perfect compromise.

O U T F I T # 2

Denim shirt: New Look
Crop top, jeans, belt: 
Primark
Sandals: Shoezone
Necklace: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair

Double denim is still my faithful friend, and this outfit is perfect for warmer days.  The crop top and rolled up jeans add a couple of cheeky flashes of skin, while the long sleeves of the denim shirt help to protect my pasty arms from sunburn.  The gold details of my belt buckle, necklace and sandals make the outfit look more premium than it actually is, considering half of the items were bought in Primark.

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

Currently listening to: Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?Arctic Monkeys

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

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: 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

#OOTD: 08/09/14

So, summer is gradually melting away into autumn (not that you’d know it here in Bournemouth – it was 24 Celsius today, whaaaat?) which means cooler days, less sun and chilly breezes.  This outfit is a great transition outfit – a thick chunky-knit cardigan works really well with checked shirts, and if cardigans aren’t a sign that autumn is coming, what is?

The shirt adds some colour to the outfit, and the rich blue, forest green and deep red are great colours for this season.

Turned-up jeans add a summery feel, but the light grey denim is good for reminding us that there should still be a bit more sun to come this year.

Combined with chunky-heeled ankle boots, which are great protection from light showers and puddles, you shouldn’t need any more layers to keep you toasty all day long.

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Cardigan: Store 21
Shirt: Topman
Jeans, Boots: New Look

What do you think of this outfit?  How would you wear it differently? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Currently listening to: Chalk OutlineThree Days Grace