altrocklife’s best festive band merch 2016

It has officially been winter time for a while now, and everyone is starting to suffer from the cold temperatures.  We’ve all had to dig our winter coats, scarves and jumpers out of the back of the wardrobe, and put away the bikinis and crop tops.  If you’ve found that your winter wardrobe is lacking in size, or you want to demonstrate your festive spirit whilst also repping your favourite bands, this handy guide to the best winter band merchandise is the post for you.

Slipknot’s Holiday Goat Sweater – link here

If you like your festivities to carry slightly satanic undertones, then this jumper is ideal for your holiday break.  The Slipknot logo in the centre makes sure that all of your relatives know you’re a metal fan, whilst the red and green colours keep the festive spirit alive.

AC/DC Holiday Sweater 2016 – link here

Everyone knows that Mistress For Christmas is one of the best festive tracks out there.  Nothing says ‘Christmas spirit’ more than getting down and dirty with someone, so this jumper can help to make your intentions on your favourite co-worker clear at the office Christmas party.

Of Mice & Men Frozen Ampersand Crewneck – link here

If you’re not a fan of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or Yule, but still want to dress for the season of wintertime, this frosty jumper could be right for you.

Slayer ‘Sleigher’ Xmas T-shirt – link here

Everyone knows that a Christmas jumper isn’t enough: you need a festive t-shirt to wear underneath, for when the heat of slaving over a hot oven making Christmas dinner gets too much and the knitwear has to go.  This t-shirt is one of the more subtly festive numbers on this list, but it still does the job perfectly.

Don Broco ‘Don Cocoa’ chocolate orange hot chocolate – link here

Now you can’t wear this winter band merch, that is unless you accidentally spill some down your front, but half of the joy of winter is curling up with a delicious hot drink.  Chocolate orange is a favourite flavour in my house, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will be in my stocking on the 25th.

Kiss ‘Merry Kissmas’ Christmas Sweater – link here

It’s always a bonus when the band’s name fits into a popular holiday phrase perfectly, and this Kissmas jumper – see what I did there? – is a brilliant example.

Bring Me The Horizon ‘Rain On My Parade’ Onesie – link here

Winter is the time for cold, cold weather, so when you’re hanging around the house and the heating hasn’t quite kicked in yet, this onesie should keep you warm and snug.

So there you go! What do you think of my winter merchandise round-up? Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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My graduation #OOTD

On Tuesday, I had the great honour of graduating with the rest of my course mates and friends at the Bournemouth International Centre.  It was a tiring but great day, and it was brilliant to walk across the stage, wave to my family, and receive my degree.  To be honest, I didn’t have a massive budget to put together my graduation outfit, but in the end I was extremely happy with how I looked during the day.  If you’re looking to graduate on a budget, hopefully this will give you some ideas.

Dress: New Look, £28, link here
Boots: Primark, I can’t remember the exact price but they were under £20
Earrings: Flying Tiger, £3
Necklace and Bracelet: Gifts from my grandparents

I was pretty happy with the earrings I bought from Flying Tiger, considering I only purchased them the day before graduation! I did have a back-up pair in case I couldn’t pick up a gold pair, but I’m glad I managed to find these.  I didn’t even realise that Flying Tiger sold earrings, so it was a nice surprise to pick them up.

I was also extremely happy with my dress.  I tried on four different dresses in New Look, and after a lot of deliberation the burgundy dress was the one I picked.  You can’t see in the photos, but this dress has small cap sleeves, which I like because I get self conscious about the top of my arms.  I also really like that the dress has a tie at the back, which helped to emphasise my waist…again, not particularly visible with the graduation gown over the top, but it still acted as a confidence booster.

The boots were pretty comfortable to wear, considering I only took the label off of them on the morning of the ceremony!  The heels were chunky which meant they were easy to walk in, and not too high so there was no risk of me falling over on the stage.  They had gold detailing on the heel, which matched all of my jewellery and made them look and feel a bit more special.

I hope my #OOTD has given some of you some inspiration!  Did you find any bargain graduation buys this year? Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Fashion: altrocklife’s holiday suitcase 2016

If you were following this blog last summer, you’ll have seen my holiday suitcase post as I prepared to jet off to sunny Spain on my summer hols.  This year we’ve stayed a little closer to home, and instead I’ve headed to my university town of Bournemouth with my lovely Mum and sister for just under a week of sun, sea and bubble tea.  I moved out of my student house at the end of May, but our tenancy doesn’t end until the 21st, so we decided to make the most of my student digs and have a short holiday before the tenancy ends.  I’m still paying rent for the place after all!

Whilst in Bournemouth I’ve been taking my family on a tour of my favourite places. We went to karaoke at one of my favourite bars, DYMK, and have eaten/plan to eat at a number of delicious restaurants such as Coriander (Mexican), Baraca (Mediterranean/Turkish), Retro (Lebanese) and the Nippon Inn (Japanese).  Plus, we should be taking a day trip to Poole, visiting the lower gardens and beach, and doing plenty of shopping.

But what did I pack for this holiday?  I roped my sister into taking some pictures of the outfits I’ve planned, and I’ll give you the lowdown on where I bought everything.

OUTFIT 1

Striped shirt: Primark
Shorts: ASOS

OUTFIT 2

Blue checked shirt, white crop top: New Look
Shorts: ASOS

OUTFIT 3

Raglan top: New Look
Shorts: Drop Dead

OUTFIT 4

Denim shirt, red striped crop top, jeans: New Look
Red velvet choker: ASOS

OUTFIT 5

Stripy crop top, black pinafore dress: New Look

OUTFIT 6

Grey crop top: Primark
Burgundy cross back pinafore dress, black velvet choker: ASOS

OUTFIT 7

Black chiffon shirt: New Look
Floral pinafore playsuit: Select
Black and gold bead choker: ASOS

What do you think of my holiday wardrobe?  What are your summer fashion essentials? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

#OOTD: 23/07/15

Hey altrocklifers! First of all I owe you an apology for not being able to post an update on Monday or last Thursday. I had a fair few technical difficulties, being limited to my phone and only able to access patchy WiFi at my resort in Spain. Fear no more, though, as I have returned, and on my birthday no less!

Today I had a delicious slice of cake for breakfast, as is traditional on Boyden birthdays, and later tonight I’ll be off for a meal at my favourite local Indian restaurant.  And this is the outfit I’ll be wearing:

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Top, jeans: Primark
Shirt: Topman
Sandals: Shoezone

The gold chain details on the top mean that I don’t have to accessorise with necklaces, which makes this outfit very no-fuss.  Plus, the gold details on the sandals match up with the top, and help to lift and brighten the more autumnal colours of the top and shirt.

This outfit is fairly casual, which makes it suitable for a meal out but a little too informal for a night out or drinks at a club.  To dress this look up a little more, I’d swap the sandals for black wedge heels and the jeans for a skater skirt, with the top tucked in.

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

Currently listening to: SuperloveDon Broco

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

Piercings as accessories

Now, if you’re on the fashion pulse as much as I am, you’ll have noticed that from A/W 2014 right through to S/S 2015, piercings have become a regular addition to catwalks of fashion shows everywhere.  The trend has been written about in Elle, The Guardian, The Debrief and The Telegraph, just to name a few.  As someone who recently gained some alternative ear piercings (tragus, helix and lobe so far, with more planned) I thought they would be an ideal topic for today’s post.

Photo of my ear and piercings (tragus, lobe and helix)
I never thought I’d have to take a picture of my ear for my blog before.

Personally, I’m glad that having multiple hoops in your ear is in this season.  I’m not a massive fan of the hoop in my lobe at the moment, because paired with my helix I’m unintentionally channelling Jim Hawkins from the Disney film Treasure Planet.  You can’t deny that I’m bang on trend, but once it’s fully healed in a couple of months I’ll be switching the hoop for a pretty stud, or maybe fake plugs.

Unfortunately due to my extremely flat ear cartilage, most of the more alternative piercings, such as the rook or snug, are out of my reach.  You can bet that I’ll be piercing my lobe again at least once, though, with more hoops around the outer edge of my ear to make a real statement.  For the first time in my life I’m not ashamed to draw attention to my massive ears, because now I have some cute jewellery to adorn them!

(I also have less pain to worry about than most people who get pierced, as I won’t be piercing my right ear at all.  What’s the point, when my hair covers it 99% of the time?)

If you’ve ever been to a rock, punk or metal gig, you’ll know that those of us who are fans of alternative music are usually into alternative fashion too.  And with alternative fashion comes alternative piercings.  Imagine the drinking game, “take a shot every time you see someone at the gig with a septum piercing, stretched ears or an ear piercing that isn’t a lobe”, everyone would be wasted within about 15 minutes.

So, maybe I find it kind of irritating that all of a sudden, alternative piercings have become high fashion. Honestly though, I’m not that bitter about it.  The more mainstream alternative piercings become, the more acceptable they become!  Discrimination in the workplace due to body modifications is a major issue, so now alternative piercings are a little more on the radar, hopefully they’ll become more accepted.  Plus, as I can attest, getting pierced is addictive.  Even for a massive wimp like me, I can’t wait to get back in the chair for my next, yet-to-be-decided piercing.  The more piercings we get, the more the trend is going to boom.

The alternative piercing trend doesn’t stop at ears though! Eyebrow rings, septum rings and double nose piercings are also on the rise, so if you’re already happy with your pierced ears, there are plenty of other places to turn to!

In conclusion, if you’re on the fence about whether to get an alternative piercing, altrocklife says go for it!  Much like hair colours and styles, and unlike tattoos, piercings do not have to be a permanent addition to your body.  Of course, make sure you’re educated about what the scarring could look like if you decide to remove your piercing, but if you get your snug pierced and 12 months later you decide it’s not your thing, there’s no harm in taking it out and letting it heal.

What do you think of alternative piercings?  Do you have any yourself?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: The Ghost Of YouMy Chemical Romance

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)