#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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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

#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

#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

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)

#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