Alternative Fashion: Tattoos, Lipstick and a Hodge Podge of Styles

Emma, blogger at Park Bench Poet, talks to me about her alternative style.

 1. Describe your style?

I would describe my style as a bit of a hodge podge of all different styles. I love all different sorts of looks, inspired by different eras. One day I might look a bit rockabilly, the next I might look a bit 90s grunge, and I've even been known to sport a 60s beehive.

I've never really thought about which fashion box I might fit into; I just like taking an idea and running with it!

2. When did you start dressing in an alternative way? 

I think I started dressing more alternative when I was about 15. I started off as a bit of an emo/scene kid; massive hair, big black eyes, 'bring the mosh' pose... quite embarrassing when I think about it now! But (thankfully) my style has evolved throughout the years... although my fondness for big hair has stayed with me!

3. Who or where do you get style inspiration from?

I love looking through style and fashion blogs to find new ways of putting outfits together, and I find that the Lookbook sections of my favourite clothes websites are a great visual tool as well. I also have a habit of staring at people walking down the street if I think they have good style, taking mental notes!

4. Describe a casual outfit and a going out outfit.

A casual outfit for me would be black skinny jeans, my black studded flats, a band tshirt, leather jacket and big slouchy bag. I love leopard and skull print so I'd probably throw on a scarf in one of those prints too, and some stacking rings. As I like to wear red lipstick all the time, I prefer to let the makeup do the talking on casual days.

When I go out, I like to get more dressed up. I would wear a pencil skirt, a patterned shirt, some seamed tights or stockings, and some heels. I love the heeled shoes that Iron Fist make.

5. What about hair and make up? 

I can be a bit of a style chameleon depending on what mood I'm in and where I'm going, so I wouldn't say I followed a specific look. I tend to stick with the same makeup but just have a day version and a more glam version. It mainly just consists of bright red lipstick, arched brows, flicked eyeliner and lots and lots of lashes!

Hair wise, I love to play around with different styles, from tousled and beachy, to victory rolls, to a messy bun on the lazy days!

6. Where do you buy most of your clothes from?

 Topshop is always my go-to for on trend, edgy items. I love having a browse there as their tops and shoes are always exactly the style I go for.

I have recently discovered the Orphans Arms who make really quirky printed tees and jumpers. I'm a sucker for a statement tee! I like looking through vintage shops although I don't often find much that I would buy, but they are great for statement blouses.

7. What reactions do you get from people for looking the way you do?

I have facial piercings, and quite a few tattoos on my arm as I'm working on a sleeve, so when I have my arms out I sometimes get old ladies tutting at me, or people staring at me as they walk past, but it doesn't bother me. Most of the time people come up to me and say, 'Oh my god, I love your tattoos!' and ask about them, and what inspired me to get them. Luckily I've never had a really negative reaction to my look!

8. Do you think you will change your style as you grow older?

My style has matured in the past few years, so I think with time it will probably continue to do so, but I never want to lose that little bit of quirkiness. I'll always have my tattoos, which will always make me look a little different, but I still want to look quirky and cool even when I'm in my 60s!

9. Why do you dress differently to the mainstream?

Dressing differently gives me confidence, which is important to me as I am a shy person. I feel like a completely different person if I don't wear what I would consider to be 'cool' clothes. I love the feeling of walking down the street knowing that I'm wearing something a little bit out of the ordinary that some people stare at in disgust and other people love!

10. If you had to dress in another style apart from your own, which would it be and why?

I'd love to dress exactly like Rihanna! I love her style and think she pulls it off so well. It's grungy but with a feminine edge, which I love. Unfortunately I'm about 5 stone heavier than Rihanna so I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.