From Rags to Rockstars: Alex Turner Style Guide

As someone who admires the, sometimes crazy, fashion choices of Rock n Roll icons past and present, I often have days where I just want to look like a Rock star.

When I walk out the door, I want to give 100% with as much swagger and attitude as I can, but it can be hard to source and find items similar a millionaire rock star when I’m a humble student/blogger with a wallet A LOT emptier than my enthusiasm.

I’m fairly sure I can’t be the only one who feels like this.

That’s what ‘From Rags to Rockstars’ is all about, everything you need to know about the coolest carps in the pond,

Today’s victim had me Brianstorming looks from all eras of his career,  he doesn’t only look good on the dance floor, frontman Alex Turner.

Alex Turner, frontman for the Arctic Monkeys and member of The Last Shadow Puppets, has been a wild success in the music industry. From releasing their debut album in 2006, (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not), to their latest bizarre concept album, (Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino), Alex’s music career has been varied and diverse and the same can be said for his influence in fashion. His style evolution can be tracked through the release of his albums.

1. Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not (2006), Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)

2. The Age of the Understatement (2008)/Beatlemania

3. Humbug (2009)

4. Suck it and See (2011)/ AM (2013)

5. Everything You’ve Come to Expect (2016)

6. Tranquillity Base Hotel + Casino (2018)


1. Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not (2006), Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)

Young, Post-Punk, Mod

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As a young, northern lad his early style reflected his carefree attitude much like the AM’s debut album. Several components can be broken down:

Polo Shirts:
Turner wore several types of polo shirt around this time. A specific brand isn’t obvious however any of the current mod brands (which are popular with youth culture such as Pretty Green and Fred Perry) would be a suitable alternative. You’ll want to wear it as casual as possible, top button undone, etc. The aim is a “woke up like this” kind of vibe.

A warmer alternative to the polo shirt. These were often worn on their own and once again didn’t have a particular brand associated with them. Once again the aim is to be casual so you won’t want a cashmere v neck, it might be best to go for a simple knit jumper or a sweatshirt. These can be found almost anywhere so the sky’s the limit.

Turner’s choice of outerwear in 2006 was a basic hoodie and if he was feeling particularly dressy – a parka (the staple in any mods wardrobe), once again capturing that Oasis vibe that many post-punk mods tried to imitate.

For the hoodie, any will do, but you will want something with more longevity – possibly from a mid-high end shop (I would personally recommend All-Saints or Fred Perry). With the parka, once again no particular brand has been associated with Turner, but there are several alternatives, especially recently as parkas have burst back onto the fashion scene – standouts tend to be from Pretty Green, Fred Perry or Ben Sherman.

Unlike the current landscape, Turner wore his jeans baggy and unfitted – I wouldn’t recommend doing so now, perhaps go for a slim or skinny personal preference comes into play here just be comfortable.

Converse Trainers:
Yup. As simple as that really, grab a pair of white converse – maybe rough the converse up a tad, it’ll do the trick. If you are strapped for cash, a cheaper alternative will do, make sure they are comfy!

Usually styled as a Beatles inspired cut, AKA The Mop Top. To be styled with gel for added shine and awful lot of texture. Just grab a fingerful of hair gel and apply it to the hair – ruffling it forward.

2. The Age of the Understatement (2008)


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While on break from the Arctic Monkeys, Turner embarked on a project with a fellow Mod, Miles Kane (another good point of reference for style!) The two formed “The Last Shadow Puppets”.

During this period, while also keeping to his previous roots, there was a definite lean into early Beatlemania, with black suits, white shirts and skinny ties

You will want a well-fitting shirt, which you can find in a variety of places, but if you are on a budget trying outlets like Tk Maxx will benefit you, with high-quality brands for a fraction of the cost. If the fit isn’t quite right, get it tailored. It usually isn’t costly and makes the difference between a bad and a good look!

If you want to be genuinely era-appropriate, looking for a 60’s suit in vintage shops, charity shops and online, would be a good idea. However, if that doesn’t work – a regular, well-tailored black suit will be sufficient, once again it’s all about the fit! A £60 tailored suit can look better than an £1000 suit, so once again: Invest in tailoring!


A skinny black tie can be hard to find right now, but a quick google should yield some results; I had success in Slater’s and Next. See what you can find if you wanted to achieve this look!

3. Humbug (2009)

Dark, Brooding Grunge

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Alex Turner became a lot more fashion forward during this albums development and tour – likely due to the influences of his girlfriend at the time Alexa Chung. His look became darker and more streamlined to reflect the Monkey’s new sound.

Denim and Leather Jackets:

This era began Turner’s transition into a rock n roll icon, wearing dark wash blue denim and leather biker/racer jackets. I want to focus more on the denim jackets he wore (as his taste in leather jackets is a critical component of his 2011-2013 style).

When it comes to denim jackets, my go to is always Levis. They consistently do well fitting and unique denim jackets which share the fit and style of Turner’s jackets. You can, however, opt to go for pricier or cheaper options (British brand River Island do affordable and alternative denim jackets), but it is essential to go for a dark blue wash to add some flare and the needed grungy attitude for this particular style.


Turner truly embodied the classic rock star look with his choice in T-Shirts around this time, he wore very baggy, low-cut tops that matched the music he was playing, often grey and distressed. My instant choice for a loose grungy shirt is the brand All Saints, with its items being perfect for those with a skinny build but with a baggy fit that doesn’t make you look as if you are wearing your older brothers hand me downs. However, this is not a cheap brand, and therefore you may do best looking in somewhere like H&M. Turner also started to embrace the vest, a classic on stage look for any rockstar – the same principle applies with the vest: dark colour, a loose fit and low cut.


Turner learned how to wear skinny jeans! Yes, that’s right, his jeans like many around 2009 became skinnier and tighter to the leg. Turner also, like the denim jackets, favoured a darker colour – greys and blacks were consistent, and blue denim was a darker wash. Once again for denim I recommend Levis, however high street alternatives are equally as welcome, it’s all about the colour and skinny fit!


It was around about this era when Turner decided to ditch the trainers in favour of a pair of boots. Turner tends to favour the Chelsea Boot, this is something that becomes more and more apparent as his style progresses. At this point, he preferred a leather or suede boot in a darker colour such as a black or deep navy.

Grown out and so messy. Apparently, Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Willy Wonka was an inspiration; I imagine Alex had to use a lot of heavy-duty conditioner to achieve this. All jokes aside it is a very ‘rockstar’ look that’s easily achievable; Just keep growing your hair if you want this hairstyle.

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I hope you have enjoyed the first three style eras of Alex Turner, the final three will follow in next weeks instalment. The link of which will be provided below on it’s publication.


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