I know, I know.

You don’t go on holiday to shop and I’m very rarely the type of person that splashes cash or spends a day shopping when I’m meant to be on holiday – after all, there are plenty of other things to do with your time, no?
But on one particularly rainy day at the hostel, a few of us decided to head to the local mall, although the boys immediately split to drink beer and us girls grabbed some lunch then had a mooch around the shops. Whilst there, I came across a shop called Pull&Bear which, can you believe, I’ve never heard of before?!
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Pull&Bear

Apparently it actually originated in Europe and there’s plenty of shops around the UK, none of which I’ve come across before. I was drawn in by their quirky instagrammable slogan tops (I’m not big on slogans, but these were too cute to resist), H&M quality shabby-chic clothing and some edgy tops. I actually spent ages browsing and tried on so much – and I was really impressed with the sizing. 
Everything seemed to fit really well or even seemed to be a bit baggy which is always good as I hate it when I go into a shop and their sizes come up really small. I only purchased three things but I’m already on the hunt for a close-by shop near home to buy more..
Anyway. Here’s what I brought.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Pull&Bear

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Pull&Bear

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Pull&Bear

First up is this gorgeous lightweight loose top. I’ve been after something like this for so long, especially as it’s such a wardrobe staple. I see lots of women wearing tops like this out and about, with skinny fit jeans, a leather jacket and a messy bun and I absolutely love that laid-back stylish chic look. So I’m so pleased I’ve finally got one of my own. It’s a little see-through, but I think that’s fine as it’s that kind of top. I wore this on my first day back from holiday with skinny fit jeans, sandals and a bunch of jewellery – definitely still channelling the holiday vibe.
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Pull&Bear
Next is this sweet slightly preppy long sleeved top. I’ve really been digging the jersey style tops lately with coloured sleeves, so that’s definitely what drawn me to this top. I didn’t pay much attention to what the actual slogan said but when I wore this to the bank recently I actually got complimented on it, haha. It’s really casual and lightweight and so easily to just roll out of bed and throw on. It’s great for the current season too where it’s too cold for a full on sleeveless top but too hot for a jumper. Again, I’ve just paired this with jeans so far and a pair of white Primark pumps.
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Pull&Bear
Finally I also bought this cute ‘bite back’ top. It’s a little cheeky but hey, it’s not sprawled out over the front of the top and is only little so I think it’s okay. Again, it has a bit of a preppy girl gang feel to it, but a more sophisticated one as opposed to the type of slogans you’d wear as a teenager. I haven’t worn this yet but I imagine I’ll vamp it up a bit when I do – maybe I’ll pair it with wet look leggings and a leather jacket for a gig.
I’m really digging this brand right now, it’s cheeky yet sophisticated and I’m definitely pleased with the above purchases – I think, once working out the currency difference, all three tops only cost me around £30 which is such a bargain, especially as they’re such good quality too.
What do you think? Have you ever shopped at Pull&Bear? Let me know!
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On Tuesday I was lucky enough to attend one of my favourite events – the first ever Hard Rock Fashion Show.

The event was held at the Hard Rock Cafe London (obviously), in conjunction with London Fashion Week. The evening was held to showcase the brand’s winter and spring lines, as well as some exclusive items.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Hard Rock Fashion Show | Hard Rock | Hard Rock Cafe | London Fashion Week | LFW

I’ve always been a big fan of Hard Rock Cafe – from their restaurants to the merchandise and everything the brand stands for. Plus, it’s heavily influenced by rock ‘n’ roll and I love that music memorabilia can be found on display in all of their restaurants. 

So I grabbed a friend and headed down to Park Lane, already feeling the excitement upon arrival. There was a definite buzz in the air but we also found that there was also a really relaxed, friendly and informal atmosphere inside. 
The beyond friendly staff took our coats and directed us to our area where we ordered some wine (for Becky) and a beer (for me) and began to socialize in the short time before the actual show was about to start. During this time, plenty of yummy appetizers were on offer, which we definitely took advantage of as neither of us had had dinner yet! There were mini burgers, balsamic tomato bruschetta and delicious chicken tenders.

We were spoilt for choice and definitely well looked after.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Hard Rock Fashion Show | Hard Rock | Hard Rock Cafe | London Fashion Week | LFW

When it was time for the show, Sarah Handy, sales and marketing manager, introduced the show and gave us a bit of an insight into the brand, the clothes that we would be seeing and the models in the show. She also introduced Reka Abid, who arranged the outfits for the show, and Craig Nightingale who organized it all. I found it really interesting how Hard Rock Cafe didn’t just use random models – they’ve used ambassadors for the brand who will be working/collaborating with them on a regular basis, which was nice.

I’ve not been to a ton of catwalk shows, but it was also fun to see each model have their own personality walking down the catwalk, rather than looking straight ahead and stony faced. Some danced down the catwalk, others bounced energetically – and often, when one model replaced another, they interacted with each other with a high five or a hip bump.

I really liked this idea. It gave the show a very informal but fun tone to it.

But onto the clothes. The beautiful, beautiful clothes.

I wanted them all.

We saw a ton of tops in different styles and fashion with the traditional Hard Rock logo – what I like about the logo is that it’s actually rather stylish as it is. I’d happily wear a top branding the logo in an everyday situation not just, y’know, in a bid to promote the brand.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Hard Rock Fashion Show | Hard Rock | Hard Rock Cafe | London Fashion Week | LFW

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Hard Rock Fashion Show | Hard Rock | Hard Rock Cafe | London Fashion Week | LFW
I have used Hard Rock’s images with permission as obviously mine suck and do not even begin to compare to these ones…

The spring collection was gorgeous with both bold and pastel slogans and all outfits accompanied by bright and delicious looking summer cocktails. I wanted everything, but I particularly loved the simple but sweet vest tops, and a gorgeous top with a distressed detail on the back which was right up my street. The turn it up muscle tee’s were really cute too.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Hard Rock Fashion Show | Hard Rock | Hard Rock Cafe | London Fashion Week | LFW

There was even a range created in collaboration with Pitbull. These included bold pink and blue prints against more versatile coloured tops and had a real LA/Vegas vibe to them.

Overall, the collection was really stunning and I liked that everything was so wearable. Some fashion’s you see on the catwalk and could never imagine even trying to pull it off but Hard Rock’s spring and winter lines are simple but eye catching, and the models demonstrated how the range’s could very easily be dressed up or down.

I had so much fun viewing the newest collections and found myself realizing that Hard Rock is a lot more than just a brand – it’s a lifestyle too, really, and I enjoyed meeting those behind the scenes and hearing about how exciting it was putting together the first ever (and very successful!) Hard Rock fashion show.

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I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – one of the biggest motivators to get me to work out is stylish/cute sportswear! 

Even if my hair is a mess, I have no makeup on and I’m the only one in the gym with no one to see what I’m wearing, if I’ve got a cute slogan top on then I feel good.
Half the time, even when I’m at home and feeling like crap, if I know I have a new cute top to wear, that’s what motivates me to go and workout so at least I get use out of it!
Now that we’re well into the new year, I’ve been eyeing up some new sportswear I’d love to treat myself to. Here’s my sportswear wishlist.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fashion | Sportswear Wishlist | H&M | Tesco | Etsy | Fitness Freaks | New Look | Peacocks

I don’t normally pay much attention to sports pants; as long as they fit then I’m good. I already have two pairs of pretty simple ones with a couple of pops of pink, but I really like this pair by Tesco from all places! They’re a bit more bold without being too in your face and would go perfectly with just a plain work out top.

I absolutely love this zombie themed slogan top, by Fitness Freaks on Etsy. I’ve actually bought one of their tops before (another zombie slogan top), and think it’s quite relevant as well as stylish. I don’t know why I love zombie slogan tops so much; probably because I’m usually the only one wearing anything related to zombies and plus it works well/gets me in the right frame of mind when I’m running with my Zombies, Run app.

This is another slogan top which is basic but cute too. It’s quite versatile and I’d probably wear it lounging around the house too. I think it’s the type of top I could pair with leggings and trainers and just wear out regularly without anyone thinking I was on my way to or fro the gym. Plus, for only £8.99 from New Look, it’s a steal.

I have to admit, I’m actually getting to the point where I’d be comfortable working out in public with a cropped top like this. Sometimes when you’re getting sweaty a top simply just doesn’t do it, sticking to your skin and not cooling you down etc. I love this versatile crop top from Peacocks and I really like the straps too. 

Finally, another slogan top, this time from H&M. I actually love H&M’s sportswear range and find it’s always really motivational as well as stylish. A lot of the range is filled with slogan items, but none of them are corny which I like. This one is super versatile, although I have to admit, I don’t think anyone will believe what it states on the front, haha!

So that’s my current sportswear wishlist, although in hindsight, I’ve picked lots of grey’s and black’s – I should have gone with a couple of items to add a pop of colour! Still, it means the range is super versatile, most of it goes together and nothing on the list is particularly expensive.

What do you think? What’s on your current sportswear wishlist? Let me know!

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Now that my dating ban is over, it means that soon (maybe) that question of ‘oh my god what shall I wear?!’ will return when I do eventually start going on dates again.

Not that I go on a lot of dates.

But you get my drift.

And so I thought it would be nice to share my go-to date night outfit.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Date Night | Fashion

A simple black dress will always do it for me – usually regardless of what we’re doing. A black dress can very easily be dressed up or dressed down with the right shoes and accessories. For example, a pair of heels and some nice accessories can make the look ever so classy.
Whereas on the other hand, a pair of tights and flats could quickly give the whole look a more casual feel for something like the cinema or crazy golf.
I chose this dress in particular because it’s quite classy and simple but the zips give it a bit of an edge, too – and, would you believe it’s from ASDA?!
And the sexy lingerie is always a must have. Even if it’s a first date and I have no intentions whatsoever of letting the guy getting that far, classy lingerie is still a must have. It just gives that outfit an extra push and makes me feel a tad more confident.
A simple pair of black heels is something every girl should have in her wardrobe, and I like these plain ones as they can go with almost anything and are timeless.
Finally, the deep plum lipstick, which I’d wear no matter what I was doing on the said date. Although most people would choose such an alluring lipstick for more formal events, I’d happily rock this shade even doing something a bit more simple and would instead just choose to tone down my eye makeup.
Plus, with the rest of the outfit being all black, there needs to be some colour!
Do you have a go-to date night outfit? Let me know!

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Boux Avenue has been a favourite brand of mine for a long, long time. 

I find the luxury lingerie brand is a cross between Ann Summers and La Senza – back in the day, before it went into administration – and that Boux Avenue is just a bit more classy and glamorous.
But it’s probably the excellent customer service I received in their Watford store recently that inspired me to write this post.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | For the love of Boux Avenue; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Boux Avenue

I’d gone into the store in hopes to buy a bikini for holiday. 

I did.
But I also ‘accidentally’ spent £160 on said bikini, pajamas and lingerie. Oops.
The customer service I received in particular exceeded my expectations. I find it important to get measured regularly and so I decided to get myself professionally measured during my visit and the lady who measured me was beyond lovely and professional.
She took her time and was ever so patient as I tried on, admittedly, so many different styles (I honestly wanted to buy the whole store), which is exactly what you need when being measured.
It might not seem like a big deal, but wearing the right bra size is very important and so when getting measured, there’s a lot to keep in mind. Obviously you have to be comfortable, but not too comfortable as the bra still needs to fit very well, so to find the perfect size which is a combination of well-fitting and comfortable but not too relaxed can be tough. 
I was over the moon with the lady that helped me, who didn’t complain once and was happy to go out of her way to help me. She also made me feel very comfortable too, which is a bonus.
It can be very easy to just give in and say something fits okay because you don’t want to take up anymore of somebody’s time, but she made sure I didn’t feel like this.
On top of that, I’ve always found Boux Avenue to be an amazing brand.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | For the love of Boux Avenue; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Boux Avenue
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | For the love of Boux Avenue; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Boux Avenue

As you can see from above, the lingerie is delicate, girly and slightly sexy, too. I’ve always found that anything I’ve ordered from Boux Avenue has been good quality and has lasted me many years.

And oh my, it’s packaging is beyond beautiful, too. Every time I put in an online order, I find myself looking forward to the packaging as much as I do to whats inside!

It just boasts glamour and class, but with affordable prices, but although they specialize in lingerie, you can also buy babydolls, basques, bikinis, pajamas and small, sweet home accessories in the store, too.

If you haven’t yet stepped foot in one of their stores – do so. The store itself is always welcoming and bright and spacious, but I think perhaps my favourite part is the changing rooms. Each one is named differently (such as silk or satin) and is decorated beautifully. You can also change the lighting in the room, from daylight to evening etc, and can even press a button to request someone come help you without you having to leave the room, which is of course the last thing you want to do when trying on lingerie.

And the changing rooms are actually really spacious too! Paired with the ideal lighting, it makes sense really, considering you’re taking the time to purchase a good fitting bra or otherwise and really want to take your time and make sure you look your best and feel comfortable.

Shopping at Boux Avenue is a lovely experience, start to finish.

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