Winter is a time when I struggle with fashion. It’s too cold in the morning’s to take the time to pick a stylish outfit, it’s too cold to wear cute t-shirts and pretty dresses and it’s too cold (and busy!) to go shopping for winter wear = which is probably why I tend to live in oversized jumpers and plain black leggings five days a week (the other two days I have an emotional attachment to my dressing gown) = sexy.

But no more. Determined to at least try and look a bit put together this winter, I’ve decided to put together a little winter wardrobe essentials guide with Simply Be to show that a) you can still look stylish even when it’s freezing cold outside and b) you can also shop with a budget from the comfort of your own home.

Here are some of my favourite picks.

Formidable Joy | Fashion | A winter wardrobe wish list with Simply Be | Simply Be | Winter Fashion

FOR EVERYDAY
Leggings usually scream lazy (or cosy) to me and it’s often hard to find a pair of leggings that pass as smart or fashionable. However, I love these high waisted shaper jeggings – I find wet look/faux leather leggings give a really edgy/glammed up vibe – whilst still being super comfy – so these are a must for me this winter. The colour of these means they’re really versatile for a night out, but I’d suggest pairing them with a white jumper and ankle boots for a more casual look that’s still smart enough to wear outside of the house.

FOR THE CHRISTMAS PARTY
One thing I love about winter fashion is that there’s never any shortage of pretty dresses that will also keep you warm! I adore this crushed velvet dress – not only is it in a really beautiful, sultry seasonal colour, but the material of velvet is also that little bit thicker and will definitely keep you warm this Christmas. The sleeves will also cover up and keep your arms warm – and you have no idea how happy that makes me. In winter, if my arms are uncovered (and sometimes in summer too!), I just can’t deal and simply cannot be warm until I’m wearing something with long sleeves or a cardigan. Pair with nude tights and a cute pair of heels to complete the look.

FOR A CONFIDENCE BOOST
Yeah, okay, so lingerie doesn’t really count as a winter wardrobe essential – nor will it help you look more put together to the public eye – but you gotta treat yourself to something pretty as it’s Christmas – right?! I pretty much love all the lingerie from Simply Be and I think that some of these sets work for any time, any occasion. Even if you’ve broken up from work for Christmas and all the days have blurred into one long marathon of daytime TV, seasonal buffet food and sofa naps= as long as you’ve got some sexy lingerie on beneath your lazy clothes or cosy dressing gown, you’re still gonna feel amazing.

I’ve got my eye on all three of these essential items and feel like these would no doubt keep me through winter until the new year, especially as I have plenty of tops and jumpers. Dresses and smart bottoms are definitely the two main items of clothing I struggle with during the winter, so hopefully, if you’re anything like me, these picks will help you too!

What are your winter wardrobe essentials? Let me know!

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Apart from when I’m going to gigs or going for an edgy look, my style is a little iffy at best. Some days I’ll look super professional and put together at work and other days I’ll roll into the office in a giant oversized yellow hoody and see through leggings…like yesterday.

So when I saw an offer on Facebook to try Lookiero, I was definitely intrigued. Can I afford a personal shopper and a whole new wardrobe? Hell no. But was I tempted to try it regardless? Hell yes!

Formidable Joy | Fashion | My first experience with Lookiero | Lifestyle | Personal Shopper

I took some time to look into it and quickly discovered that even if you’re on a budget (like me), the subscription box/personal shopper service is actually quite affordable; you don’t actually have to recieve the items every month and you can choose what kind of budget you want your items to fit into. Plus, if you end up keeping all items, not only does the £10 fee dissapear, but you also get 25% off your entire purchase.

I’m almost 30 now and being a bit more experimental or ‘grown up’ with my clothes is one way I can get my sh*t together so I was really excited to try this service. I filled in some information about myself, including my sizes, my style, what I currently wear…and what type of items I wanted to try. I mentioned that at the moment I shy away from jeans and live in leggings and lazy clothes, and often end up wearing a lot of black. I told my personal shopper that I wanted a wardrobe a bit more out there, but that can be put together easily too.

Did she nail it?

My first box arrived with five items; a gorgeous red dress (with a lovely cut) by CLOSET by LO, a simple black skirt (again, a really stylish cut) by FREQUENT which was picked to be worn with the yellow flounce shirt by DESIRES. I was also sent a simple black top by PIECES and a stunning coat for winter.

Out of all the items, I really loved all of them except for the black top by PIECES. It was nice – and versatile – but very similar to tops I already had in my wardrobe.

I absolutely loved the red dress but felt it showed my tummy a little (ha) and I very much wanted to keep it to wear once I lose a bit of weight…but as it cost £47.80, I decided against it. I think it was well worth it for the price because it was obviously very good quality and suited me well, but I’m trying to be smarter with my money so I didn’t want to spend that amount of money if it was just going to sit in my wardrobe for the meantime.

I absolutely adored the yellow flounce shirt and the skirt – they looked so good together – feminine but smart too. Unfortunately the skirt was a little big so I returned that but I kept the shirt. I honestly didn’t think the shirt was very me but as soon as I put it on I loved it.

Finally, the coat was again gorgeous but it was way too big and really drowned me. At £85.00, I couldn’t justify it. However, had it fit me okay…I would have definitely considered it as an early Christmas present to myself.

Formidable Joy | Fashion | My first experience with Lookiero | Lifestyle | Personal Shopper

Although I only kept one item from my first box, I was very, very impressed. There was actually only one thing I didn’t like in the box and even though some of it was stuff I wouldn’t usually wear, it really opened my eyes into trying new styles…which was the whole point of signing up to the system!

The garments arrived in the cutest package with information about each item and how to wear and style it which I found really useful. My only qualm is that so far on the website I cannot see the ‘past’ order anymore – as I’d hoped to re-order the skirt in a smaller size and wishlist the red dress to purchase later on. I’m sure there is a way around this though – hopefully!

Overall I thought it was so much more affordable then I previously thought. There was a good mixture of affordable and more expensive items – but I could very easily see that the more expensive items were worth the money as they were very good quality and almost like an investment.

It’s also great because you can try things on in the comfort of your own home and have five days before making a decision. Apart from posting the items back free to the post office, there’s no long lines or awkward returns policy in a shop or trying things on in harsh lighting and small changing rooms.

I’ll without a doubt be continuing to use this service. Even though I feel like the most unstylish person in the world sometimes – and probably like the last person to ever try a personal shopper! – I think signing up to Lookiero was one of the best decisions I’ve made lately. I’ve already changed my settings for the boxes to arrive every single month rather than every other, and to arrive on a much earlier date too.

Lookiero: consider me impressed.

Would you ever try Lookiero? If so, you can use my refferal code LKLOUISEM5GN to get 10% off!

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I am a huge fan of Boux Avenue. It’s just that bit more classy than Ann Summers and has filled the hole in my heart that La Senza left – and is better quality too. You get what you pay for at Boux Avenue and all the stuff is just SO DAMN PRETTY and feminine.

I’ve even posted before about how comfortable I was when getting measured in one of their stores – and how I accidentally spent £160 on lingerie, pyjamas and swimwear when only planning to buy a bikini – oops!

So with today being #NationalBikiniDay I thought what better brand to feature than Boux Avenue – especially as for today only they’re offering 50% off all swimwear to celebrate!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Celebrate National Bikini Day with Boux Avenue | #NationalBikiniDay | Boux Avenue | Swimwear | Lingerie

Sometimes a simple bikini but with a bold and tropical print just does the trick. This Peru boost bikini top and bikini bottoms are a classic cut, meaning the fit will suit anyone. Even if you’re just wearing this to the local pool, the pretty print is sure to make you feel like you’re somewhere a lot more exotic..

Front knot suits and one shoulder costumes are especially popular this year and are particular favourites of Love Island’s Georgia. This cut out red swimsuit is bold but beautiful and if you’re looking for something to really wow this summer, this is what you need. It’s not really practical, but I dare you to wear it without running down the beach in slow motion pretending you’re in Baywatch at least once…

Olive might seem like a boring colour but you’ll be anything but average when wearing this swimsuit with a plunging neckline and back. The lattice detailing gives it an edge, but overall, it’s a sexy but classy twist to the standard swimsuit.

Finally – and perhaps my favourite of the lot – we’ve got the Philippines boost bikini top and briefs. I absolutely adore the metal trim – but the bonus is that it can be worn as it is, around the waist or removed altogether. Plus, the colour is gorgeous.

TOP TIPS ON HOW TO GET A BIKINI BODY THIS SUMMER

[source]

  • Put on a bikini. You’re done! You can worry all you want but when you get to the beach and jump in that sea or lay down to sunbathe, trust me when I say no one cares what your body looks like. In fact, once you arrive, neither will you..
  • Wear sunscreen! It’s just not worth the risk to skip it. And remember to always re-apply when you get out of the water!
  • Know when to accessorize. If it’s boiling hot, wearing a body chain and jewellery is just going to make you even more hot and bothered – but a hat will always go a long way. Wearing a bikini to a club? That’s when the jewellery, wedges and accessories should come out!

So there we have it. Four examples of beautiful swimwear to help you celebrate #NationalBikiniDay. Enjoy!

 

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Festival season is finally upon us which means I’m over the moon with my new boho/gypsy embroidered midi dress from Fashion World. When they got in touch recently asking me if I wanted to review a couple of their products, it was a no brainer!

The plus size brand stocks clothing in sizes from 12 – 32 with products that are actually stylish! Though I’m actually an average size 12 myself, I nearly always have to go up a couple of sizes in most shops because I find the fits are usually really funny. I loved browsing through Fashion World and seeing that everything would fit me easily and I wouldn’t have to faff about with sizes.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look

The main item I chose was this beyond beautiful Monsoon dress. As soon as I saw it, it just screamed boho at me and I knew it would be perfect for my upcoming Boomtown experience! Saying that, it’s also very versatile in that I’ve worn it on a day to day basis too.

I absolutely love the colourful embroidery. I paired the dress with basic sandals and a bright and bold floral crown.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look

Also, major props to my friend Nicki who not only took and edited these beautiful shots during a mini lunch break photo shoot, but who also styled my hair! How talented is she?!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look

I really love how lightweight this dress is too. Considering how long it is, I was convinced it would stick to me and leave me feeling hot and bothered on a summer day. But the material was soft against my skin and the entire dress was ever so comfortable.

Because of the cute detailing, I didn’t feel the need to add any accessories really – apart from my flower crown obviously!

As well as this stunning dress, Fashion World also sent me this gorgeous playsuit. I thought this would be perfect for work in the summer as it’s fashionable but also quite smart. Unfortunately, I went a size up for this as I cannot stand playsuits being too tight and clingy – but the fourteen was overly large on me. Luckily they’re going to send a new one in my size (and I’ll be sure to pop up another post when they do), but of course I still had to show you it regardless!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look
Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look

What do you think of the midi dress and playsuit I received? Aren’t they beautiful? I can’t wait to re-create this look for Boomtown in August.

Let me know your thoughts!

*Please note, these items were gifted to me in exchanged for a review but all views and opinions are entirely truthful and unbiased.

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The weekend has been absolutely beautiful towards the end of this week and damn am I feeling it. I’ve swapped my jeans for skirts, my scarf for sunglasses and have generally just been feeling those summer vibes. Luckily, TOBI were kind enough to send me some products to help keep me on trend for summer 2018.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Prepping for summer with TOBI | Clothes | Summer Fashion | TOBI Fashion | Yours Truly Tassel Earrings | Turn Up The Night Pleather Skirt | Sonya Strappy Skater Dress

The first thing I chose was this edgy Turn Up The Night Pleather Skirt. Though not summery, I thought it was the type of item that is pretty versatile so could be dressed up with some feminine accessories and maybe a floral top to help transition it to a summer skirt. Likewise, the bold buttons and length of the skirt make it ideal for winter too, albeit with a thick pair of tights!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Prepping for summer with TOBI | Clothes | Summer Fashion | TOBI Fashion | Turn Up The Night Pleather Skirt |

The moment I laid eyes on this skirt I knew it would be ideal for my upcoming Fall Out Boy gig. I chose to pair it with a thin, off the shoulder top I bought when in Mexico, and dressed it up with appropriate accessories and a pair of biker boots. Above, I re-created the outfit with more versatile sandles (firstly because I was super drunk at Fall Out Boy so didn’t manage to get any decent photos and secondly just to show how it can work for a day time look too).

I don’t own many skirts so this is perfect due to how versatile it is.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Prepping for summer with TOBI | Clothes | Summer Fashion | TOBI Fashion | Sonya Strappy Skater Dress

I was also lucky enough to receive this beautiful Sonya Strappy Skater Dress which has the most stunning shape to it and is perfect for summer. I love the way it hugs my curves and the fact that it’s just the right length too. The back is what makes the dress though, making it very flirty. Though you wouldn’t be able to wear a standard bra with this, it’s ideal for hot days when you don’t really want to.

The material is super soft and overall it’s just a really lovely dress that may look basic from the front but has that extra oomph from the back. It’s available in a few different colours but I chose this beautiful bright blue as, again, it’s really versatile. I love how it looks with the sandals too.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Prepping for summer with TOBI | Clothes | Summer Fashion | TOBI Fashion | Yours Truly Tassel Earrings

Finally I also received these lovely Yours Truly Tassel Earrings – aren’t the pastel colours beautiful?! I’ve worn these so much since receiving them as as great they look with the above dress, they really spruce up any basic outfit. Many a times I’ve gone into work with jeans and a t-shirt but felt really fashionable and on trend with these.

Overall I’m over the moon with my goodies from TOBI. From the strappy skater dress ideal for hot days spent in the sun, to the plush and edgy skirt which works great in winter too, I couldn’t be more pleased. Although I will admit it was very hard to narrow it down to these few items – there is so much beautiful stuff I want from the website!

Do you like the items I picked? Do you shop with TOBI? Let me know!

“Please note, although I received these items for review purposes all thoughts and opinions are entirely honest and my own.

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