styledrifter

How to choose an evening dress.

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Just when I delivered a speech about how excited I was to start blogging again, the biggest assignment since I begun freelancing landed on my lap and for 17 days I was entirely preoccupied with work and too exhausted when done to create anything even remotely worthy of sharing.

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I was therefore rather thrilled to at the end of the work monstrosity receive a staycation invite from one of my very favourite Dubai hotels which is the Park Hyatt (more about that in the next post). As I had been there numerous times with high fashion brands to shoot editorial content I saw an opportunity to shoot the content for this post, namely a little feature on evening gowns and my thought process on choosing one.

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Firstly – evening dresses are statement pieces that aren’t very versatile or allow getting reinvented. They also tend to be costly which is why facilities like Designer24 (link HERE) have been a popular business model lately. The piece I am wearing in this spread comes from Lebanese designer Rani Zakhem and goes amongst the lines of my preferred style that my friends cutely refer to as the Space Mermaid Vibe. It may be down to the 10 years I have spent in the Middle East but I have a rather un-Scandinavian fondness of things that sparkle. :)

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My rules to live by when finding a dress for a special occasion:

- Since I tend to be very casual in my day to day life I don’t mind going XXL on the BOOM BOOM POW POW on the occasions when I do dress up. It makes the experience feel more special and as long as teamed with tasteful make up and clean bouncy hair there is no risk of hitting NastyVille. As always when it comes to styling I am an avid fan of balance and equilibrium.

- Regardless of your figure, smartly placed cross belly drapings are to prefer. Even if you’re a proud owner of a toned tummy you will at some stage during the night eat, drink, laugh and relax amongst your friends. If your outfit is too restricting it will get in the way of you enjoying yourself, as you’ll be too self conscious about the possibility of getting caught on camera sporting a glutenous food baby.

- Work around your assets; in other words opt for shorter hemlines if you are a leggy girl, look for intricate shoulder cut out details if you are a swimmer or have enviable shoulders like one etc. (THIS Alex Perry piece is a great mini, whilst THIS bodice cut showcases a toned shoulder section well);

- Unless you are a red carpet celebrity making an appearance think of reasonably lengthy hemlines. Most nights out involve dancing, or at least gracefully walking across the venue during the mandatory cheek air kiss run and way too many couture gowns go to couture heaven due to stiletto pierced skirt lengths;

- Make sure to incorporate in your event budget that depending on the cut and transparency of the dress you may need to invest in new set of lingerie to wear with it. Visible lines of either panties or boob holders are a massive faux pas, and don’t get me started on the 1992 style clear acrylic bra straps; we can still see them. They are not good.

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David Goff from Analog Productions took the images and Jehnna Mahoney styled my hair. X

P.S I have notified the compression leggings giveaway winner in the comments field but let’s have the breakfast one run for one more week? X

Giveaway – luxe breakfast at the finest bistro in town

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The other day I went out on on what turned out to be a stellar 3rd date. The gentleman in question will remain anonymous for now but the venue we went to deserves a mention. :)

Located in the Madinat Jumeirah, conveniently tucked away from buss loads of tourists, right under Pasha Dubai is Frioul Bistro. I had been hearing the buzz about the place for weeks but (as a huge fan of weekend  breakfast rituals) my eyes lit up when I heard they had expanded their menu with ”Le petit déjeuner à la française”.

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Definitely one for the cheat day, the breakfast was probably the best I have had in Dubai so far. With the risk of sounding like an spoiled blogger the one thing I know is a good breakfast as I get the privilege of attending many.  In my opinion not even La Serre, the self proclaimed leader of the pack measures up.

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The best part? I have been given the opportunity to give away an indulgent breakfast for two to one of my lovely readers. Just like with @TheHotBoxkKit giveaway, all you need to do is to like @friouldubai on instagram and comment underneath this post.

P.S Make sure you have the French toast! <3

P.P.S The winner of the compression leggings will be announced tomorrow. X / Teresa

New additions and trusted favourites.

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The Estée Lauder Idealist primer / illuminator is the only thing I wear on ”barefaced” days. (On top of my moisturiser and instead of foundation);

Facial mists – everyone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer screen should own one and use it regularly. It does’t get more luxe than the Hydra beauty Essence Mist by CHANEL. Next time you walk past the brands beauty counter make sure you try it out, if nothing else the smell will have you converted;

YSL nail polish in Bleu Celadon – because it’s ocean hued;

The new and sultry Bvlgari scent in Le Gemme “Noorah”, inspired by precious gems and nomadic open skies, this perfume embodies a 1001 nights tale. My current go to scent for nocturnal outings. /// Teresa

The 5 pairs of shoes you need to own.

shoeeditWhen it comes to style I am always drawn to simplicity, functionality and an effortless feeling of luxe togetherness. I have put together 5 styles of shoes you need to own to fit within that description:

  • All hail the white sneaker; possibly the largest part of my personal closet and ranges from the timeless ADIDAS Stan Smith to the understated Converse via the hipster snakeskin APC. Worn with pretty much anything, a good white sport shoe gives an outfit a crisp understated look. (Shop the Isabel Marant Etoile Bart shoe HERE);
  • The daytime heel bootie – tan and strategically low cut for a leg elongating effect or with optional ethnic fringe / animal print accents; the daytime heel bootie works well with denim or lace separates as seen on Aussie luxe boho icons Elle Ferguson and Tash Sefton from ‘‘They All Hate Us. (Shop the Saint Laurent fringed bootie HERE);
  • The nude heel should’t need any further info, widely known for its ability to make the legs look long and slender. The Louboutin Pigalle still rules this territory but you can also look to PRADA or Gianvito Rossi (link HERE) for options;
  • The animal print one: because I am of the opinion that Breton stripes, sequins and animal prints these days count as wardrobe neutrals. These GUCCI calf hair loafers (with the brands signature horsebit buckle) are ideal for a luxe daytime look. (Link HERE);
  • The metallic shoe; falls under the same category as the nude heel and makes out for a great basic. A tad more impractical as prone to scratches, the metallic shoe adds to any wardrobe / shelf / flatlay / Instagram photo. The Giuseppe Zanotti example (link HERE) is a slick take on the trending mule. / Teresa

Wellness

Over the last few months I have consciously stopped using the term ”fitness” (at least in conversations with regards to myself) and replaced it with the term ”wellness” instead. Sure, the aesthetic effects of working out are great but I have stopped focusing on what my body looks like and instead measure my progress in what my body can do. I also don’t consider myself a fitness professional by any means and am not in position to give factual training tips. I have however found a way that works for me and affects all areas of my life positively.

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1. If you have been following me on Instagram for a while you will have noticed that I frequently keep going back to pole fitness. As much as my schedule (or lack thereof) does’t allow me to follow a group class system, PoleFit Dubai is on top of things to do on a day off.

Why PoleFit? The reasons are countless. Aside from it being an extremely efficient way of working out your entire body, it’s one of those great exercise forms where you don’t feel like you’re working out. Caught up and focused on the choreography, the inversions or just trying not to fall off and smash your tail bone into the ground, your mind is elsewhere for the duration of the class and you only realise your muscles are sore upon leaving. There is also a great sense of community amongst the girls and on the contrary of what many would think, there is no body shaming that would breed insecurities. This is hugely due to the two amazing souls (and enviable bodies) behind PoleFit Dubai, Vlada and Michelle.

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P.S There isn’t any falling off or smashing anything really, I was just trying to sound bad a**. :)

2. I recently got back into running after the motivation and support from the NIKE team who coached myself, Jessica and Karen (also known as @healthyxjessx and @secretsquirrelfood on Instagram) for the WeRunDXB 10 k marathon. Running is brilliant as it allows flexibility with timings, is inexpensive since all you need is a good pair of trainers and works on silencing a busy mind as much as burning a few hundred calories. I know there are way more efficient ways to burn fat such as high intensity intervals and weight lifting but few things make me feeling as fulfilled as a sunrise beachside run.

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3. Last but not least I am a huge fan of yoga and stretching. I want to stay clear of the yoga term as I don’t follow any flows but I love setting partial targets such as achieving head stands for myself and throughout that working on increased strength and flexibility. Getting to know Jessica from healthyxjessx.com (link HERE) has meant tremendous progress in my splits and backbends just from getting a few alignment tips and having had incorrect techniques adjusted.

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Three more tips spring to mind whilst writing this:

- make sure you surround yourself by likeminded people. Not only is the positive energy around physical activity contagious but you will automatically make healthier choices like choosing a morning stretch session over a cupcake binge;

- get yourself some nice work out apparel and that pronto. Sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed is the fact that I have new leggings to flaunt;

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- working out only works out (pun intended) once you make friends with the fact that being active is genuinely good for you. Subsequently learning that choosing what’s good for you is the way forward (as trivial and obvious at it may sound). On a spiritual, holistic scheme of things I guess this would be referred to as self love; in other words wanting nothing but the best for yourself to the extent that making the right choices becomes an auto pilot setting.

In simple terms: we know that a KrispyKreme will make our skin break out, pile on empty calories and make us feel guilty afterwards. Surely when put that way it stops feeling like a ”reward”? Once your mentality shifts towards thinking that ”doing something nice” for yourself is filling your lungs with oxygen and your blood stream with endorphins, the day to day choices are a bit easier. It takes 21 days to create a new habit they say. :) Happy training and self loving! / Teresa