All posts by Teresa

Stylist guide to high street shopping.

When it comes to shopping at the highstreet part of the mall (which is by no means a sign of bad taste; as long as you stay clear of stores that specify in cocktail dresses made out of highly flammable materials or footwear made of acrylic leather substitutes that guarantee Athletes foot) – there are tricks to ensure that you maximise your monies worth, avoid beginner pitfalls and put together timeless premium looks like a seasoned pro.

How I know this is because I have spent 6 days a week over the last 3 years spending advertisement clients money, dressing cast in what is meant to look Armani, whilst given a money envelope with money that upon opening makes me say Oh-Honey. It really has been like the biblical 3 fish being fed to 300 people – not that I am comparing myself to Jesus but yes, a good stylist knows how to achieve premium looks on very modest budgets. Here is how we do it:

1. Look into online shopping. The items on ZARAs Spanish website retail for 30-40 % less than here in the UAE and the selection is a lot more vast. Now ZARA do not ship internationally you’ll say. I have an Aramex Shop & Ship account with a PO box in 12 countries: including Barcelona. It costs a few hundred dirhams a year and pays back for itself in one purchase. The items arrive in less than 3 days and even with shipping you save loads – LOADS I tell you. And you can be as cheeky as to try things on in the physical store before you place an order online. The hustle is real!

2. Learn all about your body type. If you can’t try things on before placing an online order, you need to have an overall body awareness in mind. For example – as a petite person I wouldn’t shop for maxi skirts as I know that they will mean added costs of alterations etc. At the same token I have round hips so I am yet to find a pair of bellbottom pants that don’t make me look twice my size – optically the bellbottoms add to a false allure of width so the ones modeled by skinny leggy creatures aren’t for me.

3. Create a pinterest moodboard with inspiring day to day looks. This way you will see what you are drawn to – meaning if you have pinned a number of looks featuring an oversized white shirt then that is what you need to purchase next. Have that in mind next time you are reaching for 3 non descript white tops that won’t do for the look you had in mind and even if they seemed cheap are deemed to be useless if only worn once.

4. Get the best items the money can buy within each category – meaning if the above white shirt is crucial for tying together most your looks look towards the upper high street (Sandro Kooples Elizabeth & James etc). The old Price Per Wear ratio appeals and one expensive items worn 30 times ‘’costs less’ than a cheap piece that has been worn once, if even.

5. Learn about fabric composition – items rich in artificial threads often look shiny and chap. Look and feel each items before buying them. Your fingertips KNOW fine cotton, real cashmere etc. Try and mimic that sensation when you are feeling your clothes. I look like a loon when I go shopping but I rely on all the senses. Apart from taste haha. I have never been seen licking a garment. 

6. Crinkle items in your hand in store. All the items have been steamed and presented nicely to you but if upon crushing a segment with your hand they look heavily creased and the fabric doesn’t ‘’bounce back’’ imagine what you will look like after a 20 minute drive to work. Seated. A tad sweaty because Dubai. With a seatbelt across your chest. That bargain Victoria Beckham inspired pencil dress will look like you have slept on it by the time you arrive to the office.

7. Look for lining and even straight stitches in your cheaper purchases. This is where high street brands save money. A pencil skirt that hasn’t been lined doesn’t have that crisp flawless look to it that a pricier version does. Ill placed skew stitches will make the same skirt keep shifting to the side or gather badly over the chest. If you REALLY love that piece though you can still rescue it with a trip to Satwa and have it lined / restitched by a tailor. Again – that will elevate the cost of the garment so by now you might mentally add those 200-300 aed in your head and buy something a little more pricey to start with.

8. Read the washing instructions. Silk and beaded pieces will require specialist cleaning so the price per wear ratio is through the roof again.

X

Hello again!

Hello old friends!

It feels so good to type these words – I have been longing to bring life to this page for quite some time now.

A lot has happened since we last interacted on here – I got caught up into trying to spread my wings into different fashion ventures; some more fruitful than others. I also fell for the ‘why put an effort into a blog when people don’t read them’ and ‘instagram is enough’ train of thought. Fast forward a year or so and having a blog you can call your own has never felt more relevant or necessary.

I aim to keep this up for many reasons – my readers are a bunch of awesome, level headed, opinionated sassy ladies and they demand more substance than a FaceTuned selfie with a generic caption – albeit I am guilty of the ‘Tune just like eveeryone else.

It’s so easy nowadays to get caught up in thinking of followers as tens of thousands of faceless digits, no number being high enough because well, human nature. I always say however that if you were to walk around a football field and make eye contact with every single person that follows your journey it would genuinely be a humbling experience. It’s 2018 and we are all equally busy. If the little time that people have goes towards reading my ramblings, then I need to really apply myself to make it worth their while.

I’m also lucky enough to get to work with some premium hospitality brands and in order to do right by them a larger forum is required. One thing I always get requests for from my Swedish audience is an eclectic guide to Dubai; i.e how not to fall victim for the tourist traps. I honestly can’t think of anything more fun to work on! I may or may not think of myself as somewhat of a hobby restauranteur; combining my penchant for cooking, eating (EATING should have come first in that sentence to be honest with you) and gallivanting all over this globe in search for premium experiences.

Naturally – and that comes without saying – there will be fashion on here but my aim is to make it “wait a minute I can do that / get that’; with an element of ‘if I put some effort in I can do that / get that” but never the ”UGH I will never have that / look like that” feel.

I am also really toying with the idea of a book club – something that was well received when I introduced the idea on my instagram stories. I am yet to figure out a suitable format but all things aside I am just really happy to have this outlet that does not obey by algorithms, that attracts the mindful, the curious, the tasteful and the ones who don’t mind a lengthy caption or five.

If anything springs to mind drop me a comment or simply say hello X

IKEA + Teresa Karpinska = <3

When it comes to interiors, my taste in home accents is very similar to my taste in clothes – I am very fond of neutrals and items that in its simplicity create a striking effect when skillfully combined. 

My guest bedroom needed a bit of a boost; or was a part of the home that had been a little neglected in the most recent move so I was really happy when this creative opportunity came along. Not to mention that each trip to IKEA means a happy meal and by that I naturally mean the Swedish meatballs. 

I spend an overall of 1000 aed on items that I have specified below. The most important part was to bring in the fluffy rugs to for my guests to step on in the morning and the earthy toned beige linen sheets. I made sure to get a few decoration pillows (for the bed to look fuller and “creatively messy”) and copper accents to break off all the earthiness. 

Candles are the safest way to make a room lived in and inviting I find so they were represented in a few sizes all over the room. They are also one of those typical IKEA items that noone ever leaves the store without. 

A very important feature for a bedroom is the phenomenon in memes referred to as “the chair;  meaning the one piece of furniture where clothing lands on its journey between the laundry basket and the closet / suitcase. The Jassa collection is my current favourite at IKEA – both because of its look and it’s eco ethos so I was happy to find one in the thrifty ”as is” section.

Lastly I made sure to pick up a few storage boxes because as a rather organised person I appreciate when storage is provided every time I’m being hosted somewhere – the “living out of a suitcase” lifestyle is thrilling for a day or two but then mostly tiring. Freeing up closet space for guests is a really nice way of showing hospitality I find.

Tomorrow I’ll be announcing the winner of the 1000 aed voucher and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish with your living spaces.

Xxx Teresa 

Jassa chair, Vigdis cushion cover, Kvistbro storage table, Glattis tray, Parlband candle holder, mini cacti. (Sweater and pillow inside the storage table are my own).

Bedframe and blankets my own, everything else IKEA as following:

Puderviva bedsheets, Klipsk bed tray, Uphetta coffee / tea maker, Flimra glass, IKEA 365+ carafe.

Hampen rugs, Jara lampshade, Rodd table lamp base.

Pierre Marcolini.

Ramadan (and Eid) are my favourite times of the year despite the fact I am not of Muslim faith. I guess in western culture the Eid festivities that follow the holy month can only be compared to our Christmas. The streets and homes get adorned with lights, the palm trees are heavy with dates ready for harvest and the spirituality surrounding this season is truly special. This period focuses on an inward journey and whether you are a practising Muslim or not you respectfully observe it from a distance, the different energy is truly tangible. This is the time where friends and families gather, and since I have lived in the Middle East for 13 years I feel lucky to say that I am surrounded by many loved ones residing in the city of Dubai. Now whilst Ramadan is about modesty and the act of giving; Eid is a period of indulgence. This is where home cooking reach culinary heights and restaurants put on the most lavish buffets – lavish being the word often used when describing Dubai all year round! Whilst the formal outings are lovely there is something truly special about being invited into an Emirati home and experiencing the infamous Arab hospitality.

Showing up empty handed would be considered rude and chocolates are always well received by all nations and all ages. To make a good impression I looked for something truly premium. This is where Pierre Marcolini comes in with his Summer of Dreams collections. The round Salted Caramel Truffles (and OMG how delicately melt on the tongue they taste!) were specially developed for the Middle Eastern market. The colourful Songes on the other hand strike a healthy note with their quinoa, spelt, sesame and spelt – rest assured though as they still taste like a delicate fruity ganache. Now whilst on the topic of giving; don’t forget yourself in the equation. ❤

You can shop Pierre Marcolini here and in London, you can find Pierre Marcolini in Selfridges, Harrods and Marylebone High Street.​ / Teresa 

Essentially

With regards to anything health and wellness related I have (as many others I am sure), with time, become hugely skeptical of relying on social media recommendations. These days so much of the content has been paid for – in other words probably not even experienced by the so called influencers who merely rely on the content of a press release. At the same token endless amounts of conflicting information is being passed around by self proclaimed experts with no factual expertise on the topic. Everyone is gluten intolerant and everyones cousin is a certified yoga teacher innit.

And yet here I am about to release a blog post on the very topic of bottled green goodness. Whilst not a certified nutritionist I am a woman in my late 30s (as in: soon there are no 30’s left to it) but I look a decade younger (or so I am repeatedly told)! I am generally always in a jolly good mood, I sleep well, I have the energy to work 12-14 h days and since you ask, there is nothing wrong with my libido. Ok I made myself lol here but these normally are signs of overall health and so my day to day choices must be somewhat right. I am also very adamant about which brands I choose to work with and my consistent rule is that if I wouldn’t pay my hard earned pennies for the product I will also not accept it for free. (Juice cleanses – I will btw have you know – are very 2012. Bone broth is the new miracle potion and Dubai has gotten onboard with both Hapi and the Clean Living Company catering to the collagen thirsty consumers who don’t have a spare 12 h to roast a pile of bones.)

So –  whilst not a certified nutritionist or a smug insta yogini –  here are my two fills on green juices and why Essentially has been my go to brand since they launched 4 years ago.

I met Wiebke (the founder) on the first month of Essentially’s launch and I find her to be is a great spokesperson for her product. As harsh as it may sound I very much judge the book by the cover. It is a very short sighted approach and feel free to call me up on it but in the past I have met health food promoters who with their demeanor didn’t ooze of health and balance. Why I feel ok with typing these words is that as a stylist I too am a victim of snap judgement. I would probably starve to death if I tried to score new clients whilst looking like Waka Flocka.

I have also tried Essentially’s main competitors (and whilst mentioning names is not required I am sure you know which brands are equally active on the liquid goodness scene). I perceived one of them as heavily overpriced and too ”try-hard” with flavours and the other one as very weak ingredient wise. It doesn’t take a nutritionist to know that you won’t get much from juicing an iceberg lettuce.

Whilst I won’t be doing regular juice cleanses I KNOW that my current diet is poor on veggies and so a bottle of green juice (packing an impressive 1,5 kg of product in one bottle) feels like a very welcome addition to my current “always-on-the-go-eating-in-my-car”  day to day situation. The nut mylks taste like healthy milkshakes and the power balls are a nice and clean snack with my afternoon pick-me-up cup of coffee.

Essentially (and Wiebke) these days send me 2 days worth of juices a week in return for the social media love but like I said above – for the longest time I trekked to whichever RIPE market they were selling at in order to get my full priced fix. I will probably continue to do so if they were to stop. Now take what you wish from these ramblings and most importantly remember not to buy into blind social media endorsements without a little bit of research. / Teresa