Color is an important part of any wardrobe—from matching our moods, to complementing our skin tone, to looking stylish. But how can we get more fashion mileage from our favorite colored pieces? Style Factor gets advice from celebrity stylist and Ariel's Philippine fashion expert Pam Quiñones, who counts Anne Curtis, Judy Ann Santos, and Charlene Gonzales among her regular star-studded clientele.
What is your color philosophy?
Black is not a safe color. It's actually a very powerful color, which I always adhere to. I also like darker shades of reds: blood red, maroon, burgundys. If I must wear color, it's actually red. I'm trying to be more adventurous. I like to look to the trends and infuse them in my wardrobe. I'm not as adventurous as to when I'm styling other people. I know what I like and I'll be confident in it. For other people, they have different styles that I like to help them out with. That's when I become adventurous with colors.
What are the fashion mistakes when it comes to color?
It's a major misconception that just because you're morena you can easily wear orange or yellow because it will brighten your skin. Actually there are different tones to one shade. If it is red, there is a red that is warm and cool. Before actually choosing a color, you should determine your (skin's) undertone—whether you're warm or cool. The easiest way to ascertain your undertone is to drape a metallic fabric around your chest and shoulder area. If gold fabric works well on your skin tone then you have a warm tone and should stick to warmer colors. If it's silver that works, then you have a cool tone and should stick to cooler colors.
Does the weather affect the colors people choose to wear?
For me, if it's so gloomy outside, I would wear color. Other people are adjusting to the weather outside. But usually on a sunny day, I'm wearing black. But the focus is more on the people I work with. There are actually color categories for the people I style. For example, if it's Judy Ann Santos, her personality is very caring, motherly but very elegant and expressive at the same time. I give her powerful colors like navy or authoritative shades like dark grays. I'll give her a darker shade of orange or a darker shade of red. For Anne Curtis, she's very perky and is actually very experimental in terms of fashion. She can wear different shades of pinks and reds. Angel Locsin is very edgy; more of a rocker. She likes darker shades so anything that's closer to black, I'll give her that. It always depends on the person.
Where do we find vintage pieces and how do we fix it?
First and foremost, we have a lot of ukay shops here in Manila. I used to go to a lot of them when I was younger—that was because I had a lot of time. Now, I only get to shop when I travel. That's when I find pieces that are more precious. When you buy vintage, you have to check whether the amount of repair would actually be worth it versus the amount of time you're going to wear it, and versus the price tag. You have to foresee if you can wash it well, if all the stains can be removed, and if you have a good tailor. Also, make sure it's real because it defeats the purpose of buying branded vintage.
Tips on taking care of colored clothes.
Just make sure that you read the label when you purchase an item. But I like to make up my own rule. We used to believe that when in doubt, send it to the dry cleaners. But now I believe, when it doubt, have it hand washed with Ariel. I've had so many experiences wherein I had to dry clean items that were borrowed from designers and brands, and had to pay for them because it shrank or it had white spots on them because of dry clean.
Photo of Anne Curtis, Judy Ann Santos, and Angel Locsin from NPPA images.