Inside the closet of a Hawaii style diva
By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Paula Rath
Here's another in our series that takes a peek into a style diva's closet and offers a little insight into how some of Hawai'i's most style-savvy people put it all together.
We selected public-speaking coach Pam Chambers because she is a woman who has honed a personal style, making it a means of communicating to the world who she is.
Her best friend, real estate agent Dawn Marie, says, "I would describe Pam's style as ... mostly black and white, laced with color, an occasional weave of vintage, all knit together with imagination. Who else enjoys merging contemporary pieces with previously-loved finds and topping it all off with a great hat?"
Chambers' first consideration when getting dressed is always her audience — who she will be spending time with that day. She dresses appropriately to make others feel comfortable while keeping them interested and engaged, just as she advises her clients to do.
Neighborhood: Niu Valley
How would you describe your personal style? "Brave and unpredictable."
How do you think your best friend or close colleague would describe your style? "Here is what some people said: unique, dramatic, spirited, feminine, sleek, eclectic, sophisticated — with surprising twists. (When I wore a scarf around my head with a conservative pants suit, a female client asked, 'Are you allowed to do that?')"
What's the favorite item in your closet? "Vintage black pleated Chanel slacks."
What was your most recent purchase? "A '60s buttercup yellow suit with a portrait collar and straight knee-length skirt, from Catherine's Closet in Manoa."
What are you willing to pay more for to get top quality? "Just about anything, but I do enjoy the bargains on underwear at Ross."
What's the best bargain you've ever purchased? "A Hermes silk shirt at Goodwill for $8."
What can you never get enough of? "Hats."
Where would we most likely see you shopping? "Theory, DKNY, White House/Black Market, thrift shops, Catherine's Closet."
What's your biggest self-indulgence? "David Yurman jewelry."
What's always in your handbag? "Red Over Heels Merle Norman lipstick, Brighton sunglasses, a vintage hankie and a card stating my blood type."
What's your favorite new gadget? "My Nano iPod."
What's on your bedside table? "Books, and a hand-decorated tray holding nine small jewelry boxes."
What are the three top things you always tell your clients NOT to wear? "The wrong undergarments. Stuffed pockets. Too-long sleeves."
Pet fashion peeve? "The mentality that a person can't be comfortable and look great at the same time."
What's your favorite hobby? "Art: turning trash into treasure."
What's a little-known fact about you? "I like rap music."
Tell us your biggest fashion faux pas. "Wearing a pin-striped pants suit to a training session at the women's prison. I looked like a gangster!"
Who does your alterations? "Asia Tailor."
How do you end your day? "Reading, and then envisioning a good tomorrow. As I drift off, I count my blessings."
Your fashion philosophy? "Dare to stand out."
Reach Paula Rath at firstname.lastname@example.org.