23rd Jan 2023
The first Black woman to win the Miss Ireland competition, Pamela Uba has only gone from strength to strength – arriving here as a refugee from South Africa and spending 10 years in direct provision before getting a masters at Trinity college. Here she shares a week in her (utterly fabulous!) wardrobe.
Let’s just say my wardrobe can get a little chaotic sometimes and, for the past year, my weeks have been far from ordinary. Most of my time is spent going from the office to a really interesting event, or shoot or even a week in hell for my sins! I love fashion and feel it’s an expression of my personality. So, I guess the best way for me to do this is to break each day down according to my different personality styles. I choose my look each day depending on my mood and what I have planned for the day.
Let’s start easy with my Monday motivation – gym wear. I live mainly in gym wear, contrary to popular belief! But if there was a day of the week when I wear it the most, it’s definitely on a Monday. When it comes to clothes to work out in, do you prioritise fashion or comfort? I say go for both. Nothing motivates you to go to the gym more than a really good set of gym wear. Not only will you feel good, but you’ll look good, and that’s something you want when surrounded by mirrors in the gym. I love nice high-waisted pants to help support my core, vivid colours and quality material. My go-to brands are Gym Goddess which is a Galway-based brand, and Gym+ Coffee. Their gym wear has all the things I look for. I usually finish the look with a nice pair of comfortable white runners.
My work is hybrid so I usually pop into the Google office at least once a week. I am a Galway girl but my office is based in Dublin. I do try to pair my days in the office with other events or meetings I have in Dublin that day. My outfits need to allow me to go from the office to dinner or lunch events in a hurry, so I do try to make an effort with my smart casual looks. I rarely wear just all black. Colour just makes me feel and act so much more positively, so you would always see me in something colourful. I also love classic neutral tones as they will never go out of style and always make what you wear look more expensive. For work wear, I always have a staple blazer and skirt/bicycle shorts which I can style with many different outfits and I usually swap out boots for heels to dress up my look when heading from work to day time events. Use what’s already in your wardrobe, ladies! Here, I coordinated my neutral tones and accessorised with some sunglasses, my Apple watch and a Gucci bag. I am wearing my staple neutral-tone Zara blazer, a cream-coloured jumper, a white shirt which I borrowed from my boyfriend’s closet, some black bicycle shorts and black sock boots.
You know that one colour you wear that always looks good on you no matter what? Well, I feel most confident when I am wearing something pink. Let’s just say I have 50 shades of pink in my wardrobe! From dresses to suits to loungewear, I am a little obsessed. Pink really compliments my skin tone and just makes me feel confident and sexy and I think that’s why I love it. It also really stands out and is great on camera. In fact, it was my most worn colour for my most recent TV appearances on The Late Late Show and RTÉ. For the summer, I usually like to colour block pink with greens, reds and shades of orange. My advice to achieve the most gorgeous colour block outfits is to get staple pieces with no patterns in a few different colours that you can use all year round. I usually do this in threes – three satin shirts, three plain, simple skirts and three blazers… all in three different colours. That way I can mix and match them to create a new look each time. For winter, I usually opt for a pink suit or suit dress option. Whatever your favourite colour is, don’t save it just for summer – wear it in the winter too to add some colour to all the grey.
Have you ever heard of the power pose and how it can make you feel like superwoman? Well, the same can be said of a good power suit. The best investment I have ever made in my wardrobe is a good suit! The best place to buy them, for me, is Zara for a great high street suit or from an Irish designer such as Aoife McNamara if you are looking for something that little bit more unique. I always have a suit in my car ready to go for any occasion and can dress it up with heels or dress it down with runners. You look smart, structured and ready to take on anything. From suit dresses to two-piece suits with pants or a skirt, you can’t really go wrong here.
Ok, your girl loves to serve a look, especially on the red carpet or at a glitzy event or party. This is where I really show my style as I love to create something different. For red carpet events, I am lucky enough to have gotten some of my looks made by the talented Brendan Marc Scully. We really have a creative vision and try to show a different Pam each time. There was Fire & Ice Pam, Glam Pam and of course, Queen Pam, with each look being an extension of some part of who I am. Aside from those really special outfits, I also love to rent outfits for such events. It’s a great way to get a unique outfit while also being sustainable. It’s something I actively did over the course of last year, particularly in an effort to avoid buying clothes I only intend to wear just once. There are some great rental stores out there – I love places like greens are good for you, Happy Days and High End Hire where you can find some amazing pieces from Nadine Merabi, Rat & Boa and SLA The Label. Most recently, I wore this gorgeous sparkly SLA The Label three-piece suit that I rented from greens are good for you.
It’s not always super glam and colourful, sometimes my edgy alter ego comes out too. I think I am in some way reverting to my teenage rebel days here. It’s very street, very cool vibey and a nice way to incorporate a little bit of black and grey into my wardrobe. I am really loving the looks from this store Maniere De Voir, particularly this co-ord I am wearing – it definitely takes style points from Mugler. I wore it to go see Bat Out Of Hell at the Bord Gáis Theatre and it just really suited that rock girl theme. If you are someone like me, who may sometimes struggle with adding darker pieces to your wardrobe, good options are leather pants and mesh tops – both of which go with a lot of different pieces.
Sometimes, comfort is key. On weekends, I tend to go for a pair of ripped flared jeans, a bodysuit and a cardigan or sweater. It’s the perfect outfit for going for a walk with your dog, chilling at home, doing your grocery shop, or running your errands. You need your outfit to be comfy and practical so you can move freely and with ease. But even comfy outfits can still be stylish – wear your slouchiest pair of jeans, your favourite kicks, a cool shirt or jumper or a nice hat, and you have a pretty great look right there. One piece I have my eye on is a custom faux fur hat by Rashhiiid – they just look so cool and can be a nice statement piece to elevate a casual outfit.
Photography by Pamela Uba, @pamela.ashley.uba. We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.