For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love affair with color. As a kid, I was obsessed with collecting different kinds of crayons, colored pencils, markers, and paints. As I grew older, I slowly traded in those coloring materials for makeup. At 23, I am now a freelance makeup artist, and my love for color comes in handy when I paint faces. And just like any artist, I’ve gained a deeper understanding and fascination with color and the wealth of associations each one brings.
Enter: red. If there’s any color that holds the most meaning, red would definitely be it. On one hand, it reminds us of things like love, passion, and desire, while on the other, it can also represent danger, anger, and blood. Either way, red is a powerful color, and its meanings vary from culture to culture as well.
When I watched Crazy Rich Asians recently, I was reminded of the fact that some Eastern cultures believe that wearing red can bring good fortune. While I’m not one to usually be superstitious, nor am I in a Rachel Chu situation wherein I’m about to meet my crazy rich boyfriend’s family, I decided to give it a shot. And by that I mean I made it a point to incorporate red into my outfits to see what would happen. (Who isn’t in need of a little extra luck, right?) Here’s a chronicle of the 3 days that I was The Girl in Red.
OUTFIT 1: RED-DY TO WORK
I decided to keep it very casual for my first red look. As a makeup artist, I prioritize comfort but never want to look plain when I’m on the job. So instead of the usual plain white tee I’d opt for, I went for this Mode de Vie marsala top instead. I wore the top with one of my favorite black corduroy skirts and Chucks, then threw on a blazer to keep myself warm.
To be honest, there wasn’t anything that happened to me on this day that I consider lucky. For as long as my clients are happy, then it’s a good day at work! But hey, my iced latte did happen to come from a particularly good batch this morning, so I guess that counts as a good start?
WHAT I WORE: Mode de Vie Jocelyn Top in Marsala, P1,350. Shop it here.
OUTFIT 2: PAINT THE TOWN RED
For my next red ensemble, I decided to wear a deep red pencil skirt with a matching cover-up (both by Fifth Clothing) to head out with my friends. No week is complete without a drinking session with your barkada, am I right? I paired the red pieces with a cream linen top to keep the outfit fresh. Specifically, in case I wanted to remove the cover-up, since my friends usually love heading out to outdoor bars.
Again, there was nothing particularly lucky that happened to me this evening, but I will say that I was really feeling myself in this hue. I felt like it had a subtle appeal that managed to catch people’s attention. I felt inexplicably different—in a good way!
WHAT I WORE: The Fifth Clothing Blazer and Skirt Set in Maroon, P880. Shop it here.
OUTFIT 3: RED TO TOE
I went all out for my final red outfit so that no one can say that I didn’t try! I went for this red-on-red pantsuit combo with a pink tee for a beauty event I was attending. The blazer and tee are mine; the pants by Patricia Syquiatco. I figured that the beauty community would be more accepting of this kind of outfit.
Sadly, despite all the red I wore, I didn’t feel like I experienced any luck. What I will say though is that I was feeling the same outgoing energy as when I was wearing the red one-piece. Normally I just stand quietly in one corner downing my gin tonics during beauty events. But not this time! I found myself talking to more people and actually enjoying myself more than usual. Wearing red outfits definitely gave me an extra confidence boost.
WHAT I WORE: Patricia Syquiatco Finn Pants in Red, P1,500. Shop it here.
I have always firmly believed in the power of makeup and fashion as an outlet for self-expression. After this experiment, I am now convinced that wearing red sends out its own unique message to the world.
For me, it was all about the confidence, and not necessarily the “luck” that wearing the color red brought me. It’s not exactly a quiet kind of confidence, but it’s not one that boasts, either. Wearing red was like claiming, “Hey, I’m worth a second look,” and I realized that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You might even find yourself being a little more engaging, and a little less socially awkward—just like I did.
In the end, while all the red outfits didn’t bring me Rachel Chu’s luck (AKA a Nick Young in my life!), what I will say is that wearing red definitely made me feel more fearless and self-assured. The way I see it, feeling even the slightest bit more confident about ourselves can have such a positive impact on how we go about our days. Wear the color red like warpaint, and believe that you are worthy of what it represents. Sometimes a little bit of confidence, and not luck, is all you really need.
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