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Why dressing up happy sets me up for success

Beauty entrepreneur, Pauline Paterson explains why her colourful wardrobe is more than just a fashion statement

Donna Francis
Contributing Editor US
1 May 2024
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Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy and finding the right balance between professional poise and personal expression can be a journey in itself. But for Pauline Paterson, mum of two and co-founder of the cult skincare brand Dr Paw Paw, she has managed to find this balance in the most fun and not to mention stylish ways: by introducing splashes of colour to the boardroom. 

But Pauline is the first to admit that her colourful dressing didn't begin as a strategic choice, but rather as a rebellion against conformity. As a former hairdresser, she found herself stifled by the requirement to wear black, a colour that symbolised restraint and limitation in her eyes. Breaking free from these constraints, Pauline embraced colour with open arms, by splashing her wardrobe with bright outfits.

"When I left working in a salon,  had the opportunity to explore colour in a different way, it was like an explosion of creativity for me," Pauline tells HELLO! "I've always had an eye for colour, and fashion has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. So, incorporating colour into my wardrobe felt like a natural extension of myself."

READ: How to get your fashion mojo back in your 40s and beyond

Pauline's colourful clothes journey isn't just about making a fashion statement - it's about embodying confidence and authenticity. "Dressing in colour allows me to showcase my personality and creativity," she explains. "It's not just about standing out; it's about feeling like myself and celebrating my own unique style. And colour brings joy and happiness into my life," she explains. "Whether it's a rainbow dress or a more subtle pastel top, it has the power to lift my spirits and brighten my day."

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Pauline's wardrobe also reflects the vibrant spirit of Dr. Paw Paw, her skincare brand known for its bold and joyful approach to beauty. "Yellow was our branding from the beginning, so whenever I represented the brand, I wore yellow to align with our brand identity," she shares. "But as we expanded our product range and introduced more colours, I embraced the opportunity to showcase the brand through my wardrobe."

And it's not just Pauline who benefits from her colourful clothes; it's those around her as well. "My son once remarked how he could spot me from a mile away when he came out of school because of my brightly coloured jacket," she laughs. "At first, I was worried that I might be embarrassing him, but he reassured me that he's proud of my unique style. It's moments like these that remind me of the impact we can have simply by being true to ourselves."

MORE FROM PAULINE: The brain-clearing trick that helps me problem-solve 

Pauline also approaches her style and wardrobe choices from a self-care and wellbeing perspective.  "I like to plan my outfits for the week every Sunday night as it makes me feel more organised and prepared for the week ahead,” she explains. “I really don’t want to get up in the morning and think, oh, what am I going to wear? I do it at the same time as getting the kids uniforms ready for school. I hang all of the outfits outside of my wardrobe where I can see them in my room so I know what I’m wearing each day.” 

Pauline Vitale-Paterson believes dressing with colour brings her joy and confidence
Pauline Vitale-Paterson believes dressing with colour brings her joy and confidence

For anyone wanting to embrace a more colourful wardrobe, Pauline has some great advice. “If you’re used to wearing black, then try introducing a colourful accessory to your outfit, like a scarf or a bright belt or even a colourful pair of trainers. That pop of colour will really help to brighten your mood as well as your look.”

INSPIRATION: Why I'm absolutely not 'dressing for my age' at 54 

Pauline also believes her colourful outfits help her feel and look more youthful. “If you go from wearing a black top to something brighter, you will notice a difference in your face. Think about when photographers hold a reflective board on photoshoots below your face to stop the shadows, wearing a bright top does the same thing. It lifts your face and really brightens your whole look. I do think adding colour to your wardrobe definitely brings joy and happiness.” 

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