Fashion Feng Shui: Dress to Improve Your Mood and Find Optimal Performance
Most people don’t think much about the energy they put on each morning as they get ready and take off into their day. But each article of clothing you put on, in addition to the accessories, plays a role in how you feel and therefore what you attract back to you.
In Feng Shui, the Five Elements are used to bring balance to spaces. These are the same Five Elements that acupuncturists work with to bring balance to your body too. The Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water – come from Taoism and are the fabric of everything – including what you wear. Each of the Five Elements expresses its unique energy signature through shapes and colors.
Each of us also has a dominant element, which is indicative of how you run your personal energy. Whether you’re aware of it or not, your wardrobe usually mirrors your dominant element.
Below is a description of each element and the typical clothing associated with that element. You may easily recognize yourself in one (or two) of the descriptions. For a more detailed examination of what your dominant element is, check out my book, Decorating With the Five Elements of Feng Shui, where I provide several methods of determining what element you are.
The clothing described with each element is is the wardrobe that feels most comfortable to you on most days. However, we all have aspects of all the elements and can tap into any of them at any moment. So consider bringing in influences from the other element types when you need them.
For example, have a big interview and want to stand out? Bring in the Fire element. Need to be more organized? Dress like a Metal element. More grounding? Earth element. Feeling like your inner poet needs to come out? Wear black for more of the Water element. Need to tap into your inner go-getter? Wood element please!
Wood Element people are the leaders, inventors, seekers, and visionaries. They will take the lead in groups and take action steps to create movement in projects. They are flexible and can easily vacillate between being introverted and extroverted depending on what a situation calls for. When movement in projects or relationships stalls, the Wood element is quick to become frustrated. Wood elements keep things in forward motion and their challenge is to know when to contract their energy or take a step back in order for real expansion to occur.
Typical Clothing: Because Wood people are on the go and flexible, they tend to stick with cottons and breathable fabrics. They are generally slender and wear clothing with ease. They may have invented business casual in order to go in any direction needed at a moments notice. Their clothing is adaptable to any situation. Colors are usually greens, blues, denim, mixed with some white and grey. Shoes are comfortable, practical, but stylish.
Fire Element people are high energy and generally extroverted. They are often the life of the party and enjoy life. Similar to a flame, they create the highest expression of energy in the form of enthusiasm and passion. Fire elements provide the fuel in projects in order that they manifest in its highest form and bring projects to full culmination when focused appropriately. When out of balance, the Fire element can become burnt out, can easily scatter, and prone to anxiety.
Typical Clothing: Fire people like to make a statement with their attire being no exception. They enjoy wearing bold colors, are fashionable, and enjoy lots of accessories. You might also see Fire people in the latest fitness gear as they run past you in a flash. Shoes may be pointed, heels, or running shoes.
Earth Element people are the grounding force that keeps the status quo maintained so that change doesn’t happen too quickly. They are highly supportive people that bring harmony to groups and help maintain the peace. They go out of their way to not ruffle feathers. They do not like change and can become controlling if taken to the extreme. Worry is their default emotion, especially when something seems out of their control that could lead to possible change.
Typical Clothing: Earth people would rather blend into the background and so their wardrobe helps them do just that. They generally stick with earth tones, monotones, and neutrals. The shape associated with the Earth element is square and so their clothing may tend towards fitting a bit boxy than form fitting. Accessories are worn, not for adornment, but in association with friends or family members. Shoes are comfortable, practical, and worn-in.
Metal Element people are natural organizers and keep things in check and on schedule. They are detail-oriented, focused, and precise in anything they do. They tend to cut to the chase in conversation without the need for embellishments. They also love an orderly environment with even their storage items labeled appropriately. Their imbalance can show up as being obsessive, perfectionist, or overly rigid in their mindsets. They tend to have tunnel vision without the ability to see a bigger picture.
Typical Clothing: The outfit of Metal people is a mirror for themselves: Organized. Their clothing tends to be structured and form fitting. They lean towards whites and greys and will throw in some pastels every now and then. They will accessorize but with much intention, for example, a statement bracelet or designer watch. Shoes are polished, high-end leather, stylish, and efficient.
Water Element people are quiet and typically introverted, and yet so unassuming. They hold a quiet strength. They may seem fragile at times, but they are anything but. They are deeply creative, contemplative, and introspective. They will most likely be the ones to figure out the key to world peace, but it will be up to the other elements to implement it. When out of balance, Water elements can become withdrawn and aloof. They tend to keep their emotions close to them and process slowly before taking action.
Typical Clothing: Water people are drawn to wearing black and dark colors. This is why creatives often wear black. It’s the inner Water element wanting to express. Water people also enjoy wearing flowy clothing. Shoes are not important and may be flip-flops or barefoot whenever possible.
Have fun tapping into your inner element and exploring others!