"Living Feng Shui" magazine
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articles about and by Carol Olmstead
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Tired of Getting "Auf'd" for Your Fashion Choices at Work? Wearing Feng Shui Colors Can Help
"With the popularity of TV shows like Bravo's 'Project Runway' and TLC's 'What Not to Wear,' even the least fashion-forward people are beginning to see how what they wear can affect the outcome of their day," says Olmstead. "When you need to project a certain professional image, choose the color, pattern, fabric, and shape of your clothes based on the Feng Shui elements," she adds.
Most people think that Feng Shui can only be used for arranging their homes and offices. But according to Olmstead, the colors, shapes, and patterns that make up the Five Feng Shui Elements can be worn as a statement of the kind of business success you want to attract. The Feng Shui elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. Each element has a characteristic color and shape, and Olmstead believes that wearing an element can bring its specific attributes into your life.
Here are some of Olmstead's suggestions for Feng Shui fashion choices to make things happen at work:
Fire Element. Have lots to get done and need to feel motivated? Choose red, pink, orange, or purple and patterns with pointed designs. These represent the Fire Element that adds passion and emotion to your day. "Red is an especially good color to wear when you are giving the last presentation of the day and you need to stay motivated and keep the group enthusiastic," says Olmstead. You draw attention to yourself when you wear red, so Olmstead advises not to wear it on a day you need to stay out of the spotlight. Orange encourages conversation, so wear it when you need to promote harmony and communication in a group setting. Pink dispels anger, making it a good choice when you need to put people at ease. Purple is a powerful, regal color associated with financial success.
Earth Element. Need to feel grounded for a big meeting? Olmstead recommends brown, yellow, and other earth tones or checks, plaids, and boxy shapes to represent the stability of this element. "Brown or yellow are good color choices for counselors and others in nurturing professions," says Olmstead, "because the grounding effect of these colors helps you slow down and feel more secure." She recommends you avoid brown when you are feeling indecisive.
Metal Element. Need to feel elegant and refined? The Metal Element should be your choice, recommends Olmstead, including white, metallic, and pastel colors, or a pattern with dots or a round shape. "When things seem to be out of control, wear gray," she advises, "since this color brings the attribute of strength and focus." Olmstead recommends wearing the shiny versions of this element, like gold, copper, and silver, to inspire creativity and take on artistic projects. If you want to appear trustworthy and efficient, choose white.
Water Element: Need to go with the flow of a group project? The Water Element should be your choice, including the colors black, blue, navy, and paisley or curvy, flowing patterns. "If you have been putting off a writing project, wear blue to get things flowing," says Olmstead. Blue is also a relaxing color, so wear it when you need your clients and colleagues to loosen up and tell you what they are really thinking. "But avoid blue if you are down or moody." Olmstead recommends wearing black when you need to command authority.
Wood Element: Need to be full of ideas to start a new project? Choose green and vertical patterns. "Green is the color of growth and development," says Olmstead, who recommends wearing the color when you take a training class to acquire new skills. "Green will stimulate you and get your moving forward when you are stuck," says Olmstead. She cautions to avoid green if you are feeling anxious and need to slow down, because it encourages thinking and keeps your mind active.