The Best Outfit For You, According To Feng Shui

The ancient Chinese art of feng shui has to do with creating a sense of balance; specifically, the idea of harmonizing ourselves with our surroundings. There are said to be five basic elements — wood, fire, earth, water, and metal — that work together to create this harmony. Each of us has a predominant element that can be determined by our date of birth. Think of yours as an astrological sign of sorts, which can be used to determine the best home decor for your space and even optimal colors, prints, and silhouettes to have in your wardrobe, too.
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We talked with certified feng shui consultant Ali Sherbach (she's also the owner and founder of consultant agency Surface & Symbol should you want a more in-depth analysis) for the low-down on these elements and the perfect outfits to shop for each.
Remember: The pillar of feng shui is harmony. In this vein, someone with a watery personality, for example, "might lack focus and be all over the place," explains Sherbach. "To help balance them out, we would use earth in their clothes and accessories, as it's an element that is very stable and grounding." Now that you get the basic idea: Find out your birth element (if you don't already know it), then click through the slideshow to see if your compatible look matches up with your current wares.
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The Element: Earth
"Earth people are very nurturing, solid and grounded," says Sherbach. "They work patiently and consistently and are deeply understanding of others. But, they can also be over-cautious, indecisive, and resistant to change."

Balance Your Wardrobe With: Wood
The wood element is associated with greens and blues (although not deep, dark blues — those are associated with water), stripes, and florals. She also told us that the actual element of wood — think stacked wooden heels, wooden beads, and other woodsy accessories — will help balance Earth-oriented personalities. "Anything rectangular or with a long, linear silhouette would work well in one's outfit, too."

Why This Works?
Sherbach explains that an outfit featuring the aforementioned materials, colors, and silhouettes will "create gentle growth and movement for someone who has a difficult time moving forward or embracing change."
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The Element: Metal
"People who relate to Metal are very focused, organized, and optimistic," extolls Sherback. "They are drawn to clean, simple lines and are good at communicating their ideas to others because they have a very clear point of view. They may have a tendency to begin many projects without actually completing them, however, and can come off as close-minded and cold."

Balance Your Wardrobe With: Fire
"Red, oranges, and really bright pinks are all considered to be Fire colors. Animal prints, leather, and faux fur are also associated with this element, as are triangles, chevron prints, and zig-zags," continues the feng shui consultant. "These patterns and shapes replicate the points associated with flames."

Why This Works?
This balancing outfit "brings warmth, energy, and life to a generally colder personality. It'll give you the spark you need to finish those projects and to connect with others, rather than just communicate with them."
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The Element: Water
"Water people have a very 'go with the flow' attitude toward life," Sherbach begins. "Their gentle nature is very adaptable, yet strong, and they are very empathetic — think of how water takes the shape of whatever container you place it into. On the other hand, a water person can sometimes be overly emotional and may sometimes lack focus and clarity."

Balance Your Wardrobe With: Earth
"Here is where the earth tones come into play — beiges, browns, terracottas and yellows." She also explained that structured silhouettes like squares and other boxy designs work great in a Water personality's wardrobe.

Why This Works?
"Think of Earth as something that dams water, creating a softer flow of energy. It gives support and shape to someone who tends to be all over the place." Talk about deep, right?
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The Element: Wood
"This is someone who is very decisive and strong willed, but can be flexible when put under pressure," says Sherbach. For added clarity, she says to think of a tree in a storm. That said, "They are patient and kind, and their family, or 'roots,' are very important to them. A Wood person may be too rigid at times, feel trapped and find themselves stuck in the past."

Balance Your Wardrobe With: Metal
"Whites, pastels, and metallics are all associated with Metal, as are rounded or curved shapes. Anything with a circle or a polka dot print would work in your outfit, as would anything made of actual metal or crystals."

Why This Works?
"Metal takes the shape that we create, a reminder that we have the power to change and move forward," explains Sherbach. "I like to visualize a metal axe chopping wood as, well, a symbol of cutting ties to the past if you find yourself stuck there."
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The Element: Fire
"Fire people are passionate, expressive, and vibrant — always the life of the party! And, extremely active," describes Sherbach. "This means they may also have a tendency to over-schedule or overextend themselves. They may find themselves easily distracted and impatient with others, but with a difficulty in acknowledging their own anger."

Balance Your Wardrobe With: Water
"We want to cool down that heat by adding in dark tones," the consultant advises. "Blacks and any shade of blue that reminds you of water are ideal. Silhouettes that are wavy and have movement fit well here." This includes free-flowing shapes, reflective surfaces — like the shiny movement of sequins and metallic clothing — and watercolor prints.

Why This Works?
These clothing items help to "calm down the heat [of Fire personalities] while still maintaining a feeling of movement," says Sherbach.
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