The Best of Intentions: Elemental Fusions

I have been sitting on some very important information, just waiting for the right moment to share it. Well folks, that moment has arrived! Here it is, are you ready? Not only can you fulfill your authentic self by dressing to honor your essence, you can also dress to attract everything your little heart desires!! It’s just like The Secret, only more fab.

OK, let’s back up. In previous posts, I talked about each of the five elements and how they relate to fashion. The first piece of the puzzle is your essence, which I know many of you have been discovering and getting to know. I hope you have had some epiphanies like I did when I first started to learn about this. Such as “Oh that’s why I’m always talking about moving to faraway lands, but I always end up staying put… because I’m an Earth and I like to stick with what I know.” Or “No wonder I go mad when a single thing is out of place in my apartment – because I’m a Metal and I like things to be organized and perfect.” It’s a very empowering thing to be so in touch with who you are, and to be able to literally wear it on your sleeve.

But the next part is the most fun, see. You can actually dress to honor your goals and the life you want to lead. Let’s face it: no matter how perfect things might feel sometimes, there is always room for improvement. Whether it’s that you want to finally get in there and organize that closet that puts Monica on Friends‘ to shame, get in touch with your creative side, or find the love of your life… all of these goals and dreams can be represented in your daily outfits, and serve as constant reminders to yourself and the world what you are after in life.

This is where wonderful clothes work together to create truly unique outfits, and the possibilities become endless. Our closets would be quite boring if we only ever dressed in one element. In fact, we always want all 5 of the elements to be present in an outfit, even if it is through small touches like your undergarments or jewelry, so we aren’t weighing too heavy on one energy – because that’s where you can lose a connection with others. For example, someone dressed ALL in metal (ivory, cashmere, metallics, round shapes, all in name brands) and NO other elements present, she could come across as a bit stuffy or snobby. Or someone in all Fire (animal print, bright red, really revealing clothes) will come across as attention starved or trashy. The elemental fusions are where the magic happens.

To show you how this can be done, and celebrate the start of the Fall season, I created a few sample outfits. These are just a few of truly endless ways to do this…

Water + Earth
Water + Earth
Water + Earth by thelifestyled featuring By Malene Birger cardigans

Say a Philosopher wants to cozy up with their journal on a rainy day, she may choose to incorporate some Earth energy as her intention. Here we have the water energy present through asymmetrical shapes like on the skirt, flowy fabrics like the draping top, dark colors, and touches of creativity. The Earth comes through in the plaids prints, traditional styling (skirt, shoes, and bag), nubby and cozy textures, like the cardigan. Even the cup of steaming Starbucks coffee (or *$, as the kids are calling it on Twitter to ration their character count) serves as the perfect representation of warmth and liquid. Water + Earth = Reflective, Introspective, Cozy, Comfortable.

Metal + Wood
Metal + Wood
Metal + Wood by thelifestyled featuring All Saints

I envision this Perfectionist on a Monday morning, nibbling on a warm scone while making her perfectly penned, color coded To Do list for the week, and inspiration strikes her to get moving with it! So, in light of her active week, she is incorporating some Wood to help her get it all done. There’s a chance of rain, so she’ll pack her designer umbrella, and while she’s got all her usual favorites to help her say true to herself (pastel shoes and bag, ivory luxurious sweater, metallic jewelry), she is having the perfect Pioneer moment with a bright green coat, jeans, flats, knit hat, and floral ring. When wood and metal come together, skyscrapers get built!

Earth + Fire
Fire + Earth
Fire + Earth by thelifestyled featuring Marc by Marc Jacobs dresses

This Peacemaker has had enough of nurturing for now. It’s time for her to spice things up and have a little fun. For a day of shopping on the city streets, where she can add a little strut to her step, she will sport some things that are a little push of the envelope for her, and she likes it. The Earth is still heavily present through the plaid print, vintage feel of the belt, teacher-like quality of the safety pin earrings (a true Earth hero), and square shapes present in the clutch. Even the Louboutin heels are somewhat traditional, simple, and tasteful. The dress doesn’t reveal too much skin, which is comforting. All the while, who can deny the blazing flames in this outfit? The cherry red color, dramatic clunky belt, big sunglasses, and oh-so-of-the-moment fur vest (lucky for her, this one is faux. She couldn’t bear to wear an innocent animal). Earth serves as the perfect Fire pit every once in awhile.

Fire + Water
Fire + Water
Fire + Water by thelifestyled featuring Bottega Veneta bags

While the Pleasure Seeker usually ventures to be the life of the party, this Fire is in the mood for a little poetry. She often finds that her loud mouth gets her in trouble, so she’s aiming to be just a little calmer, cooler, and chicly subdued. She wants to be the girl sitting at the last bar stool, not saying a word but still has the eyes of every man and woman in the room. Of course, getting dressed would be no fun without her usual touches of Fire – deep pink dress, dramatic shoulder, loaded clutch, and her new revealing cutout shoes. But to add to her new mysterious persona, she adds a lot of black, asymmetrical shaped dress, shimmery black nails, and drapey coat. Water may not always be able to extinguish the Fire, but it can cool it down to create some steam.

Dressing your intentions can sometimes be even more fun than dressing your essence. It’s new, fun, different, and always evolving. Just make sure that no matter what you want to bring into your life and your wardrobe, that you are always keeping your authentic self present – cause we all know we’re not fooling anyone.

To see more examples of how to dress essence and intention, check out my segment on Twin Cites Live from last January, where we dressed models in their true essence and intentions using clothes from their very own closets!

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  1. Rachel Cannon Humiston 09/04/2009 Reply

    Catherine, thank you for showing such fabulous combinations for Earth! I especially love the plaid dress, belted cardigan (a look I've been trying to master unsuccessfully) and both pairs of shoes! Can't wait to try and find similar pieces for Fall/Winter!

  2. NicoleLaAwesome 09/11/2009 Reply

    Like I said last night, it was so worth all the time and effort you put into this! The metal and wood is me exactly. Lets put it this way… I have a ring, an umbrella that look exactly like that… i just need that trench!!! (maybe burberry :op) and the flats and sweater, perfect for fall!

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