Try some fashion Feng Shui for your next big event

Try some fashion Feng Shui for your next big event

If you’re like me, you probably have some anxiety about attending a conference, trade show or networking event. In 20 years I’ve probably had more training than the next person on the art of the schmooze, but I still get the willies sometimes.  A few years ago I learned a secret that might seem a little silly, but it really works.

I have been fortunate to work with Carole Hyder as a client for a long time. Carole is an international teacher, author and businessperson who specializes in Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of balancing the energies in your home and work.  I’ve already written about the power of wearing red underwear  if you’re going to be on TV but there’s more fashion Feng Shui you can use for a really big day,  whether it’s a speech, an important meeting, conference or anywhere you need to be at your best.   Whether it works because it works, or it works because it’s all in your head (and really, what’s the difference) it works. First let me tell you a little story and then I’ll tell you how to do it. 

Several years ago I was going to a conference in Los Angeles that involved all the biggest TV production companies, networks and major influencers in the industry.  It was important that I make as many contacts as I could but I was really intimidated –  my business was fairly new and I felt like a bumpkin.  I mentioned my apprehension to Carole, who gave me a simple way to  incorporate something from each of the five “elements” into my wardrobe. That way, Carole said, people would be attracted to ME…I wouldn’t have to do anything special.

Basically, Carole told me to incorporate each of the five elements (wood, earth, wind, water and metal) into my outfit for the day. Of course I was skeptical but I also had seen some of the incredible changes Carole had made in people’s lives through this ancient Chinese practice. Plus, what could it hurt? And so, on the biggest day of the conference, for metal I wore  my favorite gold watch, a blue shirt for water, gold earrings and a pair of beige pants. And of course, the famous red underwear.

What happened next was remarkable. Again, maybe it was the Feng Shui. Maybe it was my confidence or attitude. Maybe it was the magical power of manifestation. Who knows, and really, who cares? Almost immediately upon arriving at the conference a man approached me and asked if we’d met before. He was the head of production for NBC Universal. Then, as I stood in line for coffee, the head of a small cable network asked me several questions about where I was from and offered to let me pitch him a show idea. (Keep in mind, EVERYONE at this conference was trying to get to these people.) A bit later, I was invited as a VIP to a party for the head of the production company that created major shows like That 70’s Show. Later on that day, Mark Cuban sat down next to me and started chatting. And at the party that night, I befriended the director of SNL’s short movies, and we watched the Pussycat Dolls dance on the bar.

No lie, tons of other people approached me that day too. Remember we were in Los Angeles where gorgeous blonde bombshells are 10 to a block if not more so I know it wasn’t my looks. (And I wasn’t wearing a crazy hairpiece either)  I collected tons of cards, and I still keep in touch with many of those people today. (Sadly, Mark Cuban has not returned my emails however.)

Since then, it’s become my secret weapon for events. It’s easy, it’s fun and for whatever reason, it always works.

If you want to know more about Chinese Feng Shui and the elements, I found a really good description here.  But for a quick primer, here are the steps to getting dressed with the “elements”. Try it and see let me know what happens!

  1. Put everything on with the intention that piece is representing a particular element. According to Carole, this is important.
  2. Wear something of metal. This can be gold earrings, a watch, or even a belt buckle.
  3. I love to wear red underwear, but you can wear anything that represents fire or the color red.
  4. Water is typically blue. Remember it doesn’t have to be a huge piece of blue. Even a small pocket handkerchief works.
  5. Wood is pretty easy when you’re dressing. If you can’t find something made of wood, wear dark brown. A headband or other hairpiece might work.
  6. Earth is also light yellow, beige or tan.