Reading your clothing

Sarah Rosenberg

If you are a well-equipped fashion know-it-all, then you will know that fashion isn’t simple. It never has been.

Call it what you’d like, but fashion is its own entity in the world of art. Fashion is complex, and with each new year the realm of fashion seems to expand more and more to accommodate new fashion discoveries. This time, it’s what Elle magazine is calling psychoanalytic prints. No, this isn’t a lost Psychology 101 vocabulary word—it’s Freudian fashion. You can only imagine the designs of this new style. Think of a more sophisticated version of the ‘70s psychedelic prints we have all come to know and love, yet abandoned because of the decades-Barbie feel we get from wearing them. Psychoanalytic prints are much more than that. Psychoanalytic prints are smart.

The prints are like tools for fashion therapy. As Elle magazine said, these designs are all too similar to the Rorschach Inkblot tests psychiatrists give to their patients. Now, wearing blouses or button-down shirts while carrying a clutch, you can give passersby a psychoanalytical test of your own, created by the highest fashion designers. The clothing is printed with double image figures, splashes of color, and silhouetted figures printed on heavy button-down shirts. A smoke-inspired black-and-white clutch is also mind-warping, but you can pair the accessory with almost anything.

High-end fashion brands such as Miu Miu, Brian Reyes, and Jason Wu have employed these age-old psychology theories to their fashion designs. Silk blouses, leather clutches and black-and-white minidresses are such examples of these psychoanalytic prints that will make you think. If anything, these prints will make you look a little deeper into a piece of clothing. No longer is an outfit simply fabric and design. With these new prints, each piece has a message unique to anyone who witnesses these designs firsthand.

Being educated in fashion requires much more than wearing psychoanalytic prints, however. According to Elle, “smart” trends are popping up to make you look a little brighter and feel more intelligent, adhering to classic looks we’ve long appreciated. Dainty cardigans accentuated with lace, navy blue patent leather flats, and polka-dotted shirtwaist dresses are just the pieces to smarten up the school-girl style. As featured in Elle magazine, earrings cut to match the shapes of quotation marks are extra sharp. Buy into classic looks—stripes, plaid prints, blazer jackets, cropped dress pants, leather belts, and polka dot trends are certainly smart, and will never go out of style.

You may not want to pair all of these accruements of the school-girl style together for fear of looking too “preppy,” but each of these looks has the potential to be mixed with any piece of clothing you might own. Striped boat-neck shirts with ripped jeans, a slim-fitting blazer jacket with black leggings and knee high boots, or a polka-dotted scarf tied into your hair are all styles that can be tested and tried with your current closet habitants.

Checking out new looks such as the strange-yet-stylish psychoanalytic prints or sticking to tried and true trends of the prep school theme are two ways to be smart in this world of fashion. Fashion is indeed complex—designers can employ sailor emblems and stripes one minute and resort to Rorschach Inkblot patterns the next. However, it’s all for the sake of being smart. You can get your fashion education through any of these styles.

Whether you’re bold like Lady GaGa or a classic devotee to Ralph Lauren’s preppy yet charming fashion, smart is the way to dress. Psychoanalytic prints are a fresh and new take on fashion. It just goes to show you that fashion designers can be inspired by anything these days. It also proves that you can turn fashion into almost anything. Although classic trends and school-girl trends will always be in style, the most popular school subjects may be featured in fashion’s future before you know it. Psychology had its run this year, but history, drama, literature, and even math may have their turn next.