1. Off-the-shoulder woven cotton top,
fully clean white jeans, and a neon Birkenstock
This look will show your shrink that you’re living in the moment, you’re on trend, and you trust yourself to handle vulnerable fabrics. The clean white jeans will betray that you’ve been overly-cautious both when it comes to engaging in conversation with your mother and seats on the subway, but the Birkenstocks bring it all back to the fact that you’re grounded and in for a long-term commitment with your shoes.
2. A-line seersucker skirt, slightly sheer silk top,
black bralette, and canvas Keds
This summer getup says “I want to be transparent, but I’m also deeply tied to my northeastern family’s traditional tightlippedness.” The top shows you’re trying to be open, but not in a transference-y way. For that, always go mesh. The seersucker conveys a measured nonchalance and will indicate that you’ve been emotionally stiff on dates this week.
3. Skinny jeans, over-sized button down shirt,
hair in a top knot, and a pair of pointy-toe flats
If you’re ready to talk about what happened at your second grade dance recital, a classic ballet bun is the perfect lead in. And an oversized shirt just screams “ask me about Justin so I don’t have to bring up Justin myself.” Don’t be discouraged if your therapist doesn’t fall for the bait on your ex, and be sure to bring extra bobby pins in case your time on the couch takes its toll on your up-do.
4. Faded graphic tee, drop-hem jorts, ankle boots,
and a streak of tinted lip balm
When you called in sick this morning and are ready to explore some deep, dark memories, this casual look will prime your therapist for the coming cascade of exhausted sorrow. This will also make for a good callback if you left on a particularly angsty note last session.
5. Schoolboy blazer, striped pant,
open-toed block heel, and a neutral leather tote
This ensemble explains that you’ve just gone on a job interview, you’re feeling vulnerable and picked over, and you really don’t want to say anything else about your internal struggle with chronic dissatisfaction. The structured collar of your blazer will be a warning for the walls you’ve put up this afternoon, and the tote displays the baggage you’re keeping neatly organized for next time.
6. Floral print sundress, flow-y tissue-weight cardigan,
and pastel espadrille wedges
If you accused your therapist of only swindling you out of your hard-earned money and insulted her ethics or her alma mater during your last appointment, this soft look is the perfect entrée to an apology. You’ll be showing your softer side right off the bat, and the lightness of the fabrics will feel metaphoric after you lift the weight of her hurt feelings off your shoulders.
7. Black high-waisted wide-leg trouser,
slate silk pussy-bow top, leather booties
This look screams, “I think our work is done here, Karen.” When you’ve identified your demons and learned how to un-fuck-up your relationships, this somber style will help let your therapist down easy. This serves double duty as a great look for “I just saw my therapist for the last time and I’m fragile” drinks with friends. The wide-leg pants convey that you’re comfortable with yourself and know you deserve to take up space, and the soft silk top will show every tear and cocktail spill. And you’ve accepted all that.