Shawna Basist: Self-Empowerment Fashion


Georgia Privott, A&C Reporter

At App State, people are seen walking barefoot or even wearing shorts in the winter, but Shawna Basist is the only one with elf ears all year round.  

“The world would be a little more magical if we all looked a little more magical,” senior apparel design major Basist said. 

Basist incorporates her love for history, musical theater and fantasy into her wardrobe. She said her style consisted of knee-high socks and sailor skirts in high school because of her interest in anime. 

When she got to college, she wore cat ears and a tail every day for the first year. 

Basist said she confidently walks to class when everyone looks at her with the help of her elf-ear earphones.

 “I put in earbuds, and I strut like I know exactly what I’m doing. Just pretend you’re in some magical film where you’re the badass to be reckoned with,” Basist said. 

Basist’s attire consists of clothing often sexualized by the media, like garter belts and corsets, but Basist said she wears them for self-empowerment and functionality.

“I really like corsets. They are very tight, but I don’t tie them to the point where I can’t breathe or eat because I do need to run to catch the bus. They’re actually really great for back support,” Basist said. 

Basist has a collection of eight corsets, which she paired with homemade or thrifted skirts. 

“I have two tablecloths that I cut a hole in with some safety pins, and I just add a corset. It’s magical,” Basist said. 

Basist said every day she comes to class dressed up, but on the last day of classes, she likes to surprise people by dressing in a hoodie and jeans. She said it’s funny when people she sees the whole year don’t recognize her without her usual attire. 

“That weird kid that you all know, they are probably pretty cool. Go talk to them. Go be nice to your local weird kid,” Basist said.