The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

Aesthetic Spotlights!

What fashion do we see at VTSU-Johnson? When we take glances at our friends, colleagues, and (sometimes) our professors, there is a clear diversity of styles that we enjoy and that make us feel like our best selves! From rehashed 1970s looks to pastel grunge, members of our VTSU-community have a myriad of old and new styles. Here, we’ll take an inside look at three students as examples!

On Sammy Brayton

Sammy Brayton (Heike Chaney)

Sammy Brayton, for instance, is a student majoring in Biology-Field Naturalist. Brayton says she views fashion as a means of making her happy. She describes her main style as “a contrast between herself and the environment.” Brayton loves to wear articles of clothing that make her laugh and signify her inner beauty.

“I don’t care about the specific style or genre I’m wearing,” Brayton says. “As long as I feel good, and it makes me happy, and it puts a smile to my face, then that’s fine.”

Bratyon classifies her style of clothing as “everchanging.” Periodically Brayton leans toward goth — a style replete with distinctly crafted black makeup which creates a clear contrast between Brayton and the enviornment around her. The Field Naturalist major also adores bohemian style due to its natural earth-like feeling.

“If I can look like Stevie Nicks at any point, that’s what makes me happy,” Brayton adds.

When it comes to assembling an outfit, many can agree we are attached at the hip to many sources of inspiration. Brayton often looks through Pinterest for any interesting sources of influence. But she also looks to figures like Stevie Nicks and Mama Cass from The Mammas and The Pappas as her inspiration. As it is difficult for her to find inspiration that will best fit her body type, Sammy says she tries to look for women who look like herself. She describes the aforesaid figures as women who are “still serving and still flying,” as they do not let their personal sizes restrict them from what they want to wear.

Even though Brayton enjoys thrifting, she considers her closet as well as other peoples’ closets as her favorite places. Another shop Brayton favors is Downtown Burlington’s “Tailfeather,” which is an independently curated clothing business. According to Brayton, the manager of Tailfeather often goes to different countries and talks with artisans shortly before sourcing clothing from those countries.

“Most of the clothes and the pieces I really love are just things that have been handed down to me,” Brayton said.

When struggling to find an outfit, Brayton likes to rely on a vast jewelry collection. She says that whenever she finds a piece of jewelry, she will either find different pieces that will work well with it or find one article of clothing and base everything else around that. Even though Brayton may wear an all-black outfit, for instance, she likes to add eye-catching earrings and makeup to “not look like shit.” Elaborating further on any articles of clothing, or accessories of such nature, the Field-Naturalism student says that one of them includes a pair of green earrings shaped like babies. Additionally, when asked about the last article of clothing she bought, or received, Sammy mentions a rainbow crochet top that her brother once made for her.

When asked what piece of fashion advice she commits to, Brayton says she needs to have “one thing on that makes me giggle.”

“I hate when Coco Chanel was like ‘Look at yourself in the mirror and take one thing off’,” Brayton said. “Make yourself feel good and smile!”

On Katrin Cote

Katrin Cote (Heike Chaney)

Katrin Cote, a third-year major in Holistic Health, defines fashion as a creative expression of the self and how you want to present yourself to others. She describes her personal aesthetic as a culmination of the 1990s, as well as an “earthy grunge” style. As of the current semester, you may have seen Cote as one out of three students working as coordinators for Student Activities.

Cote looks to Instagram accounts and fashion brands as her influences. And yet, much like some of us “younglings” eager to find more, Cote is also inspired by other people around her on campus. The Holistic Health major is inclined toward thrift shopping. They go on to mention that specific places they like to thrift include Savers, a thrift shop based in New Hampshire, and Second Chance, another thrift shop based in Morrisville.

“I definetly end up shopping in Morrisville more, just because I’m here more than I’m at home,” says Cote.

Some of us do not always have our best days where we have an outfit planned for our day ahead. When struggling to find an outfit, Cote always relies on basics. Within the current fashion realm of the 2020s, “basics” refers to solid-colored clothing articles. Cote believes that with the utilization of basics, you can still make certain outfits work well. The more that you use basics in an interchangeable manner, even with accessories, the more your outfits can be “elevated.”

Cote noted today’s fashion standards have an emphasis on aesthetics. From the dreaminess of Cottage-core to the loud imagery of Y2K — a style inspired by fashion of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, to Dark and Light Academia, we live in a society where most of us feel expected to commit to one style of clothing. In response to this, Cote explains that it is best to “just do what’s fun” for your style. You do not need to force yourself to a single look. Allow yourself room for experimentation in between aesthetics.

The last article of clothing Cote bought? A green corduroy button-up shirt.

On Arlie White

Arlie White (Courtesy @arlie_barley)

Arlie White is a fourth-year major in Performance Arts and Technology who will be graduating this month.  You may have seen White in previous Dibden productions, concert performances with the Funk Fusion Ensemble, and more! Similar to Brayton and Cote’s insight, White describes fashion as a form of self-expression with the considerations of gender identity and neurodivergence.

Wearing clothing to “express my authentic self” can look like many crucial things for White. They favor wearing clothes that they feel the most comfortable in, and dressing androgynously is crucial to them feeling like themselves. Simultaneously, White also pays attention to sensory aspects of their clothing with the intention of avoiding any article of clothing that may cause sensory overload.

When asked to describe their personal style, White said they “wear what I like to wear.” The term “Boho Punk” was the first style that came to their mind. But the P.A.T. major describes how they are dressed preppy, bohemian, or in outfits with basic clothing pieces. In referencing their emphasis on self-expression, every outfit that White assembles depends on how they feel. The way they express their gender is fluid, and the same goes for their clothing style.

“When I was in middle school and high school, I remember just feeling like I had to fit into a specific box. I wanted to come across a certain way,” White recalled. “So, I kind of mashed my style to that. And I kind of had to work hard to let go of that, because I feel like true expression is just so unique. And everybody has their unique perspective, and their unique self, and it’s impossible to fit into any one box that there might be.”

White often thrifts at Depop, an online consignment thrift store founded by Simon Beckerman in 2011, as they describe thrifting clothing as cheaper and sustainable. While Depop consumers can browse clothing from designer brands, White thrifts clothing from brands such as Urban Outfiters and Pacsun. But they also like to find upcylced vintage pieces or other clothing articles with custom-made designs to support small artists. In addition, White simultaneously shops at Uniqlo, another online store, due to its wide variety of basics.

When struggling to assemble an outfit, White describes further how they tend to get overwhelmed. In response to this, they will first go through a process of elimination regarding clothes that may cause sensory overload. Once they cancel out such clothing articles, White will eventually prioritize figuring out comfortable clothes. If they can handle more on a given day, White will plan an outfit early beforehand.

Finally, White emphasized the sentiment that feeling good equates to looking good. Regardless of any given “box” that other people may place your outfit in, White believes that the outfit will look good due to your belief that it feels good to your mind and body. They advise that if you’re wearing a clothing article that does not feel good, there are many resources to utilize for donating or giving it away.

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About the Contributor
Heike Chaney, Staff Writer, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Transfer Student, Interdisciplinary Studies (Theatre & Communications) Based in Hartford, VT Fall 2023-Present SLAP Coordinator & DANCELAND Club Member I can do a shockingly good Judy Garland impression, and I have been in over 22 Theatre productions since the sixth grade! ;) Favorite Roles: Adela Van Norman (THE IT GIRL); Martha Cratchitt (A CHRISTMAS CAROL); Chutney Wyndham (LEGALLY BLONDE).