Defined by style

Some high school students wake up in the morning and throw on the cleanest clothes they can find. However, for Paras Bassuk ’21 and Eliana Cheng ’19, this isn’t the case. These local fashion icons in the West community have caught the eyes of many with their unique styles.

Paras Bassuk ’21

Clean and simple. That’s the look that Paras Bassuk ’21 is known for.

“I try to keep [my style] relatively simple and kind of muted, nothing insane, but also I keep an open mind with what I wear,” Bassuk said. “I like to wear things that you don’t necessarily see other people wearing.”

Bassuk seeks out non-traditional items of clothing. From shirts with zippers on the side to long tops, he embraces being different from others. Lately, he has been trying a new kind of clothing trend.

“At Target, they have this collection of clothes that are all super long men’s tops,” Bassuk said. “So I’ve been trying that out and it’s an interesting look; it’s definitely more exaggerated than some of the things that I wear. So I like that there’s lots of things that you can do with [clothing].”

Bassuk also makes a point of not wearing name-brand clothes, saying that he can find conventional items of clothing at Target and Kohl’s.

“I think that it’s really cool that I’m able to not spend crazy amounts of money on stuff and still get shoes that look kind of unique and cool,” Bassuk said. “I think it’s important to know that you can find cool things that are fun to wear pretty much anywhere, which is just awesome.”

Bassuk wears a variety of clothing, but he stresses one thing in particular: confidence.  

“For me, the most important part is being able to express being comfortable and also being put together. I think to me I feel confident when I wear things that I like,” Bassuk said. “So it’s less about how it objectively looks, and more about how it feels, and it’s nice that it ends up looking good.”


Eliana Cheng ’19

Picking out clothes is something that many people take for granted on a daily basis. However, Eliana Cheng ’19 never got the opportunity to pick her outfits when living in China. Being required to wear school uniforms at her previous school in China, after moving to the United States, she found that her style was a way to express herself.

Now that she has the ability to be creative, she prefers blacks and whites. Although this is the color scheme Cheng favors, she looks to expand her wardrobe for new experiences as well.

“It’s really easy to have [black and white] clothes, which can make you not [look] that bright,” Cheng said. “Because I have so many black and whites, I started looking for some new colors, because for school spirit days, I don’t have any other colors, so it’s kind of awkward.”

One of her signature looks at the moment is a yellow turtleneck sweater paired with jeans or black pants. Her favorite item of clothing to style are sweaters, saying they are easy to pair with other clothes and are also practical for the cold winter months.

Much of Cheng’s inspiration for her clothing comes from Chinese idols because their styles are similar to hers, and she looks up to them as fashionistas. She also finds a lot of her clothes from Forever 21, liking the large variety of clothes available there.

“I just walk in [Forever 21] and go see what I like. They have all kinds of clothes … and are big, and when I walk in, I can wander around and see all kinds of clothing,” Cheng said.

Cheng has some simple advice for those still trying to find their own personal style.

“Find your uniqueness,” Cheng said, “and when you have a bunch of clothes, you will already have your style.”