DJ is known as the “W” in Wake Forest AW, one of the top 5 debate partnerships in the nation. But his team’s nickname “shock and AWe” doesn’t solely refer to his debate ability, but it alludes to his fashion sense as well. I sat down with DJ to talk through his daily style choices, and why he makes the case for college men to embrace fashion, even as a busy student.
Why do you think men should embrace style?
Fashion is a form of self-expression. In a way, fashion allows someone to alter or experiment with their own and different personas each day. What someone is wearing reveals a lot about an individual’s values. Not that we should restrict our interpretations of people based on what they’re dress in, but on a very basic level you can determine what a person does or is interested in based on what they wear.
Over time, I have gone through radical shifts in what I thought was fashionable. Ironically, I used to only own southern tide, vineyard vines, and polo. Sometime during high school, I started to get bored with my look and wanted to become riskier rather than just put on whatever I thought other people liked.
Fashion for me then became a medium for trend setting. Because once people saw me in clothes that didn’t fit the “norm,” I was able to have deeper conversations with them about why I wear certain things and the cultural influence behind each choice.
What are your go-tos when you wake up and don’t know what to wear?
I honestly don’t have any go-tos. The first thing I do, like most people, before I select which clothes to wear is check the weather. It sets the framework for what kind of look I’m going for, while also ensuring I will be comfortable all day.
The biggest thing for me is finding clothes that best complement whatever shoe I feel like wearing that day. To avoid over analyzing these decisions, I have mainly all white shoes because of how consistently interchangeable they all are.
Honestly, there are times where I’m just too pressured by time or don’t have all the pieces to an outfit, so I through bunch of things together and hope for the best.
Do you have any lucky pieces that you wear for debate tournaments?
I don’t have any lucky pieces for debate per say, but I have things I always wear no matter the occasion. I really like jewelry specifically necklaces. I used to have three pendants I never took off, but I recently lost one. I have a new pendant coming, but I have to get it fixed because it doesn’t fit on the chain I want it to go with. This new one is really special to me because it was passed down to me by my dad and was something he used to wear around my age. The two I currently wear are diamond cross necklaces that symbolize my Christian upbringing as well as my affinity for shiny things.
Look for DJ and his love of shiny things in future articles, as he is now a member of the WFU Style team!
Written by Kate Shapiro
Photos by Phillip Yurchenko
Edited by Julia Sawchak