Wearing classic tan Sperry shoes and coral colored chino pants, Daniel James ’18 unbuttons his gray wool coat to reveal a button-up dress shirt that is half solid blue and half pinstriped. James pulls on his signature black Kangol hat, to add a ’90s flair to his look.
This combination of brightly hued pants and button-up dress shirts defines James’s eccentric, but classic style. Although James tends to favor formal wear, he also likes to add quirky color combinations, such as salmon and maroon, to his outfits.
“It’s kind of hip for everyone to wear jeans and sweatshirts, and I am still stuck on khakis and dress shirts every single day,” said James. “So I would describe [my style] as a combination of the classic and the modern… It’s more [about] finding a blend, and how even the most distinct colors on the color wheel can come together and complement each other.”
James cites his grandfather as someone who has influenced his timeless style.
“This person isn’t famous, but they are famous in my life; my granddad kind of inspired the style that I have now. This [gray wool coat] I’m wearing now, he had a jacket just like this. He wore the exact same hat [that I’m wearing now], you rarely saw him in jeans, he was always wearing the khakis and the dress shirt,” said James.
Accessories, such as hats, bowties, and ties, are also an essential part to James’s attire. When his grandfather passed away, James inherited a diverse collection of hand-me-down ties. Since, he has also developed an affinity for bowties.
“[My ties] are more churchy, or ties you might only wear to a church. Others of them are so in the prep school kind of lane, with the stripes or the little emblems all along the tie. And then, they range in such different colors: yellow, bright colors, dark colors, ties in the middle, ties that have a different fabric… [But] I feel kind of weird wearing a necktie because I just love bow ties now,” said James.
James chooses to dress the way he does as motivation and inspiration to succeed in whatever he does.
“I feel like you dress for success, so when I go in to take that test, even if I’m feeling like absolute crap, [I believe] if I’m dressed in a way as though I am ready to take it, then I will perform in a way that shows that I was ready to take the test. So I feel like dressing well every single day helps me to have a better outlook about school, better outlook on life, period,” said James.
Karolina Buchajska ’18, a friend of James, said, “I think Daniel’s style is unique and modernistic. It’s very elegant and cultured, with a taste of leisure to it. Usually the accessories he chooses to wear with his outfit, such as his leather gloves and scarf, add to the overall balance of colors. The careful choice of colors makes his outfits even more elegant.”