Smile Politely

C-U In Style: Jake

In this week’s C-U in Style, Farah talks to a tattoo collector.

Graduated last May and works at Urban Outfitters, 25

Shoes – H&M
Hat –, but the brand is Brixton
Sweater – Urban Outfitters
Jacket – Eddie Bauer

SP: Which piece of your outfit is your favorite?

Jake: I guess probably my hat. I wear a hat almost every day and I’m really into wearing driver caps. It’s kind of been my thing for a couple of years now.

If it’s not my hat, then it’s my shoes. I think a good pair of shoes is really important for a guy’s outfit. That doesn’t mean they have to be expensive or fancy. They just have to be cohesive with what he’s wearing; otherwise, his outfit falls apart. It can be very simple; it can be a pair of Chucks, or all white or all black canvas lace ups, but if you have some really cool dress pants and a suit vest on and some air force ones, you’re gonna look really funny and confused. I think, being ironic is really popular right now, but I think you can be ironic without being cliché. You can be ironic and cohesive at the same time.

SP: When did you begin developing your own personal style?

Jake: I guess I’ve always been interested in style. Around senior year of high school, I started getting into denim and learning more about jeans and learning more about the different kinds of washes and styles that were out there. I had a very different kind of style back then, but I’d say around senior year of high school I’ve just been developing my own style.

SP: What influences your style?

Jake: I had a phase where I was very into looking collegiate, like the 1960’s/1970’s Ivy League style. For the most part I would say I like to dress pretty “clean.” I really like wearing Oxfords with button down collars and long-sleeved shirts. There are a lot of things I let inspire me, but I try hard not to model myself after anyone in a particular. I try to put things together that don’t ask to be seen but just work well together. 

SP: What does your personal style say about you?

Jake: That I’m not trying to be flashy but that I like dressing well. I like dressing like I’m put together, and I would like my style to say that.

SP: What local C-U shopping place do you favor when downtown?

Jake: I think Dandelion is pretty cool. I think vintage clothes shopping is kind of a risky thing and you never know what you’re going to get, but the idea of Dandelion is very cool to me and I respect it a lot. 

SP: You have some very interesting tattoos. How do those add to your style?

Jake: I started collecting tattoos about a year ago. They all have personal meanings to me. For me, tattoos are cool because it’s such a personal thing and no matter what the tattoo is, it has a story there’s a story about why you got it, how you got it, when you got it.

I like tattoos because I get to carry these stories around with me, and sometimes they’re reminders of things. My most recent tattoo is an eagle. It’s a reminder of really appreciating freedom and really appreciating the idea of the spirit of being free.

And this dog is from the album cover of a band that I listened to a lot last summer. The album is called “We are Lonely Animals” by a band called Braveyoung. This is just a way for me to remember that summer. These are probably my favorite two tattoos.

All my tattoos, are pretty unconventional as far as tattooing goes. I like things that are original a lot, and I like things that are specific to one person and to one experience. Tattoos are always unique to a person and even the artist who does them. When an artist creates the tattoo for the client, there’s something the artist gives to the client through the tattoo.

SP: You said you collect tattoos. How many do you have?

Jake: I have four so far. When a person says they’re collecting tattoos, that means they get small random ones and then develop their sleeves. I would like to make them into a cohesive thing, which in my mind is like making my own story because I’m the one who has collected these memories. It’s hard to choose because you have to choose an idea to put on your arm. If I had to choose all the things that were important to me, I would basically be a walking piece of ink!

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