At 35, Dwyane Wade is a veteran of both the NBA and the fashion world. The three-time champ was taking sartorial risks since long before athlete fashion became its own cottage industry. The styles Wade turned heads with early in his career—the hemmed pants, the flashy jackets—are now commonplace around the league. After years of working hard to get his foot in the door, the Bulls guard is now a regular at fashion shows from Paris to Milan.
Earlier this summer, Wade—ranked No. 7 on SI's 2017 Fashionable 50 list—caught up with SI to discuss his latest style inspirations.
Rohan Nadkarni: How would you describe your style?
Dwyane Wade: First of all, I’m honored to be on the Fashionable 50 list again. I don’t know if I’m going for one thing. I’ve had moments in my career, for the playoffs I’ve had a theme. Throughout a year, throughout a summer, I don’t go for one thing. I just kind of go. We just let it flow. My style is whatever I’m feeling at that moment. Right now, I have my hair wavy a little bit, so we have to build looks around my hair and beard.
One year in the playoffs I did an all red, black and white theme. No matter what it was. One year I did an all cardigan look. One year every outfit I wore was the same color. I walked into Indiana and I had all orange from head to toe. Guys in the studio were calling me all kinds of stuff. One year I did all grey, it was a 50 shades of grey look.
RN: What is your favorite piece in your closet right now?
DW: I’m big into that trend of athleisure. If you see me, I have tights on underneath. Even if I golf I have on a pair of tights. If I’m in Miami, I would put on some kind of light cotton shorts. The shorts above my knee. The tights would be long. Because it’s Miami and because it’s a little hot, I’m going to wear a low-cut V shirt. So I can show off my chest with my jewelry. It’s not a tank, but it shows a little bit of one nipple. Sneakers it would depend on what I feel. I may go with mine, or low cut Vans, or a YSL, a low cut Gucci. If I do high tops, I’ll do the WOWs.
RN: Is there one item that is a go-to for you? Maybe something you have a lot of or that you’ve bought in different colors, or just over and over again?
DW: Joggers. I have so many pairs of joggers, A pair of black or gray joggers, I can wear that every day. I can dress it up or down. If I’m going to dinner, but they don’t have to be heavy. No, I don’t wear a specific brand, I’m all over the board. It has to be a tighter, ribbed bottom, so I can pull it up over my sneakers. I like different styles. Stylish, but not the dad ones. I’m a dad, but I don’t wear dad sweats.
RN: Do you have a holy grail item or piece that you must travel with? Something that helps you be stylish or put together a stylish look, no matter where or when you are traveling?
DW: I don’t think I own anything with that mentality. I do have a great relationship with DSquared2. I picked them and they picked me, and it’s all very authentic because we all like each other. I’m going to pick DSquared2 out of my closet because I love their jackets. White shirt, buttoned up, two or three undone, DSquared2 jacket or Neil Barrett, or then joggers, maybe shorts or jeans. I have about 10 black jackets, and probably eight of them are DSquared2, and then I feel like you need to have a lot of white shirts.
RN: Who inspires you when it comes to fashion? Any other athletes or celebrities?
DW: I don’t really have anyone like that. If I see something that I like, I’m not afraid to say I did this because I saw this on someone else. I’ll follow a trend that I like. If I see a guy walking down the street and he’s wearing something that I like, I’ll call my stylist and tell her. I was rolling with the man anklets last summer, I was trying to explain to my stylist what I wanted, I wanted my anklets to show. We’re all wearing the short pants in Paris at fashion week and I end up sitting next to the guy wearing the exact thing I want on his ankle. I asked for his photo of his ankle so I could send it to my stylist.
RN: What’s the most money you’ve ever spent on a piece of clothing or accessory?
DW: To my knowledge, one of the dumbest purchases I’ve ever done, was my second or third year in the NBA. We were at Prime Italian in Miami, it was called Vivi at the time, my jeweler came to me and Shaq and we went to look at a few pieces. There was this one watch, it cost $60,000. I was like What?! I was a young kid. Shaq said get it. “Flash, you can afford it. Treat yourself,” he said. It lost its value right away. Even worse than a car. I don’t even remember the last time I wore it. I should know where it’s at, because it was a lot of money. It should be in my safe, I’m ashamed.
RN: What is your go-to outfit for a night out?
DW: My mind goes to my last important night out in Miami. I had a going away dinner here. I wore two different outfits. For the dinner, I wore something comfortable, a light bomber jacket, underneath I had on a tan polo look, comfortable polo, I didn’t want to wear jeans or joggers, they were very designer cargo pants, in between jeans and joggers. Once again not your dad cargo. I think that’s the perfect kind of outfit in Miami. Still dressy and stylish.