Dominic

Name: Dominic L.

Major: Psychology

Year: Senior

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Dominic wears a blue gradient 1970 inspired canvas shirt with several unique wooden buttons from Urban Outfitters.

I notice you’re wearing some thick woolen socks, where are those from? I got these from REI. I like REI for my roughed accessories like carabineers, socks and beanies. Sometimes I enjoy jackets from there too. I am defiantly a fan of big socks, mostly because of what they do for my shoes. Big socks fill out my shoes, which to me totally rearranges my confidence. Like, if I wear flaccid shoes with these socks, then the shoe itself depletes, and with a thick sock it fills the form of the Converse. Converse run a little big, so you want to try fill the form of it, otherwise it looks like a clown shoe. It has the filling effect and helps with what a Converse should look like.

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 Dominic wears his Converse with rugged, woolen socks from REI.

By the way you describe your clothing so far, it sounds like you’re very aware of your style and sense of self. What made you dive deeper into discovering your personal style? In high school, I just sort of slapped on whatever was available. In the beginning my style rearranged to conform to those around me. For instance, I was in a fraternity freshman and sophomore year, and I was wearing Ralph Lauren, same jeans of course, and then like Sperry’s, and I based that on wanting to have the easiest and most stereotypical college experience as possible, so I did that. I believe after being in a fraternity, it was really easy to be a part of the “machine” and be accepted among a group of people. That sparked the idea that fashion affected who you were.

How did you manage to turn the “machine” off and start listening to Dominic? Definitely once I quit the fraternity. It turned my brain into mush and turned me into a monster, an inconsiderate one. I kind of thought that if I treated other people better I should start to treat myself better. Feeling better about myself became expressed through fashion and learning and daily habits and everything. Basically anything that didn’t make me feel the way I did in the fraternity, which was a very bad feeling. Though I enjoyed it in the moment, externally, everybody hated us. So yeah, I think growing, relationships, seeking approval with others and wanting to go back to my friend group at home and show them how I’ve changed. Many of my friends went through fashion changes as well that kind of mimicked their lifestyles. I guess that is what I try to do with my fashion. I constantly try to mimic the way I think and go about life every single day. Also, a lot is definitely influenced by music.

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Dominic rocks the luscious Elvis hairstyle.

Who is your musical influence? Julian Casablancas of the Strokes is 100% my goal and my idol for fashion. I am not really wearing that style today, but I think about it constantly. And it’s not necessarily just the clothes he wears, but also how he wears them and how he chooses to dress. I really like retro a lot– so like Converse and studded leather jackets with a sweatshirt underneath and lots of necklaces. I also like black pants and big boots that you can stuff your pants into. My next project is to stud my leather jacket. I want to incorporate some feminine aspects to my style as well. But yeah, just that kinda vibe. It is very Julian.

Tell me more about the feminine vibe and your fashion interpretations. Well fashion itself is just about how I feel that day. I would like to make a graph about men who consider themselves fashionable and men who cross their legs when they sit. It is just something that I have noticed. It is feminine and the reason I like to do it is because it makes me more venerable. I’m trying to incorporate a more unisex appeal to my life. I like how it makes me feel. It makes me feel more open. That is important to me. I find the more fashionable you are, the more aware you are. I never ever want to be fully masculine because that goes against everything that I care for. I don’t want anything to be considered masculine or feminine fashion wise. I am totally into unisex everything because it becomes less about objectifying the body for both men and women.

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 Dominic adds a slight sparkle to his look with an eyebrow stud.

I notice you have an eyebrow piercing, is that a part of this style that you’ve explaining? Yeah, this is like a dermal in my eyebrow. I got this I think sophomore year. This was when I was still in the fraternity and I was like man, I still want to be different in this place, at least a little bit. Someone took a picture of my face, and there was a flash on my head, and there happened to be a sparkle right above my eyebrow, and I was like, “wow, that sparkle looks cool there.” So I proceeded the next week to get really drunk and then I woke up the next morning with a piercing in my head, I don’t even remember the procedure or going into the shop, I just got it. So yeah, I just woke up with it.

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Do you have any tattoos? Yes, I have a one line drawing of Elvis Presley. It’s from an artist that I found on reddit, and I have yet to email the dude to tell him that I got his drawing tattooed. But Elvis is my music idol for my life. My dad and I would always listen to Elvis growing up. We would go on road trips every single weekend listening to Elvis, idolizing him for Halloween and having my hair look like a ‘50’s greaser. I even saw his house in Memphis. Graceland was amazing. It just reminds me of family and times that are happy and stress free.

TattooImage (1) Tell me about the frog on your other arm. I got this one last year. It reminds me that people and myself have the ability to change. So at any point in my life when I feel like I am a little behind or I feel like I can do better at something, I have the ability to do that, whether it be on a minimal or on a grand scale. So, like a frog has the ability to transform from a tadpole into a frog. We both have the ability of innate change. The transient nature of human beings and life in general can always happen. For example, I got this after I went to rehab for alcohol. I was an outpatient during the summer; I would go to the rehab center three times a week. It represents the change from being drunk and disorderly to being a sober dude. I don’t fully feel this tattoo yet because I’m still working on it. I’m like the little tadpole with the tiny extremities that are barely working. I’m going to get to the frog. I know it.

What about the words, do they have meaning? Yeah, it says, “Make me laugh,” and that’s for my little brother. On those road trips every weekend, we would drive for hours in our shitty van or truck, and we would be so bored. We played this game called “Make me laugh,” and it was where our sense of humor came out. It was just a time where him and I were in perfect harmony as brothers. In essence, it means everything good and great with my brother, who I love so much. I have another tattoo on my left shoulder with six doves. This is for my best friends back home; we numbered each other one through seven. We all got tattoos. I am number one and the doves are blessings. I’m not religious, but I thought the doves were something beautiful.

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Well to wrap things up, I must know, what made you choose psychology? I really like asking questions that people don’t want to hear the answers to. That is why I am also into stand-up comedy. It’s making people admit the things that people hate about themselves, but that are universally true.

What is the outcome that you hope to achieve by asking these types of questions? I hope to see a reduction in insecurity, especially at a younger age. If I really could, I would do public speaking to middle school and elementary schools to introduce insecurities and objectifications towards masculinity. I would introduce talking about it and devaluing the importance of it.

Endingshot (1) WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY NATASHA PITZER, @NATASHAPITZER

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