Put yourself in his dress shoes.
Jerry Edward Page wears a boldly colored suit to his classes at Missouri Western every day, usually paired with a durag.
His suits require special care, which could mean anything from a simple brushing or taking them to a dry cleaners.
Wearing only suits is dedication in and of itself, but putting into account the fact that he is taking 18 credit hours and works at Kohl’s during his free time.
When students see Page walking on campus they will often aproach him and ask him why he wears the full shebang every day.
“I do have a huge ego so I like to think, ‘oh yeah, I dress up better than a lot of these people’– I don’t tend to mean it, because it just comes naturally like, ‘oh I’m just wearing the suit’,” Page said.
Page started wearing his suit after high school. The reason for the suits started because of his love for history. He is a history major with a concentration in education with hopes of one day being a museum curator in Philadelphia because of its history. Page’s fashion style and also his love for rap music, specifically the singer R. Kelly. Kelly is well known for his white suit and durag paired with a fedora.
“I would add a fedora to my durag, too. Tip it to the side like, ‘look I’m R. Kelly now’ and everybody would crack up, especially my friends. “You look like R. Kelly, you just really do, just white’ and I’d be like yeah that’s what I do’.”
Paige started wearing the durag much earlier in life but would go periods without wearing it. The trend started in elementary school, before his family moved to Savannah where he currently lives.
The durag started because of his friend group.
“I had a group of friends, they were black and they were my best friends. [St. Joseph] wasn’t the ideal place to live, but I kind of got into [the customs] and they were like, ‘hey you need a durag’. My mom thought it was the greatest thing and so we got a durag soon afterward and that’s how that started. I never stopped wearing the durag,” Page said.
Since then he has been putting together outfits consisting of suits, gold and diamond encrusted jewelry and dress shoes.
The suit Page wears the suit and durag for many reasons, one of the biggest being his “ego” as he, his friends and his family would put it.
His mother Kelry wants people to know that when Jerry mentions his ego it doesn’t mean he looks down on people who don’t dress like him.
“He doesn’t look down on people. He’s not that type of person. Yes he’s got an ego, but really he’s just a down-to-earth person that is confident now, which to me is better than not being confident,” Kelry said.
The suit and durag combination helped Page feel more confident in himself.
Page refers a lot to his ego having a big influence on his wardrobe, but to his friends and family it isn’t just his ego that keeps him pushing forward. They feel his determination is one of the defining characteristics of Page.
Devon Lindstrom is a good friend of Page’s and thinks it is one of his best attributes.
“I would say that Jerry’s main attributes [are] that he has determination since he is doing 18 credit hours all semesters and that he has a considerable ego,” Lindstrom said.
An example of Page’s drive is the long walks from Savannah to St. Joseph he would make.
Page would walk from Savannah to Kohl’s back when he didn’t own a car. The walk from Savannah to St. Joseph was about 10 miles that would take him over two-and-a-half hours.
He would make the walk when he had work but also when he was feeling bored.
“I felt like [walking the distance]. I didn’t have a car so I might as well and Savannah is boring so I decided I’d rather not be stuck in Savannah in my free time when I can just go to St. Joe,” Page said.
Page has his quirks like most people but is ultimately a normal student. He likes to watch Netflix, play basketball with friends and enjoys antique shopping now and again.
When people see Page on campus he doesn’t want them to talk amongst themselves and try to figure out why he dresses the way he does. Instead he asks that people ask him themselves.
“Feel free to say hi. Because I always hear people [say], ‘oh yeah, I heard so and so say this about you’ [and] some of them do. A friend of mine will come up to me and be like, ‘a lot of people were talking about you. They talk about you in the suit and the durag’, and I’m like ‘I don’t know who they are, but tell them to say hi.’”