The Miami Heat star says while he always was a fan of fine dressing, it wasn't until the former commissioner of the league instituted a dress code that he started taking more interest in what he would wear off the court.
"It was like, 'OK, now we got to really dress up and we can't just throw on a sweat suit,'" he said. "Then it became a competition amongst guys and now you really got into it more and you started to really understand the clothes you put on your body, the materials you're starting to wear, so then you become even more of a fan of it."
Now Wade is considered among the more fashion-forward stars in a league where players dress to impress. Wade admits there's some competition among the league — and sometimes they take it over the top in what they wear in a postgame press conference.
"Obviously sometimes we push the envelope, and I think it's because we're athletes," he said in an interview Tuesday. "We're not looked at as guys who should wear certain things. Being flamboyant is being OK."
Wade unveiled his latest over-the-top fashion statement this week — his new branded watch from Hublot. The Classic Fusion Dwyane Wade is black polished ceramic with 18-karat gold screws on the bezel and sapphires in the dial; it retails for $18,400.
It's the second watch Wade has created with Hublot since becoming a brand ambassador for the Swiss watchmaker in 2011: "I always admired what I thought it stood for, the elegance of it."
Wade turned to the word elegance again when asked about the fashion sense of his new bride, actress Gabrielle Union.
"My lady has her style and I love her elegance that she brings to it," he said. "And I think I bring a little spice to it. Maybe that's one of the perks of dating someone nine years younger, bring a little hipster to it!"
Wade, 32, and the 41-year-old "Being Mary Jane" star just returned from their two-week honeymoon in the Maldives, Tanzania and the Seychelles.