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Image and animation by Studio N

Want to know the difference between a guy who shows up at the music festival, camping trip, or whatever summery group-hang situation with cool accessories, versus the guy without?

Guy #1 is the man. He’s got tunes, drinks, knows what time it is–and has a rubbery backpack where everyone can put their wet swimsuits for the journey back to _____.

Be that guy. Plan for the season.

Shop accessories:

Herschel backpack | Ray Ban sunglasses | Marc Jacobs sunglasses | Shinola watch | Klean Kanteen water bottle | Recover iPhone case | reusable red plastic cup | LSTN headphones | Gents hat | Jack Spade card holder | Bose bluetooth speaker

Images by Manuela Insixiengmay

We’re big Robert Glasper fans here at Nordstrom, Glasper being the Grammy-winning musician doing the most–the most, we tell you–to keep the sound of jazz piano fresh, relevant and connected to the youth.

He’s all over the rap album of the year, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. And further indicating his breadth, Glasper’s upcoming album on Blue Note Records, Covered, includes live versions of songs by Miles Davis, Jhené Aiko and Radiohead.

Glasper is not Kanye-famous, though Yeezy has joined Glasper on stage to kick some freestyle raps. Nor is he trying to be. We caught up with him while the 37-year-old artist was taking the biggest year in his career in stride, touring, being excellent.

Keep scrolling to read Glasper’s thoughts on where an uninitiated person should start with Miles’ albums, the courageousness of Kendrick Lamar, his top five emcees–and listen to him extemporaneously rap Tupac’s verse from Digital Underground’s “All Around the World.”

Shop: leather jackets

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Here we see metallic Nike sneakers in the 1984 Nordstrom holiday catalog. Man, do they rule.

The wrestling shoes? Fire. We’re might start wearing wrestling shoes to the office, now. And they’re called the Hi-Jack, which is super tough.

The Vandal Supreme model in the back? With the ill nylon quilting? From the Air Force 1 design similarities to the fact that they look like a tracksuit, to the name, which connotes graffiti: these shoes are very hip-hop. Suitable for park jams, writing sessions, everything “from break dancing to basketball.”

But it’s really about the ones in front. Nike Snow Waffle. Early high-top/running shoes combo. Too fresh.

Factoid: The Snow Waffle lives on today, in slightly altered form, as the reflective Internationalist.

Shop: Men’s Nike | All Men’s sneakers


Image by Studio N

‘Tis the season when we begin to spend multiple hours outside in the sun, sometimes forgetting to take care of our fragile human shells. You know, music festival season.

And not to be a huge bummer, but we should talk about sunstroke and sunburning.

These things happen. They are serious. And like dehydration, dangerously easy to allow. So not to be condescending, but please be careful out there, OK? Don’t wriggity wreck yourself.

Check yourself: Drink water. Wear sunscreen. And bring a hat.

If we may guide you, our whole collection of Brixton hats is worth your perusal. That’s the Tiller, above.

Shop: Brixton

Giving the perfect gift is right up there on the list of things that feel amazing, but it just got even better. Nordstrom is now donating 1% of Gift Card proceeds to our nonprofit partners. That means when you give, you give twice. You give powerfully.

We believe in connecting with and empowering the communities we are part of, so we’re thrilled to be supporting organizations that positively impact our cities. As part of our 2015 focus on youth and kids, your Gift Card contributions will help Ronald McDonald House, Boys and Girls Clubs, Special Olympics and other like-minded enterprises as they literally change the world.

For a closer look at how one Northwest-based charity transforms lives via a quintessential childhood experience, keep reading.

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Perhaps you’ve been following the True Religion premium denim brand since its inception in the early 2000s in Manhattan Beach, CA. If so, you already know some designs: the name-making bootcut jean and maybe also the more recent jogger silhouettes–though the boot fit is definitely still in the building.

The brand is growing its audience with new official spokespeople, basketball star Russell Westbrook and supermodel Joan Smalls. But let’s talk about unofficial spokespeople for a second.

Because there’s a good chance you learned about True Religion from rappers.

In the last decade and change, rappers have shouted out “Trues” 50 billion times in their lyrics, including heavyweights such as Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz and Jim Jones.

To sate our curiosity about how and why this came to be, we sent one of our favorite music journalists and rap experts–the uncommonly thoughtful David Drake–deep into the True Religion/rap music overlap.

This is his report.

–Andrew Matson

Shop: True Religion

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Music festival season is upon us and to stand out in the crowd of normies, we recommend hitting the Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom–it’s full of slightly bugged-out festi-gear curated by our director of creative projects Olivia Kim.

But we’re also wondering: Who’s likely to look freshest on stage?

We’ve got seven ideas, including country star Nikki Lane at Stagecoach, April 24-26, in Indio, CA–where Nordstrom will be on the grounds, representing on our How We Roll tour.

Lane’s known to rock sheer, ruffly dresses and can stand on two bulls at the same dang time. Her 1970s cowgirl punk style gets a thumbs up over here.

Six more picks, in chronological order:

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New York lifestyle photos & all denim flat and detail photos by Velvet Sea Media; San Francisco lifestyle photos by  Matthew Reamer; Seattle lifestyle photos by Thomas Akin; Los Angeles & Chicago lifestyle by Sean Klingelhoefer; animations by Studio 30

What does a year of wear and tear look like on a pair of jeans? If they’re Nudie jeans, really good.

Don’t believe? Peep the finale of the Swedish brand’s #breakingdenim campaign: five guys, five cities, five pairs of jeans, one year.

Here is post #1. This is post 2, with full documentation of a year in the field.

Shop: Nudie

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Check out these guys from the 1995 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog, especially the guy on the left in his deep teal fleece. Looks pretty cool, right?

People hate on fleece but they’re tripping. It’s not all the same. You can’t just write off all fleeces. That’s material-ist!

Peruse our collection of fleeces and be real with yourself. Legit freshness abounds. Like, for example, this slammin’ Patagonia pullover.

Shop: Fleece

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 Janie Bryant image by Elisabeth Caran

As huge Mad Men fans we are naturally in awe of Janie Bryant, the book-writing, Emmy-winning boss who designs the costumes on the AMC television show–now in its seventh and final season. 

Bryant’s depiction of dress codes and coded dressing in the American office space in the late 1960s/early 1970s is crucial to the story of every episode. Her creations are their own characters, speaking to the viewership on several levels about the message-conveying power of surfaces and the ways they can be used to mentally manipulate others and also ourselves.

Bryant spoke to us on the phone about designing for characters’ traits–Joan’s “provocative” appreciation of her own body; Don’s desire to never change–and answered the question: Who has better style: Don Draper or Roger Sterling?

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