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To commemorate the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby, I asked our restaurants team to show me the way to a great mint julep recipe. They left me in the capable hands of Dan Yeisley, the manager at our newest bar, Habitant. Digging up recipes from way back in the 18th and 19th centuries, he resurrected an old twist for this classic cocktail: gin.

Not to upset the entire state of Tennessee and bourbon lovers everywhere, he explained that the earliest recipes on record call for any variety of liquors–most often Cognac, brandy, gin or whiskey. After seeing that one of them also called for peach-flavored liqueur, he knew he’d found a winning combo.

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe with Gin and Peach Liqueur from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

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To help you get through this week, or maybe just this hour, we offer words of wisdom, clarity and humor from culture icon Eddie Huang.

For the unfamiliar, Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat (which we love) has made him the inspiration for the current TV show of the same name–which he initially endorsed but has become publicly uncomfortable with. Now he’s on the same kind of existential tour as Dave Chappelle was in 2007, using public speaking and comedy as a way to control his narrative, making a universal case for how maddening it can be to maintain one’s identity. 

When we saw Huang speak at University of Washington, he was draped in pastel XXBC gear and rocking Nike Trainer 1s.  He delved into issues of domestic abuse and racism, and basically led group therapy with a laugh track. 

Quotes from the evening are below.

Shop: Nike Trainer 1 | All Nike

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It’s been a good year for former punk rocker Tina Nigro, who is the costume designer for the instant-smash Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock–and starring roommates Kimmy Schmidt and Titus Andromedon with their landlady Lillian Kaushtupper (Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess and Carol Kane)–Unbreakable is a comedy that almost lets you forget it’s about overcoming abuse and struggling with poverty in New York City. 

We talked to Nigro about the concept of “fitting in” and styling for the bright and bold Kimmy and Titus, as well as Jane Krakowski’s designer-wearing Jacqueline Voorhees and her scheming teenage daughter Xanthippe (Dylan Gelula).

We also touched on how Nigro wore a single, disembodied arm of a motorcycle jacket in high school. And that she happened to buy Kimmy’s Munki Munki pajamas at Nordstrom.Shop: pajamas

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Image by Gabi Porter

Don Was is one of our heroes, a triple O.G. in the music biz who doesn’t believe his own hype and never stopped being a fan. He’s still blown away by all the new styles in the world, and despite making classics has steered admirably clear of the mindset that “it was all so much better when…”

Now president of Blue Note Recordsthe American jazz label with the musically revolutionary back catalog (think Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk) not to mention peerless and influential graphic design by Reid Miles, whose name is one of the freshest Google image searches you’ll ever do–Don Was is basically the keeper of the cool

A fan’s dream.

Keep reading to learn which Blue Note albums he considers unheralded classics and which basketball positions each Rolling Stones member would play. 

Check this audio clip about Blue Note in the big picture:

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We’re back in action with our guy Tom Stocks, who previously taught us how to shuck an oyster, at Taylor Shellfish oyster bar in Seattle.

Now he’s teaching us how to saber a bottle of champagne. That’s when you take the cork off WITH its surrounding glass intact, by slicing off the entire tip of the bottle with a big knife. Execute this at a graduation party–or any party–and gain instant fame.

How does it work?

We don’t really know!

But air pressure is key: this won’t work with non-carbonated wine. And the bottle must be cold. We recommend storage prior to sabering in an ice slurry, a bucket of ice and water. And you must use the flat side of whichever blade you use.

There are a few more things you should know. Watch the video and check the technique.

What to wear for spring? How to rock spring shoes? In this series we’ll look at five spring shoes and show you two ways to wear each, with guidance from our Men’s Styling Manager Danny Mankin. Because life is better with options.

Image by Brad Strain

Shop: To Boot New York driving moc | all men’s shoes

“This is a sockless shoe, period. And it looks great with a trouser or a short. As the weather warms up, swap out your wools for cotton and linen, like these pants. And if it’s hot enough–and you feel up to the challenge of looking dressy while still wearing shorts (you can do it!)–consider a tailored-fitting short and long sleeves. This choice allows you to roll up your sleeves and unbutton your shirt for a more casual situation.”

Outfit 1: Nordstrom trousers | Billy Reid blazer | 1901 pocket square | Hugo Boss shirt  | Randolph Engineering sunglasses

Outfit 2: Ted Baker London shirt | Ted Baker London shorts

–Danny Mankin

April 20, 2015

New! New Balance Sneakers

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This just in: new heat from New Balance. Catch us mobbing around the city this spring/summer in any of the above styles, most likely on our rolled-up Bonobos steez.

Starting with the red shoe we’re looking at the Connoisseur Collection 574, the Connoisseur Collection 998 in sand, the Heritage Court CT300 in white and the Elite Edition 999 in gray/red.

Shop: New Balance sneakers | The Sneaker Project

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