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Like tipping back a pint of your favorite microbrew or buying a hammer at your neighborhood hardware store instead of the mega-mall, choosing a new pair of sunglasses can be an exercise not only in seeking out supreme quality—but also supporting the underdog.

Over the next several days, we’ll be investigating three up-and-coming, innovative, handcrafted sunglass brands. First up is the Pacific Northwest’s own Shwood (pictured above, on the right). Keep reading for a closer look at Shwood’s natural approach to eyewear, including a Q&A with their founder—and check back soon to learn about Raen (above left) and Dom Vetro (center).

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Our friend Hollis Wong-Wear is kind of a big deal—and we’re not even saying that for ironic effect.

She blew up The Tonight Show alongside Schoolboy Q and Macklemore, belting out the crazy-catchy (in a good way) chorus to “White Walls,” a moonroof-open ode to the road. Her band The Flavr Blue pumps out indie/pop/electronic/alternative gems that will win over people (ourselves included) who weren’t even fully aware of how much they enjoy indie/pop/electronic/alternative music. And she cracked a Socrates joke within the first three minutes we met her.

To which the only logical response was, “What are you listening to lately?” Keep reading to find out.

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Once best known for bedazzling men’s back sides with eye-catching orange stitching and crystal studs, True Religion has since embraced the continuing move toward thoughtful minimalism in menswear.

The brand’s newest launch, a step-ahead take on jogger pants that they’ve dubbed the ‘Runner,’ eschews overt branding and focuses instead on methodical design: A relaxed fit up top eliminates any fear of “tight pants,” a sturdy button fly reminds you you’re not lounging in PJs, and TR’s signature twisted leg seams help fabric sit favorably above the elastic ankle cuffs.

Tech specs aside, the fact is that they look great on, as our in-house photo crew proved when they styled these suckers out. Keep reading to see three ways to wear ‘Runners’—and to catch a Q&A with Zihaad Wells, True Religion’s men’s senior design director.

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These visually striking and subliminally comedic portraits (seriously, when’s the last time you saw Jerry Seinfeld mug this meanly?), commissioned by New York brand rag & bone, came across our desk a few weeks ago. But today—with the launch of our latest limited-time, Olivia Kim-curated shop, Pop-In@Nordstrom x rag & bone—seemed like an ideal time to call them to your attention.

Keep reading to see more of this series by talented English photographer Andreas Laszlo Konrath (a former avid skateboarder and punk band bass player who has since shot for high-profile publications like Vogue, Wired and Rolling Stone). The impressive body of work includes GQ’s deftly sardonic “Style Guy” Glenn O’Brien, NBA badass Carmelo Anthony, and many more men and women of all ages—a testament to the universal appeal of rag & bone’s modern-meets-heritage menswear.

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To say that we like it when girls play in bands might be the understatement of the century—but let’s go ahead and banish the phrase “girl band” from the collective lexicon. When female rockers are putting out some of the best (and loudest) music around, there’s really no point in drawing distinctions.

Case in point: Sleigh Bells (top left) and Haim (bottom right), who co-headlined an epic concert in Brooklyn Bridge Park the other night on behalf of Levi’s. Keep reading to hear handpicked tracks from two of our current favorite bands (female-fronted or otherwise).

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Plain-white T-shirts hold a special place in our heart, and there’s nothing like a graphic tee for evoking a mood—but when it comes to a summer staple that’s at once subtle yet expressive, a pocket T-shirt really is the best of both worlds.

As always, L.A. brand Band of Outsiders finds ways to take a time-tested artifact of the menswear milieu and make it memorable. Keep reading to see why their colorblock pocket tee caught our eye.

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After salivating over the sun, fun and fried dough infiltrating our Instagram feed during a colleague’s recent trip to Los Angeles, we had to ask him for some insights on traveling to Southern Cali in style. “I hadn’t been to L.A. before as an adult,” says Donovan Nguyen, a web designer at Nordstrom HQ. “There’s a huge difference between seeing a city with your parents at age 8 and seeing it now as a grown-up. It’s so much better.”

Keep reading for highlights from Donovan’s visually arresting L.A. photo journal, complete with tips on where to go and what to pack.

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Hot weather’s officially upon us, and with it, the perennial question arises of how to look your best without breaking a sweat.

Keep reading to find out what to wear—and drink, and take pictures with—at an outdoor concert. We’ve taken the liberty of prepping you for two potential circumstances: a gruelingly gratifying 72-hour festival, and a night of bar-hopping and backstage debauchery.

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Cool scenery and killer clothes. While approximately one zillion other ingredients (such as blood, sweat, tears, timing, talent) are required to plan and execute a successful photo shoot—those first two certainly make for a solid start.

Keep reading to see what we saw—from sticker-slathered sign posts to your new favorite denim jacket—while running around Manhattan yesterday during a 10-hour shoot.

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Planning ahead is no small feat. Paying bills, showing up to your dentist appointment, having a dinner reservation locked and loaded when your wedding anniversary rolls around—we find these side effects of modern life counterintuitive to man’s most basic instinct, i.e., to kick back with a cold one and live in the now.

Luckily, our annual Anniversary Sale makes getting ahead of the game second nature. Fact: Besides being our best sale event of the year, Anniversary is also a fall preview. We give you a chance to score leather jackets, work boots, dark denim, and everything else you’ll need for cool weather at reduced prices NOW, in the middle of summer, before they ever hit the floor at full price.

You can thank us later. For now, keep reading to see the Anniversary items that caught our eye while roaming our flagship store on opening day.

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