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The thing about the monk strap is that it’s a very statement-y classic. On the continuum of classics from subtle to strong, it hits the right end of the spectrum, and rings a couple of bells and whistles while it’s there. Smart, sophisticated bells and whistles, though. Think, free jazz bells and whistles. Think, well, Thelonious Monk.

We typically stay away from blanket statements, but in today’s jogger pants-with-a-sport-coat economy, you really can’t go wrong with this style: put it with a sharp, slightly short trouser or throw it under some cuffed premium denim.

To Boot New York ‘Burns’ | Prada ‘Spazzolato’ | Northern Cobbler Double

SHOP: Monk-Strap and Double Monk-Strap Loafers

Pop-In@Nordstrom Welcomes I.T: We collaborated with Hong Kong fashion collective I.T to bring menswear brands izzue, :CHOCOOLATE and Aape by A BATHING APE to the U.S. for the first time.

With looks ranging from best-in-class bomber jackets to preppy cable-knit sweaters to all-camo-everything from a streetwear legend, our latest Olivia Kim-curated Pop-In Shop has something—nay, many things—for menswear fans of every stripe.

To help cut through the euphoria-inducing sartorial overload, we asked stylist Ashley Helvey (a talented artist, tea connoisseur and Giants fan with a deadpan sense of humor) to tell us her favorites. Keep reading for tips from the pro who assembled every I.T outfit in our shop.

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October 28, 2014

Follow Up: @JamesNord

New series! In which we hook you up with the feeds you need.

James Nord is the co-founder of Fohr Card, a site dedicated to connecting bloggers and brands for mutual benefit, but his Instagram is all about riding bikes, greeting adventure and looking stylish. Simply put, he makes us want to guzzle Muscle Milk in designer suits. We’re assuming his other 14,000+ followers feel the same way.

Nord ‘grams from New York’s Lower East Side, a neighborhood known for the pastrami sandwiches at Katz’s Delicatessen, the rise of Vito Corleone’s mafia empire, and according to Nord, the Manhattans at Attaboy. Here’s our quick and dirty Q&A with Nord and a snapshot (or a screenshot, perhaps?) of his digital world.

Preferred all-time social media platform: Instagram and Tumblr.

If your Instagram feed had a go-to outfit, what would it be? Suit and tie every time.

Weirdest/best/worst thing that’s ever happened because of a post: I started a business with one of my best friends because of social media; that’s been pretty great.

What’s your digital diet? What apps and gear do you swear by? Recently I have been obsessed with my Ricoh GR point and shoot. I am a pretty keen cyclist, as well, and couldn’t live without Strava.

If you could permanently retire one hashtag it would be: #spon, there has to be a better solution for this.

FOLLOW: Nordstrom on Instagram | Nordstrom Men’s Shop on Instagram

Are you acquainted with our Complete Looks page? It’s where we post head-to-toe kits assembled by the pro stylists at our photo studio, and give you links to easily shop each item shown.

As you can see above, there’s a lot to choose from. To help you narrow the field, we asked Chad Christensen—lead men’s stylist at our Seattle photo studio and the man who builds said looks—to answer a perennial office conundrum: how to look better than the guy in the next cube.

Keep reading to see Chad’s three key items for fall—which will serve you well from work to weekend.

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October 21, 2014

Fall Accessory: The Umbrella

Five guys who look great with an umbrella: George Clooney (as in The Good German above), Gene Kelly, David Beckham, Barack Obama, Justin Timberlake.

For some of us the umbrella is a necessary evil—one left all too often, unfortunately, in cabs, restaurants and cocktail bars. But in the right hands, an umbrella is also a thing of refinement.

Keep reading for our guide to pairing the foul-weather essential with jackets and accessories that’ll help you dial in a smart, practical look that’s right for you.

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October 16, 2014

9 Not-So-Serious Sweaters

The forecast is getting ominous, but our favorite fall sweaters are quite the opposite.

Our snapshot of witty sweaters is all about not taking yourself too seriously. The weather might have its teeth bared, but you can still have a good time out there.

Shop Editor’s Picks:


Natty Animalia: French Connection ‘Landscape’ Crewneck | Maison Kitsuné Intarsia Fox Head Crewneck | Michael Bastian ‘Monster’ Crewneck


Good Natured: Comme des Garçons ‘Play’ Wool V-Neck | The Kooples Skull Crewneck | Ted Baker London ‘Kenn’ Leopard Spot Sweater

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Arty Abstraction: PS Paul Smith Camo Crewneck | Burberry Brit ‘Orbain’ Crewneck | KENZO Zigzag Crewneck

SHOP ALL: Sweaters

Way back in 1875, Arthur Liberty, the original founder of the eponymous U.K. department store (the flagship is still there on London’s Regent Street, in the West End) pioneered a collection of iconic prints influenced by his dealings with Oriental imports. By the 1920s, the miniature floral and abstract prints produced by the Liberty brand took on an Art Deco feel well-suited for the era, and later, 1960s bohemians paired the prints with corduroy and velvet for that opulent rock star vibe. Think: Jimi Hendrix in paisley and flares.

Fast-forward to now. Liberty Art Fabrics take center stage in Topman’s latest accessories collaboration, which is rolling out in stores and online as we speak. Hand-picked from Liberty’s extensive archives, these mostly abstract prints allow you to tie on or tuck in just the right spot of color and wit.

SHOP: Topman x Liberty Ties and Pocket Squares
SHOP ALL: Topman | Ties & Pocket Squares

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater achieves an unrivaled harmony between the man-made and the natural. Scholars believe Leonardo spent up to 14 years perfecting the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa. The seven-layer steel blades of Japanese swordsmith Masamune were rumored to slice, then heal, leaves floating past in a stream.

Incomparable materials and avant-garde details make our favorite designer sneakers works of art in their own right. Keep reading for a closer look at creations by Lanvin, Givenchy, Valentino, Balenciaga, Common Projects and Maison Martin Margiela.

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This is the last weekend to shop eco-friendly, upcycled, artisanal and community-focused goods that do good at our latest Pop-In@Nordstrom: TMRW TGTHR.

Keep reading to see some of our favorite items—plus several certified #menswear moments that have occurred recently on our sister blog, The Thread, amidst their TMRW TGTHR coverage. (Eco-friendly camo, South African desert boots and USA-made ingenuity await.)

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Travis Gumbs (left) and Joshua Kissi—two of our favorite photographers, stylists, travel journalists, fashion historians and the masterminds behind globally influential men’s interest blog Street Etiquette—are always up to something.

This time around, it’s a travelogue/lookbook in cahoots with Australian brand Zanerobe (progenitors of some of the best jogger pants in the biz, along with next-level shirts, shorts, jackets and more). The photographic essay, titled On the Road, took them out of their standard stomping ground of New York, and up the West Coast—hitting Los Angeles, Portland and our hometown of Seattle along the way.

Keep reading to see the results, and to shop selected items from Zanerobe’s ‘ZNRB’ fall collection.

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