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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. For your consideration: three of our favorite specimens.

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

SHOP: Monk-Strap and Double Monk-Strap Loafers

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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With fall officially here, you might hear sentimentalists bemoaning summer’s end. The barbecues, the concerts, the bikinis—all on hold ’til next year. For our part, we welcome this brisk and soggy new situation. Attacking your closet with wit and creativity each morning is so much easier when you don’t have to worry about sweating through your shirt.

With that spirit of sartorial enthusiasm in mind, we invite you to peruse the hardy fabrics, heritage patterns and rich details that compose our 10 Fall Essentials guide.

Keep reading for tips and picks regarding the first five items you should ensure are in your arsenal for the season ahead—from tweed coats to textured ties.

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September 19, 2014

Occasion Guide: Get Outta Town

Summer is nearly done for (a fact that GQ, Starbucks and our own Fall Essentials guide make it hard to remain in denial about)—which is all the more reason to soak up the last few days of sun. Or better yet, make a plan to visit tropical climes once winter really hits.

Keep reading to get a head start on packing for two potential trips: a Mexican getaway and a Mediterranean cruise.

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As part of our fall 2014 Men’s Shop Catalog, we profiled 4 real men of style and substance. Here, AG Jeans creative director Sam Ku.

In taking the reins at AG as the denim brand’s creative director, Sam Ku not only followed in the footsteps of his dad, who helped build the business from the ground up—he also took on the legacy of famed designer Adriano Goldschmied, AG’s original namesake.

In the years since, Sam has met and exceeded those high expectations, establishing AG as a leader in the technology that drives some of the most comfortable, stylish jeans on the market. Keep reading for his insights on USA manufacturing, keeping it simple, and the step-by-step craftsmanship that occurs at AG’s L.A. factory.

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The latest creation from our in-house design team—a collection of minimalist-aesthetic, technically advanced activewear called BPM—is like a Transformer: more than meets the eye.

To better understand how BPM can improve your workout, we asked our colleagues to break down the hard-to-spot but high-impact details (based on anatomical concepts like biomimicry and muscle mapping) that put BPM’s affordable gear—starting at just $35—a step ahead.

Keep reading to see behind-the-scenes sketches of four key items and hear insights from Paul Glynn, a Senior Director of Design for Nordstrom Product Group.

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Dogs: They save lives, detect bombs, lead the blind, offer companionship through thick and thin—and look damn adorable on Instagram. (Yes, certain circumstances permit grown men to say “adorable”—pontificating on Canis familiaris is one of them.)

To celebrate National Dog Day, we fetched pup pics from some of our favorite friends’ and colleagues’ Insta feeds. Keep reading to see our favorite photo ops of man’s, woman’s and child’s best bud.

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

Our third and final installment on up-and-coming, innovative, artisanal sunglass brands features RAEN (pictured top and bottom, above), a California design collective that saturates each pair of handmade shades with equal parts crashing surf, advanced optics and 1950s Americana. Keep reading for a closer look, including a Q&A with their creative director.

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

In our second of three investigations into up-and-coming, innovative, artisanal sunglass brands, we turn a spotlight on the time-tested Italian craftsmanship of Dom Vetro (whose supreme-quality clear acetate is pictured above left). Keep reading for a closer look at a brand that’s invigorating a nearly lost art, including a Q&A with their founder.

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