While cultivating mustaches for a good cause during the recently concluded month of Movember, our brave colleagues here at Nordstrom HQ may not have achieved a full Dali, Selleck or Hogan—but we’d say they put in a solid Kirk Hammett or two, and a definitive Young Colonel Sanders.
Keep reading to see final, pre-shave shots of a few of our participating Mo Bros—and read their tips for growing a mustache of your own next Movember (if not sooner; these things tend to grow on you, so to speak).
Like most essential items in a man’s closet—boots, blazer, button-down, leather jacket—an insulated vest can be admired as much for its looks as for its functional utility in a wide range of settings. Read on for our top-20 vests—plus tips on how to wear them anywhere, from work to weekend.
With the inaugural night of Hanukkah in the bag, it’s likely your sharp-witted whippersnapper has already ferreted out the box that contained the new Xbox One or PS4. (Or, if you’re a savvy dad who enjoys instilling a sense of delayed gratification—you’ve wisely hidden it in the dark recesses of your home’s most unsuspecting closet until the eighth crazy night.)
Either way, you’ll need some smaller surprises to offset the gaming console (or other mother-lode, holy-grail gift they’ve been asking for since summer). Look no further than our Brite Lites_Gift City Pop-In Shop, online and in selected stores. It’s stacked to the rafters with awesomely odd items that your oddly awesome offspring will love. Read on for eight of our favorites—most under $30. (After all, Hanukkah is the Festival of ‘Lites.’)
Having reached the mid-point of Movember—the month during which men all over the world grow moustaches to raise awareness and funds for important men’s health issues—we thought we’d offer some ‘stache-strengthening inspiration from a pro-grower, comedian Nick Offerman, above. So hang in there, gentlemen—and keep on cultivating, even in the face of humble stubble patterns.
Read on to see how some of our colleagues here at Nordstrom HQ are doing their part this Movember.
Our latest Suit Fit Guide has everything you need—and then some—to achieve the perfect suit for your taste and physique:
1. Options to shop by three Fit categories—Classic, Trim, and Extra-Trim. 2. A video (above) that breaks down which Fit is right for you. 3. Tips on measuring, to ensure you order the right size. 4. An introduction to owning Made-to-Measure suits (even if you’re a 6′-11″ NBA center). 5. There’s even a comprehensive infographic, defining every detail from construction terminology to common fabrics and patterns. (Know the difference between glen plaid and herringbone? If you didn’t before, you do now.)
Of course, all that minutia adds up to one thing: looking good. Below are some outtakes from our video shoot, featuring our favorite suit of the day—an extra-trim peak-lapel in windowpane-plaid wool, made in Italy by Neil Barrett. (Curious about the backdrop? That’s Seattle’s Melrose Market, where sustainable sandwiches, vintage vinyl, and hard liquor all collide under one roof.)
Zombie Ryan Gosling is so 2012. And so are those scorpion jacket knock-offs from Drive. Here’s a last-minute Halloween costume you can likely pull right out of your closet, en route to hunting and gathering for peanut-butter cups with your kids tomorrow night.
While our generation’s Paul Newman (controversial! but we’re not the first to say it) wore a pretty distinctive red moto jacket in 2013′s The Place Beyond the Pines, your tried-and-true black one should do the trick. Black jeans? If you don’t already own a pair, now’s the time. And although one of our favorite parts about Gosling’s carnival-daredevil/bank-robber was his penchant for Metallica T-shirts, any black tee should suffice. (This Joy Division-themed one would be a funny alternative to Ride the Lightning, even if you’re the only one who gets the joke.)
Accessorize with a baby, if you have one handy, and a couple dollars’ worth of temporary tattoos from your nearest party store (or have your leading lady draw some on with washable marker, if you forget). Emulating the bleached-out coif Gosling donned for the film takes a little more commitment—so if you’re not into it, just pull on your motorcycle helmet. Or a terrible wig. Bonus: Your wife can probably whip up this Eva Mendes “costume” in a pinch, too. Congrats on proving you’re the coolest couple in the cul de sac—yet again.
Style Profiles. In honor of our twice-a-year Men’s Shop Catalog dropping this month, we decided to profile 6 real men of style and substance. Here, cool-under-pressure chef Shaun McCrain.
Every man should know his way around the kitchen: how to take over the tongs at a friend’s barbecue, pull off your grandma’s family-secret marinara, whip up a chivalrous morning-after omelette…you know—the basics.
Professional chefs like Shaun McCrain, on the other hand, can turn the simple act of eating food into a mind-altering experience. Visit McCrain’s Seattle restaurant, Book Bindery, and although the humble maestro insists his MO is simplicity, the five-way flavor combinations in his modern twists on comfort food are enough to induce a quadruple take—and general feelings of astonished well-being.
We spoke to chef McCrain about paying dues in Paris and New York, design principles as applied to plating, and real-life kitchen tips that every man can use.
FARM TO TABLE. “I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. We lived on a small farm, raised our own meat, had a lot of vegetables. I was always around food without realizing it. My dad doesn’t cook. He was like, ‘I’ll just let Shaun do it, and if he messes up, we have more we can go pick.’”
TRIAL & ERROR. “Book smarts help you understand what you’re doing. Street smarts get your hands and body moving in the right direction. It’s hard to be able to physically do what you’ve read. You’ve gotta burn some things before you figure out how to cook them right.”
AMERICAN IN PARIS. “I sent my résumé to what I thought were the top 20 restaurants in Paris and got four responses. Three of them being, ‘Sorry, we don’t have room,’ and one being, ‘Sure, show up, work for free.’ That was my foot in the door.”
LIVE AND LEARN. “I left Seattle thinking I knew everything. I was 19 or 20 years old. I went to a bigger city, a nicer restaurant, and realized how much I didn’t know. It was very humbling…but I decided that if I really want to progress and learn, that I need to constantly be humbled—so I can learn from the best.”
FIRST IMPRESSIONS. “Plating and presentation are important, because they’re the first thing a person sees. I like to do bright colors, clean lines, something that’s very appealing to the eye. And then, when you do take that first bite—it should taste even better than it looks.”
CONTRAST AND COMPLEMENT. “I think items should complement each other. It’s a lot about textures, so if you have one thing that’s soft, then I want something else that’s gonna bring some crunch…a little burst of pickled onion, or a crispy crouton.”
WHY I LOVE MY JOB. “The craziness of it. Every day is different. You don’t know if the truck carrying your lamb up from Oregon broke down, and you’re scrambling to find a replacement, or your dishwasher breaks, or you have a high-profile guest coming in who you know likes to eat certain things. So it sparks that fuel, that drive of always keeping busy, always trying to stay on top. It’s easy to fall behind in the kitchen unless you have that ‘stay on top of it’ kind of attitude.”
THE BEST THING I EVER ATE. “It was at a Japanese restaurant in New York, called Masa. Simple sushi rice, rolled in shaved Italian white truffle, with just a pinch of fresh-grated yuzu and a little salt. Just simplicity at its best, but the ingredients were prepared perfectly.”
MY MORNING ROUTINE. “A cup of coffee…and maybe a Pop-Tart. Strawberry. Frosted. I spend all day walking around tasting things; it kind of curbs your appetite. [The staff and I] don’t sit down and eat a family meal until about 4:00. So in the morning, I just need to put something in me, whether it’s sugar or coffee or whatnot.”
WHAT TO PACK FOR LUNCH. “When I think of lunch, I always think of sandwiches. They don’t need to be boring. Go to the store, and buy some great charcuterie and good bread. Most of the time, those items are sold in portions that are more than one sandwich worth, so you’ll have enough for a couple days—or a very large sandwich.”
THE SECRET TO A GOOD SANDWICH. “The bread. The crust…whether it’s more of a rustic style with pieces of grain, or if it’s just a nice, crisp baguette that kind of snaps in your mouth when you eat it.”
HOW TO IMPRESS A DINNER DATE. “First, find out what they like. Nowadays, there are so many dietary restrictions, food allergies. Subtly figure out. Ask questions. Have an idea, rather than going in like, ‘Hey, I like steak, so I’m gonna cook steak’—and then finding out she’s pescatarian. That’s a date that’s not gonna end well.”
AND IF YOU BLOW IT… “Part of learning and growing with someone is making those mistakes. It could be the best meal they’ve ever had, or it could be terrible—but the whole experience of going through the process of doing something for someone is what it should be about.”
— — —
Next time you’re in Seattle, be sure to sample Shaun’s work at Book Bindery.
(We recommend the steak. And the duck.
And definitely the Stumptown-coffee semifreddo.)
The above images from our recent catalogs (yes, by the way, we put out the occasional swimsuit issue… and lingerie catalog, if you’re into that kind of thing)—coupled with the fact that it’s 72 degrees but steadily drizzling here at our Seattle headquarters—have made it quite apparent that, in order to squeeze the most out of the last weeks of summer, an epic vacation may be in order.
As indicated above, your fastidious better half is likely to have her vacation game all buttoned up. Make sure you’re worthy, starting with the nucleus of every man’s tropical travel bag: an up-to-date, well-fitting swimsuit (or three). Also: sunscreen. And: a few travel tricks up your sleeve (what sleeve?).
Tip: Take her somewhere she hasn’t been. Read on for three lesser-traveled destinations,courtesy of Nordstrom PR pro and resident paradise-seeker Brie Cross.(If you missed it, read part 1 of this post for Brie’s favorite spots in Cali, Panama and Mexico). Then, keep scrolling to check out our favorite swimwear.
1. Cartagena, Colombia. “Colombia’s hottest party city on the coast. Stroll the colonial town, stay out late and soak up the vibrant Colombian culture. Panama hats required. Stay at Hotel Casa Pestagua or Alfiz Hotel. For longer stays, try to sneak in a couple days at Tayrona National Park and stay in the Ecohabs—or do a day trip to Islas del Rosario.”
2. Andalusian Coast, Spain. “A couple hours south of Seville (arguably one of Spain’s prettiest cities), you’ll find the Andalusian Coast—packed with tiny towns, each more charming than the next. Go inland to the white-washed Vejer de la Frontera for a day trip, but be sure to soak up Spanish holiday life in the many beach towns. The rustic El Palmar is a favorite surf spot amongst locals.”
3. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. “Visit this quiet (-ish) surfer town on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica for ultimate, laid-back pura vida. Jump off waterfalls in the next town over, or hit the waves morning and sundown at one of the world’s smoothest surfing spots.”
Now that you know where you’re going, let’s talk about what to wear. Check our previous post for the pros and cons of swim trunks vs. board shorts, and shop our Editor’s Picks below—ranging from understated solids to prints that’ll ensure your travel partner is not distracted by the “scenery” (by which we mean the European guy in a thong on the next beach blanket over).
[A new feature in which we tip our hats to members of the fairer sex who we wouldn't mind hanging out with—if they'd have us.]
Mila Kunis likes iced coffee. We like iced coffee! There’s so much we have in common. Except that we’re not fluent in Russian, adept with firearms, nor are we Esquire magazine’s reigning ‘sexiest woman alive.’ Plus we’ve never made out with Natalie Portman (yet). At least we could talk Family Guy reruns with Kunis over a venti cold one. Check out evidence of Mila’s many talents below—and more from GQ, in honor of her 30th birthday today, here.
Is the Kunis to your Kutcher celebrating a birthday soon? SHOP GIFTS