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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

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Perhaps you’ve been following the True Religion premium denim brand since its inception in the early 2000s in Manhattan Beach, CA. If so, you already know some designs: the name-making bootcut jean and maybe also the more recent jogger silhouettes–though the boot fit is definitely still in the building.

The brand is growing its audience with new official spokespeople, basketball star Russell Westbrook and supermodel Joan Smalls. But let’s talk about unofficial spokespeople for a second.

Because there’s a good chance you learned about True Religion from rappers.

In the last decade and change, rappers have shouted out “Trues” 50 billion times in their lyrics, including heavyweights such as Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz and Jim Jones.

To sate our curiosity about how and why this came to be, we sent one of our favorite music journalists and rap experts–the uncommonly thoughtful David Drake–deep into the True Religion/rap music overlap.

This is his report.

–Andrew Matson

Shop: True Religion

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Check out these guys from the 1995 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog, especially the guy on the left in his deep teal fleece. Looks pretty cool, right?

People hate on fleece but they’re tripping. It’s not all the same. You can’t just write off all fleeces. That’s material-ist!

Peruse our collection of fleeces and be real with yourself. Legit freshness abounds. Like, for example, this slammin’ Patagonia pullover.

Shop: Fleece

For adventure-ready sunglasses, we’re loving the TOMS Traveler: clean design, bendable SOLAFLEX construction. Throw them in your bag and speed off into the horizon, no hard protective case necessary.

Plus, built into every purchase is the brand’s famous one-for-one philanthropy

Just like how buying a pair of TOMS shoes helps a person in need, TOMS ensures each pair of sunglasses sold results in sight-giving assistance to a different person who could use help paying for glasses or ocular medical attention.

We spoke to travel hounds and witnesses to TOMS’ good works John Whitledge, creative director and designer for TOMS eyewear, and Darin Dennee, TOMS eyewear director. They gave us insights (pun intended) into TOMS’ programs in Paraguay, which islands they’re surfing next and where to go when you’re in Shanghai.

And they confirmed the virtual unbreakability of these shades. 

Shop: TOMS sunglasses

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Back in the early-/mid-’90s, rappers had a serious taste for Polo gear in bold primary and secondary colors. I mean, witness Raekwon and Ghostface Killah in the video for the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple.”

‘Lo-ed out!

With that history in mind, we look at this shot from the 1992 Nordstrom holiday catalog and think back fondly on classic street-yacht menswear.

Shop: Polo Ralph Lauren

Sound the alarm: New colors of the adidas ‘Tubular’ lifestyle shoe are shop-able. That would be the sensational sneaker that the brand debuted in 2014 and caught on like the flu, and only gets sicker with each new colorway (that black/surf petrol/off white, though?).

Shop: adidas | The Sneaker Project | Streetwear

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how to wear jogger pants feet

All images by Barb Penoyar and Studio N

From Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade to rapper Kendrick Lamar to our friends at Street Etiquette, men everywhere are sporting the crucial evolution in trousers known as jogger pants. And it’s easy to understand why.

Besides being abnormally comfortable (many have elastic at the waist as well as the cuffs), they cut a lean, tapered silhouette that shows off your favorite shoes, without pesky concerns about rolling or hemming your pant leg.

Keep reading to see three ways to wear them: on the weekend, at the office and for a date.

Shop: Jogger Pants | Men’s Streetwear

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Street League–our current streetwear collection–is built on a few key silhouettes and a rebellious shift in men’s fashion. What are those silhouettes and how did we get here? We sat with two of our in-house experts and had us a good long think.

Edited convo below with Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Jorge Valls and Lead Men’s Stylist Danny Mankin.  

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Joggers

Nordstrom blogs: The jogger pant came to the streets from runways, right? Or did we get here through athletics?

Jorge Valls: From a designer level, Dries Van Noten was one of the first brands that I saw taking a pant silhouette and trying to make it new. I saw them put a cuff on a cotton pant or a wool pant. And drawstrings, too.

Danny Mankin: But there’s definitely an athletic influence.

Jorge: It’s very athletics-inspired, but it’s not what you wear to the gym. It’s athletic that you wear outdoors, on the street. But it’s elevated, an organic evolution. The current generation wears comfortable clothes all the time, so this is their version of dressing up. And the sneaker excitement right now? These are all fashion sneakers. You can work out in these, but they’re fashion.

Danny: I think the evolution of the jogger pant was influenced by the rise of the sneaker. The sneaker was rising so fast, it became a fashion statement. That influenced the gathering of the pant at the ankle.

Jorge: And some goth culture. That comes from Rick Owens, that goth-athletics aspect. He’s a body builder, and a lot of his clothes are built for movement. I would say any body type could wear this, though. It’s very forgiving.

Nordstrom blogs: What about the colors?

Jorge: Right, well, another big part of this look is the graphic element. High contrast. Black and white is perfect to create that. You’ll notice that the clothes tend to be black-and-white or tonal. But the sneaker is where most guys are unafraid to do crazy color and have it be a pop, a statement.

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hanni el khatib

Images by Elizabeth Rudge

Bay Area native Hanni El Khatib is an all-around aesthetician, full-time rock bandleader, rap fan, record label owner (Innovative Leisure), streetwear design legend for the brand HUF–speaking of which, have you seen Nordstrom’s new streetwear collection?–and a real pleasure to speak with over a glass of ice water and a Murder magazine.

Right now it’s rock time for El Khatib. He’s playing shows almost every night.

He talked to us about touring, being back in the saddle as a skate/street designer and why most rap-rock songs are atrocious.

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nytimes

Required reading for those interested in the Venn diagram of style, culture and music: “Hooking Up” by Jon Caramanica in the New York Times’ T Magazine–an article about the influence of hip-hop on today’s newly fired-up menswear.

Click here to read the article.

SPOILER: Caramanica’s thesis is fashion runways used to influence the streets and now the streets influence the runways. The “direction of diffusion,” as he writes, has inverted. It’s also about men caring about fashion and being comfortable caring about fashion.

Below is a list of important hip-hop/menswear figures in the order Caramanica mentions them, which is more or less chronologically, with his excerpted characterizations.

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