Men's Fashion Blog Nordstrom Thu, 28 May 2015 00:02:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Maya Rudolph and the Art of the Commencement Speech Wed, 27 May 2015 23:49:35 +0000

Shop: graduation gifts

Graduation season is upon us, which means plane flights, parking lots and life milestones. And commencement speeches. Real talk, this is one of our favorites genres of literature. The frequent comic asides, the existential spring cleaning: we’re just suckers for the whole shebang.

Maya Rudolph wins the category in 2015. Season’s not even over but she won. Her speech at Tulane University hit solid emotional notes, included a few great punchlines (“this was back before thespians could marry”) and bent into a Star Spangled Banner finale in the style of Beyoncé with more (intentionally) bad vocal runs than Jamie Foxx at the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight.


For more commencement speech goodness, we direct you to NPR’s impressive historical web experience. There you will find classics of the form, like David Foster Wallace’s searching “This Is Water,” delivered to the Kenyon College graduating class of 2005.

From that, a bit of advice we often return to:

“…to be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about myself and my certainties. Because a huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. I have learned this the hard way, as I predict you graduates will, too.”

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Shoes for Summer | Pattern Recognition Tue, 26 May 2015 16:38:54 +0000 pattern2
When it comes to summer shoes, have you thought about going the patterned route? It’s kind of like wearing a loud shirt on your feet. Definitely a fun way to reconsider your outfit. Recommended for resisting anonymity.

These adidas Fluxes are very hot and a good place to start.

Dig a little deeper through our offerings, though, and you’ll find smaller, high-quality brands which your friends might not be up on–until you lace the function with conversation-starting footwear: California-based Thorocraft is worth checking out; so is Filling Pieces, out of Amsterdam.

Shop: adidas ZX Flux | all sneakers


Shop: Thorocraft high-tops | all sneakers


Shop: Filling Pieces low-tops | all sneakers

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Araya Nicks: Model of the Moment and Rising Singer | Listen Up! Fri, 22 May 2015 12:00:34 +0000 SID1503093383_013

Where have you seen Araya Nicks before?

Perhaps you know the SoCal stunner as the face of Nordstrom’s summer shorts campaign. Or maybe you remember her wearing electrodes on her head and negotiating a vine-covered labyrinth in Chris Brown’s “Don’t Wake Me Up” music video?

Here’s a new context in which to view her: solo recording artist.

Nicks is currently working on her own album as a vocalist, and we’ve been turning up on the bus ride to work lately to her cut “One Good Reason.” Check that out below–and get the low-down on her favorite jams, movies and travel bucket list.

Five songs you’d include on a playlist titled “Music for Modeling”:
“Do You Remember” by Jarryd James
“Goddess” by Banks
“Realla” by Tokimonsta ft. Anderson Paak
“Sober” by Childish Gambino
“I Know” by Big Sean (ft. Jhené Aiko)

Five songs you’d include on a playlist titled “Music for a Friday Night”:
“7/11″ by Beyonce
“Know Yourself” by Drake
“Where Are U Now” by Skrillex & Diplo (Feat. Justin Bieber)
“Off the Ground” by Anderson Paak
“King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar

Five artists or bands you’d love to play a show with:
Tori Kelly
Sam Smith
Erik Hassle

Three people whose style you admire:
Julie Sarinana (Sincerelyjules)
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Blake Lively

Three things that are on your grocery store list right now:
pita & hummus
dried mango
chocolate malted crunch ice cream

Three movies you could watch over and over again:
Tristan & Isolde
Dumb & Dumber

Five people you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with:
Theo James
Tom Hardy
my dog (he’s human)

Three cities you’d love to visit in the next year:
Miami, Florida
Barcelona, Spain
Paris, France

Follow: Araya Nicks on Instagram | Araya Nicks on Twitter

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Golf Style | Throwback Thursday Thu, 21 May 2015 12:00:12 +0000 nordgolf

Shop: golf apparel | striped polos | chinos | fabric belts

From the 1980 Nordstrom holiday catalog, we present this scene of brotherly togetherness on the golf course. You might not consider golf a team sport, but think about it this way:

  1. Somebody’s gotta keep score (your friend who’s bad at math, ideally, or at least bad at ethics)
  2. It’s lame to give yourself verbal encouragement; you need friends for that
  3. Outfit-coordinated foursome = instant status
  4. If you do something amazing, you’ll need witnesses to verify it actually happened

See also: How to Hit a Golf Ball

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It’s Personal: Barb Penoyar’s All-White, Natural Light Portraits Pt. III Wed, 20 May 2015 20:49:21 +0000 In this series, we talk to artists and designers about their most personal works and the projects that are closest to their hearts.


Shop: Alexander Simai tee

Nordstrom photographer Barb Penoyar is back with the third installment of her series In/On White: portraits of models shot using 100% natural light. We remain psyched on this series.

Read about the origin of Barb’s “white period”–as it will be known by art historians of the future–and see round one here. Round two is here.

We caught up with Barb, who has a new website by the way, to ask about her new work:

“These portraits were shot over  a four-day period while we were shooting men’s complete looks. I am still enjoying the white on white set-up. As the sun moves from spring into summer, the quality of the light evolves and so do my challenges with it. It’s getting brighter now, but I’m still looking to create a certain softness.”


Shop: Alexander Simai tank top | AZUL by moussy pants

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ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo | Behind the Brand Tue, 19 May 2015 16:34:46 +0000 atm-headshot

Anthony Thomas Melillo has our full respect as a fashion designer and creative individual, for the shape and hang of his clothes and for believing in himself over time. Basic casual wear with a tailored fit? Not common in the late 1980s/early 1990s. But today, his sports luxe style is everywhere and his brand ATM at the forefront, making, for one, arguably the perfect t-shirt.

We spoke to the West Chester, PA, native on the phone at his New York showroom about the importance of fit, feel and drape. And about how decades spent editing in the publishing industry at mags including Vogue and Esquire tuned him into the world and honed his instincts.

Shop: ATM | men’s designer collections

You’re inside the ATM showroom right now. When you look around, what do you see?

Actually I’m in the hallway. But when I look back into the showroom, I see a big black box. The ATM black box. What is the ATM black box? I will tell you. Well, you know my initials are ATM. And even though I know there’s always a reference to the cash machine, ATM, it’s obviously not for me. It’s my initials. When we actually did the branding guidelines, I thought it would be good to keep the reference to the ATM machine. So our ATM machine is our ATM black box. It’s like an art installation. We’re in the art district, where we are in New York.


Speaking of brand identity: for potentially unfamiliar customers, can we talk about your career and the evolution of ATM?

Sure. So, I started as an editor in the 1980s. The first 12 years of my career I worked as an editor at various magazines. Started at American Vogue, went to Italian Condé Nast in Milan for three years, came back, worked at a few magazines and ended up for five years as the style director at Esquire. That ended in the 1990s. From then on I got into clothes.

At Esquire, as style director, I always did the covers as well as inside material. The covers were always celebrity-oriented. On those shoots, I always got the questions, Who makes a good chino? Who makes a great fleece jacket? This was when you didn’t have those good-fitting pieces which were somewhat basic. Classic but basic. That gave me the idea. When I first started to do clothes in the late ‘90s, I thought there was a void for good-fitting fleece jacket that didn’t have huge arms. Or a great-fitting chino that wasn’t just wide-leg. In the ‘90s, it was a different situation. They didn’t even have designer chinos that fit well. So I saw there was a time and place to do that. And I did.

I started making clothes and had a company called Nova. We got nominated for a CFDA award, it was one of those things that took off right away. We had our own stores, doing retail as well. But I was very green as far as doing business. So that came and went. I wasn’t a great businessperson.

But I learned it. And I worked for other people. And I got better. I redesigned Generra, which was a three-year process. And then I launched ATM three years ago.

My brand DNA has always been similar. In women’s and men’s. It’s casual luxue. Fit and feel. For me it’s all about being comfortable and stylish. It all goes back to those days at Esquire, working with celebrities who were struggling to find those perfect pieces. Cut today and that’s what I am providing.

Are you still filling a void?

I do feel that way. For sure in the 1990s. Even the Gap wasn’t doing it then. I was ahead of my time. We were extreme at that point. Now, today, we’ve evolved into making it more of a luxe collection. It’s more what people wear, not just what they look for. People can dress in a casual luxe way throughout the day. It’s a respected look now. It’s not an odd thing to try and find a look like that.

Let’s talk about specific items. The ATM jogger pants: are those similar to the faille track pants you’ve done before?

Very similar but different fabrication. Same cut. The faille ones have pleats and the French terry do not. It’s a full elastic waistband on the French terry and the faille ones are three-quarters. Same fit though.

Nordstrom bought three t-shirt jerseys from ATM. How do they feel different to the wearer?

When we launched, it was just as a t-shirt company. We do everything and still do everything in Peru. We make them from scratch. The idea is to make the perfect t-shirt, in men’s and womens. You have four different fabrications. The loosest being the vintage jersey, the most slinky being the modal, the classic being the densest and the heaviest being the slub. All consistent in terms of drape. Fit and feel has been important to ATM since day one. Everything has to drape correctly. So after that, it’s a matter of density and feel.

We use Peru for cotton because it’s one of the better cottons, if not the best. It’s the water.  It makes the cotton better when you make it a yarn. It’s the softness that you wind up getting that you don’t find, say, in China. They do all our cottons.

How central is the high/low style mix to ATM?

It’s what I wear every day. It’s a natural thing. It’s been my personal style for a long time. So it’s not a forced thing for me. And what we do, to a degree, reflects who I am. I automatically think, How is this blazer going to look with a t-shirt and sneakers? I live that. It’s kind of fun, too, to think about mixing the high and low. Sometimes I’ll buy a designer blazer and wear it with an ATM t-shirt. I think ATM keeps things from being too casual. I’m a 50-year-old guy. I’m not going to walk around wearing sweatpants. If I’m wearing my t-shirts and a blazer, I might wear patent lace-ups. They could be considered formal shoes but to me they look cool. I’ll wear a t-shirt with trousers. It elevates it. I like to have fun with it.

It seems like the stuff you like, happens to be popular or has become popular over time.

I think it comes from me being tapped into what’s around me. I’m on a bicycle. I’m outside a lot. And as an editor, you become instinctual. Your instincts matter. What you see is very important. What strikes you. I’m not a big believer in luck, but I believe in instinct.

Who are your favorite writers about fashion?

I’m not a great reader. I don’t want that to sound…whatever. I am dyslexic but I read. But I’m much more drawn to images.

Which fashion magazines are important to you?

T Magazine has been relevant over the years. I’m into it. I get Details at the house. I think a lot of fashion magazines aren’t very relevant or interesting. Which, again, I don’t know how that sounds. It’s just my opinion!

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Denim to Wear Now | 5 Styles in Context Mon, 18 May 2015 16:03:00 +0000 distressed-wash-denim

Shop: Diesel jeansZanerobe sweatshirtBoss shirt1901 wingtip

These five denim washes/styles are perfect for right now–distressed, white wash, dark slim, bleached gray and black skinny. Here they are contextualized in five different outfits, shot at our own Studio N.

Consider this all FYI (for your inspiration). For more complete looks, hit this link.

Styling: Chad Christensen and Morgan Dillon

Photography: Joel Ramirez

Art Director: Eric Bay


Shop: Citizens of Humanity jeansJKT jacketCalibrate tieNordstrom shirtMagnanni boots


Shop: Joe’s jeansBoss suit jacketShwood sunglassesThe Rail sneakerblack teeJack Spade briefcase


Shop: AG jeansJ. Press York Street jacketFaherty sweatshirtWallin & Bros. shirtConverse Jack PurcellsShwood sunglasses


Shop: Nudie JeansUNCL teeWolverine bootsBrixton hat

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Sheila E. on Latin Jazz, Krush Groove and Not Needing Outside Validation | Listen Up! Fri, 15 May 2015 12:00:55 +0000

Video portrait by Elizabeth Rudge | makeup by Jenny Verador | hair by Eric Wennberg

Legendary drummer, bandleader and fiercely proud Bay Area native Sheila E. was the hardest of hardcore divas in the 1980s. It broke her down. Now she uses music to build people up.

Back when she ran with Prince and his crew, the timbale expert enforced 12-hour rehearsals for her band and gave commands, not suggestions. She had hits (“The Glamorous Life,” “A Love Bizarre”) and built a lasting work ethic into countless musicians, like Raphael Saadiq who joined her cohort when he was 14. She also became a cold, unfeeling person. She details the transformation in her book The Beat of My Own Drum.

Now that’s all behind her and she’s found the love of music again. You can hear it in her album Icon from 2014 and see it in her music-therapy foundation Elevate Hope. We caught up with her while she was coaching a bunch of young players in Seattle for More Music at the Moore Theatre, teaching them to find their own voices.

We did not talk to her about Prince. We did talk about her dad, Latin jazz heavyweight Pete Escovedo; her godfather, Tito Puente; Krush Groove, the classic hip-hop movie she co-starred in with Run-DMC; and the fact that it took her leaving her family cocoon of supportive musicians to learn about the sexist notion that women shouldn’t play the drums.

Shop: T by Alexander Wang jacket | rag & bone dress


We asked Sheila to sign our records, and she wrote on them in her own way…backward


I didn’t know there was a gender attached to playing drums or percussion because that’s not how I was raised. I wasn’t told, ‘You can’t play those drums or touch those drums’ until I got outside of the home and started traveling and working with other artists.


Did I get the props that I deserved? It’s not that it’s the props. I’m not looking for people to say I’m good or great. Or I’m a good drummer. Or ‘she’s good for a girl’ or whatever. I don’t look for the props. It’s how I feel about myself that’s important. That’s the hard thing. We end up going to this place where we depend on social media, we depend on other people to validate us. That shouldn’t be the case. And so it’s not validation. All I want people to understand is me being a person and a woman is a gift, and to respect me. I want respect. And I deserve respect.


Seriously, it was weird how fluidly and quickly she was able to write in reverse


When I became Sheila E. in the ’80s, I had a record deal and I figured this is going to be my time to shine. And I went for it. When I see some of the youth acting out, I get it. I’ve been there. I was at a place where I was saying, ‘Let me see how naked I can get.’


I loved hip-hop, from Krush Groove and before. It’s an art form. You have to be gifted to write hip-hop. And you have to live it. It’s like Latin jazz. I’m a Latin jazz artist. That’s the foundation of who I am. Hip-hop is a culture, it’s who you are. I just don’t like the curse words and degrading women. But that’s not just hip-hop, that’s everywhere.

Raphael Saadiq

I remember when Raphael Saadiq auditioned to be in my band in 1984. It changed his life. We were in Oakland. All my musicians come from Oakland because I’m from Oakland and I love the Bay. His non-stage name is Ray Wiggins, and he had a couple musicians with him and one of the guys in the band came straight out of church. And I remember saying, ‘Let’s play something by Sly Stone.’ And the keyboard player said, ‘What’s Sly Stone?’ I’m like, ‘What? You’re from the Bay Area!’ So they auditioned, worked really hard and made it. Ray still thanks me for teaching him what it meant to be in a band and run rehearsals. When I eventually had to let my band go, which was hard for me, I took three members and the other three formed Tony! Toni! Toné!, so it was a blessing in a way.


At 15, that’s when I became a professional musician. That’s when I was playing with Billy Cobham, George Duke, Herbie Hancock. When I look at kids now who are 15, I realize how young that really is. It’s insane. But these artists allowed me to express myself and find out who I was and who I could be in their band. Like my dad: 18-piece band, signed to CBS with Clive Davis. Huge. So to start in that band, and then go to Billy Cobham to George Duke to Herbie, it just kept escalating.

Tito Puente

Earlier on, the music that influenced me from Tito was from when I was five years old until ten. All his early LPs. My dad played LPs all day every day. I was listening and learning, playing along with the solos. That’s the soundtrack to my youth.

Latin Jazz

Start with my dad, Pete Escovedo, and Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria. Those are the classics. But for me, it all comes back to my dad.

–Andrew Matson

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Spring Suits | Throwback Thursday Thu, 14 May 2015 12:00:09 +0000 throwbackthursdayspringgardenparty

Shop: spring suits | beer glasses

We have a few thoughts about this image from our 1976 Christmas catalog…

  1. The catalog came out in winter but these suits are right-on for what seems to be a spring garden party: the lighter colors, airy fabric, denim mixed in and footwear casualized to complete the dressed-down look
  2. Second guy from the left is dressing exactly like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
  3. Tunics for men should become a thing again–maybe tone down the collar, but otherwise we love this garment
  4. Parties look cooler with coordinated beer glasses
  5. The potted plant in front is about to fall over

Shop: spring suits | beer glasses

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Herschel Supply Company Studio Collection Wed, 13 May 2015 17:55:52 +0000 herschel_studio_small

Have you peeped the Herschel Supply Company Studio Collection? These matte black & white bags are fresh, functional and weirdly addictive to touch: they’re made from rubbery tarpaulin which is both soft and hardcore.

Shop: Herschel backpack | duffel | tote bag | pouch | travel kit | all Herschel

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What to Wear to the Beach | Studio N Tue, 12 May 2015 12:00:57 +0000 beach-to-bar3

The water may feel great, but we can’t stay submerged forever. Because, you know, biology. And so we find ourselves at a critical juncture:

What’s the move after swimming? Pool to party? Beach to bar? 

And will the policy be the industry standard no shirt, no shoes, no dice?

This transition involves considering packable layers–and to inspire you to make it smoothly, we present this animation of a well-prepared dude, made by our ace squad at Studio N.

Model: Brandon Tobiassen

Art Director: Brett Wiseman

Photographer: Matthew Sumi

Stylists: Morgan Dillon and Chad Christensen

Shop: Vans slip-ons | Sol Angeles tee | Ambsn woven shirt | Ambsn shorts | Armani swim briefs | Herschel duffel | Schwood sunglasses

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adidas Stan Smith: Variations on a Theme Mon, 11 May 2015 12:00:16 +0000 stan-smith-three


Shop: adidas Stan Smith Vulc

There’s an argument to be made that classics ought never be tampered with. But sometimes that argument does not hold. Check these two cases in point.

Above, variations on the timeless, iconic adidas Stan Smith tennis shoe with vaguely nautical details: vulcanized rubber sole; optional canvas construction. Crisp and clean.

Below, another take by legendary streetwear designer Nigo, starring a vintage-toned sole and velcro straps. 1970s-esque.


Shop: adidas Stan Smith CF Nigo

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Suits in the City | Studio N Fri, 08 May 2015 12:00:18 +0000 Tarik-60507

The talent pool is deep over at Studio N, a warehouse space close to our Seattle headquarters where Nordstrom employees–stylists, art directors, photographers, tailors and hair & makeup artists–create imagery for our catalog and website. They do this amongst racks of choice product and models posing like perfect 10s. An inspiring environment.

Frequently they complete their day’s work and then create some more.

Photographer Matthew Sumi explains the impromptu photo shoot which yielded these shots:

“We shot a full day of men’s Anniversary looks on Tarik, then we decided to shoot more editorial images outside with this suit. I test often with all the models that come through the studio, to keep fresh and push myself artistically to always create new imagery. On this shoot I was playing with movement and black & white, specifically blur and focus. I’ve always loved trying different techniques. I think movement creates a strong visual element of mood. “

Shop: Calibrate suit | BOSS tie | Vince Camuto shirt | Magnanni monk strap loafer | all suits

Model: Tarik Lakehal

Photographer: Matthew Sumi

Stylist: Grace Erdman

Hair & makup: Pierra Lortie

Art Director: Brett Wiseman

Tarik-80507Tarik-1105071Tarik-120507 Tarik-130507Tarik-150507 Tarik-160507Tarik-180507 Tarik-190507

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‘80s Style | Throwback Thursday Thu, 07 May 2015 12:00:19 +0000 throwback-88

Our favorite aspects of this photo from the 1989 Nordstrom Anniversary catalog, from left to right:

  1. Batman hat
  2. Halo hat
  3. Double jacket
  4. Mr. Plaid
  5. Wide-leg corduroys
  6. King of Pleats

…and the fact that 83% of the young, fashionable men in the image are rolling up their pants, just like in 2015.

Shop: pants

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Spring Shoe Edit: The Wingtip Oxford Wed, 06 May 2015 15:31:08 +0000 What to wear for spring? How to rock spring shoes? In this series we look at five spring shoes and show you two ways to wear each, with guidance from our Men’s Styling Manager Danny Mankin. Because life is better with options.

Shop: Cole Haan wingtip oxford | all men’s shoes

Wingtip oxfords are typically perfect for the workplace–and this pair of shoes is, too. But with the canvas construction, things are already a little less dressy. Recognizing that, you can follow suit and combine a blazer and trousers with a polo instead of a button-down. Or go for a weekend casual look with the vintage-wash jeans and the t-shirt.”

Outfit 1: Wallin Brothers polo | Theory blazer | Theory pants | 1901 pocket square

Outfit 2: Wallin Brothers cardigan | James Perse tee | AG jeans

–Danny Mankin

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What to Get Cool Moms for Mother’s Day Tue, 05 May 2015 23:02:18 +0000 Moms know best, so we asked some of the best ones we know—like designer Rebecca Minkoff (pictured here)—to give us the skinny on personal style, what motherhood means to them and, of course, what’s on their wish list as May 10 approaches. The insightful series is over on The Thread.


See: The Thread’s Mother’s Day Gift Series

Shop: Mother’s Day Gifts

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Donnie Madia Wins James Beard Award | Required Reading Tue, 05 May 2015 18:23:05 +0000

We think you will find this relevant to your interests. Food news with a fashion connection. The Chicago Tribune has the story and Nordstrom has the video.

The story being: Chicago food & drink boss, perpetual suit-wearer and Men’s Shop Daily hero Donnie Madia has been honored by the James Beard Foundation as the year’s outstanding restaurateur. It is a major and well-earned earned accolade.

Not that you need to take our word for it, but we recommend his Chi-city establishments: Blackbird, avec, The Violet Hour, The Publican, Big Star, Publican Quality Meats, Nico Osteria and Dove’s Luncheonette.

And the video being: that one time we strolled with Madia while he meditated on style and the power of presentation, qualities which overlap in his professional and personal lives.

The Tribune referred to Madia as “resplendently dressed.”

Not an accident.

Shop: suits & sport coats

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Spring Shoe Edit: The Clean White Sneaker Tue, 05 May 2015 12:00:36 +0000 What to wear for spring? How to rock spring shoes? In this series we’ll look at five spring shoes and show you two ways to wear each, with guidance from our Men’s Styling Manager Danny Mankin. Because life is better with options.


Image by Brad Strain

Shop: 1901 sneaker | clean sneakers | all men’s shoes

“With a clean white sneaker like this, you can verge into formal territory by dressing down a navy suit with a t-shirt. In this situation the t-shirt and the shoes are coordinating with each other, giving a casual balance to the dressy suit. White sneakers are also like a blank canvas you can go wild with, so busy patterns and high-contrast work perfectly; you don’t have to worry about being ‘too cray.’”

Outfit 1: Topman blazer | Topman trouser | rag & bone tee

Outfit 2: Barney Cools short sleeve woven | Zanerobe jogger

–Danny Mankin

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GIF Shop: Swim Trunks Mon, 04 May 2015 13:18:02 +0000 swim-trunks-mens-shop-daily-nordstrom

Swimwear comes with 101 questions: trunks, board shorts or briefs? Bright or subdued? Geometric, colorblocking, solids, animal or tropical print?

But decisions must be made.

While you might consider this a utility garment, the choice is an opportunity for expression–a chance to wear your heart on your shorts, if you will.

We’re digging these tropical styles for summer. But really it comes down to what you’re feeling.

Shop this GIF:

Original Penguin jungle print trunks | Vineyard Vines Chappy – Hummingbird Floral trunks | DIESEL BMBX-Kroobeach board shorts | Tommy Bahama Acapulco Dei Marmi board shorts

Shop: All Men’s Swimwear

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New! adidas Originals x Pharrell Williams Jackets and Tees Fri, 01 May 2015 16:03:45 +0000 pharrell_williams_adidas_collection_img4


One particular vision of spring style we endorse: dressing like a Starburst Easter egg in adidas x Pharrell Williams gear. Just because the holiday’s over doesn’t make it wrong. There is something sublime and optimistic about this much color in one place.

It makes us want to turn up the volume on one of our favorite sublime and optimistic Pharrell songs.

No, not this one.

This one.



Shop: adidas x Pharrell Williams teeadidas x Pharrell Supercolor track jacket | all adidas Originals

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Listen Up! Ty Dolla $ign, Charli XCX, Tinashe | Q&A with Music Video Director Shomi Patwary Fri, 01 May 2015 12:00:33 +0000 ty

Ty Dolla $ign with 1970 Buick Gran Sport

Images courtesy Shomi Patwary and Atlantic Records

Music video director Shomi Patwary has been on our radar since his video for A$AP Rocky’s “Multiply,” with its awesome dance cameo from Yung Gleesh. Now Patwary’s caught our attention again with Ty Dolla $ign’s “Drop That Kitty,” a crossover hip-hop/pop jam with rising stars Tinashe and Charli XCX.

We caught up with Patwary on the phone while he was in New York filming another A$AP video and planning a project with Diddy’s son Christian Combs. He told us about rolling with the punches on “Drop That Kitty” and casting a surprise guest star who reminded him of his dad.


Charli XCX

Nordstrom blogs: We’re loving this video. How are you feeling about it?

Shomi Patwary: It’s cool. There’s a director’s version that was a little more edgy. When you have three artists on a major video, you have to get everyone’s approval, and that’s a little challenging. And then rain came in; there were some shots I couldn’t get. The concept changed while we were shooting it.

What changed?

The original idea was closer to early Snoop Dogg videos from the 1990s, like “Gin & Juice.” So that’s why we had the classic West Coast stuff, the lowrider bikes, the cars. But then that was too similar to another video Ty had done, “Stand For.” And this is a pop record, but there’s a lot of hip-hop in it–and we could have taken that a lot of different places. But maybe that’s not appropriate for everyone, you know?

Did Charli XCX or Tinashe say something like, That’s cool but it won’t work for my fan base?

It was actually Ty. Originally we had a bunch of women acting all crazy in the car. And Ty was like, I have a 10-year-old daughter and I want to be more responsible with the visuals I put out. It wasn’t Charli or Tinashe, like I would’ve thought. It was Ty’s decision.

Originally, I was also going to have more animated cartoons involved, but the logistics of animation are that it takes a long time and you’re at the mercy of a post-production house and it costs a lot of money. The second solution was a little easier, which was putting cat heads on people. A little kitschy, more joking around.

People are used to me doing darker stuff with A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg. My inspiration is Mark Romanek and people like that. But I’m happy with this, for sure. Major videos get shelved all the time. It’s a bummer. Ask directors, they all have stories. There’s so many opportunities for it to go wrong or not come to fruition. So I’m happy, and I feel like it’s a fun video.

Also it rained while we were shooting, so we had to work around that.

Is that why everyone is dancing under the overpass, to block the rain?

Yep, that’s exactly why. So many things happen, there are so many variables. You have to work with what you’re dealt.

What was the vibe like on set? Was everyone drinking Cristal and Ciroc?

No, everyone was super healthy. It was kind of like a throwback to how they used to do videos. Every artist had a trailer, security, stylists, choreographers, the whole nine yards.

Who did the styling?

Lisa Katnic. Charli’s creative director is Diane Martel–she’s directed a lot of legendary videos and is also Miley Cyrus’s creative director–and she suggested Lisa, who was the original person who styled Miley and Charli. She’s always ahead of the curve.

Where is the market we see in the beginning of the video?

That’s East Hollywood at the Tripti Market. We shot a lot inside there, but once the concept changed, we scrapped all that. It’s funny: I’m originally from Bangladesh, and the owner was Bengali. When I found that out it was much easier to talk to him. I convinced him to be in the video and toward the end, you’ll see him dancing with the girls. I was surprised he wanted to be in the video. I was like, This guy reminds me of my dad. That was a fun moment.

Where is Charli riding the tricycle?

That’s right by the Tripti Market. The funny thing was, though, I didn’t even think about it: Charli can’t ride a bike. So we happened to have a tricycle, and we got lucky. But she almost ran into a motorcycle. I thought everyone knows how to ride a bike. But I was wrong. On top of that, she had heels on. But she was a good sport and it turned out solid.


Charli XCX and Shomi Patwary

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Throwback Thursday: Stussy Sunglasses Thu, 30 Apr 2015 16:35:03 +0000 stussy1

Check out this jewel from the 1989 Nordstrom Brass Rail catalog: two wild & crazy guys having a good vibe in a dubstyle, skating, hand-standing.

What does that face say? This is a semi-precarious situation. But don’t worry. We’re party professionals.

Get the 2015 version of this look by hitting the links below.

Shop: Stussy sunglasses | men’s swimwearConverse Jack Purcells

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Spring Shoe Edit: The Boat Shoe Wed, 29 Apr 2015 12:00:21 +0000 What to wear for spring? How to rock spring shoes? In this series we’ll look at five spring shoes and show you two ways to wear each, with guidance from our Men’s Styling Manager Danny Mankin. Because life is better with options.


Image by Brad Strain

Shop: Sperry boat shoe | all men’s shoes

Here’s the thing about blue: it goes with blue. Of course not all blues are equal, but if you’re in the general sphere of light blue or dark blue, feel free to add layers within that category. Don’t worry that the blues aren’t exactly the same. Khaki goes with everything, too, and the colors look great together. Boat shoes look horrible with socks; don’t ever do it. But nobody has to know if you’d rather wear no-show socks. Because sweat does indeed happen.”

Outfit 1: Grayers Baseball Jacket | Billy Reid polo | Citizens of Humanity jean

Outfit 2: Grayers Sweater | Jack Spade short

–Danny Mankin

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Common Projects Expanding at Nordstrom Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:00:42 +0000 common-projects-low2

Did you know Nordstrom carries Common Projects? True story.

The New York-based, Italian-made footwear brand with the immaculate designs is currently available at seven stores–and hitting seventeen more in August.

Clean and elevated, these shoes are also extremely versatile. Dress them all the way up with a suit or all the way down with a t-shirt and shorts.

You can’t lose. 

More styles and a full list of Nordstrom stores carrying Common Projects:


Common Projects is currently available in:

San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Costa Mesa, CA
Atlanta, GA
Chicago, IL
Bellevue, WA
Seattle, WA

Available starting August in:

Scottsdale, AZ
Canoga Park, CA
Newport Beach, CA
Walnut Creek, CA
San Diego, CA
King of Prussia, PA
Tampa, FL
Oak Brook, IL
Troy, MI
Bloomington, MN
Paramus, NJ
Short Hills, NJ
White Plains, NY
Pittsburgh, PA
Nashville, TN
Houston, TX
McLean, VA


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Gin Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe | What’s Cooking Mon, 27 Apr 2015 21:02:37 +0000 To commemorate the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby, I asked our restaurants team to show me the way to a great mint julep recipe. They left me in the capable hands of Dan Yeisley, the manager at our newest bar, Habitant. Digging up recipes from way back in the 18th and 19th centuries, he resurrected an old twist for this classic cocktail: gin.

Not to upset the entire state of Tennessee and bourbon lovers everywhere, he explained that the earliest recipes on record call for any variety of liquors–most often Cognac, brandy, gin or whiskey. After seeing that one of them also called for peach-flavored liqueur, he knew he’d found a winning combo.

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe with Gin and Peach Liqueur from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Before I set out to make this gin mint julep at home to photograph, Dan invited me over to try his creation and to check out the swanky new Habitant lounge at our flagship store in downtown Seattle (where you can try those Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos as well as the two cocktails we featured over the holidays). Since the bar isn’t fully up and running yet (opening Monday, April 27), I was lucky enough to be served the very first cocktail ever poured there. And this mint julep was perfectly worthy of the occasion.

Botanical notes from the gin play well with the muddled mint, and the fruity peach liqueur supports the flavors well while rounding them all out with just the right amount of sweetness. Simple, delicious and very refreshing. Since there are only four ingredients in this recipe, be sure to use the best-quality products you can manage–there’s nothing here that will mask subpar flavors.

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe with Gin and Peach Liqueur from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Mint Juleps with Gin and Peach
from Habitant manager, Dan Yeisley

Ingredients (per cocktail)
1 1/2 ounces gin (Genever style, if possible)
1/2 ounce peach liqueur
12 good-sized mint leaves
Club soda
Ice, crushed
Mint sprigs to garnish

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe with Gin and Peach Liqueur from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass with about a cup of ice. Add mint and muddle until leaves are broken down into smaller pieces and oils released.

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe with Gin and Peach Liqueur from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

2. Add gin and peach liqueur. Stir or roll ingredients from one glass to another until combined. Avoid shaking, which can bruise the gin and overwork the mint.

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe with Gin and Peach Liqueur from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

3. Pour ingredients into a silver cup (traditional for derby day) or a double old fashioned glass.

4. Add more crushed ice, if needed, and top off the glass with club soda. Garnish with sprigs of mint.

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe with Gin and Peach Liqueur from Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Shop: 10 Strawberry Street Mint Julep Cup

Find more recipes to try in our What’s Cooking series. Have a favorite dish or beverage from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

Jeff Powell

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