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4th of July

Leave it to The Selvedge Yard—online repository of all things vintage, virile, and generally badass—to sum up today’s Fourth of July holiday in one perfect image. Visit The Selvedge Yard for more Marilyn Monroe, and check out our tribute to TSY, from last Independence Day, here.

Beware the bad kind of danger today—and cheers to the good kind.

Just in time for tomorrow’s Fourth of July festivities, our very own Nordstrom Restaurant team came through with some sophisticated flavor sensations—both of which can be prepped with ease on your trusty backyard grill. (For more amazing recipes by our own in-house chefs, pick up a copy of the Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook.)



[click recipe to enlarge & print]

 




[click each recipe page to enlarge & print]

As far as beverages go, our friends at GQ have a backyard BBQ article of their own out currently (with some great recipes—grilled banana split? yes please), in which they recommend Jarritos and Tecate as beverages of choice. We can certainly appreciate south-of-the-border refreshments on a hot day—especially with killer salsa, see past recipe here—but we asked our resident brew expert, Rail buyer Dan Drewes, for his favorite Fourth of July thirst quenchers:

“I always appreciate Budweiser’s flag-emblazoned holiday boxes and cans—but I think that in Seattle [home of Nordstrom HQ], Rainier seems like the all-American thing to drink. (On days that start with a mimosa or two, it’s all low-gravity beers for the rest of the day. Save the strong stuff for days you’re having less than three or four.)”


And remember—unless you’re the ‘designated detonator’ (aka, sticking to tamarind Jarritos), keep the DIY explosives low-key. Case in point, the only firework that’s legal inside Seattle city limits:

Better safe than sorry, right? No? Well, there’s always Boom City.
Happy Fourth, from Men’s Shop Daily.

 

 

[Food photos by Noel Barnhurst. Beer photos via #budweiser and #rainierbeer on Instagram.]


If you’ve caught much Fashion Week coverage, either on this site or elsewhere, you’ve likely realized: The collections that visionary designers send down runways are in fact NOT explicit instructions on how they’d like to see you—the average, intelligent, style-aware male—dress yourself come next season.

What these spectacles of immaculately crafted clothing-as-art do provide, if approached with an open mind, is a window into  the extreme end of a designer’s current mindset. The best among them translate their inner vision into a performative presentation that makes you think—and no one puts on a more thought-provoking show than Thom Browne.

While previous Thom Browne productions (and they truly are that, with models not just walking, but often enacting odd tasks in surreal environments) have tackled aspects of Americana—preps, punks, astronauts—his most recent, Spring 2014, unveiled in Paris yesterday, is the first to hoist a patriotic color palette of red, white and blue. There were even stars and bars imprinted on the train of an elaborate officer’s coat (left) and the midriff of the red jacket at right.

To be fair, conventionally anti-menswear motifs like sleeveless coats, doily-trimmed socks, and, well, skirts, may have suggested a subversive satire on nationalism. Browne himself left his message open-ended as always, though—so we’re going to take it as all the more reason to go all-American for Independence Day this Thursday. Shop our favorites below, and more options here: Americana.



Obey tank top | Brixton hat | Sub_Urban Riot tank top
O’Neill board shorts | O’Neill tank top | Fossil watch

 

Clearly an expert multi-tasker, Browne also designs womenswear—as well as Moncler Gamme Bleu, an experimental, sport-inspired men’s line for down-jacket innovators Moncler. Recent collections have delved deep into the sartorial treasure troves of fencing, Indy racing and the Highland Games. Spring ’14, presented in Milan recently, took a fresh look at the traditional British game of cricket.

While a lot of critics (read: internet trolls) have been hung up on the black lips (perhaps a riff on cricketers’ predilection for zinc cream; definitely a classic TB move to confound audiences and contrast the otherwise clean-cut aesthetic)…we’re more focused on the crisp mix of whites.

Around the office, our men’s team has already been favoring white-on-white everything lately—and Browne’s blown-out dissertation on the subject pretty much solidifies it as a go-to way of getting dressed, both this summer and next. To do it right, mix tones, textures and fabrications as Browne does above. (And skip the lipstick.)



BLK DNM leather jacket | Pierre Balmain jeans | T by Alexander Wang tank top
Timex watch | Rag & Bone shirt | Converse by John Varvatos sneakers

 
 

[Instagram photos via @thombrowneny, @moncler, and @grungygentleman. Individuals mentioned and pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

“Steve McQueen—ironically displaying his signature, perfect balance of allegiance and rebellion.”
—The Selvedge Yard

“I live for myself and I answer to nobody.”
—Steve McQueen

On America’s birthday, we couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute than to recommend one of the most patriotic, and yet most subversive, web museums in the world: The Selvedge Yard.

Some might call it a blog, but we say ‘web museum’ because the breadth of topics and depth of research is nothing short of encyclopedic. And with subjects ranging from Hitchcock to Harley Davidsons, Playboy Bunnies to Bob Dylan, and famous mustaches to muscle cars, there’s something for everyone. (Unless your idea of the perfect lunch-hour blog break includes LOL-inducing cats.)

While The Selvedge Yard does include a few choice overseas exports, like the Rolling Stones and vintage Schwarzenegger, the running themes remain intact: rebellion, recklessness, and good old-fashioned machismo.

Alfred Hitchcock on the secretive set of his classic thriller Psycho, 1960.

Albert “Shrimp” Burns, a top racer of the 1910s and early 1920s, was the youngest champion of his era, winning his first titles at age 15.

The Playboy Club, circa 1960. (Note Keith Richards in the background, top right.)

Bob Dylan, London, circa 1966. Photo by Barry Feinstein.

Frank Zappa’s mustache, New York City, 1967. Photo by Jerry Schatzberg.

Carroll Shelby’s iconic Ford Mustang GT350 pony car, circa 1965.

 

All photos, quotes and captions courtesy of The Selvedge Yard.

 

[Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

My wife improvised this smoked-tomatillo salsa last week, and we were both silent with awe after trying it—it’s that good. I said she must have just channeled her Mexican heritage. She said I’m an idiot, because the only Latin-American branch in her family tree is her step-mom. STILL, this tangy, smoky, spicy salsa is like the nectar of the Aztec gods. And the best part is, it’s so simple even I could make it. Detailed instructions below. Take notes and be the hit of every Independence Day BBQ you attend tomorrow.

—Justin, Men’s Blog Editor

Ingredients:
15–20 tomatillos
1 jalapeño
1-2 habanero chilis (100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale! Proceed with caution.)
1 Anaheim pepper
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup cilantro

Directions:
1. Chop off the ends of the peppers, quarter the onion, and peel the paper-y sheath off the tomatillos.
(Wash your hands after handling habaneros! Get the tiniest particle in your eye and you’ll be crying, literally.)

2. Toss everything (except the cilantro) on a hot grill. Your friends won’t mind you scooting the steaks over. For extra smoky goodness, use a charcoal grill instead of propane.

3. Toss the golden-brown, grilled pieces into a food processor, seeds and all. Add the cilantro. Pulse lightly (don’t over-blend) to keep a nice, chunky texture.

The finished product. Sweet, smoky, SPICY. One habanero is plenty adequate, even for the average spice enthusiast. Use two if you’re into culinary pain.

The right accessories. Any tortilla chip will do, but Juanita’s are the perfect buttery, flaky complement to this spicy green goo. And—what could be more American than Mexican beer on the Fourth of July?