What happens when you lock buyers, stylists, tailors, models, video crew, and a rack full of dress shirts in a room for three days straight? For one thing, they churn out 30+ dress-shirt fit videos (more on those later). Secondly, they lose their minds a little. We showed you Cara Delevingne and fellow bored British models do the ‘Harlem Shake’ a few weeks ago—now it’s our dress-shirt video team’s turn.
Watch for detailed fit videos on more than 30 of our most popular dress shirts coming soon—they’ll show up on the product detail pages, along with all the other vital stats you need to know before pulling the trigger. We’ll also debut a video outlining our three dress-shirt fit categories (regular, trim, extra-trim), featuring tips from Jaime Fernandez (above), shirt and tie buyer for Nordstrom.com. From the look of that spread-collar and top-notch four-in-hand knot, dude knows his stuff.
In other important ‘Harlem Shake’ news, none other than LeBron James and the Miami Heat put their own spin on the internet fad recently. With the best record in the league, we’d say they earned the right to drop their game faces and have fun for 56 seconds.
Did you realize the NBA Playoffs start this weekend? Time flies. The Heat start the road to defending their title on Sunday—but tune in to ABC and ESPN all day Saturday, 4/20, for killer Round 1 match-ups like Celtics v. Knicks, Warriors v. Nuggets, Bulls v. Brooklyn (is Derek Rose back yet?) and Grizzlies v. Clippers in a rematch of last year’s brutally physical 7-game series. And clear your schedule for the next month or so, while you’re at it.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Adidas’s camo-infused college basketball uni’s made major waves a few weeks ago, as six decked-out teams (Kansas, Baylor, UCLA, Louisville, Notre Dame and Cincinnati) prepped for the post-season. (Read an article about the controversial jerseys—with insights from GQ Editor Will Welch and Jeff Halmos of Shipley & Halmos, among others—here.)
Two of the original six camo-clad teams remain in the tournament. Watch them both tomorrow (Friday, March 29): Louisville faces Oregon (a school that’s used to making headlines for its style endeavors) at 7:15pm (ET) on CBS, while Kansas takes on Michigan at 7:37pm (ET) on TBS. With odds for both games extremely close, you might need to set up two TVs in your living room—or at least fire up that ‘PIP’ function on your remote.
On the eve of March Madness, we could do something creative like pit clothing items against each other in a fantasy tournament for style supremacy. (Our money would be on the Tennessee Raw Denims. Or maybe the Michigan Wolverine Boots.) But corny jokes aside, we’d rather just remind you to get your college basketball predictions in order, because brackets are due tomorrow (Thursday, 3/21) by 12:15 EST.
While betting actual US currency amongst your friends, family, and office frenemies is of dubious legality, wagering for a year’s worth of bragging rights is not. And, despite our better judgment (because it will reduce our own chances of winning), we’ll also encourage you to visit our friends at Shipley & Halmos, where you can enter their March Mayhem Challenge for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.
Below are a few classic photos of college players to inspire you while you ponder your bracket picks. Good luck, and may the best team win. (We’ll be pulling for home-state heroes Gonzaga. Go Zags.)
Julius Erving, aka Dr. J
Lew Alcindor (before he was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
“Pistol” Pete Maravich
Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Michigan’s infamous “Fab Five”:
Ray Jackson, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King.
[First photo: Earvin 'Magic' Johnson vs. Larry Bird in the 1979 Championship game between Michigan State and Indiana State, by James Drake via Sports Illustrated. Remaining photos via GQ.com, except Michael Jordan via, Larry Johnson via, Allen Iverson via, David Robinson via, Patrick Ewing via, Michigan Fab Five via. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
All we want for Christmas is…pretty much everything in our Men’s Contemporary Clothing department right now. We haven’t been THAT nice this year though, so we’re happy to settle for five back-to-back basketball games—on regular TV! (NBA League Pass was another gift we didn’t quite hit the niceness quotient for)—on Christmas Day. If you have kids, make sure to wake them up bright and early so you can get all that present-opening jazz out of the way before the 9am tip-off. The lineup is as follows:
Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets — 9am PST (ESPN)
The Nets have youth on their side (and an enthusiastic new crowd, after relocating to Brooklyn this season with the help of part-owner Jay-Z)—but the Celtics have experience. Tensions will be high after the brawl that broke out during the Nets’ road victory last month.
New York Knicks at LA Lakers — 12 noon PST (ABC)
NY has been rolling (even with goggled behemoth Amar’e Stoudemire on the bench), while LA has had a tough time coalescing (a serious test of Kobe’s zen) due to new personnel. Their saving grace may be the return of legendary point guard Steve Nash (with a sharp new haircut, too boot).
Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat — 2:30pm PST (ABC) A rematch of last season’s Finals—and potential preview of this year’s, as each team narrowly leads its respective Conference in the standings. Should be close…as long as Lebron and Durant don’t start comparing notes on whose movie was cooler.
Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls — 5pm PST (ESPN)
Last year’s Finals-favorite Bulls are faring admirably, despite still being sans MVP Derrick Rose—but are only a game ahead of Houston, who are surprising everyone thanks to acquiring phenom Jeremy Lin and former Sixth Man of the Year (and bearded wonder) James Harden.
To bring things back into a menswear realm, if we may, here’s the king of NBA-announcer swagger: hall-of-famer Reggie Miller. That dark, wintery plaid on broad, bold, peak lapels? The guy’s suiting game is as confident as his outside shot. Meanwhile, his finishing touches—a merlot repp tie (cinched in a nice, tight, four-in-hand knot—no ham-fisted double windsors for this pro) and green polka-dot pocket square—are an elegant nod to the holidays.
Pacific NW Shout-Out:The Miller pics above and below are from a game last week in our Seattle sister-city of Portland, Oregon, where the underdog Trail Blazers beat San Antonio on national TV. The icing on the cake? Craig Sager brought the broadcasting team a pink box full of locally legendary Voodoo Doughnuts at halftime:
Check out our past posts on the NBA’s best- and worst-dressed announcers—and coming soon, look for a retrospective on Reggie Miller’s style highlights from last season.
[Commercial courtesy of the National Basketball Association; images courtesy of the NBA on TNT. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
Jay-Z has won 14 Grammy Awards, written a book, put a ring on Beyoncé, and has now successfully relocated the Nets (the NBA team he owns a partial stake in) from New Jersey to his hometown of Brooklyn.
If you can accomplish any of the above, or a reasonable equivalent, we’ll be the first to buy you a drink. But one way you can be like Jay right here and now is to rock the same Baldwin camo trousers he’s been spotted wearing all over the world (as reported by GQ.com).
Watch the Nets defend their new home turf against the Boston Celtics tonight at 8pm EST on TNT.
But first, on a related note, here’s another camouflage collage from our research file. (See the previous one here.)
Photos, clockwise from top: By Tommy Ton, courtesy of GQ.com |
A highly collectible (as in, 200 bucks on eBay) camo figurine based on the work of street artist Futura for British musical outfit Unkle, via | Brixton Ball Cap |
Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, who’s been a rock star for 20 years and counting
(photo by T Maidana/Fame Pictures, via Us Weekly)
[Jay-Z pictures, from top, courtesy of Jay-Z's Life + Times and GQ.com. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom or products shown. If your work appears here and you would like it credited differently or removed, please contact us using the 'Email the Editor' link at right.]
Chris Webber isn’t just one of the NBA’s best-dressed announcers—he’s also one of its most insightful.
Tapping into a 15-season NBA career rich with hard-fought grudge matches (see Kings v Lakers for the Western Conference, 2002), Webber translates his experience on the frontlines as an elite power forward into court-side commentary that elucidates the pressures, mindsets and motivations of players and coaches like none other.
Check out Webber’s style highlights from the 2012 post-season, and don’t miss the video below—it’s the kind of unflinching advice that could only come from a man who’s been there himself.
Sweat the Small Stuff. Usually the rule is to vary the scale, but here he nails a difficult small-on-small pattern combination. The secret is varying the kind of pattern: like dots on checks. The solid-grey suit helps calm down the intricate shirt and tie.
Shop Checked Shirts: Regular | Big & Tall
Patterned Ties: Regular | Extra Long
Grey Suits: Regular | Big & Tall
Old-School Flair. Brown can risk looking vintage, but this modern blend of cool earth tones easily stands out amongst the crowd of navy blue.
Shop Brown Suits & Sportcoats: Regular | Big & Tall Brown Dress Shirts: Regular | Big & Tall
Brown Ties: Regular | Extra Long
Go Big or Go Home. A signature part of Webber’s look is a masculine, ’70s-inspired lapel. You don’t have to be 6’10″ to pull it off—just confident. (Here he boldly goes stripe on stripe, on stripe. Vary the scale between all three and you’re good.)
Shop Striped Suits: Regular | Big & Tall Striped Shirts: Regular | Big & Tall
Striped Ties: Regular | Extra Long
Real Talk. Webber’s comprehensive knowledge of Machiavellian hoops tactics, delivered in his signature zen-like, philosophical syntax (although he gets a bit revved up here) is a rare commodity in a field that often defaults to the stereotypical “boring guys yelling.” Above, his brutal but honest words of wisdom for last year’s faltering Miami Heat.
[Video stills courtesy of ABC, ESPN, TNT. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
This video surfaced following last month’s NBA Finals, in which oft-maligned LeBron James played arguably the best ball of his life—and finally saw his hard work pay off with a long-sought-after championship title (as well as MVP honors for the third time in four years).
Turns out, LeBron isn’t the only one who deserves a bit more respect. After viewing hour upon hour of game footage, we made a startling discovery: Sportscasters get a bad rap. You know the stereotypes: Gaudy shirt-and-tie combos. Quadruple-Windsor knots as big as your fist. And a lot of it’s true, as you can see below. But a select few know how to shoot the lights out, sartorially, night after night. So quit being ‘so disrespectful.’
A Bit Rusty These three are legendary players (and often hilarious during halftime), but could benefit from brushing up on some style fundamentals.
Shaq’s sloppy shirt collar.
Barkley’s bad plaid
…and un-subtle stripes.
Magic’s abuse of bold colors.
The Wild Card We took a peek into Craig Sager’s ungodly closet a few weeks ago. The truth is we don’t want him to stop. We just don’t recommend emulating him.
Hall of Fame These last two don’t just avoid sportscaster clichés—they’re some of the best-dressed men you’ll see anytime, anywhere. Not bad, considering the challenges of fitting an NBA-sized frame.
1. Chris Webber. This five-time All-Star power forward kills it consistently with immaculate-fitting jackets, narrower shirt collars and the perfect, understated four-in-hand knot. Here, he nails a peak-lapel three-piece like it’s a free throw.
2. Reggie Miller. He’s clearly as meticulous with his sartorial choices as he was in perfecting his long-distance shot. Just compare this subtle windowpane plaid and deep-burgundy tie to Charles Barkley’s version of plaid + red, above.
It was the stuff of legend: the first time the USA was permitted to send professional basketball players into battle—and what that year’s Olympiad lacked in fairness, it more than made up for in jaw-dropping spectacle. Twenty years later, the video quality doesn’t hold up well, but the acrobatic passing and deafening dunks certainly do: