We recently paid a visit to Studio N, our off-site photo studio inconspicuously located in Seattle’s industrial Georgetown neighborhood. We came back with some monochromatic documentation—perhaps a subconscious sign of how much we’re digging clothes with a classic, can’t-go-wrong lack of color lately.
Keep reading to see a few more behind-the-scenes snaps—plus our Editor’s Picks in high-contrast, low-difficulty black and white.
French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg was kind of like the Kanye West of his time—you know, a creative genius. A jack of many trades. A genre-hopping musician, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. His lyrics utilized styles of wordplay that would make most rappers (and even self-described word-nerd copy editors—we checked) scratch their heads. (Mondegreen? Spoonerism? Check Gainsbourg’s Wikipedia page for definitions.)
Gainsbourg also managed to sweep some of the best-known bombshells of the 1960s and ’70s off their feet. Check out his 1968 ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ duet with then-ladyfriend Brigitte Bardot above, for example. The song is based on a poem entitled The Trail’s End, written by Bonnie Parker herself just weeks before her Depression-era crime spree with Clyde Barrow came to a grisly end. Gainsbourg’s apparent fascination with American culture is interesting—especially as we find ourselves paying homage to all things French, with our limited-time French Fling Pop-In Shop. (And, as Monsieur West is zealously requesting croissants and collab’ing with minimalist French label A.P.C.)
Below, find some favorite photos of Gainsbourg and guests—all via the essential repository for all things vintage and jaw-dropping: The Impossible Cool.
Perhaps he was not classically handsome. And legend has it that he passed out drunk after taking Jane Birkin to some questionable venues on their first date. But what Gainsbourg lacked in other areas, he made up for in his keen ability to wear a suit like he was born in it. Check out those fitted shoulders, wide lapels, and devil-may-care shirt collar.
Brigitte Bardot, Gainsbourg’s partner in crime in the song above, cleaned up pretty nice, too.
…But who wore it best? Invented in England, perfected by the French—Gainsbourg makes a trench coat look almost as good as Bardot. Note his expert use of accessories: gloves, smoke, icy stare.
Not a bad run: After breaking up with Bardot, Gainsbourg rebounded with English singer/actress Jane Birkin—but’s that’s a whole other story. Here, he rocks the “jacket-as-cape” look about 40 years before the current crop of street-style stars attempted it.
You can talk Star Wars and Scarface for days—but are you fluent in French New Wave? For a primer on the genre that will score you more conversation points with girls (or guys) who wear glasses, check out our previous post on the topic—and to rep your favorite Jean-Luc Godard film wherever you go, pick up the Vivre Sa Viesnapback seen above.
It’s one of three custom New Era hats brought in exclusively for our French Fling Pop-In Shop. The title of the 1962 film translates directly as To Live Her Life, but it was released to American audiences as My Life to Live—an aptly self-assured headwear sentiment whether you’re lightening the vibe at a cheese tasting or out-classing your friends in a game of pick-up basketball.
We’ll gloss over the seedy details of the film’s plot line (no spoilers!), but do check out the classic jukebox scene in the clip above—and keep watching until the end, for a pick-up line that would never work in a million years. Unless, maybe, you’re French. Or wearing a great hat. But still, we don’t recommend it.
To purchase a top-of-the-line edition of Vivre Sa Vie on DVD or Blu-Ray—and for more in-depth film reviews, essays, and photo galleries than you can shake a baguette at—visit The Criterion Collection.
Thank you, Spin magazine, for never failing to broach every musical topic from multiple angles. In addition to their ’50 Best Things We Saw at Lollapalooza’ list (which, perhaps inevitably, is a mix of cringe-inducing crowd behavior, as well as killer performances), the seminal music magazine captured impromptu portraits of up-and-coming acts (above), and posted the full performance by Queens of the Stone Age, who, even without Dave Grohl on drums, are sauntering closer to rock-royalty status with each new record. Seeing that led us to stumble upon full performances by Phoenix. And Vampire Weekend. (There’s a video of Nine Inch Nails’ headlining set too, but it contains bad words. Click here if you’re into it.)
Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard some amazing stories and seen some wild photos (ranging from ’70s comical to ’50s cool). All that’s left to do now is open some presents, rent Dad an all-day Schwarzenegger (or Kubrick—whatever he’s into) marathon from the local video store, and celebrate the men who taught us how to live, love, laugh, swim, ride motorcycles, get into and out of trouble, and grow mustaches.
Enjoy our final round of photos from Nordstrom HQ colleagues below, and check back on past Vintage Dad Pics for more good vibes: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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Photos above courtesy of Jon Jones, Photographer, of his dad Dudley.
They Were With the Band. “Until my parents had kids, my dad’s main source of income came via drumming in various Pacific Northwest garage rock-era bands. (My parents met at a concert in their hometown of Longview, WA; my dad’s 6-foot-4 and says he noticed my 6-foot-tall mama standing a head above the other ladies in the crowd.) Dad’s a giant nerd with talents for math and minutiae, which made him both an excellent drummer and an excellent band manager—he did a great job of booking shows, divvying up the pay, making sure the musicians didn’t get ripped off by the venues, etc. Here he is in the Furys [sic] in the early ’60s, repping some sweet mod style.” —Meg Van Huygen, Proofreader
They Served with Pride (And Looked Good Doing It). “My mom’s dad was a Navy pilot in the Pacific during WWII. This was taken around 1942, when he was training at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. He was always a pretty well-dressed gentleman—clearly something that started at a young age.” —Laura Oxford, Men’s Features Writer
They Knew How to Accessorize. “This pic was taken by my mom in 1971 in Racine, Wisconsin. I was incredulous (and proud) to discover that my dad once looked like a roadie for Black Sabbath. Don’t let the mean mug fool you, though—I couldn’t have asked for a better role model. Love you, dad!” —Brian Lodis, Web Designer
They Helped Us Understand Our Past. Top Left: “My grandpa (mom’s dad) giving a toast at my parents’ engagement party. It’s Chinese tradition that we drink strong white-rice wine at any formal party. Everyone sits in the round table and takes turns toasting each other.”
Top Right: “My dad, the one with black frames, at the engagement party. Men didn’t do the proposing in Taiwan back then. Engagement was a formal affair involving a formal dinner between the two families and special guests.”
Center: “My grandpa (mom’s dad under the red arrow). Two of his best friends in college married my grandma’s sisters. They all got transferred to Taiwan with the Chinese air force and they all lived in the same military village. This big family picture was taken at Chinese New Year, when it was the only time everyone gets new clothes.”
Bottom Left: “My grandpa (dad’s dad) was definitely a character. His family was in the seafood business and he was first in the family to have higher education. He was born in 1908 during the Qing Dynasty with queue hairstyle. He used to tell me he cried for days when his mom cut his braided pigtail. During the war, he was a secret agent for the Nationalist government and started an underground newspaper against the Chinese Communist Party. He had extreme interests from everything such as Chinese painting, calligraphy, poetry, writing, magic tricks, and the most amazing thing for us as kids was his Kung Fu. He was a well-known Kung Fu master (too bad that we didn’t learn anything from him) and he specialized in pushing hands and Tai Chi. Up into his 80s, he was able to do 100 one-handed push-ups every morning.”
Bottom Right: “My parents’ wedding photo. I was told that my dad was a serious trend follower. He always had the coolest haircut and Ray-Ban sunglasses even when he was in the military.” —Gloria Chen, Senior Graphic Designer
They Stuck to Their Guns. “Christmas Day, 1975. My dad is a classic Texan, into guns, race cars (Corvettes, specifically) and fine-looking ladies. He had a stand made for that rifle and powderhorn, which doubled as a fashionable floor lamp. Three wives attempted to banish the lamp over the years, and eventually someone broke into my dad’s house and stole it. I suspect his fourth wife hired one of the neighbor kids to do the deed.” —Amy Leigh Morgan, Features Writer
They Traveled the World. “This photo is circa 1973-74 in Iran. My grandparents lived there for 3 years while my grandpa worked as an architect who designed the town of Arya-Shahr, while my grandma worked as a translator.” —Nini Gabunia, Digital Image Editor
They Acted a Fool. “I was not actually here, but just a glimmer in my Daddy’s eye. My family was at a picnic in a park in Portland, my Dad went to go get the picnic umbrella to put up, and this was the result. I think it was the early ‘60s. I love this pic because this is in essence how my Dad really isfun, funny and loves to spend time with his family. We often joke that he’s an 18-year-old stuck in an 83-year-old body. I have a feeling if we gave him a picnic umbrella today, he would reenact the same pose!” —Sharon Kitashima, Internet Producer
They Had a Need for Speed. “Bakersfield Bandits motorcycle team, 1976. My dad, Steve Nutter [far right] raced speedway for many years and still rides for fun today.” —Tess Nutter, Internet Producer
They Had Great Hair—and Even Greater Stories. Top Left: “My parents still have that woodland-scene wallpaper, which I’m jealous of. My mom laughed that this was my dad still in bachelor-pad mode (note the wooden wire-spool used as a TV stand).”
Top Right: “Yes, my dad rocked a perm back in the day. Don’t knock it, though—my mom said it’s one of the reasons she wanted to date him back then. That, and his denim jacket with jeans combo, dark shades, and the Beamer didn’t hurt either. Also digging that bicycle-print shirt—Dad, do you still have that one?
Bottom: “Here’s what my dad had to say about his dad:
‘My father was born in 1909 and moved to the California oil fields when he was a year old. His days were filled with walks of many miles to school, maintaining a collection of animal traps, selling animal pelts and newspapers after school, and participating in BB gun wars with other oil-field children. He was always an amazing athlete: Thanks to a track and football scholarship, he was the first in his family to attend college—and I don’t think he lost a foot race in his life, until Jesse Owens beat him at the trials for the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
“‘Fishing and hunting were life-long passions, and he was always willing to help other sportsmen with suggestions—or with fish and game if they came up empty and needed food for their table (or for bragging). That’s me looking over his shoulder in the photo (circa 1950), and those fish were from a river where others were happy to score a 12- or 14-inch rainbow trout.’” —Justin Abbott, Senior Editor, Men’s Shop Daily
The past few weeks, in honor of Father’s Day, we’ve been paying homage to the inspiring, handsome, and oftentimes hilarious patriarchs in our lives—by collecting vintage dad and grandpa photos from our colleagues here at Nordstrom HQ. So far, we’ve seen dads doing everything from getting hitched and riding camels to rocking ‘staches and taking home trophies. Today we’re keeping the streak alive with yet more bespectacled, long-haired, paisley-clad dads. Check back Sunday morning, Father’s Day, for our final installment.
As far as the all-important Dad’s Day gift—first things first: Let the man sleep in. Once he does roll out, place a steaming cup of joe in one of his paws, and the TV remote in the other. (A hug and/or a little shiatsu action wouldn’t hurt either.) Yes, you should buy him something nice, too; it’s a bit late for shipping, but for selected items, you can Buy Online, Pick Up In Store. Or just swing by a Nordstrom near you for tons of ties, wallets, watches, and other great options—find ideas here: GIFTS FOR DAD.
In the meantime, join us as we once again ponder: Why are dads so cool?
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[Above]:They Put Mad Men to Shame. “This is my father-in-law. He’s been a huge inspiration because of his successful career, including being behind the scenes to ‘build’ the Nordstrom brand as architect for the first Nordstrom Racks, and the boutique store in Manhattan. Best thing about this image is that he still has the glasses, and my husband is eyeing them to be re-glassed for himself!” —Sarah Huntley, Senior Digital Image Editor
They Were Good Guys…With a Wild Streak. “These photos were taken while my parents were dating in 1965, after meeting each other working at a factory that made bicycle seats in Tennessee. Both were from extremely small towns and my dad would borrow my grandfather’s car to drive the hour to see my mom on her parent’s farm (the dog was her little sister’s). Being one of five boys, he was surprisingly very low-key and polite—but he did like to race, and my grandfather’s car took the brunt of it.” —Clayton Joyner, Digital Image Tech
They Taught us Stuff. “Near Atlantic City (long before the casinos). We rented a house on the beach for a few summers when I was little. He taught me how to swim there. (His math books are back at the blanket.)” —Claudia Anastasio, Digital Marketing Copywriter
They Were Born Romantics. “My parents met in the 7th grade at the American Overseas School of Rome, Italy. This is my dad in Rome in the early ’70s. I would imagine Todd Rundgren was playing in the background when this photograph was taken. (They got married to this song.)” —Sean Dutton, Motion Graphics Designer
They Dreamed Big. “Aside from a voracious appetite, I also inherited from my dad a disciplined sartorial dogma and unquenchable thirst to commit memory to film. That being said, he also really, really, really enjoyed being in front of the camera—a tendency to which I can’t relate. Notoriously illegible penmanship or not, he meticulously documented a lot of his old photographs (the red and black scrawl seems to indicate a childhood address/neighborhood, name and date—’67). Dad always embraced and exemplified a ’70s sense of immigrant Americana (having moved from Korea to Denver around that time)—muscle cars, road trips, bell bottoms, tireless work ethic, so on and so forth. And though he passed when I was teenager, the things that made him awesome (like his aesthetic splendor) still live on.” —Mona Lee, Product Copywriter
They Dressed to the Nines. “This is my grandfather. It was taken in Belgium, late 1800s. He was born September 7, 1876, and died here in the US in 1941. We know this was taken before arriving in the US in 1910. How amazing were the clothes back then?” —Ann Morrow, Photographer
They Did It All. “This is in ’76, one of my parents’ first Christmases in their new house in Medina, after they moved from Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he was stationed as a doctor in the army, taking care of soldiers training for Vietnam. My dad pretty much did it all—athlete, honor student, track star, doctor—even a great sense of style.” —Deidre Crawford, Features Writer
They Knew How to Tie the Knot (…Seriously, Check Out at That Knot). “This is my grandfather’s wedding picture. I know it’s post WWII, but I’m not positive on the year. He was so dapper and has the best stories (like giving people 15-minute airplane rides around the airport for $1, just because he liked to fly!). Funny enough, his retro clothes are back in style…He’s in a Penguin polo and slim trousers almost every time I see him.” —Lindsey Bollinger, Men’s Accessories Assistant Buyer
They Were in The Velvet Underground. “When John Cale left The Velvet Underground in 1968, my dad (third from the left with the saucy hip jut) was asked to join, partly because he could play bass well and partly because he was a Pisces—so ’60s, right? They immediately went on tour—think dive bars, they were NOT famous at the time—and ended up in LA to record their third record (he sings one of my favorite songs on that record: ‘Candy Says’). I love this photo because when people think of The Velvets, it’s often the Nico/Warhol-era lineup (with Cale), where the band is always wearing dark sunglasses and head-to-toe black. This photo is the polar opposite. Velvet bell-bottoms? Crazy wallpaper-print shirts? And the setting is so nature-y. Everything is in contrast to the NYC cool that most people associate them with.” —Jenny Yule, Features Writer
They Knew the Basics: Fedoras and Football. Left: “This is Grandpa Dean, circa 1950/1951. He worked at a hotel in New Orleans, but moved to Philadelphia with my Grandma in ’51, just before she gave birth to twins (my dad and aunt)!” Right: “My Grandpa Todd (my mom’s dad), all dressed up in his high-school football uniform. He played for his school in Greenwich, CT, and graduated in ’34, so we’re guessing this picture is probably from ’32 or ’33.” —Alli Dean, Studio Technician
They Wore the Pants. “My dad’s always taken pride in presenting himself well; even for family events like this (pre-Kristyn) Fourth of July picnic, he wants to look put together (though I’m very confused about the long pants choice on an Ohio summer day). I’m personally digging his aviators, and enjoying my older brother’s ‘Wait, you didn’t just see that, did you?’ look.” —Kristyn Asseff, Proofreader
They Were Ahead of the Printed-Shirt Trend. “This is my dad growing up in rural Minnesota, in a little town in the SW called Jackson. He looks about 9 or 10, so it’s probably around 1950. The shirt is awesome. What can I say? Lucky [i.e., the horseshoes].” —Christina Libertini, Senior Video Art Director
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Father’s Day is this Sunday!
Get ideas of what you can find in-store here: FATHER’S DAY GIFTS
And check back Sunday morning for
our final installment of Vintage Dad Pics.
The universe is a weird place. Just yesterday, we found ourselves debating the merits of Kubrick vs. Schwarzenegger here at Nordstrom HQ. That very night, listlessly cruising our Tumblr dashboard, we serendipitously stumbled upon two pieces of evidence that just might sway the debate.
The first is a collection of photos depicting director Stanley Kubrick on the set of his abstract, enigmatic 1968 sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film itself is dense, difficult (if not impossible) to decipher, and moves at a snail’s pace. It’s also breathtakingly beautiful to look at, and unflinchingly original to the point that it could be considered on par with the works of Beethoven or Picasso. (Read an eloquent essay on LIFE.com, from whence these photos originate, in which the Editor of that site convincingly draws those very comparisons.)
Whether or not 2001 is your cup of tea (Tang?), we think you’ll agree it’s inspiring to see a man so intent on realizing a vision, no matter how grandiose or perplexing, that only he could.
(The intricate sets, the eye-catching costumes, the intense atmosphere…Even amidst all that, we’re drawn to Kubrick’s elegantly disheveled, overturned tie. It’s exactly how a well-dressed man, utterly immersed in a hands-on job, should look.)
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The second piece of evidence in our abstract cinema vs. action movie dialogue is the video montage below, illustrating a favorite camera trick that Kubrick returned to again and again—in Space Odyssey, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and more. You’d think, given the sheer number of examples, that this could become redundant; but it’s the otherworldly visuals and impassioned performances that Kubrick places within that lens, that make his camerawork come to life. Touché, sir—consider yourself back at the top of our Netflix queue.
[Photos by Dmitri Kessel via Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images and LIFE.com. Video by Vimeo user, and apparent extreme film buff, Kogonada. We found these via two of our favorite sources of inspiration: Nickel Cobalt and The Only Magic Left is Art. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
With Father’s Day in less than a week, we’re back with another round of vintage dad pics collected from our own colleagues right here at Nordstrom HQ.
There’s still plenty of time to pay homage to the dads and grandpas in your life with a great gift (shop our Top 25 here). First, though, take a moment to look back at some of our favorite fathers—in all their Bug-driving, Coors-sipping, Pendleton-wearing glory. And definitely catch up on our first batch of vintage dad pics in case you missed it.
They Were Renaissance Men. “Dad was born in ’49, so I’d say the photo with the four boys [up top] is from ’64 or ’65. He’s still good friends with at least one of those guys. The VW Beetle (his first car!) was ’67 or ’68. I don’t know much else about them except that my dad is awesome. He’s part mountain man, part Renaissance Man (literally—he has an art booth at the Maryland Renn Faire). He will hike 20 miles, fix your sink, then write you a poem. He is also an artist (mostly wood and 2-D materials, but also leather, ceramics, you name it), and thanks to working as a landscape foreman for his brother’s company for the past 30 years, he’s 63 years old and still pretty much has a 6-pack.” —Sarah Kilgore, Web Designer
They Appreciated Quality. “This is from the early ’80s when we lived in Alaska. He always wore Pendletons.” —Deniz Anders, Topshop Director
They Set the Bar High. “I think this is in the early ’60s or late ’50s. Apparently it was taken in the class he was teaching in Seoul, Korea. And yes, unfortunately I didn’t get any of his genes.” —John Choe, E-comm Design Manager
They Embodied the Term ‘Southern Gent.’ Top: “My grandpa Barney and dad, Big Rand (Randy), at what we Virginians refer to as ‘The University’ (UVA), their alma mater.”
Left: “A boarding school-era Big Rand, circa 1964 or ’65. He attended one of the older Virginia boarding schools, Episcopal High. School ties, indeed.”
Right: “Big Rand on the porch of our built-in-the-1700s Civil War-era farmhouse, Rosedale. It’s where he grew up. I’m guessing the photo is late ’80s early ’90s? Anyways, it’s been our vacation home since I was a kid. In reference to his wardrobe and choice of beverage, let me just say: The man has taste, and he passed it on.” —Lily Wyckoff, Social Media Manager
They Were Sideburned Seafarers. “That’s my dad John and mom Nancy, 1978, on our trawler boat. We were in the Edmonds Yacht Club and ironically were ‘Yacht Club Family of the Year.’ We used to spend every summer, all summer, on the Puget Sound in that boat, up to the San Juans, Vancouver Island and the surroundings.” —Scooter Churchill, Campaign Project Manager
They Made a Good First Impression. “I’d say this was 1986; my dad, Abbas, in Rhode Island where we’re from. He’s Iranian and had only been in the states seven years or so, but clearly a real fashion plate! He was an engineer at the time, and always cared about the way he dressed and carried himself. It’s very important in his culture, especially to make a good first impression, which you only get a chance to do once, as you know! He still is super stylish to this day. He always has it going on! The only thing missing from this pic was his signature Kangol newsboy cap and classic Ray-Ban aviators—but maybe not both at the same time!” —Naheed Hadjisoffi, Fashion Stylist
They Took the Cake. “My parents’ wedding—August 28, 1983. On their wedding day, the cake was never delivered. My grandparents were friends with the sheriff in Salt Lake City, so they called him to have them open the bakery to get the cake.” —Kelsey Tyler, Men’s Site Merchandiser
They Grabbed Life by the Handlebars. “My dad on a motorcycle, circa 1968. Probably good to crop out the carpet behind it. Haha.” [Fat chance, Lynn. The carpet stays.] —Lynn Frauenholz, Web Designer
They Saw the World. “This is my dad in Morocco, 1972-ish. Pretty classic shot, my brother had it blown up poster-size. Check out his Easy Rider moccasins. I’ll have to tell you the rest of the backstory on that one over drinks sometime…” —Julia Hibarger, Men’s Site Merchandiser
They Loved Every Minute. Left: “Grandma bought that diner in 1967, in Montauk, Long Island, and I would guess this pic was taken that summer. That would make Grandpa 48 and Grandma 46 (they look pretty damn good, eh?). It was like an old McDonald’s type of place. There was no indoor seating. People had to park, come in to the counter and order their food to go. The sign pretty much tells it all. We also sold milkshakes and great ice cream sundaes.”
Right: “The other shot is you at 6 weeks, and Grandpa is 63. It’s at their house in Palm Springs—your first airplane trip. Whatever that is behind Grandpa’s head makes it look like he has a halo.” —Mom of Justin Abbott, Senior Editor, Men’s Shop Daily
Have a rad vintage dad pic of your own? Tag it #NordstromMen on Instagram, and we might feature it here.
Last Father’s Day, we were enjoying a blog called Dads are the Original Hipsters—a celebration of the fact that men today, once we’ve grown up a little, tend to realize that not only are our dads NOT complete dorks; they in fact achieved a pinnacle of coolness that we of the next generation can only hope to emulate.
This year, we decided to cut out the middleman and crowd-source our own vintage dad pics from right here at Nordstrom HQ. We think the results are even better than the blog mentioned above (maybe we can get a book deal, too).
Check out our first round of favorites below, in all their mustache-having, strike-bowling, motorcycle-riding glory. More amazing photos to come next week, so stay tuned—and don’t forget to pick up a killer gift for the dads in your life by Sunday, June 16.
They Looked Like Movie Stars. “This is my grandpa at age 17. He played professional water polo for the Georgian national team (former USSR), and this picture is taken at the pool during practice. His name is Zurab Chachava. Photo is circa 1950.” —Nini Gabunia, Digital Image Editor
They Wore Rad Camp Shirts. “We lived in Germany for a bit when my Dad was in the Foreign Service. This was on his 31st birthday, in June 1982, on a trip to Lake Chiemsee near Salzburg. You’re right, the shirt is darn good…Clearly where I get my love of men’s oxfords.” —Kate Bellman, Site Merchandising Manager, Women’s Designer & Weddings
They Snagged the Drumstick. “My dad is Richard Hermstad, front left. Such a ham. This photo is mid- to late- ’50s.” —Kara Hermstad-Buckaloo, Copy Manager, Selling Content
They Had Hair Like Frank Zappa. “This was probably 1974 or ’75. We were at Lake Wapapello with Unet and Joan. Thelma and her siblings owned a lake house and one of Unet’s uncles owned a pontoon boat that was made out of half of a barge (we were huddled on the barge when the photo was taken). Notice the Budweiser beach towel draped over your dad’s shoulder.” —Mom of Lindsey Bollinger, Men’s Accessories Assistant Buyer
They Were Up to Something. “My dad in a plaid suit! So fancy! About 1963-ish.” —Ashley Newcomer, Web Designer
They Knew a Thing or Two About Love. Top: “This is my dad with his friends and brother in Coco Solo, Panama, 1953. The car is a ’53 Plymouth.”
Left: “The sepia-tone headshot was in ’59, when he went to visit my mom in Presidio, Texas. Presidio is a border town in way, WAY west Texas, and he went across the border to Ojinaga, Mexcio, to get that picture made and gave to my mom. They were courting at the time. They married in August 1960.”
Right: “On the back of this photo is written, ‘For Mother Celine with immense love. Your children love you very much. Gracie and Raul.’ Mama Celina was my grandmother—my father’s mother. My mom, Gracie, wrote this note and when she writes, ‘Your children love you very much,’ she is referring to herself and my father.” —Tony Balquin, Creative Director, Online Marketing
They Built Decks in Denim Jackets. “I think I was about 3 or 4, so this was around 1978 or ’79. He was building the back deck at our house, and it’s still there! Kool-Aid has been replaced by cocktails, but it remains a great place to enjoy some afternoon sun. I could ask my mom for more details, but knowing my family, there was probably a nail through a foot or trip to the emergency room involved. As for my dad—he’s everything anyone could ask for and more.” —Kirsti Kling, Senior Web Designer
They Were Heroes. “Enclosed, please find a WW2 photo of my dad, Loren Hughes, relaxing in his barracks in England. He just passed this last January at age 92.” —Michael Hughes, Digital Image Editor
They Had Swag—Literally. “My dad, Jim, when the beard was still pretty bushy. (He does more of a goatee thing now.) This must be the Oregon Coast, a couple-hours’ drive from where I grew up in Portland, circa 1982. Based on the logo, I’m guessing that trucker hat was corporate swag—he was an engineer/salesman and sold giant boilers to factories and whatnot in the ’80s. The Häagen-Dazs shirt, I have no idea—maybe he just likes ice cream—but the fit is pretty on-point. And the wire aviators are just excellent. Dad, do you still have this stuff?” —Justin Abbott, Senior Editor, Men’s Shop Daily
They Dressed for the Occasion. “He was living in California on his own and going to college at the time, around 1982. His parents were still in Vietnam, and he was loving the freedom and was just having fun. My mom took these photos.” —Donovan Nguyen, Web Designer
They Understood the Value of Teamwork. “My dad, Clarence Roy Sumner: Pro bowler, rocket scientist, and the most sarcastic individual I’ve ever known.” [He's the one with the killer polo shirt.] —Angela Sumner, Video Producer
Have a rad vintage dad pic of your own? Tag it #NordstromMen on Instagram, and we might feature it here.
“Steve McQueen—ironically displaying his signature, perfect balance of allegiance and rebellion.”
—The Selvedge Yard
“I live for myself and I answer to nobody.”
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.