Like most essential items in a man’s closet—boots, blazer, button-down, leather jacket—an insulated vest can be admired as much for its looks as for its functional utility in a wide range of settings. Read on for our top-20 vests—plus tips on how to wear them anywhere, from work to weekend.
Our study in Fall contrast continues with clean-cut prep, worn-in leather, streamlined stripes, and woodsy plaid from some of our favorite Designer Collections. Photographed at Kubota Garden, a 20-acre sanctum of lush pines nestled amongst the stark pavement of south Seattle. [See part 1 of this series.]
It takes a lot to engineer a truly new development in the field of menswear. (Before you make fun of Kanye West for wearing a skirt—talk to William Wallace.) That’s not to say the great minds in our industry are lacking new ideas—rather, they reap the benefits of centuries-worth of reference points, and innovation comes in the form of fit, fabrication, and re-thinking the ways we wear eternal classics.
For that reason, we’re pleased to bring you 10 Fall Essentials: a considered list of items every man should have in his arsenal this Fall—and that won’t let you down in the years to come. Ever.
Below, find three ways to wear our first cold-weather necessity: The Wool Overcoat.
1. Weekend Upgrade. An overcoat, of course, is essential for shielding your finest suits from wind and rain. But you can maximize its mileage by repurposing it off the clock, too. A hearty tweed is especially at home in the country, as much as it is uptown. Wear yours with white jeans (yes, after Labor Day) for a fresh perspective—and don’t be afraid to beat ‘em up. They are jeans, after all.
Billy Reid overcoat | Burberry Brit white jeans | Wallin & Bros. quilted vest
Johnston & Murphy chukka | Grayers henley | Shinola watch
2. Modular Office. A coat this streamlined will make you the sharpest-dressed guy in the elevator, no matter what office gear you layer underneath it—be it a suit or tweed sportcoat for a big meeting, or a shirt/sweater combo with dark selvedge jeans for your standard daily grind. Add impeccably detailed, slush-proof boots and a laptop-friendly bag, and you’re ready for any commute.
Theory overcoat | Naked & Famous selvedge jeans | J. Press York Street shirt
Lottusse boot | Grayers merino wool sweater | Jack Spade briefcase
3. Boozy Brunch. Last night was wild. The fall sky is brisk and far too bright. You’re starving. Drag your significant other out of bed, locate some alarmingly comfortable yet intelligently designed clothes, and throw your best overcoat on top. The concept is called high/low, and it’s a smart way to elevate a casual occasion—even when you’re not at your Sunday best.
The Kooples overcoat | Stetson beanie | Zanerobe ‘Slapshot’ pants
New Balance sneaker | Shipley & Halmos long-sleeve T-shirt | Shwood sunglasses
SHOP ALL 1o FALL ESSENTIALS
Yin and yang. Light and shade. Concrete and jungle. Life is a study in contrasts—and your Fall wardrobe should be, too.
To fully meditate on Fall’s dense tweeds, intricate knits, revved-up leather, and sturdy workwear, we took our favorite Designer Collections to Seattle’s historical, 20-acre wooded oasis, Kubota Garden—as well as the surrounding urban sprawl. The conclusion is clear: Fall’s best clothes feel calm, cool and collected, whether you’re in nature’s domain or the wilds of the city.
After a busy couple weeks partnering with our friends at Street Etiquette, we’re finally catching up on care packages from our own street-style sharpshooter, Ms. Crystal Nicodemus.
The arctic forecast at New York Fashion Week earlier this month didn’t stop Crystal from snagging her usual assortment of menswear inspiration, from natty tailoring to avant-garde goth. If anything, the rough weather was an excuse for New York’s finest to break out their best outerwear and creative layering techniques. Click the smaller images to enlarge—and watch for more street style from Crystal coming soon.
Photographing photographers has become an art unto itself.
Here’s one of our favorites: Mr. Karl-Edwin Guerre.
Print-mixing. Pops of color. Produce [click to enlarge her pear sweater, far right].
For more women’s street style, head over to The Thread.
[Photos by Crystal Nicodemus.]
Having started as a forward-thinking shoemaker to Hollywood stars of the 1920s, the late Salvatore Ferragamo’s eponymous brand has come a long way. One aspect that remains a guiding force under Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti: a scientific approach to the art of style. Chiseled lines and innovative mixes of luxe leather and wool with technical fabrics define this calculated new collection, rooted in a cavernous spectrum of near-black hues. The result is an army of outerwear that would somehow look as at-home in the Matrix as it would on your sunless, socked-in commutes next Fall.
Soldier of Fortune. Military references are invading throughout the season’s shows. No exception here, with double-breasted officer coats and peacoats, aerodynamic bomber jackets, and the all-terrain trench in the Twitter pic up top.
Rain Men. Soaked cement was a clear influence, with storm sounds starting the show and puddles literally lining the runway. Giornetti found countless ways to revel in the rain—like a voluminous cloak, rubberized sweater and futuristic poncho fit for a gunslinger in space. (Click images to enlarge.)
Watch the video above for a glimpse backstage prior to the Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/Winter 2013 runway show—which took place in Milan only a few days ago—and hear from Giornetti himself on the thought process behind the new designs.
…And view the complete Fall/Winter 2013 slideshow at GQ.com.
With the launch of our new Snow Shop, we’ve been investigating the louder side of snow sports lately—from the innovation of ’80s extreme skier Scot Schmidt to the bravado of gold-medal boarder Shaun White.
This week, we chose to take a more cerebral approach by highlighting Vancouver, Canada, outdoor brand Arc’teryx. In fitting with the lofty allegory behind the brand’s prehistoric namesake (Archaeopteryx lithographica, the first reptile to develop feathers for flight, “freeing itself from the constraints of the horizontal world”), Arc’teryx’s latest video series, A Skier’s Journey, uses obscure ski destinations as a context in which to explore nature, culture, and the human condition. The end result is a thought-provoking, heartwarming, visually incapacitating treatise on what it means to play in the snow.
Watch the bite-size trailer version above—and if you’re ready to settle in, heat up some cocoa and get comfortable for the full episodes below. Once you’re done, learn more about Arc’teryx’s technical achievements, charitable efforts…and get inspired (while sweating bullets) watching three guys who are “climbers first, disabled second.”
[Videos courtesy of Arc'teryx and Gore-Tex. Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
Here at Nordstrom, we may prefer to celebrate one holiday at a time—but when it is time to celebrate, we go all out. So, with Thanksgiving officially behind us, we popped over to our flagship store in Downtown Seattle to see how they decked the halls (or aisles, as it were). A couple indications that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas:
Walls full of festive sketches by our perennial favorite illustrator, Ruben Toledo.
Trees all aglow.
Ornaments the size of a small child (or large elf).
Mannequins prepping for a black-tie holiday soirée.
An interactive snowflake-catching experience.
Santa posted up in the corner window display, awaiting your kid’s wish list. (Or yours.)
Despite the festive decorations, we couldn’t help getting distracted by all the sumptuous winter wares festooning the mannequins in the Men’s Shop. Here’s the best of what we saw at the store—and links to help you get these looks online.
OR, SHOP ALL GIFTS
Our Ultimate Coat Guide is all-new this week, with a fresh batch of cold-weather lifesavers.
Though the guide is stocked with a range of outerwear from uptown overcoats to summit-ready mountain gear, we were inspired by the year-round versatility, and all-around badness*, of a leather jacket.
Throw one on over a T-shirt and jeans in warmer months, and you’re basically Marlon Brando. Fast-forward 30 years, grab a guitar, and you’re Joe Strummer. Add a rebel streak to your shirt and tie with a trim-fitting leather jacket, and you’re straight out of GQ.
When it comes to braving colder months, it’s a simple question of creative layering. If you like your leather to fit trim and streamlined, like the Italian-made bomber above, underpin it with a toasty thermal or cashmere sweater, then add a scarf, hat and/or gloves on top. If you opt for a looser-fitting fatigue style, like the caramel-colored number below, you can get more creative with chunky knits underneath—we even saw a member of our visual merchandising team sport a denim jacket under his leather coat just yesterday.
Check out a few more favorites below, then shop our full selection of leather jackets.
*Speaking of badness: Did you catch Spike Lee’s 25th-anniversary special on Michael Jackson’s Bad last week, in which Kanye West confirms that Jackson’s black leathers in the 1987 Martin Scorsese-directed short film (Part 1 | Part 2) still influence his stage wardrobe to this day? Check out the trailer.