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New Years Eve

Still slightly dazed by the holiday flurry, we raided Instagram to see what our colleagues have been up to. From braving elements to popping bottles to crafting merry #menswear Christmas cookies, it’s safe to say our friends rang in the season with style. Keep reading to see our favorite holiday Insta’s from the Nordstrom Men’s Team.

[Above: We're suckers for ladies decked out in dapper menswear—and Site Merchandiser Kelsey Tyler dressed the part like a pro on New Year's Eve. Way to stay hydrated, too, KT.]

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While we can’t condone this gentleman’s banana suit, we fully endorse his spirit of revelry—and what can bolster one’s holiday morale more than a spot-on soundtrack? (Well, maybe a stiff drink and sharp attire, but the power of song is definitely up there.) If the New Year’s Eve party is at your place tonight—or you simply intend to hijack your inept friend’s stereo with your own well-equipped iPod—we hope the following 21 artists help fill any gaps in your existing library. Take a listen, nab your favorites on iTunes, and let the good times roll.

(To compile this list, we cross-referenced the Top Albums of 2013 from Seattle station KEXP, as voted by fans not only here in music-savvy Seattle, but worldwide—as the meticulously curated DJ sets can be streamed globally at KEXP.org. We especially recommend the station’s Saturday-morning reggae show, Sunday evening hip-hop, and midnight metal on Saturdays.)


1. The Walkmen. The first entrants on our NYE playlist had a new album out in 2013—but the older song above, entitled “In The New Year” and delivered with anthemic grandeur in this live performance—seemed to best fit tonight’s occasion.

Keep reading to hear the rest of our New Year’s Eve playlist.

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While the name of one of our favorite menswear mood boards (How to Talk to Girls at Parties) is admittedly tongue-in-cheek, there’s nonetheless a kernel of truth to it. Intelligence, humor, confidence, karaoke prowess—all key factors in procuring a mate. But we’d only be deceiving you if we said personal appearance doesn’t play a factor as well. (Looking sharp also induces confidence, which leads to karaoke prowess, which…well, really, it’s all related.)

Keep reading to see our new take on black tie. Consider it step one to ending up like the men on the left in the photo above—instead of the dude in the funny hat playing Candy Crush at the stroke of midnight, seen at right.

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Legally, we’re required to advise you against this. Morally, however, we feel obligated to call your attention to the 200-year-old technique of popping bottles with extreme panache known as sabrage (i.e., using a sabre to open a bottle of champagne). Legend has it that Napoleon’s cavalry invented the method to show off, on horseback, after partying with Madame Clicquot—the “Grand Dame of Champagne” who inherited Veuve Clicquot from her late husband in 1805. Here are a few tutorials on how to do it (not that we recommend it, of course)—and how not to. Extra style points if you’re on a horse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8RFRm_-WtU
Left: Tips and history from a bonafide sabrage master.
Right: A closer look in slow motion.


Left: How to class-up an otherwise low-brow evening.
Right: Eighteen examples of exactly what NOT to do—even when a sword is
nowhere in sight. (For a refresher on basic bottle-opening, click here.)

 

We’ll leave you with one more piece of wisdom, no matter how your 2012 (and ill-advised sabrage attempts) panned out. Here’s to a stylish and successful 2013:

“Champagne! In victory, one deserves it; in defeat, one needs it.”
—Napoleon Bonaparte
 

Not sure what tunes to dance, drink and cavort to while watching the ball drop Monday night? For those of us who haven’t spent enough lunch-breaks cruising Pitchfork.com lately, here’s an audio primer on the achingly hip artists who graced the pages of GQ this month. (See yesterday’s post for highlights.) The good news: Unlike most musicians who pass as quote-unquote cool, the oddball minstrels and R&B visionaries below are an impressive mix of pop-savvy and avant-garde—plus technically gifted at future-legendary levels, which never hurts. Push play, see what speaks to you, invest in a few new mp3′s this weekend, and prepare to impress even your achingly hippest friends at next week’s New Year’s Eve parties—with your style as well as your taste in tunes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9GZAFH_Y8k
Dirty Projectors


Solange


Blood Orange


Grizzly Bear

 

[Dirty Projectors and Blood Orange courtesy of Domino Records, Solange courtesy of Terrible Records, Grizzly Bear courtesy of Warp Records.]

True to form, our friends at GQ put together a celebratory style guide in their January issue, just in time for New Year’s Eve, that not only showcases the coolest ways to dress for 2013, but also recreates the coolest party you could dream of going to, with some of NYC’s coolest musicians. Check out the pics below (starring Grizzly Bear, Solange Knowles, Blood Orange and Dirty Projectors), read the tips from GQ, and emulate the looks with our own picks from the Men’s Shop. To read the full feature, head over to GQ.com.


1. Vested Interest. “Not a jacket guy? Not a problem. A vest and bow tie will instantly elevate your usual dark denim.” —GQ
(Pictured: Amber Coffman and David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors)


Nordstrom’s Picks to Get the Look:
Naked & Famous Selvedge Jeans | Pendleton Bow Tie | Rag & Bone Vest
 
 


2. Double Down. “Nothing wrong with a single-breasted suit. But step up to a double and it announces that you’ve really come to boogie.” —GQ
(Pictured: Devonté Hynes, aka Blood OrangeSolange Knowles • Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear)



Nordstrom’s Picks to Get the Look:
(Hynes): Gitman Bow Tie | Hugo Boss Suit | Goorin Bros. Fedora
(Droste): Kenzo Shirt | Topman Shirt | Burberry Brit Shirt
 
 


3. Mix It Up. “Common thread on these pages: clothes ripped out of their usual context. Dev’s slick slacks class up his rocker jacket.” —GQ
(Pictured: Devonté Hynes, aka Blood Orange)


Nordstrom’s Picks to Get the Look:
Gucci Combat Boots | Dsquared2 Trousers | Topman Leather Jacket
 
 


4. Defy Convention. “A tux is the ultimate statement of boozy intent. But you don’t need the full penguin suit. Shawl collar over a tee? That’s how to party in 2013.” —GQ
(Pictured, from left: Chris Taylor, Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear)


Nordstrom’s Picks to Get the Look:
(Taylor): Hugo Boss Dinner Jacket | Nike High-Tops | T by Alexander Wang T-Shirt


(Rossen): John W. Nordstrom Bow Tie | Hugo Boss Tuxedo | Red Wing Oxfords


(Bear and Droste): Topman Polka-Dot Shirt | Topman Tie | Gant Rugger Plaid Pants
 

For more ideas:
SHOP OUR ‘BLACK-TIE OPTIONAL’ PARTY GUIDE
 
 

[Photos by Sebastian Kim for GQ. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

With New Year’s Eve parties approaching, we took a minute to locate some inspiration for perhaps the most quintessentially masculine garment known to man: a Tuxedo. For a garment whose smashing success or massive failure hinges almost entirely on a razor-sharp fit, customized precisely to your body, sack-like rentals are not a realistic option—even if you only need your tux once a year, a modest investment is worth looking like a million bucks once in a while.


1. Peak Lapel. The classic choice. Broader lapels are swinging back into favor, lending modern suits a throwback, menswear-machismo vibe. Combined with the elegantly aggressive peak lapel, this style of tux creates a universally flattering V-shaped torso.


Hickey Freeman Classic-Fit, Peak-Lapel Tuxedo.
Eligible for Free Next-Business-Day Shipping. Shop Now

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2. Shawl Collar. Whereas a peak lapel is boldly assertive, a shawl-collar tux is silky smooth. Put one on, and you’re equally apt to channel a 1962 Sean Connery in the original Bond flick, Dr. No, or a hip vintage revivalist like Albert Hammond Jr., depending on your haircut and facial expression.


BOSS Black Trim-Fit Shawl-Collar Tuxedo.
Eligible for Free Next-Business-Day Shipping. Shop Now

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3. Midnight Blue. Daniel Craig’s Bond is rougher around the edges than his predecessors—and his choices in evening wear are just as unapologetic. Opting for inky blue instead of the classic black is a subtle tweak on the color spectrum, but speaks volumes. Amp it up further with a creative shirt, or keep it classically subversive as Craig does above.


BOSS Black Trim-Fit Navy Tuxedo. Shop Now

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Whichever style you choose, get thee to a skilled Nordstrom Tailor for a fully personalized fit. Here’s a graphic of Mr. Jake Gyllenhaal, a red-carpet pro, with a comprehensive play-by-play on how a classic tux ought to fit, courtesy of the NY Times. Click to enlarge:


 

Shop: Our Party Essentials Guide | All Tuxedos & Formalwear
 
 

[Images: James Cagney, Paul Newman and John Wayne via The Impossible Cool; Sean Connery via Gentleman's Gazette and The Suits of James Bond; Daniel Craig via Fashionising; Jake Gyllenhaal by Steve Granitz/WireImage, © NY Times. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]