suits

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Shop: spring suits | beer glasses

We have a few thoughts about this image from our 1976 Christmas catalog…

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We think you will find this relevant to your interests. Food news with a fashion connection. The Chicago Tribune has the story and Nordstrom has the video.

The story being: Chicago food & drink boss, perpetual suit-wearer and Men’s Shop Daily hero Donnie Madia has been honored by the James Beard Foundation as the year’s outstanding restaurateur. It is a major and well-earned earned accolade.

Not that you need to take our word for it, but we recommend his Chi-city establishments: Blackbird, avec, The Violet Hour, The Publican, Big Star, Publican Quality Meats, Nico Osteria and Dove’s Luncheonette.

And the video being: that one time we strolled with Madia while he meditated on style and the power of presentation, qualities which overlap in his professional and personal lives.

The Tribune referred to Madia as “resplendently dressed.”

Not an accident.

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draper-tux

Image courtesy AMC

What would Don Draper do? Careful down that road. You might end up wasted, fired or worse.

But what would Don Draper wear? Better question.

The enigmatic and pathological main character of AMC’s Mad Men TV show dresses sharp, with a “classic gentleman” look built on straightforward ties, tan car coats, oxfords or derby shoes–and when stepping out: black tuxedo.

To really get in touch with Draper’s style, remember consistency is key. Pretty much the only change in his wardrobe as Mad Men arced from the 1960s to the 1970s was that he started wearing more stripes.

Clothes and accessories to keep you draped up and dripped out, so to speak:

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Behind the Brand: Haspel

haspel

Haspel invented the seersucker suit in New Orleans, and not like Puff Daddy “invented the remix.” This is for real.

The classic brand goes a lot deeper than one fabric, and with two new designers steering its style, we figured it’s a good time to go behind the brand with interviews and photos from Haspel’s showroom in New York.

But for one sec, let’s appreciate their heritage.

Haspel was born in New Orleans in 1909. They’ve outfitted every United States President post-Coolidge, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird and Jon Hamm in Mad Men. Without Haspel, who knows if we’d have the idea of American suits that keep you literally cool. Or suits that you could wash and dry at home. (They pioneered wash-and-wear, too.)

These days, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos are the design force driving Haspel (you may know them from their own brands Shipley & Halmos and S&H Athletics). They were hired last year by Laurie Aronson Haspel, whose great-grandfather Joseph Haspel started the company and whose grandfather Joseph Haspel, Jr., remains something of a company spirit animal.

Jeff Halmos (on the right, above) spoke to us about taking a serious but light approach to handling so much history, about what’s fresh for Haspel for spring–and about what a rad dude Joseph Haspel, Jr., really was.

Shop: Haspel | spring suits | all suits | men’s style

Portrait courtesy Jeff Halmos; all other images by Brad Ogbonna

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How To: Remix Your Suit

retro throwback 70s denim vintage

Once you consider styling options, there’s no pressure to be in wedding or job-interview mode each time you wear your super-clean HUGO BOSS suit–or whichever suit you may have selected from Nordstrom’s many spring styles. Switch your style up, and watch the compliments pile up.

To help you feel empowered to remix your suit, our in-house Studio N stylist Brenna Carlson created three looks and offered her wisdom:

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Attention, all overhead-compartment-stuffing, gym-bag-throwing, clothes-rumpling men and those who love them: Did you see The New York Times wrote about the virtual unwrinkleability of the Todd Snyder White Label suitThat is, the Nordstrom-exclusive Todd Snyder White Label suit? For real, this is the easy choice for a suit for traveling during the holidays or just being on the move in general.

Relevant info from the article from the designer himself, with testimony from NYTimes writer Guy Trebay:

“It used to be that people put Lycra in travel suits so they held their shape,” Mr. Snyder explained with considerable distaste. “Now there are enough ways you can do it within the yarn, twisting it a little bit tighter–almost like loading a spring.”

The yarn woven to produce Mr. Snyder’s newly introduced $795 single-breasted travel suit is so peppy, he claimed, you can wad it up into a ball.

Rather than taking Mr. Snyder at his word, I stuffed the jacket into my gym bag and promptly forgot about it. Days later, I discovered it wedged between a pair of Stan Smiths and some gym shorts. I yanked it out, gave it a quick shake and some airing. Then I put it on and wore it to a business lunch.

There you have it!

Below, read Snyder’s comments from Nordstrom Men’s Shop creative director Andy Comer about Pinterest, architecture, sweatshirts and more.

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Our latest Suit Fit Guide has everything you need—and then some—to achieve the perfect suit for your taste and physique:

1. Options to shop by three Fit categories—Classic, Trim, and Extra-Trim.
2. A video (above) that breaks down which Fit is right for you.
3. Tips on measuring, to ensure you order the right size.
4. An introduction to owning Made-to-Measure suits (even if you’re a 6′-11″ NBA center).
5. There’s even a comprehensive infographic, defining every detail from construction terminology to common fabrics and patterns. (Know the difference between glen plaid and herringbone? If you didn’t before, you do now.)

Of course, all that minutia adds up to one thing: looking good. Below are some outtakes from our video shoot, featuring our favorite suit of the day—an extra-trim peak-lapel in windowpane-plaid wool, made in Italy by Neil Barrett. (Curious about the backdrop? That’s Seattle’s Melrose Market, where sustainable sandwiches, vintage vinyl, and hard liquor all collide under one roof.)





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Speaking of suits, here’s a man who always knew how to wear them well: Parisian musical genius Serge Gainsbourg, seen here wooing Jane Birkin in the 1969 film Slogan.

For more Gainsbourg, read our recent post—and to shop all things French, visit our limited-time French Fling Pop-In Shop before it’s au revoir.

 
 

[Still photos by Robin Stein; see more of his work here.]

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You might remember Gorgui Dieng from a previous post—in which we helped the 6-foot-11 Senegalese center get suited up for the biggest night of his life: the NBA Draft. Now that he’s in the league, he’s busier than ever, both on and off the court—and needs to look the part.

Luckily, Nordstrom Men’s Shop and brands like Hart Schaffner Marx make owning perfect-fitting suits easy—even if you’re not exactly an off-the-rack size. The key is our Made-to-Measure Suits program, which allows you not only to personalize your fit, but also to decide every detail, from rare fabrics and custom linings to adding grippers to the pants that keep your shirt tucked in. Starting at $795, custom suits are within reach for every man—whether you do your best work at a desk or in the paint.

The photos below document our latest fitting with Mr. Dieng—who carved out time to visit our store at Mall of America between rigorous pre-season practices with the Minnesota Timberwolves—as well as a trip to visit Hart Schaffner Marx in Chicago, where they’ve been making suits for over 100 years.







SHOP: HART SCHAFFNER MARX
ALL SUITS | MADE-TO-MEASURE SUITS

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For a deeper look at Gorgui Dieng’s inspiring origins in Senegal, Africa, check out the remarkable photo essay below. Shot by NYC photographer Alessandro Simonetti for innovative sports publication Victory Journal, the imagery documents life at Senegal’s SEED Project, “a non-profit that uses basketball and education as tools to develop responsible and thoughtful leaders committed to the betterment of themselves, their communities and their continent.” Dieng attended SEED (having not picked up a basketball until his teens)—and parlayed lessons learned there into an NCAA Championship, an NBA career, and a chance to encourage new generations of kids in his home country to dream big. Visit www.seedproject.org to learn more and get involved.












 

 
 

[Store and factory photos by Robin Stein. SEED Project photos by Alessandro Simonetti for Victory Journal, via Doubleday & Cartwright.]

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We can all agree that traditional film photography is a near-lost art that must be preserved. However, it’s only through the wonder of cell phones and Instagram that we’re able to bring you a glimpse of our latest Men’s Shop video as it unfolds.

Our team took some killer suits on a tour of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, hitting the usual stops: record store, butcher shop, watering hole. And don’t forget some fresh stems for your date. Watch for the video to drop come Fall—and in the meantime, shop Suits & Sportcoats.




 

 

SHOP: SUITS & SPORTCOATS
WATCH: MORE MEN’S SHOP VIDEOS

 
 

[Photos by Angela Sumner, Beth Batson, Danny Mankin, David Bishop and David Hayes.]

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HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Gorgui Dieng, who entered the NBA as the 21st pick in the 2013 draft last night.

Our Nordstrom Men’s Shop team was there with him the whole way—from early-morning fitting sessions at Joseph Abboud HQ in NYC, to styling out Gorgui’s perfect Draft-night look inside his hotel room mere hours before the event, to cheering him on from the stands at Barclays Center in Brooklyn last night.

Things we saw: Diehard NY Knicks fan Spike Lee repping orange and blue in the front row, rowdy fans booing NBA commissioner David Stern every time he stepped on-stage to announce the next team’s pick (and Stern egging them on to boo louder), and scores of dapperly dressed draftees—of whom we are hands-down confident Gorgui was the most well-appointed.

Admittedly, we might be biased—but just look at that subtle windowpane-plaid suit, crisp white shirt, smart mix of patterns between his tie and pocket square, perfect pant break…we could go on, but just see for yourself.

Perhaps most impressive is the fact that our friends at Joseph Abboud turned Gorgui’s two suits (one for draft night, one for the next-day media frenzy) around in just two days—an impressive feat, especially considering the star center’s 6-foot-11 frame. Better still, the suits were crafted right here in the USA, in Abboud’s factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Score a made-to-measure suit of your own at any Nordstrom store.

Amidst all the excitement, we also had the great opportunity to sit down with Gorgui to discuss his humble beginnings in Senegal, his admirable work ethic, and his experiences as a Louisville Cardinal—which of course led to an NCAA National Championship last season. Watch our exclusive video up top, and read on for the full Q&A.

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Where did you grow up?
GORGUI DIENG: “I’m from Kébémer, Senegal. It’s in West Africa. A little town, about 22,000 people.”

MSD: What kinds of values did your parents instill in you?
GORGUI: “Oh, I think I’m very blessed to have the family that I have. They are great and they support me in whatever, and I think my dad and my mom spent a lot of time to raise me and make me the person I am today. I am very happy that they did that for me, because I left them six years ago, fairly young, and in this big country—if I wasn’t educated to have morals, if they didn’t instill cultural things in me, I probably would be lost. I probably would be today on the street, or in jail, or doing some crazy stuff. So I feel very lucky to have the parents I have.”

MSD: What were some challenges you faced in Senegal?
GORGUI: “It was fun growing up there, but when it comes to economy and school and stuff, it’s tough. Things that I wanted to do, I could not do back home because there was no stuff to go to school and play basketball or go to school and play a different sport, so I was home, but I didn’t have much help. We didn’t have a lot of infrastructure up there and it was just very tough. School is nothing compared to here. When I came to this country, I had everything I needed. People take care of me, I have tutors and studied on computers, and everything is completely different.”

MSD: How did you first start playing basketball?
GORGUI: “Honestly, when I first saw people playing basketball I thought it was just a good sport. I thought, ‘It’s not hard, you just catch the ball and put it in the basket.’ You know? [Laughs]. And then a lot of my friends that I used to play soccer with—the soccer field and the basketball court were close, so my friends, they started quitting playing soccer, and playing basketball instead until there were just a few guys left. So I just joined all my friends and started playing basketball.”

MSD: How did you continue from there with your basketball playing?
GORGUI: “I just got taller, and someone saw me and said, ‘Do you want to go to school and play basketball for free?’ I said ‘Yeah.’ They said, ‘I will take you to the United States.’ And I said ‘I would love to do that.’ And I went to SEEDS [Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal] Academy for one year, and I went to Basketball Without Borders in South Africa, that’s an NBA camp, and after that, they brought me here. I went to one year of prep school at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, then I went to Louisville for three years. So I’ve played like six years overall, of organized basketball.”

MSD: What do you love about playing basketball?
GORGUI: “It’s very fun and I always enjoy it. I love playing basketball more than anything. I like just playing basketball and making friends.”

MSD: What was it like when you first moved to the US?
GORGUI: “When I first got here, it was very tough. I could not speak English. Like, when you say ‘Hello’ to me, I just stare at you, you know? [Laughs]. I wouldn’t know what you were saying. It was very hard, and I knew I had to go to prep school and make a great score for my SAT to go to college—and I wanted to go to a big school. So I just would spend all of my time studying. And sometimes, I would just stay in my room and get very frustrated and start crying. I was just young, and I couldn’t see my family, and I couldn’t talk to anybody. I wasn’t scared, but I was just frustrated. And I fought through all of that, and I went to college, and today I’m talking about getting my degree—and I think that’s pretty exciting.”

MSD: What was it like the first time you met Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino?
GORGUI: “The first time I met him, we could not talk, because I could not speak English. [Laughs]. I just shook his hand, and he was talking to my coach and stuff, I didn’t get it. Everybody was laughing. Two months later, he came to see me, after I started to speak English a little bit, and that’s when he started recruiting me.”

MSD: What lessons have you learned from Coach Pitino over the years?
GORGUI: “Coach always said, ‘There’s a lot of people that go in the gym and work, but there are few people that go in the gym and work hard.’ He said, ‘I just want you to be one of those.’ And since then, I get it—and he pushed me hard, and kept pushing me, and always asked the best from me. And that’s what I’ve been doing. On the court, when I’m the one that just got yelled at and pushed hard, or something happened on the team and I’m the one to blame—he just wanted to prepare me, you know. And I can’t thank him enough for that.”

MSD: There’s a famous video clip where you’re on the bench, it looks like Coach Pitino shouts in your face, and after he walks away you kind of laugh—do you remember what he said to you?
GORGUI: “Yeah I remember that. But I don’t think I can repeat it! [Laughs]. You know, I don’t take Coach too serious because I know how he is. When he’s on the court he just wants to go all out—he doesn’t care what he does to win the game, he will do it. He has so much passion for the game. But, the player needs to understand that, too. So, even when he says some stuff, you know, I just laugh, because I think that’s the best way I can handle it.”

MSD: Who was your roommate on the road with Louisville, what’s his nickname…and did he have any strange habits?
GORGUI: “When we’re on the road I room with Russ Smith. You know him—he’s crazy. ‘Russdiculous.’  He’s my guy. He’s like someone I will really miss in college, and I miss him already. He is always fun to be around. Like when you’re on the road, he doesn’t sleep. He would take my iPad and my laptop, and his phone in his hand, and would have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sitting on the desk until 4:00 in the morning. I would go to sleep and wake up and be like, ‘Russ, what are you doing? We have a game tomorrow!’ He’d say, ‘No, I’m good.’ He just doesn’t sleep. He has a lot of energy—especially in the way he plays.”

MSD: What are some lessons you learned from Louisville’s championship season last year, that you think might help prepare you for the NBA?
GORGUI: “Just to never quit, no matter what happens. We won like 14 games in the beginning of the season, then lost three in a row, and we never hung our heads. We played a game that started at 9pm and went until 1am—five overtimes—never quit. It’s just mental toughness. I think guys need that in the NBA—if you’re not tough in the NBA, you won’t survive. And I think I will be ready for that.”

MSD: How important is it to look good and feel confident on a night as important as the NBA Draft?
GORGUI: “It’s very important. It’s all about showing people who you are. If I just go there with shorts and a T-shirt, people will never forget that. If I go there and look very nice, people won’t forget that either. It’s all about your legacy. That’s how I take everything I do—whether it’s playing basketball or not, I want to carry myself as a professional and do everything in the right way.”

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