Plain-white T-shirts hold a special place in our heart, and there’s nothing like a graphic tee for evoking a mood—but when it comes to a summer staple that’s at once subtle yet expressive, a pocket T-shirt really is the best of both worlds.
As always, L.A. brand Band of Outsiders finds ways to take a time-tested artifact of the menswear milieu and make it memorable. Keep reading to see why their colorblock pocket tee caught our eye.
Wives, kids, domestic partners: Curious what gifts and activities your Man of the Moment might enjoy this Father’s Day? (It’s June 15, by the way.) In order to discern the complex goings-on that occur behind a dad’s stoic visage, we went straight to the source, asking several real-life family men here at Nordstrom HQ to offer notes on their personal style and parenting style.
Keep reading for our second installment in this series, in which Yaro Levkiv—a brand-new dad who’s still adjusting to #burblife, as he sometimes refers to it—shares his thoughts on “dad jeans,” Russian cartoons, and the ideal Father’s Day breakfast.
Growing up in Aberdeen, Washington, in the 1970s left Gabe Johnson with memories of girlfriends who smelled like bubblegum and vodka, a penchant for explosives, a taste for illicit cartoons—and a zealous sense of nostalgia for America. The “real” America, as he puts it; and specifically, the mom-and-pop treasures that dot the highways and byways of this great nation, in the form of watering holes, record stores, auto shops, and other legendary landmarks that locals hold dear.
The latest undertaking of Johnson’s company, Horses Cut Shop, involves sharing the stories of those local haunts via T-shirts—the sale of which benefits the small businesses themselves.
Shop a few of our favorite shirts at the bottom of this article. First though, join us as we trace the history and influences of Horses Cut Shop, in the words of “Professional Boat Rocker” Gabe Johnson himself:
Origin Story. “Horses Cut Shop was started as unincorporated meeting spot for artists, riffraff, musicians and people who wished to create their own ‘reality,’ if only for one day or night at a time. The world wasn’t giving me what I wanted in terms of community, so in 2009 I decided to create the conditions that would.” [Watch a video about Gabe and said meeting spot that we made last Christmas.]
Smells Like Home. “Horses Cut Shop, as an entity, was styled after the American Fraternal Orders (Moose Lodge, Elks Lodge, Eagles Club, Knights of Columbus, etc.), and the ’70s summers of my youth in Aberdeen. The Cut Shop was a fortified compound in upper Fremont [in Seattle] that smelled like smoky burnouts, farm animals, whiskey, gas, mayhem and the ever-present dangerous machine. (This Flickr link provides photographic evidence of three years spent just under the radar of Seattle’s Finest.)”
A New Hope. “The Cut Shop experience was anchored by a monthly Sunday Brunch that we managed to pull regularly, on a volunteer basis, without fail for three years before the shop closed due to sale of the property by the owner. Ultimately, money was needed to continue the experiment in another location and in a new way. Hence the foray into the T-shirt business. The sale of T-shirts that celebrate and support ‘real’ America, an America that’s hanging on by a thread, seemed in-line with my ultimate goal of preserving and shaping the kind of world I want to live in. The T-shirt business is a vehicle for storytelling and simply a cover for my illicit love affair with America and the riffraff that makes her hum.”
Core Beliefs. “I believe beauty and knowledge can be found in the soul of inanimate objects. I tend to worship things that were built for use, community and to outlast the maker. In this sense, a wrench is like a record store and an old tavern is like a worn-in pair of boots. These objects—these places—are constructed with deliberate intention; they’re the embodiment of the American Dream and the products of our country’s worship of self expression and individualism. I want to acknowledge them and celebrate the creators/makers behind the name and logo.”
– I was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington, along with four generations of my family.
– My favorite place to be is either lost and/or in some type of trouble.
– I’ve been arrested and charged with “Mayhem” twice.
– I believe that if you’re respectful of the differences in disposition and avoid harming others, there are no rules and everything is permitted.
– I believe the America I love peaked during the summer of 1979. Specifically, the evening of July 26th, 1979.
– The slow death of my hometown (Aberdeen, WA) has had the greatest affect on me as person.
– I may or may not have founded The Comstock Commission in 2008.
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Under the Influence. Gabe’s influences include, but are not limited to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK18NP4kB7U Men of Substance.“The Bandit (Burt Reynolds’ character in Smokey and the Bandit), Hunter Stockton Thompson, Jack Tripper (Three’s Company character) and Steve McQueen.”
Wild Women. “Jane Birkin, The Runaways, Lynda Carter, Nancy Sinatra.”
Miscellaneous: “That poster of Farrah Fawcett, girls that roller skate, Evel Knievel, being put in/let out of handcuffs, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Apocalypse Now, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, skinned knees, cherry bombs. As is probably evident by now, I left my heart in the Aberdeen of the ’70s.” [See Gabe’s Tumblr for further odds, ends and vintage awesomeness.]
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Made from America. A few of our favorite Horses Cut Shop shirts (which double as a checklist for your next road trip). All are made in the USA and benefit the independent businesses that emblazon them.
In a song lyric, the exact phrasing of which we can’t repeat here, West once inquired as to whether listeners have had romantic inclinations toward a Pharaoh. Well, we all know what’s under that tough, 24-karat-gold exterior: a well-rested mummy, limping around and moaning “Haaaaaanh?!” between witty verses.
Start with a handy, Halloween-themed Morphsuit (toilet paper will suffice in a pinch, and you can prank your neighbor’s house with the leftovers). Layer on all-black biker gear—it’s safe to say Kanye and co. have transitioned out of the prep phase and into a goth-ninja motif. Finish with a back pain-inducing chain in the likeness of an Egyptian god, and you’re ready to hit tonight’s Halloween parties. Lambo optional—but try not to pull up in a Taurus.
Today, we have a glimpse of Topman’s more casual side: conversation-starting T-shirts in geometric, naval and Hawaiian motifs; weekend-staple denim shirts and jean jackets; and button-ups adorned with globe-spanning Navajo and Ikat prints.
Click here to see if and when Topman will hit shelves at a store near you (some starting as early as tomorrow), and check back on Monday, September 10 to shop Topman online, right here at Nordstrom.com.
Topman to go. Yes, that’s an ice-cream truck, and yes, it’s filled with free Topman
merchandise. Check back next week for updates as the Topman street team
road-trips this thing from Miami to Austin.
[Merch photos by Strath Shepard, Men’s Online Creative Director.
Truck photo courtesy of Topman.]
One of our favorite menswear sites recently made fun of this practice. But when it’s done with a spirit of preservation (say, rescuing your vintage concert tee with the dorky, tight neckline from getting Goodwilled), we think there’s something to be said for giving old favorite T-shirts a new lease on life—with scissors.
Eric Yanez, a buyer for The Rail department, showed us three ways to chop a T-shirt into a tank top in no time at all. He used new T-shirts—but use your imagination and picture a rare gem from the back of your drawer.
See instructions below, plus ideas for how to wear them this Labor-Day weekend (perhaps your last chance to exercise the right to bare arms for a while).
– You can use a ruler and marker if you want to get technical…But Eric just eyeballed it.
– Use the part of the scissors near the hinge to cut through thick seams easily.
– Once you cut off the first sleeve, use it as a rough template for the other side before you toss it.
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Style 1: Classic Tank Top. For the most straightforward approach, simply cut an inch or two inside the sleeve seams, and take off the ribbed collar as well. Works for a backyard BBQ, but bring an extra layer in case the after-party heads downtown.
Style 2: Beach Bound.[Black lines = front of shirt. Red lines = back.] This one cuts in further in back—advisable for the beach, poolside, and anywhere else clothing is optional. Make sure you follow the red lines above for the BACK only.
The captionless photo above appeared on Obey’s official blog last month—announcing, without saying a word, an upcoming collaboration with legendary New York street artist Keith Haring (1958-1990).
Haring’s work is some of the most instantly recognizable of the ’80s, and possibly all time. After moving to NYC in 1978 at age 19, his first public attention came from chalk drawings in subway terminals. With a style that artist and Obey founder Shepard Fairey described as “refined but primitive, deliberate buy lyrical and energetic,” much of Haring’s work sought to raise awareness of important social issues of his time, including drug abuse, AIDS, and apartheid.
Remember that Calvin Klein T-shirt we featured last week? The one GQ Creative Director Jim Moore endorsed as part of our new GQ Selects collaboration? The one that comes in a 3-pack for just $37.50?
Well, here’s how it appears in the July issue of GQ, as modeled by Australian actor Chris Hemsworth. You might recognize him from killer guy movies like this summer’s Marvel Comics blowout The Avengers (he played Thor), and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek redux, where he cameo’d as James T. Kirk’s dad. As far as we can tell, the guy’s never stepped foot on a rom-com set. (Ryan Gosling may be dating Eva Mendes, but was it really worth suffering through filming The Notebook to get there? OK, dumb question.)
At any rate, trust us: Looking good in the most basic of wardrobe staples doesn’t require the physique of a Greek god. It just takes a T-shirt cut as impeccably as the one above.
Here are some more examples of just how great basics can be—especially after you’ve broken them in a little. Shop similar items using the links below.
“Calvin Klein has some of the best-fitting underwear out there and their T-shirts are no different. They fit spectacularly and are our go-to T-shirt here at GQ. As much as the brand’s ad campaigns are edgy and progressive, they do iconic American basics uncompromisingly well. These T-shirts have a precisely cut sleeve that fits around the arm perfectly and ribbing at the neck that’s just the right width. It’s a chance to own a little bit of that James Dean mystique and mojo for not a lot of money.“
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director
Each month for the next six months, the editors of GQ, in collaboration with Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Tommy Fazio, will select key items from the pages of GQ to feature right here on Nordstrom.com.