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On the final day of our history-making, all-menswear Pop-In @ Nordstrom: Heartbreakers Club, let’s take a moment to reflect on a glorious past few weeks, packed with legendary thugs, digital graffiti, and motorcycles in space. Also: interpretive dance. In case you haven’t seen it, check out our campaign video above (starring Seattle movement artist Matt Drews)—and keep reading for an expansive gallery of visually poetic photos from behind the scenes (and featuring rare wares from Mark McNairy, Hood By Air, LPD New York and more).

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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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If your wife’s, girlfriend’s, mom’s or daughter’s stocking is still looking a tad light, an impeccable new timepiece will weigh it down (with positive Christmas karma) in no time. Especially if said timepiece is properly matched to her personality, a feat which our Women’s Watch Gift Guide accomplishes quite concisely—and with the help of nine stylish canines. Keep reading for tips on which watch (and which dog!) the woman on your gift list is most compatible with.

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Gentlemen, have you seen the holiday video above (which we’re proud to say our compatriots here at Nordstrom HQ recently filmed QUITE handily)? It might be the first romantic comedy in years that we’ve thoroughly enjoyed, in spite of the uncomfortable truth that it conveys: Women are better than us at nearly everything—including giving Christmas gifts.

Our male protagonist delivers knockout gift after knockout gift: boots, jewels, burgers. And yet, his better half still one-ups him in the end. It’s likely that your wife or girlfriend will win at Christmas this year as well—not that it’s a competition—but to minimize the thoughtfulness gap, we asked a cross-section of stylish, intelligent (and yes, picky) women at Nordstrom’s Seattle offices to share what’s on their own wish lists this year. Follow their advice, and you can at least take pride in being a good loser:

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Attention to anyone shopping for a male human this holiday season (wives, girlfriends, kids, mothers, life partners—we know you’re out there). One thing we men love is a practical solution to a pesky problem. And one problem we despise is disorganization—especially amidst the vital items we jam into our pockets on a daily basis.

Enter Bellroy, a leather-goods brand out of Australia with a passion for slimming down men’s everyday carry—and some genius ideas for how to get it done. Continue reading to watch six entertaining, informative stop-motion videos about each of the Bellroy wallet models we offer—and give the guy on your list a gift he’ll appreciate, quite literally, every single day.

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Besides making supremely handsome, high-quality timepieces, Detroit-based Shinola is committed to the admirable goal of reviving America’s watchmaking industry—and revving up the Motor City’s economy in the process.

Continue reading for a Q&A with Shinola’s Creative Director, a look at our favorite Shinola watches, and a video depicting the intricate handiwork that goes into every one of Shinola’s USA-made masterpieces.

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What happens when our Men’s Shop video team goes to Las Vegas during Market Week? They run into Pharrell. They get down to brass tacks with up-and-coming design heroes. And they make some movie magic—amidst three furious days of menswear trade shows.

Watch the exclusive Q&A clips above to hear what inspires and influences some of our favorite brands—from motorcycles to surfboards and punk rock to poetry—then shop our Editor’s Picks after the jump.

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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.)





SHOP: SUITS & SPORTCOATS

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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.]

What happens when our Men’s Shop video team goes to Las Vegas during Market Week? They run into Pharrell. They get down to brass tacks with up-and-coming design heroes. And they make some movie magic—amidst three furious days of menswear trade shows.

Watch the interview clips above to learn about the humble beginnings, advanced technology, and DIY ethos behind today’s best denim brands—then shop our Editor’s Picks below to start your quest for a new favorite pair. (Catch part 1 of our Vegas-trip Editor’s Picks here.)


L-R: Natural Selection | Levi’s Made & Crafted | 7 For All Mankind | Baldwin | Nudie


L-R: BLK DNM | AG Jeans | Hudson | Lee 101 USA | Raleigh Denim

 

Watch: More Videos in this Series

Shop All: ‘Denim, Reconstructed’ Featured Brands

Last week, Men’s Shop Daily had the distinct pleasure of catching up with Marcus Wainwright (left) and David Neville, co-founders of Rag & Bone, at their in-store appearance at Nordstrom Bellevue Square, near our Seattle headquarters.

Below, the two British designers—who met in boarding school in England, before starting Rag & Bone more than ten years ago in New York—discuss their fashion baptism in rural Kentucky, smashing guitars, and style advice that every man should swear by.


[Shop: Rag & Bone Men's Sneakers]

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Welcome to Seattle. Have you been out here before?

DAVID NEVILLE OF RAG & BONE: “We’ve been a few times, but only ever to see the people at Nordstrom. It’s worth the trip. It’s an amazing company.”

MSD: That’s great to hear—what makes you say that?

NEVILLE: “I think that when you look at the history, and the legacy of how it was started, and what it is now…I’ve actually read [Bruce Nordstrom's] book, Leave It Better than You Found It. The fact that it’s still run by the family, and the approach to customer service, and differentiating themselves as a store…The success that’s bred is kind of amazing. It’s 130 stores in America. I should be like a spokesperson.” [Laughs.]


[Shop: Rag & Bone 'St. Regis' Sportcoat]

MSD: You’ve noted the photography of August Sander as an inspiration for your Fall ’13 men’s collection. What drew you to his work, and are there any favorite photographs that stick in your minds?

MARCUS WAINWRIGHT OF RAG & BONE: “I’ve got a lot of his photography. I like photography—I collect [it] and like taking pictures myself. Part of it is just the subject matter—apart from the photographs themselves, the clothes are really cool, and very relevant to Rag & Bone. We do a lot of workwear, we do a lot of tailoring, and the August Sander pictures capture a lot of people working—and he captures them in a period where people were working in suits. If you look at the early pictures of rag-and-bone men, after the Second World War, they’re working day-to-day in tailored clothing. There’s no T-shirts, there’s no just shirt-and-jeans. And there’s a sort of beauty in that handmade clothing that’s been disheveled and rumpled and rained on and worked in.

“So the subject matter of the pictures is amazing. There’s a German aspect to it, which is pretty cool—it’s quite sort of different from the English stuff; it’s less sort of ‘dandy.’ There’s an amazing picture of a baker…and one in particular of a guy in a street in the most beautiful coat, which we made a sort of version of, which closed the show. It’s just great photography.”


[Shop: Rag & Bone Wallets]

MSD: Does Michael Pitt [the actor in Rag & Bone's fall campaign] have the best hair in Hollywood?

NEVILLE: “We were actually a little bit worried about his hair in a couple of the pictures—it just looks a little bit too sort of retro, kind of Johnny Cash, which wasn’t really the reference, you know. But he’s a cool dude.”

WAINWRIGHT: “He does have good hair.”

NEVILLE: “We had fun. He was awesome. He came to the shoot really sort of enthused, and there’s an amazing moment where he smashes his guitar in the middle of 6th Avenue. That was his idea, and it was fairly impromptu—it wasn’t staged or anything. It was cool content to just be able to create.”


[Seattle band Campfire OK played a killer set at our in-store
event—decked out in Rag & Bone, of course.]

MSD: When the two of you first decided to start a clothing company, you visited a legendary denim factory in Kentucky. What was that experience like, and what did you learn there?

WAINWRIGHT: “It was the birth of Rag & Bone in many ways. It was a very old denim factory in Tompkinsville, Kentucky. It had been a massive factory at one point, but everything had shifted—been bought or invested in by a Mexican company, and a lot of denim [production] had moved to Mexico. So it basically shut down most of it, and it was just sort of 60 people, as a sample room for the Mexican production—but it was the best sewers and pant-makers that they had.

“It was an amazing place with 50 years of knowledge about how to make proper jeans. It was an incredible place to go to, when you had no experience in fashion at all, and never really been to a factory to speak of, and you were sort of baptized into the fashion and sewing world by these women who were in their 60s, sewing jeans all day, proper salt-of-the-earth ladies from Kentucky—in a dry county, so there’s no booze. It’s rural Kentucky, and they take great pride in their work, and they’re just lovely people. They taught us the meaning of quality and authenticity and the value of that history of craftsmanship—and the value of that experience, and how easy it is for that to disappear.

“They were the last of 3,000. They shut down within two or three years of us working with them. The ladies who’d been sewing their whole lives went to work in the local outboard motor factory, or Walmart, or waiting tables. Never to sew again. The American-invented and American-owned skill of sewing jeans just disappeared from that factory forever, and it’s happened across this country. And that’s sad. So I think our company has a lot to thank that experience—to thank them—for what they taught us about the importance of maintaining that, and not just shipping everything to a factory that’s chosen based purely on price.”


[Shop: Rag & Bone Ties]

MSD: If you could give male readers one style tip for Fall 2013, what would it be?

NEVILLE: “Don’t try too hard. Do what feels right; what you feel comfortable in. Menswear should never really feel like you’re trying to make a fashion statement. I think that can go desperately wrong. You should just be wearing what you feel comfortable in—and what your wife tells you you should be wearing is maybe a good tip.” [Laughs.]

WAINWRIGHT: “Guys should take pride in their appearance. I think when guys go wrong it’s when they try too hard or they don’t try hard enough. And you get a guy who just doesn’t think about it, and buys a pair of ill-fitting, cheap jeans and a cheap shirt. There’s a lot of inherent beauty in clothes, and clothes can make you feel great, and I think clothes are worth investing in. It’s worth buying the perfect leather jacket, for example, because it’s something that will be with you forever. It may seem like a lot of money, but it’s worth it, and it makes you feel good. And I think it’s important that you take pride in your appearance.”


[Shop: Rag & Bone 'Officer' Boots]

MSD: What’s changed, since you founded Rag & Bone in 2002, in your approach to designing menswear?

WAINWRIGHT: “Not a lot. Menswear doesn’t change much anyway. We’ve been through periods of being more or less adventurous with men’s design, and we learned a lesson as men’s designers, quite quickly, that if you go too far out of the box, guys don’t get it. Girls are way braver—and way more willing to take a risk. You couldn’t get a guy into a white, leopard-print jacket, for example. But that looks cool on you [nodding to our female video producer in the room]. You’ve got to reference things that a guy is familiar with, whether he’s conscious of it, or subconsciously, something he’s seen in a movie, or seen his dad wear, or seen in photographs. That’s what menswear is really about: beautiful fabric, and detail, and making clothes that guys are familiar with—but at the same time, pushing it gently forward in terms of design, and the fashion part of it.”

MSD: After growing up in England, you’ve both lived and worked in New York for more than ten years. What do you appreciate about each place you’ve called home?

NEVILLE: “New York City is an amazing place. The energy of the city is intoxicating, and it’s very different to London in that regard. We thank New York for really giving us the platform to start our company—not just from a practical standpoint, but also from an entrepreneurial sort of enthusiasm, which I don’t think you find in many places in the world. We’ve been in New York a long time, and we feel sort of like adopted New Yorkers now, so that’s great. We miss London, miss our friends, miss the pubs…but I think both of us are very happy where we are, and don’t really have any intention of moving back.”

MSD: Do you visit London often?

NEVILLE: “We have a store in London now, which is exciting—and I think made our parents quite proud.”

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In Their Own Words. Here’s a short clip of Rag & Bone founders Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, filmed before their personal appearance at Bellevue Square Nordstrom last week:

 

SHOP ALL: RAG & BONE

 
 

[Photos by Kirby Ellis. Interview by Justin Abbott. Video by Angela Sumner & Sean Dutton.
Special thanks to Marcus, David and the Rag & Bone team.]