ALL POSTS Culture Interviews Men’s Fashion Music Style

Cozycomfycool: Cold-Weather Looks

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Styling by Morgan Dillon; images by Matthew Sumi

Is there any amount of cozy that’s too cozy? When the weather gets cold, the answer is no. With athleisure feeling less like a trend these days and more like a paradigm shift, designers are putting comfort at the forefront of their fashion. It’s all the better for stacking clothes and taking coziness to the max. Try stepping out of the house wearing fuzzy socks—fuzzy shoes, even—and two jackets at the same time: a middle layering piece and an overcoat. Then you shall know the true meaning of cozy. Be inspired by these looks and layer up.

Our model here is Tay Sean, rapper and producer extraordinaire. If you don’t know him, his new album, Leavings, is outstanding experimental hip-hop. Dressing-wise, he has a unique style, so we met with him ahead of time in the store so he could help choose clothes from our men’s and men’s designer departments. His reaction:

“I didn’t realize Nordstrom had so much cool stuff.”

Check out our cozy looks below and our interview with Tay Sean about his music and personal style.

SHOP: Helmut Lang coat | Public School anorak* | Rick Owens pants | Clarks Wallabees

*available by phone: 1.888.282.6060

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You’re almost 30 and this is your first solo album. You’ve pretty much always performed in groups. What’s behind the solo approach?

Part of the answer is not exciting: feasibility. I don’t have to schedule, don’t have to rely on anybody, I can do everything on my own. The less boring answer is: I wanted to see what I sounded like, completely uninhibited. Not that my bandmates are inhibitors. But what do I sound like by myself?

I know in the past you made solo material that you didn’t put out, because you thought it sounded overly influenced.

Yeah, when I first heard Shabazz Palaces and met Ish, the influence he had on my music and my life … I idolized him. At the time I didn’t realize how big an influence he was going to be. Now I realize, this is a big part of who I am. I might put out some of those songs, actually.

When people ask you what kind of music you make, what do you say?

Experimental hip-hop is my go-to phrase. When you say, “I’m a rapper,” people have different ideas of what that means. I want to give them a little more information.

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SHOP: Tim Coppens shirt* | Undercover scarf* | Billy Reid coat

*available by phone: 1.888.282.6060

Your music comes from a computer and a keyboard, but it sounds a lot bigger than that.

That’s intentional. I try and use patches and sounds that feel organic. Oftentimes when you’re doing digital music, it can sound overly quantized and programmatic. In the era of music that I love the most, there was no digital audio workstation. If that’s a synth you hear, they’re playing a modular synth. If it’s a bass, they’re playing a bass guitar. I want to hear that again.

Specifically which era are you talking about?

Seventies black music: jazz, funk, soul and rock all fusing together. Those artists you can’t define by genre. Stevie Wonder embodies that. With contemporary music, it’s hard for me to find stuff I really dig. When I do, they’re usually part of that ’70s continuum: Frank Ocean, Cody ChesnuTT, Ish, Thundercat, Flying Lotus. I like to wake up in the morning and listen to Sly and the Family Stone on Spotify. Or the Gil Scott-Heron channel. I like Minnie Riperton a lot—she’s psychedelic. In the car right now, all I’m listening to is Frank Ocean: Blonde and Endless.

How did you feel about the outfits you wore for this shoot?

I appreciated the clothes. I didn’t know Nordstrom had stuff like that. There were a bunch that I would have loved to take home. There wasn’t anything I was opposed to. I had hella fun that day. The photographer was off the chain too. That was the most comfortable I’ve ever been behind the camera. The Wallabees were a nice touch. They’re outside of my style repertoire, but I thought they were really cool.

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SHOP: rag & bone parka | wings + horns cargos | Belstaff turtleneck | John Varvatos sweater | Gucci necklace* | Guiseppe Zanotti sneakers* | Topman denim jacket

*available by phone: 1.888.282.6060

Do you have a certain type of clothing that you buy over and over again?

White high-top sneakers. That day we shot, I came wearing white PUMA and Alexander McQueen high-tops. I like all the PUMA collabs, actually. But as far as white high-tops, I’ve got some Hummels with a strap on the top. I’ve got some with leather laces and a black buckle with a rounded toe. I’ve got some weird ones with laces that wrap around the whole shoe. I like white high-tops. I feel like they go with everything, they’re casual and they have a fun, outgoing vibe. There’s a confidence about a high-top that a low-top doesn’t have.

Does wearing high-tops make you think about your pants in any way?

I don’t like pants. I like shorts. I dread when fall comes because I have to wear pants. So I try and still wear shorts anyway, or roll up the leg. I like exposed ankles and calves. When I do wear pants that go all the way down, I wear joggers. They show the shoe more. I never liked jeans. Whenever I wore Dickies growing up, I would tuck them behind the tongue of the shoe. I would also tie my Dickies into the laces of my shoes. I always liked the tapered, carrot fit. I remember when I was in elementary school I would roll my jeans up because I hated that straight-leg look. Kids would make fun of me.

What’s your definition of luxury?

Satin. The way it reflects light. Partially it’s how it sits, the way it flows. But a big part of it is the nature of it, and what it does to light. It makes me feel regal. And colors. To me, really deep blue is luxurious. Blue, black, gold. Reflective gold. Primary colors. Really rich red, canary yellow—almost a sunburst goldenrod. Textures too: having a lot of different textures playing off each other, like wool, leather, something synthetic, satin and cotton, maybe, either minimal or really built-up. To me that speaks to luxury. Rather than, like, head-to-toe cotton. That’s nonluxurious.

What’s the last event you bought clothes for?

It was a wedding. My girl had me fitted. It was all black, head-to-toe. I had these cool boots. And she found this necklace to put on me instead of a necktie. So it was just all black but then this statement piece. I was like, Yeah, that’s me. It’s kind of conservative, but kind of peacocking a bit. I like to peacock. Like last night, I was wearing suspenders off my jeans. I was like, Yo, there’s a lot of people wearing jeans here, but there’s nobody wearing suspenders hanging off them.

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SHOP: Stutterheim raincoat | Paul Smith scarf