Thanksgiving is next week, and there’s pretty much no better time to wear a sweater: The weather’s finally nice and crisp, the vibe is quasi-dressy but comfortable—and a soft, forgiving knit lets you load up on yams without popping a shirt button.

The festive occasion (coupled with the fact that you’ll be surrounded by friends and family, rather than the judging eyes of strangers) means the time is also ripe to break out something more…obscure. And when it comes to sweater inspiration, Bill Cosby is king. For proof positive, visit The Cosby Sweater Project, an ingenious mix of TV nostalgia and original artwork by Chicago illustrator Kelly Tucker. Here are a few of our favorite recent entries:

To find sweaters with Heathcliff Huxtable levels of swagger, you might need to hop a time machine to 1985 (or at least locate your nearest thrift store). But we have hundreds of modern interpretations, from eye-catching to classic. Here are some ideas to get you prepped for the big day next Thursday:

Fair Isle. This pattern has been quote-unquote “on trend” for a few seasons now—but given that it’s derived from a Scottish island that’s been occupied since the Bronze Age, you can bet it will stick around for centuries to come.
Shown: Topman | Jack Spade | Grayers

Cable Knit. The safest sweater choice for the pattern-phobic among us. Safe need not be boring though, with options of the crewneck, turtleneck, and shawl-collar variety.
Shown: A.P.C. | Michael Kors | Rag & Bone

Subtle Pattern. A middle ground between solid and full-on Fair Isle. (Woodland creatures are cool and all…but this miniature Moby-Dick reference has its tongue planted even more firmly in-cheek.)
Shown: Z Zegna | Jil Sander | Gant by Michael Bastian

Chunky Cardigan. Less dressy than the others, but a clear winner in supreme coziness. The shawl-style collar acts as a built-in scarf, when you need to run out for more firewood (or an extra pie).
Shown: Dale of Norway | Pringle of Scotland | Pendleton Portland Collection

Ready to get your Cosby on?

…And if you’re up for a second helping of Thanksgiving spirit,
check out these appetizing pants by Bonobos:


[Artwork by Kelly Tucker, via The Cosby Sweater Project. View more of Tucker’s work at i draw pictures. Cosby Show stills courtesy of Carsey-Werner, Viacom and Paramount. Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]


GQ Selects: December Look #2

A traditional topcoat doesn’t have to be your only weapon once the weather starts to turn. GQ has been all about creative layering options for fall and winter in recent issues, and we’re fully on board. Here, outdoor gear blends seamlessly with tailoring for cool visual contrast—and a smart way to stay dry on your morning commute or en route to a rainy-night date.


The North Face ‘Denali’ Triclimate® 3-in-1 Jacket. There’s no reason performance outerwear can’t also look great. The fire-engine-red shell gives this North Face jacket eye-catching style, especially when paired with the graphic black chest and elbow patches—the sleekness of a sports car, with the toughness of a Mack truck.”
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director
(shop this item | shop the trend: red)


A.P.C. ‘New Cure’ Slim-Leg Jeans. This is the slimmest jean in Jean Touitou’s arsenal of prime, raw-denim cuts. The New Cure tapers closely from the knee to the ankle, resulting in a silhouette that works as well with a casual-Friday sports jacket as it does in your weekend wardrobe. And these will mold to the wearer over time, making each pair truly unique .”
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director
(shop this item | shop the trend: dark denim)


Nordstrom’s picks to complete the look:
Brooks Brothers by Jeffrey Blazer | Vans Leather Sneakers | Steven Alan Shirt


Each month, the editors of GQ, in collaboration with the Nordstrom Men’s Shop, select key items from the pages of GQ to feature right here on Nordstrom.com.

For the latest edition of GQ Selects, we’ve chosen 12 favorites from the December issue.



GQ Selects: October Look #3

Turn an octogenarian-inspired sweater into a prep-meets-greaser look that’s polished enough for most offices—with tips from Jim Moore of GQ:


1. Original Penguin Cardigan. “If you saw our September issue, you know we are loving the ‘geezer style’ look that takes icons of old-man fashion and makes them young again. This cardigan is a perfect example. The two-tone trim and knit check pattern is a throwback to vintage style, while the fit has been updated and slimmed, making it a truly modern piece of knitwear with character.”
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director
(shop this item)

2. David Hart Harris-Tweed Herringbone Tie. “Tweed is, without question, the fabric of Fall 2012. We love it for suits, sportcoats, pants, driving caps, and even accessories like David Hart’s herringbone tie; of course, we wouldn’t advise wearing them all together. Harris tweed is a hearty fabric with some heft to it, so Hart has smartly cut his tie on the slim side, avoiding the added bulk wider ones create. The great thing about this tie is that in addition to being so spot-on for the season, the neutral gray color will pair well with just about any shirt already hanging in your closet.”
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director 
(shop this item)

3. A.P.C. ‘New Standard’ Selvedge Slim-Straight Leg Jeans. “All the A.P.C. fits are the benchmark when it comes to selvedge denim. The brand’s ‘New Standard’ is A.P.C.’s original model, cut with a straight leg, and crafted in their signature rigid denim that breaks in amazingly over time. These look best with flipped-up cuffs that showcase the selvedge stripe, adding an air of ’50s rebel cool to any outfit.
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director

(shop this item)

4. Converse ‘Jack Purcell’ Sneaker. “The Jack Purcell sneaker has been a go-to style for over 75 years, and just proves that great design never goes out of fashion. The sneaker’s silhouette is simple in the best way possible, meaning these look as good with beat-up jeans as they do with gray flannel pants. The contrast between the black canvas and white rubber gives the whole shoe a graphic, visual punch, accented by the signature ‘smile’ toe front—and, like any canvas-bodied sneaker, these will only get better with more wear and tear.
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director

(shop this item)

Each month, the editors of GQ, in collaboration with Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Tommy Fazio and the Men’s Shop, will select key items from the pages of GQ to feature right here on Nordstrom.com.

For the fourth edition of GQ Selects, we’ve chosen 12 fall essentials from the October issue. Check back each month for more.


The Real Deal: Selvedge Denim

If you’re new to the concept of jeans constructed with a truly masterful hand (the term ‘selvedge’ or ‘selvage’ is often used in menswear circles), we think the pros at one of our favorite denim brands, Sweden-based Nudie Jeans, explain it best. From NudieJeans.com:

“Selvedge denim is made on old-style shuttle looms. The fabric is woven using one continuous cross thread; the weft. As the weft loops back into the edge of the weave, the selvedge [derived from ‘self edge’] edge is created…Selvedge production is much slower than conventionally produced denim [creating a softer, more durable fabric], and only the best raw materials are used. It can be compared to the ‘slow food’ movement; this is slow denim.”

Many pairs of Nudie, in particular, are also made with organic and/or recycled cotton. The following videos show the unique life cycle of Nudie Jeans—from harvesting the organic cotton, to the artisanal craftsmanship that goes into every pair, to the brand’s repair/reuse/reduce ethos, to the dismantling and revival of old jeans through fabric recycling:


One of the selvedge-denim connoisseur’s favorite topics is the art of breaking them in. The jeans in the picture up top started out in a deep, raw, untouched blue (often referred to as ‘dry’ selvedge—i.e., unwashed during the production process). As the owner, a guy named Jeppe, wore them day after day, the raw denim gradually faded in a completely unique way—you can even see where he kept his phone and wallet. Here’s another look at the breaking-in process, month by month:

(click to enlarge)

Note that these remained unwashed for the first eight months. Purists will tell you that abstaining from laundering selvedge denim is vital to the personalized fading process. Here’s a chart, thanks to the people at Nudie, in case you’re not sure when the time is right:


Now that you’re in the top-shelf denim market, the choice is yours: Go raw and try your hand at wearing them in, or skip ahead to an artfully pre-distressed pair. Either way, just don’t wear them in the ocean.

Nudie | A.P.C. | Rising Sun

Baldwin | Hudson | 7 For All Mankind



[On-figure jean shots are from Nordstrom.com; other photos and videos courtesy of NudieJeans.com.]


“We’re going on a decade or more now of our love affair with A.P.C., when founder Jean Touitou introduced the New Standard jean. It’s the jean you buy and make your own. They are stiff as cardboard at first, but after a couple of wears, they break in like a great pair of shoes. The fit is perfect in that the waist sits on your hips but isn’t too low-rise and the slim, straight leg isn’t too skinny or too wide. 

We recommend holding off on washing them as long as possible to keep the dark, raw denim intact. When you finally do wash them, turn them inside-out in the bathtub with some cold water and Woolite® Dark, letting them drip dry. It’s the perfect jean if you’re going to pair with dressier items like a suit jacket and a pair of brogues – these are jeans that will elevate your look. They’re crisp and stiff and simple in the best way possible.”

—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director

Each month, the editors of GQ, in collaboration with Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Tommy Fazio and the Men’s Shop, will select key items from the pages of GQ to feature right here on Nordstrom.com.

For the second edition of GQ Selects, we’ve chosen 16 Fall essentials from the August issue. Check back every month for more.


A.P.C.: Hysterically Normal

The Look: A.P.C.’s new men’s collection lands online today, and, as always, the unspoken mantra is less is more. You’ll find no shiny logos or gaudy derrière pockets here. What you will find are perfectly cut cardigans, classically cool coats, and a denim shirt without a hint of western kitsch.

The brand’s bio describes this aesthetic as “hysterically normal.” While that first reads like a clumsy translation from A.P.C.’s native French, chances are it’s totally intentional. Minimalism this pervasive doesn’t happen by accident—founder Jean Touitou and team are fanatical about nailing the small stuff. “The A.P.C. team agonize over the choice of a button, the length of a [hem], or other hidden subtleties,” the bio continues. “Often more time is spent stripping down a garment to its bare basics to avoid over-designing.”

Touitou once used the analogy of a chef preparing steak au poivre: “If the meat’s no good, he’s going to focus on the sauce.” With A.P.C., there is no sauce. Just killer materials, prepared masterfully.


The Vibe: If you think minimalism is synonymous with spaced-out electronic music, think again. Check out the raucous soundtrack, namedropping favorite punk and metal bands, on A.P.C.’s 25th anniversary video, above.

Rock and roll is a genre of music, sure—but it’s also an attitude: an irrepressible urge to buck the status quo. Touitou (a former record label owner who was quick to build a music studio at A.P.C. headquarters), founded A.P.C. in 1987, during an era he saw as over-the-top, indulgent, ugly. Poison and Mötley Crüe topped the charts. It’s no coincidence that Nirvana, like-minded proponents of a stripped-down aesthetic (and cardigans), formed the very same year.