Personal Stylist

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that neither shampoo nor conditioner is inherently better. As one of the great comedic actors of our time elucidates so eloquently below, both serve their own separate and equally important purpose. (Although neither should be used every day. Fluffy hair is not your friend. Check GQ for more hair tips.)

Having cleared up that particular debate, the rest of the ever-expanding world of men’s grooming isn’t quite so cut and dry. We won’t call it rocket science—but we will say that a few insider tips can help immensely. Below, three of our in-store grooming experts break down their Sun, Skin, and Scent essentials for the summer months ahead.

I. SUN: Protect Yourself
(Picks by James Webb of Nordstrom Fashion Valley, San Diego. From left):

Kiehl’s Since 1851 ‘Facial Fuel UV Guard’ Sunscreen SPF 50. “Great to use when I know I’m going to be a little more active and will be in the sun for a much longer time. The oil-free formula feels amazing and has a matte finish.” (Shop: Kiehl’s SPF 50 | All Kiehl’s for Men)

Clinique for Men Age Defense Hydrator SPF 15. “When I’m in a hurry, this is my go-to, all-in-one face lotion with broad-spectrum SPF protection. This product is great for all skin types and sensitive skin. Great for skin that has seen a little to much sun. Great for guys on the go.” (Shop: Clinique for Men Age Defense | All Clinique for Men)

Shiseido ‘Urban Environment’ Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42. “I love the texture and feel of this particular SPF. I have oily skin, and this is my favorite to use under my daily lotion. It doesn’t make me shiny or feel like I’m wearing too many products.” (Shop: Shiseido SPF 42 | All Shiseido)


II. SKIN: Soften Up
(Picks by Herbert Jones of Nordstrom Short Pump Town Center, Richmond, VA. From left):

Jack Black ‘Epic Moisture’ MP 10 Nourishing Oil. “This multi-purpose oil can be used for your face, body, hair, feet, and even cuticles. It’s amazing because it absorbs into the skin immediately and includes TEN natural oils.” (Shop: Jack Black Epic Moisture | All Jack Black)

L’Occitane CADE After Shave Balm. “Organic Cade wood essential oil soothes and softens the skin without leaving behind a residue—plus, it has a great scent.” (Shop: L’Occitane CADE After Shave | All L’Occitane for Men)


III. SCENT: Spritz with Sprezz
(Picks by Duncan Smith of Nordstrom Westside Pavilion, Los Angeles. From left):

Prada Luna Rossa. “Inspired by and named after the America’s Cup sailboat, this is a great summer getaway fragrance. Light and relaxing, with lavender, bitter orange, mint and a hint of musk, this fragrance is sure to keep any man smelling fresh.” (Shop: Prada ‘Luna Rossa’ | All Prada Men’s Fragrances)

Hermès Eau de Mandarine Ambrée. “A must-have fragrance coming into the hot summer months. Mandarin orange and passion fruit make this fragrance invigorating, while the amber base keeps it masculine.” (Shop: Hermès Eau de Mandarine Ambrée | All Hermès Men’s Grooming)

Givenchy Gentlemen Only. “Sophisticated and sexy for all of the evening outings this summer. A modern, woodsy fragrance with dominant notes of incense, vetiver, pink pepper, and patchouli, this fragrance has a fresh spice that will last through the night and stay right on-point.” (Shop: Givenchy ‘Gentlemen Only’ | More Men’s Fragrances with Woodsy Notes)


Your trusty men’s grooming correspondents: James, Herbert, and Duncan.
Want to work one-on-one with a grooming expert near you?
Call 1.877.310.8537 or click here: Personal Stylists


For more sun, skin and scent essentials,


Need to look your best at an important event? Want to tweak your wardrobe with key updates each season? Or maybe you just want some quick advice during your lunch break.

No matter your style goals, our expert Personal Stylists are here to help. Their services are free of charge, so read up on what they can do and don’t hesitate to book an appointment today.

For this month’s Personal Stylist post, we asked Ash Gharib, a Stylist at our Tysons Corner store in Virginia, to pull four summer weekend looks—on a tight timeline and strict budget. He aced our challenge on all counts, with each item clocking in at well under $100:

1. Earn Your Stripes. “Mixing prints gives a fresh new spin on your outfit; just keep the prints in the same color family. In this look, I paired navy patterned shorts with a lightweight, nautical-inspired shirt. Adding a hat helps tie it all together.”
1901 Star-Print Shorts, $59.50 | Glory Hats by Goorin, $29.50 | Vince Long-Sleeve T-shirt, $68

2. Camo 101. “Yes! Camo is here to stay—and it’s everywhere: Pants, belts, backpacks, etc. For starters, here is your basic camo pant. Orange complements the camo print perfectly. Add a casual graphic T-shirt, and accessories like this green bracelet.”
RVCA T-shirt, $24 | Zack Bracelet, $42 | Bill Adler 1981 Reversible Belt, $29.50 | Dockers Chinos, $64

3. Draw a Blank. “It’s not summer without a pair of white jeans. They’re perfect for your beach walk or your casual weekends. Don’t forget to cuff them up, gentlemen! Pair them with a beach-inspired tee, and try a comfortable, easy-to-match slip-on.”
Levi’s 513 Jeans,$58 | Sperry Top-Sider Espadrilles, $54.95 (also in black) | Altru T-shirt

4. Festival-Ready. “It started last year with ladies, now it’s time for the men: Make sure you have at least one item with a cool global print in your closet. Tanks are great to throw on with your swim trunks, or a solid pair of rolled-up shorts. Add that great fedora from look #1 and your colorful slip-ons, and accessorize with some fun shades.”
Obey Tank Top, $42 | TOMS Shoes, $43.95 | KW Sunglasses, $10 | 1901 Shorts, $49.50


Get in touch with Ash if you find yourself in the Virginia area and could use a hand.
And wherever you are:

Shop more Personal Stylist Picks for Men,
and call 1.877.543.7463 or click here to connect with a Personal Stylist near you.


Good to know: Every Nordstrom store is staffed with expert Personal Stylists, who can help you look amazing at an important event, locate the perfect gift, or just keep you up-to-date on the essentials you need to stay current each season. Their services are free of charge, so don’t hesitate to book an appointment today.

For this month’s installment of our Personal Stylist blog series, three female stylists from our flagship store in Downtown Seattle—Christie Coover, Nicole Jackson and Lisa Proko—fill us in on the five key items they’d love to see every man master this season.

1. Bold Color. “It’s fun to see guys wearing brights such as yellow, red, orange, and blue. This trend works in knitwear, linen, denim, even leather. If you’re nervous about executing it properly, relax. Just pair your one bright piece with neutrals—khaki, taupe, navy. Works every time. Ying and yang.” [Above: John W. Nordstrom Cotton Blazer]

Todd Snyder Sweatshirt | Gilded Age Jeans | The North Face Jacket
J. Press York Street Jacket | Grayers Pants | Penfield Jacket



2. Pumped-Up Kicks. “With our love of brights right now, we love to see color on guys’ feet, too. This looks great beyond sneakers—think boat shoes, oxfords, loafers. Speaking of boat shoes, we’re kind of obsessed. Such an easy alternative to the sneaker. A high-quality shoe with your suit is also a must—try stepping it up with a wingtip or double-monk slip-on. Women take notice when you care about the details.” [Above: John Varvatos Star USA Canvas Buck]

Cole Haan Penny Loafer | Oliver Sweeney Double-Monk | Sperry Top-Sider Boat Shoe



3. Jeans That Fit. “Similar to a great-fitting suit [see below], women want to see guys get a spot-on fit with their jeans. Jeans are such a staple because you can wear them so many ways: Dress them up with a blazer and skinny tie, or throw them on with a soft T-shirt and hoodie. Either way, have a salesperson help you find the fit works best for your build. Pick up multiple kinds (colorful, white, skinny, destroyed) so your denim doesn’t start to look like a uniform.” [Above: PRPS ‘Rambler’ Slim-Fit Selvedge Jeans]

AG Jeans | Levi’s Made & Crafted | Scotch & Soda
Nudie | Diesel | DL1961



4. A Well-Tailored Suit. “There’s a quote floating around Pinterest right now that says, ‘A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men’…And we agree! Nothing says sharp, smart, and confident like a great-fitting suit. It’s timeless. For a proper fit, your suit jacket should hug your shoulders. Try on a size smaller than you think you are, just to see how it fits. We like a slim lapel best. It’s fun to see guys do something custom and unique to show their style, like add a ticket pocket or wear a colorful pocket square.” [Above: Hugo Boss Trim-Fit Suit]

Joseph Abboud | Canali | Hugo Bos



5. Eye-Catching Patterns. “Some men might be hesitant to mix patterns together—but we say go for it! As long as you vary the scale and color, you should be good to go. For beginners, feel free to start slow: Same rules apply as with bright colors, just pair your pattern with neutrals so it’s not overwhelming.” [Above: Zanerobe Shirt]

Zanerobe Shirt | Polo Ralph Lauren Shorts | Burkman Bros Shirt
Insight Shorts | Bonobos Shirt | Theory Shorts


—  —  —

Contributing Stylists: 

Nicole Jackson  •  Christie Coover  •  Lisa Proko

…And call 1.877.543.7463 or click here to connect with a Personal Stylist near you.

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For this month’s installment of Personal Stylist advice, we asked Michael James—a menswear pro at one of our Texas stores—what guys should wear this Thursday night for a Valentine’s Day date. He sent over options for date nights from dressy to casual below.

Five-Star Meal & The Symphony:
Suits | Dress Shirts | Ties | Pocket Squares | Dress Shoes

[Michael recommends Hart Schaffner Marx suits, Hugo Boss shirts, Robert Talbott ties and pocket squares, and Magnanni shoes.]

Red Wine & A Movie (that she picked):
Sweaters | T-Shirts | Jeans | Boots

[Michael recommends Rag & Bone sweaters, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Hugo Boss T-shirts, and John Varvatos boots.]


Still need a hand planning your Valentine’s Evening?
Call 1.877.543.7463 or click here to connect with a Personal Stylist near you.

…And for more info on our Personal Stylist program, read previous posts.

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By now, you know that our in-store Personal Stylists are always available to assist you in selecting perfect gifts or constructing killer looks for work and weekend. Today, we’ll show how a Personal Stylist can help maximize your workout routine, too—with style points to spare. Without further ado, we’ll hand it over to Marc Slenske, a Nordstrom Stylist in Arizona:

“With the New Year comes new energy—and nothing energizes me more than getting in a great workout. For starters, I have to feel my best in order to do my best. Here are my 6 essentials whether at the gym or out on the trail.”

1. A Solid Base Layer. “To control body temperature and moisture, especially on these cooler January days, quality performance fabric is a must.” [Shop: Under Armour HeatGear Long-Sleeve T-shirt]

2. Adrenaline-Pumping Tunes. “Being a drummer, nothing pumps me up more than some awesome beats. These headphones hug the ear better than any other sports headphones, and deliver crystal-clear sound.” [Shop: Beats by Dre]

3. All-Terrain Trainers. “The most important part of feeling good during a workout is to have the right shoe. This running shoe is my all-time favorite shoe to workout in. It’s flexible with a glove-like fit; not to mention lightweight. Whether it be CrossFit, a road run, or power lifting, this is the best shoe.” [Shop: Nike ‘Free Run+ 3’]

4. Short Report. “Living in Arizona, I’m still able to pull out my favorite shorts even in January!
These are comfy and easy shorts to throw on during any season of the year.”
[Shop Under Armour: HeatGear Shorts | Knit Shorts—shown above]

5. Proper Cushioning. “A lightweight, no-show sock is a must.”
[Shop: Under Armour HeatGear® Socks]

[Also shown above, all by Under Armour]: 
Long-Sleeve T-Shirt (same as black one above; available in 6 colors)
‘O Series’ Boxer Briefs | Under Armour Loose-Fit Hoodie

6. The Aftermath. “It’s important to prioritize the recovery period after a workout. I try to keep hydrated [Ed. note: Check out Klean Kanteen], and I always shower with this eucalyptus shower scrub; it rejuvenates your muscles and keeps them on par for your next workout.” [Shop: Jack Black Body Rehab Scrub & Muscle Soak]


Get in touch with Marc. If you find yourself in Arizona and could use a hand, drop Marc a line:


Or, find a Personal Stylist near you—and browse more workout gear:



If you caught our last Personal Stylist post, you know that our in-store experts can help you assemble a killer look (or six) for any occasion—and it’s all free of charge.

Not so surprisingly, they can do a lot more than that—like make this holiday season the best one your wife, girlfriend, mom, sister or daughter has ever had, thanks to classic, stylish, can’t-miss gifts. Today, Elizabeth Rigby (a Personal Stylist Manager at our NorthPark Center store in Dallas, Texas) walks us through her favorite gifts for the ladies in your life. Visit any Nordstrom store, and your very own holiday wingman or wingwoman will happily do the same.

1. Burberry Giant-Check Crinkled Scarf. “The iconic, classic Burberry camel-check scarf is recognized as a luxury item around the world. This particular scarf can be worn year-round, due to the lightweight feel of its wool/cashmere blend. It will spruce up her scarf collection and ensure she’s in style where ever she goes—a great gift for women of all ages!” (shop this item)


2. Chloé ‘Marcie – Small’ Calfskin Satchel. “A youthful and modern handbag that’s versatile for her wardrobe. It’s made in Italy of lightly pebbled calfskin and is very sophisticated due to its workmanship; also a favorite thanks to the optional strap and interior pockets. A great gift for your spouse or girlfriend!” (shop this item)


3. Halogen® V-Neck Cashmere Sweater. “The gift of cashmere is always appreciated! And the price tag on this cashmere sweater is so reasonable that you’ll want to get her several. The variety of fun colors offered this year is better than ever. This is a great gift for your niece, aunt, sister…and it’s also offered in Petite sizes.” (shop this item)


4. Vince Leather Scuba Jacket. “Every girl needs a Vince lambskin-leather jacket. Other than the quality of the leather, I love this jacket because of the ribbed side panels under the arms that provide great comfort and movement. It’s very chic, and she can wear it to work with a dress, or wear it anytime with her jeans.” (shop this item)


5. UGG® Australia Double-Knit Robe. “The plush fleece that lines this robe is extremely warm and comfy—and I love gifts that you can monogram and personalize to show a little extra thought. Just have your Personal Stylist ask our alterations shop to monogram her initials on it when you buy it. A great gift for your mom, grandmother or wife…and if you’re jealous, you can even buy a matching one for yourself from the Men’s Shop.” (shop this item)


6. St. John Collection Antique Rose-Gold & Crystal Necklace. “This is a great statement necklace, with tiny Swarovski crystals, that will get compliments every time she wears it. If you have a wife or grandmother who’s always attending formal events, she’ll love it.” (shop this item)


7. Tory Burch ‘Jenna’ Riding Boot (Nordstrom Exclusive). “You’ll always make your daughter happy when you give her a great piece from Tory Burch. This doesn’t scream the label, but it is marked with the Tory Burch golden hardware for a more classy look. I like this boot because it has a full-length zipper to make it easier to put on and take off.” (shop this item)


8. Nordstrom Gift Card to Shop with a Personal Stylist. “Sometimes the best gift is a Gift Card to ensure your special woman gets exactly what she wants. I would suggest having Nordstrom wrap the Gift Card in a gift box with a Personal Stylist brochure, a Personal Stylist’s business card and a Nordstrom catalog. Now she’ll feel even more pampered than ever when you tell her about our complimentary Personal Stylist services to make shopping easy and fun!” (shop Gift Cards)


9. Rebecca Minkoff ‘Mini M.A.C.’ Shoulder Bag. “This handbag is great for the high-school or college girl. It’s one of our number-one items that every girl desires. It comes in many colors and can also be monogrammed with her initials. The optional strap allows it to be carried as a clutch or worn across the body, and she can also alter the straps to make it a cute shoulder bag. It’s a go-to piece for every girl!” (shop this item)


10. Bony Levy Diamond Stud Earrings (Nordstrom Exclusive). “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and I would choose these if you haven’t given your girl diamonds before. Bony Levy is my #1 choice because I know he’ll customize anything for my customers. These 18-karat white-gold earrings are exclusively ours, and you can upgrade them at any point in time. Maybe just plan on upgrading the diamond size for her every Christmas and make your life easy! The diamonds range from 0.25 carats to 2.00 carats. Each time you upgrade, you just trade in the ones you purchased and only pay the difference in the carats.” (shop this item)
[Ed. note: If you’re confused about karats vs. carats, go here.]


Get in touch with Elizabeth. If you’re in the Dallas area, call or email and she’ll set you up with one of her skilled Personal Stylists to help you choose gifts, assemble an outfit, or anything you might need: | (214) 231-3900, ext. 1459

Or, find a Personal Stylist near you—and browse more perfect gifts:


Personal Stylist: Topman Edition

Nordstrom sales associates have always been known for impeccable customer service. A lesser-known fact, though, is that we promote the best of the best to the elite position of Personal Stylist. These hands-on experts are available by appointment to solve any sartorial conundrum you might have, from a complete wardrobe overhaul to pinpointing that elusive pair of perfect pants.

If having a professional stylist at your disposal sounds the least bit intimidating, think again. Our Personal Stylist team is made up of highly knowledgeable, ridiculously nice individuals like Brandan Chang-Barstow, pictured here.

Brandan is well-versed in all aspects of menswear, but specializes currently in one of our newest imports, British brand Topman. (Considering Brandan works at Nordstrom’s best-selling Topman location, Southcenter Mall near Seattle, one might infer he’s doing something right. If you live in the area, be sure to pay him a visit.)

Below, Brandan models 6 Topman-based outfits of his own creation—and shows how easily the brand’s sharp tailoring and signature streetwear can blend with items you might already own.


Look 1: Rugged Prep. This mix of a bow tie with worn-in boots is what Brandan has on when we stop by to meet him. He notes that a look like this is not only for the office. “I’d also just wear it out for the day,” he says. “Shopping, or going downtown. You never need an excuse to dress nice. Why not throw on a bow tie, do something different to attract attention and represent your uniqueness.”

Shop Topman: Blazer (similar) | Bow Tie | Belt | Chinos
Complete the Look: Rag & Bone Shirt (similar) | Ted Baker Socks (similar)
Timberland Chukkas


Look 2: Weekend Update. Here’s how Topman puts a twist on casual standards like a hoodie and tee. “The attention to detail is my favorite thing about Topman,” Brandan says, pointing out the yarn-dyed stripes at the shoulder, quilting details, and subtle heathered effect on the T-shirt.

Shop Topman: Hoodie | T-shirt | (Worn with same Pants, Belt and Shoes as Look 1)


Look 3: Power Suit. “I feel really powerful in a double-breasted jacket, it’s very traditional, very old-school,” Brandan says, while praising Topman’s slim-fitting version of this classic item. “Try to liven it up with your shirt and tie,” he recommends, noting that a patterned shirt helps balance out the boldness of a DB suit.

Shop Topman: Double-Breasted Blazer | TieTrousers
Complete the Look: Calibrate Shirt | J.Z. Richards Pocket Square (similar)
To Boot New York Chukkas


Look 4: Easy Fall Layering. “I was thinking Black Friday shopping when I put this together—it would be nice going in and out, just having one layer to take off. Also for the evening, if you have a casual date—the coat and scarf give a dressy feel, but the white tee and jeans underneath are a pretty classic outfit on their own.”

Shop Topman: Wool-Blend Trench Coat | Cowl Scarf (similar) | Jeans
Complete the Look: The Rail by Public Opinion T-shirt | Timberland Earthkeepers Boots


Look 5: Double Denim. “Yes, it can be done,” Brandan says. “If you’re mixing light and dark denim, I think it’s totally safe.” Where to wear it? “I’d say somewhere like a trendy lake walk. You’ve got the boots if you need to go in the wilderness, you’ve got the ruggedness of the denim—but if you go somewhere nice for lunch, you have the short-sleeve button-up underneath to keep it dressy.”

Shop Topman: Hooded Denim Vest | Short-Sleeve Shirt
(Worn with same Jeans and Boots as Look 4)


Look 6: Desk to Drinks. “I feel like Joseph Gordon-Levitt right now!” Brandan says, pulling on this tailored vest. “I like a vest for the dressiness it adds. You could wear this all day, then go out somewhere nicer that evening and still be appropriate.” His other current style icon: “Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love—best styling ever.”

Shop Topman: Waistcoat | Chinos | Peak-Lapel Blazer
Complete the Look: A.P.C. Shirt | Allen Edmonds Wingtips


—  —  —


Get in touch with Brandan. If you’d like to book an appointment with Mr. Chang-Barstow—or would just like help tracking down an item seen above (some are in-store only, and not online)—he welcomes your emails:

Or, find a Personal Stylist near you—and browse more killer clothes:

[Note, not all items pictured are available online; we’ve recommended similar items as appropriate. Styling and quotes courtesy of Brandan Chang-Barstow, Personal Stylist and Topman Specialist at Southcenter Nordstrom. Photos by Justin Abbott.]