Portland


L-R: “Lance’s mom” (Gretchen Corbett), “Lance’s mom’s boyfriend” (Justin Long), “Lance” (Carrie Brownstein) and “Nina” (Fred Armisen); image courtesy Portlandia from “The Fiancée” episode 

As a business which started in the #upperleft corner of these United States, we at Nordstrom have a special appreciation for IFC’s Portlandia. That would be the sketch comedy TV show where stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein basically teach a master class in how to mock life in Portland, OR. It’s all there: the passive-aggressiveness, the self-righteous savior complex, the questionable style choices. And yet the show, currently in its fifth season, is a love letter.

“The Fiancée” episode aired Thursday, Jan. 15, and was partially filmed at the Lloyd Center Nordstrom. (That location is now closed, with every employee who wished to be relocated given a new home at a nearby Nordstrom.) Key scenes in the episode occur at Nordstrom and feature Armisen’s character Nina, with makeup done by Jessica Needham and overall style created by her sister, two-time Emmy winner Amanda Needham.

We spoke with the sisters while the two native Portlanders sat in their car in deadlocked traffic. Topics discussed: Nina, Portlandia and good versus bad style.

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New! Poler x Nike SB

Personal style, in the world of Portland, OR—which, if you’ve been there, you know is almost exactly the same as it’s portrayed in the TV show Portlandia—means apparel that’s all at once tech-y and earth-y, at times willfully weird, and suitable for work, play, and frequent daytrips into the great outdoors. Get on their level with the Poler x Nike SB collection. That’s Poler, the adventure/style company from Portland, blended with Nike’s skateboarding/skate-culture SB division, which is headquartered in nearby Beaverton.

nike-poler-hat-shirt

Poler x Nike SB Pom Beanie

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Travis Gumbs (left) and Joshua Kissi—two of our favorite photographers, stylists, travel journalists, fashion historians and the masterminds behind globally influential men’s interest blog Street Etiquette—are always up to something.

This time around, it’s a travelogue/lookbook in cahoots with Australian brand Zanerobe (progenitors of some of the best jogger pants in the biz, along with next-level shirts, shorts, jackets and more). The photographic essay, titled On the Road, took them out of their standard stomping ground of New York, and up the West Coast—hitting Los Angeles, Portland and our hometown of Seattle along the way.

Keep reading to see the results, and to shop selected items from Zanerobe’s ‘ZNRB’ fall collection.

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All we want for Christmas is…pretty much everything in our Men’s Contemporary Clothing department right now. We haven’t been THAT nice this year though, so we’re happy to settle for five back-to-back basketball games—on regular TV! (NBA League Pass was another gift we didn’t quite hit the niceness quotient for)—on Christmas Day. If you have kids, make sure to wake them up bright and early so you can get all that present-opening jazz out of the way before the 9am tip-off. The lineup is as follows:

Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets — 9am PST (ESPN)
The Nets have youth on their side (and an enthusiastic new crowd, after relocating to Brooklyn this season with the help of part-owner Jay-Z)—but the Celtics have experience. Tensions will be high after the brawl that broke out during the Nets’ road victory last month.

New York Knicks at LA Lakers — 12 noon PST (ABC)
NY has been rolling (even with goggled behemoth Amar’e Stoudemire on the bench), while LA has had a tough time coalescing (a serious test of Kobe’s zen) due to new personnel. Their saving grace may be the return of legendary point guard Steve Nash (with a sharp new haircut, too boot).

Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat — 2:30pm PST (ABC)
A rematch of last season’s Finals—and potential preview of this year’s, as each team narrowly leads its respective Conference in the standings. Should be close…as long as Lebron and Durant don’t start comparing notes on whose movie was cooler.

Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls — 5pm PST (ESPN)
Last year’s Finals-favorite Bulls are faring admirably, despite still being sans MVP Derrick Rose—but are only a game ahead of Houston, who are surprising everyone thanks to acquiring phenom Jeremy Lin and former Sixth Man of the Year (and bearded wonder) James Harden.

Denver Nuggets at LA Clippers — 7:30pm PST (ESPN)
Griffin and Chris Paul are insane—but watch for agile big man DeAndre Jordan and off-the-bench killer Jamal Crawford to have highlights, too. Still, the defense-minded Nuggets (now with gold-medalist Andre Iguodala and block monster JaVale McGee) won’t make it easy.

{SHOP NBA SPORTS FAN GEAR}

 

To bring things back into a menswear realm, if we may, here’s the king of NBA-announcer swagger: hall-of-famer Reggie Miller. That dark, wintery plaid on broad, bold, peak lapels? The guy’s suiting game is as confident as his outside shot. Meanwhile, his finishing touches—a merlot repp tie (cinched in a nice, tight, four-in-hand knot—no ham-fisted double windsors for this pro) and green polka-dot pocket square—are an elegant nod to the holidays.

SHOP PLAID SUITS: REGULAR | BIG & TALL
SHOP PLAID SPORTCOATS: REGULAR | BIG & TALL

Pacific NW Shout-Out: The Miller pics above and below are from a game last week in our Seattle sister-city of Portland, Oregon, where the underdog Trail Blazers beat San Antonio on national TV. The icing on the cake? Craig Sager brought the broadcasting team a pink box full of locally legendary Voodoo Doughnuts at halftime:

Check out our past posts on the NBA’s best- and worst-dressed announcers—and coming soon, look for a retrospective on Reggie Miller’s style highlights from last season.

[Commercial courtesy of the National Basketball Association; images courtesy of the NBA on TNT. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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5 Winter Beers Worth Toasting

Whether you’re trying to surprise a holiday-party host with something special (and don’t know your way around a recipe) or simply want to cozy up fireside with your significant other and something stronger than hot cocoa, a cold-weather cold one can be man’s best friend. We tapped brew connoisseur Walker Pruett to present a few favorites. Read on for his top 5—and don’t forget something stylish on which to rest your glass.

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‘Tis the season, now that pumpkin beers are waning, for my favorite beer seasonal of all. Many breweries’ best beers come out in celebration of the winter holidays, and nothing salves the psyche on a dark, cold winter’s night like one of these hearty and luscious brews. Here are my top picks (in no particular order) for seasonally appropriate imbibing:


Sierra Nevada ‘Celebration’
6.8% ABV (alcohol by volume)
An archetype of the special beer for special occasions, ‘Celebration’ is hop-forward and balanced. It is technically superb and eminently satisfying, giving hop-heads something to look forward to among the spiced and malty milieu that dominates the holiday beer landscape.
 
 


Anchor ‘Our Special Ale’ (aka Christmas Ale)
5.5% ABV
This highly anticipated release from one of the progenitors of the American craft-beer movement is fun because it’s a surprise every year. ‘OSA’ features a perennially changing recipe of secret malts, hops and spices, yet it consistently delights. This year’s iteration carries aromas of allspice, with subtle vanilla and wintergreen; flavors are of dark toffee and smoky black pepper. These elements act beautifully in concert to deliver a refreshing winter draught.

 


New Belguim ‘Frambozen’
6.5% ABV

Frambozen’s fleeting appearance makes me a little giddy every year. Nowhere else can you find this combination of tart raspberry flavor against a sturdy caramel malt backdrop. Imagine your favorite raspberry pastry baked to perfection, but in spritzy liquid format. Thirsty yet?

 


Brasserie Dupont ‘Bons Voeux’
9.5% ABV

It’s no coincidence this seasonal Belgian gem comes in a champagne wrapper, as the quaint farmhouse brewery isn’t much more than spitting-distance from the Champagne region of France. The beer is lively and succulent, with underlying hints of sweets and spices. It makes an excellent stand-in for holiday toasts.

 


Samuel Smith ‘Oatmeal Stout’
5% ABV

We’re lucky enough to be able to drink this delicious tipple from one of England’s most heralded breweries all year long. Oats in the mash make this beer silky on the palate, while roasted malts contribute pervasive semi-sweet chocolate notes. The result resembles a liquid dark-chocolate ganache, though it’s light enough that a whole pint isn’t too tall an order.

 

By Walker Pruett, brewer and beer enthusiast living in Portland, Oregon. When in Portland, be sure to check out PDXBEERCALENDAR.COM for a full listing of Portland’s daily beer events.

 
 

[Intro illustration via Bearden Beer Market. Beer images: Sierra Nevada via The Full Pint; New Belgium via Better Beer Blog; Anchor, Brasserie Dupont and Samuel Smith’s via the breweries’ official sites.]

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