Last week, we told you a bit about our in-house designers (aka Nordstrom Product Group, or NPG) and the impeccable sportcoats they’ve crafted using authentic Harris Tweed.

This week, we have exclusive photos our NPG friends shot while attending Milano Unica—an international textile fair in Italy where Europe’s most venerated mills convene to show their wares—and Ideabiella, an invite-only show-within-the-show, reserved for the cream of the fine-fabric crop.

Check out the pics below (courtesy of Erica in NPG)—and shop some Nordstrom-exclusive favorites, featuring fine European fabrics, at the bottom of this post.

Visiting Loro Piana—renowned for fine cashmere for six generations.

Reviewing our JWN tech packs, with lining colors and construction notes.

Ryan, NPG Men’s Clothing Design Director, hard at work.

(L): Visiting Lanificio Fratelli Ormezzano, supplier for our JWN linen
and cotton-cashmere corduroy sportcoats.
(R): Vitale Barberis Canonico—one of the best. They’ve been around since the 1600s.

Erica and Ryan of NPG, reviewing fabrics and trims on-order
(and getting a much-needed break).

Big camo trend in suits and sportcoats at the show.

Team photo at the Milan horse track
(with NPG Clothing and Furnishings Brand Manager, Tom).

Shop John W. Nordstrom ‘Signature’ series, with fabric made in Italy. From left:
Cashmere Top Coat (fabric from Mill Colombo),
Cashmere Blazer in Navy and Black (fabric from Mill Loro Piana).

[Photos and captions courtesy of Erica Wallis, NPG Men’s Clothing Product Merchandiser.]


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.]


You already knew we carry some of the best brands known to man. But did you know our own, in-house labels are world-class as well?

Nordstrom Product Group (NPG) is a division of product designers and specialists responsible for researching and developing key items each season for Nordstrom-exclusive brands (like John W. Nordstrom, 1901 and Calibrate, to name a few).

With a focus on high quality and incredible value, the NPG team receives no special treatment from our product buyers, who visit the NPG showroom and buy into each season’s offering—or don’t—just as they would any other outside vendor.

It recently came to our attention that the highly competitive folks at NPG work with some of the most elite mills and firmly established fabric authorities in the world. The latest example? Their John W. Nordstrom sportcoats made with authentic Harris Tweed.

A pretty remarkable value (considering the quality of this time-tested fabric) at just $395, these coats are a wardrobe staple that will serve you well at work as well as on the weekend. The two herringbone variations—black/white and brown multi—can be seen above.

Here, our Men’s Sportswear Design Director, John (left), and Clothing Brand Manager, Tom, demonstrate the coats’ classic fit and impeccable details.


Want to know more about the centuries-old practice of hand-weaving this legendary Scottish fabric? Watch this charmingly narrated (speaking of brogues) video, courtesy of Harris Tweed, and visit the official Harris Tweed Authority.


Shop the John W. Nordstrom Harris Tweed Sportcoat:
Black/White Herringbone | Brown Multi Herringbone



GQ Selects: October Look #1

Proof positive that fall fabrics like wool and tweed are not inherently stuffy. Here’s all you’ll need for running around on a crisp Saturday (your sportcoat doubles as outerwear)—and then heading straight out to drinks that night:


1. Gant by Michael Bastian Tweed Blazer. “If you’re going to invest in a sports jacket this fall, tweed is the way to go. The woven wool is ideal to wear as a jacket during those crisper days ahead, and as a work-appropriate sportcoat when the temperature really dips. Michael Bastian gets it right again with this tweed-herringbone Gant number, featuring a great fit and some personality, courtesy of plaid elbow patches. It’s a bit prep, a bit professorial, and perfect for the colder months ahead.”
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director
(shop this item)

2. Vince Wool & Linen Henley Sweater. “A henley is one of your most versatile pieces for the fall. Alone, it’s a fitted upgrade to a lifeless long-sleeve tee, and under a button-down, it becomes a layering piece with depth, thanks to the button placket. This one from Vince is a wool and linen mix, which makes it exceptionally lightweight without being too flimsy. It still has the rugged spirit of the original, but wouldn’t look out of place under a fitted sports jacket.”
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director 
(shop this item)

3. Todd Snyder ‘Officer’ Wool Cargo Pants. We strongly believe in the wool cargo pant this season at GQ. This pair from Todd Snyder is part of the new breed out there, cut slimmer than their standard-issue inspiration, but rendered in a seasonal-weight wool. Think of these as your new chinos. The pants match up with everything a pair of tailored khakis would, but add a dose of military edge that feels right for fighting through the colder months.”
—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director

(shop this item)


Nordstrom’s picks to complete the look: Pendleton Cap | Polo Ralph Lauren Socks
Clarks Desert Boot (one of last month’s GQ Selects)

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

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


Speaking of well-dressed sportscasters: The sartorial artisans at Hickey Freeman—based in Rochester, NY, where the company was founded in 1899—will be outfitting the men of NBC with custom-made wardrobes for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

A slim-cut navy blazer, sporting the regal chest crest above, was designed for this Friday’s opening ceremony (which will feature true Brits like Daniel Craig, Sir Paul McCartney, and Trainspotting director Danny Boyle). The sand-colored version, meanwhile, will hit the court for tennis tournaments.

Give Matt Lauer a run for his money with a Hickey Freeman suit or sportcoat of your own—plenty are hundreds of dollars off right now during our Anniversary Sale. (If you’ve never kicked back on your couch in an impeccable, American-made suit while watching Olympic table tennis and enjoying a proper pint…you haven’t truly lived.)


US Olympic competition kicks off with women’s soccer this Wednesday, 9am PST vs. France. Men’s basketball starts Sunday, July 29. Much more information here.

In the meantime, check out these amazing vintage photos of Hickey Freeman’s ‘Temple to Fine Tailoring’ in Rochester, NY. More at Hickey Freeman’s official website.


[Illustrations via, courtesy of WWD. Vintage photos courtesy of Hickey Freeman.]