Dapper men here at Nordstrom HQ have illustrated militaristic fall trends and noble Movember mustaches for you in the past. Today, we felt some shirt-and-tie inspiration for the summer months ahead might be in order.

Here’s Rory Arakaki from our Men’s Shop buying team, showing that a creative mix of colors and patterns makes as much sense with a beat-up jean jacket as it does with a suit—any day of the week:

Monday: Classic Prep. Navy blazer, khaki trousers, striped tie. (video tutorial on how to tie a tie) Every guy probably has a version of this in his arsenal already—but basing your combo on a micro-check gingham shirt, instead of plain white, will set it apart from the crowd.

Pro Tip: Rory nails the first rule of pattern mixing: Vary the scales. In this case, large stripes call for tight checks.


Tuesday: Smart Casual. Keep the fit snug and the color neutral, and a shawl-collar sweater can be spot-on for a laid-back day at work. Consider it a back-up for your favorite blazer.

Pro Tip: A button-down—inherently more casual than a point collar—is ideal when dressing down. Rory gets bonus points for using his purple shirt to pick up an accent color in his tie.


Wednesday: Vested Interest. Another great spring alternative to a suit jacket, a vest offers that much-needed third piece to tie your look together…while allowing you to push up your sleeves and get down to some serious mid-week business.

Pro Tip: This shirt’s pattern is fairly loud (especially in concert with Rory’s badass ink underneath)—so we dig how he calms it down with a solid knit tie.


Thursday: Purple Reign. Although this rig is boardroom-ready, Rory injects some signature personality through the addition of a pocket square, and by basing his shirt-and-tie combo in purple (it’s the new navy—embrace it).

Pro Tip: Rory’s on-point with his tie-clip placement. If you ever question your technique, GQ drew up a handy diagram.


Friday: Easy Rider. Rory gets an A+ on his blazer alternatives this week. Here, a classic jean jacket gets the job done on casual Friday—and was born-ready to hit the bars once 5 o’clock rolls around.

Pro Tip: A knit tie skews slightly more casual than a crisp woven one, but one thing doesn’t change: the flawless four-in-hand knot you should tighten up every time.


Work/Prank Balance: You might not have guessed it from his calm demeanor in the shots above, but Rory’s a bit of a live wire. This video shows him punking some fellow coworkers, by pretending to be a robot/cardboard box transformer possessed by funk—or something like that.



…And find ready-made combos, curated by our men’s team, here:
Shirt & Tie Combos