Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale for Men Picks

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Nordstrom’s Half Yearly Sale for Menicon – December 2011

There’s good news and there’s bad news.  The good news is that thanks to their recently changed shipping policy, everything ships and returns for free.  The bad news is… at first glance it just doesn’t seem like this one is as good of a half-yearly sale as we’ve seen from Nordstrom in the past.

This is an event that plenty look forward to.  But this time around, at least online, sizes seem short and the selection isn’t that great.  Here’s a few candidates for the best of the lot, and remember, this is Nordstrom not Kohl’s.  So even on sale, some items might be spendy.

Penguin Suede Wingtips – $79.90icon ($135)

Different but not weird.

This is about the right price for a pair of shoes from Original Penguin.  The brand pops up a lot on Gilt and sites like Gilt, and they usually run between $60 – $80 there.  Quality won’t blow your mind.  But they’ll look good and get the job done with reasonable care.  These would be a perfect way to dress up jeans.


Calibrate Plaid Sportcoat – $179.90icon ($275)

Wool with a bit of spandex.

A big warning on sportcoats from Calibrate.  It seems like they’ve been chopping them awkwardly short this year.  There are plenty of us who appreciate a not quite traditional length blazer or jacket, but Calibrate seems to have taken the shorter tail trend to the extreme.  At least it ships and returns free.


Psycho Bunny Cashmere Scarf – $99.90icon ($150)

Stripes = good. Very good.

Maybe one of the best looking scarves out there right now.  It’s cashmere, so you’ll pay for it.  Made in Scotland and get a load of the stripes.  Size is 10″ x 60″.


BOSS Black Donegal Tweed Wool/Cotton Suit – $599.90icon ($895)

Dressed up with texture.

Consider this a bone thrown the way of the guys who can’t bring themselves to spend less than $400 on a suit.  Labeled as a trim fit, has that ticket pocket, and should (should) be a step up in quality.  At least it better be for $600.  The budget alternative would be the L.L. Bean Signature flannel.


Merrell Wilderness Canyon – $129.90icon ($200)

Like a just washed 4x4.

These just came up the other day.  Style-wise they lean heavily towards a true hiking boot (because, y’know, they are…) and they won’t let you down on the trail.  Might be tougher to transition to dinner afterwards, but your feet will be comfortable and dry.  Plenty good looking for a true hiker too.


1901 Tweed Vest – $52.90icon ($79.50)

Won't be mistaken for a life preserver

Might be worth a look to wear with those Merrells on a hike.  Vests are all about keeping the level of poofiness under control.  This one seems to do that.


Brooks Brothers Rugby Stripe Socks – $8.90icon ($14.50)

And the postage is already paid.

The new Nordstrom everything-ships-free policy helps out a lot here.  Because if a pair of bold socks, like these, happen to catch your eye… you can get em’ shipped to you for free.  Made in the USA.


John Varvatos Star USA “Brookyln” overcoat – $299.90icon ($495)

Not your average pea.

The name carries with it a premium price, but finding a longer, double breasted, and still trim fit coat isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  Wool/Poly/Cotton blend.  As cheesy as it sounds, “dashing” is probably the right word here.


Ralph Lauren Merino Knit Gloves – $44.90icon ($68)

For when you can't find your leather pair.

Your backup pair.  Merino wool, the subtle logo at the wrist, and a nice use of bold, contrasting suede on the palms and trim.  Five colors available.


1901 Trim Fit Cashmere V-Neck Sweater – $65.90icon ($99.50)

"Cheap" cashmere, but at least it's from Nordstrom.

From one of Nordstrom’s younger leaning house brands.  Raglan sleeves on this one too, so the shoulder stitching gives it a more athletic look.  Still plenty dressed up since they’re solid colors.  Trim fit.


Magnanni Roso Wingtip – $196.90icon ($295)

A splurge.

The description says there’s a “subtle” vintage finish on these, so don’t expect them to look as clean as a regular dress shoe right out of the box.  Bologna construction and made of Italian calfskin.


Magnanni Santo Oxford – $219.90icon ($335)

Those'll get noticed.

Meanwhile, in the cleaned up dress shoe category… Good Lord look at em’.  Bologna construction with rubber inserts in the sole.  Toe will probably be too pointy for some.  Made in Spain.


Calibrate Extra Slim Fit Dress Shirt – $38.90icon ($59.50)

Not for most.

These would be only for the really slim guys who prefer their collars a bit on the smaller side.  Calibrate is a Nordstrom House brand, and there’s a difference between their Slim fit and “Trim” fit.  Trim is  well contoured and has a more substantial collar.  These slim fits are extra tight through the middle with more modern, smaller collars.


Ben Sherman Melton Wool Trench – $199.90icon ($299)

Prepare for coat sales.

Longer and leaner than a boxy peacoat.  Does have epaulets, which some have a zero tolerance policy against.  Big front pockets too which might be a little much.


Armitron Nordstrom Exclusive Military – $38.90 ($65.00)icon

Good looks for a small cost.

Flight dial hands, big numbers, and a larger 44mm diameter which doesn’t look or feel too gigantic on the wrist.  Pretty lightweight.  Bell & Ross-ish.  Kinda.  Y’know, for under $40.


1901 Trim Fit Oxfords – $32.90icon ($49.50)

Not bad for $30.

They are decently cut through the sides, but the fabric is pretty thin for oxford cloth.  It still has that extra weight and texture when compared to a pinpoint, but they aren’t super thick by any means.  For just over $30 shipped, they can still make a real good basic addition to your lineup.


Varvatos Star USA plaid wool trousers – $99.90icon ($145)

For those stuck in the office.

Plaid but not too in your face.  Wool, and unhemmed so you can get your break where you want it.


Calibrate Suede Wingtip Boot – $65.90icon ($99.95)

Solid for the price.

Did decently well when tested as part of the ongoing wingtip boot search.  The toe could be slimmed down a little.  If these aren’t cheap enough for you, Urban Outfitters has their version on sale for $40 (although they don’t look the same in person as they do on the UO website)

The Nordstrom half yearly sale for men launched Monday December 26th, 2011.