In Review: Nordstrom Men’s Shop & 1901 Brands, Spring 2019
About the Author: Stephen Knight is a photographer / videographer who founded its aknightsstyle and Itsaknightslife. His mission is to tell the story of people through style, food, music, and dancing. Catch his stuff on Instagram and YouTube.
Nordstrom isn’t just any old department store. I think it’s fair to say that they’ve carved out a place in the market as being known as a one stop shop for high quality items that offer exceptional value, especially with their in-house or “exclusive” brands. The 1901 brand represents the year Nordstrom opened the store, and brings a mix of classic items along with fresh designs for everyday wear. Just as a reference for all of you out there, I am 5’10” / 165-170 lbs. Sizes are smalls for the shirts and sweater, medium for the sportcoats, and a 30×34 for the trousers since they come with the intention of being hemmed.
1901 Stripe Crewneck Sweater – $34.75 ($69.50)
Checks boxes in all the right areas. Slim through the chest and sides, but still had enough room to where you can actually wear this OVER a shirt (looking at some of the merino wool V-necks out there). 100% cotton fabric had a good feel to it, and being in Denver in the springtime, it felt like it was the perfect time to wear this sweater. It wasn’t suffocating but it provided some warmth when the sun was setting. Although I usually go for solid colors for sweaters, this nautical stripe had a mood to it that I couldn’t ignore, being able to pair it with my grey trousers and selvedge denim. The ONLY thing that threw me off were the buttons on the shoulders. I know, I know, it’s a detail based in traditional sailor sweaters, but, not really my style (not a lot of yacht clubs or fishing ports in Denver), but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Size shown here is a small. UPDATE: Looks like these have sold out? They were on sale for the half-yearly. Fingers crossed for a restock. If you want something similar in a more luxurious, 58% cashmere / 42% linen blend, try this from Nordstrom Signature. You’ll pay for that luxury though. It’s currently $71.60 and it’s 60% off!
Nordstrom Men’s Shop Button Down Collar Regular Fit Jersey Polo – $29.50
I usually stick to slim fit clothes. Polos would be the one where this holds true. Although I appreciate the comfort of the jersey knit cotton, I wouldn’t wear these without having the sides taken in. Factor in the added costs of a tailor (do people really tailor their polos?) and I would steer you in the direction of just buying a slimmer fitting polo, unless you like relaxed fit shirts. The actual shirt length was fine as it wasn’t too high or too chopped, and the sleeves were fitted around my arms. Polo’s are a staple in any wardrobe, and I recommend you have some in rotation for days where you want to look put together in shorts, or in khakis. However with modern styles being slimmer, I would steer you to a more fitted version of this. Size shown here is a Small. Four colors to pick from.
1901 Trim Fit Cotton & Linen Sportcoat – $168
Basket weave linen / cotton mix, unlined (as shown at the top of the post) but not so airy that it feels papery. Should help the jacket avoid wrinkling too much, although I wouldn’t recommend you sleeping in it. Partially lined gives a light structure although very minimal. Padding is also minimal. Loved the length of this and didn’t feel chopped at all. Fit felt fine out of the box for me, but some might want the sides taken in a bit. Buttons are black with three nonfunctional ones located on the sleeves. This is something I would pair with a darker pair of denim and some nice walnut shoes for a nice but casual evening out or for a more relaxed casual look. Size shown here is a medium.
1901 Sloan Sneaker – $59.96 ($99.95)
Sizes are super limited at post time and it’s no wonder why. More comfortable than the other Nordstrom sneakers I reviewed earlier this year out of the box, and they absolutely fulfill the “basic” white sneakers that many men see as a foundation item in their closet. This is a no frills shoe, except for the tan interior, which not many will notice anyways. How do I like these in comparison to my beloved Chuck Taylors? Well I like canvas white sneakers more, but having an affordable leather white sneaker has its place too, especially when you factor in the longevity of keeping them clean. Size tested was a 9.5.
1901 Extra Trim Fit Linen/Cotton Chambray Sport Coat – $168 & matching Skinny Fit Trousers – $99.50
For the Jacket: The main takeaway from this sport coat is how lightweight this thing is. It almost felt like a long sleeve shirt with buttons, probably due to the cotton-linen blend chambray. Padding is extra minimal for this. Lining is also pretty minimal, giving this a less structured feel, although the sleeves are lined. The notch lapels found on this sport coat (being rather slim) reminded me of J. Crew’s famously slim lapels. Black buttons were located on the front with a two button layout, with three non-functioning buttons located on the sleeve. Although an “extra trim” fit, I wouldn’t call it extra slim. A medium on me needs some obvious work on the sides. Strange that the grey melange trim fit stand alone sportcoat (top of post) fit me better than this chambray “extra trim fit” option? This would be great for spring and summer wear as a separate piece, or paired with its matching trousers. I would recommend pairing this with lighter shirts, like whites or light greys.
For the Pants: Loved the way these fit me straight out of the box. These are definitely a true slim to skinny fit, but being made from the same material as the sport coat above, they have some give if you are a little more broad in the quads. These are something that you can wear separate from the sport coat, or paired up for a more put together look. I personally love the way the set looks with white sneakers, which has been a trend I’ve been riding for a little while now. Comes with a 34” inseam out of the box, which will probably need to be hemmed unless you are in the daddy long leg camp. This also has a 14” leg opening which is pretty slim, but I love the way these taper down to the shoe for a modern look. Size shown above is a 30×34. Also available in a light gray as well as a true blue.
1901 Bermuda Penny Loafer / Driving Moc – $89.95
A warm weather basic, but still, well done. Six colors of either suede or leather to pick from. Traditional less-is-more structure since it’s a driving loafer. Penny loafer style strap across the top and textured sole. Made in Brazil. Fit seems maybe a half size small if you’re leaning to the wider side of a D width.
Nordstrom Men’s Shop Regular Fit Floral Performance Shirt – $69.50
Best in this show. My favorite out of this roundup. Now, like I said about the polo, usually I’m not the one to touch anything “regular fit,” but this shirt ended up being one of my favorite items of the bunch. Material felt slick to the touch, yet somehow soft? I’m not sure how they achieved this, but it gets two thumbs up from me. Button down collar to keep the collar points in place along with adjustable button cuffs to have the right fit at the wrist… Something that is overlooked when picking out a good fitting shirt. I loved the way this looked with the chambray sportcoat and trousers up above, but I think the floral print and navy coloring allows it to be used in many situations, from white jeans, to tucked in with a grey chambray short. 90% polyester, 10% spandex. Size shown here is a small.
Nordstrom Men’s Shop Roger Suede Double Monk Strap – $124.95
Full review of these coming from Joe in the not too distant future. A couple other colors available, but most will probably be drawn to the rich looking “Tan Suede” shown here (it’s darker and richer than sandy tan… more of a tobacco brown, but not a chocolate brown). Surprisingly nice suede. Buckles are gunmetal, but not super flashy. Nice and sleek without being pointy. Nordstrom continues to do a really, really fine job with their in-house dress shoes.
With more stores having in-house branded clothing to stay price competitive, it’s no surprise that Nordstrom would continue to develop their lines given their reputation of having solid valued items. Although not everything shown here is CHEAP, it all feels high quality which will allow your price to wear ratio to be low, making these a solid bang for buck option for your wardrobe. That, and as always, since it’s Nordstrom shipping is free both ways.
Got something from Nordstrom’s spring/summer lines that should have made the round-up? Send those tips into firstname.lastname@example.org Want more posts about single store style-sources? Head here for our Target Goodfellow round up, here for Old Navy’s spring/summer offerings, and here for Amazon’s Goodthreads.