Did you receive a gift card for your birthday? Or maybe you won one through a contest at work? Cleaned out a drawer and found an old, still good, unused gift card? Still have one sitting around from the holidays? Great! In this series titled How to Spend It, we search and sift through some of the more common retailers producing that fantastic plastic, curating a handful of men’s style items at various price points to show you what’s available. Specific sales and available sizes can vary greatly, so check the website or your local store often for the best deals.
Brand Note: Founded in Seattle, WA at the turn of the 20th century, Nordstrom is known for their outstanding customer service, an exceptional return policy, and a staggering number of items ranging from $10 house-brand socks to $8000 designer leather jackets. Given the struggles that retailers are enduring, it feels like a wonder that upmarket stores like Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman’s are surviving, if not actually thriving. But perhaps Nordstrom’s ability to keep one foot in the luxury game, and another in the affordable/big time bang-for-the-buck game, is another reason why they’re a favorite for many.
- Nordstrom Men’s Shop Cedar Shoe Trees – $20
- Nordstrom Men’s Shop Tech-Smart Regular Fit Pique Polo – $45
- Saturdays Slash Graphic T-Shirt – $48
- Topman Hoodie – $45
- Jason Markk “Essential” Shoe Cleaning Kit – $16
- Vans Classic Slip Ons – $50
- Bombas Solid Ankle Socks – $12
- Saturdays Neon Script Logo T-Shirt – $48 (Purple Rain vibes, here!)
When your twin Aunts Martha Lou and Rosemary know you’re into menswear (because they read your articles, of course), they tend to get you some choice gift cards for your birthday or the holidays. If you don’t already have them, some cedar shoe trees and a sneaker cleaning kit are necessities to keep your kicks looking as fresh as possible. Graphic tees are coming back around, so don’t be afraid to try some as the focal point to an otherwise simple outfit.
- Faherty Bleecker Regular Fit Polo – $98
- 1901 Ballard Slim Fit Peached Twill Chino Pants – $60
- Suit Supply Traditional Slim Fit Button Up Dress Shirt – $99
- Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage Sneakers – $100
- Bonobos Tailored Fit Stretch Washed Cotton Chinos – $98
- Patagonia Better Sweater Zip Vest – $99
- Patagonia Baggies 7-Inch Swim Trunks – $55
- Fjallraven Kanken Water Resistant Backpack – $80
- Ovadia Leopard Print Pique Polo – $80 (Leopard prints are in for 2020, Joe!) editor’s note: sure.
Your bread and butter upgrades are found in the sub-$100 tier, including a lot of goodies from Bonobos, Faherty, and Patagonia. You can’t go wrong with the tried and true Bonobos chinos!
- Made in Italy Greats Royale Leather Sneakers – $180
- Made in the USA Rag & Bone Fit 2 Slim Fit Jeans – $195
- Made in the USA Brooks Brothers Milano Slim Fit OCBD Dress Shirt – $140
- Timex x Todd Snyder The Military NATO 40mm Watch – $138
- Madewell Slim Fit Field Jacket – $148.00
- Blundstone Original Chelsea Boots – $185
- Bonobos Slim Fit Moto Bomber Jacket – $168
- Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Packable Waterproof Jacket – $149
- Orlebar Brown Bulldog Sport Swim Trunks – $195 (Good enough for Bond!)
The $101-$200 tier is loaded with items both good and bad. Lots of expensive fast fashion stuff in this tier, but we’re sticking to stuff that’s known to be of decent quality and worth your time. Big fan of those Blundstone boots and the Greats Royale sneakers as both are instant classics that are perfect for Spring – rain (Blundies) or shine (Greats).
- Barbour Lutz Quilted Jacket – $280
- Arcteryx Atom SL Water Repellent Hooded Jacket – $229
- John W. Nordstrom classic Fit Check Wool Sport Coat – $224.55 ($499)
- Ray-Ban Clubmaster 55mm Polarized Sunglasses – $203
- APC Petit Standard Japanese Selvedge Jeans – $250
Why $300? It’s a great starting point tier to “invest” in some nicer jackets, jeans (very, very nice jeans… for the denim heads), or statement pieces. If you’re planning on going on any vacations this Spring, you’ll probably need to pack some sunglasses, jeans, and a lightweight rain jacket just in case it storms, right? We’ve got you covered.
- Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Over-The-Ear Headphones II – $350
- RM Williams Classic Craftsman Chelsea Boots – $495 (currently on sale, albeit slightly, at East Dane)
- Filson Medium Duffle Bag – $395
- Arcteryx Beta SL Hybrid Gore-Tex Hooded Jacket – $400 (I have this, it’s a great hardshell jacket!)
- Suit Supply Napoli Slim Fit Solid Wool Suit – $399
- Barbour Ashby Wax Jacket – $415
These are the stretch goals or luxury splurge pieces that you might have been dreaming about. Even if you’ve never received a gift card this large, maybe you can make a sizeable dent in something that’s “investment” worthy. I always recommend the Bose QC35s whenever possible as they’re my gold standard for wireless, noise-cancelling headphones. As a frequent traveler and a dad to an infant, they allow me some much needed peace and quiet.
- Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic Chronograph Leather Strap Watch – $2195
- Filson Weatherproof Leather Duffle Bag – $995
- Schott Caf© Racer Lightweight Oiled Cowhide Leather Jacket – $670
- Rimowa Original Cabin 22-Inch Suitcase – $1050
Just for kicks, here are a few really, really expensive gems that you might consider. If you have the means. And desire. The means and the desire. Those don’t always (or often) come as a tandem. But hey, it’s fun to window shop, right?
Want more from our Gift Card Series? Head here for the archive, or, individual store posts are as follows:
- So you got a gift card to J. Crew
- So you got a gift card to Target
- So you got a gift card to UNIQLO
- So you got a gift card to Amazon
- So you got a gift card to Abercrombie & Fitch
- So you got a giftcard to Macy’s
About the Author: Adam Terry is Dappered’s resident shoe & denim expert. He’s a thirty-something Technical Trainer in the heating and manufacturing industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, and raw denim. He’s also a new(ish) dad!