Ivy Trendwatch: Department Store Edition

Nordstrom has released a men’s fashion video that devotes 18 seconds to acknowledging the Ivy trend, with vintage footage and a style endorsement of cardigans and wingtips (click here to go directly to the Ivy section of the clip).

Yes, the gingham shirt doesn’t have a buttondown collar, and the wingtips aren’t longwings.

What do you expect? They’re from Seattle. — CC

27 Comments on "Ivy Trendwatch: Department Store Edition"

  1. Is Andrew Holden wearing a sweatshirt as a sweater?
    Is that Seattle-style?

  2. Hi, gentleman-
    Very cool to see this post on your site. Glad you appreciated the Ivy acknowledgment — albeit short. Must spread the love 🙂 Andrew is wearing a 100% Japanese cotton sweater from the Rag & Bone Fall 2010 Collection. Btw, props on the Franco-American post. Great read.
    Editorial Director @ Nordstrom

  3. Maybe the Nordstroms elsewhere in the country have nice clothes, but the ones in Los Angeles (I work practically next door to the one at the Grove) have nothing but a few generic Hugo Boss suits and miles and miles of disgusting Jersey Shore-wear.

  4. My home nordstrom in Bellevue, Wa a Seattle suburb has really got some great things now. Billy Reid, Mason’s, save khaki, gant, apc…must to name a few. They are also doing a collab wit brooks brothers this year. @ allen hopefully your nordstrom will improve their selection soon. I sure love mine!!

  5. I think you’re right Allen. The selection seems vary wildly from store to store. The one near Naples, FL seemed to have nothing but Tommy Bahama-type beachwear and no decent dress clothing, but the one near my home has a great selection of dress clothing and shoes (although their casual offerings are sorely lacking). I will say this, though — every salesman who’s ever helped me at any Nordstrom I’ve visited has been incredibly helpful and professional. Sort of helps you overlook their stores’ shortcomings.

  6. I cringed when I heard him suggest wearing the jacket from a three piece suit as a sport coat.

  7. Michael Mattis | March 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm |

    Wow. That Varvatos suit in the beginning was so shiny I could almost see my face in it.

  8. Nordstrom used to be my favorite store here in Indianapolis. They had tons of Harts, Hickeys, and my favorite, Joseph Abboud. They had the most professional salesmen in the city, and a great tailoring department. First, their buyer started buying only 3 button Abbouds, that buttoned up almost to the collar, and cut so slim only anorexics and 18 year olds could buy them. Now, their buyer has nothing but twin vent suits in stock (except harts). Worse, their suit selection has dwindled to nothing, and none of the old salesmen are still there. And I noticed most of their shirts now are the no iron cotton, and in bracket sleeve lengths (like 32-33, 34-35 etc) At least they still have their private label shirts in sleeve lengths, albeit in no iron cotton. And they wonder why suit buyers are not shopping their stores now? I think the problem from reading in the other comments, is in the local buyers. Yes, they need to cater to the local needs, but they should at least have some of what made them a great store in the past.

    Simone, you folks are out of touch with the REAL buyers of quality clothes.

  9. Roy R. Platt | March 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm |

    Across the street from where I work, there is a Nordstrom’s in the Westside Pavilion in West Los Angeles. Presently, the Men’s selection there seems to be what Paul Fussell would call “Prole” clothing.

    Two weeks ago, I was in the Brooks Brothers store in Century City, and noticed that the staff there no longer wears ties, suits, or even jackets. I have been shopping at Brooks Brothers since 1960, but have bought only a few items there since 2000, as the quality seems to be declining even quicker than the prices are rising.

  10. Christian,

    For those of us not in-the-know, could you please explain the difference (perhaps with illustrations) between “wingtips” and “longwings”?


  11. @Roy R. Platt
    Re: “the staff there no longer wears ties, suits, or even jackets.”

    And Brooks Brothers still has the unmitigated gall to talk about tradition in their advertising copy.

  12. The story of Nordstrom’s beginning is actually very intriguing. Go into Nordstrom now and all you have to choose from are ghastly boxy Abboud suits and overpriced Boss garbage. If you want to casual it up, you can get your Jersey on with some Affliction t-shirts and maybe a pair of Nudie jeans to let people know you’re totally in touch with the trends of 2004. They shun anything “newfangled” yet don’t seem to have a grasp on tradition, and that’s too bad. Not that it matters- their cash cow is their women’s departments.

    As for the Seattle jab, well, I guess I’ll go cry in my immaculately-made cappuccino. (=

  13. Some interesting footage on that video. Anyone like to bet how long it’ll be before safari suits are back in!!

  14. Mr. RKW,
    I can appreciate your sentiment. I can also make sure your feedback gets to our buyer for that area and your store manager. Is your Nordstrom at Circle Center or Fashion Mall? And have you had the chance to talk to your store manager? If not, I’d really encourage it. Btw, clear, specific feedback like yours is really helpful. So for that, thank you.

    Mr. Mattis,
    Ha! Eagle eye. I have to admit I don’t remember it being shiny. Perhaps it was the blazing Austin sun hitting the fine stripes. Nevertheless, the super shine has been noted for future edits.

    Woofboxer, Funny. Or perhaps it was tried (in ’09) and found wanting.


  15. It’s sad that Mlle. Simone really doesn’t understand.

  16. Could you be more specific?

  17. Simone, my stores are at both locations. I work next to the Fashion mall, and often (or used to) visit downtown. No, I didn’t talk to the store manager, but made my comments known to the salespeople (who agreed btw). I did however, send an email to Blake Nordstrom, after my most recent shocking visit to the Circle Center store. No reply. BTW, I was pleased to find a nice selection of single vent, two button Abbouds at Von Maur, and bought 2.

  18. Mr. RKW,
    Just want to let you know that we’ve passed along your feedback to our men’s retail director and both your store managers. Regarding your email to Blake, I know he responds to all the email he receives. We went back and checked everything he received in January and couldn’t find anything with your initials. If you sent it before then maybe it was lost but I know he’d want to hear your feedback and respond. If you’d like, you can re-send it directly to me at simone.hodges@nordstrom.com and I’ll personally make sure it gets to him.

  19. Nordstrom certainly deserves credit for this follow-through, the first of its kind on this website, I believe.

  20. Michael Mattis | March 15, 2011 at 4:50 am |

    Agreed. This is a superb example of pro-active, Web based yet personal customer engagement. I wish other companies were as good at it.

    Nicely done. Ms. Hodges.

  21. For an FYI, I forwarded that email to Simone.

  22. Nordstrom has always, always been about customer service. If you can’t bend over backwards, while making it look easy, while smiling, for a customer, you are not Nordstrom material.

    I used to be a regular Nordstrom shopper. Once upon a time, I couldn’t go into my local store without finding half-a-dozen things that belonged in my closet. Then the local buyer changed (I guess), and I saw little I liked.

    Then I moved someplace without a Nordstrom.

    Then I moved to more places without.

    I’m still in one of those places.

    Oh, well. I can still visit one when I see my parents–but now with a family and a house, I can’t afford what they offer!

  23. Addendum FYI, Blake Nordstrom, and the local store manager have contacted me.

  24. Couple of comments Mr. Nordstrom made, in his emails back and forth with me, were (and I paraphrase) Perhaps they have let the pendulum swing too far away from their traditional Men customers, and he commented he hears me, when discussing the dearth of 100% cotton (not no iron) shirts in exact sleeve lengths. He said he prefers the brands I mentioned in our emails the same as me.

    One comment I made to him, was his men’s department in our town, was looking like a Macy’s. (low blow) The other was, I could find dozens of embroidered, studded, faded expensive jeans, yet could find very few dress pants.

    Because of his and his employee’s obvious concern about my comments, and others, I am headed down to a trunk show, to see some Abboud, Hickey, and Hart suits. Now I don’t know if there will be changes in the future, but from his comments, I have a suspicion there might.

  25. Thanks for these updates, RKW. This whole comment thread has inspired a story I’m working on for Yahoo about using the web to gather customer feedback.

Comments are closed.