The items you need in your closet and your dresser will vary widely, even for guys with similar tastes and aesthetics. But there are a few wardrobe essentials that almost every guy can appreciate as the weather turns cold and the days get shorter — if you could just find the right ones, in the right fit, in a color and at a price point that works for you, without spending hours walking around the mall trying to find what you want.
One of the easiest ways to take the frustration out of updating your wardrobe for the fall is to get all of your shopping done at a single store. But that idea introduces a new set of conundrums: Which stores will have everything you need? Which stock all of your favorite brands? And how can you find those answers without spending hours wandering your local department store looking lost, or clicking aimlessly through stores’ websites?
Luckily, we’ve simplified the process for you. One of our favorite stores for one-stop shopping is Nordstrom, a department stores that’s been part of the American style landscape since 1901. Check out our picks for 12 wardrobe essentials available at Nordstrom, so that you can update your fall and winter wardrobe all in one go.
1. Raw selvedge jeans
A sturdy, versatile pair of jeans is the cornerstone to any guy’s fall and winter wardrobe, whether your style is sleek and minimal, inspired by workwear and heritage Americana, or simply aiming for warmth and versatility. If you’re searching for a pair of raw, selvedge jeans that won’t break the bank, consider Unbranded Brand’s slim-fit denim. They’re made of 14-ounce rigid denim, which will break in with time and wear. That makes it easy for you to make the jeans your own, with fades and wear patterns that will develop based on how you wear them.
2. Neutral chinos
Just like with your jeans, chinos are another item where you want a trim fit and a versatile style that will go with just about everything else in your closet. The washed cotton chinos from Bonobos are an excellent choice, since they’re cut to be slim but comfortable, with a mid-rise and slight taper to create a narrower leg opening, which is ideal if you like to cuff your chinos. You can choose from among khaki, slate gray, and even brown, and opt for either regular or tall sizing to get a perfect fit.
3. Oxford shirt
An oxford shirt is one of those unique pieces that looks just as good at the office as it does on evening engagements or weekend errands. A trim, flattering cut and classic details like a button-down collar are key when you’re looking for the right oxford. Luckily, Nordstrom stocks Gant’s slim-fit oxford shirt in white, navy blue, light blue, and even pink. The styling is classic and clean (and, coincidentally, the shirt is easy to clean — with no trips to the dry cleaner required — which is essential when a shirt is as wearable as this one).
4. Basic tees
Whether you wear tee shirts on their own or simply as layers underneath other shirts, no wardrobe is complete without at least a few comfortable, basic tees. A time-tested favorite is Calvin Klein’s cotton crewneck tee. Not only is this tee made of 100% cotton, but it’s also tagless and comes in a pack of three to save you money. You can choose black tees, white tees, or a pack of white, black, and heather gray. These simple tees are great for wearing under sweaters and light jackets, and look polished enough that you can take your sweater off on a warm afternoon and still look great (particularly if you’re wearing the classic combination of a white tee and dark jeans).
We could write a list of reasons why you should add a henley (or two, or three) to your wardrobe this fall. Actually, we already have. If you’re struggling to remember how you dressed for the cold last year, consider this a sign that the henley could be your perfect layering piece this year. A splurge-worthy one, like rag & bone’s raglan henley, is a visually interesting, sex-appeal-enhancing alternative to a basic tee or sweatshirt. This particular henley comes in all your favorite colors — black, charcoal, navy, olive, and white — so that you can find a color or colors that pair seamlessly with your other cold-weather clothes.
6. Shawl-collar cardigan
Speaking of stylish variations on classic basics, you can’t go wrong with a shawl-collar cardigan. Few other pieces can match this style’s ability to up your attractiveness even when you’re wearing lots of layers. To try out the style without spending the hundreds of dollars that some cardigans command, choose a style like Original Penguin’s shawl-collar cardigan in three classic colors: navy, grey, and oatmeal. The sweater is made of a speckled lambswool blend, which adds texture to your ensemble and offers a trim fit that will be easy to layer under a coat or jacket.
7. Crewneck sweater
If you live in a particularly cold state, then you’re likely familiar with the saving grace that is a densely-knitted sweater on a frigid morning. We recommend merino wool because it’s both soft and warm (no more itchy neck). While you can go with a solid color for the widest range of pairing options, it’s also worth trying a style with more texture, like A.P.C.’s merino wool sweater, which is made of marled yarn in two tones for a subtle, patterned weave. If you take proper care of your sweaters, they should last you for seasons to come, which makes a style you love worth the investment.
8. Navy blue suit
Even if you don’t wear a suit to the office everyday, chances are still pretty good that you could use a suit sometime between the end of the fall and the beginning of spring. (You can’t get through the entire season without a holiday party or two, can you?) A navy blue suit is a famously versatile option to have at the ready for everything from interviews to celebrations. Choose a 100% wool suit, like Strong Suit’s trim-fit style, and take advantage of the availability of regular, short, and tall sizing to find the right fit. The trousers can be hemmed, and other alterations made, at your local Nordstrom, which makes perfecting the fit so much easier.
9. Dress shirt
You can’t wear a suit without a dress shirt, and the right one is well worth the investment. Gitman, a top candidate for our favorite brand of shirting, offers a crisply tailored dress shirt in a slim fit that’s perfect to pair with a suit. This shirt features a spread collar and mitered single-button cuffs, plus removable collar stays, a French placket, and a split yoke in the back (which makes the shirt fit more comfortable and move with your more easily). Another benefit? It’s made in the United States, using 50 different steps all meant to ensure the creation of a beautiful, high-quality shirt.
10. Wool coat
Unless you live in the warmest of states, you’ll probably find it tough to get through the winter without at least one extra-warm piece of outerwear. When you’re choosing a coat, it’s always a good idea to go classic. That makes it easier not only for your coat to pair well with everything else in your winter wardrobe, but also for it to look current two, five, or 10 winters from now. A favorite from among Nordstrom’s offerings is the John Varvatos Star USA wool and cashmere peacoat, which updates a long-standing military classic with luxurious materials and finishing.
11. Waxed cotton jacket
If your winter weather concerns are more about rain than frigid temperatures, then a waxed cotton jacket could become a true workhorse in your wardrobe. You can’t mention waxed cotton without talking about Barbour, and if you’re unfamiliar with the brand’s lineup, we have all the details to help you choose the right style. Long story short? Barbour’s Bedale jacket, which Nordstrom stocks in both black and navy blue, is the perfect casual style for the guy who wants a jacket that will pair well with winter staples like denim and sweaters.
12. Versatile leather boots
If you’re looking to upgrade your footwear lineup for the coldest months of the year, chances are pretty good that you want something that you can wear warm socks with, but that won’t look like ski gear when you wear them out to dinner. The perfect solution is a handsome pair of handcrafted boots, like Oak Street Bootmakers’ trench boot. The trench boot is made of Horween Chromexcel, some of the best leather made in the United States.