If there is one shopping event that can both excite and exhaust me, it’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. You can’t so much as open Instagram without seeing an “OMG LOOK WHAT I GOT” for 3 weeks straight, and it is as close to shopping fatigue as I get by the time it’s all over. It also hits that tiny (okay large) obsessive streak in me, and I find myself compulsively checking their site for way too long. However, all that being said, it’s still like Christmas in July, and my excitement cannot be contained in the days leading up to it. I took the day off work in order to shop the first day of the presale last year. I’m not kidding.
All that being said, I think there’s a right way and a wrong way to shop the sale. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in buying the trendiest items, especially when every blogger seems to be schilling the same 10 things. I totally fell victim to this in past years. For example, I bought the famous BlankNYC Suede Moto Jacket that everyone was buying last year, and I ended up selling it on Poshmark last month because I just didn’t wear it. Don’t get me wrong- I think it’s a great jacket, but it just wasn’t “me.” My number #1 piece of advice is to ignore what everyone is telling you to buy and just buy what you’ll actually wear.
I never shopped Nordstrom, or any department stores, until about 3 years ago. I would walk in and get so overwhelmed that I’d just walk out. This is where other bloggers helped me immensely. I started to get an idea of what departments and brands I really loved, and those are the first items I look for when the sale launches. Some of my favorites are BP, Halogen, Chelsea28, Pleione, Trouvé, Vigoss, Topshop, and Zella, and I’ll even set filters to only search those brands when I start exploring. I usually discover 1-2 new brands that I like each year during the sale, and this helps me find more pieces throughout the year.
My biggest, most tried-and-true piece of advice might sound really boring, but I swear it ensures I end up buying things that I wear over and over again. BUY BASICS. I know. So boring. I started seriously shopping the sale 3 years ago, and I’m still wearing almost every single item on heavy rotation to this day. Here’s a list of some of my favorite and most-worn pieces-
- Halogen tunic long-sleeve tees
- BP long-sleeve tees
- Madewell Tote
- Halogen short-sleeve cardigan
- Illesteva sunglasses
- Zella leggings
- Rebecca Minkoff bag
- Halogen cashmere-blend long sweater
- Franco Sarto booties
- Vigoss destroyed skinny jeans
- Caslon side-tie sweaters
- Tory Burch riding boots
- Trouvé leather jacket
- Nike gym shoes
- Topshop long sleeve dress
- Halogen mules
- Patagonia fleece
I’m not sure if all of these pieces will be included in the sale this year, but it’s worth a look! Nordstrom’s quality is so good that all of these items- even the $15 tees and workout leggings- have held up so well. My job is very casual, but my clothes can also take a beating since I’m always doing crafts and experiments with kids. I’ve worn most of these items to work, and they’re still around! You know they’re good if they pass the kid test.
I’ve posted some looks below that are either partly or all past Nordstrom Anniversary Sale finds. Some of these pictures go way back just to prove how long I’ve had them in my rotation! I’m all about a good sale, but I think it’s a waste of money if you end up with a bunch of trendy pieces you don’t wear after one season.
My other tips for shopping the sale-
- If you have the Nordstrom card, shop early- I’ve heard that Nordstrom claims to restock items for the first day of all access (aka when you can shop without the card), but they definitely didn’t last year.
- Check back often- People are constantly buying and returning items which means things do get restocked, but it can be totally random. I always found that checking first thing in the morning when I woke up had the most success.
- Buy all the things, return some of the things- I’m one of the reasons random things get restocked. I just get so excited and buy everything, and then I sheepishly make my way back to the return line once the total bill comes in. I can’t keep everything!
- Use your triple points day– I have the Nordstrom debit card which, sadly, they no longer offer. However, if you have the credit card, make sure you do most of your shopping in one day and make it your triple points day! I then use all my rewards to shop for Christmas gifts, and saving money during that time of year is always welcome!
- Take the bloggers advice with a grain of salt– I’m nowhere near important enough to have all the inside scoop on how Nordstrom’s partnerships with bloggers work, but it’s pretty obvious that certain items are pushed more heavily than others. Just because a blogger tells you it’s great or they look cute in it doesn’t mean you need it. (Cue photo of last year’s crop sweatshirt with white ruffle that looked like a literal bag on me.)
If you took the time to read this, thank you for sifting through the 8000 blog posts you’ll be seeing this week. I’m curious to see if the sale this year lives up to the hype! I was actually able to attend a preview show on Friday night, and they had live models showcasing some of the items. Many of the pieces were a little too high fashion for me, but I spotted some beautiful coats that I’m hoping to see in store.
Personally, I won’t be shopping the sale this year to the same extent that I have in the past. I recently talked about mine and Denny’s recent efforts to scale back on unnecessary purchases so I’m trying to cut back on shopping right now. Plus, I’ve amassed a solid collection of staples from previous years that are still in great shape so I really don’t need anything. However, I’d recommend the sale to anyone who’s looking to build their fall and winter wardrobe at a great price point. Plus, you bet I’ll still be looking once everything is released, and I’m sure a few things will make it into my cart…
Every single item in this photo is from a past Anniversary Sale, and I still wear them all!
Accessories courtesy of past sales
All items in this outfit were from past Anniversary Sales
This ruffled sweatshirt was on heavy rotation all last year
Sadly, I ended up selling this jacket. It’s so cute, but I never found myself reaching for it.
These mules sold out fast last year
Cardigan, sweater, and boots are from previous sales
Dress and sunglasses are from past sales
I wear these shoes every day to work, and I wear the leggings at least once a week! They’re both still in tip top shape!
I bought three of these Halogen tunic tees last year, and I wore them at least twice a week to work!