Diving into Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale

It’s funny how pleasant sales like the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — available now to Nordstrom Credit Card holders and in preview to the public til July 21 — mess with my shopping mind. The idea of getting deals on next season’s items is very appealing yet for whatever reason I find myself leaning towards always buying too much in this sale. It’s the constant push-pull of loving all things new and looking in my closet, which is not only full but full of clothing I adore. And it’s that dread of looking into my closet in October and seeing still-tagged items that I realize I’m probably never going to wear. While Nordstrom’s return policy is fabulous and takes away the fear of wasting money there is still the guilt of falling into the gotta-buy trap.

What’s a shopping lover to do? For me, I love making huge wishlists. They’re a shopping list of sorts for me but instead of buying everything on my list I watch them, track them, and allow myself time to see whether I end up truly wanting an item or if it was just a passing fancy.

So this, part of one of two posts today, let’s call it the overboard post. Let’s call the post where I pretend like I have a closet as big as a tiny house and all the money I’ll ever need to buy a new wardrobe every day if I like. This is the post where I talk about nearly everything I want in the sale (until I look through the items again and invariably find more to want). It’s ridiculous, unsustainable, a total waste of money…and completely fun!!

Let’s play, shall we?

The first part of my wishlist is quite simply, the items that caught my eye upon first catalogue flip. Things like the Hooded Plaid Cape (now $99, above) or the Faux Leather Leggings (now $65, love the antique rose) or the Corbin Slide Loafer (now $60, perfect in silver), which have a delightful eye-catching quality to them. The items in this part of my wishlist may not be the most classic or practical but they are all certain to put a smile on my face when I wear them. Of the above items, I decided to order the leggings.

Other items in this part of my wishlist include the Faux Leather Skirt (now $40, seen above with the cape), the Lugano Leather Strap Watch, 38mm (now $223, impractical because I wear my Apple Watch everyday yet desirable for being so lovely), the Edith Jacket (now $398, expensive but very possibly worth the splurge for being an everything jacket), the Small Love Metallic Leather Crossbody Bag (now $130) and the 51mm Gradient Lens Round Sunglasses (now $293, a little less crazy than full price for sunglasses that I will likely lose in a Lyft someday).

Below, my selection of magpies and pipe dreams. (You can also skip to the bottom of this post for most everything in one array of shoppable photos.)



From the wholly impractical to the holy practical, the next part of my wishlist is made of mostly of wardrobe staples. Whether work or play, clothing shoe or accessory, these items would surely last the test of time in closet…if I only had room in my closet for anymore! These are the pieces like the Paint Stripe Transport Leather Tote (now $129, above, a great deal since Madewell is so promo-aversive these days!) that make me want to do a closet purge to make room for them.

This Colorblock Scuba Sheath Dress (now $85) for example made it into my order because I love the simple bias colorblocking that makes it an elegant work solution for years to come. My biggest dilemma was which color to get (I settled on the merlot). I feel similarly about pieces like the Oliver Genuine Calf Hair Ankle Wrap Flat (now $60 — also in solid colors), the Coated High Waist Signature Leggings (now $65) and the most flattering pair of jeans I own, cardigans both long and short, and dresses for both work and everyday.

Classics aplenty below.



It’s hard to think about coats when it’s 86 degrees outside, 95% humidity and every step is a desperate trek towards shade. After laughing through the first couple of pages of the sale selection’s coats (Ha! Coats. Don’t need those…”) my attitude quickly changed when I noticed page after page of lovely option, like the enduring quilted pattern of the Diamond Quilted Jacket with Faux Leather Trim (now $100, above).

I found myself drooling over long options like the Double Face Wool Blend Walker (now $329), the Bella Flare Sleeve Long Coat (now $330) and the Herringbone Wool Blend Long Military Coat (now $200). I found myself clapping for classics like the Halogen Zip Detail Tweed Jacket (now $100, what a steal!) and the J.Crew Regent Stand Collar Blazer (now $148). Although I now own about 1,678,321 moto jackets I also found myself wishing for pretties like the Suede Moto Jacket (now $200).

Jackets, blazers, coats and cardis, below.



And finally, my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is also chock full of delightful accessories from shoes like the ones above (solid or calf hair), these practical yet stylish wedges and these wonderful printed pumps to sunnies like this stylish option or these pleasingly mirrored frames, and jewelry and such galore. This is probably the one area of my closet that could use some bulking up as I seem to lose a few pairs of shoes each year to wear and need a few new pieces to spruce up outfits.

Later today (likely tonight), I’ll present some outfit ideas. As always with any big sale my advice is to make a list of what you need and set aside a budget for what you want, and don’t fall into temptation’s sticky grasp. I’d love to hear what’s been good for you in the Sale so far — and what’s on your wishlist too!


Below, 100 of my favorites from the sale.



  1. Guest
    July 19, 2017 / 10:45 am

    Hi Roxy, love this post, thank you for all the suggestions! I love the ASTDR silk wrap dress and was considering it but have never tried this label. Do you know how their sizing is? I'm busty and petite, and find it hard to find things that fit. Thank you!

    • July 19, 2017 / 10:49 am

      I am also busty (but not at all petite) and I usually find ASTR to be true to size! Hope this helps and I welcome further input from community members here too.

      • Guest
        July 19, 2017 / 10:50 am

        Thank you!!

  2. Eina
    July 19, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Roxy, you just saved me from humid misery on Saturday. I'm taking someone to an airport right near an 'A' category Nordstrom, so I know where I'll head right after. Haven't been there in years as my closest Nordstrom is a 'C' (as per the sales associates).

    My closest is also full of things I love, but even with shoe trees and resoling, all my walking means they do wear out and I rather find shoes when I'm not desperate.

    I'll also looks at coats as I love alpaca and other wools in non-black-dark grey-brown. That double face has such a gorgeous colour, and would go with one of my older Leifsdottir dresses. That shape, though, is probably not the most flattering for me.

    Definitely worth a visit!

    • July 19, 2017 / 11:49 am

      I had no idea Nordstrom stores had different ratings, but that totally makes sense. For example when I visited LA I was completely (and happily!) shocked by how much stock the Grove Nordstrom had. It was like a true shopping playground! Converse that with the Nordstrom in the Flatirons in Boulder, which has decent stock but not many luxury items I want to see in person before I buy. NYC won't even have a Nordstrom for another year or two so the closest one to us is in White Plains, and it seems spacious but under-stocked.

      • Eina
        July 19, 2017 / 6:05 pm

        I found the Seattle and SFO Nordstroms to have the most interesting mix. I also learned that Saks has very different assortments depending on the store.

        • July 20, 2017 / 7:20 am

          It does make sense in a way! Until you want to try something on. At the top of the luxury tier, Bergdorf Goodman and Barney's purposely stock different items on their website from in-store. It's mind boggling to me! I see something on their site I want to try but I can't try it on at their stores? So weird.

  3. Soleil
    July 19, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Really enjoy your observations about the 'gotta-buy trap'! So true. I too practice listing and stalking and find this approach to be a good foil to the scarcity game retailers play with us. I've almost completely stopped the madness of buying 2 seasons ahead, unless we're talking about massively discounted cashmere (for example). I also don't buy end of season sale items after they're no longer wearable in that season and I'd need to wait a full year to wear them. Unless it's a truly timeless item that I'm sure to wear forever.

    Not sure if these strategies work for everyone, but they've helped me.

    • July 19, 2017 / 11:55 am

      It is madness! Sales like this one used to make a lot more sense, back in the age of huge catalogues that you'd receive each quarter. (Does anyone around my age remember receiving humungo Macy's and JC Penney catalogues each season, from which you'd order all the clothes you needed?) It's still a perk to be sure but I no longer feel motivated by price alone because every store except Madewell seems to be heavily discounting these days. Even Barney's is having more promos!!

      Nowadays retailers need to rethink their game plans. They've gotten too frequent with the promos and the specials and the new clothing and it's really too much. I haven't read anything in the trades or business journals yet but from the analytics data my company and our ilk are seeing, there's a massive slowdown happening even at 'untouchable' fast fashion stores like Zara. At some point, consumerism will reverse. That's one factor.

      Another factor in play is that Amazon, the champion of logistics, is diving deeper into fashion. (Full disclosure, I am a founding fashion partner in Amazon's new fashion advertising program. They sponsor occasional posts on this blog.) So for other stores to compete, they need to rethink their store layouts, website designs and look to integrate social platforms more. I don't think more or constant new is the answer personally. I think traditional stores should go the other way and cut way back on inventory, orders and stock.

      A sale like this one does have a special feeling to it since it's the next season we'll be going in to, but I'd love to see it rethought with less emphasis on catalogue and items by category and more thought put into purpose and outfits. I am working on three projects with major retailers to train them in this new way of strategic thinking and I'm very excited to see the eventual results!

      • Soleil
        July 19, 2017 / 1:17 pm

        Sounds very exciting! Keep us posted!

        And on the upcoming retail evolution–totally agree. I just read an article in GQ teaching men how to embroider their initials onto things (!) and saw this as an example of an impending large-scale shift to quality, personalization, craftsmanship, less stuff/more investment/greater care…

        People are more and more educated about product sourcing, true costs, the lives of those making the products overseas, the impacts of consumerism…it will def have a big effect on the marketplace.

      • LaurenSophie
        July 19, 2017 / 1:49 pm

        LOL at the reference to the huge catalog bibles (especially from JCPenny) that used to come in the mail. I well remember my mom marking certain pages for me to pick some school clothes that would last all year. And at Christmas those big Wish Books would come, too! I miss those the most.

        I love the Anniversary sale, and usually pick up staples like a pencil skirt, cardigan, or pair of Nikes every year. This year I'm leaning more towards beauty stuff and candles.

    • July 20, 2017 / 7:24 am

      Yay!! I love my white one and I think the black is equally or perhaps even more versatile. Great choice.

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