Phew, these mirrors were dirty. But let’s ignore those for a minute because I scoped out the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale RIGHT when early access opened and it was extremely picked over. I have a feeling the people with more status and the personal stylists got access to a lot of the stuff I was eyeing. Nevertheless, I have thoughts–oh, do I have thoughts. I want to share what’s worth it, what’s not, and give you some real perspective on what you should be buying for fall (because you know, summer just started).
There’s often a sense of urgency with this sale and for some items, that sense of urgency is real! The buyers don’t tend to go deep on a lot of things, but instead, they have a wide offering (that’s a learning from my days at a Nordstrom company).
So here’s some insider info:
- The sweaters aren’t anything to write home about. As a sweater lover, it’s disappointing to see anything that stood out in design or quality. In previous years, the sweaters have been AMAZING. I usually love snagging an expensive cashmere and a trendy, look-for-less sweater, this year’s selection really left me high and dry. This Vince sweater is actually gorgeous in both colors (TTS, but if you want it oversized, size up). The inexpensive sweaters are lackluster–you aren’t even going to wear them right now and once it’s cold you could honestly get something better at H&M for half the price.
- A lot of my favorite brands didn’t participate in the sale. Joie? ALC? IRO? Veda? Bueller? Just a handful of years ago, the sale would feature special designer bags made exclusively for the sale (I am thinking of Chloe and Phillip Lim). This year’s sale is really heavy in Nordstrom labels (Caslon, Halogen, Treasure & Bond, Chelsea 28); this isn’t a dig, just an observation, and perhaps strategically this is what makes sense for the company–it’s clearly working for them. I, however, used to get really excited about seeing the designer exclusives that were made just for the sale–it made it really special and exciting.
- Keep checking throughout the sale if something you want sells out. It usually comes back due to returns. AND, if it doesn’t, keep checking back after the sale. About 6-8 weeks after the sale, a lot of Anniversary Sale product gets marked down 40%. And then a few weeks later it gets marked down 60%. By October/November, most unsold Anniversary Sale inventory is at the Rack at a deep discount. Tip: if there’s something you really have your heart set on, call a Nordstrom associate at the store, however, I’ve always personally had better luck doing it myself online.
- Patagonia always sells out. Whether it’s men’s, women’s, kids’–it’s gone because it never goes on sale.
- The shoe section was so crazy at my store that I’d much rather deal with it online. They were making people take a number for service! But, if I’m being honest, the shoes during the sale rarely get me excited. It’s usually a designer pair that gets me going because the discount is pretty good. The Vince booties I shared were my favorite by far, because they’re reminiscent of a pair I own and love. A good pair of Stuart Weitzman can usually get me going but I didn’t love the styles. The shoes from the mid-range brands have some good styles here and there, but they’ll still be around at retailers during September and will probably be a part of some sort of Shopbop or Bloomingdales sale, too.
- Other great stuff is on sale right now. This used to be a sale that featured fall clothing in anticipation of back to school shopping. I’ve noticed more items are ‘buy now, wear now’ and more season-less, which is cool. Also, there’s tons of beauty included in this sale–it’s gotten vast, people. But don’t forget that it’s July and Nordstrom (and other retailers) have tons of great spring/summer stuff on sale and I’ve actually been eyeing that stuff, too! Hello, Reformation skirt…you are beautiful.
A few more solid items that I didn’t feature on my round up yesterday:
- Keep an eye out for this Allsaints moto jacket; it’s gorgeous, a great price, feels like an IRO jacket at a fraction of the cost. It’s largely sold out but I bet it’ll be back throughout the sale.
- Frye boots are always worth it when they go on sale–and these are the classic, riding boots!
- Any Avec Les Filles coat is a solid choice (the red one is in my roundup); I tried one on and it’s hefty and beautiful in person…feels like a Theory coat.
- As I mentioned, beauty is stepping up in a big way. This Sunday Riley kit and Oribe set, is a great deal.
- I liked this ASTR the Label coat WAY more in person. It had a good weight and didn’t feel cheap at all! I couldn’t believe it was $96.
- AG Farrah jeans – a recent favorite of mine, so snag them on sale! It’s always a good time to find your favorite designer denim at a discount.
You can pass on:
- I love Madewell but there was literally nothing new to the sale this year; it’s the same styles they always put out and guess what, you can probably get them 30% during one of their sales once it’s actually fall. (I did like the top below–great color and only $32)
- Topshop usually BRINGS it for the Anniversary Sale and this year I left wanting more. There were two blazers I liked (one is below and one is already sold out) but where were the suede jackets?! The amazing sweaters?!
- Theory’s Anniversary Sale product was pretty limited; great if you’re in the market for a suit but that was all I saw.
…And thank you for coming to my TED talk. I still stand by my roundup from yesterday so be sure to check that out.