7.12.19 1

My 12 Picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early-Access

It’s time for the sale everyone loves to hate: the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Nordstrom marks down fall items for a few weeks and then prices go back up on August 5. The pre-sale for cardholders opened today so if you have a Nordstrom card, you can shop now vs. wait until the general sale opens up next Friday. Some things sell out quickly, some don’t–but keep an eye on stock because there are tons of returns being made throughout the sale.

This sale is good but it’s gotten to the point where I buy less and less each year and end up searching for the diamonds in the rough. When you’re shopping, be sure to read the product reviews and fabric compositions, check the care instructions, and look at the actual percentage off before you buy! The best part is Nordstrom’s free shipping and free returns policy so I recommend ordering things you’re considering (or going into a store, if you’re near one) but not getting carried away about what you ultimately keep. It’s not worth spending hundreds of dollars on impulse purchases–do an inventory of what you own and just hold onto what you need because we still have the whole season ahead of us and that means lots of other (often better) sales! I also don’t cut the tags off things so in case I haven’t used it by mid-fall, that may be a sign it needs to go back.

Also, to address the elephant in the room: If you read multiple blogs, you’ve probably seen every possible way this sale could be covered…it’s a huge money-making opportunity for bloggers due to its longstanding popularity. It’s great being able to shop for fall items on sale vs. waiting till items have been out for a bit before they get marked down, ya know? The markdowns used to be pretty noteworthy but now there are many cases where you can get the same item on a discount by October…which means the Anniversary Sale prices aren’t always the best deal. That being said, shopping the sale is a way of guaranteeing you’ll get some kind of sale if it’s an item you have your heart set on. If you don’t cut the tags and it goes on further sale before you wear it, just return the one you have and buy it again, or ask for a price adjustment!


My favorite part of this sale is being able to pick up things that usually never get marked down (or at least go on sale very infrequently)—like certain bras, makeup, outerwear, shoes, etc. Other than one or two “fun” items, I typically stick to basics like bras, leggings, and sneakers. My mom and I used to shop this sale when I was growing up so it’s always been an exciting time to me!


A quick note on how affiliate links work: if you click on a link to Nordstrom from my blog and make a purchase anywhere on the site after clicking on that link, I’ll earn a small percentage of your total purchase in commission. This doesn’t cost you anything, as Nordstrom pays the affiliate company (in my case, rewardStyle) who in turn pays me for driving a click and purchase on their site. Affiliate sales are one of the only ways I make money on my blog so it’s of course nice when people use my links to shop! If you click on Nordstrom from another blog, you’ll be using their affiliate link–essentially the most recent link you click on puts a cookie on your browser so that link gets “credit” for sending you to the site. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or via email—it’s a confusing and often not totally disclosed part of this industry, so I want to be as transparent as possible (and acknowledge why you’re probably seeing so many links to this sale all over social media and the blogosphere!)


This roundup features a combination of a) items I own or b) things that are really similar to something I own or c) things I’m buying myself. My post next Friday will have a few more things that caught my eye, but I’m not doing an intensive breakdown of items by category. J always thoroughly browses the men’s section for himself so he’s going to share his top picks once the general sale opens up–stay tuned if you’re shopping for guys!


The BP. Cami in both colors, the quilted Barbour, and ponte leggings. I also bought this sweater in oatmeal but I’m skeptical about the material and therefore haven’t included it in my top 12. If it ends up being a keeper, I’ll highlight it next Friday!

I bought this sweater in tan last year and wore in nearly weekly in the fall and winter. I like the length (it works well with leggings and jeans alike), you can wear any tee underneath and not have it show edges around the arms or at the neck, and it washed well (I put it on the “hand wash” cycle and lay flat to dry). It sold out quickly last year and seems to be doing the same this year–just remember people will be doing returns as the sale goes on. It runs large, so size down!


I bought a pair of ‘Tour’ rain boots last year to upgrade my clunkier non-Hunter pair that worked fine but were too heavy for travel + walking long distances. These are so lightweight and literally fold up—hence the packability. One thing to be aware of: the style in this year’s sale has a stripe down the back. It’s subtle but the pair I own doesn’t have that. I like my boots very barebones so personally am not a fan, but if it doesn’t bother you and you’re in it for the boot function, they’re a good price!


I’ve had my eye on a Cami NYC lace camisole for a couple years but can’t bring myself to splurge on one given how infrequently I currently wear tanks like this. This BP. one has been in the past sale or two and based on the pictures I’ve seen of it on other people, it looks pretty decent for the price! I picked it up in black and ivory (in both a S and M because #options) and am hoping it works out.


Ugh this jacket is GORGEOUS and 100% a top pick in this sale! It’s one of my two “fun” pieces but I’m going to try it and see how it fits into my closet. Barbour under $200 is typically a deal and I wear my existing ones almost exclusively in the fall. My only other coats are two peacoat and my down jacket. I ordered a US4 and U6 to try both.


Totally frivolous but this candle set is in the sale every year and it’s a fun indulgence in the non-clothing department! I treated myself three years ago and am on my last one since I’ve been savoring them. I’m not buying them again because my sale budget is being spent on other things this year but if you want a mini-splurge, they’re great. They’d also do well broken up as individual candles and given as gifts.


I bought a similar one last year and it’s one of the best investments I’ve made for myself! It dries my hair faster, leaves it looking healthier and shinier, and is generally just so much easier to use than a drugstore alternative. I’m not entirely sure what the difference is with this year’s version but it looks very similar. There are so many T3 hairdryers on the market and many randomly get marked down throughout the year (anyone else get their targeted FB ads?) but I personally trust whatever one Nordstrom puts on their site since I know their return policy will cover it if it breaks or doesn’t live up to expectations!


There are over 2k reviews and the average rating is almost five stars so the hype around this cardigan is real! I bought it two years ago and was hesitant to spend $80 on something I didn’t even see myself wearing weekly, but I ordered it anyway, assuming I’d feel eh and return it. Turns out it was one of my all-time best purchases! I love the length (it works perfectly with leggings), that it has pockets, the neutral color options (I have gray), and that it’s just as good for a travel day as it is for lounging or walking the dog. The one downside is it did get a little less soft after the first wash but the quality is still really good. It runs a bit large—I have an XS and it fits well but is a little snug in the arms. I’d say TTS for a looser fit, size down for more fitted.


I own a pair of flat black Aquatalia boots and the quality is incredible. They’re an investment but they look like-new despite having worn them constantly for two seasons. I’ve gotten the heel re-soled but the weatherproof upper is truly a lifesaver if you do a lot of walking in snow or rain. They’re typically on major sale at the end of the season so that’s when you’d get the best value, but if you’re looking to get a pair for the coming year, this is a good deal!


I feel like the biggest gap in my fall + winter wardrobe last year was a lack of non-athletic leggings. I misplaced my one cotton pair halfway through the season and got by, but since I work in a casual office and can wear leggings to work, ordered this pair in the sale. The ponte material means they’re on the thicker side so I’m hoping they look nice in person too. The price feels reasonable as long as they wash and wear well and I ordered an XS (the size chart equates that to a 0-2, and I’m usually a 2 or 26 in denim).


I picked up a Barbour rain jacket in London (where the brand sells for significantly less than it does in the States!) and unsurprisingly, the quality is incredible. The downside is they’re still pricey no matter how you slice it…if you live in a city and walk a lot or are in a rainy climate, and have money to spend on a raincoat, I’d personally say it’s worth the investment.


All my leggings are by Zella except for one that’s old Gap and while I have yet to try Lululemon and Athelta, find Zella to be an excellent value for the price! They fit me really well and wash and wear impressively so I’d 100% recommend trying them out! I have a few pairs of the cropped style and a couple in the longer length, which I usually wear as athleisure rather than to work out. Zella’s basic black leggings do get marked down a few other times during the year so I picked up another pair in the spring, but other than a couple of one-offs, this is as low as I’ve seen them go. Size wise, I’m an XS and would go down a size if you’re in between.


I was shocked to see this bra included! If it was before, I totally missed it. There’s only one colorway, but it’s hands down the best strapless bra I’ve ever tried and friends with similarly large chests who seek more support have said the same thing. One of my friends said she’ll sometimes wear it instead of a normal bra, which is what sealed the deal for me when I ordered it over three years ago. I have it in nude and would have snagged it in black if it was available.


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