Editor’s Note: If you’re new to this scene, the Anniversary Sale is Nordstrom’s biggest sale of the year. They cut deals with nearly every designer they stock to get an early shipment of Fall 2015 merchandise 6 weeks before any other retailer. Then, they mark the whole lot down 33-40%! That means you can score everything you need for fall without waiting for those October markdowns, but prices go back up on August 3, and the good stuff sells out fast. So, if you see something you love, nab it early! Remember, Nordstrom has the best return policy in the biz, and items sell out fast during the Sale. My Sale mantra: Buy now, edit later!
Break out your Nordstrom cards, friends – Early Access to the 2015 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is finally here!!
This year, I’ve managed to score a major sneak peek: more than half my picks are pieces you won’t find in the catalog, so you’re likely seeing them right here for the first time!
Ready to see my top picks? Let’s get this party started!
For me, the Sale’s about three things: coats, boots and jeans. And this year, the coats are looking mighty fine, friends! That snuggly IRO jacket is going to sell out in a hot second, and with good reason – it’s the perfect dressed-up antidote to a fleece. I was so excited to see a Barbour quilted jacket in the mix – it’s a welcome reprieve from the usual Burberry version that’s in the Sale year after year. Leather jackets are always a big part of the Sale – I love the cut of this Treasure&Bond version, but as always, I’m going to need to touch and feel in person to make sure it’s up to SMC standards. (If you beat me to it, report back, will you?)
As for heavier winter fare, everyone will be clamoring for that Vince hooded coat…including me. It has all the appeal of a duffle coat, without the annoying hardware. Blanket coats will be everywhere this fall, and the two options from DVF and Ted Baker were easily my favorite of the bunch. Clean, sophisticated lines and ultra-flattering cuts. You can’t go wrong with either one, but I’m guessing that gorgeous cerulean blue is going to feel like a breath of fresh air in the dark days of January. If even that’s not fun enough for you, I won’t lie…this fantastic fuzzy leopard number is secretly pretty high on my wishlist. So wrong, it’s right.
Moving on down the line to lighter fare, I do love that Caslon stripey cardigan, though I fear it’s going to be one of those pieces you see 3 other people wearing on the subway every morning. Still, it’s hard to resist. I’m a big fan of Helmut Lang jackets as a rule, and this mod, structured hoodie is a perfect example of why. It’s long enough to cover your backside in leggings, but polished enough to use as that all-important extra layer hanging on your office door.
And can you believe I picked a non-Burberry trench this year? The Burberry options are there, don’t get me wrong, but I just loved the unexpected color on this version from Trouvé. Also, the length is absolutely perfect – most inexpensive trenches are too short, which ends up making them look…well, inexpensive. This one hits right at the knee, making it dressier and more elegant. For under $100, it’s a no-brainer.
Every year, I bemoan the fact that they don’t include a v-neck Halogen cashmere sweater in the Sale. Nordstrom finally heard my prayers…and it’s tunic-length to boot! I’ll be stocking up. If a boatneck is more your style, this year’s version comes in a bunch of fun prints, and it’s decked out with a very welcome shirttail hem (read: your new BFF with skinny jeans). And that Eileen Fisher cardigan is going to be a dream come true for a fall transitional piece – it’s just begging to be paired with a summer dress and ankle boots.
Now, about that kimono jacket/blanket coat situation. You’re thinking I’ve lost my mind. But picture it without that ridiculous belt or the lace shirt underneath. I’d wear it open, layered loosely over a long-sleeved black tissue tee or sweater, faded skinnies and suede ankle boots. See? Now you’re feeling it too.
Denim! So many fantastic options, so little time. Everyone’s going to want those cropped Current/Elliott frayed-hem jeans on the cover of the catalog, but I’m going another way. If skinnies are on your agenda, DL1961 is my current fave. These Emma jeans are a dream when it comes to stretch and comfort. For boyfriends, I remain hopelessly devoted to the version from KUT – they’re in the Sale every year, and the fit (and price) are unbeatable. (There’s also a great cropped straight leg from KUT this year, which I’m dying to try.) But the best news of all is that flares are back in a big way. This is excellent news for those of us looking to balance out curves. Frame Denim’s high rise flare is my favorite from the Sale, but there are loads of good options!
Much as I love my denim stash, you’ll need a few other pairs to get yourself through the winter. If you hoard stretchy black pants the way I do, you’ll want to know that my top picks are the NYDJ ponte leggings (muffin-top-reducing waist up top, ankle-skimming trouser below), and the Vince Camuto ponte skinnies, which I’m hoping will be as wonderful as last year’s version. I’m cautiously optimistic about Rag & Bone’s military green skinnies, which would be a welcome update to my regular dark skinnies. But fair warning: they tend toward a lower rise, so proceed with caution. And last but not least, if you’re jonesing for a little color, these burgundy skinnies from NYDJ are awfully fun (or, if you’re color-phobic like me, they come in charcoal grey too).
Boots, boots, everywhere! But you’ve probably noticed that all of these picks are vertically challenged. Yes, friends: I’ve declared a strike on tall boots in my closet. Every morning when I decide I want to wear tall boots, the rest of the outfit selection process is just beyond difficult. Dress? Skirt? Jeans? Are the jeans skinny enough to tuck in? Are they bunching up at the knees? Tights? No tights? Enough already!
Ankle boots just make life so much easier. Plus, they’re perfect with all of those flared jeans you’re about to start buying. The Rag & Bone Margot is going to be the sell-out MVP of the Sale this year…alas, the heel’s too high for this girl. But if you can manage it, please buy them on my behalf. Those Aquatalia boots are amazing for winter – completely indestructible, and incredibly comfortable. Speaking of comfort, last year’s version of these Paul Green boots is still a favorite of mine, so these are well worth a splurge. The Dolce Vita boots are a dead ringer for a similar style from Joie that’s currently sitting in my closet, but at $84, I’m not arguing. And those Hunter short boots with the back zipper are just nine kinds of adorable. I may even replace my beloved Loeffler Randalls, I love them so much! (And yep, they do come in a tall version as well.)
As for the rest of the shoes, I wasn’t wild about the options. The Flatly from Stuart Weitzman is a pointed toe loafer/flat hybrid that’s pretty cute, particularly in grey leopard. And the usual crop of AGLs, of course. But otherwise…well, let’s just move on, shall we?
There’s never any shortage of wardrobe staples to stock up on, but this year, I particularly liked some of the transitional-season items in the Sale. That Eileen Fisher shift dress, for instance, would be dreamy in the heat of summer, but it will be fantastic with a long cardigan, skinny belt and ankle boots in the fall. That little Halogen dress comes in a bevy of patterns and is one of those easy cuts that flatters literally everyone, making it a no-brainer for any late-summer weddings on the agenda. And when you have no idea what to wear to the office on a hot August day, the answer is that sleeveless Vince Camuto wrap dress. Which will also be fantastic layered under a jacket come fall.
Now, I’m not wild about those last two pieces being worn together, but I love them both separately. That Joie silk shell may not look like much, but I’m telling you: grab one in every color. It’s a fantastic layering piece that’s incredibly flattering, and will work under everything from a suit to jeans and a cardi. The 70s-lite vibe of this button-front suede skirt is striking a really nice balance in my book, and it will be such a welcome change when you’re sick to death of wool trousers. If it were me, I’d ask the Nordstrom alterations team to tack down that front seam so that only the top 3 buttons are functional (I’m partial to avoiding that awkward button-gapping when you sit).
I always wait for the Sale to stock up on a few lounge basics. Zella leggings by the truckload as always, but I loved the print on these Ebb & Flow leggings quite a lot (and it doesn’t hurt that they’re from the juniors’ section, so they’re sure to be a steal). Slip-on sneakers are such an easy throw-and-go style, and the suede makes them polished enough that you won’t feel old wearing Vans. And I’ve always been partial to Nike Flyknits, but I particularly love the colors that are up for grabs this year.
I say it every year, but it’s always true – now’s the time to refresh that lingerie drawer, friends. Rotate out three of your most used and abused bras and replace them with something pretty and new – it’ll change your entire outlook, I swear. The Natori Feathers is a perennial fave of mine, but this year, I really love the options from Chantelle. And though I’m a little overly-endowed for most bralette styles, this one from Hanky Panky actually has a decent support system, so I’m thinking it’s perfect for lazy Sundays.
While you’re at it, you’ll want to retire some of your older Hanky Panky thongs and grab a new set of 4. The traditional version is a classic, but I particularly like their retro-inspired high-waist style, which I can tell you is pretty flawless under dresses.
Anyone else super underwhelmed by the bag selection? That Kate Spade tote is great, but it’ll be everywhere this fall. I’m a much bigger fan of this Chloe tote, though it’s a splurge even on sale. And of course, the expandable Longchamps is always super handy, and it only comes around during the Sale. As for smaller fare, this little Philip Lim Mini Pashli is infinitely cuter than its larger cousin. And the quilting on that Vince Camuto crossbody makes it look awfully luxe for its itty bitty pricetag.
I think the jewelry in the Sale too often gets overlooked, but there are some serious gems (yep, pun 100% intended) every time, and this year is no exception. Skip the usual Michael Kors watch and nab this fun Fossil version instead – I got all giddy when I saw the color combos. Navy + rose gold or forest green + yellow gold…either way, it’s dreamy. Those drusy earrings from Sonya Renee are the perfect wear-with-anything style, and the matching tassel necklace is going to be incredible layered over all of your fall sweaters.
If you’ve always secretly wished for that second ear piercing but haven’t had the nerve (cough…), those Nadri triangle stud earrings are pretty much the coolest thing ever. And if there’s one jewelry splurge I’d make this year, it’s that Bony Levy skinny diamond bangle, which comes in every conceivable combo of colors and is such a perfect update to the classic tennis bracelet.
You’ll definitely want to stock up on beauty – these specially-created sets sell out fast, and they’re a steal of a deal, so check for offerings from your favorite brands, stat! There are loads of bulk buys that are well worth your time, but I’m always partial to the limited edition palettes. This year’s versions from Bobbi Brown, NARS and Laura Mercier are stunners. (Especially the Bobbi Brown…so dreamy!) And the Trish McEvoy set is one collection you don’t want to miss – it comes with everything from eye lift and luminizer to liquid liner and SPF lipgloss, so you can update your entire routine in one fell swoop!
Phew! Well friends, that ought to get you started, I think. But of course, now comes the really fun part (for me, at least): Head to the comments section and tell me what you nabbed – I’m dying to hear!