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our annual guide to the nordstrom anniversary sale

{editor’s note: don’t forget to enter our fab summer giveaway – a whole year’s worth of gorgeous stationery from hi, friend design, and all you have to do is leave a comment!}

it’s time to resurrect our annual guide to the nordstrom anniversary sale, after requests from a few of our dear readers.  i was lucky enough to shop the preview of the sale a couple of weeks ago, so i’ll be able to give much more guidance on fit and choices this year, which is fabulous.

for those that don’t freakishly stalk the nordstrom anniversary sale, it actually doesn’t start until tomorrow…but it’s best to check out the sale catalog in advance and order on day 1, before all of the best pieces are gone.  since nothing’s actually available for purchase until tomorrow morning (midnight EDT PDT, technically), we’ll be using the online catalog as our hymnal for today, which you can access here.  i’ll post page numbers of every item, where possible, so you can read along with me in your book.

now, on to the show!  in general, i was overwhelmed by the great apparel choices, and thoroughly underwhelmed by shoes, bags and accessories…so we’ll be spending more time on what to wear than on what to wear with it.

outerwear: for me, the best buy of the sale was a DKNY trench, down to under $100 (check it out at left, or on page 8 of the preview catalog).  i tried on the same style in a classic black burberry trench (also on sale, for $549), and the DKNY was actually a better fit for me.  so, at 1/6 the price, i didn’t have to think long.  but if you are in the market for the tried-and-true classic, this is definitely the perfect time to nab that burberry trench (right, page 15b, $549)!

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jackets: blazers were another amazing find at the sale this year.  my picks are the black rag & bone knit blazer (left, page 9), which fits beautifully (though beware – there are leather elbow patches that don’t suit everyone’s style…mine included), and two by elizabeth and james, which aren’t online yet – one in a grey flannel with beautiful pleating on the placket and shoulders (see crap iphone pic below, right), and the other is a classic black boyfriend blazer with ruched 3/4 sleeves.  both are instant classics.  all three ring in right around the $300 mark, but these are workhorse blazers you’ll pair with everything from suits to jeans, so they’re definitely worthy investment pieces.

Picture 13e&j blazer

the best bargain blazer is this red tweed cropped version from hinge (page 13, $89), which is just begging to be layered for fall.  but i would warn that this needs more than just a tee and jeans to work – you’ll want to add more texture in the way of necklaces, scarves, and maybe a contrasting tank over the tee, or you’ll look more barbara bush than kate moss.

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if it’s a leather blazer you’re after, i like the two black options from kenna-t (page 15f, $299).  the military style (at left) is impeccably on-trend, but there’s something about that asymmetrical version (right) that’s just a little more offbeat, and original, making it my personal favorite.

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cardigans: the ruby autumn cashmere ribbed cardi (left, page 9a, $159) felt like a no-brainer initially – it’s one of my favorite cashmere lines, and the price is a steal.  but the fit across the back wasn’t perfect…i felt like it bunched at the shoulder seam.  but if you have narrower shoulder than i (not a hard bar to clear), the lines of this one are really beautiful on, and the color is a great foil for both grey and camel, which will be huge this fall.  but the classic i’m buying in at least two colors (grey and nude) is this long-ish halogen cardigan with just a bit of sheer fabric at the lapel (pages 28-29, $49).  i’m a little worried i’m not the only one who will stock up on it, but it’s just a perfectly classic cardigan, and i’m due for a few new staples.

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denim: it’s all so subjective, of course, when it comes to denim.  but i’m steering clear of skinnies for fall – i have a feeling wider legs are the future.  so, my favorite was the hudson straight-leg (page 21g, $119) – a great fit, just a bit lower rise than i typically go for.  if your waist isn’t absurdly high (like mine), these would be a great addition to your closet.

shoes: the only shoes i really fell for in the sale were the vera wang lavender rhinestone ballerina flats, in blue nubuck (page 10, $189) – but only if you’re a size 9 or smaller (in larger sizes, the rhinestone accent doesn’t cover enough of the top of the shoe).  it’s tempting to recommend the steven by steve madden covered wedge boots (page 40), but trust me, you’re going to be seeing those on every third girl you pass on the street for the next year.

accessories: all i’m after on this front is the michael kors men’s style chronograph watch, in silver (pages 16-17, $149).  still a bit of an investment, but one you’ll definitely get years of mileage out of.

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cosmetics: we all have our favorite brands, of course, and nearly all have stellar offerings for this sale, if you like buying pre-packaged sets.  i’m not a huge fan as a rule, but i will say that if you haven’t tried kate somerville’s exfolikate yet, pick up the set on page 57b – you’ll never look back.

so, that’s my take.  but i’m even more interested to hear what you’re excited to nab tomorrow.  share your favorite finds in the comments, won’t you?

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