Hi guys! Gonna go ahead and make the full disclosure: this is my first time ever shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in-store, and oooof. It’s a doozy. I roped my best friend into tagging along with me, and we got super-lucky with a store that was pretty well-stocked — and sales people that were super-helpful. We went to a second store later in the afternoon, because five hours of retail purgatory wasn’t enough, and let’s just say hitting the store early in the AM was a good move. Also a good move? Shopping right from the comfort of your ol’ butt. That said, without further ado…
My Approach To The 2019 #NSale
This sale is typically my excuse to refresh my closet with a few classic staples, like denim, a couple of trend-forward items and maybe one or two investment pieces that will last well beyond the coming season, and this year that’s exactly what I took home. A vast majority of the items I gravitated toward were on the more affordable end of the spectrum — I’ve yet to find a more flattering white T, for example, and under $16! — but I was definitely pulled in by some bigger ticket items that were seriously tempting. (Spoiler alert: I consider this ALLSAINTS trench to be the find of the sale. I wouldn’t typically spend this much on a piece, but it’s far more interesting and flattering than it looks in the photos, and I can’t wait for it to be “The Trench” I return to for years to come.)
(A few quick stats for sizing: I’m just over 5’5″ tall with a faux-athletic build ,and typically take an XS to S in tops, a 25 in jeans and an 8 in shoes.)
OK, on with the selfies!
1. Fast Favorites: 3 Great Jeans & (1 Surprisingly Versatile Skirt)
Madewell 10″ High-Waist Skinny Jeans
I went into the sale specifically crossing my fingers that some iteration of Madewell’s 10″ high-rise jeans would be included, and ding! ding! ding! Love it when that happens. As much as I typically prefer distressed and even destroyed jeans, I love that these are more polished and in a darker wash that will be easy to dress up. (If I was working in an office environment, these could definitely work for a Casual Friday situation.) They’re crazy soft, super-comfy and high in stretch — I’m wearing my typical 25 here, but may have even gone for a 24 if they had it.
L: ALLSAINTS Blush Jacket (Sold out at Nordstrom but available in a paler pink at ALLSAINTS) // Graphic T (Not Available Online but this is my second fave in the sale) // Madewell High-Rise Jeans
M: Olive Knotted Shell // Madewell High Rise Jeans // Madewell Mules // Open Front Cardigan
R: Olive Leopard Cargo Jacket // Madewell High Rise Jeans // Red Booties
Topshop Jamie High-Waist Ripped Hem Skinny Jeans
This is my first time trying on Topshop jeans, and I loved the fit — especially for the price (under $50). I have a pair of gray jeans at home that have a great wash but a super low rise that is no longer en vogue (or, let’s face it, flattering at all), so I snapped these up right away. My favorite thing about the distressing on these is that it’s confined to the hem, so with a pair of tall boots, they have a completely different vibe. The specific wash is great, too — not too whiskered or washed out in the thigh area. Just interesting enough to give the gams a little definition. Wearing my usual size 25.
L: Teal Boxy Tee // Ripped Hem Jeans // Snake Print Booties
Middle: Chunky Striped Sweater // Ripped Hem Jeans // Snake Print Booties
Right: Graphic T (Not Available Online but this is my second fave in the sale) // Ripped Hem Jeans
Levi’s Wedgie Icon Fit High-Waist Ankle Jeans
I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a pair of black Wedgie Levi’s since I saw Laura try on a pair in her Stories a couple of weeks ago, so thanks NSale! Wearing these in my usual 25, but I’m not gonna pretend it didn’t take some deep exhales to get them buttoned. (Once they were on, though, they were glorious, so I would still say they’re TTS.) They weren’t quite ankle length on me (I’m 5′ 5″ish) — and I actually rolled the hem a teeny bit in these pictures. Even though they’re a straighter fit through the ankle, they still worked with a pair of trim over-the-knee boots, too (more on those later). The resulting look is kinda Sandy from Grease, and I dig it.
L: Blue + White Striped Boyfriend Shirt // Black Jeans // Madewell Mules
M: Leopard Print Camisole // Black Jeans // Vince Cardigan
R: Leopard Print Camisole // Black Jeans // Red Booties // Vegan Leather Jacket
The Surprisingly Good Skirt That Goes With Everything
Talk about a sleeper hit! I brought this skirt into the dressing room as part of a set with a coordinating knit top. Together they were totally meh on me (if I worked in a corporate environment, I might feel differently), but separate? The skirt is killer. It’s comfy. The plaid is super-versatile. Seriously, every time we’d swap out the top for something else, it’d still look cool. And I think that’s just the word for it: cool. Yes, you can make it workwear with a black shell and a blazer or the like, but I loved it most with a T-shirt, boots and a jacket. Would totally rock it with crisp sneaks, too. Wearing an XS.
L:Chunky Striped Sweater // Plaid Knit Skirt // Red Booties
M: Graphic T (Not Available Online but this is my second fave in the sale) // Plaid Knit Skirt // Black Over-The-Knee Boots // Vegan Leather Jacket
R: Plaid Knit Skirt // Red Booties
2. Cardis + Coats Worth Their Price Tags
Obviously jackets and layering pieces for fall make up a big portion of the NSale, and there were no shortage of pieces I quickly fell in love with. This is also an area where you’ll find the biggest range of price points for seemingly similar items, so even though it’s in my blood to go for the bargain whenever possible, I took a little more time here to consider the full range of options.
An Irresistible ALLSAINTS Trench Coat
This was The Investment Piece of the haul, but after hours (literally) of hemming and hawing over it, I knew I’d be bummed if I left it behind only to learn it sold out the next day. (Here’s hoping that’s not the case by the time this is published!). It’s hard to describe how good this trench can be because it looks rather drab in the photos, but trust me: the drape, the movement, the color (an almost-olive that’s so much more interesting than tan), the cut: it’s classic while still being novel, and the weight is just right. I can’t wait to wear it over chic dresses (think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) or simple T’s, but it’s roomy enough for laying a chunkier sweater underneath, too. Wearing an XS, and I swear it floats just right.
L: Leopard Print Camisole // Black Jeans // Red Booties // ALLSAINTS Trench
M: Eileen Fisher Shift Dress // Black Over-the-Knee Boots // ALLSAINTS Trench
R: Eileen Fisher Shift Dress // Black Over-the-Knee Boots // ALLSAINTS Trench
The Softest Vince Gray Open-Front Cardigan
*capslock warning* THIS SWEATER IS SO FREAKING SOFT, you guys. On the one hand, I was a little disappointed that it’s not cashmere, especially for the price, and on the other hand, I can tell that the synthetic blend that makes this sweater feel the way it does will also help it hold up over time. (Or maybe I’m just telling myself that?) I love the big ol’ shawl collar — like wrapping yourself up in a blanket — and the fit is pretty forgiving. I’m wearing the S in these pictures, but the XS would have worked, too. Just depends how, uh, cocoon-y?…you wanna be.
A Perfectly Wearable (& Warm!) Plaid Coat
Another jacket that was a little surprising in terms of wearability. Loved the weight and the cut — a little menswear-y while still being slim enough to flatter. The XS had room to layer a sweater beneath it, and it felt plenty warm to me (though it’s not like we can compete with a true East Coast winter here). I think it’s a perfect value for the sale price, and it’s on-trend while still being classic enough to last several seasons (at least). Only downside, for me, is that it’s a little itchy against bare skin. Not an issue, of course, if you’re always putting it over a long-sleeve top or sweater.
The $45 Topshop Open Front Cardigan
A perfectly cozy sweater at a perfectly affordable price point. The oatmeal actually has a bit of a blush undertone to it that I totally adore — it felt bright and warm at the same time. The hand on this is unsurprisingly not what you’re going to find in a more luxe knit, but I found myself reaching for it over and over again in the dressing room nonetheless. The length, pockets and split sides were all ideal enough that this one came home with me.
L: Leopard Print Camisole // Distressed Gray Jersey T-Shirt // Black Jeans // Open Front Cardigan
M: Plaid Knit Skirt // Red Booties // Open Front Cardigan
R: Leopard Print Camisole // Black Jeans // Madewell Mules // Open Front Cardigan
The Vegan Leather Jacket I’ll Wear With Everything
The cut and versatility on this guy are SO FUHREAKING GOOD. Our Nordy’s had SO many of these in stock that I almost didn’t grab it, thinking it wouldn’t be anything special, but now I know they were just anticipating what a phenomenon it would be. The vegan leather is actually pretty dang soft — not plastic-y or spongy — and even though the lining quickly gives away that it’s vegan, I’m not mad at it. And the best part? It’s under $60. For something that I know is going to get loads of wear, that feels like an exceptional price. Wearing an XS here, which is indeed quite fitted. If I wanted to attempt layering anything more than a T-shirt underneath it, I might do the S.
3. Yes, 3 (Very Different!) Boots That Make the Outfit
Over-The-Knee Stretch Black Boots
Not gonna lie — for a long time I was vehemently against boots with a stretch knit panel. Something about the contrast in textures/fabrics bugged the crap outta me. But then I tried on a pair, and I totally get it. These boots are pretty dang sexy without feeling like you’re trying too hard, and it all comes down to that stretch panel that allows for a snug, flattering fit (without feeling costumey — huzzah!). I loved them over every single pair of jeans I tried on. They even fit over the straighter cut Wedgies. And the thicker heel makes these a surprisingly practical option, too. So, why, yes, I will be the mom wearing thigh-high boots to soccer practice and the library and the park, thank you very much. For me, these fit TTS, though if you intend to wear a thicker boot sock, I would go up half a size.
The Red Bootie You Never Knew You Needed
OK, maybe you’ve been after a red boot all along and I’m just late to the game — but these booties, you guys! I intended to try them on in the black (also amazing), and when I got to the fitting room and opened the box — whadda ya know!? Serendipity, I tell ya, because they rocked the shit out of almost every single outfit. Absolutely love the height and angle of the shaft, too — it’s SUPER flattering on the ankle and looks very intentional when exposed, which can be a pet peeve of mine with booties. Seriously, friends: if you lead a lifestyle that allows you to rock a skinny heel, like, ever, please please scoop these up and allow me to live vicariously? Kthnx.
(Side note: For some reason I didn’t get many pics of this quirky ‘is it camo or is it leopard?’ utility jacket, but it’s super fun, much more flattering than it looks on the hanger and it feels well made. Love all the pockets, too — minimizes the need to pack a bag around at all times. Wearing an XS.)
Snakeskin (The “New Neutral”) Booties
So much to like about these booties, not least of which is the price. The lighter color of the snake print makes this truly read as almost a neutral, the dip of the cut is super flattering and elongating, the little metallic accents give a hint of rockstar flair. (Rightly so, since they’re called Rockstar Booties — duh, Emily.) I had a hard time taking them off because they looked so stellar with the majority of things I tried on. Super walkable chunky heel, too. Wearing my usual 8 sans socks; would size up by a half if I knew I was intending to A) wear socks or B) be on my feet for an extended period of time.
4. These 10 Tops Are Tops!
You guys still with me? Good, because I won’t say I’m saving the best for last, but it was real hard to part with any of these tops when leaving the store. The leopard print cami is so flattering and sexy, and yet still something I’d wear during daylight hours. I couldn’t stop pairing the striped Madewell sweater with everything (but especially those red boots — the perfect blend of casual and edgy). And that plain white T is anything but. Thinking of snagging a couple of other colors online, too.
1 // Leopard Print Camisole — so into this top. And I especially love that the lace continues on the back. (The little things!) UPDATE: The leopard print is quickly selling out, but there’s a super sweet floral that would pair up just as nicely!
2 // Scoop Neck White Pocket T Shirt — quite simply the perfect white T shirt. Slightly sheer, but it worked like a dream with a basic nude bra. And a note on the ATM Tie Dye Silk Pants — I wanted these to work SO badly, and they were especially cute with heels and a dressy shell — or, in the look above, I was wearing them with Stan Smiths (not included in the sale), much like the model. Couldn’t personally bring myself to shell out the cash, but if you’re in the market for a distinctive piece that feels like jammies, these could be a contender. Wearing an XS, but I probably would size up to the S.
3 // Teal Boxy Tee — The length of this blouse makes it so versatile. Almost a tunic, untucked — super chic. And it holds a flattering drape when tucked. Wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the color (and at this price, I would honestly need to love it), but it’s much more appealing on than I anticipated. Great workwear piece.
4 // Chunky Striped Sweater — Every time I took this off, I looked forward to putting it on again. Good sign, I say. Not at all itchy over bare skin (it’s a cotton blend), and the colors pop more in person.
5 // “Choose Kindness” Graphic T — Funny story. I didn’t realize that the words on this T are printed in a mirror image until AFTER I BOUGHT IT. (In my defense, I spent all the damn day looking into a mirror, so…) I usually gravitate toward either white or black graphic T’s, but I love the saturated, vintage colors here. UPDATE: I cannot for the life of me find this shirt online, but this is my second fave graphic T in the sale. This one with an even bolder graphic is rad, too.
6 // Cropped Champion Sweatshirt — I kinda tried this on jokingly and then, ahem, loved it. Am I too old to pull it off? Maybe. Will that stop me? Nerrrp.
7 // Knotted Olive Green Tank — Good drape, and I appreciate the twisty-knot-thing being off to the side (sometimes those ill-placed knots are just…weird). Super into olive this season, so this was a go-to.
8 // Button-Up White Linen Blouse — I have to give it to BP on this one: this feels like a much more expensive piece than it is. The linen is thick and has a nubby texture that feels robust. The buttons are beautiful, and the little details at the back and sleeve are so sweet. I was suffering from a bit of try-on fatigue at this point and didn’t get a great full-length picture, but it’s worth noting that this hit me a little higher than it looks on the model in the picture online. (Not sure I would have had quite enough to tuck.) Wearing an XS.
9 // Distressed Gray Jersey T-Shirt — When you want the feel of a graphic T without the graphics. Love the slightly sturdier weight of this, too. Also very into the little pocket (which I’m partially obscuring because apparently I can only selfie with my left hand…).
10 // Blue + White Striped Boyfriend Shirt — Another piece that surprised me. On the hanger, it looked like just another quasi-office appropriate button down, but I was surprise how weekend-ready it looked knotted, and I love the soft, casual weight of the fabric. Would get a ton of wear out of this.
Shop All My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Finds
PHEW. So that’s that, guys. It was as exhausting as everyone promised it would be, but I’m feeling pretty lucky I get to do things like shop epic sales and chalk it up to a day at the office. I’m gonna be placing an online order soon to check out the best of what’s left, so I’ll be back with updates there. In the meantime, I’m gonna take a quick nap before we hustle the kiddo off to soccer practice. (And coffee — there will be coffee.) Happy shopping!
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the team’s faves and our full NSale coverage here!
Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!