Hey, Gang! It’s that NSale time of year where the team & I spend many, many hours trying on, testing out, debating, and ultimately narrowing down to a solid selection of items worth considering from the 2023 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. As always, I (we?) have several strong opinions.
First of all, the big takeaway from this year’s NSale is that the denim section is fire. So much so that we’re breaking my usual try-on article into two parts: Part 1 is this one, and Part 2 — available now!! — will be alllll denim.
In addition to an unbelievable denim selection, the NSale came out with some surprisingly fun athleisure too — pieces that feel really fresh and on trend — as well as [cue the applause] pants.
So, if you’re looking for cute jeans, try Part 2, The Best NSale Jeans (& How To Wear Them For Fall), or if you want more NSale content, check out our guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (updated daily). But if you’ve been feeling like you need a break from those jeans…
On-Trend Pants, Shorts &…Skorts? For When You’re Sick Of Jeans: A Nordstorm Anniversary Sale Try-On
There’s no doubt that pants — whether chinos or trousers or parachute or cargo — are going to have a major moment this fall. While I’ve been struggling to redefine my everyday uniform in general, I’ve been flirting with the idea of pants. Ideally, I’d love to try swapping in a pair for my jeans (i.e., styling them with sneakers) for a fresh, easy look.
OK, some rules for this try-on: While there are plenty of cute sneakers in this year’s NSale…I still like my adidas sneaks better. So for most of these outfits, I’m either wearing my adidas Sambas, Gazelles or Gazelle Bolds. Frankly, they’re pretty interchangeable with each other, but these sneakers do feel fresher than all of my others — highly recommend for an easy wardrobe refresh!
Secondly, I don’t like any of the bags in the NSale. So any bag you see pictured is one I already own (NOT in the sale).
Lastly, if I’m wearing a strappy black tank, it’s not in the Nordstrom sale. (I just wear them 90% of the time, so it’s my go-to for try-ons.) The pants have gotta work with what I’ve got, ya know?
1. Move Over, Joggers: Zella Cargo Pants
If you’re getting a little sick of the usual joggers, Zella’s parachute pants are a fun option. They run a little long (I’m just under 5’3″), so I had to cinch them in a bit, but they look especially cute with flip-flops and low profile sneakers.
While I don’t love the waistband of these Zella pants nearly as much as Athleta’s Trekkie Parachute Pants, I like the color of these pants far better than the darker tan of Athleta’s.
I love pant that go with easy cotton tops. And this Nike sweatshirt has been one of my faves for 4+ years — so happy it’s back in the sale — and that 100% cotton Free People tee is just as good as I’d hoped.
2. But If You Still Want Joggers: Zella Cargo Joggers
Just when I thought I was ready to move on from this jogger shape…Zella added cargo-pocket details AND a color that’s seriously chic. There’s almost a black thread woven through this army green — it’s really, annoyingly good. And yup: These are Zella’s usual lightweight & soft fabric.
3. Surprisingly Good: Zella Utility Shorts
Syd & our video team published a video of our NSale try-on…and they Photoshopped me into Lara Croft, Tomb Raider — ha! ‘Nuff said, I think.
In all seriousness, the entire team is surprised by how good Zella’s utility shorts are. They’re fashion-y enough to be worn every day (or date night??), but one could actually hike in them — they’re technical shorts, after all. Just really, really cool ones. I’ve found them to be a liiiiitle sheer. Not bad, but you can see a hint of black underwear if you’re really looking, so it’s best to stick with nude.
Ummm..don’t miss Farm Rio’s pink graphic tee. It’s my new fave. And that ivory long-sleeve tee from Zella is actually a technical tee, not a cotton one. It’s suuuuuper-soft (and a little sheer). I really like it — the line detail elevates it quite a bit. I kinda want the gray too.
4. Okaaay: Zella Tank & Skort Set
I literally cannot believe I like a freaking skort, but you guys…I LOVE IT. It’s flirty, cute, and just the thing to wear to the park with the kids, or to play tennis, or school drop-off, or WHATEVER. I couldn’t decide between the two colors, so allow me to style them up, and WE WILL SEE.
Zella’s Skort Set In Green
Gahhhh, I mean this is cute, right? Even with legit running shoes (oh — these On shoes are the only sale sneakers I picked up) and a sweatshirt jacket — worn open OR closed. Also: Peep the cord bomber jacket below. I don’t want to overstate, but I think it’s one of the best buys of the whole sale.
Zella’s Skort Set In Black
The black is just as cute, and super-chic for a monochromatic moment. WHAT DO I DO, GUYS?
P.S. I love that preppy little quilted jacket from Barbour. Definitely need to play around with styling it up.
5. Old Favorites, Updated: Nike Sweatshirt & Shorts Set
So, I wear this Nike sweatshirt allllll the ding-dong time. I bought it and the matching shorts 4+ years ago and have found, recently, that the old shorts don’t quite fit high enough nor are they roomy enough. I’m thrilled (thrilled!!) to see that Nike addressed those very issues with this iteration. (And we’re also not going to stress that my washed-1000-times-sweatshirt is a slightly lighter color than the shorts.)
6. The New Jeans: Veronica Beard Trousers With Sneakers
THIS. This is the uniform I want to play around with: tee, sneaks, trousers. And if you’re tall, don’t fear — I had to tape these hems up….oh gosh a good six inches? Yeah – the trousers run long.
If I were going into an office, I’d think about adding a blazer to this exact outfit. FRAME’s cropped blazer is gorgeous and would do nicely:
Of course, in my regular life, something practical like this Rains waterproof jacket is more my speed. I’ve been wanting to try this piece for ages — it’s seriously cool and such a fun statement. The shine is pretty special (yet not over the top).
7. On-Trend Western: Veronica Beard Trousers & Cowboy Boots?
Cowboy boots are such a huge trend right now, and I love styling them with very non-Western pieces. Which is why I love the trousers, wool coat & cowboy boots.
8. Power Pants: Veronica Beard Tie-Waist Chinos
Gang, if nothing else…these flare pants from Veronica Beard. They’re so freaking gorgeous and can be worn in an office setting, but they’re honestly just khaki pants. I’m debating where to hem them (hence the pooling on the ground), but I’m leaning toward hemming for sneakers. That said, they’re such Power Pants, I miiiiight need a high-heels moment. Hmmm.
P.S. This ribbed tank top is another fave from the sale — can you see the corset detail??? SO GOOD.
9. Cooler Than Khakis: Vince Wide-Leg Pants
These Vince pants remind me of khaki pants, but they have almost a workman-like vibe, thanks to the oddly durable material and cool back pockets. They’re very menswear-inspired and in a tan color that matches no other brown/tan/camel I own…which means they go with alllll the browns/tans/camels.
While I do love how these pants look with heels & boots, I’ll likely spend most of my time wearing them with…yup: sneakers.
It’s like a twist on the basic jeans-and-a-tee.
And since I’ve been flirting with color lately…seriously this Farm Rio tee. OMG.
10. Only Look Expensive: BP Parachute Pants
If you want to try some of these new silhouettes without a huge $$ commitment, these BP pants look much more expensive than they are. They don’t, however, drape all that nicely, so you really want to be the right height for these pants (taller than me, haha).
I’m still looking for my perfect pair of olive cargo/parachute pants, but when I find them, I play to style them exactly like this: a sleek base layer with a cozy, longer top layer. Love the combination of tough/sophisticated.
The long-sleeve tee above is a cashmere blend that’s suuuper-soft, and this Vince cardigan-coat is one of my very favorite purchases in the sale. I was pleasantly surprised by these Marc Fisher boots too — see the contrast wood sole? Love it.
Coming up next? DENIM.
A HUGE thank you to Lori at KOP Nordstrom! We love working with you – your help is beyond appreciated!!