Welcome to the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Talk about a Shopping Enabling Event (mwahahaha)! This page, Our Ultimate Guide To The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, is the one (well, one of the ones) you want to bookmark so you can stay up-to-date on the sale. The other page to keep on your radar that is continually updated is our one-and-done cheat sheet.
We have a handy-dandy li’l table of contents here to take you exactly where you want to go.
Gang, we’ve been looking forward to The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for months. It’s both easily the best sale around, especially for those long-term investment pieces. This year when we shop the sale, we know for certain we’ll get to wear these clothes out. This year. In public. The 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens July 28th to the public, while Early Access shopping begins July 12th (but it’s a bit complicated – more on that below).
Bottom line: Prices go back up August 8th.
One good change that came out of the pandemic sale last year is that Nordstrom released a comprehensive sneak peek into the sale via the preview — an online catalog of sorts that replaces the traditional Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog. Unlike the catalog, The Preview includes, well….everything that’s going to be in the sale.
Or *almost* everything. Last year, Nordstrom was adding a few new things every day once the preview was released. And as soon as the 2021 preview goes live, the TME editors (myself included, mwahahaha) will be rounding up the fashion and beauty pieces we’ll actually be shopping and ordering, and will be dropping our wish lists, Nordstrom Looks and capsule wardrobes all week long so you can bookmark what you’ll actually be shopping as soon as you have access to the shop the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
We’ve got the answers to all your questions here, so keep scrolling.
Um…What Is The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a bit unique. Unlike other sales, which typically discount in-season or post-season merchandise that didn’t previously sell, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale offers deep discounts on pre-season items. Which means that all of the boots, bags, jeans and sweaters that you’ll be investing in this fall can be had — at a really discounted price — for a few weeks in July. Once the sale is over, the merchandise goes back up to its retail price. It’s a genius concept, really. One that I wish more retailers would copy. The sale will be a bit different this year, so keep reading.
On a personal note….I’ve been shopping this sale for years. And I’ve found, really and truly, even on the years where everything sells out, or the years that everyone complains that it ‘wasn’t as good as last year’ and even on those years when they’re right….I still ended up with pieces I really and truly do wear for years to come. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is worth the time invested.
Take a peek at what was in the Anniversary Sale last year, and see how we covered it.
NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE 2020
How To Shop The 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
So far, it looks like the biggest changes to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (aside from the preview, which we’ll get back to in a minute) will be to the in-store experience, shipping and/or curbside pick-up.
For those of us who can shop in-store, keep in mind that it may still be a slightly different shopping experience from say 2019 and before. There will still be measures in place to keep both shoppers and employees safe. This includes sanitizer stations, store ambassadors wearing face masks, well-spaced clothing racks, and plexiglass partitions. Best to shop mindfully if you’re going in-store. Face masks will still be required where mandated and for those who aren’t vaccinated, and store hours may be in flux. Nordstrom has also noted that they will be temporarily limiting the number of customers inside their stores. And that contactless and curbside pickup — that’s a welcome change.
1. When Is The 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Dates
The public sale begins July 28th, while Nordy Club members/Nordstrom credit card holders get to shop first during Early Access, beginning July 12th and continuing per the schedule below. However, a new feature this year is the preview, which goes online July 6th (it replaces the usual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog). The sale ends August 8th, 2021. Below is a rough timeline for when Nordy Club members and the public get to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
July 6: Preview (Digital. Replaces The Catalog. Open For All)
July 12: Nordy Club Icons Shop Early Access
July 14: Nordy Club Ambassadors Shop Early Access
July 16: Nordy Club Influencers Shop Early Access
July 28: Public Sale Begins
August 8: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Ends
August 9: Prices Go Up
2. Get A Nordstrom Card, Get Early Access
You don’t need a Nordstrom Card (a credit card) to shop this sale. But you do need a Nordstrom Card to shop during that critical first two weeks of the sale — Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that the best stuff typically sells out during this first “Early Access” week. (More on that, below.)
Secondly, if you are really opposed to signing up for a Nordstrom Card (and we’re not able to persuade you otherwise…) there is some value in signing up for The Nordy Club, a free rewards program. There are benefits to using your Nordy Club Card (like an extra $60 bonus note if you sign up before right before the sale, or an extra $40 bonus note good through the beginning of the Anniversary Sale, if you already have a Nordstrom credit card). You can still enroll in The Nordy Club and earn rewards points, even if you won’t get to shop during Early Access week. You can earn rewards at Nordstrom, Nordstrom.com, Rack, and HauteLook…but…I’ll say it again: you won’t be able to shop Early Access without a Nordstrom Card.
3. Schedule Your Bonus Points Day For The First Day of The Sale
One of the smartest things you can do is schedule your Personal Bonus Points Day during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Just check that baby online during checkout at Nordstrom.com. You can earn 3 points per dollar spent if your status is Ambassador or Icon, and if you have Influencer status you can earn 2 points per dollar spent.
4. Follow The Mom Edit For The Best of The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Year after year, our approach to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is to try and make it easier for you to shop. We narrow it down to only the best stuff — the stuff you really will wear and use all year long, the stuff we’ve personally tested for comfort. We start shopping on the very first day of Early Access (Icon level), and cover this sale…pretty much everywhere (we’re all over social media) so the best way to get our recommendations is to follow us on your favorite social media channels, and subscribe to our daily newsletter. We typically send one newsletter per day (and never share your email), but for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, we’ll be sending out a special edition you don’t want to miss.
And as I mentioned earlier, this year we’re trying to be even more intentional (and mindful) with our own coverage, and are coming out with special capsule wardrobes and outfit formulas for all different styles and lifestyles.
NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE 2021
5. Check Out The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Preview
The 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has an online preview that will drop on July 6th. Unlike the Before Times when we received a catalog, we’re now able to browse the preview and save items to our wish lists in our Nordstrom accounts. Check out the articles linked below to see how we cover the sale; and bookmark this page to return to when it’s your turn to shop. And if you love our coverage and want to support it, please be sure to come back to our articles and click our links before you check out. THANK YOU.
Of course I’ll be doing my usual #DressingRoomSelfies thing, and we’ll update this page with more comprehensive picks once the sale opens…but these things take time (genius can’t be rushed, haha). We are publishing wish lists as soon as the Preview is published – as well as those capsule wardrobes, so those are all good places to start. May the force be with us.
6. What About The 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Catalog?
In a bittersweet twist to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale we’re used to, there is no Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog for 2021; it went away in 2020. For nostalgia’s sake, find our 2019 Anniversary Sale catalog picks here to get the gist. But, as noted above, the preview has replaced this bit of magazine-style goodness.
7. Go For Early Access To Shop The Sale As Soon As Possible
I cannot state this enough: the best pieces — the stuff we really want, really will wear — typically sell out during that first week. Highly anticipated re-stocks have been few and far between. A few readers have gotten lucky waiting for returns to come back into stock…but most have not. Your best bet is to shop the sale as early as possible. Once again, this means shopping (with your Nordstrom Card) during the first Early Access week of the sale.
8. The Best Way To Shop The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Online
If you’ve ever wandered into a Nordstrom during the Early Access sale…it’s a zoo. Historically, even when pieces are theoretically in stock in-store, chances are they’re stuck in someone else’s dressing room. Despite the gaggle of helpful staff Nordstrom has on hand during the sale, it’s a grueling shopping experience. That said, 2021 is a different year, and the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale likely will be a different shopping experience. The good news is that Nordstrom’s online inventory is completely synced up with their in-store inventory, so if the website says that it’s sold out online….it is, in fact, sold out everywhere. Shopping online also means taking advantage of free shipping, one of the best perks of shopping at Nordstrom. If you don’t love the idea of packages sitting on your doorstep while you’re at work (hey, Philly)— or uh…playing camp counselor all day— you can pick up online orders in-store or drive-thru/curbside!
Another perk (again, we don’t know how this plays out in 2021): if the items you’re crushing on are in-stock at your local store, Nordstrom will deliver them to you SAME DAY for only $15 ($20 in NYC) — historically. Check to see if same-day delivery is available for your local Nordstrom store here.
9. Buy Sale Items With Huge Sell-Out Risk First
Seems obvious, right? But how does one know which items are at risk of selling out? Well. I’ve been doing this shopping thing for more than 10 years now (crazy, right??), and after a decade of covering this sale, I do have some thoughts on this subject. As soon as the preview hits, we will start rounding up our favorites ( as well as make a few predictions)–which you will eventually be able to check out below. But for now, here’s what I know:
– Don’t worry about Kids’ or Men’s. The sell-out risk pales in comparison to Women’s.
– If you like brands like VINCE, rag & bone and Nike…you really need to shop that first week. These pieces almost always sell out.
– Statement athletic wear (like the really cute leggings from Alo, for example, and that matching sweatshirt) rarely last past that first week. Snap ’em up!
– Nordstrom brands (Treasure & Bond, Halogen) tend to be better stocked than non-Nordstrom brands…the exception being Nordstrom Signature Collection. If there’s a cute cashmere sweater in the actual sale, don’t hesitate. In years’ past, they’ve been some of the best cashmere sweaters I’ve owned.
– Nordstrom just released a brand list (kinda a sneak peek situation) and we’re excited to see many of our favorites are back like: Zella, Nike, UGG, Vince, Barefoot Dreams, True & Co, AllSaints, Veronica Beard, Charlotte Tilbury and La Ligne. AND we’re getting over 100+ new brands in this year’s sale! Anyone else excited to see Jenni Kayne, Dyson and Club Monaco on that list?
10. Don’t Rely On Re-Stocks
In years’ past, Nordstrom would reserve a decent amount of merchandise for the public sale. Which meant that even if something sold out during the Early Access week, there was still a chance to score it during the public sale. This is no longer true. Don’t bet on a restock, even for public sale.
However, this also means that if there’s something you can’t live without…buy it in multiple sizes, just in case. It’s much better to send back what you don’t want than to totally miss out. (But do the rest of us a favor, and send it back before the sale ends, OK?) Also, we got a reader tip during Facebook Live last year: If you love something, but need to exchange for a different size that’s not in stock during the sale, hold on to it, tags on, until the end of the sale. Once the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is over, and items are restocked at full-price, you can make your exchange and keep your discounted price.
11. But Don’t Give Up On Returns
This year – since more people will be shopping online – many sold out pieces may come back into stock as returns get processed. Since online shoppers tend to buy more than one size, it’s reasonable to think that a larger number of items will be returned. So if a piece is sold out in your size, I think it’s worth stalking, this year more than past years. It may come back as a return.
12. Avoid Being Overwhelmed (We Can Help)
That’s (hopefully) why you come here. We Do. Alllllll. The. Research. All the #DressingRoomSelfies. All the “Best of” lists. All the “Best of what’s left” lists.
We do it all…for the entire length of the sale, with contributors literally from coast to coast. We try stuff on, wear it around, make sure it actually works for our everyday lives, and blog the heck out of it. You can view our coverage from the 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale below to see how we do it. And don’t forget to keep up with us here, at our Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Guide.
The Best Items In The 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
If you’re curious what we were snapping up last year, this section is for you! Once the 2021 preview is out in all its glory, we’ll be updating this section with all our new favorite things!
The Best Jeans In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Denim is kind of our thing. And omg does this sale have A LOT of good choices. If you’re part of the straight leg denim gang, these Levi’s Ribcage Jeans might be worth a peek. If skinny jeans are more your style, the Nina Skinny Jeans from rag & bone and the Raw Hem Crop Skinny Jeans from FRAME are two of our faves.
The Best Blazers & Jackets In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Honestly a blazer can boss-up an outfit and be a pretty flexible closet piece. Pop this Plaid Boyfriend Blazer from BB Dakota over a graphic tee for a more polished look. If a more Zoom meeting friendly blazer is what you’re after, peep this amazing Gibson Notch Collar Blazer or this Schoolboy Stretch Blazer from J.Crew.
The Best Leather & Faux Fur In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Kiiiind of excited about all the jackets this year. I mean this Avec Les Files Star Print Faux Fur Coat…need we even feature anything else? Topping any outfit with a leather jacket (like this one from AllSaints) really channels some tough mother energy. Maybe that’s what we need for the rest of this year? Or we continue with the cozy vibes from quarantine and wrap up in this Sam Edelman Faux Shearling Moto Jacket.
The Best Coats In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Kinda excited for the chill to roll back in with fall just so I can start rocking a mean wool coat. Anyone else favor fall over summer? I know I personally will be stalking this Pendleton Double Breasted Wool Blend Coat to perfect my pumpkin patch pics this fall. If a puffer is more your style, check out this Sam Edelman Hooded Puffer. And if a raincoat is what you want, definitely peek at this one from Barbour.
The Best Cashmere In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Cardigans In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Our cardigans may not be seeing much of the light of day, but popping one on over some pajamas counts as a full outfit. Right? Right. That being said, these still work great over denim and a classic white tee. Our faves right now? This Rib Cashmere Cardigan, this Madewell Madison Side Tie Cardigan, and this Cardi Coat from Thread & Supply.
The Best Sweaters In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
A go-to piece right now is a good sweater while boppin’ around the house. If I’m feeling really wild I even zip up some skinny jeans and put on socks. Who says you can’t look cute just for your own damn self? There’s a few sweaters we’re stalking including this Cowl Neck Sweater, this Stripe Crewneck, and a Neat Stripe Cotton Sweater from La Ligne.
The Best Tops In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
A big category to be sure, BUT we’ve combed the digital racks to find the best, from graphic tees to swingy blouses. We’re gonna be spreadin’ a little positivity in this Better Days Will Come Tee, working a bit more color into our lives with this Free People Catch Me If You Can Top, and rocking this Smocked Blouse with the buttons down the back.
The Best Pants In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Judging by our list, faux leather leggings are IT this year. There are so so so many good ones featured, but we’re definitely going to be keeping an eye on these Vince Leather Zip Leggings. The Nordstrom Sale is also a great time to freshen up your work-drobe. Take a peek at these Leopard Print Crop Flares from J.Crew or…ooooooohhh these Halogen Tie Waist Houndstooth Pants!
The Best Skirts In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Dresses In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Plus-Size Fashion In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The selection is SO GOOD this year for plus sizing and we couldn’t be happier. I mean this piece is literally called Amazing Cozy Wrap Jacket (and it’s accurate. It looks amazing). The NSale is a good time to snap up some really nice new denim like the Good Legs High Waist Crop Skinny Jeans or maybe grabbing a blazer like this Plaid Blazer from Treasure & Bond.
The Best Loungewear In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Athletic Wear In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Intimates In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The NSale is a great time to stock up on a few basics, intimates included. Maybe it’s even a good time to treat your booty and get some buttery-soft Hipster Panties or…y’know…some zebra action? If you’re in the market for some support for the girls, we suggest checking out this Cherry Blossom Convertible Underwire Bra or this.
The Best Boots In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Boots. I think at this point we could consider them a pretty big part of our brand. We love a good over-the-knee boot, maybe something a little more slouchy like this Derika Leather Boot. Oh, ohhh or something a little more edgy like this Laurie Combat Boot. And don’t forget our love of hiking boots like these Ellendale Water Resistant Hiker Boots.
The Best Booties In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Shoes In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Sneakers In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Sneaks. Need we say more? Honestly the love of our lives in our closet. They’re comfy, stylish, and are best for chasing kiddos around. Whether a simple running shoe or a statement sneak is more your style, the sale has you covered. Definitely check out these Star Zebra High Top Sneakers, and these Air Max Dia Running Shoes.
The Best Heels In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Slippers In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Accessories In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Jewelry In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Listen, we’re all suckers for a little sparkle and sometimes you just have to treat yourself. After scanning through the preview we found some favorites that are worth wish listing for sure. Keep an eye on these Taner Bar Chain Earrings, this Cayne Crescent Plated Pendant Necklace, and these Arc Wire Earrings.
The Best Bags In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Beauty In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
The Best Makeup In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
We’re gonna be paying close attention to what makeup Scotti is picking up from the NSale, but we do know that some faves are this Plump Lips & Sexy Lashes Duo or this Pillow Talk Lip Secrets Set from Charlotte Tilbury.