Well, well, well. Here we are again, folks, trying on wool in July! Clearly, it’s Anni Sale time.
Despite the preview period, I went into Nordstrom this morning, not really knowing what to expect. Several of my top picks had disappeared from the sale, others weren’t available in store (they’re on order, but haven’t yet arrived), and I didn’t find any big, cozy sweaters to love in the preview. I found the selection of jeans to be confusing (high-rise, mid-rise, low-rise, skinnies, flares, cropped flares, straight leg, bootcut are all represented), and I didn’t really have my eye on any new and exciting fall boots.
But I’ve learned over the years that looking at something online is often a very different experience than seeing it in person, and that seemed to be especially true for this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
So The Best Items In Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Are…
This year’s sale doesn’t seem to have the depth of previous sales — at least not in stores. It turns out that there is a pair of new and exciting fall boots in the sale…but unlike years past, I found one clear winner. That said, many of the pieces I did find — that exciting pair of fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect little black dress, Clare V bags, the Levi’s selection — is so good it’s definitely worth shopping. And I did find some fun little closet adds in the form of black date-night tops that will get a ton of use.
Start Here: The 2 Most Useful Pieces in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
I’m going to talk about both of these items much more below, but if you are short on time, just go and snap up these FRAME booties and this Clare V bag (also available in a small crossbody style). The boots are the most gorgeous shade of tan I’ve ever seen, and look amazing with light, dark and black-wash jeans. And this particular leopard print on the Clare V bag is one of the most neutral I’ve encountered. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something it doesn’t work with.
1. Worth The Splurge: Theory Wool Hooded Statement Coat
This coat, gang. THIS GRAY COAT. It’s made from wool and cashmere, and has the most amazing drape. It’s super-soft (not even a hint of itchiness, even on bare skin) and is simply…delicious. It’s also really pricey (even on sale), but it’s the kind of investment piece you’ll have forever.
I also appreciate that it works over cute little dresses…but is boyish enough to pair well with jeans and sneaks, too.
2. Dead Easy: FRAME Chelsea Boots Work With All Jeans
Brands are FINALLY getting the memo that booties, these days, need to have a higher shaft. And these FRAME booties are a stellar example. They’re comfortable and sleek, with a shaft height high enough to cover your leg in a cropped-denim situation. They’re also the most beautiful shade of tan (almost peach, really) which turns out to be THE best pairing with light-wash denim. They’re light-wash denim’s nude sandal — supremely versatile.
And they look good with dark denim, too.
3. Which Clare V Bag To Choose?
The question we’ve been getting is this: If you could only choose ONE Clare V. bag…which one would it be and why?
I typically ignore this question because it’s hard and hurts my brain. I, too, am asking myself the same. So let’s figure it out: My typical method to solve this equation is to try the bags on with all of the shoes I wear most. And since I wear a white-tee-and-jeans, like, 90% of the time (except winter) I started there.
A. With FRAME’s Tan Chelsea Boots
B. With Jenni Kayne’s Giraffe Print Mules
ps. These shoes are beautiful, but not as comfortable as I had hoped. They do, however, feel as though they might break in. But am I willing to break them in? Hmmmm….
C. With Jenni Kayne’s Espresso Mules
D. With Taupe Booties
E. With Vans
No, my checkered Vans aren’t in the Anniversary Sale, but I wear them a ton and wanted to test ’em out with the bags.
4. A Fresh Update To Jeans & A Sweater
Gang, this is easily my favorite sweater in the entire sale. It’s 100% slouchy cotton, and so freaking good I might…I might actually keep both colors. I can see myself wearing it a ton this summer (over a bikini!), well into fall with boots, and even slipping a turtleneck underneath for winter. If you need ONE piece to make your jeans-and-a-sweater combo feel more fresh…it’s this one.
A. La Ligne Half-Zip Sailor Sweater
This color is gorgeous. I’m obsessed. And the cute sailor vibes are giving me life.
B. La Ligne Bastien Stripe Half-Zip Sweater
La Ligne always does a really good stripe, and this is no exception. Ugh, the glorious drapiness. Wow.
C. Good American Polo Shirt
Polos have been attempting a comeback (a fact I’ve been steadfastly ignoring) until now. This Good American knit polo is super-sexy, slouchy and really fun add to a closet. Just wear a pretty bra; it’ll show.
5. The Easiest Date Night Outfit (Black Jeans, Black Top)
Once the weather gets colder, my going-out outfit formula (whether I’m going out with friends or my husband) is jeans and a fancy black top — something kind of special. And if I’m feeling really fancy, I wear my special black top with…sexy black jeans. If it works, it works.
A. FRAME’s Recycled Cashmere & Wool Cropped Sweater
This top didn’t impress me online, but in person it’s beautiful. The shirred detail in the front is really special.
B. Club Monaco’s Textured Balloon-Sleeve Sweater
I haven’t worn Club Monaco for years. I had forgotten how high-quality it is for the price. This top was a pleasant surprise…love how the tailoring gets the shoulder seams perfectly right.
C. Good American Bodysuit
I was disappointed with the lack of 100% silk tops in the sale…but if you are going to do with polyester, make it an affordable stunner like this one. This bodysuit looks much more expensive than it is — peep those sleeve details.
6. These Black Dresses Only Look Fancy
A. The Cutest LBD (Is a Fancy T-Shirt Dress)
This little black dress from Club Monaco is such a win. It’s made from a comfy ribbed fabric (much like a ribbed tee), and has decidedly Reformation-esque vibes…but for under $100. Easily something I can wear now…but is substantial enough to be dressed up for fall….
B. This Vince Maxi Dress Is So Flattering (Thanks To Subtle Ruching)
This is Vince’s glorified t-shirt dress. Just like last year’s version, this one is also made from a substantial t-shirt fabric, and has a magic belt — not a normal belt — a magical belt that involves ruching and sewing and is verrrrry forgiving. Love it.
C. So Cozy: Theory Cashmere Maxi
This Theory cashmere dress is so warm and cozy…but sexy, too. I love that the dress looks fitted, yet is a far cry from bodycon. The slit is also a nice touch — shows off a great pair of boots.
7. The Jeans To Wear This Fall
A. ’70s Vibes: Levi’s Ribcage Jeans
First of all, I “hemmed” these jeans. With scissors. So if you are taller than my 5’3-ish inches, rest assured that there is plenty of fabric for longer legs. In any case, these jeans are great. I love the wash, the extra-high rise and the wide legs. Such a fresh denim update for fall. Like Levi’s 501s, I found that these jeans run small; size up one.
B. Cute Ankle Crop: Levi’s 501s
I’m still not over my beloved Levi’s 501s. And this light wash is perfect. Like always, size up one (and yes …I cut the hem off of these jeans as well). Happily, there’s a really cool dark wash in the Anni Sale as well.
C. Ease Out Of Skinny Jeans: Try Straight Leg Jeans (With a Slimmer Leg) Instead
The biggest challenge to moving past skinny jeans (at least for me) has been trying to figure what to wear with my sporty, practical pieces. All jeans look cute with heels and pretty top…but which jeans work with sneakers, sweatshirts and raincoats?
The Good American jeans (above) have that slimmer straight leg that makes this transition easier, but they’re still made from a non-stretch denim. If you are trying to ditch your skinny jeans but aren’t a fan of rigid denim, PAIGE Cindy straight-leg jeans (see below) are bizarrely soft — like pajamas — and they work with those sporty, practical pieces. Fit is TTS.
8. Let’s Play With Cute White Tops
I’m constantly wearing the heck out of my basic white tees, so when a special one comes around I get pretty excited. And this Veronica Beard tee is a good one. That said, there are few other white tops that came home with me because…OMG. Because I’m turning into my mother. (Scotti, remember how much we made fun of Mom because of all of her white tops??? HALP.)
9. Wearing Now: Sweat Short Sets
How cute is this?? It’s floaty and pretty and very…airy. Mike will love it. The other set is almost the polar opposite, but I love both.
That’s it for me, guys! As I mentioned, I do have a few things on order but honestly…I’m thrilled with the pieces I ended up with, despite my initial misgivings. I swear we go through this same rollercoaster every year. Trust the process, I guess.
Hope this was helpful, and let me know if you have any questions on these pieces — or others. Between the whole team, it sometimes feels like we’ve tried on everything….And the best place to see everything is our ultimate guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – all you want to know about sale, all the good stuff like our wish lists, reviews, top picks, etc., For the simple, get straight to shopping guide, see our cheat sheet.
And please remember, if you want to be sure to support us throughout the sale, be sure to click a link from one of our posts before you shop and check-out. We realllly appreciate it.