Shana’s NSale Try-On: Cute Jeans, Pretty Boots and…Sailor Sweaters?

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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

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.
Image source: Nordstrom

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.

coat (xs) | boots | bag

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.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

coat (xs) | jeans (2, but runs a bit small) | sneakers | bag


2. Dead Easy: FRAME Chelsea Boots Work With All Jeans

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.

cardigan | jeans | boots | purse

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.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

sweater (small) | jeans (27) | boots | bag


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

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.
The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

tee (small) | jeans (27) | boots | leopard tote | leopard cross-body | green bag


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….

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.
The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

tee (small) | jeans (27) | mules | leopard tote | leopard cross-body | green bag


C. With Jenni Kayne’s Espresso Mules

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.
The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

tee (small) | jeans (27) | mules | leopard tote | leopard cross-body | green bag


D. With Taupe Booties

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.
The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

tee (small) | jeans (27) | boots | leopard tote | leopard cross-body | green bag


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.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.
The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

tee (small) | jeans (27) | vans | leopard tote | leopard cross-body | green bag


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

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

sweater (small) | jeans (27) | mules | bag

This color is gorgeous. I’m obsessed. And the cute sailor vibes are giving me life.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

sweater (small) | jeans (27) | dotted mules | mules | bag


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.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

sweater | jeans | boots | bag


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.

This Good American knit polo is super-sexy, slouchy and really fun add to a closet. Just wear a pretty bra; it'll show.

polo (0/1) | jeans (27) | boots | bag


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

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

sweater (small) | jeans (2, but runs small) | bag

This top didn’t impress me online, but in person it’s beautiful. The shirred detail in the front is really special.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

sweater (small) | jeans (2, but runs small) | bag


B. Club Monaco’s Textured Balloon-Sleeve Sweater

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

top (small) | jeans (2, but runs small) | shoes are old | bag

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

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

bodysuit (size 2) | jeans (2, but runs small) | shoes are old | bag

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.

dress (small) | vans | bag

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….

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

dress (small) | coat (xs) | boots | bag


B. This Vince Maxi Dress Is So Flattering (Thanks To Subtle Ruching)

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

dress (small) | straw bag | slides (similar) | crossbody bag | vans

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.

dress (small) | boots | bag

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

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

cardigan (small) | levis (27) | boots | bag

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).

jeans (27) | top (xs) | boots | bag

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.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

top (small) | levis (27) | shoes are old | bag


C. Ease Out Of Skinny Jeans: Try Straight Leg Jeans (With a Slimmer Leg) Instead

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

sweater (small) | jeans (2, runs small) | sneakers | bag

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.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

TOPS: cardigan (s) | striped sweater (s) | raincoat (s) & sweater (s) | white sweatshirt (xs)
EVERYTHING ELSE: jeans (26) | sneakers | tote | crossbody


8. Let’s Play With Cute White Tops

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

tee (small) | jeans (27)

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.)

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

LEFT: long-sleeve white tee (small) | jeans (27) | boots | bag
RIGHT: white sweatshirt (xs) | jeans (26) | sneakers | bag


9. Wearing Now: Sweat Short Sets

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

top (small) | shorts (small) | similar slippers

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.

The fall pieces in #NSale 2021 -- the exciting fall boots, a swoonworthy wool coat, the most perfect LBD, Clare V bags, the Levi's jeans -- are so good, it's definitely worth shopping.

top (xs) | shorts (small) | vans

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.

Happy shopping!

xo,

S

30 COMMENTS

  1. Shana, you are soooo good!! I didn’t think I was going to be buying any jeans, tees, sweaters or boots this year until I read this! I just added almost everything to my wishlist. Thank you!!

  2. First…green looks soo good on you. I think I might have to add a green sweater to my closet this winter. Second, how do the Frame boots fit? Thanks

  3. I snagged the Clare V tote and am curious if you know of a good organizer for it. I have another one and don’t like how it collapses. Would love to find a good compatible organizer for it!

  4. Love these! That Theory coat is so beautiful!!! Did anyone try on the Sam Edelman Lex combat boots? I’m curious if they are true to size.

    • Wow – thank you for checking on this!! Basically everything you click on will set cookies – including any emails from Nordstrom. The safest bet is to click one of our links right before you checkout (literally any Nordstrom link will work). Thank you!

    • I haven’t! I keep trying to find good shearling coats, but they’re almost always too bulky. If I get my hands on this one, I’ll let you know!

  5. Great breakout, thank you! I have two questions about the Vince Maxi dress:
    Did you happen to see the rose color in person? Very curious if the shade matched the picture and how wearable it would be in fall without a tan.
    I noticed that you were wearing a size small. In Vince, I usually go for an XS since they always run big. I typically wear the same size as you so was wondering if this fit tighter than most of their things?
    Thanks!

    • I did see the rose color in person – it’s a little deeper, a little more pink. And I liked the small (rather than xs) because I liked the neckline a little lower (haha) and the fact that the top was ‘bloused’ a little more when tied. That said…the straps feel like they *might* slide off my shoulders, so I may exchange it for an XS. 🙂

    • The big leopard tote and then I’m stuck. Green or leopard small bag? It seems silly to keep both leopards, but there’s also something very simplifying about have the same print in two sizes. It makes outfit making simple. Hmmm.

  6. Awesome, post – so helpful! For the Jenni Kayne printed mules, do you have to size up? I am a 9.5 and trying to decide between the 9 and 10 if i’m able to even shag them.

    • I have the 6.5, and I’m a little closer to a 6 than a 7. They are not, however, as comfortable as my old Madewell mules, they’re just…really, really pretty. 🙂

  7. When Shana says it’s “good” it sells out fast!!! Many of your faves are completely gone already. I guess I’ll be saving some money!!

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