Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 – How To Shop This Year’s Sale


I know, I know.  It’s only June.  But the 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is around the corner — just a few weeks away, really — and there are a few solid strategies worth putting in place now, since this sale has proven to be a wardrobe game-changer, year after year.

Um…why do we care about this sale, again?

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 discounted price — for a few weeks in July/Aug.  Once the sale is over, the merchandise goes back up to it’s retail price.  It’s a genius concept, really.  One that I wish more retailers would copy.

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 end up with pieces I really and truly do wear for years to come.  This sale is worth the time invested.

A Strategy For Shopping The 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

1.  Get A Nordstrom Credit Card

You don’t need a Nordstrom Credit Card to shop this sale.  But you do need a Nordstrom Credit Card to shop during the first week of the sale.  Nordstrom calls this part of the sale, “Early Access“, and it’s basically when all of the good stuff sells out. (More on that, below.)

2. Shop As Early As Possible

Mark your calendars:  Early Access is from July 12 – July 19th, 2018.  On July 20th, the sale will open to the general public, and run through August 5th.  (We’ll update our 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale page with our top picks as soon as we freaking can, to help with this part.  Bookmark that bad boy.)

3. 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.  With each passing year, however, the restocks seem to dwindle.  And last year, there was very little that was re-stocked during the public sale. So 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?)

4.  Shop Online

If you’ve ever wandered into a Nordstrom during the Early Access sale…it’s a zoo.  Even when pieces are theoretically in stock in-store, chances are they’re stuck in someone else’s dressing room.  Despite the army of helpful staff Nordstrom has on hand during the sale, it’s a grueling shopping experience.  The good news is that Nordstrom’s online catalog for the Anniversary Sale is completely synched up with their store inventory, so if the website says that it’s sold out online….it is, in fact, sold out everywhere.

The worst days to shop in-store will be July 12, 13, 14, 15….and July 20 and 21st.

5.  Buy the stuff with huge a 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 blogging thing for ten years now (crazy, right??), and after ten years of covering this sale, I do have some thoughts on this subject.  Which leads me to my next point….a few predictions.

NOTE:  Don’t worry about kids’ and men’s.  At least not initially.  The sell-out risk pales in comparison to Women’s.

What To Buy At The 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

(My Predictions)

I must preface this by saying that I have no real idea of what will be part of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale this year.  I have no inside source, no actual hints — the catalog just dropped (and it never shows the full set of what’s in the sale).  So.  These are just my predictions of this year’s sale, based on what I’ve seen in years past.  I can’t obviously link to products that don’t exist yet, but I can link to the brand.  The way works is that once the sale goes live on the site, the Anni Sale pieces are typically listed first.  So if you want to use this as a shopping guide during the early hours of the sale (and you SHOULD)….click on any of the links below and — if I’m right – the Anni Sale item will come right up.

Kate Spade’s Comfy and Cute Take on a Sneaker/Moc/Bootie

For the last couple of years, Kate Spade has completely rocked the comfort shoe situation at the Anni Sale with one perfect shoe.  And each year, the pair (whether sneaker or moccasin-bootie) has promptly sold out. Last year, it sold out in a day.  And was never restocked.  So.  Once the sale goes live, I strongly suggest starting here: Kate Spade footwear and looking for the flat bootie or sneaker.

UPDATE:  This year’s version is NOT GOOD.  The braiding rubbed on my ankle, and the whole shoe made me look like Peter Pan.

Nordstrom Signature Cashmere Sweaters

Nordstrom’s in-house line of cashmere sweaters are some of the best cashmere I’ve ever owned.  They’re expensive, but completely worth it (I even machine wash mine), which is why I love stocking up on these guys at the Anni Sale.  These sweaters are — quite simply — the cornerstone of my winter wardrobe.  I predict that this sale will have at least one of these delicious cashmere sweaters.  So.  Once the sale goes live, try finding a Nordstrom Signature cashmere sweater here.  Most sizes of these sweaters didn’t make it to the public sale last year.

NOTE:  Wondering about Vince sweaters?  There’s always a few in the sale…but I’ve been a little underwhelmed the past couple of years. In general, I think the Nordstrom Signature line is a better bet.

Unnecessary But Statement-Making Outerwear by Treasure and Bond

I‘m spilling all of my secrets here, but one stop I’ve learned to make on the Anni Sale train is Treasure and Bond.  There’s typically one seriously fun statement-making piece.  One year it was an oversized, sleeveless moto vest (still in my closet, holla!), and last year?  That fun kimono.  This piece is decently affordable, and usually perfectly executed, so it’s no surprise to me that it tends to sell out quickly.  Once the sale goes live, give Treasure and Bond’s outerwear a peek.

Nike Anything Will Sell Out

It’s a fact.  Sweatsuits, workout bras, sneakers — if it’s Nike, it won’t last.  I think we can safely expect some sneakers in the sale….but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for something cozy, too — or maybe a cool jacket.  Once the sale goes live….try browsing through both Nike shoes and Nike workout clothes.


Wear-Everywhere Shoes by Vince

There’s typically some pair of Vince shoes that everyone goes nuts for in this sale.  Last year, it was the loafers, the last two (three?) years, Vince sneakers.  If, by some sort of miracle, you happen to find Vince’s sneakers boots in the sale (pic below), don’t hesitate.  They’re some of my most-worn (and most complimented) footwear.  Once the sale goes live, browse through this Vince shoes link – the Anni sale stuff should be at the top.

UPDATE:  Vince High-Tops are back!!!

Fingers Crossed For This James Perse Sweatshirt Blazer

Admittedly, this is a long-shot….but this exact blazer has been part of the Anni Sale for the last two years, so here’s hoping.  It’s by James Perse, and is, technically, a sweatshirt. But looks like a well-tailored blazer, and is another one of my most-worn pieces, even two years later.  Once the sale goes live, check out the James Perse section with your fingers crossed.

High Hopes For The North Face

I’m betting that there will be something really good from The North Face in this sale.  Nordstrom did a pop-up collection with the brand earlier in the year, so I can’t wait to see what shows up in the Anni Sale.  North Face’s Laney trenchcoat (pictured above) was part of the sale last year….but the sell-out risk wasn’t high — it made it through most of the public sale before selling out.  Instead, I predict that there will be one seriously chic sweatshirt or fleece — something cute and cozy — that will sell out quickly.  Once the sale goes live, The North Face women’s section is totally worth a look.

Can We Hope For This Rebecca Minkoff Backpack?

I’ll bet that there will be some handbag-fabulousness from Rebecca Minkoff in the sale.  Most likely it’s Minkoff’s Julian backpack, which has reached a place of honor among team TME for its practicality and looks.  But….I’m really hoping that Minkoff’s latest Blythe backpack (pictured above) will be part of the sale. The brand has been churning out new backpack designs for the last couple of years, but none have taken off the way the Julian did.  But this one…..I think it’s the new Julian.  Another engineering marvel — wearing it helps to keep it closed, it’s super comfy even when full, and the side-zip is actually a pocket (making it easy to grab your phone/wallet/whatever) – it’s defintely going to be my new go-to all year.  If nothing else, there will be some sort of patterned Leo clutch or small gorgeous cross-body in the Anni Sale.  Once the sale goes live, check out Rebecca Minkoff handbags and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Don’t Forget The Denim

It’s virtually impossible to predict which pair of jeans will be the winner in the Anni Sale…but once the sale goes live, I’d start by browsing through AG Jeans.  They’re my most-worn, most-comfortable jeans, and I always pick up a pair during the sale. Most pairs of denim last through to the public sale, but there’s always one pair that sells out quickly.  New to Nordstrom is the GRLFND label, and I’m wondering if they’re joining in the Anni Sale madness. Once the sale goes live, I’d click this GRLFND link and see if we get lucky.

Reformation, We’re Rooting For You

Nordstrom recently started carrying Reformation, and I’m seriously hoping that the timing wasn’t a coincidence.  If there’s any Reformation in the Anni Sale, I predict the sell-out risk will be sky-high.  Reformation is similar to Topshop (which does have a huge presence in the sale) but….I like it even better.  So.  Once the sale goes live, peruse Reformation here, and don’t hesitate.


That’s it!  If past years are any indication, there will be plenty of good finds (and a few surprises), but the above list contains the pieces that I think will sell-out quickly, should they be in the sale.  Fingers crossed.




  1. There is usually a Barbour quilted jacket and it sells out fairly quickly, sometimes Veronica Beard hooded blazer is included (depends on if it is a “cute” one or an ugly one haha) and that sells out quickly, some colors of the Barefoot Dreams circle cardigans can sell out during early access. James perse jersey dresses. I buy a sh*tload, return a semi-sh*tload and always keep a handful of new favorites.

  2. I had read your post on the James Perse blazer, but it was sold out when I tried to buy it (I was on vacation!) But, I happened to go to Nordstrom when I got back and someone had returned it in black in my size. I jumped on it immediately. LOVE it. Thanks for that recommendation!

  3. Last year I was able to go into my Nordstrom’s and they let me browse the entire inventory of the sale on their computer and complete a preorder. Then on the day of early access they placed my order and bam I was done. As I recall their were some things that I didn’t see during the browsing on their computer or when the sale opened they had a different color but in general I had a stress free shopping experience and got everything I wanted 🙂

  4. I am a little embarrassed to say how much I love the Anniversary Sale. My friend and I even have a dedicated savings account that is auto drafted each paycheck just for our annual Anniversary Sale shopping. Shana- I am also entirely dependent on your postings about the sale, since, for what ever reason, it is very, very difficult for me to decipher from Nordstrom’s website, what the clothes actually look like. Everything online looks reminiscent of a 1988 Spiegel catalogue. So Shana, no pressure, but we NEED you and your dressing room selfies!!!!!

  5. Enjoyed this post, thank you!

    Oh my, this sale. It’s a love-hate thing, mostly because the sale tends to be on everyone’s feed for a solid month. That being said, I’m still going! I like to make an appointment and see/feel/try stuff on. I have super fond memories of doing this with my mom (she passed away a few years ago) so it’s still a must for me.

    I do think that it’s important to make a list of wardrobe gaps – the things you need, etc. I’m not so much about stocking up as I am about “fill in” and “refresh.” I bought a lot of stuff last year (oh the madness) and I’d say 70% went back. I kept a couple of sweaters that I ended up never wearing (the Halogen that tied and an asymmetric thingy that never looked right.)

    The BEST item was actually a gold/tiny diamond necklace that you recommended, which I didn’t need (there goes my “buy only what you need” advice), but I LOVE LOVE it haven’t taken it off since August 🙂

    TOTALLY agree with your “ignore the men & kids!” I also ignore lingerie and workout stuff – I can get that at NRack anytime for even less! Chic blazers, investment bag, great denim and skincare tools are on my list this year. I’m also crossing my fingers the GloPro microneedling kit is included!

    Super curious….TME team and readers…what item(s) last year did you regret purchasing?

  6. Same here!! My friends make fun of my Anni sale budget. A little bird at the store said the catalogue goes up online this week. I’m planning to make a wish list.

  7. Love this post! So hoping that the items you included above will be there. I got the catalogue in the mail and was underwhelmed by the offerings this year 🙁 Fingers crossed!

  8. Fingers and toes crossed that a Rebecca Minkoff backpack makes the sale lineup!!! What size Julian do you have…medium or large?

Leave a Reply