Ooooof, friends. Here we are again. Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Preview time! I’m just going to be completely transparent here, even if it makes me sound like a bit of a Debbie Downer (insert Rachel Dratch meme here) — I’m feeling real…hmmm, what’s the word? sluggish? unmotivated?…when it comes to the sale this year. With school starting (errr, “starting”) the week of the sale, I feel like my priorities and my attention are just more divided than ever. I’m trying to get excited about the deals, because there are some seriously good ones, but to really enjoy the sale when it’s live, I’m going to have to tighten up my game now. That means a wish list (below) of the items that I’m seriously debating adding to my forever closet, pending availability — and outside of that, I’m just offering my super-tightly curated picks from the sale’s most popular categories.

Casual-Chic Basics, Beauty & Home: Em’s 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Wish List

My strategy, when sale days arrives, will be to come straight back to this post, prioritizing the wish list items first, and then supplementing my cart with back-up picks from each of the categories outlined below. If you and I share similar styles, feel free to bookmark this post as a resource to do that same, and don’t forget we have an entire Nordstrom Anniversary Sale guide you can refer to, also.

Oh, and speaking of style: a little note regarding my approach to my wardrobe this coming season. I don’t foresee a lot of formal dressing, nor even the need for business casual apparel, this fall and winter, so all of my picks below skew casual. For those who need a little more formality in their wardrobe, whether it be for a return to the office or maybe even teaching classes over Zoom, all of these pieces could easily be dressed up with the incorporation of an eye-catching blouse or two, or — my favorite Zoom trick — by layering on a bit of jewelry. Literally even a budget-friendly, elevated sweatshirt looks work-ready with a layered necklace or classic, oversized hoops and kicky trousers or darker denim.

Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).

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Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

1. Caslon Leather Moto Jacket with Removable Hood // I love the look of a hoodie layered under a leather jacket. It’s my favorite way to wear mine. This has the look built-in, but the jacket alone, still has great classic moto styling.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

2. Houndstooth Wool Coat // This reminds me of my grandpa’s coat, which my mom has worn for years. I gave her a hard time about it for such a long time (“mommmm, it’s such a grandpa coat!”), but now, of course, it feels fashion-forward and timeless. This version is more tailored but still has a menswear vibe.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

3. BB Dakota Revolution Drapey Boucle Trench Coat // The perfect weight “coat” for here on the coast — and I love that the duster length feels truly autumnal without being suffocatingly warm. I’d most often use this as a chic topper for workout leggings. #realworld


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

4. Treasure & Bond Rolling Stones Graphic Sweatshirt // No explanation necessary. (OK, OK, but to make this a bit more polished, I’d put it over a button-down with those plaid trousers and white booties.)


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

5. Free People Main Squeeze Hacci Sweater // THIS SWEATER. I have high hopes. It looks so flattering and sexy without being clingy in the middle. Can be worn on or off the shoulder. NSale gold. It’s gonna go fast.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

6. Caslon Rounded V-Neck T-Shirt // My favorite tee returns! The perfect weight (not opaque, but neutral-bra-friendly); the perfect sleeve length; a truly flattering not-too-scoopy scoop that feels fresh; and it’s long enough to tuck or knot — or not. Plus classic pocket T styling. I’m stocking up. TTS.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

7. Madewell Mixed Metal Stembend Ear Jackets // I wear both gold- and silver-toned jewelry daily, so anything that mixes the two is an instant win. These ear jackets feels seriously edgy, too — and I’m hopeful that the almost-straight design means they won’t be too easily tangled in my hair, too.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

8. Tory Burch Classic T Bracelet Watch // I’ve never had a truly “dressy” watch, but because this one has mixed metals, it feels like it’d be so easy to incorporate into my daily wear. Just enough shine.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

9. Gorjana Shimmer Mini Bar Necklace // Speaking of shine, this petite necklace is just begging to be layered with my everyday Saint Christopher pendant.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

10. FRAME Le Original Ripped High Waist Crop Jeans // I still don’t own FRAME jeans, but this feels like the perfect pair with which to start. (For more on my denim strategy/preference, see the Denim section, below.)


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

11. rag & bone Nina High Waist Ankle Cigarette Jeans // Rag & Bone jeans typically fit me great — I’ve got a decent amount of booty but not much definition in my waist (I kinda carry weight around the middle) and the straighter fit through the hips and waist just…works. This light gray wash is perfection. Interested to see where the hem would hit — hoping it’s slightly cropped.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

12. Leith Ponte High Waist Kick Flare Plaid Pants // Aside from a few pairs of swishy summer pants and joggers, I rarely gravitate toward non-denim pants, but these look so easy to wear and style. They’d make almost any top look instantly more funky while having a polished, London-street-style vibe.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

13. ALLSAINTS Tierny Two-Piece Sweater + Slipdress + Set // You read that right: set. As in, it comes with both the sweater AND the dress, and I am equally smitten with both pieces. High hopes for this one (you know we love to style up a slip dress around here) — just crossing my fingers it’s available when the time comes. Under $200 for both pieces feels like a steal.


Credit: Nordstrom

14. Marc Jacobs Mini Leather Saddle Bag // I LOVE the trend of pairing a classic leather bag with a sporty webbed strap. It matches my style to a T, and this bag is no exception. The strap is removable, too, so you could easily swap in another colorway, or you could use the bag without a strap as more of a clutch.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

15. Coach Trail Leather Crossbody Bag // Apparently small-scale bags are my thing at the moment. Actually, they have been for the past five months. It’s like I either go with a giant, machine-washable tote OR a tiny, stays-outta-the-way bag for just the essentials. The top handle on this is so cute, and it looks like you should be hauling around some vintage binoculars or something. Also love the idea of swapping in a webbed or woven strap (like on the Marc Jacobs bag, above).


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

16. Adidas Swift Run Sneaker // These are a HIGH priority for me, folks. Not only because I love the patterned knit (honestly, I’d go for them in the black or white, too) but because they’re SO freaking comfortable, lightweight, don’t get stinky (I wear mine without socks for daily workouts, sweat in them profusely, and as long as they air out between wears, they don’t get funky at all). Just a good all-around sneaker that is fashionable enough for athleisure looks but also legit for activity.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

17. Marc Fisher Unno White Booties // White booties are just about the only basic color I’ve yet to add to my collection, and I love how striking they are. I feel like half the models on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Preview site are wearing white boots or booties, and whenever I see them, I instantly gravitate toward the look that much more. They’re perfectly modern and mod, and about as “cool girl” as I get. These are a great mid-range price point, too.


Em's hooking up our 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview w/ cool sweaters, classic jewelry, kicky trousers & denim (+ beauty & home).
Credit: Nordstrom

18. Paul Green Dynamic Boot // Really into Paul Green shoes since picking up my sneakers earlier this summer. The construction is top-notch, the designs are timeless and the comfort level is outta this world. These are perfectly punk rock, especially in the black patent, and feel worth the price for boots that would complement a good percentage of my existing closet.


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Denim + Trousers – Em’s Picks:

My denim strategy this fall is to stick mostly with classic silhouettes (skinny, straight, boyfriend) that I know I can wear interchangeably with almost the entirety of my closet — and all of which pair easily with both sneakers and boots. (Gone are the days of buying two pairs of the same jeans and hemming or cropping one for sneakers or flats — it’s a lovely strategy that works, but I just…can’t…) I did sneak in one pair of Veronica Beard flares, because there’s something so Almost Famous about them — and let’s face it, they’ll always be in style in a boho way — but at the core, I want jeans I can reach for without having to think too much about.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Sweaters – Em’s Picks:

Exceptionally excited about sweaters this year — especially this Vince piece that is almost identical to one I own from seasons ago that is the perfect combo of plush and sturdy. And then, on the other end of the budget spectrum is this year’s take on my fave Topshop cardi, which I wear nonstop. It’s deliciously saggy and baggy — but in a way that looks decidedly high-end. Definitely picking up a second.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Tops – Em’s Picks:

Like I said above — keeping things mostly casual, with a couple of sweet camis that, peeking out from a wrap sweater or cardi, would be easy to dress up.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Dresses + Skirts – Em’s Picks:

Hmmm, not super overwhelmed by the dress selection this year. Everything feels a little…mumsy, or maybe early 2000s wedding guest-y? Or maybe the better description is — they all feel kinda like a Zoom top…turned into a dress. Which is maybe what Nordstrom is after, in light of the times. But somehow a lot of the offerings just fall flat for me. My very few exceptions are below. Oh, and I should also mention this dress, because I think the combo of the scoopier neck and the faux leather is just perfect. Do I have a single place to wear it? No. But if you do, please let me live vicariously.

p.s. If you need some inspo for that fauc leather cognac skirt down there, I styled up an almost identical version in black in this post.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Lounge & Athletic Wear – Em’s Picks:

Still living in lounge and athletic wear like most of the world, but because I’ve actually been working out more now that we’re at home, I find that laundry day comes way too quick. Looking forward to supplementing with a couple of picks below. Especially love how light and cool these leggings sound — and this bralette is gorgeous. These cozy slippers feel delightfully cozy and Christmas-morningy, too. Thinking of nabbing a couple as gifts.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Coats – Em’s Picks:

Oh boy — I might not live in a climate that calls for true blue winter coats, but all these mid-weight jackets are my year-round bread n’ butter. Loving all the leather jackets in this year’s sale — they’ve got a moto for everyone: minimal hardware, maximum hardware — even a Goldilocks version that hits somewhere in between and comes with a removable hood. (That’s my pick.)

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Sneakers – Em’s Picks:

Kicking off footwear with, what else — SNEAKERS! You guys know I love my kicks, and some of my favorites are finally in the sale. (Some years it really feels like they choose the most random sneaker styles, but this year is pure gold.) Most excited about these (light, comfy, interesting pattern, perfect for actually working out — or not), but I know these will go fast, too — and the all-white is hard to find.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Boots – Em’s Picks:

Ok, one glimpse at this list, and it’s pretty clear I will end up with some kind of lug sole, Chelsea boot-ish something or other as a result of this sale. (Almost certain it’ll be these, in the black.) It’s really what my closet is missing most, but I’ve also linked up a few booties below that are undeniably timeless, gorgeous and affordable. These waterproof babes feel especially practical while still looking dang good.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Heels + Flats – Em’s Picks:

First off, I’m going to put a big ol’ plug in for these strappy heels, because I bought them in the gold last year, and I danced in them until 2am twice. Yes, my feet were eventually throbbing, but for a 4-inch heel, they’re exceptionally comfy. I love the black croc offered this season. (Heck, I’d snap them up even at full price.) The buckle detail on these is so playful, too, while still having a walkable, on-trend heel. And, well, these are just versatile and perfect when you want to add heels to a jeans and tee look.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Accessories – Em’s Picks:

Ahhh, accessories. There are some clear favorites here, friends. That little chain ring? SO cool — I’d love to add it to my everyday jewelry, and it’s a fair price point for diamonds (they’re but chips, I’m sure, but still…) Also loving this convertible ALLSAINTS backpack…and the details on this little top handle COACH bag are too good. Sigh.

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Home – Em’s Picks:

It’s gonna take everything in me not to immediately add all of these items on this very short list to my cart come sale day. The candles alone — I mean, I can’t be the only one burning candles like crazy, right? And that toaster never goes on sale AND IT’S FREAKING GOLD. Inconceivable!

 


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020
Beauty – Em’s Picks

Just keeping it to the essentials on the beauty front — stocking up on favorites. Ohhhh, and maybe getting totally suckered into investing in a blow-out system in the process? Classic NSale slippery slope…

 


PHEW. What a freaking haul. I still don’t know if I’m 100% in Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Mode yet, but lemme tell ya — after going through ALL of the offerings and curating a selection that feels generally less overwhelming, I’m starting to feel the buzz.

Come sale day, we’ll all be jockeying to get our carts loaded as quickly as possible so we can (safely) style up selfies at home, so be sure to let me know if there’s something above — or something I may have missed — that you’d like to see styled up in a specific way.

Happy shopping, folks.
xo,
Em

Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!

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