Linzi’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Try-On: Easy, Elevated Basics (That Aren’t Boring)

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Effortlessly stylish closet staples  — you know, the really good stuff you wear on repeat— is what I gravitate to year after year when shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. In fact, I literally have a whole section of selfies focused ONLY on black sweaters…and another that focuses ONLY on gray coats!

This year, however, in addition to the tried-and-true basics, I surprised myself by coming home with some modern, on-trend pieces as well – not just the classic styles! But don’t worry…I didn’t venture THAT far from my jeans, sweaters, and cardigan-coats (aka my usual fall uniform) – everything is still very much “me” – but I’m excited about the fresh twists on my typical fall essentials.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchase I’m likely going to get the MOST use out of this fall? This guy in the darker color (‘nocturne’). So pretty in person, I love the way it feels on, and it’s a classic style I know I’ll wear for years. Make sure to size down.

Your Fall Basics, But Better: Luxe Jackets & Coats, Sweaters, Denim & More In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Okay…before we get started with allllllll the selfies….here are a few takeaways.

  • This coat (I tried three of them in my selfies) makes every single outfit look so ridiculously chic —basically like magic.
  • The chic (but still super comfortable) sneakers I brought home in two colors.
  • If you’re tired of your LuluLemon belt bag… get this instead. I have it in another color and am thrilled to be adding this really cool new one to my closet as well.  
  • I apparently can’t shop the NSale without coming home with the latest version of this . So soft and cozy…every.year. And gets worn a TON.
  • This under $45 top is adorable…and super adjustable.  

Top 3 Outfits (For Now…)

A: Oversized Plaid Coat + A Striped Sweater

coat (xs) | sweater (sold out…alternative stripes here) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) | bag | booties

I fell in love with this oversized plaid coat as soon as I tried it on (especially with stripes underneath). The fit feels totally fresh, and I was surprised that it didn’t totally swallow me up (as a 5’2 gal). Also…I’ve found my black wide-leg jeans for fall. They’re comfy with just enough stretch, and are somewhere in-between a straight and wide-leg. 

B: Cropped Puffer Vest + Jeans

vest (s) | top (s) | jeans (29) | bag | sneakers

My top pick from Zella this year! This vest feels like you’re wearing a cloud… super light and pillowy. I liked it over workout clothes, but I actually think I’ll get the most use out of it over jeans and long sleeve tees.

C: A Gorgeous Wrap Coat

coat (s) | henley (s) | jeans (28) | bag

Gah…these Soia & Kyo coats you guys! They were a favorite last year in the sale, but sold out SUPER fast, so I was thrilled to see new versions in this year’s sale. These wrap coats truly make every outfit look more polished and chic. 


Choose Your Gray Coat For Fall

Base: top (s) | jeans (29) | bag
Top Left: Eileen Fisher (xs) | Top Right: Nordstrom (xs) | Bottom Left: Vince (m) | Bottom Right: Nordstrom (m)

So….I may have gone a little overboard on the gray coat situation in this year’s sale. But there are SO many good ones, and I genuinely couldn’t decide on just one… or even just two. I’m still deciding, but would love your feedback in the comments if you have a favorite! 

Here’s the details of each one:

1: Eileen Fisher Snap Front Oversized Cotton Jacket

jacket (xs) | sweater (s) | (sold out…alternative stripes here) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) | bag | booties

Eileen Fisher’s 100% cotton fall jacket is actually a really cool black and white weave, but it reads charcoal gray. I love a good cotton jacket, but this one has a particularly nice weight to it..not flimsy at all.

left: jacket (xs) | top (s) | jeans (29) | bag | flats | right: jacket (xs) | henley (s) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) | bag | booties

Designed with clean lines (of course…it’s Eileen Fisher) and a classic style, it’s one that would live in my closet for years. XS is plenty roomy for me for an oversized fit.

2: Nordstrom Glen Plaid Oversized Coat

coat (xs) | sweater (s) | (sold out…alternative stripes here) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) | bag | booties

This is the coat I think I’m MOST excited to wear this fall. It’s a real coat (not my typical coatigan), and feels modern and fun. This coat runs a little big – I’m typically a size small in coats, but the XS fit me perfectly. 

left: coat (xs) | sweater (xs) | jeans (28) | bag | flats | right: coat (xs) | top (s) | jeans (29) | bag | flats

Rag & Bone has a similar, 100% virgin wool coat that is twice the cost, but this Nordstrom coat feels great on. (I’m also worried that the Rag & Bone would be too heavy.) 

3: Vince Spread Collar Fuzzy Wool Coat

cardigan (m) | sweater (s) | (sold out…alternative stripes here) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) | bag | booties

Vince calls it a cardigan, but it’s definitely more than just a cardigan. I’d say this piece is a coatigan for sure. And it’s a coatigan that I can’t bring myself to leave in the store Every. Single. Anniversary. Sale. I have several versions of it, and they all get worn.I don’t have this gray, though…and it’s good. I typically wear a small, but this year I went with a medium.

left: cardigan (m) | sweater (xs) | jeans (28) | bag | flats | right: cardigan (m) | top (s) | jeans (28) | sneakers

The Vince coatigan is often the top layer I grab as I’m walking out the door because it’s especially soft and comfy with an easy stretch to it that makes it especially appealing. 

4: Nordstrom Double Breasted Marled Knit Coat

coat (m) | sweater (s) | (sold out…alternative stripes here) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) bag | booties

I wasn’t planning on picking this one up (I had enough gray coats and coatigans in my dressing room), but this double breasted knit blazer is way better in person than I thought it would be. Nordstrom brand is kind of killing it this year with the elevated basics!

left: coat (m) | top (s) | jeans (29) | bag | flats | right: coat (m) | henley (s) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) | bag | booties

This jacket reminds me of some of my J.Crew coatigan favorites, but with a more interesting shape and tailoring. Similar to the Eileen Fisher jacket, it has a black marled fiber that reads as charcoal. 


Cute Wide-Leg Jeans

The jeans were a win this year for sure! All very comfortable, and each with a nice variation on the wide-leg jean. 

1. Mother Dodger Ankle Jeans

tee (xs) | jeans (30) | flats | bag

These are the jeans Shana and I both liked.  I don’t do barrel jeans, but the MOTHER Dodgers have *almost* a gentle barrel shape. Kind of if wide-leg jeans (which I love) and barrel jeans had a baby. I sized up one size ( to size 30, as I do for most 100% cotton MOTHER jeans) for a relaxed, comfortable feel. I’m still playing around with how I’ll style them, but I definitely like them with flats and an oversized tee.

2. Paige Anessa High Waist Wide-Leg Jeans

left: sweater (xs) | jeans (28) | shoes (tts) | bag | right: top (4) | jeans (28) | shoes (tts) | bag

These Paige jeans were a surprise hit. I’m typically so committed to MOTHER denim as my designer jean brand, but I came home with two pairs of Paige jeans this year. These have the perfect amount of stretch and I loved that at 5’2 they’re the right length for sneakers without hemming. I sized down one full size.

3. Mother Twister Sneak Wide-Leg Jeans

top (s) | jeans (29) | bag

No surprises here…I always love a wide-leg MOTHER jean. These look pretty low-waisted on the model, but as you can see on me they’re actually mid to high rise. Comfy, stretchy, but suuuuuuuper long…so they will need hemming or hacking. These fit TTS.

4. Paige Sasha High Waist Jeans (in Black)

left: sweater (s) | (sold out…alternative stripes here) |  jeans (sold out…alternative here) | shoes | bag | earrings | right: top (s) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) | shoes | bag

Yep, I’ve found my black jeans for fall. The wash is just right, they hit exactly where I want at the waist, they’re stretchy, and have a sleek wide straight leg cut. Win. These fit TTS.


My Favorite Sweater In The NSale (Is Eileen Fisher)

sweater (xs) | jeans (29) | shoes (tts) | bag

I’m not sure these photos do this sweater justice, but it’s probably my favorite piece in the sale. Or at least the piece I think I’ll wear the most. 100% cotton, soft and swingy, and has the most beautiful boucle texture. Also….the dark nocturne color is fabulous. Size down.

left: sweater (xs) | jeans (28) | shoes (tts) | bag | right: sweater (xs) | jeans (30) | flats | bag


The Best Black Sweaters & Cardigans In The NSale

I said I was covering all the really good closet staples, right? So I obviously have a whole section dedicated exclusively to black sweaters and cardigans. Is there anything that gets worn more? 

1. All Saints Oversized Mock Neck Sweater

sweater (xs) | jeans (28) | bag | shoes

This slouchy sweater is a long-time favorite – it’s been a regular in the Nsale, and I love that it’s so soft and easy to wear. It’s the kind of brainless sweater I can throw on with anything. The mock neckline isn’t too tight or constricting, either. This sweater runs a bit big – I’m wearing an XS. 

2. Vince Black Cashmere Sweater

sweater (m) | jeans (30) | shoes | bag

One of the few 100% cashmere sweaters in this year’s sale, it’s a beauty. Feels lovely to the touch (as Vince cashmere does) and has a really great fit – shows off the shoulders without being too tight in the arms. I typically wear a small, but sized up to a medium for a little more room. 

3. Vince Wrap Cardigan

sweater (s) | jeans (29) | shoes | bag | earrings

Although this wrap cardigan is very pretty, it felt too precious for my lifestyle. If I worked in an office on the daily, though, I think it would be amazing.  I’m wearing a size small here, but wish I would have tried the medium. 

4. Eileen Fisher V-Neck Wool Cardigan

top (s) (sold out…alternative stripes here) | cardigan (xs) | jeans (29) | bag

This Eileen Fisher wool cardigan is exactly what you’d expect from Eileen Fisher: elegant, chic and simple. It’s a great classic closet workhorse. 

5. Zella Sweatshirt Cardigan-Coat

left: top (s) | blazer (s) | jeans (29) | shoes | right: top (s) | blazer (s) | jeans (28) | shoes | bag

While technically not a sweater – it’s actually made from a sweatshirt material – this piece is cozy and surprisingly chic! Runs big, though, so size down. 


A Cropped Puffer Vest

vest (s) | top (s) | jeans (29) | sneakers | bag | earrings

The Zella cropped puffer vest is one of my favorite purchases from the sale. It’s super light, airy and feels like wearing a cloud. I’ll definitely wear it over workout clothes, but I think I’ll likely wear it the most with jeans.  

left: vest (s) | top (s) | jeans (sold out…alternative here) | boots | bagearrings | right: vest (s) | hoodie (s) | pants (m) | sneakers | bag | earrings

Wearing my typical size S in the Zella vest. Also….do we like these Free People pants on the right? Not totally sure about them yet, but they are lightweight, kind of fun and different, and I think they’d probably be perfect for dance class. 


Soia + Kyo Coats

coat (s) | top (s) | jeans (28) | boots | bag | earrings

These coats, you guys…these magical coats. They were a huge hit in the sale last year and I was thrilled to see new versions return in this year’s sale. They truly make even the most basic of outfits look chic and put-together. I’m wearing my typical small above and it fits, but if you want to layer this coat over thick sweaters, size up. 

left: coat (s) | jeans (29) | boots | bag | earrings | right: coat (s) | jeans (29) | bag | earrings

Such stunners….like the black coat above. My typical size small fits, but again, if you want to layer over thicker sweaters, size up. 


Lole Rain Jackets

left: coat (s) | top (4) | jeans (28) | sneakers | bag | earrings | right: coat (m) | top (4) | jeans (28) | sneakers | bag | earrings

I bought both of these jackets earlier this year (not on sale), but they’re totally worth full price. They’re fantastic. Lightweight, packable and perfectly oversized. I’m wearing an XS in the olive, and a S in the black. I like both fits, so there’s definitely wiggle room with sizing.


Four Fresh Pairs of Shoes

I was all about the sneakers in the sale this year…

1. On Cloudmonster Running Shoes

sneakers

My favorite running shoe… I desperately need a new pair, so I was thrilled to see them on sale. The best price I’ve seen. The other colorway is even more fabulous. 

2. Marc Fisher Block Heel Bootie

boots

Remarkably comfortable while still giving nice height for full-length, wide-leg jeans. I like that the toe isn’t too pointy, but still feels modern. 

3. Dolce Vita Metallic Buckle Ballet Flats (in Silver)

flats

Initially I thought these were uncomfortable, but as soon as I loosened the top buckles to the second to last size setting, they were great!  Cute and fun.

4. rag & bone Retro Court Sneaker

sneakers

Actually REALLY comfortable. They have a built in ortholite footbed that’s cushiony and supportive.  The sand color will definitely be more versatile and practical, but I’m super excited to play around with the blue color.


That’s it, guys.

An ENORMOUS thank-you to Lori, our personal shopper at Nordstrom King of Prussia, for helping Shana and I with our in-store shopping excursion. If you’re local to Philly, Lori is the absolute BEST! 

For updates on my most recent articles, top picks from the sale, and more selfies as I get more stuff in…check out my “Linzi Page”.

-Linzi