All right, guys…the time has come! Another year of bringing home ALL the good stuff from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to see how it plays together, and most importantly how all the pieces actually feel and look on my body — sizing, fit, itchiness, stretchiness, true color…all the important things.
After seeing and trying tons of pieces in person today, there has definitely been a lot of back and forth — and then again back and forth…and then even more debate in my head — trying to figure out how I really feel about this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale selection.
There are pieces that I’m VERY excited about as well as several pieces and shopping categories that have some caveats. Quite a few items looked WAY better in person than they did online, and there are good buys on some classic closet pieces. We know these Zella joggers are tried-and-true (I own three pairs). I was also not surprised that these Veronica Beard wide-leg jeans (that I own and love in another wash) are magic. This bag is the BEST shade of happiness (EVER!). These boots are even better in person…and these little under-$20 accessories are total wins (so fun!). All good stuff.
Battle Of The Cardigans, The Best Wide-Leg Jeans & More Must-Haves: An NSale 2022 Try-On
As I said…there are some definite caveats to some of the pieces I was most excited to try in person. Nordstrom’s Signature cashmere hoodie is now only 89% cashmere, this tote bag is too small, and some of the Vince pieces are more expensive than I would like for them to be. More wins and caveats below.
1. But First…These Boots & Bags
These stacked heel suede boots are by far my favorite of the entire sale. From well-known and respected Aquatalia, they’re waterproof, a beautiful shade of tan, easy to get off and on, look good with all the denim, AND are comfortable and walkable!
boots | jeans (29)| hoodie (XXS)
The thing with Aquatalia shoes is, they don’t have the super-cushiony footbed that a lot of my fave comfort brands do, but they are designed exceptionally well. Their engineering creates the perfect distribution of weight, so I don’t mind not having the cushion. I’ve worn multiple pairs of Aquatalias in the past and have never been disappointed. High-quality and timeless. TTS, but if you want to wear thick socks with them in the winter, I’d consider sizing up half a size.
I had to try them with my most-worn denim (not in the sale) just to make sure, and yep…I’m sold.
blazer (XS) | tee (s) | jeans (29) | boots | bag
So…this is the section of the post where I SHOULD be talking about how much I adore alllllllll the Clare V. bags in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Every year I style pretty much every cardigan in the sale with a variety of playful, unique and special Clare V. bags. Sadly, not this year, friends. I didn’t like ANY of them. They’re just…well….they’re strange! The material is not like any Clare V. I’ve owned. They feel plastic-y, and the colors are either too shiny or too dull. You can see the difference between my high-quality white Clare V. Moyen Messenger with woven leather that actually feels like leather (and is actually woven) compared with the Clare V. embossed leather belt bag that’s weirdly plastic-looking and shiny — not a real weave…just looks like a weave.
green clare v. | white clare v.
Instead of Clare V., I went with the Dagne Dover this year, which — turns out — I couldn’t love more and is under $60!
2. The Cardigan Edit
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every year, for me, is about cardigans. There are always tons of delicious, designer, high-quality options included, and it is often my goal to try them ALL and report back. So here’s my entire cardigan edit!
A. Vince Cardigan Coat
coat (XS) | top (XXS) | jeans (6) | sneakers
When I went in store this morning, I instantly fell in love with this Vince cardigan coat. The longer lines are different from anything I own, and the stretchy, soft material reminds me of the Thread & Supply cardigan coat I got in the sale two years ago. If you remember, though, that one was under $50. So this is where I am: I love this coatigan… I love the stretchy, comfy feel. I love the drapey, not-too-structured lines, and this type of cardigan in tan or beige gets worn on repeat in my fall day-to-day. The big question, though: Is it worth $350? I don’t know. For me, I’ll likely keep it — my under-$50 one now looks a bit rough. I’m in need of a great replacement, and this one fits the bill. I know it will be worn daily…but I’m also comparing it with the Eileen Fisher Wool & Cashmere coat I try next.
coat (XS) | sweater (XS) | jeans (28) | bag | boots
B. EILEEN FISHER Wool & Cashmere Coat
coat (XXS) | top (XXS) | jeans (6) | sneakers
This is the big cardigan decision of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Is the EILEEN FISHER Wool & Cashmere coat BETTER than the Vince Cardigan Coat? They serve the exact same purpose, so one definitely does not need both.
First, let’s talk about sizing… I’m wearing the XXS and it’s still big. Definitely size down by at least one from your regular sizing…maybe two, if you’re going to try it. In comparison to the Vince coatigan, I do like the swingy shape. It’s reversible (which is kind of amazing) from the warm honey (which I’m wearing) to a muted gray. Both coats are unlined, which I don’t mind, because neither of the blends were itchy on my skin.
The hood and pockets are huge pluses on the Eileen Fisher coat, and even though it’s slightly less expensive than the Vince coat, the material (less stretchy) looks and feels more polished, but the Vince is cozier for sure. ‘m leaning toward the Vince…or maybe the EILEEN FISHER…or…
coat (XXS) | tee (S) | top (XXS) | jeans (28) | black jeans (29) | boots | crossbody bag
C. Vince Sweater Blazer
cardigan (XS) | sweatshirt (XXS) | jeans (28) | boots | crossbody bag
What a surprise this gem was! It’s great! The same soft-and-stretchy feel as the Vince longline coatigan, but in a shorter, more tailored blazer style. I don’t do real blazers, but I would TOTALLY do this.
cardigan (XS) | sweatshirt (XXS) | jeans (6) | sneakers | crossbody bag
D. Vince Classic Cardigan
cardigan (XS) | tee (S) | jeans (28) | boots | crossbody bag
No surprises here. Vince does classic cardigans very well. This year’s version, which also comes in Coastal (navy), is very classic…bordering on a bit boring? Even for me? But with the addition of a fun bag or an interesting dark stripe underneath, this classic cardigan could be a total closet workhorse.
E. EILEEN FISHER Corduroy Jacket
jacket (XS) | sweater (XS) | jeans (28) | bag | boots
I’m not a huge denim-jacket person, but sometimes cardigans don’t give me enough structure for the look I’m going for, so that’s where the “soft jacket” comes in. Similar cut and structure as a denim jacket but in a cotton or stretchy, soft material. I love when a designer like Eileen Fisher does one of these “soft jackets” because I know the fabric will be high quality and look beautiful in person.
This corduroy one doesn’t disappoint. The fabric has a subtle sheen, and the oversized fit gives it just the right relaxed feel. I’m wearing an XS here and wish I would have been able to try the XXS. I like that there’s room to layer big sweaters underneath, but I’m thinking there might still be room even if I’d sized down.
jacket (XS) | sweatshirt (XXS) | joggers (S) | jeans (6) | sneakers | bright bag
3. The Best Jeans In The Sale: Veronica Beard Wide-Leg Jeans
Ahhh….the Veronica Beard “magic” jeans. I’ve been talking about these guys for a while now. I own these Veronica Beard jeans in another wash, and they magically make every top look amazing! I’m usually a 28 to 29 in most denim, and I went with a 28 in these. They were snug in the hips and butt at first, but they ease in nicely, and yes…they work with pretty much every top in the sale.
top (S) | jeans (28) | shoes | white bag | white top (S) | bright bag
top (S) | jeans (28) | shoes | bag | sweater (XS)
4. If You Want To Splurge…
tank (S) | jeans (29) | booties | bag | coat (S)
Who’s looking for a splurge? My two top splurge picks are this A.L.C. snuggly faux-fur coat with the A.L.C. 100% silk halter tank. Both are wildly luxurious. These selfies do not come even CLOSE to doing this ALC faux fur jacket justice…I have it in the brown-and-white color block from this past fall, and you can see the plushness of the material better in this post. The white (or natural) feels even more versatile and could easily take you into all the holiday looks. I’m thinking there’s a sequin cami that is BEGGING to be worn underneath this guy.
A word about the fancy halter tops in the sale. I tried the halter from Theory, the halter from FRAME and this halter from A.L.C. — A.L.C. wins. Drapey 100% silk that feels worth the splurge for its timeless style.
tank (S) | jeans (28) | booties | bag | coat (S)
5. What’s New With Zella?
tee (S) | joggers (S) | sneaker (similar) | fanny pack
Lots apparently! Or at least to me! Let’s start, though, with what’s NOT new. These joggers that I proudly own in three different sizes. I wear the XS as leggings, S as fitted joggers and M as slouchier joggers. They’re the best and under $50, and as my most-worn joggers, it makes sense to own multiples.
And now for the new! Beautiful BLUE! These joggers feel like Vuori and Zella had a baby! So super-buttery-soft but just a bit more substantial feeling than my Vuoris. And that blue color! So fun. Especially with some of Zella’s new cute and comfy tops. Lots of mixing and matching to be had with all of these.
funnel neck pullover (S) | joggers (S) | sneakers (similar) | fanny pack | crop sweatshirt (S) | tote
6. A Modest Day Dress For All Seasons
This is kind of a ridiculous title, but I’ve been needing a dress that will work for various occasions where I need to be on the more modest side. Covered shoulders, longer length…you know…”appropriate.” This is it! I’m so excited about this find. I feel like this Rails smocked-waist floral dress is going to work for all of these occasions and all.year.long!
dress (XS) | tote | sandals | boots (similar) | tie cardigan (S)
dress (XS) | tote | boots (similar) | crop jacket (XS) | belt bag | cardigan (XS) | sweater
And that’s it! For now. What are we thinking as a group about the cardigans in this year’s sale? Any great ones I missed? I took a quick look at the budget-friendly ones in the store and wasn’t terribly impressed, but I’m hoping to go have another look and will definitely be putting together some budget-friendly coverage as the sale continues. Let us know what you guys are loving and hating…always fun to compare notes.
Don’t forget! Our 2022 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale cheat sheet is updated daily. It’s your one-stop shopping guide with all our best recs, so check it out or head over to our more in-depth Ultimate Guide To The NSale.
Re the Vince shaker stitch cardigan: Do you own (or have you seen in person) the Jenni Kayne cashmere fisherman cardigan? If so, how would you say they compare? I’ve been eyeing the JK version for a while but can’t quite pull the trigger on that price tag. The Vince version is a lot more reasonable at the sale price…if they compare.
Sorry. I meant the cocoon cardigan.
I’ve tried both on! And while I agree they look similar in photos, IRL they are dramatically different pieces. The Vince cardigan has an almost classic fit – just slightly longer than hip length, not fitted, but not oversized either…while the Jenni Kayne has a decidedly oversized, drowning-in-cashmere kind of feel. In fact, as much as I love Jenni Kayne’s, it’s a little too long for me. That said, if something like the Jenni Kayne is what you are looking for, you’ll likely be disappointed with the Vince.
If your budget was $1500 and you wanted a complete outfit (shoes, jeans, top, sweater/jacket) for a casual mom which prices would you go with?
That’s a fun budget to play with!!! For me, my favorite look and the one that I will likely be wearing the most this fall is the very first one in the post. The black cardigan-blazer with my go-to most-worn jeans (not in the sale), a striped tee, the Aquatalia boots, and the Dagne Dover bag. It’s an easy outfit formula for me to follow and I like the look and all the individual pieces to wear in other combinations as well. The striped tee I’m wearing is nothing special…I like it, but you could easily switch out any neutral stripe. When I think about what I’m truly looking forward to wearing this fall from what I brought home yesterday…it has to be those 2 Vince cardigans (the sweater-blazer and the coatigan)…they’re just so comfy and very much match my personal style. In making one go-to complete outfit, I would splurge on a coat (or top layer) you absolutely love and jeans you absolutely love first, and then fill in the rest. Have fun!!!
I saw the Free People Calabasas clog peeking out in a few photos–what are your thoughts on those as a fellow comfort-shoe person?
Oh my gosh, Alice…I love that you noticed the clogs! Yep…they’re peaking out. I’ve only worn them around the house so far, but they’re more comfortable than I thought they would be. Usually I prefer a back strap, but they’ve been staying on my feet just fine. Comfortable and supportive footbed… no red flags yet. I was a smidge disappointed in the look of the brown suede. I’m getting a bit snobby about my clogs and the suede doesn’t look as high quality as I want it too. I’m guessing the black looks better (black suede I think is easier)…or the taupe leather. But no one else would notice the suede thing I think….just me, probably 🙂 I have a close-up photo coming up in my next post that will hopefully come on the blog sometime tomorrow!
What are your thoughts on the Rag & Bone sneakers? I had my eye on the cognac pair.
Hi Meg. I’m torn on the Rag & Bone sneaks. I LOVE the style, and I do feel like they make every outfit I pair them with look a bit more stylish and current. They aren’t overly comfortable, though…they definitely feel like fashion sneaks (not trainers)…they’re not very cushiony or bouncy. For fashion sneaks like these, though, I just put a pair of supportive “SuperFeet” in them when I wear them and it helps tremendously. The colorways and style of the Rag & Bone sneaks are SO good, that I think I AM going to keep them. I think I’ll be happy this fall with a super stylish sneaker option. I LOVE the cognac too. A lot of the colors have already sold out, but I’m guessing some will come back in stock with returns…sometimes things reappear after the sale too.
Thanks so much for this post! It helped me decide on a few pieces that I had my eye on including the Vince stripe tee, AllSaints sweater, and Rag & Bone sneakers. I laughed out loud at your “modest day dress” description but can completely relate as a mom in my 40’s. I love the black leather boots that you linked to in the Nsale. Have you found a similar style in a lower, more walkable heel? I can’t wear anything higher than 2.5 inches!
Oh I’m so glad it felt helpful! I have definitely NOT found a replacement/similar style that I love for my boots. I got mine from a thrift store YEARS ago, so who knows how old they actually are…they’re cracking and the inside is flaking off and I definitely need a replacement, but can’t seem to find what I’m looking for. I also would like a lower, more walkable heel so I could wear them more often, but still want to keep that vintage-y feel. I was hopeful for the AllSaints boots in the sale, but realistically the heel will be way too high for me to wear regularly. I’ll comment back on here if/when I find some this fall in my search. Thanks, Grace, for reading!
Thank you so much for the advice, I really appreciate it! I think I’m going to do the Vince Coatigan for sure, I like that it can go with dressier or casual looks. I really appreciate your point about focusing on a coat and jeans. I’m 4 months postpartum so finding jeans that fit well and I’m comfortable in is probably a good idea. Then I’m thinking the Aquatalia booties and a few less expensive sweaters and shirts. Maybe the Rag & Bone tennies and Zella joggers. Eek. It’s so hard! I’ll need to try stuff on and see what works. Thank you again for your help!
You’re SO welcome. Definitely throw the Zella joggers (the black or the new blue ones I tried) in there…and good luck with the jeans! That’s the hardest part for sure…ESPECIALLY postpartum. But when you find them, it makes getting dressed SO much easier.
Thank you for all your coverage!! What do you love about the Vince tees? I’m having trouble understanding what’s worth that price point for tshirts so I’m guessing I’m missing something.
Hi Laura–I totally get it. It’s a LOT for a t-shirt. And the t-shirt itself…sure it’s soft and it fits well, but there are a lot of other t-shirts out there that are soft and fit well too. And I will say that I WAS disappointed in the stripes in general in the Nordstrom sale this year…the Vince are good and I know I will wear them and get a lot of use out of them, but they aren’t as good as previous Vince stripes. For me…it’s all about the Vince colorways and the Vince actual stripe design. I am picky about my colorways and the thickness and patterns of my stripes. For day-to-day, I generally like neutral-ish colorways with a pop of some type of interesting (but not TOO bold) color. So for example, I have a hard time wearing just a straight black and white stripe…it’s a little too harsh, but the charcoal and cream/beige stripe from Vince that I got last year has the same vibe, but is just a bit softer and easier to wear. Madewell a lot of the time has stripes that I like that are much more budget-friendly, but not every season. I told another reader, as well, that although I do own and like Madewell stripe tees, the Vince, Rag & Bone, and Veronica Beard ones tend to stay in my closet and my rotation for MUCH longer. Could be that I just take better care of them b/c they’re more expensive….that’s a definite possibility, but I tend to also not get as tired of them as easily..I think often b/c of the slightly more unusual colorways and stripe patterns. As I said, this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary sale was tough with stripes…not a ton of good ones, but as I find more budget-friendly ones (most likely from Madewell) when their fall line come out, I will ABSOLUTELY post about them. Thanks for writing in! Always so good to hear what questions you guys have. 🙂
Thanks Linzi, I appreciate the thoughtful reply!! I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts on the Madewell tees.
Just FYI, the Vince cardigan is actually a 70% wool 30% cashmere blend (at least in the coastal color). The Nordstrom description is wrong. I was super disappointed when it arrived.
Gah! I just saw that. Boo!!!! Looks like they changed the description now but agreed… such a bummer. Thank you so much for the catch, Julia. Looks like they have moved to mostly blends for the sale which is definitely disappointing.I personally don’t mind blends but I definitely wish they continued to have more 100% cashmere options. Thanks for writing in.