I have to admit, I was initially prettttty underwhelmed by this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. All of the pieces I was first drawn to, the ones that I know with certainty I will love and wear, seemed rather uninteresting. And all the interesting stuff seemed rather…well. I don’t want to say ugly (I do want to say ugly), but not at all practical for what I’ve got going on these days.
And then I realized that in a glass-half-full world, everything in that first camp, no matter how uninteresting it may seem, is also steadfastly reliable. And isn’t that exactly what we’ve come to expect from the NSale? Better-than-basics from a limited run of well-known brands — and maybe a few wildcard pieces at a price that makes them feel worth the risk? When I think of it that way, there’s more than enough in this season’s sale to get my adrenaline pumping.
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Wish List: Down-To-Earth Tones For A NorCal Capsule Wardrobe
So here’s most of what I’m eyeing after a first pass of the sale. Unsurprisingly, it skews decidedly casual — kinda Northern California coastal, with a good dose of neutrals and earth tones. But still with a couple of pieces that’ll shake things up. Like these ALLSAINTS Jogger Trousers. They’re so different from anything I own, and yet they seem like they’d be really fun to style up with my existing wardrobe.
And I’m already wishing I would have included a chic pair of flats in this roundup, too (I did add a couple to my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Shoe Edit, below) — maybe one of the Jenni Kayne slides. These calf hair mules are gorgeous, but it’s almost guaranteed I’d wear this espresso suede mule more. (Still holding out hope that Nordstrom continues to add pieces in the coming days, and that one of those pieces is in the Jenni Kayne sweater category. Fingers crossed.)
Note: Click through the image below to quickly shop everything pictured.
All my picks below, plus my tightly curated edits of everything in the sale (sweaters, dresses, shoes, accessories, activewear, beauty, you name it…).
This Plaid Long Shirt Jacket seems like it would be the perfect weight for NorCal — and despite the fact that it’s a shirt jacket, it reads “coat” enough that it could be dressed up a bit, too. Love the warmth of the black/brown plaid, and the texture keeps it from looking too polished.
This BB Dakota Waterfall Lapel Knit Coast is too cool. Trench details — but soft and drapey. Would be instantly chic over just about anything, but I don’t feel like I need an occasion to wear it. Ideal.
Hoodies are my favorite thing to layer under coats and jackets in the fall, and yet I still don’t own one in the cashmere camp. The team has had good luck with Nordstrom house brand cashmere, so I’m hopeful this Signature Cashmere Hoodie is up to par.
The proportions on this Line Rita Quarter-Zip Pullover look so dang good — it could be worn with skinnies or leggings, but it’d be a cool and easy choice with straighter jeans, too. And the high collar will look great layered under a coat. Super cozy.
I have a feeling we’re all going to gravitate toward this trusty ALLSAINTS Roll Neck Sweater. The asymmetry makes it one of the more interesting (but still versatile) pieces in the sale, and it’s available in a few cool colors. Would be a fun one to dress up a bit, too.
There was a similar cami in last year’s sale. Easy, affordable, pretty. The pintucking on this year’s version makes it feel a bit more special when you’re wearing it alone.
Whoa, so many cool Daydreamer band tees in the sale this year — it was hard to choose just one. In the end, I always find myself reaching for darker, vintage-inspired tees. And it’s hard to beat Queen. (I usually size up to a Small in Daydreamer for a little slouch.)
I put this Good American bodysuit in my Top 3 picks for the Anniversary Sale. It’s just the perfect, low-maintenance base layer for sweaters, which I wear year-round around here. The warm hue is pretty enough to wear on its own, too.
Wondering if I’ll wish the hood was detachable once I get this in my hands, but for now, I’m really into the pop of emerald green. (Maybe years of wearing my Stan Smiths has me reading green as a neutral when paired with white?) Just have a feeling I’d wear the heck out of this Levi’s Hooded Zip Jacket on the coast.
Ah, black denim. Such a wardrobe workhorse. These are called straight leg jeans, but they look like they kick out just a bit, don’t they? Most of my black denim is worn or distressed, so I’ll calling this more polished wash “necessary.” Heh.
As mentioned above, extremely intrigued by the silhouette of these ALLSAINTS joggers. Total departure from anything I own, and yet I can see them being surprisingly versatile to style.
Awh, I was hoping there’d be a few washes of rag & bone Dres in the sale, and it did not disappoint. (See them all here.) This is easily my most-worn style of jeans over this past year — and these, specifically, are in a classic dark indigo that looks really high-end. (Note that I wear my rag & bone Dre jeans in my true size, and they’re pretty hip slung. I’ve also bought them a size down and they fit slim without being tight, but I do notice they feel more genuinely low-rise than slouchy.)
I bought the t-shirt version of this dress last year, and every time I wear it, I wish it was a tank style. SO! Very pleased to see this Vince Sleeveless Dress made the cut this year. (Kinda love the warm blush version, too.)
One of my regrets from last year was not buying the matching hoodie to go with my Nike palazzo pants. I won’t make the same mistake this year if both pieces are available in this gorgeous rust color when my tier opens. Hoodie here, matching sweats here.
These remind me of the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks everyone raves about (also in the sale!), but the Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Sticks are dual-sided. Super curious — the hues in this particular set seem perfect for everyday wear.
I’m not huge on big, branded bags, but for some reason, I’ll make an exception for ALLSAINTS, ha. And I do really love the proportions of this Celeste Carendon tote — and the fact that it’s canvas, and the little pouch that goes inside. Seems like a great price point, too — and with a tote organizer, it could easily become a go-to bag for outings with the kiddo.
I’ve worn the heck out of my little silver Topshop camera bag from last season, so I know this Marc Jacobs Shutter Crossbody would get equal use. Always love the pop of a white bag on a dark outfit, too — and it would be even more chic and tonal paired with an ivory sweater. Easy, cute, perfect for just the essentials.
These little huggies are small enough to wear every day, but interesting, too.
When it doubt, adding a scarf makes almost any outfit feel more styled, like you actually put some oomph into it. (More of that feigned effort thing I love so much.) And I love that this plaid burlap number is simultaneously chic and kinda…’90s grunge? Would go with more or less anything.
Olive is definitely continuing its moment, and I can’t think of a prettier, more wearable almost-neutral for a new pair of pumps. These Charles David Pointed Maxx Toe Pumps have such an elevated vibe (and are available in other neutrals, too).
Genuinely puzzled how I don’t yet own a pair of P448s, but I especially love how subtle these are. Super classic, and the perfect accompaniment for that Vince Pima Cotton Tank Dress (and the small army of tank dresses I’m also eyeing up, below).
Ohhh, a chelsea boot that’s unapologetically outdoorsy? These Timberlands would get a freaking workout. The perfect walking to school / walking the foggy coastline / exploring neighborhood trails kinda boot. And the burgundy color feels so timeless. Would be excellent cost-per-wear, too, at under $100.
Frye boots have such a special place in my heart. I think I have a pair from almost every significant chapter of my life. Torn between the black and the brown on these Frye Sacha Western Booties, but I love the black’s potential for looking just a little more rocker. And the mid-height of the shaft makes them easy to pair with loads of denim styles.
Shop My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Edit
My Favorite Sweaters In The #NSale
The NSale is nothing if not an excuse to stock up on sweaters. While I anxiously cross my fingers for the addition of a Jenni Kayne fisherman sweater, this BDG half-zip fisherman sweater has such classic vibes and the dusty lilac seems surprisingly wearable.
My Favorite Tops Sweaters In The NSale
I’m realizing the vast majority of the tops I actually wear are black, white or something else in the unapologetically neutral category. This Good American collared top is technically a sweater, but it looks thin enough to wear on its own and is so subtly tomboyish and sexy. Shocker, I love the ivory, but the rusty brown is really pretty, too.
My Favorite Denim In The NSale
Obviously very excited about the selection of rag & bone Dre jeans in this sale, but these BLANKNYC Madison Crop jeans could be the sleeper hit of the sale. I have the exact style with a little different chewed hem, and they’ve been in my top 5 jeans for a few years now. I sized up one (they’re 100% cotton). And just $55 in the sale.
My Favorite Shoes In The NSale
I’m seriously struggling with the amount of shoes I’m coveting this round, if only because of how rarely I wore shoes at all this past year. Telling myself that walking the kiddo to school 5x a week gives me plenty of justification for a few new pairs. These UGG sneaker boots are far from the most interesting thing in the sale, but I know I’d absolutely live in them.
My Favorite Coats In The NSale
We don’t get true blue Coat Weather here, so I’m really loving all the shirt jackets in this year’s sale. They’re the ideal weight. This wool-blend coat from rag & bone is SO good though — might have to make an exception.
My Favorite Dresses In The NSale
Clearly having a moment with tank dresses. They’re just so versatile — and the few below all just different enough. The draping on this one makes it looks for more expensive than it is, but this stretch silk version feels like it would be a forever piece.
My Favorite Active & Loungewear In The NSale
This USA fleece might feel like a bit of a surprise, but I have to admit I felt sorely out of place when we attended our small town July 4th parade this year wearing nary a hint of red, white or blue. (Truth be told, I just wasn’t feeling all that patriotic.) But also: Olympics.
My Favorite Bags & Accessories In The NSale
Not typically a hat person, but dang if this doesn’t feel like something I should have in my forever closet…just in case?
My Favorite Beauty In The NSale
Every year we use the sale to stock up on Chris’ Kiehl’s faves, and this year is no exception. I secretly also love the bar soap (though I not do secretly don’t love it’s “Ultimate Man” title).
Woof. Nine hours later (literally), what a haul — but I’m feeling far more optimistic than I was at first blush. Looking forward to paring down my picks over the coming week — and then, inevitably, making some last-minute decisions in the final scramble when my tier opens. I’m good ol’ Influencer Status, so we’ll see just how much of my game plan is derailed (more info on your Nordstrom card status and when you can shop, in our ultimate guide). Ah, the NSale!
If we share a similar aesthetic, be sure to bookmark this page to come back to as you build your wishlist and shop over the next few weeks. And be sure to check back to our Ultimate Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, where you’ll find all our current sale coverage, selfies, deep-dives, the good stuff.
Cheers and happy hunting, friends!
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