I came across an old interview I did where I described my style as “Tomboy goes to Paris” and even all of these years later, I still identify with that.
It helps to remind myself of what my personal style actually is, especially when shopping a sale as good as the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I can easily get carried away thinking dangerous thoughts like, “maybe I’m that girl now…the one who wears bows” only to discover, months later, that I am absolutely, 100% NOT the one who wears bows.
So I especially love this preview period — where we get to cull through all of the inventory, mentally trying it on, trying it out with everything else in our closets, and then creating a final list. After two days of list-making, I’ve finally got my #NSale wish list down to something manageable, something that feels like me.
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Wish List: A Capsule Wardrobe With Tomboy Style & French Girl Vibes
If you’re a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl…this capsule wardrobe’s for you. I’ve dressed them up a little bit, but never in anything stuffy or over-the-top. The idea is to go for something nonchalantly cool — a wool coat with great drape, sneakers that can be worn on date night — and a few subtle-sexy pieces, too.
And pssst…when you’re done here, be sure to head over to our ultimate guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, where all of our #NSale coverage lives.
1. & 2. Everyday T-Shirts
I realized recently that I wear either silk camis or simple cotton tees 98% of the time. So if the AllSaints Cuff-Sleeve tee (left) fits as well as I’m hoping it does…I’ll probably get it in white, too.
That said, the BP Organic Cotton Tee looks like it has really good drape. It also comes in a ton of colors (most of which I will probably ignore), and is on sale for under twelve dollars. Gotta try it.
Shop My Fav Tees In The #NSale
3. Everyday Investment Jewelry
This year’s NSale has a ton of everyday, investment pieces. In terms of both price and function (cost-per-wear) these large Gorjana hoops are a no brainer, and perfect with all of my white (or black) tees. That said, I’m seriously considering a major upgrade of some of my go-to jewelry pieces, and the online trunk show Nordstrom included in the Anni Sale is pretty amazing.
Shop My Fav Everyday Investment Jewelry In The #NSale
4. A Fancy Top
FRAME does fancy tops really well, and their Pleat V-Neck top is no exception (although I’m annoyed that it’s not 100% silk, grrrr). I’m obsessed with the blush color and the fact that I can wear a real bra.
Shop My Fav Fancy Tops In The #NSale
5. One Gorgeous Coat
UPDATE 7/12: It looks like Nordstrom has removed this piece from the sale. So disappointing!! That said, after doing a big try-on today…Theory’s Duffle Coat is seriously amazing. But if you were hoping for something more similar, I’d try Halogen’s Double Face Wool Coat.
Ok. OKAY! THIS. Reiss’ Wool Coat miiight be the best piece in the entire sale. I’m worried it’ll be too long on me (I’m 5’2″), but am totally willing to tailor if it’s as good as I’m hoping. No joke, this piece is worth setting an alarm and ordering the hot second the sale opens (Remember that Theory Coat from last year?). (And Reiss is really hard to find in-store, so online is the better option.)
Shop My Fav Coats in The #NSale
6. OK FINE: Skinny Jeans
Someone already called me out on Facebook for including skinny jeans AFTER I said I had mostly switched to looser styles. But then winter happened, OK? And then a really rainy spring! And sometimes…I just want the skinnier silhouette. So now I wear both. These aren’t groundbreaking or anything, but rag & bone’s Nina style is still one of my favorite styles, and they look good with sneakers, winter boots, rain boots and hiking boots.
Shop My Fav Skinny Jeans In The #NSale
7. Cute & Cozy Sweaters
I have this exact Vince sweater from last year’s sale in olive. I love that they brought it back in two really great neutral options: cream and brown (as shown) or black-and-white. Either one would get a ton of use in my closet.
Shop My Fav Cozy Sweaters In The #NSale
8. Cool Sneakers
p448s Thea sneakers have a slight platform, making them seriously flattering on legs. Because of the platform, I find they’re easier to style with skinnies or dresses than most other sneakers. They’re also ridiculously soft and comfortable, with a nice, squishy bottom. Also available in leopard print.
Shop My Fav Sneakers In The #NSale
9. A Great Bag
If you can, snap up a Clare V bag. These are the bags I carry 99% of the time. (The other 1% of the time I carry a feather bag that looks exactly like this one.) But in short: Clare V. bags are 100% worth it. I don’t care which pattern you pick, they’re instant outfit-makers, and will sell out quickly.
My Fav Handbags In The #NSale
10. Beauty Buys
Amy and Gwen have convinced me that I need to try this Necessaire set. And the packaging is so good…as a bonus, it’ll also look pretty sitting in my bathroom.
Shop My Fav Beauty Buys In The #NSale
11. Some Foundational Pieces
I typically use the NSale to stock up on bras, underwear, or even bodysuits. This year, I especially love the idea of a comfy, sexy bodysuit with oversized, baggy jeans. My top pick is this AllSaints bodysuit. Add a cardigan or a shirt-jacket or just layer under a cozy sweater.
UPDATE 7/12: This runs really small – size up at least one size (maybe two).
Shop My Fav Bras, Undies & Bodysuits In The #NSale
12. Well-Made, Have-Forever Footwear
Each Anniversary Sale has one or two truly timeless pieces, and these Pedro Garcia slides — a brand that is very pricey — is one of them. They’re handmade in Spain out of Nappa leather, and have an anatomical footbed.
Shop My Fav, Have-Forever Footwear In The #NSale
13. One Great Dress
I can always count on the Nordstrom Sale for one great dress. Last year’s Vince t-shirt dress was a total win, and this easy (yet sexy) Maxi dress looks like the kind of wear-everyday piece I’ll have for years.
Shop My Fav Dresses In The #NSale
14. & 15. The Cutest Loungewear
Nordstrom’s sale this year has a ton of really good loungewear and workout gear. I’ve been obsessing over this Good American sweatshirt and shorts combo (also comes in brown tie-dye) but I’m also eyeing up others. To be honest, loungewear & workout gear is STILL what I wear most of the time, soooo…
Shop My Favorite Loungewear & Workout Gear In The #NSale
16. Straight-Leg Jeans
Ahhh…loose, straight-leg jeans. My new favorites. Reviewers say Frame’s L’Original fits like a Levi’s 501s, but with a little more stretch. Sounds perfect.
Shop My Fav Straight-Leg Jeans In The #NSale
17. Chunky, High-Shaft Chelsea Boots For Fall
This style of boots are my top pick for fall. I wear mine OVER skinny jeans for a fresh update, and UNDER straight-leg styles (like mom jeans). They’re literally the ONLY boot I’ve found that can be worn with skinny jeans AND straight leg styles. I happen to have last year’s version of this exact boot. My pair is a little lower, and doesn’t have two pull tabs. The additional tab of Vagabond’s new Cosmo boot means they’ll be easier to get on, and the higher shaft height is totally on trend. If you are very petite, you might need to stick to the older, lower style.
Shop My Fav Chunky, High-Shaft Platform Boots In The #NSale
18. Cool Mules
While I was hoping for more Jenni Kayne in this sale…I’m not going to turn up my nose at the mules…I’ve been eyeing them for too long. And I love using the sale to splurge on some expensive, not-quite-practical footwear that I otherwise wouldn’t buy. Some have proven to be total outfit-makers.
Update 7/12: These are really pretty in person, but not super comfortable. They feel like they might break in. Hmm.
Shop My Fav Mules In The #NSale
19. Black Wash Jeans
Fall is coming, and I need a little black-jean refresh. After a year of COVID I’ve grown out of many of my jeans (or they’re all just skinnies) and I’ve yet to replace my black ones. I’ve been eyeing these Re/Done stovepipe jeans for over a year now.
Shop My Fav Black Jeans In The #NSale
20. A Trendy Little Top
The NSale is also a good place to snap up one trendy little top. And for this year….this insanely sexy polo from Good American is IT. I have a feeling that this one will sell out really fast, though, so don’t hesitate.
Shop My Fav Trendy Tops In The #NSale
Be sure to bookmark this page, as well as our ultimate guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, so you can come back when the sale opens up to your access level. Happy shopping!