I was chatting about the latest Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in the comments section on a recent post. We were discussing how some brands *appear* to be making pieces specifically for this sale, and there was some concern over the resulting quality. And if you’ve been shopping the NSale as long as I have, you likely remember the days of Burberry Trench Coats and piles of 100% cashmere, so…yeah.
I get it.
The reality is that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has both grown and changed over the years. And while I can lament with the best of them, there are a lot more people shopping the sale these days. So I suspect that many brands — brands that once routinely included 100% cashmere sweaters in the NSale (*cough* Vince *cough*) — have now switched to mostly fabric blends.
“Nothing makes sense anymore!” reader Samantha commented, “I would love a post on the ‘true finds’ of the sale.”
I love Samantha’s idea because, year after year, there definitely are “true finds” in the NSale. Plenty of them! While I may still regret not snapping up that Burberry Trench Coat of yesteryear, when I look at the most-worn pieces in my closet, many of them are from the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sales — including in recent years. That fact has not changed. (And if you’re interested in my best NSale buys of all time…this article.)
So, how does one find the true gems of the NSale?
First, I’d argue that The Mom Edit looks for these pieces every year! But, for the purposes of this discussion, let’s be realllllly intentional about the process. And strict! Strictly speaking, what makes a “true gem”?
Worth It: What To Buy In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2022
In my completely 100% biased opinion, I’m defining a “true gem” as a piece that is not only beautiful, but also useful, versatile, and incredibly well-made. We’re talking zero compromises on quality. Fabric composition matters, with extra points for natural fibers (cashmere, cotton, linen, silk or wool). I’m also considering historical performance — which brands routinely include high-quality pieces in this sale? And which brands have disappointed?
1. Long Wool Coats
My biggest and best NSale tip, based on years of shopping? Look. At. The. Coats. And, after looking through this year’s preview…the long wool coats (aka longline, maxi, or midi) are ridiculously good. These will likely be the very first thing I order this year.
2. Puffer Jackets & Raincoats
I’ve had my eye on this exact black puffer jacket from Save The Duck for years. While a mid-length black puffer may not be the most exciting piece, it sure is something I’ll wear the heck out of. And, if done right — with a flattering silhouette, matte black zippers, cool collar — it can even look…chic.
This year’s sale has a very exciting selection of puffer coats – Save the Duck, The North Face – as well as really fun raincoats from Pendleton, Barbour and, again, The North Face.
3. Designer Jeans (Especially Bootcut, Flare, & Straight Leg)
I recently said that the NSale is not usually where I find exciting jeans…and then this year’s preview proved me, well, not wrong, per se, but almost. This year’s preview has a ton of styles I’m definitely interested in (in washes I love), as well as some exact brands/styles I already own and swear by. I’m all about the bootcuts and flares in the NSale this year, as well as the straight-leg jeans I’ve even worn with winter boots (they’re that cute).
The jeans below are the pairs I have experience with, and can personally vouch for:
4. The Blazers (& Lightweight Jackets)
This Vince blazer is made from a cotton and linen blend. And it’s the perfect fall coat to wear with high-rise jeans, or to layer over a long, swishy top. Cropped jackets like this are also genius with dresses, and this silhouette feels especially fresh for 2022. Love.
That said, the selection in this sale — L’Agence, Veronica Beard, ALC, Smythe, and omgggg Cinq a Sept coats — is epic. Get ready to scroll…these are just my favorites, BTW. But there’s a bunch!
5. 100% Silk Tops
There are only a few 100% silk tops in the sale, but the one above (from ALC) is especially pretty and versatile. I love that it could easily be worn to the office or out at night. Frankly, the only other silk top I’d recommend is Vince’s Band Collar Silk Blouse. All of the others, in my totally biased opinion…missed the mark. For example, this FRAME silk tank is gorgeous, but the cost is bizarrely high — over $250, making it one of the most expensive silk tops in the sale (and almost as expensive as ALC’s long-sleeve silk top). In that case, I think I’d be better off with a silk tank from Cami NYC (not on sale).
6. Anything From Frank & Eileen
Frank & Eileen is a brand I’ve been wearing for years, but only recently realized that they’re made in the US. My understanding is that they use natural (or sustainable) fabrics, too. Frank & Eileen first became known for their button-downs (my favorite style is the ‘Eileen’, pictured above), but their sweatsuit collection is where they really shine. Happily, both are included in the NSale, and the only difference from their regular line (from what I can tell) is the color. My review: This is a great buy.
7. 100% Cashmere, Cotton, or Wool Sweaters
There is very little 100% cashmere in this year’s sale. That said, I’m pretty darn excited about this AllSaints cashmere sweater (above, left). The three available colors are absolutely gorgeous, and I love the distressed hem. This sweater is actually 95% cashmere (a mix of both recycled and regular cashmere), and 5% either wool or nylon. After discussing with Jeni (our resident fashion design major), this is likely due to the use of deadstock cashmere (aka recycled) material, wherein maybe a different blend was included somewhere in the past, but you can’t quite tease it out exactly. She has assured me that the 5% won’t make a difference in the feel (or the care).
Also, if you’re looking for 100% cotton sweaters, La Ligne is your best bet. I’m still wearing the heck out of the cotton La Ligne sweaters I snapped up last year. Easy wins.
8. Boots To Wear With Jeans (Especially Taupe or Tan)
Ok. OKAY. The boots this year….ARE SO GOOD. (And varied: Chunky soles, sleek heels, hiking boots, cowgirl boots.) Also, I am boring, so take that into account. I’ve been stalking Vince’s Kaye Block-Heel boots (pictured above) for a year now — The high shaft! The almond toe! The perfectly walkable heel! — and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m a taupe girl through and through (see above, re: boring), but they are also available in black.
9. Cute Sneakers
Guess what? AllSaints has named these chic, platform sneakers…after me. Introducing: The Shana Sneakers, a special collaboration between AllSaints and– just kidding. They don’t know I exist. But I am a sucker for good marketing and I’d buy Shana sneakers no matter what they look like. Happily, these are freaking amazing. The NSale sneaker selection is another area particularly on point this year.
10. Kork-Ease Sandals
I have a verrrry similar pair of Kork-Ease sandals, and love them. They’re not as heavy as most clogs, they’re nicely cushioned and very walkable. And they give me SO MUCH HEIGHT. Kork-Ease is on fire this year in general, and I was thrilled to see both this style and the Kork-Ease Darra Sandals (a really chic mule) in the sale this year.
11. Clare V. & A A K S Bags
One happy surprise was the inclusion of Black-owned business, A A K S. These straw bags are like little works of art — both Linzi and I have been HUGE fans. I’m definitely going to try and snap this one up.
Also, longtime favorite Clare V. has leather bags in this year’s sale! Historically, the Clare V. bags in the NSale have been in harder-to-clean suede (P.S. I never care), but am thrilled to see leather options, too. And that green is stunning.
12. This Vince Maxi Dress
Every year, Vince trots out a 100% pima cotton dress for the NSale and I AM NOT MAD ABOUT IT. These things are freaking amazing — thick, soft, drapey, and gorgeous. Easily one of the best buys every year. A true gem.
The beauty section of this year’s NSale reads like a list of my favorite things. If you do nothing else – NOTHING!!! – go and get that Le Labo hand soap (above, right). The scent is masculine and beautiful. Mike and I keep it in our master bathroom so we don’t have to share it with anyone else. I’ve literally climbed the three flights of stairs to use it. If you want to talk about simple pleasures, this is mine.
Also, the Tom Ford body oil. Smells like summer, makes my skin shimmer in the most beautiful way. Love this for summer nights.
Scroll around below for more skincare, my go-to lipstick, a gdh straightener, dry shampoo, brow stuff, the infamous Drybar, and on and on.
The jewelry might be the most under-rated section of the NSale. It just seems to get better & better, whether you’re are looking for delicate pieces in real gold, or just a fun little layered necklace to rock with a white tee.
That’s it! Those are the pieces that I consider the “true gems” of this year’s sale. I’d love to know which pieces you guys have your eyes on, or if you think I’ve missed any.
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